„Zaginione” plemię Izraela – japońskie źródła mitu
ISRAEL’S „LOST” TRIBE – JAPANESE ROOTS OF THE MYTH
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The research about Jewish colonization of South East Asia have been causing a lot of controversies. However the fact that in the Middle Kingdom begun the history of Jews living in the Far East seems to be unquestionable. The over-the-centuries presence of Jews in Eastern Asia didn’t result in building emigrant’s settlements in other countries of the region or in Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun was an unknown land for the Jewish merchants and travelers. According to the official statements this situation remained unchanged up to the second half of the 19th century. In relation to the historical sources about 50 Jewish families came to Yokohama in the late 70-ties of the 19th century. The emigrants came mostly from England, Germany, France, Russia and former Poland which was annexed by Russia and Austria. In the next years a lot of Jewish scientists and specialists were invited by the Japan government to China in order to rebuild and modernize this country. Meanwhile there were taken efforts to prove the presence of the Jews in the South Eastern Asia, who settled there after escape from Assyrian persecution in 771 B.C. and in the end conquered some primitive tribes and gave rise to the ancient civilizations. This research let the speculation that the ancient Jewish settlers were founders of the Japan imperial dynasty and created the warrior and aristocracy class. In the early 20-ties of the 20th century people were interested in discovering the Jewish origin of the Japanese society. In 1921-1922 the weekly paper “Israel’s Messenger” in Shanghai published several articles of Jewish and Japanese authors. They announced another discoveries and hypothesis about Jewish ancestors of Japanese society. These conceptions enjoyed people’s attention mainly at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. Nowadays we can also find some publications and discourses which rise this question. There are a lot of people who agree with the thesis of the common Jewish-Japanese roots: not only Joseph Eidelberg and others mentioned previously but also representatives of different Japanese Neo-Christian sects and members of American sect Back Hebrews. All this causes that the myth of Japanese being lost Israeli tribe stays alive.
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