2020-05-20 ◆Review：The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Aramaic roots V)
Jesus said, "Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest." (Thomas 5)
According to Mr. Sasagu Arai, author of the Japanese version of The Gospel of Thomas, the parallel articles in three Synoptic Gospels (Mr 4:22, Lu 8:17/ 12:2, Mt 10:26) tell us the necessity of God's revelation at the end. The Gospel of Thomas, on the other hand, through putting the words, "Recognize what is in your sight," at the beginning of the sentence, sublations God's revelation in Gnostic humanism. In other words, revelation is inevitable only when humans know what is in front of them. "What is in your sight," is "the kingdom" and is "the intrinsic self-control of human beings."
In other words, as long as you find the Revelation of God in what is in front of you, you need not wait for the second coming of Christ or the coming of Maitreya in 5,670 million years later, the Kingdom of God would realize right now in this world full of distress. Except this world, there is no Kingdom or pure land. It depends on whether you wake up to your true self (what is in front of you = the Revelation of God).
○Conflict between the Yamato court and the Izumo kingdom
In April 2000, the remains of nine giant pillars, about 3 meters in diameter, were excavated from the site of Izumo Taisha Shrine (出雲大社) in Shimane Prefecture (島根県) and it was clear that there was once a "high-rise shrine" that far surpassed the existing one.
According to the blueprint called "Kanawano Zoeizu (金輪造営図Gold ring construction drawing)," handed down from ancestors of the Senge (千家) family, the chief priest of Izumo Taisha Shrine, there seem to have been nine huge pillars made by each 1.3-meter three pillars bundled together with ferrule and it appears that a tower-like structure with a height of 24 meters was built on the pillar, and a main hall of shrine with a height of another 24 meters was further built on it, and it was linked to the ground by a 109-meter-long stairway. Thus, the total height is about 48 meters. The excavated remains of giant pillars were confirmed to be dated back to the 13th century.
Another document from the Senge (千家) states that the height of Izumo Taisha Shrine is "32 jo (丈=about 3 meters) in oko (往古ancient times), 16 jo in chuko (中古middle ages), then 8 jo in kinko (近古early modern age) and now 4 jo and 5 shaku (尺=about 0.3 meters) lengths." If so it was 98 meters high in ancient times. However, in a book titled "Restoration of Ancient Izumo Taisha (古代出雲大社の復元)" published in 1989 by the construction company Obayashi (大林組) before the remains of the giant pillars were discovered, the company's research team says. "It is impossible to build a 98-meter-high wooden structure."
The Protestant Bible commentator Mr. Arimasa Kubo, said that the building structure of Ise Shrine (伊勢神宮) and its religious events are very similar to the ancient tabernacle of Israel and the Jerusalem Temple and Inbe clan (忌部氏), an immigrant clan of the Yamato Imperial Court, played a major role in the establishment of Ise Shrine. He pointed out that Jews who came through the Korean Peninsula may have been involved in the establishment of Izumo Taisha Shrine, too.
By the way, Inbe clan was a descendant of Ameno Futodama no Mikoto (天太玉命), who had followed Tenson (天孫:heavenly grandson) Ninigi no Mikoto (邇邇藝命) and had descended from Takamagahara (高天原=heaven) upon the peak of Mt. Takachiho (高千穂峰) of Hyuga (日向) region of Tsukushi (筑紫) according to the order of Amaterasu Omikami (天照大神). They were in charge of the rituals for Yamato Imperial Court together with Nakatomi clan (中臣氏), the descendants of Ame no Koyane no Mikoto (天児屋命). The rituals in the Imperial Court was later monopolized by Nakatomi clan, but their influence in the countryside was maintained. According to Mr. Kubo, Nobunaga Oda (織田信長), the Gotota (後藤田) family and the Miki (三木) family in Tokushima prefecture are also said to be descendants of Inbe clan. It is said that the 600 representatives who attended the first national summit meeting of Inbe clan held in Tokushima in 2005 included Mr. Masazumi Gotota (後藤田正純), governor of Tokushima Prefecture.
According to the Kojiki (古事記:Records of Ancient Matters. It is an early Japanese chronicle of myths and semi-historical accounts down to 641.), when Okuninushi no Mikoto (大国主命) was asked to hand over his country of Izumo by Takemikazuchi no Kami (建御雷神), the messenger of Amaterasu Omikami (天照大神), requested to build a high-rise temple for him as high as he could reach Takamagahara. There is also an article regarding the restoration of Izumo Taisha Shrine in the fifth year (659AD) of Emperor Saimei (斉明天皇) in Nihonshoki (日本書紀). The article says, "I will now build Ame no hizumi no miya (天日隅宮=Izumo Taisha Shrine) for you (Okuninushi no Mikoto) with a hemp rope of 1000 hiro (千尋about 1500 meters), tall and thick pillars and thick and wide boards."
However, why the Tenson tribe (天遜族) of Amatsukami (天津神; gods of heaven) not only built a temple that surpassed Ise-jingu (伊勢神宮) for Kunitsukami (国津神; gods of the land), that is Okuninushi no Mikoto, in Izumo far before Ise-jingu was built but also repaired for generations, albeit smaller? Apparently, the source of this mystery seems to date back to the founding of ancient Israel.
○Rivalry between Ephraim and Manasseh
Joseph, fourth generation from Abraham, was placed in charge of the whole land of Egypt (Prime minister?) by the Pharaoh after he had been sold to Midianite merchants as a slave by his brothers, and got two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, between he and his Egyptian wife Asenath who was the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of the Ancient Egyptian town of On. Joseph rejoiced and named his firstborn Manasseh (oblivion) for he said, "God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household." And the second son he named Ephraim (twice fruitful) for he said, "God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering." (Ge 41:50-52)
Joseph moved his entire family to Egypt when a famine came. His father Jacob aka Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head and blessed them. So he set Ephraim before Manasseh. (Ge 48:13-20) When Moses realized that his death was near, he blessed the people of Israel and said, "They are the ten thousands of Ephraim and they are the thousands of Manasseh. (De 33:17)'' So Moses also implied that the Manasseh tribe would have a relatively small role to play. In fact, a second census conducted by Moses shortly before his death showed that out of 601,730 male population over the age of 20 in Israel, there were 52,700 Manasseh tribes, compared to relatively small 32,500 Ephraim tribes. (Nu 26:1-51)
Moses gave the land of Amorites to the Gadites, the Reubenites and the half-tribe of Manasseh (The other half of the tribe apparently seems to have lived somewhere else.) after he had defeated the Amorite kings Sihon and Og on the eastern bank of the Jordan on condition that they also would participate in conquests on the west bank. Prior to the battle, the Reuben and the Gad tribes said to Moses that they would not want to take part in the conquest on the west bank but rather want to stay in Gilead on the east bank of the Jordan. (Nu 32:1-33;34:14,15;De 29:7,8) Because both tribes and the Manasseh already had a strong base in Gilead. The Old Testament collectively refers to these three tribes as the Gileadites after the place of Gilead where they were based.
Prior to launching an all-out attack on the west bank of the Jordan, Joshua, of the tribe of Ephraim, who had been appointed Moses' successor, told the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, "Your wives and cattle shall abide in the land on the east coast, but you shall pass over before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valor, and shall help them until the battle is over. Then you shall return to the east coast." Then they swore, "We go wherever you are, as if we had followed Moses." (Jos 1:12-18)
After conquering the land of Canaan, Joshua divided the land they had seized into the tribes by lot, and set up permanent tabernacles in the land of Shiloh in his territory of Ephraim, but the Reuben, the Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built a great altar to look upon even surpassing Shiloh's Tabernacle on the eastern bank of the Jordan River. The other tribes saw this as a rebellion and attempted to carry out a total attack, but the priest Eleazar (son of Aaron) sent his son Phinehas, along with representatives of the ten tribes, to Gilead, the base of the three tribes. After all, the three tribes vowed not to offer animal sacrifices to their altar, and Phinehas and other representatives of 10 tribes were satisfied with the explanation, thus the civil war was prevented. During the negotiations, Phinehas and the representatives of 10 tribes, accused the three tribes saying, "Was not the sin of Peor enough for us? (Jos 22:17)" "The sin of Peor" is thought to refer to the gods of the Moabites and the Midianites who were enshrined on Mount Peor, referring to the indigenous Baal, the deity of Canaan and Chemosh, the chief god of Moabites. (Nu 25:1,3,6,21:29) Apparently, these three tribes had a religion for Kunitsukami (国津神; gods of the land) of Canaan. And they maintained another altar on the east bank of the Jordan River, apart from the tabernacle of Shiro on the west bank.
Incidentally, after Moses' death, Joshua of the Ephraim, but not the Levi, was chosen as the successor, and after the conquest of Canaan, the Levi did not receive any territory. Thus the Levi, of course, demanded that they should be allocated their territories and pastures. Eventually, the tribes again redistributed the 48 cities and their associated pastures to the Levites, again by drawing. (Jos 21:1-45) This means that after the death of Moses, the Ephraim replaced the Levi and took control of the alliance of tribes, but the Levi, led by Aaron's son Eleazar, regained leadership in the alliance after the redistribution of conquered lands and the incident of the altar built by the Reuben, the Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. Thus, the tribal alliance, which was never monolithic from the beginning, went into a period under the leaders known as judges after Joshua's death, and faced frequent internal struggles involving the indigenous people of Canaan and marine ethnic groups such as the Phoenicians and the Philistines. Especially, when the Gileadite leader Jephthah took the seat of the Judge, there was a shameful bone and meat domestic fight between the Manasseh and the Ephraim in Gilead, and 42,000 Ephraims trying to flee to the west coast was killed on the eastern bank of the Jordan. (Jg 12:6)
Mr. Kubo points out that the descendants of the Reuben, the Gad, and the Manasseh, who came via the Korean Peninsula, may have been involved in the establishment of Izumo Taisha. If so, the Myth of Izumo Kuniyuzuri (transfer of the Izumo land) may reflect the resentment and grudge of the conflict between the Manasseh and the Ephraim tribes.
Now, according to the 'Nihon Shoki (日本書紀: the Chronicles of Japan, compiled in 720), in 552 C.E., Baekje (百済) King Song Myong (聖明王), presented a letter to Emperor Kinmei (欽明天皇) along with a bronze statue of Buddha and Buddhist scriptures and encouraged to promote Buddhism in Japan. There are various theories about the year of the official introduction of Buddhism to Japan such as 538 and 548.
Emperor Kinmei asked the ministers how to handle the Baekje's proposal. Mononobe clan (物部氏) and Nakaomi clan (中臣氏), who had been in charge of Shinto (神道) ritual of the Yamato court (大和朝廷), opposed, but Soga clan (蘇我氏), who had had a close relationship with foreign settlers and the Korean Peninsula, supported the promotion of Buddhism. Emperor Kinmei abandoned himself to believing in Buddhism after splitting the opinion of the ministers in the Imperial Court and gave the Buddha statue to Soga Iname (蘇我稲目) and allowed him to privately worship and build temples. However, this led to overheating of power struggle in the court between Monobe Clan, who was in charge of Shintoism, and Soga Clan, who was eager to promote Buddhism.
After Emperor Yomei (用明天皇)'s death, Soga Umako (蘇我馬子) and Monobe Moriya (物部守屋) having two princes of Emperor Kinmei, Prince Hatsusebe (泊瀬部皇子) and Prince Anahobe (穴穂部皇子), respectively for the next emperor and had an armed clash. Then so-called Teibinoran (丁未の乱) occurred. The battle ended in a victory for Soga Clan, Prince Hatsusebe was enthroned as Emperor Sushun (崇峻天皇), and Monobe Clan was wiped out of court. Soga Umako assassinated Emperor Sushun five years later, let Umako's niece, Nukatabenohimemiko (額田部皇女), ascend the throne, as Emperor Suiko (推古天皇) and named Prince Umayado (厩戸皇子) as the Prince Regent.
○The real image of Prince Shotoku
Prince Shotoku, who undertook the administration of the Imperial Court as a regent of Emperor Suiko, used Jingjiao (景教) Christian Hata Kawakatsu (秦河勝) as his aide and built shrines nationwide through Kawakatsu's attainments, aiming for the realization of the Trinity of Confucianism, Buddhism and Shintoism.
At this time, it seems that an attempt was made to integrate the eight million gods (八百万の神々) from all over the country with the single line from time immemorial (万世一系) Imperial Family including the Izumo kingdom of Susano, Tenjin kingdom of Nigihayahi, Emperor Jinmu's Tenman-Wa-Koku, Himiko's Yamatai-Koku, Empress Jingu (神功皇后)'s Yamato court and Emperor Keitai (継体天皇) who had inherited the Yamato court facing the absence of a successor.
There is the statue of Maitreya Bodhisattva sitting contemplatively in the half-lotus position (弥勒菩薩半跏思惟像) in Koryuji Temple (広隆寺). The shape of the statue's hand, which looks similar to the symbol of the Trinity in the Eastern Christian Church, may contain such wishes of Prince Shotoku.
Chubu University's professor Seiichi Oyama (大山誠一) says in his book, 'The Birth of Prince Shotoku(聖徳太子の誕生),' "There was Prince Umayado, but he was not a great Buddhist teacher as he was told in later generations." He pointed out that there was no Prince Shotoku as a great Buddhist.
According to Protestant Bible commentator Mr. Arimasa Kubo, the legends and temples that made Prince Shotoku a great teacher of Buddhism were created in later generations, and Prince Shotoku and his family were destroyed. At that time, the several clans had power and influence, especially Soga Clan, who supported Buddhism, had enormous influence in the imperial court. Soga Clan had a close relationship with the royal family and their power surpassed the Emperor. Prince Anahobe (穴穂部皇子) and Prince Yakabe (宅部皇子), who both had been regarded as the next emperors, and Emperor Sushun were all assassinated by Soga Clan.
Although Prince Shotoku himself was in the maternal line of Soga Clan, he attempted to curb Soga's power and deepened the conflict with Soga Clan. Prince Shotoku relocated to Ikaruga (斑鳩), about 20 km away from Asuka (飛鳥) of Nara (奈良), where Soga Umako had been based, and attempted to run the administration of the Imperial Court. However, his wife Kashiwadenohokikinoiratsume (膳菩岐岐美郎女) died, just two months after the death of Prince Shotoku's mother, and the next day, Prince Shotoku himself died at the age of 49. At that time, Prince Shotoku was in the number two position after the Emperor, but after his death he was buried without Mogari (殯mourning).
In 643, Soga Iruka (蘇我入鹿), Umako's son, attacked Prince Shotoku's son, Prince Yamashiro Ohe (山背大兄王), who was a candidate for the succession of the throne and 25 people of his family to force them to commit suicide and eradicated the descendants of Prince Shotoku.
According to Mr. Kubo, Soga Clan, meanwhile, set Prince Shotoku up as a Buddhist saint. The emperors who had died in an unforeseen disaster or died a violent death were all marked with the word 'toku (徳)' on their posthumous names, for example, Emperor Sotoku (崇徳天皇), Emperor Antoku (安徳天皇) and Emperor Buntoku (文徳天皇). It is apparent that Prince Shotoku had also given the posthumous name including the word 'toku' to prevent curse and praise his virtue for avoiding criticism from oppositions. The notable example is Shitennoji Temple (四天王寺) in Osaka, which is said to have been built by Prince Shotoku. However, Shitennoji Temple became a Buddhist temple 26 years after the death of Prince Shotoku and at that time, the Buddhist guardian deity Shitenno statue (四天王像) was stored. In Prince Shotoku's lifetime, there was a shrine, and the Otorii (大鳥居) at the entrance to Shitennoji Temple is a remnant of what was originally a shrine. Adjacent to Shitennoji Temple are Kasasagi Morinomiya (鵲森宮) and Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine (玉造稲荷神社), which all were a large shrine in Prince Shotoku's lifetime.
During the time of Prince Shotoku, there were four Christian charity facilities in Shitennoji Temple, called Shikain (四箇院), that is, 1. Keidenin (敬殿院 Academic facility), 2. Ryoubyouin (療病院 Clinic), 3. Shiyakuin (施薬院 Pharmacy) and 4. Hidenin (悲田院 Charity facility). By the way, the Jingjiao Christians set up four facilities of this type along the Silk Road for their Bible evangelism.
According to Professor Ikeda Sakae (池田栄) of Kyoto University, around the year 600, Prince Shotoku was served by a Jingjiao Christian called 'Mar Thoma.' 'Mar Thoma' means 'Rabbi Thomas' in Aramaic. Mar means teacher or Highness and was used in Japanese as "Maru (丸)" by Ushiwakamaru (牛若丸) and "Maro (麻呂)" by Kakimoto Hitomaro (柿本人麻呂). It seems that Prince Shotoku himself built and operated Shikain.
○Sincerely reverence the three treasures
The second article of 'the Seventeen-Article Constitution (十七条憲法),' issued by Prince Shotoku, states, "Sincerely reverence the three treasures." Nihon Shoki (日本書紀) explains, "The three treasures, viz. Buddha, the law and the priesthood, are the final refuge of the four generated beings, and are the supreme objects of faith in all countries." However, in the Sendai kuji hongi (先代旧事本記: Records of Old Matters from Previous Ages), it has been recorded as "Sincerely reverence the three laws. The three laws, viz. Confucianism, Buddhism and Shintoism, are the final refuge of the four generated beings, and are the supreme objects of faith in all countries."
When compiling the Nihon Shoki, the one who was in charge of the articles on Prince Shotoku was a monk called Doji (道慈？-744). Professor Emeritus Seiichi Oyama (大山誠一 1944-) of Chubu University (中部大学) says in his book, 'The Birth of Prince Shotoku (聖徳太子の誕生),' "Because Doji hated other religions, especially Confucianism, he appears to have rewritten the three laws into three treasures."
Prince Shotoku issued 'Edict of Godliness' in 607. Thus he appears to have basically stood on Shintoism and tried to reconcile Confucianism, Buddhism, and Shinto.
According to the Sendai kuji hongi, Prince Shotoku studied primitive Shintoism called 'Sogen Shinto (宗源神道)' from Nakatomi Mikeko (中臣御食子), the father of Nakatomi Kamatari (中臣鎌足). It explains that Sogen Shinto is only one great god to be believed in, that is, the primitive way. So it seems to be 'monotheism' rather than the religion of 'Eight Million Gods(八百万の神).' In the book 'The First Beginning of the Shinto of Yamato Imperial Court (元初の神大和朝廷の始元),' Mr. Yoshisada Amabe (海部穀定), the priest of the Konojinja Shrine (籠神社), also says, "The godliness in Japan, before the 8th century, when the Nippon Shoki (日本書紀) and Kojiki (古事記) were established, was a monotheistic Shinto."
Incidentally, regarding Uzamasa (太秦) in Kyoto where many Hata people lived, the late Professor Yoshiro Saeki of Waseda University said, "'Uzumasa' derives from Aramaic 'Yeshu Mesiach,' meaning 'Jesus, Messiah.'" Hata Clan built Koryu-ji Temple (広隆寺) there. However, it was not a Buddhist temple at first, but a place of worship for Shinto Christian. There is the statue of Maitreya, of which right hand's shape similar to the symbol of the Trinity in the Eastern Christian Church, Mr. Kubo points out.
○Taika Reform and Buddhism
After the death of Prince Shotoku, Yamato Imperial Court carried out a political reform so called 'Taika Reform (大化の改新)' in 645 and decided to introduce the Ritsuryo system (律令制度: Ancient chinese law and order system) in a big way. At that time, Yamato Court seems to have decided to make Buddhism the basis of national policy, and the appointment of Doji, too, must have been in line with such a policy. In addition, Empress Wu ZeTian (武则天627?-705) of Tang dynasty (唐朝), focused on promoting Buddhism, so "Sincerely reverence the three laws, viz. "Confucianism, Buddhism and Shintoism" in the second article of 'the Seventeen-Article Constitution' may have been rewritten into "Sincerely reverence the three treasures. viz Buddha, the law and the priesthood," keeping step with the Tang dynasty.
According to Japanese historian Mr. Kunio Hirano (平野邦雄1923-2014), the late Professor Emeritus of Tokyo Women's University, the statue of Maitreya of Koryu-ji Temple, which had been carved from Korean red pine, seems to have come to Japan from the Korean kingdom of Silla. Nihon Shoki records that in 603 a statue was received by Prince Regent Shoutoku Taishi, who offered it to the court assembly of nobles; the Hata leader Hata no Kawakatsu accepted the statue and subsequently built a temple to properly house it — this is the official version of the origin of Kouryuu-ji. However, Japanese Buddhism of the time of Shoutoku Taishi was dominated completely by the Buddhism of the kingdom of Baekje, Silla's arch-rival on the Korean peninsula. At that time, pro-Baekje faction in Japan, led by the Soga clan and supported by the Aya clan (漢氏immigrants from Baekje), planned to intervene on the peninsula on the side of Baekje, in opposition to Silla. Kawakatsu, head of a Silla immigrant group, and Shoutoku Taishi may be seen to have taken the lead in opposition to Soga-led plans to intervene in peninsular affairs. Professor Hirano points out that Kawakatsu's acceptance of the Miroku statue may have played a symbolic role in the internal Japanese politics of the time. (Source: morumon.org/japancultureuzumasa-02.htm)
While Prince Shotoku's great-grandfather Emperor Keitai (継体天皇), who had closely connected with Baekje, destroyed Iwai (磐井), the head of Kitakyushu clans, who had a close relationship with Shilla, Prince Shotoku entrusted the Maitreya Bodhisattva statue given by Shilla to Hata Kawakatsu. This seems to be in line with the precedent that Emperor Kinmei entrusted the Buddha statue given by Baekje to Soga Iname.
○The faith of Maitreya
The ancient Persian god Mithra, which was widely worshiped in Asia Minor, Greece and Rome as the "Divinity of Covenant" and the "sun god," is considered the prototype of Maitreya Bodhisattva. Even in Judaism, Mithra is the origin of Archangel Metatron, who lives in the seventh heaven and is called Yahweh the Less. And the largest festival of Mithraism on December 25, which people had celebrated the "Resurrection of the Sun" after the winter solstice during the Roman Empire, became the prototype of Christmas.
Maitreya Bodhisattva appears as a future Buddha at the very early stage of Buddhism, and is described in the Agama Sutra (阿含経). The faith of Maitreya in Buddhism is divided into two types, that is, the faith to rebirth in Tusita heaven (兜率天: one of the six heavens of the desire realm where Maitreya lives) and the faith to prepare Maitreya's immediate appearance in this world. The latter is apt to be linked to the antiestablishment movement, that changes this world in accordance with the emergence of Maitreya. The Mahayana rebellion (大乗之乱) of the northern Wei dynasty (北魏) and the revolts of White Lotus sect (白蓮教徒) in the dynasties of the northern Sung (北宋), the southern Sung (南宋), the Yuan (元), the Ming (明) and the Qing (清) were good examples of them. (Wikipedia)
According to Mr. Arimasa Kubo, the faith of Maitreya is a form of worship that began in India in the 4th century, and at that time the influence of Jingjiao (景教Keikyo) was expanding in India.
Certainly, it seems that JingJiao had an influence on the epidemic of the faith of immediate appearance of Maitreya in this world, which had a strong eschatological color.
○Aya clan Vs Hata clan
Aya clan (漢氏) was a very powerful clan of immigrants along with Hata clan (秦氏). Nihon Shoki (日本書紀) says, "Achinoomi (阿智使主), the ancestor of Yamato Ayano Atahi (倭漢直), and his son, Tsukanoomi (都加使主) came to the county together with his 17 prefectures' people," in the article of September of Emperor Ojin (応神天皇)'s 20th year (290AD). And in the article of June in the fourth year of Enryaku era (延暦4年785AD) of Shokunihongi (続日本紀) it says, "Achiomi (阿智王) came with Aya Tribes (漢人) who had seven different surnames, that is, Shu (朱), Lee (李), Ta (多), Kyoukaku (皀郭), Kyou (皀), Dan (段) and Kou (高)." And regarding Aya clan's origin, it describes, "Escaping from the war in the end of Han dynasty (漢王朝), they emigrated to Daifang-qun (帯方郡) of Korean Peninsula, under the guidance of Holy Calf."
On the other hand, on the monument of 'Reconstruction of the Temple of Purity and Truth (重建清真寺記碑)' discovered in Kaifeng city (開封市) of eastern Henan province (河南省) of China, it is written that the Jews first arrived in the city in 231 BC. and seven Jewish leaders called Ezra, Shimon, Cohen, Gilbert, Levy, Joshua and Jonathan were given Chinese surnames, that is, 艾, 石, 高, 金, 李, 張 and 趙 respectively in the age of Ming dynasty (1368-1644AD).
Dr. Teiji Kadowaki (門脇禎二1925-2007), emeritus professor at Kyoto Prefectural University and Kyoto Tachibana Women's University, said, "Aya-uji (漢氏) seems to have been a complex clan composed of a number of small clans. It might have been gradually united based on a common ancestral tradition." It is apparent that various tribal groups came to the Japanese archipelago in large numbers via Silla, Baekje and even Koguryo. Another thing to note here, Lee (李) and Kou (高) among Aya Tribes (漢人) who had seven different surnames may have been Jewish tribes because these surnames were given to the Jewish leaders during the era of Ming dynasty.
○Sublation of "Exclusive Monotheism"
Today, images of Jesus as the Savior raised by the mainstream Jerusalem, Antioch, and Roman churches is being propagated, but there is no document with his own hands. Jesus, who appears to have often visited the meeting place of the Essenes at the time, was apparently over fifty years old, because the Twelve Apostles included the son of his brother James, who was at least ten years younger than him. It is impossible to say that he did not write a document in his lifetime.
Incidentally Moses, who had written down Deuteronomy and had died looking at the land of Canaan, said in the Deuteronomy, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (De 6:4-5) In other words, there are many gods, but the Israelites must believe in only one god. He did not assume 'the only one and absolute god.' Professor of history at Tel Aviv University Shlomo Sando calls this 'exclusive monotheism.' Christianity seems initially to have inherited the 'Exclusive Monotheism,' but later to have come to assume the 'only one and absolute god' in the process of forming the concept of the Trinity of God Yahweh, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
On the other hand, Jingjiao (景教:Luminous Religion) Christians, who had set off eastward and encountered Buddhism in India and Confucianism and Taoism in China, etc., seem to have created a new form of religion that could coexist with Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and so on, just as Abraham's family had assimilated to Canaan's indigenous monotheism. The shrines that Hata Clan (秦氏) deployed throughout Japan can be said to be the finest. The Jews originally worshiped the different ancestors of twelve to fourteen tribes, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as their guardian deities. But Moses decided to reorganize these nomadic tribes into a union of independent tribes and establish the unity of religion and politics based on the covenant of the single founder Abraham and God and then to overthrow the agricultural people's city states in Canaan. Following Moses' death, his successor Joshua put this plan into practice and laid the foundation for the ancient kingdom of Israel. Prince Shotoku adopted this strategy under the cooperation of Hata Clan, and tried to let eight million patron gods of clans from all over Japan be devotion to the glorious virtues (御稜威) of the common ancestral deity Amaterasuomikami (天照大御神), the Sun-Goddess, so that the imperial system of single line from time immemorial (万世一系の天皇制) would be established. However, Judaism of the Northern Israel, which had accepted Egyptian faith of the Holy Calf and Canaanites' indigenous idolatry, may have been introduced to Japan long before that by the Tenson Clan (天孫族).
○Triune and mysterious in substance
At the beginning of its inscription, Nestoriam Stele (景教碑) says, "Lo the unchangeably true and invisible, who existed through all eternity without origin; the far-seeing perfect intelligence, whose mysterious existence is everlasting; operating on primordial substance he created the universe, being more excellent than all holy intelligences, inasmuch as he is the source of all that is honorable. This is our eternal true lord Allah (阿羅訶歟), triune and mysterious in substance. He appointed the cross as the means for determining the four cardinal points, he moved the original spirit, and produced the two principles of nature;" and describes 'Trinity' as 'Triune and mysterious in substance (三一妙身).'
Having outlined the Genesis of the Old Testament as described above, it also introduces events such as the birth a savior in Syria (大秦), his ascension on one afternoon after finishing the new teachings of 'Triune and mysterious in substance' and 27 volumes of the New Testament being left, the Syrian High Priest Olopun's visiting in Chang'an (長安) in 635 C.E. with this teachings called Jingjiao (景教 Luminous Religion), which was including the doctrine of 'Triune and mysterious in substance' and the religious rites such as 'Water Baptism,' 'Eastern Worship,' 'Fasting,' etc. and presenting the Bible to the Emperor Taizong (太宗皇帝) of the Tang Dynasty (唐朝) and allowing by the imperial court to carry out Jingjiao Christians' missionary work and construction of their temples in the country, and so on.
The time of the missionary work in the Eastern world by Thomas, who is honored as the twin of Jesus, coincides with the period of Mahayana Buddhism and Zoroastrianism to have been established in India and in Persia respectively. Apparently, the inscription of Nestoriam Stele reflects strongly such historical background.
The Eastern Christian Church describes 'Trinity' also as 'Most Holy Trinity.' The statue of Maitreya Bodhisattva sitting contemplatively in the half-lotus position (弥勒菩薩半跏思惟像) in Koryuji Temple (広隆寺) makes a circle with the thumb, middle finger and ring finger of its right hand, stands the index finger and the little finger. The shape of the hand seems to represent Prince Shotoku and Jesus' wishes to achieve the circular like best way with nothing lacking and nothing in excess.
Zen Master Jianzhi Sengcan (僧璨鑑智?-606), who is known as the Third Chinese Patriarch of Zen Buddhism after Bodhidharma (菩提達磨), preaches in his book 'Xinxin Ming (信心銘Faith-Mind Inscription),' saying, "The best way is circular like great vacuity, with nothing lacking, nothing in excess." The one who first drew circular figures is said to be Zen Master NanYang HuiZhong (南陽慧忠), a disciple of the Sixth Patriarch HuiNeng DaJian (慧能大鑒). Thereafter circular figures have been often used by Zen priests, especially GuiYang School (潙仰宗)'s priests in their preaching.
Uroboros, an image depicting a serpent eating its own tail, is one of the typical symbol of Gnosticism as symbolic expressions of a thought seeing the beginning and the end as one. The iconography is depicted in the Greek magical papyrus and in a circle made by the serpent's body is written "all things are one" in Greek. This concept, which is expressed clearly in the words "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He (Jesus) was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1-2)" at the beginning of the Gospel of John and in the passage "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End" in Revelation of John (Revelation 22:13), has been succeeded to by Zen Buddhism. It is not hard to imagine that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, too, would have been influenced by Jingjiao (景教Keikyo: Luminous Religion), which had been widespread in the Middle East and Central Asia at the time.
If the statue of Maitreya of Koryu-ji Temple was from Silla, then at that time there were several groups of knights called Hwa-rang (花郎) composed of children of the noble families who worshiped Mireuk-posal(弥勒菩薩) and played an active role in the Kingdom. We can see Thomas's footprint here as well.＜To be continued＞
○What is "Baptism with The Holy Spirit"?
According to the dialectic of the Gospel of John,
【Thesis】"A man can possess eternal life through accepting testimony of the Son of man and being baptized by him." (John 5:24)
【Anti-thesis】But "The one who comes from the earth cannot accept the testimony by one from heaven." (John 3:32)
How then can a man possess eternal life?
【Synthesis】"If you want to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, you can just go back to the word which was with God in the beginning (John 1:1) and certify that God is truthful. (John 3:33)"
When he said, "You are Huichao," Zen Master Fayan thrusted vivid Self in Huichao in front of his eyes.