【阪本研究所】 SK laboratory 代表 Kazuyoshi Sakamoto

【阪本研究所】 SK laboratory 代表 Kazuyoshi Sakamoto                                   


稲荷神社とキリスト教 INRI 十字架の罪状書に書かれた「ユダヤ人の王ナザレのイエス」The translation of the provided Japanese text into advanced English is as follows: "Inari Shrine and Christianity: The inscription on the INRI cross details 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews' in the indictment on the cross."

稲荷神社とキリスト教 INRI 十字架の罪状書に書かれた「ユダヤ人の王ナザレのイエス」The translation of the provided Japanese text into advanced English is as follows: "Inari Shrine and Christianity: The inscription on the INRI cross details 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews' in the indictment on the cross."

稲荷神社はイエス・キリスト神社?  #稲荷神社 #聖書 #キリスト #イエスキリスト #Jesus




"The Sacred Text of Inari"

The deity of Inari Shrine is the sole divine entity, and Inari Shrine stands as the most numerous shrine nationwide. Scattered across the entire country, the head shrine of Inari Shrine is Fushimi Inari Taisha, located in Kyoto. It is particularly popular among foreign tourists visiting Kyoto.

In the official "Sacred Text of Inari," issued there, the words "solely divine and formless..." are inscribed. When you visit Fushimi Inari Taisha, you can obtain a paper containing this text. Although it is referred to as a "sacred text," it is openly available, reflecting the ancient faith of Shinto from times immemorial.



"The deity is singular and formless..." points to the same concept as the God in the Bible. Astonishingly, the deity of Inari Shrine is originally the same as the God in the Bible.

However, one might question, "Isn't Shinto a polytheistic faith? Doesn't it derive from nature worship and spirit reverence?" In reality, Shinto was, in fact, a "monotheistic" faith before the 8th century.



Ancient Shinto Was Not Polytheistic

The head priest of the former Ise Kono Shrine cites numerous ancient documents in Shinto as evidence, revealing in their writings that "before the writing of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki (8th century), Shinto was a monotheistic faith." Ancient Japanese people referred to this deity as "Omototsukami" or "Omototsumi no Kami," denoting the divine spirit of the great origin.


This concept of "Omototsukami" and "Omototsumi no Kami" aligns with the same notion as the God in the Bible. It is evident that the "Omototsukami" and "Omototsumi no Kami" mentioned, which first appear in the Kojiki, are identical to the deity "Ame-no-nakatsukami" and represent alternative names for the same god. Additionally, the deity "Toyuke no Kami" from the Outer Shrine of Ise Grand Shrine is also considered another name for this same deity. This insight is emphasized by Priest Kunetada Umibe.


Furthermore, it is believed that the deity "Inari Okami" of Inari Shrine is the same deity as "Toyuke no Kami" (Toyouke) mentioned earlier.


This is because the formal name of Inari Okami is "Uka no Mitama," and "Uke" or "Uriki" are ancient Japanese words referring to food. Interestingly, in Hebrew, "Uke" (okel) also means food.



"Iesu Kurisuto Jinja?" (Jesus Christ Shrine?)

It is said that some Inari Shrines are referred to as Jesus Christ Shrines. According to Shinto scholars, it is believed that Toyuke no Kami and Inari Okami are the same deity.


In other words, Omototsukami, Omototsumi no Kami, Ame-no-nakatsukami, Toyuke no Kami, Inari Okami, and others are all nothing more than alternative names for the same deity. These appellations signify the representation of one singular god. For instance, those who believe in the Bible may refer to this singular deity as "God, the Almighty Source," or they may call upon terms like "The Lord God who dwells in the midst of heaven" or "God who provides daily sustenance."


Manna (Hebrew: מָ‏ן‎) is a substance mentioned in the Old Testament, specifically in the 16th chapter of the Book of Exodus. According to the narrative, when the people of Israel were suffering from hunger in the wilderness of Sin, God responded to Moses' prayer by causing manna to rain down from the heavens. At that moment, the people questioned, "What is this?" and it is from this expression that the Hebrew term "manna" emerged, signifying "What is this?" in reference to the miraculous sustenance provided by God.


"The All-Originating Deity" in Shinto terminology corresponds to the concept of "Omotenashi" or "Great Originating Deity." The "Deity dwelling in the center of the heavens" is identified as "Ame-no-Minakanushi-no-Kami," and the "Deity providing daily sustenance" is revered as "Toyouke-Omikami" or "Inari-Omikami." In this way, the ancient Japanese monotheistic beliefs trace their roots back to the God Yahweh of the Bible.




"Ame-no-Minakanushi-no-Kami" (Omotenashi) is considered to be equivalent to the God Yahweh mentioned in the Bible. It is described as a deity residing in the celestial realm, possessing virtues that give rise to the entire universe and overseeing all creation. This characterization aligns with the nature of the God described in the Bible.

Furthermore, "Ame-no-Minakanushi-no-Kami" is asserted to be the same as the God Yahweh in the Bible. Traditional and pure Shinto beliefs have long held that the deity at the foundation of heaven and earth is eternal, uncreated, everlasting, and the absolute and singular god.


This deity is believed to be the original kami (deity) in whom the Japanese have placed their faith, safeguarding Japan and nurturing its people. This kami is identified as the God in the Bible, representing not only the deity of Japan but also the divine entity for the entire world.


Moreover, the "Kojiki," discovered at Ise Grand Shrine, mentions that Prince Shotoku learned about this ancient Japanese monotheistic belief. The recognition of this deity reflects a fusion of Shinto beliefs with the understanding of the God found in the Bible, signifying a shared spiritual foundation for both Japan and the wider world.


In this manner, Inari Shrine originally adhered to a monotheistic faith. The Inari Shrine constructed by the Qin clan was established by the renowned ancient immigrant family, the "Qin clan," who were purportedly ancient Israelites that converted to ancient Eastern Christianity.



The Fusion of Christianity and Shinto

When people think of Christianity in Japan today, they typically envision Western Christianity. However, Western Christianity eliminated Jewish elements and underwent a process of Westernization. This is in stark contrast to Eastern Christianity, which was transmitted to the East and holds significant differences.


Jesus himself and his twelve disciples were originally Jewish, and Christianity originally emerged as a Jewish religion. Consequently, Christianity retained many Jewish philosophical elements, making it harmonious with Shinto in Japan.


When the Qin clan arrived in Japan, Shinto already existed. The Qin clan contributed to the development of Shinto, incorporating Christian elements and constructing shrines across the country. One prominent example is the Inari Shrine, symbolizing the fusion of Christianity and Shinto in Japan.



Dakini Faith (Chakani-Ten)

The guardian foxes, or "komainu," at Inari Shrines are distinct from those at regular shrines, commonly known for being foxes. Although white foxes are often associated with Inari Shrines, in reality, Inari Shrines and foxes were originally unrelated.

(Note: "Dakini" refers to a type of deity in Vajrayana Buddhism, and "Chakani-Ten" is a term that seems to be a transliteration of "Dakini-Ten," potentially a specific deity within this context. However, the provided text doesn't delve into the details of Dakini faith or its relevance to Inari Shrines.)


Later on, a syncretism of Buddhist-influenced Inari worship and Dakini faith (Chakani-Ten) occurred, leading to the placement of foxes at Inari Shrines. This transformation took place after the Buddhist monk Kukai (774–835 AD). Kukai played a significant role in spreading Inari worship, and subsequently, foxes began to be enshrined at Inari Shrines.


Originally, there was no connection between foxes and Inari Shrines. However, under the influence of Buddhism, a transformation occurred. The association between Inari Shrines and foxes was established after the time of Kukai.




The festival of Passover, where lamb's blood is applied to the entrance of a house and a red torii gate.

Inari Shrine is considered to represent the faith of the Qin clan, ancient Eastern Christians. For instance, the shrine is characterized by a red torii gate.

The Qin clan, having faith in the Bible, is believed to express the story of ancient Israelites applying lamb's blood to the entrance of their houses for Passover through this red torii gate.


The house marked with this blood was believed to escape the plague of death, symbolizing the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. In the Bible, Jesus Christ is referred to as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." The red torii gate at Inari Shrine is thought to symbolize this aspect.



The terms "Inari" and "Inri" at Inari Shrine.

Furthermore, the term "Inari" at Inari Shrine was originally written as "Inari," with the characters "伊奈利," which are considered to be Man'yōgana, a system of writing Japanese using Chinese characters phonetically. It has been pointed out that this is a phonetic representation. The original pronunciation is said to be "Inari," and the characters "伊奈利" or "稲荷" were applied as kanji characters.


The Qin clan is a family influenced by Eastern Christianity, and they believed in Jesus, using the term "Inri" as a symbol for Jesus.


The term "Inri" represents the initials of the inscription on the placard affixed to the cross, stating "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." In Japanese, it is written as 「インリ」. In fact, in Gunma Prefecture, near the stone chamber of the influential figure "Yōta-dyū" from the Qin clan in the 8th century, a copper plate bearing the similar characters "JNRI" (where I and J both represent the initial of Jesus) was unearthed. Both "INRI" and "JNRI" were in use.


However, at that time, there were no characters in Japan to represent the sound "ン" (N). This sound's character is not found in the Kojiki, Nihon Shoki, or the Manyoshu. Therefore, it is suggested that "ン" was originally part of the "ナ" (Na) of Nazareth. The Qin clan, it is proposed, did not interpret "Inri" as INRI but rather as "Inari" (INaRI).


In other words, Inari Shrine was originally the "Jesus Christ Shrine." Inari Ōkami, as mentioned earlier, is formally named "Uka no Mitama," the same deity as Toyuke Ōkami, and originally, it was the god Yahweh from the Bible. Inari Shrine, in its origins, was a shrine dedicated to the god Yahweh from the Bible, and the name "Inari" likely came from "INaRI," representing "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."


According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is considered to be in unity with Yahweh. Therefore, the Qin clan chose the name for their shrine, "Inari," which signifies Jesus Christ. It is believed that this choice was made with the hope of conveying the blessings and grace of Jesus Christ through the shrine, enriching the lives of the common people. The name "Inari" thus carries a profound wish for the abundant bestowal of Jesus Christ's blessings and grace upon the people through the shrine.


「イナリ」は 「ユダヤ人の王ナザレのイエス」 であることを示す、 京都のもう一つの例をみてみよう。 (注意)但し、このあたりは学術的根拠はなく、もしそうであれば興味深い「ロマン」としてください。


In the case of the "Inari" in Heian-kyo (ancient Kyoto), let's explore another example that suggests a connection to "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Please note that this interpretation lacks scholarly support and should be considered an intriguing "romantic" notion if taken into consideration.

Located on Mount Funaoka at the heart of Heian-kyo, Inari Shrine (Gishō Inari Shrine) is a small shrine that predates Fushimi Inari Taisha and is sometimes referred to as "Motoinari" or "Original Inari."


In ancient times, when Heian-kyo was constructed, Mount Funaoka served as a prominent marker along its central axis. At the summit of Mount Funaoka, Heian-kyo was meticulously organized into various blocks, including a rectangular block that formed a T-shaped district resembling the shape of a cross.


Moreover, at the center of this cross-shaped area, Inari Shrine on Mount Funaoka was situated, marking a significant location within the city.


Exactly, at the very center of the cross, there was indeed "Inari" (INARI) – a representation of "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Clearly, "Inari" was intended to refer to the inscription on the placard of Jesus's cross, emphasizing the connection to "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."


In essence, Inari Shrine was, in reality, the "Jesus Christ Shrine." When constructing Heian-kyo, the Qin clan imbued their prayers with the hope that the blessings of Jesus Christ would abundantly pour into that land. Furthermore, the fact that "Jerusalem," the city where Jesus Christ was crucified, aligns in meaning with the Japanese term "Heian-kyo" adds an intriguing layer to this connection.



Furthermore, the Gion Matsuri, still celebrated in Kyoto today, originated in the Heian period. During this festival, prayers were offered, much like in the past, for the prevention of epidemics. This prayer tradition mirrors the one conducted by King Solomon when he built the temple in Jerusalem. The Gion Matsuri can be considered a festival derived from the festivities in Jerusalem. The famous Yamahoko Parade of the Gion Matsuri, held annually on July 17th, is said to coincide with the day when Noah's Ark landed on Mount Ararat, as mentioned in the Bible.


Indeed, Heian-kyo was a city constructed by the Qin clan based on the principles of the Bible. Throughout his public life, Jesus Christ performed acts of healing, expelled evil spirits, assisted the poor and those in distress, saved those tainted by sin, and transformed people's lives into blessings.


According to the Gospels, Jesus not only promises eternal life after death but also abundantly bestows various blessings in the present life while still living.


Similarly, the Inari Shrine built by the Qin clan is believed to offer various blessings, including healing from illnesses, prosperity in business, abundant harvests, and overall well-being. These blessings have significantly contributed to the happiness and well-being of the people.



The Qin clan not only established Inari Shrines but also constructed Hachiman Shrines. While Hachiman Shrines were intended for the protection of the state, Inari Shrines were built with the wish for the happiness of the common people. The widespread popularity and increase in the number of Inari Shrines across Japan can be attributed to the actual benefits believed to be gained by praying at these shrines. If there were no tangible benefits, the shrines would likely not have gained such prominence and popularity.


Indeed, this is a phenomenon that occurred. For instance, there is a small Inari Shrine, called Hikan Inari Shrine, located next to the bustling Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, which attracts many foreign tourists.


While it may not have a resident priest, it has a historical record. The shrine was established as an expression of gratitude by a woman who, in the past, had fallen seriously ill and prayed for recovery at Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. According to the story, her prayers were effective, and she made a full recovery. This shrine was erected as a token of gratitude for the blessings received.


In Japan, there are numerous Inari Shrines with similar historical backgrounds, each associated with stories of people praying for recovery from illnesses, liberation from poverty, prosperity in life, and the establishment of harmonious households. People, expressing gratitude for the positive outcomes of their prayers, have invested their personal funds to establish Inari Shrines throughout the country. This widespread practice attests to the enduring belief in the efficacy of these shrines and their role in bringing blessings to people's lives.



Throughout history, prominent zaibatsu (financial conglomerates) such as Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, and Yasuda, which have amassed considerable wealth, had founders who were devoted followers of Inari Shrines. For example, the "Mimeguri Shrine" (now located in Mukojima, Sumida Ward, Tokyo), once known as Tanaka Inari, is a shrine associated with the Mitsui family. Even today, within its precincts, there exists the "Sanbiki Torii" (three torii gates), a symbol representing the Trinity in Shinto belief and a symbol of the faith of the Qin clan.


They believed in the deity Inari as well as the Trinity. In the 17th century, a widespread drought affected large areas, and it is said that when people prayed to the Inari deity at the shrine, rain fell the next day. This incident spread the fame of the shrine, and when the Mitsui family, a wealthy merchant family, expanded into Edo (present-day Tokyo), they revered the shrine as the guardian deity of the Mitsui family. Similarly, Iwasaki Yataro, the founder of the Mitsubishi Group, also held the Tosa Inari Shrine in Osaka in high regard as the guardian deity of Mitsubishi.



The Tosa Inari Shrine originally had its shrine hall constructed by Yoritaka Yamamoto, the lord of Tosa Domain. However, in the Meiji era, it was handed over to Iwasaki Yataro. Yataro initiated business activities here and designated it as the birthplace of Mitsubishi. Even after relocating Mitsubishi to Tokyo, he held onto this shrine, revering it as the guiding deity of Mitsubishi.


The Inari deity is likely to continue bringing various blessings to the Japanese people in the future. Just as Jesus is a gracious Messiah, even as Inari Shrine is referred to as such, it can be seen as an Inri (Inari) Shrine, continuing to bestow abundant grace and blessings upon the Japanese people.