Is The Mysterious Lost Ark Of The Covenant Buried In Japan?
Most people, especially the Catholic community knows about the prophetic story of the Ark of the Covenant which was depicted in the Bible as the sacred container of the Ten Commandments. The Ark of the Covenant or also popularly known as the Ark of the Testimony, is a gold-covered wooden chest described in the Book of Exodus as it contains the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. According to various versions within the Hebrew Bible, it also contained Aaron's rod and a pot of manna.
What makes this story more interesting to take a second look at is its urban legend. According to urban legends, the remains of the Ark can be found at the top of Mt. Tsurugi located on the Japanese island of Shikoku. Why can we find it there in Japan, if ever it is true? Read on to find out.
"The biblical account relates that, approximately one year after the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, the Ark was created according to the pattern given to Moses by God when the Israelites were encamped at the foot of biblical Mount Sinai. Thereafter, the gold-plated acacia chest was carried by its staves while en route by the Levites approximately 2,000 cubits (approximately 800 meters or 2,600 feet) in advance of the people when on the march or before the Israelite army, the host of fighting men. When carried, the Ark was always hidden under a large veil made of skins and blue cloth, always carefully concealed, even from the eyes of the priests and the Levites who carried it. God was said to have spoken with Moses "from between the two cherubim" on the Ark's cover. When at rest the tabernacle was set up and the holy Ark was placed under the veil of the covering the staves of it crossing the middle side bars to hold it up off the ground." - Wikipedia
The Ark made famous by the fabled story from the Holy Bible is known to be built according to instructions given by God to Moses in a prophetic vision on Mt. Sinai, it is truly sacred to Jews and Christians alike and is said to possess great supernatural powers as well. That's why the search for the Ark of the Covenant entices not only Catholic faith believers but also urban legends enthusiasts. What really happened to the Ark? According to the biblical book of Kings, King Solomon -- a King of Israel -- built a large temple in Jerusalem to house the sacred object, and it was kept there during his reign (970-930 BC) and beyond.
Centuries later, in 586 BC, the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. Some historians suggest the Ark was probably carted off by the Babylonians or perhaps destroyed in battle, but nobody knows for sure. Since it went missing, various groups around the world claim to have discovered or obtained possession of the Ark. The list of locations includes Jordan, Egypt, Ethiopia, southern Africa, France, UK, Ireland and Japan.
A mind boggling legend from Japan that's related with the Lost Ark was known for having a lost tribe of Israel which carried the fabled Ark to Mt. Tsurugi in Japan. In Japan, the rumored location of the legendary lost Ark is at Mt. Tsurugi in Tokushima prefecture. At 1,955 meters (6,413 ft), the mountain -- known locally as "Ken-zan" -- is the highest on Shikoku and the second highest in western Japan. Mt. Tsurugi is listed as one of Japan's 100 famous mountains and is considered the most sacred peak on Shikoku.
It is also regarded as one of the centers of Shugendo, an ancient ascetic religion that incorporates elements of Shintoism and Buddhism. This led to a speculation surrounding the lost Ark at Mt. Tsurugi which can be traced back to the work of Masanori Takane, Takane is a literary scholar with a deep interest in "word spirit" or a Japanese belief that words and names hold mystical powers. Through his research, which involved the combined study of ancient history, philosophy, theology and cosmology, Takane came across a number of shocking parallels between the Bible and the Kojiki or famously known as "Record of Ancient Matters."
To add more fuel to the uncanny parallels between the Bible and the origins of Shinto, Takane's research points out that the Japanese island of Shikoku is a significant bridge between the two. After exhaustive research of Shikoku's geography, climate, local names and folklore, Takane concluded that the lost Ark of the Covenant was buried near the peak of Mt. Tsurugi.
In the year 1936, Takane formed and led a team of archeologists to begin an excavation at Mt. Tsurugi. Over the course of three years, his team discovered an area that measures about 150 meters (500 ft) long and found stone artifacts, paving stones, a brick arch, and evidence of tunnels. The discoveries helped lend credibility to Takane's theory that ancient people modified the peak of Mt. Tsurugi in order to hide the treasure.
Takane and others continued exploring Mt. Tsurugi for the next 20 years. By 1952, a former naval admiral named Eisuke Yamamoto attracted national attention when his excavation team found what appeared to be badly decomposed mummies and evidence of marble corridors. Soon after the discovery, however, both Takane and Yamamoto mysteriously stopped searching for the lost Ark at Mt. Tsurugi. But the search for answers revolving around the Lost Ark of the Covenant as another treasure hunter named Yoshun Miyanaka began an excavation in 1956, but the effort was unfortunately short-lived.
In the year 1964, the Japanese government established the Tsurugi-san Quasi-National Park, a 210-square-kilometer (81 sq mi) nature preserve encompassing Mt. Tsurugi and the surrounding area. Excavations on the mountain were banned for environmental reasons. The lost Ark of the Covenant was still not found at Mt. Tsurugi, but the talks of its mystery site in Japan still lives on.