Is The Ark Of The Covenant In Shikoku?

Asks this great Pink Tentacle post, from a series on Japanese urban legends. Even with the urban-legend disclaimer, the wording of the post repeatedly assumes that there really is or was an Ark of the Covenant.

The Japanese talkshow clip in the post is pure entertainment. But the comments reveal how seriously and variously we take questions of national and religious identity.

I wonder why we feel the need even to speculate about “lost artifacts” and apocryphal heroes. Do we find it cathartic to imagine that there was a Seal of Sulayman, a Rod of Aaron, at some point—and we’ve merely lost these (courtesy some Deluge), losing with them our physical links back to the Divine?

Do we hope that any one of us could find our own Lost Tablet and so become the future Sulayman (or Frodo)?

For me, this type of convergence of entertainment and serious give-a-shit-ness is where fiction comes to life. These “fabled lost somethingerother!” connections between remote peoples and times make for great stories.

And, if some lost Middle Eastern item did end up all the way on the remote slopes of Tsurugi-san in Shikoku, I would want to know more, as a historian, a conscientious fabulist, playing around with a limited set of things-that-supposedly-happened.

But I wonder just how many other similar theories there are out there—of the secret hollow earth/lost tribe/Dead Sea power-scroll, or whatever—begging to be considered, like Tourette’s-afflicted children, in Japan and here in New York—and especially on the net. The number must be staggering. Holler if you hear any good ones.


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