The population of Israel was exiled. At this point, historical records of 10 Israelite tribes ends. These have become known as The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.
Whatever happened to these exiled peoples is one of the great mysteries of history. A popular theory proposes that one of the tribes settled in ancient Japan and that Japanese people descended from this tribe.
The TheoryLeaders of the Yamato clan (Japan's dominant ethnic group) have long claimed that they have Israelite roots.
Several prominent academic researchers have put forward theories that support these claims. In the 1930s, Canadian ethnographer Edward Odlum proposed that the Japanese descended form the lost tribe of Menasseh. The Menasseh had Egyptian blood. He suggested that this explains many of the racial characteristics of the Japanese (skin color and eyes).
Edward Odlum also put forward a theory that the word samurai comes from the word "Samaria". Samaria was a city in the ancient Kingdom of Israel. He theorized that samurai originally meant "to defend Samaria".
Academics have also pointed out that the Japanese have eaten unleavened bread and written on paper scrolls since ancient times. Others suggest a similarity between the Arc of the Covenant and Japanese mikoshi.
Myth or Reality?Modern studies suggest that Japanese people don't have Semitic markers in their DNA — the Japanese have Asian ancestry.