Pindola in Korea and Japan: Is the Wandering Jew Coming from East Asia?


  • Beatrix MECSI Institute of East Asian Studies, ELTE University Budapest



The legend of the Wandering Jew, Pindola, Dokseong, the “Lonely Saint”


The legend of the Wandering Jew became very popular, especially from the 17th century Western Europe. The story of punishment by eternal life until the next coming of Jesus Christ has parallels with the Buddhist legend of Pindola Bharadvaja, a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha who was also punished by eternal life until the coming of the Future Buddha, Maitreya. The similarities were dealt with the Japanese polymath, Minakata Kumagusu (1899) and Walter Edwards (1902) in the turn of the 20th century, claiming that the story of the Wandering Jew was influenced by the Asian legends of Pindola. In this paper I show that even if we do not have convincing evidences for proving any historical connections between these legends, the myth of eternal life as a punishment is an interesting idea, which appears in many traditions, forming layers on the existing and ever-growing traditions of myths and pictorial representations.





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Author Biography

  • Beatrix MECSI, Institute of East Asian Studies, ELTE University Budapest
    Associate professor


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31. 12. 2014

How to Cite

MECSI, Beatrix. 2014. “Pindola in Korea and Japan: Is the Wandering Jew Coming from East Asia?”. Asian Studies 2 (2): 75-88.