Japanese Mummies Are Way Cooler Than Egyptian Mummies

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Unfortunately, Japanese mummies are not this  hot

 

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Here you go. Maybe he is more your type.

(Source)

“The mountains of Japan’s Yamagata prefecture are considered sacred by the Buddhists in the region. These holy sites are sparsely populated, their forests interrupted only occasionally by isolated Buddhist temples. Many of the men serving in the temples come seeking solitude and an escape from the modern world. They were probably a bit startled, then, when a group of scientists and historians showed up in 1960 and asked to see their mummies.

The year before, several researchers investigating rumors of local mummies had discovered six mummified Buddhist monks in five temples in Yamagata prefecture. Soon after the discovery, several Japanese universities formed the Investigating Committee for Mummies to study them. The mummies were each kept on display in a place of honor in the temples, and were maintained by the temple monks. Unlike the Egyptian mummies that are most familiar to the Western world, these Japanese mummies were not wrapped in cloth. Instead, they were dressed in monks’ robes, their dried, leathery skin visible on their faces and hands.

… The monk would enter a cramped, specially built tomb and sit in meditation as his acolytes sealed him in, leaving a small tube to allow air to enter. He spent his last days in sitting in meditation, ringing a bell occasionally to signal to those outside that he was still alive. When the bell stopped, the acolytes removed the breathing tube and sealed the tomb completely. After a thousand days, his followers opened the tomb and examined the body. If there was no sign of decay, the monk had achieved sokushinbutsu and was placed in a temple and worshipped as a Living Buddha. If not, he was reburied with great honor for the attempt.

…Due to the large number of known attempts at self-mummification in Japan’s history, and the secluded manner in which the process was practiced, it is possible that other successfully mummified monks are still buried in their tombs in the mountains of Yamagata, their locations lost to time and their sacrifice forgotten.”

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I have way more respect for these Japanese mummies than I do the Egyptian mummies.  I mean these monks mummified themselves.  They didn’t wait until death knocked on their door.   The lazy Egyptian mummies not only waited until they died to be mummified, but they got a bunch gold and fancy stuff wasted on them, not to mention giant pyramids built for them.  I think we call those kind of people “spoiled.”

These Japanese monks didn’t want all that attention or fancy stuff.  And they weren’t laying down reading manga (Japanese comics). They sat in the lotus position and meditated without food and water until they died.   I don’t know if you’ve ever sat in what we in the West call Indian style sitting position, with your legs crossed, like kindergartners during story time, but my legs fall asleep after like 10 minutes.

I do feel bad for the Japanese monks who failed to achieve sokushinbutsu because their body decayed after 1,000 days like a normal person’s body would.  They don’t get worshiped as a Living Buddha like the others, but they do get a cool T-shirt for trying.

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