Bizarre Creatures from around the World
Mysterious mermaid mummy
The mummy’s origin is unknown, but the collector says it was found in a wooden box that contained passages from a Buddhist sutra written in Sanskrit. Also in the box was a photograph of the mermaid and a note claiming it belonged to a man from Wakayama prefecture.
Mermaid mummy at the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden
The mummified creature was obtained by Jan Cock Blomhoff while serving as director of Dejima, the Dutch trading colony at Nagasaki harbor from 1817 to 1824. It now resides at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden.
Kappa mummy at the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden (Netherlands)
This mummified kappa, which now resides in a Dutch museum, appears to consist of various animal parts put together in a seamless whole. It is believed to have been created for the purpose of carnival entertainment in the Edo period.
Kappa mummy at Zuiryūji Temple, Osaka
The 70-centimeter long humanoid purportedly dates back to 1682.
According to a company brochure, the mummified kappa was discovered inside a wooden box that carpenters found hidden in the ceiling when replacing the roof over 50 years ago.
Reckoning the creature was an old curiosity their ancestors had passed down for generations, the company owners built a small altar and enshrined the kappa mummy as a river god.
Baby demon mummy at Rakanji temple
small mummy — said to be that of a baby demon — was once in the possession of Rakanji Temple at Yabakei (Oita prefecture).Unfortunately, the treasured mummy was destroyed in a fire in 1943.
Another mysterious demon mummy can be found at Daijōin temple in the town of Usa (Oita prefecture).
The mummy is said to have once been the treasured heirloom of a noble family. But after suffering some sort of misfortune, the family was forced to get rid of it.
The demon mummy changed owners several times before ending up in the hands of a Daijōin temple parishioner in 1925. After the parishioner fell extremely ill, the mummy was suspected of being cursed.
The parishioner quickly recovered from his illness after the mummy was placed in the care of the temple. It has remained there ever since. Today the enshrined demon mummy of Daijōin temple is revered as a sacred object.
Zengyōji (善行寺) temple in the city of Kanazawa (Ishikawa prefecture) is home to the mummified head of a three-faced demon. Legend has it that a resident priest discovered the mummy in a temple storage chamber in the early 18th century. Imagine his surprise.
Nobody knows where the demon head came from, nor how or why it ended up in storage.
The mummified head has two overlapping faces up front, with another one (resembling that of a kappa) situated in back