Lurking in the halls of Buddhist temples and museums across Japan are a host of monster mummies.

Here a few specimens of preserved remains of demon mummies for the adventurous and brave at heart.

We have learned in a previous post that self-mummified monks are sacred exposed in Japanese Buddhist temples. But can you please tell me why do some Buddhist temples in Japan house mummified demon (oni)? Well, probably just to keep them off the streets and under the watchful eye of a priest.

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Three-faced demon at Zengyōji (善行寺) temple. Photo: http://www.geocities.co.jp/Technopolis/7651/uma/07.html

The Zengyōji (善行寺) temple in the city of Kanazawa hosts the mummified head of a three-faced demon. Legend says the mummy was found by a resident priest in a temple storage chamber in the early 18th century. OMG, I would have been terrified! However the mystery deepens when trying to figure out where the demon head came from, how or even why it ended up in storage.No one knows! But the demon’s head is put on display every year around the spring equinox.

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Mysterious demon mummy at Daijōin temple

 

Another mysterious demon mummy can be found at Daijōin temple in the town of Usa. 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. Look at its horns… OMG!

A much smaller mummy — said to be that of a baby demon — was once in the possession of Rakanji Temple at Yabakei. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in a fire in 1943.

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Baby demon mummy at Rakanji temple. It looks like a dry frog, isn’t it?

Well if you want some more and still have the courage, just look at this video showcasting these and other terrifying monster mummies showcasted in sacred Buddhist temples:

Lurking in the halls of Buddhist temples across Japan are a host of monster mummies! Are you still there?

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