As reported by Asahi, a “mermaid Mummy” located in the temple was an attraction for worshippers, a source of nightmares and mystery for many centuries.
This is the first time an initiative is underway to study scientifically the mummified creature that includes the upper body of a person and the lower part of fish.
Researchers at The Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts and other institutions plan to release their findings by the end of autumn.
On February. 2, Kozen Kuida, 60, chief priest of Enjuin Temple in Asakuchi located in Prefecture of Asakuchi, removed the treasured 30-centimeter specimen from a paulownia container into a CT scanning room at the hospital for veterinary medicine at the University of Tokyo.
While lying face-up on a table for examination, The mummy appeared to be screaming, gripping its hands around its mouth. Along with teeth and nails, the mummy also has hair on the head and scales on its lower body.
According to the note found inside the box of the “dried Mermaid,” it was captured by a fishing net off the coastline in Tosa Province (present-day Kochi Prefecture) 1736.
Hiroshi Kinoshita came up with the idea of scanning the specimen who is a board member of the local Folklore society. He was researching on the papers left by historian Kiyoaki Sato where he noticed the picture of the mummy.
Sato is believed to be the author of the first Japanese encyclopedia of “yokai” hobgoblins, ghouls, and other supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore.
After finding out that the mummy of the mermaid was kept in Enjuin, Kinoshita sounded out officials from the temple and the university to conduct the study, he claimed.
Also read about The Legend Of The Super Mermaid In Japanese Mythology