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March 25, 2023
1 min read

How A Japanese Man Made Himself Immortal

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In the following video we will discuss how this Japanese man made himself immortal. Watch the video to find out more!

Sokushinbutsu (即身仏) are a kind of Buddhist mummy. In Japan the term refers to the practice of Buddhist monks observing asceticism to the point of death and entering mummification while alive. Mummified monks are seen in a number of Buddhist countries. Only in Japan are they believed to have induced their own death by starvation. Especially in South-Asian countries the monks die through natural causes after which their bodies are mummified.

There is a common suggestion that Shingon school founder Kukai brought this practice from Tang China as part of secret tantric practices he learned. During the 20th century, Japanese scholars found very little evidence of self-starvation of sokushinbutsu. They rather concluded that mummification took place after the demise of the monk practising this kind of asceticism.

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