5 incredible facts about monks who poison themselves for 1,000 days to become mummies

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/05/28/5-incredible-facts-about-monks-who-poison-themselves-for-1000-days-to-become-mummies.html


Oh, huh, this is what the shrines in Breath of the Wild were based on.


One of my favorite Damn Interesting long-form episodes!


Does it count if we are all turning ourselves into future Bodyworlds exhibits by inadvertently ingesting microplastics?


“Close-up of mummy of holy monk in the temple Wat Khun Aram, Koh Samui, Thailand. (Dogora Sun / Shutterstock.com)”

Um, that’s clearly a statue.


“The mummy is notable for sporting a pair of sunglasses, placed by the caretakers to hide the decomposed eye sockets to make the display less disturbing”


Rollin’ down the street, smokin’ indo, sippin’ on Sap and Arsenic
Sealed up (with my mind on being a mummy and being a mummy on my mind)

No, but seriously, this sound absolutely horrific. Jesus Christ. The sealed up thing sounds like some Junji Ito story.


I’m pretty sure they meant the other image above the sunglasses on. The caption begins “Close-up of mummy . . .”
That one is clearly a statue, not a mummy with sunglasses.


That sent me down an interesting rabbit hole. I was reminded of Kobo Daishi (a.k.a. Kūkai) - (27 July 774 – 22 April 835), the founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan. It seemed to me these monks may have been trying to emulate his state. I visited the Okunoin cemetery in Koyasan a few weeks ago, largest cemetery in Japan - an absolutely fascinating place.

More than 200,000 above ground graves, with probably the same or more below ground. On the night tour, the monk guiding us explained that their founder Kōbō Daishi was not actually dead - but in an eternal samadhi (meditative trance) and is still alive in his mausoleum on Mount Kōya, awaiting the appearance of Maitreya, the Buddha of the future. He also mentioned that he was prophesied to re-emerge 1200 years after his “death” - so 2035 should be interesting…

But a little more digging (online, not physically) revealed that the practice came about a lot later in Japan, and was associated with practitioners of Shugendō - a mountain worship form that blended aspects of Shingon with Daoist and Shinto beliefs (Daosim had a practice of preserving the body using herbs with a goal of immortality). More here:

There’s also an interesting thread on /r/Breath_Of_The_Wild that touches on this:


Just my ¥2 worth :wink:


I did, thank you. I’ve attached a picture for clarity. All the pictures in this post reminded me a bit of click bait ads, but the rest seemed to at least be accurate.

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ah. shutterstock captions it as

which looks to be an error.

Internet reminds me Ellsworth Toohey was a character in The Fountainhead. Wikipedia says:

Ellsworth Toohey, a socialist architecture critic who uses his influence to promote his political and social agenda, tries to destroy Roark’s career.

Given the post format, clickbaity title and the author name, I think you’ve pegged that something is up, human or not.


It is possible that there is a mummy inside the statue, there is at least one example of that.


Yeah, you’re right. Still a very weird ai generated feel. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but as yclelptshawn pointed it, it’s apparent written by the main character from the fountainhead.

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here’s video, so you might glimpse the context.

ALSO: this is an article glorifying suicide :confused:


Sadly, I’m no longer not surprised by any of the horrid things people do based on a belief. I am morbidly curious and enjoy reading about the various ways delusional people harmed themselves but more often other people.

I’m just glad these monks kept this to themselves. I’m rather disgusted when it turns out an unsuspecting “peasant” becomes the sacrificial lamb. Sadly, Tibetan Buddhist organized religion was another example of an elite and brutal regime that suppressed rest of the population…at least until China arrived with the goal of liberating the people from the rule of the religious elite, but ended up placing them under a new despotic rule.

The Shinran Buddhists used to do this in an attempt to petition The Buddha of Boundless Compassion. Of course Japan made it illegal.