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Photographer's Note

This man was a Buddhist priest of the Shingon sect, who sought Buddhahood in the flesh through self-mummification.
Apparently hundreds attempted it, but only a few succeeded. In this small Buddhist temple in Sakata, Kaikoji, there are two such Shingon mummies.



According to Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mummy#Self-mummification
"Bodies purported to be those of self-mummified monks are exhibited in several Japanese shrines, and it has been claimed that the monks, prior to their death, stuck to a sparse diet made up of salt, nuts, seeds, roots, pine bark, and urushi tea.[21] Some of them were buried alive in a pine-wood box full of salt."


More information:
http://www.yamagatakanko.com/english/kokusai/tour07.html
A video of inside the temple and the mummies:
http://www.pomeranian-dogs-online.com/pomeranian-video/video_vFbdhtGhdSA.html
(blatantly going against the 'no photography' rule at the temple... I sneaked some photos when the guide left the room ;) )


There is a discussion thread about this here
http://www.trekearth.com/read.php?f=9&t=722134&m=994555
If you are offended by this image or find it disrespectful, I apologise.


Post-processing: Adjusting brightness a little, cropped and resized for TE.

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Additional Photos by Richard Eccleston (Klapaucius) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 205 W: 27 N: 163] (623)
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