The Buddhist Mummies of Japan
Estimates of the number of self-mummified priests in Japan range between sixteen and twenty-four priests. Impressive though this number is, many more have tried to self-mummify themselves; In fact, the practice of self-mummification — which is a form of suicide, after all — had to be outlawed towards the end of the 19th century to prevent Buddhist priests from offing themselves this way… and yet the grand majority of priests who have tried to do this have failed. The reasons will take some explaining — but first, some background on the whole practice and the reasons for it.
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