Cultural References

Japanese Mermaids
Mythology & Folklore

taken from Look Japan.com

Two women, Mary King and Etsuko Shimabukuro traveled across Japan for Look Japan.com. In their travels they found a temple housing the remains of what is thought to be a real mummified mermaid. The corpse is kept in Karukayado Temple at Hashimoto City, Wakayama-ken. The mermaid was carried by a traveling entertainer named Chisato during the Heian Period (794-1185). The corpse is thought to be 1,400 years old. It is 65 centimeters long and wights 300 grams.

Relevance to Mermaid Saga

Like some of the mermaids pictured in Takahashi's series, the creature appears to have had fangs. Also similar to one of Takahashi's stories the writer of the article asks if it is possibly a surgical joining of a monkey and a fish. Supposedly though, medical tests have been run to prove that the upper half is definetely human and the lower half is fish. The priest in charge of the temple believes that mermaids were prevalent off the shores of Japan until the 17th century. The full article can be read here (the site is no longer active). Much of the structure of The Ash Princess storyline is based on this legend.


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