Ko Hsiang
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Ko Hsiang
Age 33
Sex Male
Status Mummified
Height 5'3
Culture He was mummified and worshiped as an incarnation of the deity he had served
Date(s) 1878
Site Unknown
Current Location
Location National Taiwan Museum
Catalog # Unknown
Ko Hsiang, a shaman who lived during the Qing dynasty, helped rescue the statue of a Taoist deity from a temple fire. This statue, Lord of the Mysterious Heaven, was enshrined in the Beiji Hall at Dapi in the 1870's.


In the year 1878, Ko felt as though his time was becoming limited so he built a hut made out of straw to accomplish his goal of immortality. After telling his followers to visit him on the hundredth day of the smoking process, Ko locked himself inside and created smoke with burning firewood in a sitting position. By the time his body was retrieved, he had already become a "Buddhist Mummy" that people began to worshiped at Beiji Hall in Dapi.


Posthumously, Ko also serves as an important symbol of Taiwan’s anti-Japanese movement. During an uprising in 1912, almost twenty years after Taiwan surrendered to Japan, a shaman named Huang Chao attempted a rebellion, which is now known as the Tuku Incident, against the Japanese authorities busing Ko's mummified body to mobilize the villagers. As a result, it was confiscated by the Japanese authorities as evidence and was never seen by the Taiwanese locals for almost a century, until it was returned to Taiwan at the end of World War II.


Liu, N. (2013, Jan, 19). Life goes on. Retrieved from

Lee, H. (2013, Mar, 29). Mummy set for triumphant return to hometown after a century. Retrieved from

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