Shinnyokai Shonin
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Shinnyokai Shonin
Age 1687-1783
Sex Male
Status Self-Mummified
Culture Japanese
Current Location
Location Dainichi-Boo Temple
Catalog #

Born in 1687, Shinnyokai Shonin adopted the teachings of Buddhism early in his life. Spending most of his life in Dainichibo Temple, he wanted to become a "Living Buddha".


Shinnyokai was mummified using a Japanese practice known as Sokushinbutsu. This ritual is a death ritual that was used to have complete preservation of the body if successful. Today, this practice is known as self-mummification. The Japanese monks achieved this by eating only nuts, seeds, and fruits and doing intensive exercise for 1000 days. This is so that they are stripped of as much body fat as possible. Near the end of this process, they would drink poisonous tea created from the sap of the Urishi tree. This tea caused vomiting and loss of bodily fluids but the main purpose of it was to kill off all maggots that cause the body to decay. Finally, the monks would lock themselves in a tomb and meditate until death.


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