A little late this week, but here is the weekly Japanese Horror Monster from The Obakemono Project: Ningyo.
Ningyo are also called Mermaids.
Yes, the Ningyo are the Japanese form of mermaids. Lets see how they look huh?
So, the Ningyo are described as a cross between a monkey and a carp. This, almost Pokemon looking creature, is a form of mermaid. They have similar histories, often brought up by romantic tragedy. Their scales are supposed to shimmer like gold in the light, making them easily captured by the eye. These creatures supposedly can’t talk, but they do make a sound, similar to a pleasing flute sound. Another story, says that if they shed tears, they will become human in form.
But what they’re mostly known for is their meat. Their delicious sweet smelling meat. Also, it’s got a special side effect: Immortality
Their defense? Well, the Ningyo are supposedly bad omens, so if they’re caught they are often thrown back. Many times before storms, they wash up on the shores, and are even thought of as an omen of war.
Now the immortality gained by the Ningyo is seen more as a curse rather than a blessing. One story, in the Wakasa, now known as Obama Town in the Fukui Prefecture
A fish with a human like face was caught, and the fisherman who caught it had never seen anything like it before. He served it up to guest, but no one would take of it once the head was discovered. Well one guy hit the sauce too hard and takes some home. His young daughter eats it, and never grows old. She marries several times, and have several families, but after a while she can’t take it anymore, and shaves her head, becoming a Buddhist Nun.
She had become the 800 Year Nun, because that is supposedly how long she lived. In manga, Rumiko Takahashi used this story, as basis of her manga Mermaid Scar. It’s a fairly popular manga, and story, and now you know a bit of it.