Fasting Diet



Fasting and Diet ダイエット

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Dieting is quite popular in Japan, there are many types.
I will try and introduce some here.


Dieting and Fasting to Death ... Sokushinbutsu 即身仏

Buddhist Mummies

The first step is a change of diet.
The priest was only allowed to eat nuts and seeds that could be found in the forests surrounding his temple; this diet had to be stuck to for a 1000 day period, a little under three years. During this time, the priest was to continue to subject himself to all sorts of physical hardship in his daily training. The results were that the body fat of the priest was reduced to nearly nothing, thus removing a section of the body that easily decomposes after death.

In the second stage, the diet became more restrictive. The priest was now only allowed to eat a small amount of bark and roots from pine trees (mokujiki). This had to be endured for another 1000 day period, by the end of which the priest looked like a living skeleton. This also decreased the overall moisture contained in the body; and the less fluid left in the body, the easier to preserve it.

Towards the end of this 1000 day period, the priest also had to start to drink a special tea made from the sap of the urushi tree. This sap is used to make laquer for bowls and furniture; but it is also very poisonous for most people. Drinking this tea induced vomenting, sweating, and urination, further reducing the fluid content of the priest's body. But even more importantly, the build up of the poison in the priest's body would kill any maggots or insects that tried to eat the priest's remains after death, thus protecting it from yet another source of decay.

The third and last step of the process was to be entombed alive in a stone room just big enough for a man to sit lotus style in for a final 1000 day period. As long as the priest could ring a bell each day a tube remained in place to supply air; but when the bell finally stopped, the tube was removed and the tomb was sealed.
© 2002 Garth Haslam

Sokushinbutsu, the Living Mummies of Japan
Miira 即身仏のミイラ

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I have visited some of these temples where you can meet the mummies ...

Worldwide use

Fasten, Diät

Things found on the way


Related words

***** ***** Hara hachibu ...
eating only 80% of your capacity
an Okinawan diet

***** WASHOKU : General Information


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