Capture monsters! Meet ghosts. The investigating team can't believe their eyes.
The first place visited was the Aomori Prefectural Museum, where Aramata’s team saw a picture of a mermaid that was reputed to cure illnesses. It seems that a young lord of the Hirosaki clan who was in Edo (Tokyo) copied it from another picture and gave it to one of his retainers. In Edo at the time, pictures of mermaids were apparently sold as protective talismans. Their true nature remains unknown.
Next, the team went to the Aquarium Asamushi, also located in Aomori Prefecture. They believed that the aquarium might hold clues to the information on mermaids obtained at the Aomori Prefectural Museum. With its broad pectoral fins, perhaps it was the fish known as a gurnard? However, viewed from the front its face looks exactly like a seal, which sparked further debate.
Afterwards, the team headed for Kaigyu Land in Kitakata City, Fukushima Prefecture. Kaigyu are sea mammals known to be often mistaken for mermaids. With their hanging whiskers, drooping eyes, and sleek faces, it’s understandable how these animals might be mistaken for mermaids.
The team visited Daioji Temple in Otawara City, Tochigi Prefecture, to see a painting known as the makura-gaeshi (or “pillow turner”) ghost painting. Legend states that if anyone sleeps in front of this painting, the ghost will visit late at night to weigh down heavily upon the sleeper's body, and will move any belongings kept by the sleeper’s head to the sleeper's feet. It is said that the sleeper’s body will be turned over as they sleep.
Have a good trip.