Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mysterious corpse-filled "ghost ships," Japan

Wisdom Quarterly; Associated Press (ap.org, Dec. 1, 2015); Wiki
Ship of unknown nationality in Wajima, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan, was found in mid-Nov. off Noto peninsula and towed to shore. Authorities are investigating nearly a dozen wooden boats carrying decomposing bodies found drifting off the northwestern coast over the past month. Coast Guard officials said Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, they have found at least 11 shoddy boats, carrying the bodies of unknown nationality since late October. They have also found fishing equipment and nets on board and signs written in Korean, suggesting they came from North Korea (Kyodo News via AP).
The Realm of Hungry Ghosts (peta loka)
TOKYO, Japan - They drift into seas near Japan by the dozens every year, ghostly wrecked ships thought to come from impoverished North Korea.
Japanese authorities said Tuesday they are investigating nearly a dozen wooden boats carrying decomposing bodies that were found off the country's northwestern coast over the past month. In most cases, the bodies are in such bad shape after being at sea for weeks that it's been impossible to determine their cause of death, officials say.

Japan has an extraordinary history of "shapeshifters" (kami) and "hungry ghosts" (pretas).
On Nov. 20, officials found 10 bodies in three boats off the coast of Ishikawa prefecture. Two days later, another wooden boat was found off nearby Fukui prefecture with six skulls, one nearly intact body with a head, and various other bones and remains, coast guard official Yuka Amao told The Associated Press.
Coast Guard officials said at least 11 shoddy fishing boats carrying the bodies have arrived since late October. Most are carrying equipment, nets, and signs written in Korean, including one carrying a sign saying "Korean People's Army," the North Korean army. More

Ghosts in Buddhism?
Wikipedia edited by Wisdom Quarterly
Some ghosts (pretas) feed on corpses.
Preta is the Sanskrit (peta in Pali) name for a type of supernatural being described in various Indian religions including Buddhism. Such beings are undergoing suffering greater than that of humans, particularly an extreme level of hunger, thirst, and deprivation.

Preta is often translated into English as "hungry ghost" from the Chinese adaptation. In early sources such as the Buddhist collection of ghost stories (Petavatthu), they are much more varied. Most descriptions apply mainly in this narrower context.
Pretas are believed to have been jealous, greedy, false, corrupted, compulsive, or deceitful people in a previous life. As a result of such karma, they are afflicted with an insatiable hunger for a particular substance or object.
Traditionally, this is something repugnant or humiliating, such as cadavers or feces, though in more recent stories, it can be anything, however bizarre [such as hideous alcohol and drug addictions]. More

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