Ningyo is known as the mermaid of Japan. Far from looking glamorous, these creatures have a mouth like a monkey’s, small teeth like a fish’s, shining golden scales, and a quiet voice like a skylark or a flute. Despite their strange appearance, they’re more or less harmless.

It is believed that anyone who eats the flesh of a ningyo will retain their youthful appearance for eternity and will live longer. However, if a fisherman happens to catch a Ningyo, they must toss it back to the sea or else calamities will strike their village.  A ningyo washed onto the beach was an omen of war or calamity.