A horror-themed aquarium opened its doors to the public, extending Japan’s traditional season of the dead.
What is referred to by the Japanese as the Obon holiday season gives people around the country time to take a break and celebrate the “festival of the dead.” The holiday runs from Aug. 12 to 16, at which time Japanese people visit the graves of loved ones and see the spirits of the departed return to where they came from after their brief visit to the land of the living. Festivals are also held for this holiday.
With this in mind, “Horror Aquarium: The Seven Misaki” opened is doors to visitors on Sept. 27 and will maintain the horror-themed display until Nov. 4, a few days after Halloween. The aquarium is located at the Sunshine City entertainment complex in Tokyo, reports SoraNews24.
As for the display theme, the back story revolves around a group of seven spirits called the Seven Misaki, which appear in coastal areas. The story goes that anyone who sees one of the spirits will die of a high fever. The death would allow one of the haunting spirits to rest in peace, as the recent dead would replace the spirit of the one who passed on as the newest member of the Seven Masaki.
The Seven Masaki was once contained in seven separate burial mounds and watched over seven families. After generations, Shoko, a daughter from one of the guardian families, met and fell in love with a man from another guardian family. They later conceived a child.
Worried that the families would merge and therefore weaken the guard on the Seven Masaki, the guardians took away Shoko’s love and child. Broken and angry, Shoko desecrated her family’s burial mound and released the Seven Masaki as revenge before throwing herself into the sea. With the new power, she killed the heads of the other families. However, since there were only six to kill because she already desecrated her family’s mound, she unwittingly trapped herself with the Seven Misaki and the only way for her to rest was to kill one last person.
An elaborate back story to be sure and intricate enough that it could easily be mistaken for an actual Japanese legend.
Visitors unfazed by the marketing gimmick may head over to the Sunshine Aquarium’s restaurant for some eerie pasta topped with severed fingers and some eyeballs with ghost ectoplasm for dessert. There are also some creepy souvenirs like Seven Masaki tea bags and Seven Masaki cookies.
To maintain the atmosphere, the special aquarium exhibit only opens for business from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Until then, visitors can enjoy the normal aquatic attraction at the Sunshine Aquarium. Alfred Bayle /ra