Japanese Monk Goes 9 Days Without Food, Water Or Sleep


Can you imagine going without food, drink or sleep for nine days and nights in a row? It seems impossible, but a Japanese Buddhist monk managed to overcome the challenge, completing the demands of a busy religious ritual. Kogen Kamahori, 41, is one of the monks of Mount Hiei, a sacred mountain that lies between the cities of Kyoto and Shiga, Japan, and became one of only 13 monks that have completed the endurance test, since the end of Second World War.

The monk received the honors in a training center, assisted by other monks, after spending nine days without eating, drinking, sleeping or even lying down. During this time, he was also ordered to chant sutras (canonical scriptures of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha) over 100 thousand times. Under these conditions, any activity seems to be a superhuman task. According to his religious beliefs, completing the nine-day ordeal turned Kogen Kamahori in an incarnation of Acala, which, according to the scriptures, is a powerful warrior with the "wisdom of a king" who protected the faithful with a flaming sword.


Being one of the Tendai-shu, he was chosen to participate in the Sennichi kaihogyo, or the Day of the Millennial Challenge, one of the most rigorous spiritual challenges of the world. In 1000 non-consecutive days, the monks must walk a distance equivalent to the circumference of the Earth (more than 40.000km) around Mount Hiei, visiting its more than 250 sacred sites.It is not an easy task, but it definitely demonstrates us that when you have faith in something, you will accomplish your goals.

How long can we go without water, food or sleep?

Kamahori started walking in 2011 and completed 700 days of walking before trying the nine days of fasting. Now he will resume walking and hopes to complete the distance prescribed in the fall of 2017. Now he looks capable of accomplishing his goal, not only because he's a devoted monk, but also because he has been trained and hast received the advice of the experienced ones.

What the monk did was amazing, as according to science, humans can't go more than three days without drinking water and 21 days without food. Well, he could accomplish the no-food goal easily, but the no-water challenge success is hard to explain. And regarding sleeping, there are cases of people who have gone 11 days without sleeping, although it's not healthy at all.

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