As a kid, anime, manga, and Japanese toy design captivated me much more than anything available in America. Takayoshi Mizuki was one of the artists responsible for creating amazing paintings of Ultra Monsters between 1965 and 1972. Pink Tentacle just posted a nice selection of his best work.
Japan-centric blog Pink Tentacle recently posted a bunch of amazing photos of mummified “monsters” culled from Buddhist temples around the island nation. Apparently there was a mermaid mummy craze that swept Edo-period Japan.