In addition to all of the fabulous cultural contributions Japan has made to this world, it’s nice to see that they’ve also given an obscure Egyptian deity its own fun afterlife. The Anime News Network reported on the Medjed meme, which is still going strong after two years! Which, in internet terms, means that this god is practically immortal.
Medjed is a low-level Egyptian god who has a cameo in The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Here it is:
I know the name of that Smiter among them, who belongs to the House of Osiris, who shoots with his eye, yet is unseen.
That’s it. (But, come one, are you in The Book of the Dead? Probably not.) So, Medjed has this one cool moment where we learn that he “shoots with his eye” and then that’s it. His awesomeness has lain dormant for thousands of years. But then, in 2012, the British Museum mounted an Egyptian exhibit at the Mori Arts Center Gallery in Tokyo. And at some point, some fantastic Japanese museum-goer noticed this image:
And the next thing you know, a meme was born! By 2013, Medjed was popping up in comics, cartoons, keychains. So now, if you go to Japan you can get pastry Medjeds:
And ridiculously adorable little toy Medjeds!
You can follow not one, but two different Medjeds on Twitter, and you can become Medjed in this game, which sounds difficult…but then, no one ever said navigating the Egyptian afterlife was easy. (Actually, The Book of the Dead goes to great lengths to tell you the opposite…) It’s nice to see that with the help of the internet, ancient gods can still have an adorable place in our modern society. You can see more of Medjed’s adventures over at Anime News Network!