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There are two types of Asian Mermaids, including the Matsyāṅganā, originating in India, that exists within Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and the Japanese Ningyo. Believed to be the first recording of mermaids in history, Matsya (Sanskrit: मत्स्य, literally "Fish") is the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a fish. Often listed as the first avatar in the lists of the ten primary avatars of Vishnu, Matsya is described to have rescued the first man, Manu from a great deluge. Matsya may be depicted as a giant fish or anthropomorphically, with a human torso and the bottom half as a fish, similar to Nagas, which can be described as a giant snake or a snake with a human torso.

Matsyāṅganā

Thai

Matsyāṅganā exists within India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and the Japanese Ningyo. Believed to be the first recording of mermaids in history, Matsya (Sanskrit: मत्स्य, literally "Fish") is the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a fish. Often listed as the first avatar in the lists of the ten primary avatars of Vishnu, Matsya is described to have rescued the first man, Manu from a great deluge. Matsya may be depicted as a giant fish or anthropomorphically, with a human torso and the bottom half as a fish, similar to Nagas, which can be described as a giant snake or a snake with a human torso.

Suvannamaccha

Mermaid Suvannamaccha

Suvannamaccha (lit. golden mermaid) is a daughter of Tosakanth (Ravana) that appears in the Cambodian and Thai versions of the Ramayana, the great Indian Epic of Lord Rama defeating Ravana with his monkey army. Alternative transliterations of her name include Sovann Maccha (Khmer: សុវណ្ណមច្ឆា), Suphanna Matcha (Thai: นางสุพรรณมัจฉา), Suvarnamacha and Suvarnamaccha.

She is a mermaid princess who tries to spoil the plans of Hanuman, Rama's monkey general and avatar of the Hindu god Shiva, to build a bridge to Lanka but falls in love with him instead. The figure of Suvannamaccha is popular in Thai folklore and is represented on small cloth streamers or framed pictures that are hung as luck bringing charms in shops and houses throughout Thailand.

Ningyo

Ninjyo

Ningyo (人魚?, "human fish", often translated as "mermaid") is a fish-like creature from Japanese folklore. Anciently, it was described with a monkey’s mouth with small teeth like a fish’s, shining golden scales, and a quiet voice like a skylark or a flute. Its flesh is pleasant-tasting, and anyone who eats it will attain remarkable longevity. However, catching a ningyo was believed to bring storms and misfortune, so fishermen who caught these creatures were said to throw them back into the sea. A ningyo washed onto the beach was an omen of war or calamity.

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