Japan

Japanese Ghost Story Yotsuya Kaidan

There is one good tradition in the Land of the Rising Sun. It consists in telling interesting stories about ghosts related to the old days. Yotsuya Kaidan is one of the most famous Japanese legends from the Edo period. It is a story about love and revenge and has in itself inspired creative people to create horror films.

Oiwa girl and ghost Yotsuya Kaidan

The origins of the story are said to be in Oiwa Inari Tamiya Shrine in Shinjuku City, Yotsuya District of Tokyo. The legend is about a simple girl Oiwa, who at first fell in love, and later became the wife of the ronin Tamiya Iemon.

Oiwa
The ghost of a murdered woman

Another girl, who also loved ronin and couldn't bear to lose, sent her a face cream. The cream was not simple, it was poisoned by her, since her only desire was to spoil her rival's face.

In principle, it happened, but Oiwa, horrified by what he saw, suddenly kills himself. She didn't do it on purpose, but they couldn't save her. However, Oiwa does not disappear without a trace, but returns to earth in the form of an evil ghost, whose goal is revenge.

What's what, but the "life" of the murdered girl in the role of a ghost was a success. In the sense that revenge turned out to be her calling. As a result, many of the acting heroes of the story ended up at the afterlife river Sanzu-no-Kawa, that is, they simply rested.

The nuances of the story, such as the option of poisoning and the death of the main character, changed over time, but the main line remained the same - revenge ghost story.

Scenes with hair loss in the main character after the poisoning have become popular for a long time and even replicated. They repeatedly appeared in various works, both on screens and in literature.

The real shrine of Oiwa Inari Tamiya

There are no difficulties in finding the real Oiwa shrine, which is located in Tokyo. It is easy to spot by seeing the red banners from afar.

Oiwa Inari Tamiya Shrine
Entrance to Oiwa Inari Tamiya Shrine in modern times

A sign with inscriptions, including in English, tells us that Oiwa is not a fairy tale. Indeed, there was a girl named Oiwa. However, she pressed for a couple of hundred before the appearance of the story itself and, having married, was quite happy in her family life, and in general, nothing strange and otherworldly happened to her.

Perhaps her happy family life was the cause of envy and the appearance of such a story. And the temple itself is named after Oiwa because she loved this place and often visited it.

wish stone
wish stone

The shrine belongs to the Shinto religion and was built in honor of one of its gods - Inari, who is associated with success and general prosperity.

If there is a desire to observe the ritual, then the # tradition is as follows: first you must ring the bell, then make two bows, then two claps of your hands, and then another bow.

Is it true that the temple is home to ghosts?

No wonder the temple is one of the most popular places in the capital. Japan, which has something to do with casts. The sanctuary is even included in a number of excursion programs around Tokyo.

Chanterelle ghosts of Japan
Chanterelles are messengers of God

Personally, this place did not seem mysterious and special to me. I admit that fans and fans of horror films based on old Japanese stories may feel a little uncomfortable here. However, as far as I understand, for the vast majority of the Japanese, this temple is a place where you can turn to the god Inari, which is what the real Oiwa loved to do during her lifetime.

It seems to me that in the end, it is worth personally visiting the Oiwa Inari Tamiya Shrine, and deciding whether ghosts live there. However, if you are superstitious and ready to believe in ghosts, then you should not do this at night, otherwise you never know what ...

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