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Friday, 1 January 2021

Grateful Tanuki

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Happy New Year everyone πŸ˜†πŸŒˆπŸ’•✨⭐
May all your wishes come true and may all your days be full of love and happiness this year! 
Here is another happy story for you ✨🎁 Enjoy! Thank you for visiting my blog πŸ™πŸ’–✨


Tanuki (raccoon dog)

(Translated and arranged by Saya)

A day before yesterday, I went to Hakone *1 on a business trip; and while I was there, I experienced something similar to the story "The Grateful Crane." *2

After I finished my work, I was driving on a mountain road, but it was so foggy that I could barely see anything. 
That was why I didn't notice it when a baby tanuki (raccoon dog) *3 suddenly ran out into the road. I ran over it before I could stop the car. 

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Plasters

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I wish you all a Merry Christmas πŸŽ„ πŸ˜ŠπŸ’–✨ (If you follow a different religion, I wish you happiness anyway!)

Since it's a happy occasion, I wanted to post something a little more cheerful than usual! LOL ✨
I wish you are happy and surrounded by loved ones🌈⭐✨ I am sending my love to you all✨✨✨πŸŒΈπŸŒΈπŸŒΈπŸ’—



(Translated and arranged by Saya)

This is a story from my own childhood. 

One day when I was in a nursery school, I tripped and fell in the playground. 
I hurt myself and burst into tears. A girl in the same class as me saw it and came running over to me. 
She had in her hand a set of about five plasters in a box. The box was made of tin. 
"Here, take all of them. But be careful how you use them!" 
 
Hello Kitty plasters in a tin LOL ✨

When I went back home, my mother saw the plaster on me and asked: 
"What happened? Did you hurt yourself?" 
I peeled the plaster off to show the scar to her, but there was no trace of it anymore. 
I believed at the time that plasters were endowed with such power.

A few days later, I noticed that my favourite teacup had a crack in it. 
Being a mere child, I put one of the plasters from the tin on the crack without thinking much about it. 
At dinner time, I took it off the teacup; the crack was gone. 

I also had this push car with a duck on it, and the duck's head came off. 
I put a plaster on it too and it was fixed in no time.

I must use them with care!
Just as I began to understand the importance of those plasters, my cat Yaya got run over by a car. 
I skipped the nursery school to take care of Yaya. I used all the remaining plasters on the cat and covered her with a blanket. 
I then curled up next to her, and cried myself to sleep.

Some hours later, I woke up suddenly to the feeling of something wet on my cheek. 
It was Yaya licking my face. She was fine again! Not even a scratch marred her beautiful little body. 
I thought to myself that tomorrow when I went to the nursery school, I would have to thank Miya-chan for giving me the plasters.

It wasn't until I got to the nursery school the next day that I realised that we had no girl called Miya-chan there. 
I had never seen her except when she gave me the plasters. 
But somehow, the moment I saw her, I knew she was Miya-chan. 

Incidentally, the mother cat of Yaya, who died soon after giving birth to her, was also called Miya. 
 




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⭐πŸŽ„Maneki NekoπŸŽ„⭐

The picture above shows you "Maneki Neko" (ζ‹›γηŒ« beckoning cat), Japanese figurines that are thought to bring you good luck, fortune, and happiness! I hope they will bring you these things as well!πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•


πŸ’šFind out more about Maneki Neko by following the links below:

➡(Manekineko: Wikipedia)
➡(Maneki Neko: The Lucky Cats of Japan)
➡(Top places to see and buy maneki-neko in Tokyo)
➡(Maneki Neko: Pinterest)
➡(The Origin of the Maneki Neko)

πŸ’˜I happened to find these Maneki Neko sweets in a supermarket yesterday πŸ˜†⭐


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🌈➡(For more stories under the same category click here)

Saturday, 19 December 2020

What it means to be loved by a god

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πŸ’– Thank you so much for leaving comments πŸ˜ŠπŸ’ž⭐⭐✨ Lots of love from Underworld πŸ˜†πŸ’˜πŸ’˜πŸ’˜πŸŽ΅✨

(Translated and arranged by Saya)


I was told by a soothsayer that I didn't have many years left to live. 
I asked her why. 

"You have been to the Continent, haven't you? That's where you got it from. It's much more than an ordinary evil spirit. Its nature is closer to a god and you would have hard time finding someone who would be willing to exorcise it."

It's true that I lived and worked in C__ for a few years in the past. 
"Well, don't worry for now, because you will stay alive at least until your son reaches adulthood.*1 I can see a white fox *2 behind you. That's a strong spirit and also there are people in your family who worship Masakado. *3 You have to be grateful for your grandparents. It seems you have one ancestor who went to a nunnery too... But still, you have only a number of years left." 

My son is already 15 years old. 
Five more years, and I would be saying goodbye to this world? How could she be so sure? 

The soothsayer saw the look of disbelief on my face, and continued. 
"Didn't you injure your hand in the past which forced you to quit something?" 

I did. I was once a jazz pianist with many performance opportunities, but my left hand was injured in a car accident, and it was now all but impossible for me to play the piano.

"It was taken away from you. But your guardian spirits managed to save your life, although just barely. But it is saying that it will definitely take your whole life away too the next time...I am so sorry I have to tell you all these things."
Said the soothsayer, and she didn't charge me for her service. 

I would be dead, five years from now? 
I couldn't believe it then, and I don't quite believe it now. 
But the soothsayer was famous for being accurate with her predictions. She normally charged costly fees, and I talked to her for a long time, but she didn't accept my payment, saying "you should spend that for yourself because your time in this world is short."

After I returned home, I told my husband and son about it. 
I said, "I don't really believe it myself, but still I worry what may happen to you if I die..."
They said, "that is for us to worry about. Don't think about it and spend the rest of your life in any way you like."

As of today, I don't have any serious illnesses; but as we all know, each day we live could be our last.  
A Kannushi at a shrine
 
I did pay a visit to a famous shrine sometime after I saw the soothsayer, to request a purification ritual; but it all turned out to be just as the soothsayer had foreseen. 

"We want to avoid disturbing a god as much as possible. We would risk our own lives too." 

"Pardon me, but what sort of god is possessing me?" 

"....It is a god of netherworld. It has taken hold of your left hand....It is not a god of Japan." 

So there was no way to escape my fate. Still, I said to the Kannushi,*4
"To tell you the truth, deep down, I'm still skeptical. Because it's something I can't see." 

"Having such an attitude actually helps," replied the Kannushi. 

"But why me?" 

"It is the same as humans. They have preferences. You may have heard of the old wisdom which says that when you are favoured by a god, you have not long to live; that essentially expresses it." 

"But I am not a young woman." 

"You are more than young enough, in comparison to your true lifespan."

I went to pray at an Inari shrine*5 in my hometown, and I also go to a Masakado shrine near my house daily. 

In spite of all that, I have been noticing a strange heaviness on my right shoulder lately. 
Moreover, I started dreaming often, although I seldom had dreams before. 

In the dream, I am always in an unknown mansion, perpetually playing the piano. 
I feel so happy that my left hand is moving, and I think I want to stay here forever. 

"You can stay here forever, if you so wish." 
Someone replies to my thought, and lies a hand on my right shoulder from behind. That is the moment when I wake up. 

I wonder if a day will come when I fail to wake up from the dream. 



-----------------------------------------
*1 Adulthood --- People in Japan attend the Coming of Age ceremony in Japan when they reach the age of 20 (See Wikipedia). But they are allowed to vote from the age of 18 due to the recent legal change (See Japan Times)
*3 Masakado --- a samurai in the Heian Period, deified after his death. There are many shrines and monuments built in dedication to him, mainly to pacify his spirit and seal off his curse (See Wikipedia).Read this interesting article about Masakado's monuments in Tokyo! ➡(Japan is full of ghosts: Visiting the grave of Taira no Masakado’s head)
*4 Kannushi --- A kannushi (η₯žδΈ», "god master"), is a person responsible for the maintenance of a Shinto shrine (η₯žη€Ύ, jinja) as well as for leading worship of a given kami (η₯ž god) (See Wikipedia).
*5 Innari Shrine --- An Inari shrine (稲荷η₯žη€Ύ, Inari Jinja) is a type of Japanese shrine used to worship the deity Inari. Inari is a popular deity associated with foxes, rice, household wellbeing, business prosperity, and general prosperity. Inari shrines are typically constructed of white stucco walls with red-lacquered woodwork, and their entrances are marked by vermilion torii. Shinto Inari shrines are located throughout Japan.(See Wikipedia. Also see articles at *3 Fox)

πŸ’šOn Youtube:

πŸ’›Other stories under the same category ➡(Gods)

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Do Not Lose Hope

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⭐😊As always, thank you so much for leaving comments. Much loveπŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–



(Translated and arranged by Saya)

4th December
24 hours have passed since I have been stranded in this mountain. 
It is impossible to warm myself up in such an old cabin. I feel a little cold but it is still much better than being outside. 
I know that the rescue is on its way. 


-----------
6th December 
No sign of rescue yet. 
This snowstorm is probably causing the delay.
I will continue to wait patiently. 


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My watch is broken and I cannot tell the date anymore.  
I am running short of food. 
Water can be obtained from snow but hunger will be hard to bear. 
Snowstorm     not stopping 


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A cold draught is coming from the door. I am glad I brought extra warm clothes with me. 
My hand shakes because of the cold and I cannot write so well, but I will not give up. 
If I give up it will mean the end of me.


-----------
It is truly unbelievable!
The vicious snowstorm stopped and it cleared up as if by a miracle. 
I was found by a rescue team. They told me it is 12th December. 
This has been one long nightmarish experience, but it is over now. I will leave this diary behind for those who may need it.

If someone gets stranded again in this cabin, and has a chance to read this diary, this is I want to say to that person:
Do not lose hope! The rescue will come! 
12th December *****

--------------------------------------------

The pen pressure got weaker and weaker with each entry, but the last message was written with such clarity and strength as to show that the writer's heart was filled with hope. 

It should be noted that, however, that the snowstorm lasted for days until 14th December, and the rescue team restarted the search only on the morning after it stopped.

The writer of this diary was never found, and he is still missing as of today.



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Click the following links below to view more stories under the same category:
(Inexplicable)
(Inexplicable #2)
(Inexplicable #3)

➡Here is a similar story! (An Incident on a Snowy Mountain)

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Extra Handout

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)

I heard this story from an old friend of 20 years when I met him recently.

My friend (I will call him Akira) taught English at an all-girls high school.
Akira used to print handouts for students using a copier in the school office.
He taught four classes in each grade, so he had a lot to print out.

If he had printed handouts for all four classes in one go, it would have taken so much time and papers would have run out quickly; so he preferred to print them out for one class at a time, before each class began.

However, a strange thing kept happening with one of those classes.
There were 32 students in that class, but somehow, he always ended up printing out 33 copies instead of 32.

At first, Akira thought it was because he typed in wrong numbers.
But when he noticed it happened every time he used the copier, and only for this one particular class, he started feeling uneasy.

Akira would always hand the copies over to the students who sat in the front row and ask them to pass them to other students, but inevitably one left-over copy would be returned to him.

Once, one of the students asked him, "why do you always have one copy left over?"
He replied, "this is for me."
But he knew very well that he didn't do it for that reason.
He already had his own copy in his file.
 
Akira began to think there was something wrong with his mind, and decided to count the copies as they came out of the copier.
He typed in "31" (31 plus the original copy, so 32 altogether) and pressed the OK button.
One, two, three... Akira never took his eyes off the copies as they came out of the copier one after the other.
Just as he counted 31, the copier stopped printing.
He added the original copy to the pile, and counted them again, and made sure there were only 32 copies in his hand.

But when he took those copies to the class, and handed them out to the students, one copy was again left over and returned to him.
It was at this point that Akira started feeling scared.
He counted students in the class. There were 32 of them. No student was absent.
There shouldn't have been a left-over paper; but there it was, in his own hand.

Akira was utterly bewildered.
"We have only 32 students in this class, am I correct?" He asked the students.
A wave of chuckles washed across the classroom.
"Haven't you had enough sleep, Sensei**?" One of them jeered.

Akira ignored that and persisted in asking, "are you sure we don't have 33 students in this class?" The look on his face was so dead serious that it began to cause agitation in the students too.
"Please stop asking that!" "Are you only joking?" Soon the whole classroom was thrown into noisy confusion.

Oh no! What am I doing? I have to calm them down!
He was about to say "I am sorry I probably got mixed up," but as soon as he opened his mouth:


"HOW DID YOU KNOW!? HOW DID YOU KNOW!?
HOW DID YOU KNOW!? HOW DID YOU KNOW!?"


someone started screaming those words at the top of their lungs.

This struck so much terror in Akira that he fainted.
When he came to, he was lying on a sofa in the headmaster's office.

Anyway, he quit the school soon after that, and he is not even teaching anymore.
To cut a long story short, he lost the job and came back to our hometown.

Right after he came back, I asked him why he left his teaching job, but at first he didn't want to talk about it.
It was only when we went out for drinking the other day that he finally told me the reason.

So this is the scariest part of the story:
When it was decided that Akira would quit and leave the school, he cornered one of the students from that class, and asked him why all the students from it had been avoiding him.
The student told him that it was because on that day, the person who was screaming out "HOW DID YOU KNOW!?" was none other than Akira himself.

Akira told me that although he clearly heard those words being shouted, he didn't remember shouting them himself.
I wonder if there is really something wrong with Akira. I am quite worried about him.

 

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**Sensei --- A form of addressing a teacher in Japanese. (See nihongo master)

Click the following links below to view more stories under the same category:
(Inexplicable)
(Inexplicable #2)
(Inexplicable #3)

Friday, 27 November 2020

Mark of Death

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)

Have you ever heard of a book called "Mark of Death"?
I have seen it once.

It is as thick as an encyclopedia**, and it contains only pictures of faces of people both when they are alive and when they are dead.
The right page has faces of them while alive, and the left page has faces of them after death.

I don't know how it came to be made, but it is apparently a secret book known only in the world of fortune-tellers. I heard that if you studied those pictures in the book every day, you would eventually be able to tell the "mark of death" which would appear on people's faces when their death was imminent.

The person who showed me the book was a teacher from a private-tutoring school I used to go.
Twenty years have passed since then. The teacher worked for a few years at the school after he graduated from university, and then he quit the job, saying he would go to Bali to learn white magic. That was the last I heard of him.

I will call the teacher Aiba in this story.

Aiba obtained a copy of the book while he was still studying at university. From the time he got it, he would spend the whole day, every day, gazing at those pictures.
He was so into the whole occult thing that he devoted most of his time to the study of it; he didn't even bother to attend classes at the university.
Still, he liked climbing mountains, and would frequently drop by the university's mountaineering club.

One day, the club came up with a plan to climb a winter mountain.
When the day came to climb it, they gathered at B station.
Aiba was taking part in it too, but upon seeing the club members' faces, for the very first time, he recognised  "marks of death" on them.
Of course, Aiba told them that they had marks of death written on their faces, and did his best to dissuade them from carrying out the plan.
But they laughed in his face, ridiculing his claims, and all four of them headed towards the mountain just as planned.

A couple of days later, Aiba was watching TV when a news headline flashed across the screen: "Members of C University Mountaineering Club Reported Missing."
Aiba's name was among the list of members who had been reported missing.

He was astonished, and immediately called the university, and decided to join the the rescue team that had been formed by the ex-members of the club.
They travelled to D, which was the city where the mountain was located.

Because of the inclement weather, the search was delayed until the next morning.
Meanwhile, having nothing to do, Aiba visited a coffee shop which was a usual place the members of the mountaineering club would go to after they had climbed down the mountain.

When he entered the coffee shop, he found all the other four members of the club sitting at a table.
What? You are all alive and well?
They were so happy to see one another again, and congratulated themselves for having survived the ordeal; but one of the members suddenly put down a newspaper, which he had been reading, on the table, and muttered under his breath:

Hey, Aiba. You have a mark of death written on your face.

Aiba was shocked by his words, and ran into the toilet to check his face in the mirror; but he did not perceive anything unusual about his face.

He came out of the toilet, but all the four members, who had been there until moments ago, had gone.
Confused, he asked the coffee shop owner, where have they all gone?
The coffee shop owner didn't seem to understand his question.
The owner said, Aiba suddenly burst into the coffee shop, and started talking on his own, and then dashed into the toilet.

But they were all here... Aiba glanced at the table, and his eyes fell on the newspaper. It had an article about the missing mountaineering club members, together with their small portraits.
And all of the portraits, with the exception of the portrait of Aiba at the bottom,  clearly showed marks of death written on their faces. 



-----------------------------------------------------------
 

Kojien
**Encyclopedia ---- Kojien in the original Japanese. Kojien is regarded as the most authoritative dictionary of Japanese (See Wikipedia).


Click to see other posts under the same category ➡(Apparition) ➡ (Appartion #2)


πŸ’–Thank you so much for leaving comments. I love getting comments from you all. It's one of the main reasons why I want to continue this blog😊🌸🌸🌸✨

Friday, 20 November 2020

Mountain Witch!

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)
 

This happened to a young couple driving on a mountain pass.

The sun was already setting. Virtually no oncoming car could be seen, nor were there any lampposts.

While the man drove the car, his girlfriend, tired from a long drive, slept on the front seat beside him, wrapped up cozily in a blanket.
The man stared intently ahead into the dark, trying to keep fatigue at bay.

When they were half way through the mountain, he spotted a white sedan parked at a lay-by.
Without thinking, he slowed down his car.

He had known other couples to park their cars at such a place and stay overnight inside them, for they lacked money to stay in proper hotels.

He stopped the car and peered into the rear seat window of the car, out of curiosity.
But as soon as he did so, a door of the sedan suddenly opened wide, and a woman came out. Their eyes met.

Her eyes were boring into his.
Feeling awkward and a little embarrassed, he suddenly started the car to get away from the place.

He was still feeling her eyes on him, and a few seconds later, he looked into the rear-view mirror to see if she was still staring at him; then he gasped in horrified alarm.

The woman was chasing his car!

His feeling of embarrassment turned into panic, and he sped up the car.
He drove it as fast as he possibly could on a narrow mountain pass.
But the woman was still chasing him, although it was impossible for any human-beings to have kept up with such high speed.

In the rear-view mirror, he saw the woman's face illuminated by the red brake lights, and the sight made his hair stand on end.  

Mountain Witch! Mountain Witch! **

The face was the exact copy of the face of Mountain Witch he saw in a children's book when he was a boy.
It was an ugly, wrinkled, demonic face of an old woman, with her hair wildly flying in the wind, closing in on her victim.
He started apologizing for god knows what, and stepped on the accelerator like crazy.

Before he knew it, he had arrived at the parking space of a convenience store at the foot of the mountain.
His girlfriend woke up, and he told her how he had just had a narrow escape from death.

She looked confused at first, but soon her expression turned into one of great shock.
A huge sense of relief washed over him, because by telling her the story, he felt like he was confirming to himself that he was safe now.

When he had finished telling his story, he found his girlfriend looking pensive, as if ruminating over what he had just told her.
"I had a dream." She finally spoke. "In the dream, I was chasing your car frantically, because you had left me alone in the middle of the mountain, and driven away. I yelled and screamed with all my strength, but you wouldn't stop and kept on driving.
For one moment, I seriously thought in my mind: 'I will kill him!' "

 

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** Mountain Witch - Yamanba (or Yamauba: See Wikipedia ), in the original story. Yamanba is a yokai in the form of an old woman who lives deep in a mountain. She appears at first as a well dressed, benevolent lady who invites travellers into her hut for a night's rest. But during the night, when travellers are fast asleep, she attacks them and devours them.  Her true identity before she became a yokai is said to have been a priestess of a mountain god, or an old woman who was a victim of ubasute (the practice of abandoning elderly relatives in mountains during a period of famine: See Wikipedia).

I just found another good site on Yamanba😊 :

http://yokai.com/yamauba/

Click here for more stories under the same category ➡(Monsters)

This story reminded me of this➡(Mountain Road) and this video too➡(Snowy Roads are scary!) You might need to switch to the web version of the blog to watch the video.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Uncle Pringles

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)

This happened while I was still at elementary school.

On the way to the school, I used to see a chubby moon-faced man known to us by the nickname of "Uncle Pringles" standing by the side of a road.
  

Uncle always had a boy with him, called Shinta, who was about 15 years old and appeared to be mentally handicapped.


Uncle would always call out to children walking to school, saying,
"Wouldn't you shake your hands with this boy?"

Most children would get creeped out and simply run away, but I -- small as I was -- took pity on Shinta, and shook hands with him.

"What a good boy!"
Uncle smiled broadly as though it made him really happy, so I felt I did something good to them.

The next day, Uncle and Shinta were waiting at the same place as usual.
"Wouldn't you shake hands with him?"
Just like the day before, I went up to the boy and shook hands with him. But as soon as my hand entwined with his, I felt a sharp pain piercing mine.

Shinta was hiding a drawing pin in his hand.

"He says he can't forgive you no matter what."
Uncle's flat voice reached my ears.

Why? Did they notice in me a sense of superiority hidden behind sympathy?
A lot of thoughts rushed through my mind.
But whatever the reason, they didn't have to do this to me...

I looked at Uncle as if seeking for help, and his face all of a sudden crumbled with remorse.   
"I said to Shinta that I wished you were my son instead of him. Shinta, I am soorryy. I am sooo sooo soorryyy."
 

I ran to school right after that, and told the teachers everything that had happened.
The incident was soon made known to all students by the school announcement. The whole school was on alert for a while, and the teachers even went patrolling in the neighbourhood.

Uncle Pringles never showed up again after that day.
But instead, a rumour began circulating in the school:
"Shinta was trying to shake hands with kids because he wanted to spread his disease to them."

This rumour caused me considerable anxiety for a long time.

(For other stories under the same category, Click Here)