*To read the previous article about Seven Misaki, click here.
I come from a small village in Shikoku region. This is a story I heard nearly 20 years ago, when I was still a junior-high school student; later, about a year after the incident in the story took place, I met the very person who experienced it and was able to check the truth of it myself.
There was a boy called A, who was two years younger than me. One evening in August (during a summer holiday), A was taking a nap at home while he waited for the supper to be ready. Sometime later A woke up, and with a torch in his hand, stepped out into the garden. A described later that his mind was half in a dream state, and could not understand why he woke up at all. One of A's family members saw him in the garden but didn't pay any attention to him, thinking he was out just for a walk; the time was around 7pm.
In the garden, A saw six "people" standing there. He didn't remember anything about their sex, age or appearance, but he just thought there were six "people." As soon as the six people acknowledged A they started walking towards the mountain (A's house itself was on the slope of a mountain). Even though A was half in a dream state and didn't have a clue about who they were, he didn't feel scared; the only thought that occupied his mind was that he should follow them, and he did so, almost as if he was being drawn to a magnet. Although the so-called mountain was more like a steep hill, it was still quite high. The six people gathered around A and walked on.
Before A knew, it got all dark around him. Moreover, the six people who surrounded him no longer seemed like people;they had become mere presences. By this time A had come to understand that they were not "people" at all, but in spite of the realization he felt no fear and kept walking. A was still half-dreaming.
The "presences" around him kept whispering between themselves but he couldn't hear exactly what they were talking about.
Sometime passed before something tapped the torch; it was an insect that had been attracted to the light. And at the same moment, the six presences which surrounded A disappeared, and their voices also ceased.
A regained consciousness instantly.
When he looked around he was alone in an area of the mountain he had never seen. The only source of light was the torch he was holding. Being overcome by a sudden rush of fear and confusion, he ran back home. When he finally managed to meet his family, who had come out looking for him, it was already a few minutes before midnight.
Later A's family heard from a Tayu (the priest of Izanagi-Ryu*1) that what A encountered were those who had been lured by Seven Misaki, and they came to make A to be the seventh. If he had not come back before midnight, he would have been dead. But since A's grandmother prayed at an altar(*2) everyday, a god came to A's rescue, using the insect as his medium.
Certainly, there is a well-known place in our region, where once upon a time a woman who was betrayed by a lover killed herself and became "Seven Misaki." After her death men died in succession under mysterious circumstances. A Tayu tried to purify the place but he gave up, claiming that "the power is too strong for me to purify."
But the death of the woman happened such a long time ago and I heard quite a number of people died back then, that I supposed that they already had the required number of deaths to appease the spirits. I used to swim around the cursed place (it was by the sea) without any worry.
In the end, we could never find out why they came for A. Apart from this incident, A has never experienced anything out of ordinary up until now. At the time I used to get scared imagining that one day they might come for me too.
This is all I have to tell. Thank you for reading my story.
1*Izanagi-Ryu - This is a folk religion practiced, apparently only in the village of Monobe, Kochi Prefecture, in Shikoku region. Its beliefs and rituals are made up from a mixture of Shugendo, Onmyodo, Shinto and Buddhism. It is possible the narrator of this story is originally from Monobe-son. A Tayu is a shaman-priest of Izanagi-Ryu.
2*An altar - written "kamidana" in the original Japanese version. Kami literally means "god" and dana means "shelf", so together kamidana could be transliterated as "god shelf ." It is a type of miniature shrine placed or hung high on a wall in some Japanese homes (and more in offices). The Kamidana contains a wide variety of items related to the Shinto style ceremony. Worship at the kamidana is as simple as saying prayers, offering food (i.e rice, water etc) and flowers (from Wikipedia).
On the left: An image of Kamidana