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Friday, 16 July 2021

Goldfish scooping


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(Translated and arranged by Saya)

πŸŒˆπŸ’—Hi everyone! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•thank you for your love and support for this blog! I am busy right now so the✨NEXT UPDATE will be in August✨ 


Kids playing Goldfish Scooping

This happened when I was still a junior high school student. 

We were on a summer holiday. I went fishing with three of my friends. 
It was a bright sunny day, but on our way home,  the sky suddenly turned dark and we got caught in a downpour.

We ran to the nearest large tree to shelter from the rain. 
But a split second later, the tree was struck by lightning. 
All of this happened so fast that I was left disoriented for a few moments.

Pretty soon, though, I realized that I was in a very strange situation.
First, I noticed that all my friends were gone.
Secondly, I noticed that there was a goldfish scooping stall (like the one you would often see in festivals) in front of me. **

A Goldfish Scooping Stall

"Fancy playing goldfish scooping?" 
The old man standing at the stall called out to me. 
I sensed that I was stuck in a place which was not in the world I knew. 

"How much?" 
I don't know why I asked that question.
"One poi (paper scooper) equals to one year of your life, " replied the man. 

I walked up to the stall and peered down into the fish tank.
I saw in there three goldfish, whose faces resembled those of my friends...

"You want to rescue your friends, don't you?" 
The old man asked. 
I nodded, instantly understanding my role in this world.

"Please...give me a poi." 
"Sure. This is one year." 

Paper scoopers (Poi) for Goldfihs scooping


I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I am quite good at this kind of game that requires high level of concentration. So I imagined it would be a piece of cake for me.




......But soon I discovered that I was useless at this particular game. The poi was so fragile and tore very easily. 

So far, I had rescued only two of my friends, but I had already wasted more than 60 poi. 

"Now, this is your last poi (meaning the end of my lifespan) . " 

I took it from him, determined that I would succeed this time no matter what. 
This is my last chance! I know I can do this!
I will legit lay down my life for my friend! 

I don't know if my strong determination worked magic, but this time I was able to rescue him with a surprising ease. 

"Yes! I did it...!" 
I lost my consciousness right after that.....


................

"Hey, wake up!" 
"Don't die on us!" 
"I've just been to that house over there and they are coming to help us now."

I heard some voices and opened my eyes.
"What ... You lot! You are alive?" 

"We all woke up around half an hour ago, but you stayed unconscious." 
One of them told me. 

I felt my eyes well up with tears. 
"Oh... I'm so glad you are all alive... I'm really, really glad..."
But why was I still alive? I thought I had used up all of my life. 

It must have been all a dream.
But I still remember vividly the last words the old man uttered:
"You have done a really good job. Here, I will give you one extra goldfish as a reward." 






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** Goldfish scooping (ι‡‘ι­šγ™γγ„, ι‡‘ι­šζŽ¬γ„, Kingyo-sukui) is a traditional Japanese game in which a player scoops goldfish with a paper scooper.  "Kingyo" means goldfish and "sukui" means scooping. Sometimes bouncy balls are used instead of goldfish. Japanese summer festivals or ennichi commonly have a stall for this activity.

Rules:
Each person plays individually. The basic rule is that the player scoops goldfish from a pool with a paper scooper called a "poi" and puts them into a bowl with the poi. This game requires care and speed as the poi can tear easily. The game is over when the poi is completely broken or incapable of scooping properly. Even if one part of the poi is torn, the player can continue the game with the remaining part.

⭐More Links:




Asakusa Kingyo


Saturday, 26 June 2021

Falling

⭐Announcement: Next update will be on 16th July. Sorry I have been busy.πŸ˜…πŸ™✨

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)

The Kegon Falls


This happened to a friend of mine. 

She went to a place called the Kegon Falls in Nikko (Note: A famous suicide spot**) on a school trip.

Just as she was watching the Falls with the rest of the class, suddenly a woman standing next to them shouted: 

"Look! Someone's going to fall! Someone's going to fall! " 

Everyone in the class was so stunned and they all looked at the place where the woman was pointing.
There, standing at the top of the Falls, was a woman and she was indeed about to jump off it. 

But as they looked at the woman's face, they realised it was identical to that of the woman who had just shouted "Someone's going to fall! " 

They turned around but the woman who had been shouting and pointing at the falls had disappeared. 
And then when they looked at the Falls again, they saw that the woman who was about to jump had also disappeared. 


This incident was witnessed by the whole class, and so it is a true story. 



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Friday, 18 June 2021

I am sorry

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)



I heard this story of a scuba diving accident from a professional scuba diver.  

The place where it happened is too famous so I won't mention its name. 
But it is a spot that often appears in scuba diving magazines and it is also one of the most popular places among foreign tourists. 

The story concerns a local instructor who was coaching two clients. 

They went to a cave-like place, where the water tended to be dark even in the daytime. 

For safety reasons, the clients were asked never to leave the instructor's side while in there. 

But after sometime, the instructor noticed that one of the clients was missing. 
The instructor told the other client that he was going to search for the missing client, and that the client should stay afloat and wait for his return. 

However, the instructor was gone for a long time, and this client at last grew tired of waiting, and he left the cave and returned to the shore on his own. 

He had a thought that the instructor and the other client might have already returned to the shore before him. 
But when he asked about them at the diving shop, he was told that they hadn't come back yet. 

This caused much commotion, and a search for the missing two people began at once.  
Eventually they were found, but they were both already dead. 

I don't remember if they were found in the cave, but I heard that the client's residual pressure had dropped to zero. 

The instructor, on the other hand, had somehow died holding a blackboard in his hand. 
On the blackboard it as written:  


"I am sorry."




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Links :



 

Friday, 11 June 2021

Fingers

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)


An izakaya in Tokyo


This is a story about Mr. H's wife. 

There was a man called H who was a regular customer at a tavern ** I frequented.

I had a drink with Mr. H on a few occasions in the past, and knew him to be a gentle, quiet and very approachable man.
But he had one flaw, which was that he was always chasing women, even though he had a young woman as his wife. 

Mr. H's wife seemed to be a jealous type of woman. 
"She can be a real pain in the neck," he would often say, complaining about her.


An izakaya with a zashiki (tatami floor space)


A few years ago, Mr. H became involved with a woman yet again, and this time it was with a girl who worked at the tavern. 

It didn't take long before the rumours of Mr. H's shameless behaviour reached his wife's ears; from then onwards, not a day went by without the tavern receiving an angry phone call from her. 

In spite of it all, it seemed that Mr. H's relationship with the girl dragged out for quite a while. 
One day, the tavern received a small parcel from Mr. H's wife; it was addressed to the girl. 

I was there when the parcel arrived, and since the girl was a little frightened by it, I opened it for her. 
Inside the parcel, there was something wrapped neatly in gauze. I unwrapped it and found a little finger of a woman that seemingly belonged to Mr. H's wife. 

It gave the girl enough shock for her to end the relationship with Mr. H there and then, and leave the tavern too. Mr. H also stopped coming to the tavern shortly afterwards. 

A couple of days ago, just when I had almost forgotten about him, I bumped into Mr. H in the town again. 
Mr. H had a woman with him.  
"I am H's wife. Nice to meet you." 
She greeted me by bowing deeply, and that was when I saw it: 
She had only two fingers -- a thumb and an index finger on her right hand. 



---------------------------------------------
Note: 

**Tavern -- the original text just says "drinking place" but I think he means an izakaya (居酒屋).

Links:







A private room in an izakaya


Another izakaya in Tokyo

 

Friday, 4 June 2021

Kiich and Old Telephone

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)

An old telephone


Up until my grandfather Kiich (*pronounced as Key-tchi)  was 17, our family ran a pawnshop. He told me an interesting story related to it. 

In those days, when my grandfather was still a boy, people still believed in spirits, gods and yokai without question, especially in rural areas such as the town where my grandfather lived.

So it was not so uncommon for them to have people bring objects endowed with some supernatural power to their pawnshop.
I don't know how they judged the value of those objects, but my grandfather said, "my father was spiritually sensitive, so he could tell which ones were endowed with special power and which ones weren't."  

A boy**

A pawnshop

Friday, 28 May 2021

Kuroda

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(Translated and arranged by Saya) 



I still can't make sense of what it really was, but what I am about to tell you is a strange story that involves my childhood friend. 
My friend is a girl (I am male) and let's say her name is Eiko.

It happened 5 years ago. Eiko was 23 years old at the time.
She is quite pretty but a bit weird and uncommunicative, so she didn't have a boyfriend. She would often ask me if I knew any good-looking men whom I could introduce to her.

One day, when I came home from work, I ran into her in front of my house (We are nextdoor neighbours). 
When that happens, we usually stop for a chitchat. 

"Today, I thought I'd better organize my bag, so I dumped all my things inside it onto a table," said Eiko. " There were a lot of things like cumpled up tissue papers, a 100 yen coin, and some chewing gum, but among them I found a small piece of folded paper. I wondered what it was and opened it. Guess what I saw. Look."

She handed over to me a piece of paper.
It looked like a pre-order form for a DVD (the kinds you see in video rental shops), and on the back of it, there was a message. It was messily written by probably a cheap pen:

"I saw you in B____ . I liked you straightaway. 
But I didn't have the courage to go up and talk to you, so I am writing this message instead.
I am 20 years old, and a student at C____ University. People often tell me I look like the singer Hyde from L'Arc en Ciel. *1 I hope we can meet in person. Please call me or send me an email. 090-****-****, Email address ***@***." 

"Wow, creepy!"
I exclaimed unintentionally. 

B___ was the name of a video rental shop; there was one in our neighbourhood and there was another one near C___ University, too. 
Somehow, this self-proclaimed Hyde-kun managed to get closer to Eiko without her knowing, and put this piece of paper into her tote bag which hang from her shoulder.

Hyde the singer

Eiko told me she thought it was interesting and she decided to contact him. 
At the time, Eiko was desperate for a relationship, and she was also quite dumb. Even this creepy gesture seemed to be so romantic to her.
I didn't have any reasons to stop her, so I said, "Let me know how it went later," and left it at that. 

From that day onwards, Eiko would often text me about Hyde-kun.
I got these kinds of texts within the span of a week :
"I emailed him! Hyde-kun is so shy. He is so cute!"
"We decided to start off as friends. LOL."
"I called him for the first time! His voice is so deep and sexy!"
"He was really flirty today. I might see him soon. LOL."

Before long, I ran into Eiko again in front of my house again. 
"Look. This is Hyde-kun!" Eiko showed me a selfie the guy had sent her. 
But it was a picture of me.

"What...? That's me," I thought, but Eiko kept referring to it as Hyde-kun.
She was bubbling over with excitement, saying things like, "it's true he looks a bit like Hyde." 
Confused, I looked at her phone again, but it was definitely my face, no matter from which angle I looked at it. 
But as far as I knew, I had never sent any selfies to her. Moreover, I don't even look remotely like Hyde. 
 
I was so confused and even getting creeped out. So tentatively, I said to Eiko:
"Um... Actually, I think this is a picture of me."
Eiko stared at me, wide-eyed. "What are you saying? It can't be you. It doesn't even look like you." 
She snatched her phone away from my hand, and looked at the picture again. But the next moment, she threw it away with great force, shrieking like a mad woman.  

"What's wrong?"
Her movement was so violent that it sent me into a slight panic too.

Eiko replied, trembling, "The f-f-f-face...The face..."
 I picked up the phone from the ground and looked at it; the face had changed.

It wasn't my face anymore but it had become a kind of repulsively contorted face as if it was feeling really disgusted. 

"Delete it! Delete the picture now!" 
Eiko screamed. 
I was scared but decided to delete it. 

We both broke out in a cold sweat and kept saying to each other,
"What was it?"  "Was it some practical joke?" 
But of course no amount of speculation could get us closer to the truth. 
Although we felt quite uneasy, there was nothing further we could do, so we just said bye and went back to our respective homes. 

After that, Eiko got a call from Hyde-kun again but only for once. It happened around midnight. 
She was too scared to pick it up so she ignored it, but the phone kept on ringing for what seemed like eternity.
In the end, she couldn't stand it anymore and switched the phone off.
The next morning, when she switched it on again, she received a text that said "sEe you agaiN 2:30". 
Hyde-kun never contacted her again.

But this is not the end of the story. 
A year later, one day Eiko suddenly barged into my house, stark raving mad. 
She told me that she found a folded paper again in her bag. I felt a shiver run through me too. 

The message was almost the same as the previous one: "I saw you at ____ and I liked you straightaway so I decided to write this message...etc. etc." 
But this time the place he saw her wasn't in the video rental shop, but it was at an underground train station.  
The paper looked like it was a page torn from a personal organizer. 
The person who wrote it claimed that he was from ___ University, 20 years old and looked like Hyde. It was definitely him again.
As might be expected, Eiko didn't contact him, and luckily nothing bad happened that time. 

I wonder about this incident sometimes, even now.
Why was it a picture of my face?
Why did Eiko look at my face and thought it was "Hyde-kun"? 
I really don't know. I don't have a clue. 
I even wondered if Eiko pulled a prank on me, but she isn't the type of person to do that.

By the way, this Hyde-kun said his name was "Kuroda." *2
If you ever find a strange folded paper in your bag, and it was from "Kuroda," please be careful. 
Don't contact him just because you are curious; you might regret your decision later. 



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Notes:

*1 Hyde --- a Japanese muscisian known for his androgynous beauty. (Wikipedia)
*2 Kuroda --- written as クロダ in the original text. Here it consists of only Katakana but if it were to be written in Chinese characters it would probably be ι»’η”°, meaning black field. (Japanese surnames always consist of Chinese characters.)

Friday, 21 May 2021

Akifumi

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)

Food stalls at a summer festival

πŸ˜ŠπŸ’›Hello, everyone! I hope you are all happyπŸ’– This is a normal scary story but some people think it is a cryptic story. Can you guess why? ✨

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This happened to my colleague while he was on a business trip in Tokyo.

To save the travel expenses, he decided to stay in a cheap hotel. 

In the room where he stayed, he found a video cassette player that allowed you watch a video when you inserted one hundred yen coin*1 into it. 


videotapes and player

They had also some videotapes beside the player. Out of curiosity, he picked them up one by one, and read the labels. 
Among Western films and usual adult videos, he found one that was unlabelled. 

"I wonder if it's some kind of a black market adult video?" 
He decided to watch it, thinking that spending one hundred yen on it wouldn't hurt him much. 

He inserted a coin into the video cassette player, and put the said cassette into it.
The video started a few seconds later. 

The TV screen was showing a festival*2 in a rural town.

He saw a lively street lined with many food stalls.  People dressed in breezy summer clothes were strolling between them. 

After some minutes, a boy wearing yukata*3 (summer kimono) came into view, and the camera zoomed in on the boy. 

A boy in yukata

It continued to zoom in on him until the screen was filled with the boy's face from his chest upwards. 
Then zooming came to a complete halt and the video froze too. 
The next moment, at the bottom of the screen, a cold, impersonal caption appeared in white Gothic font: *4
"Akifumi was murdered that evening."

Almost instantaneously, my colleague pressed the stop button.
He told me that he vacated the room right away, and found another hotel to stay in.



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Notes: 

*1 100 yen coin ---- (One US dollar is equal to about 108 yen on 21 May 2021) See Wikipedia 

100 yen coin


*2 Festival --- "Ennich" in the original text. 
Ennichi (縁ζ—₯, "related day") is a day believed to have a special relation (縁 en) with a particular Japanese deity. Often, it is a day when a deity is believed to have been born or left the world. In Shinto, this day is encouraged to be embraced as it is in the "four affirmations" of their religious code. Japanese people generally think that visiting a temple or a shrine on these holy days related to Kami and/or Buddha will bring greater fortunes than on regular days. Therefore, temples and shrines often hold festivals. At such events, there are generally a large number of food stalls selling Japanese food such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki, grilled corn, and candy floss.

More links:




*3 Yukata --- A yukata (ζ΅΄θ‘£, lit., "bathrobe") is an unlined cotton summer kimono, worn in casual settings such as summer festivals and to nearby bathhouses. Originally worn as bathrobes, their modern use is much broader, and are a common sight in Japan during summer. Though yukata are traditionally indigo and white in colour, modern yukata commonly feature multicoloured designs, and are designed to be machine washable. They are similar in appearance to the nemaki, a unisex short-sleeved kimono-like garment worn by guests at traditional inns (from Wikipedia

More links:



 *4 Gothic font -- talking about East Asian type of Gothic font, not English one.  It embodies a "style characterized by strokes of even thickness and lack of decorations akin to sans serif styles in Western typography." I added this note because there has been some misunderstanding about it. 

Saturday, 15 May 2021

You thought you could escape?

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)



I am not smart, nor am I good at communicating with others.
I am sure I am not needed by anyone.

At home, I was literally a punching bag for my father. His abuse was becoming more and more severe everyday.
I was just so sad.

"You thought you could escape?"
I tried to run away from home, but he would always find me immediately. When he brought me home, he would hit me so much harder than he usually did.
I am the one at fault, because I am so slow.
While he hit me, my pregnant mother and big sister cooked dinner, talking cheerfully to each other.

But such unhappy days will end today.
I feel my consciousness leave me, little by little.
I know that all people --- everyone, including me --- wanted this to happen.
So I am doing what I am expected to do!
I am going to die...to make everyone happy...



A few months later.



"A healthy boy!"
An old man's voice announces.
I am crying loudly, even though I don't feel sad.
I open my eyes. I see two people, a man and a woman, looking down at me.
Somehow, they look familiar.

The man says to me in a sweet, gentle voice:

"You thought you could escape?"