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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 黒田, 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

😊💛Hello, everyone! I hope you are all happy💖 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 (縁日, "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 (浴衣, 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?"

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Sento

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(Translated and arranged by Saya)

 

💖Hi, everyone! Guess what... This is a new CRYPTIC STORY!!!😆💖

Please comment below and tell me what you think the answer is!


A traditional sento building (Kodakarayu, Tokyo)
                                                                                                                                                 
Inside a sento (Atamiyu, Tokyo)

 
 I go to a sento ( public bath house) every day.*1
 After a bath, I always like to have a sauna; that is part of my daily routine. 
  I have been in a sauna for a few minutes when another man comes in. 
I decide to play a game. I won't leave the sauna unless he leaves it first. 
This game is also part of my daily routine. 
  10 minutes goes by. The man is a fatso who must weigh much more than 100 kg. 
  15 minutes goes by. He is sweating like crazy. Isn't it about time you give up, fatso? 
   18 minutes goes by. Finally the fatso stands up. He looks as if he will pass out any minute. He staggers to the door and leaves. 
   I win! I clench my first and raise it in the air in triumphant victory.



I wake up and find myself in an unfamiliar room. 
  An old guy is peering down at me. I have seen him before.
  Oh yes, he is the guy I saw at the reception desk.*2 The old guy says, "I found you when I went to check the sauna. You were sitting unconscious against the door." 
  It looks like I passed out from heatstroke. I guess I pushed myself too hard. 
  The old guy gives a heavy sigh. "It was a lot of work to carry you to this room. Be careful next time." 
   I thank him and go home. I think I might have some cold beer*3 before going to bed. 

 
 
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NOTES: 

*1 Sento ---- Sentō (銭湯) is a type of Japanese communal bathhouse where
customers pay for entrance. (Wikipedia)
Inside a sento (It often has a picture of Mt. Fuji. There are artists who specialize in drawing pictures for sento walls.)
More links:

*2 The guy at the reception desk ---- "Bandai (番台)" in Japanese. The word refers
to both the desk and the person who sits at it. Bandai is the place where you pay the entrance fee for sento. You can also buy stuff like towels, soap and shampoo there.
Bandai

 
*3 Beer in Japan:
 
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