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Ghosts and ghost stories 2009/7/17 09:41
Hello all! I'll get right to it:
I'm doing a project for a Japanese Culture class on Japanese Ghosts. Exciting! I've got some books and I'm getting some really good info but it doesn't have the "human touch", so to speak, so does anyone feel like sharing some ghost stories? Personal experiences, which stories are your favorite, recommend some, whatever just so long as it's about JAPANESE ghosts. I'm also looking for some good japanese movies about ghosts.
If you're really good at making up stories go ahead and share cause I'm sure everyone loves a good story but please don't say something "really happened" if it didn't as, with permission, I might want to research and/or include someone's story in my presentation and I don't want to share someone's made up story, as awesome as it may be.
Also, someone told me that in Japan, if a house is verified to have a ghost in it, the house will be demolished or burned down, the area will be designated as a place where a ghost "resides" and nothing is allowed to be built on that land. Is this true? I am skeptical...

Well, any help is welcome! Thank you to all.
by Sprickles  

. 2009/7/17 11:23
The first two authors that come to my mind when it comes to Japanese ghosts are the writer Yakumo Koizumi (born Patrick Lafcadio Hearn) and the manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. Do a search on them.

Also, someone told me that in Japan, if a house is verified to have a ghost in it, the house will be demolished or burned down, the area will be designated as a place where a ghost "resides" and nothing is allowed to be built on that land. Is this true?

No, that is not true. Japan can't afford that. I recall an incident that was reported repeatedly on TV several years ago. An apartment building was said to be haunted. A lot of the residents were seeing ghosts in each of their rooms. Some specialists said they were real ghosts and that it needed exorcism. Other scientists said it was simple histeria. As far as I know, the building was never torn down and people continued to live there...seeing ghosts.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/7/17 22:52
How about the ghost in the well at Himeji castle. A servant girl lost a plate from a dinner set and she was executed and dumped in the well. Afterward, they heard her counting the plates trying to see if one setting was missing. This story was used in part for the movie "The Ring". Also, the Shinto shrine on the top floor of the castle is said to be haunted.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Ooo 2009/7/18 01:53
Ya I was pretty sure that things about getting ride of the houses wasn't true. Maybe at one time in history it happened in a few villages but space is limited in Japan so I don't think they could afford to lose developed land because of a ghost or two.

Ooh I'll look into those ghost in Himeji castle for sure! Thank you both.
by Sprickles rate this post as useful

ghosts 2009/7/18 06:17
One very interesting fact is that many old stories, legends etc. in any given country are fairly similar to stories told in many other countries around the world. . .stories about crafty foxes, about goblins (mysterious little people) for example. There are books--very hard to find, even in public libraries---that references stories around the world by type. It makes for fascinating reading.
Europe is a treasure trove for ghosts living in castles and old homes, the more so because many such places saw lots of violent deaths and are still standing after 500- 1000 years.
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/7/18 12:26
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Sara-Yashiki 2009/7/18 14:39
This story was used in part for the movie "The Ring".

Not exactly. It must be true that the prototypical image of this very popular female ghost in the well from the story titled 'Banshu Sara-Yashiki' (or another version titled 'Bancho Sara-Yashiki') had have a considerable influence on the author of 'Ring' in creating his story's protagonist, Sadako. But nothing of the story line was used except the situation that a girl was thrown into the well.

The tragedic story of Sadako's mother with second sight is based on a real story.

Some of good japanese movies about ghosts:

-'Ringu' aka "Ring'
-'Honogurai mizu no soko kara'
-'Ima, ai ni yukimasu'
-'Kairo' aka 'Pulse'
-'Ijintachi tono natsu'
-'Kaidan' (directed by Masaki Kobayashi)
-'Ugetsu monogatari'
by mm (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/7/18 23:37
mm, "in part" means it gave him the idea, not that he used the whole story.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

If you can understand Japanese 2009/7/21 02:41
Inagawa Junji is a pretty famous person who, I guess, is a story teller by profession. He hosts some TV shows and appear as guests sometimes, but he mainly does these ghost stories. I love listening to them because he tells them like he experienced it himself, or someone told him about their personal experience. Imagine a friend telling you about a ghost in their attic, and that friend was a great story teller. This is how this guy is! haha...bad explanation maybe but thats how it is...he doesn't tell the conventional stories but tells stories in modern, everyday settings.

I love it.
by bobaab rate this post as useful

Hope it is not too late! 2009/7/21 10:13
Actually I have a book dealing with Japanese ghosts & demons stories. Unfortunately, I do not have it with me right now, yet I remember some stories I can recommend. First is Lady Kiyo or Lady Kiyohime,which is the story of a woman who felt in love with a monk and starts following him. But as she pursues him through the streets, then crosses the river she gets more and more messy and unaware of the stares she provokes. As she just wants to reach him, she does not care. Soon her movements are quicker and she reaches him to the monastary. Yet, by that time Lady Kiyohime is no more. Indeed, she turned into...a serpent. I let you check the end of the story.
One of the other story I enjoyed the most from that book is The Ghost Story of Tokaido Yotsuya or Yotsuya Kaidan. Iyemon is a samourai married to Oiwa. If Iyemon has a truly beautiful woman he suffers of financial problems and later on his wife becomes sick. During that hard time, comes to him a woman from a rich family, who desires to marry him. That is how Iyemon finally decides to kill his wife. He gave her a poison. Nevertheless, instead of killing her quickly it first ruins her beauty, making her look hideous. Therefore, Iyemon, will totally stop considering his wife during her last living days.
AFter his wife dies Iyemon's wedding is prepared. Yet as the ceremony goes the bride and her father appear to Iyemon as ghostly visions of Oiwa. Therefore, he draws his sword and slaughter them. When he realizes his mistake he flees but wherever he goes he sees the same vision of Oiwa: a real psychological torture as you can guess. Here again I let you check the end of the tale. These are definitly great stories. I hope my post would help!
by Lu (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/7/21 12:34
Lu, did you see that movie? It was very spooky about what happened to lemon. It was a good story but it also had a good moral to it.

I love Japanese ghost stories.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

unfortunately no 2009/7/21 15:05
I solely read the story and agree to say that the end is spooky and the moral very good. Yet I guess that I have a new objective set: waching the movie! From what you are saying it seems pretty good.

Japanese ghosts and demons stories are so creative! I love them too.
by lu (guest) rate this post as useful

Thanks 2009/7/22 12:44
I'm grateful for all the replies!

I have seen a few of the movies suggested and will look into some of the ones I'm not familiar with so everyone is really helpful.

One of the things that made we want to do this project was the story of Iwa and Lymon-dono. I also really enjoyed the movie. Made in the 50s but still had spooky moments! Great stuff. Classic.

Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who feels like commenting. I'm still working on my project so still looking for ideas. Anyone know anything about the tv show USO Japan? I've seen some youTUBE footage of ghost hunting but is the show only about ghosts? And is it still on air?
by Sprickles rate this post as useful

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