Saturday, March 9, 2013


Yotsuya Kaidan, the story of Oiwa and Tamiya Lemon, is a tale of betrayal, murder and ghostly revenge.

One of the most famous  Japanese legends it’s Oiwa, the woman mistreated by her husband that kills herself and comes back from the dead to exact her terrifying revenge.

Oiwa, a beautiful woman, aroused the greed of Lemon, a strong warrior. Oiwa also is fueled by love for the warrior, but Oiwa's father did not like Lemon and had a bad feeling about the boy and he were right. Seeing the father of Oiwa as an impediment in his way, on a day that Lemon was drunk and met with her father he killed him with a sword.

Liar, the killer tells Oiwa that she’ll  be avenged by the killers of her father. Amazed at the goodness of the false liar, she surrenders to him and the two marry. Later, Oiwa becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby, but she gets sick, suffering from postpartum depression and abandoned by Lemon, who gets more out than at home with his wife and son.

He then begins to show interest in Oume, daughter of a wealthy merchant. Oume was pretty bad though, and having Oiwa like a stone to hinder her path, plotted with Lemon a plan to get her out of the way once and for all. Oume gave Lemon a poison that would kill Oiwa. Lemon agreed, was selfish and Oume was rich. Lemon makes Oiwa take the poison, but she does not die, instead something terrible happens to her: her hair falls in large volume, and her beautiful face gets deformed, leaving her with a horrible appearance. Needed a pretext to separate from Oiwa, Lemon threats a local youth to seduce her. Frightened at the appearance of the woman, the young man confesses the entire plan of evil of Lemon and Oume. Bewildered and disturbed, Oiwa ends her own life by cutting her throat.

When Lemon hears what happened with Oiwa, he gets angry and kills the young man who spoiled his plan, tying him with the body of Oiwa and throwing them away in a river, and spreads to all the village that they were both lovers.

Sometime later Lemon marries Oume, but on their wedding night, Oiwa, who now became a vengeful spirit begins to haunt and disturb Lemon with macabre visions. Lemon, freaked and having macabre visions, eventually beheaded Oume since Oiwa, who only appeared to Lemon, made him look Oume but see herself, leading him to kill his wife. Oiwa did not stop there, made Lemon kill the father and mother of Oume too.

The end of the tale has many variations, from Lemon’s suicide by being driven crazy til that Oiwa could have killed him.

The people discover all the terrible plot and buries the body of Oiwa in order to give peace to the her spirit, but in vain. The hatred of the poor woman is so that her soul can not get rid of the bitterness, and so she is always launching vengeful curses on people. They say that if a person cynical and unaware visits the place where Oiwa’s body is buried, their face will be disfigured mysteriously.

Today, Oiwa's grave is inside the Temple Of Myookooji, near Sugamo Station Subway Mita Line. The temple was originally Yotshuya, but in 1909 moved to the current neighborhood. Oiwa's grave is at the foot of a tree and is a pilgrimage site for artists that represent the character in plays, such as Kabuki and summer theaters.

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