Kaidan Two: The Story of the Beautiful Maid -Okiku

According to Shinto beliefs, all people have a soul called "reikon." When a person dies, the reikon leaves the body and joins the souls of its ancestors. However, when a person dies suddenly by murder, is slain in battle, commits suicide, or when he or she hasn't been given an appropriate funeral, the reikon may become a yuurei (Ghost) to seek revenge. Many yuurei are female ghosts who suffered badly in life from love, jealousy, sorrow, or regret. Male yuurei are less common.

Yuurei usually appear in a white kimono, which people were buried in the old days, and have no legs. They also wear a white triangular piece of paper or cloth (hitaikakushi) on their forehead. They usually appear between 2 and 3 a.m.

Okiku works as a maid at the home of the samurai Tessan Aoyama. One day while cleaning a collection of ten precious ceramic plates, which is a family treasure, she accidentally breaks one of them. The outraged Aoyama kills her and throws the corpse into an old well. Every night afterwards, Okiku's ghost rises from the well, slowly counts out nine plates and then breaks into heartrending sobs, over and over and over again, tormenting the samurai. Finally, vengeance is wrought when Aoyama goes insane.

With this tale told, wet your fingers and pinch out the fire of the second candle.

if you have a ghoulish tale, stories from your local village or perhaps a personal experience to share, please do email it to me at xniquet@gmail.com and I hope i can published it in my blog and add to my Kaidan collection and i hope that i can gather enough before the next Hungry Ghost Festival.