Fun Link Friday: Three Tales of Okiku


Obon season is fast upon us, so get into a spooky mood with three variations on the one of Japan’s most famous ghost stories over on Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.

Okiku is one of the most interesting yurei in Japan. She is a true folktale, with multiple versions spread across the country. Anywhere there is an old castle and a well, there is a legend of Okiku. She isn’t always named Okiku, and she isn’t always counting plates, but the same details are there.

Here are three translations of some different versions of the legends. I started with the oldest, so you can see how the tale has changed over time. Over the course of learning about her, Okiku changed from a yurei I thought was kind of boring, to one of my favorites. She is the most Japanese of Japan’s famous ghosts.

If you like Okiku, there’s going to be a whole chapter on her in Yurei: The Japanese Ghost.  There’s also a well in at Himeiji Castle that claims to be Okiku’s final “resting” (haunting?) place as well. (Scroll down to お菊井戸.)

This entry was posted in culture, fun links and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fun Link Friday: Three Tales of Okiku

  1. machineslife says:

    Reblogged this on Jade's Escape and commented:
    This will definitely go with the Manga Corner’s summer podcast about obon and Children of the Sea.

  2. seikaiha says:

    Reblogged this on seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah and commented:
    We have a similar story in my region too. I pre-ordered “Yurei: The Japanese Ghost.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s