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Sarayashiki, a ghost story also passed down in Miyazu, famous for Amanohashidate, Kyoto of the Sea

Night after night, a sad woman's voice comes from the well in the garden. One piece~, two pieces~, three pieces~, four pieces~, five pieces~, six pieces~, seven pieces~, eight pieces~, nine pieces~ ...... Oh, one piece is missing .......

Along with "Yotsuya Ghost Story" and "The Peony Lantern," it is one of the three most famous Japanese ghost stories.Bancho SarayashikiThis is the highlight scene of theSince the Edo period, it has been performed many times in kabuki and joruri dramas. These ghost stories, in fact, have been handed down throughout Japan.

There was a place for it here in Kyoto.

Located in Miyazu City, famous for Amanohashidate, Kyoto of the SeaChrysanthemum Festival (the 9th day of the 9th lunar month) (one of the five annual festivals)is it. It is enshrined in the town of Haji, near the Miyazu fishing port on Route 178, and the shrine's komafuda (small wooden tag) reads, "Tanshu Sarayashiki.

Kikuhime Inari and Torii


The most famous version of the Sarayashiki legend is the Bancho Sarayashiki version from Edo, introduced earlier. Okiku, a daughter of the Aoyama Harimamori's family, accidentally breaks a set of ten plates, a family heirloom, while serving at the residence of the Aoyama Harimamori Shozen. For this crime, Okiku is slain and thrown into a well (or takes her own life). However, it was the work of the maids who were jealous of the beautiful Okiku, who was adored by her master. At night, Okiku's ghost appears in the well of the Aoyama family's house and begins to count the plates with resentment. After that, various disasters occur in the Aoyama family, and the family declines.

In the "Banshu Sarayashiki" version in Himeji, the story becomes one of intrigue and family turmoil, and a man's revenge for Okiku's rejection of his love for her.

The Story of Banshu Sarayashiki. Banshu Sarayashiki Monogatari (The Tale of Banshu Sarayashiki), Vol. 4
(Digital Collections of the National Diet Library)


So what about the Miyazu version?

History shows that from Kyoho 2 (1717) to Horeki 8 (1758), the lord of the Miyazu domain was the Aoyama clan.After a series of bizarre incidents, such as the illicit affair between the wife (concubine) of Aoyama Omi no Mamoru Yukizumi and a vassal, and the suicide of his adopted son, Aoyama Tetsunosuke, the Aoyama clan was transferred to Mino Gujo.The company has been forced to do so.

This actual incident may have been the basis for the later compilation of the "Sarayashiki" ghost stories,It is said. If so,Miyazu version originatedIt could be said that the woman was a "samurai" who had been in charge of the castle! There is also an old tale passed down in Miyazu about Aoyama Daizen Yukimichi, the lord of the castle at the time, who was killed by a woman named Okiku because she broke one of his family's heirloom plates.

The Story of Banshu Sarayashiki. Banshu Sarayashiki Monogatari (The Tale of Banshu Sarayashiki), Vol. 4
(Digital Collections of the National Diet Library)

In recent years, Kikuhime Inari has been reconstructed and the torii gate and shrine have been cleaned up and its appearance has changed completely.In the past, the entire shrine was surrounded by dense trees and had a frightening and enigmatic atmosphere that made people hesitant to approach.I ask. 100 meters northwest of this inariOkiku Wells.There was also a well called the "Well of the Dead," but it seems to have been buried some time ago,Now there is no trace of it.

To the left of the Kikuhime Inari site is a supermarket, and the national highway in front of the shrine is heavily trafficked by vehicles,Not many people realize that it is the location of a famous ghost story.However, if you walk around this area on a long autumn night when everyone has gone to bed, you may hear a woman's voice, mingled with the sound of the waves, counting plates with resentment, "One piece~, two pieces~. If you inadvertently hear the next "nine plates~," something terrible is said to happen. ......

A short walk from Inari gives a view of Miyazu Bay.

What is Kyoto Mystery Exploration?

Tradition that exists everywhere in the city of Kyoto. It is not just a picture, it is secretly alive in this modern age and continues to coexist with people. The two of Office TO, who previously wrote a series of articles "Kyoto's Demon World Exploration" in the monthly magazine Leaf, explore the mysterious "different" world of Kyoto, which was created over 1200 years. I will unravel the story while actually visiting the place. .


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