Saturday, April 9, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE 2016 -- HONE-ONNA

You can't believe it. The rumors that she has died is a lie.  Greeting her with open arms, you spend all night reaffirming your love.

She's gone the next morning only to return that night.

Over and over, she comes and loves you.

Soon you feel tired, and after a while, the exhaustion takes over.

Fearful for your life, your family summons someone to help.  The monk sits and watches as your lover comes to you once again.

He tells of the sickening sight he witnessed and offers prayers and wards to protect the house, but you protest.  You love her.  She loves you.

The monk shakes his head sadly, knowing what is to come.

Your lover comes and lays with you, and you breathe your last.



Hone Onna is a Japanese spirit of a woman who returns to her lover.  She rises from the grave and appears as her young, beautiful self.  Her name translates to bone woman

They spend the night hours loving the object of their affection and stealing their life force.  The lover becomes sickly and weak with each visitation until the lover dies.

If the ghost is found out, the household can use charms and wards to protect the house, but they only work if they master of the house wills them into being.

Only those with strong religious faith and those unclouded by love can see the true form of the Hone Onna: a fetid, rotting skeleton.  As she rots, her appeal actually will strengthen.

If she is found out the lover may reject her, but she will continue to visit.

The saddest part of the entire thing is that she never realizes.  Her only concern is to continue to love the one in her heart.
gh
My second choice for today was Hitobashira, which means human pillar.

Yes, I do mean a literal human pillar -- as in person sacrificed in the constructing a building.  They are buried alive in the foundations of said building.  They were believed to protect the building by appeasing the nature spirits and warding the building from things.

There are rumors that this practice might have been still in use in the 20th century.

12 comments:

  1. That's a really sad and scary legend...and so Japanese. There's a tone to theirs that is unmistakable.

    I know human pillar thing was used in Hawaii before the missionaries changed everything. I can't even imagine how terrible that must have been.

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    1. I didn't know about Hawaii! It is sad.

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  2. The hone onna was eerie enough, but the hitobashira? What a concept. And in relatively modern times, no less?

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    1. Hitobashira scares me more. It was supposedly a real practice.

      I read of a story of when the Great Wall was built that a prophecy said it would fall if 10,000 wasn't sacrificed. So they found a man that had the name meaning 10,000 instead of 10k people.

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  3. Interesting subject for the A-Z challenge. I know nothing about Japanese folklore but I'm glad I'm not a Japanese man!

    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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    1. Thanks. I find it interesting too.

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  4. That is a sad one.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  5. Love and sacrifice goes hand in hand.

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  6. She is a sad spirit indeed, not realising why she can no longer love the one she cares for.
    You'd think that people would worry that the person sacrificed would come back as a vengeful spirit rather than a protector, wouldn't you? Unless they were a willing sacrifice.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  7. Building sacrifices were definitely a thing in other cultures too... I wonder how that idea started. And the ghost lover is very symbolic...

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary
    MopDog

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  8. Two total opposites here! The first story is very sad and actually kind of sweet. The second one, well not so much! I would love to know where that idea came from and how they chose someone to sacrifice
    Debbie

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