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Stories. 
The Ghost Woman
by Sunitichandra Mishra
From Japanese Folklore – Presented

Long ago there lived a man in Kyoto (Japan) who was once traveling late night towards the nearby town, Nagoya. As soon as he was far away from Kyoto, he noticed a well-dressed, beautiful woman standing in a darksome area of the roadside. It was an unusual experience for him. Never he had seen such a beautiful lady standing alone on the roadside at such an odd hour. However, he gave it a second thought: “Maybe, the woman is not alone and her husband also must be near about.” So, he wanted to avoid her sight and silently pass by her, but the lady stopped him:

“Excuse me, I think you must have some urgent work that you are traveling late night, but may I ask you a favor?”

The man was now a little frightened, too, as he noticed the unusually shining eyes of the lady. Though she was beautiful, she was somehow different from other women. She was speaking so dominantly that the man felt himself to be under her influence.

He meekly asked: “What do you want from me?”
“Do you know where Minbu nu Taihu lives?” She asked.

Now Minbu nu Taihu was a popular person and the man knew his house.

He replied: “Yes, I know him. His house is a little ahead on this main road.”
“Will you please take me there?” The woman requested and the man found it  difficult to refuse. He said: “Follow me, Lady! I will take you there.”

Both walked side by side in that dark night till the palatial house of Minbu nu Taihu appeared. The lady thanked the gentleman and said: “I live in Shigha town”, and she explained to him her address and requested him to drop by her house whenever he had a chance to visit Shigha. Before the man could say anything, he found she had disappeared as if she had never been with him.

Amazed and terrified, the man turned back and walked as fast as he could but hardly few steps he came that he heard a terrible scream from Minbu nu Taihu’s house. In great horror, he ran back to Minbu nu Taihu’s house to find out what had happened there. In a matter of minute, the members of the family, the servants and all the neighbors gathered there. An old servant of the house revealed that Minbu nu Taihu had a wife in Shigha town whom he had left long ago when he fell in love with another lady. His first wife died soon after the separation but many times she appeared as ghost and threatened to kill Minbu’s new wife. “Today”, the servant said, “she took her revenge by killing her.”

The man was so much disturbed that he cancelled his visit to Nagoya and rushed back to Kyoto. Only few weeks after this event, he had to visit Shigha town. He went at the place mentioned by that mysterious lady but there was nothing but an old, vacant house. The neighbors said that many years ago, an old couple used to live in that house but they moved to another place after the tragic death of their daughter whom a man named Minbu nu Taihu had deserted because of no fault.

26-Mar-2006
 
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