Oiwa2017 by Matthew Meyer

お岩

Oiwa is the tragic and terrifying onryō from Yotsuya kaidan—”the ghost story of Yotsuya.” Along with Okiku and Otsuyu, she is one of the Nihon san dai kaidan—Japan’s Big Three Ghost Stories. Oiwa’s story is based on real-life events which took place in 17th century Edo. These events were dramatized in the 1825 kabuki play Tōkaidō yotsuya kaidan, which became very popular and cemented Oiwa’s place as Japan’s most famous ghost. Countless variations and adaptations of her tale followed.

The real Oiwa died in 1636. It is rumored that her onryō still haunts the places she lived as well as those who perform her story. Mysterious disasters and deaths occurring around a number of productions (including theater, film, and television adaptations) have been blamed on the curse of Oiwa’s ghost. There have been numerous attempts to appease her angry spirit. A small shrine and a temple dedicated to Oiwa were erected on the ruins of her family’s house in Yotsuya. After a fire destroyed the shrine in 1879, Oiwa’s shrine was moved to another part of Tōkyo. The shrine was again destroyed in the firebombings of World War 2. After the war, her new shrine as well as the original location in Yotsuya were both rebuilt. A gravestone at Myōgyōji in Sugamo, Tokyo is widely believed to be Oiwa’s actual grave. It is customary for actors and crews putting on a production of Yotsuya kaidan to visit Oiwa’s grave to pay their respects.

Read more: http://yokai.com/oiwa/
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