Ashiaraiyashiki – The Foot Washing Mansion

TheWashingFoot

Translated from Edo Tokyo Kaii Hyakumonogatari

To learn much more about Japanese Ghosts, check out my book Yurei: The Japanese Ghost

On the 3rd street in the Honsho district there lived a woman named Hanamoku.  At her house, a mysterious thing was known to occur.

At the time when the flowers were sleeping and the ushimitsu plant was blooming, a horrible, rotten stench would invade the house, and a giant foot bristling with hair would descend from the ceiling accompanied by an enormous sound. If you washed the foot, it would soon disappear back into the ceiling.   But if you didn’t, the giant foot would rampage though the house until satisfied.

Translator’s Note:

This print, by Utagawa Kuniteru, is called Ashiarai Yashiki  (足洗邸), and depicts one of the Honjyo Nana Fushigi (本所七不思議) meaning one of the Seven Wonders  of Honjo.

Further Reading:

For more bizarre tales of Japaneses Folklore, check out:

6 Types of Japanese Yokai From Showa

10 Famous Japanese Ghost Stories

When Food Attacks – 6 Types of Food Yokai From Japan

Tanuki no Kintama – Tanuki’s Giant Balls

Kappa to Shirikodama – Kappa and the Small Anus Ball

Nebutori – The Sleeping Fatty

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Photobooth Journal
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 20:25:11

    Very bizarre.

    Reply

  2. Russell
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 01:07:57

    I cannot find anything about an ’Ushimitsu plant blooming’, however as ’the flowers were sleeping’, and since I have found something online about ’Ushimitsu’ meaning ’dead of night’ (http://www.shinyu.org/07-11-30/thought_e.htm) – between 2:00 and 6:00AM apparently – I am wondering whether the idea of the of this hour blooming like a plant has been figuratively added to go along with the flowers sleeping. i.e. as life (the flowers) sleeps, the Japanese equivalent of ’the witching hour’ wakes up and weird things start happening (clearly!). You see what I mean? :)

    Reply

  3. Zack Davisson
    Aug 18, 2012 @ 13:10:09

    The Japanese equivalent of The Witching Hour are the Hours of the Ox (Ushi no Koku), from 1-3 AM, which is called the End of Darkness, or Twilight. This is the time when plants sleep, and when yokai and yurei appear.

    It is also called ushimitsu (meaning the 3 Hours of the Ox). There is quite a bit of folklore about this. Worthy of investigating more.

    Reply

  4. Russell
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 01:24:40

    So ushimitsu is ‘3 Hours of the Ox’ – interesting. I really like that idea. I looked into a bit more and found this: http://yamaninjo.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/animals-of-the-clock/ Really interesting. Being a big fan of kaidan and yokai yourself, I’m sure you will find it interesting!

    Reply

  5. russyt
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 01:25:03

    So ushimitsu is ’3 Hours of the Ox’ – interesting. I really like that idea. I looked into a bit more and found this: http://yamaninjo.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/animals-of-the-clock/ Really interesting. Being a big fan of kaidan and yokai yourself, I’m sure you will find it interesting!

    Reply

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