Hyogo, Japan has a large castle in the middle of the city, which is famous for many things, including the supernatural. It has the nickname of White Heron Castle, and it one of the big three in Japan. With over 83 rooms this stunning building is a large tourist attraction, that was built somewhere around 1333-1346.  One of the features is a maze that surrounds the castle in the dense wooding, put in place for defence. It is also said to be a lucky place, spotless and survning riots during the Onin war and during the Meiji restoration it was decided that it should end up in the hands of the government. The army went to try and seize it, the Tadasumi family handed it over despite no shells having went off or damaging it.  When the Han system was abolished the city brought the building back and even though the city was bombed by the USA it managed to remain undamaged. This is now a protected site and a popular place to visit.

Okay so history lesson over, let’s get to the ghost.

Okiku was a servant that worked in on of the four guard towers,  Dungon. Dungon is thought to be the one furthest down the mountain. Okiku’s master was a samurai called Tessan Aoyama who’s wife gathered ten expensive Duth golden plates. Her duties included looking after the plates and Tessan Aoyama was not loyal to his wife, he asked her to be his mistress and that he would leave his wife. Okiku honourably said no.

Aoyama did not like this refusal and hid one of the ten plates, realising a plate was missing she began looking for it. Aoyama told her if she did not become his mistress he would blame her and have her tortured then executed. She decided that life was not worth living and dived into the well in the castle courtyard.  For some reason Aoyama kept the plate hidden and still blamed her.  Every night however she returned as a white and black ghost (think Grudge ghost as a description for looks), she would climb out of the well, walk to the plates and check on them. With there being nine and not ten she would wail unnaturally.

Tessan Aoyama should have put the plate back but he was so convinced he would have the last laugh he eventually went insane, he was kicked out of the castle and ironically this stopped him being assassinated. This is a play that has become very famous throughout Japan.  Reports of her haunting still come in but are less frequent in the modern day.

I kinda like these stories… so be warned you might see more haha!


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