This well inside the Himeji castle is famous for an old ghost story, told in the Japanese theaters since the Edo period.
It is said that hundreds of years ago, a girl named Okiku, who was working as a servant for a high ranking samurai, had the bad luck of becoming the target of his amorous advances. Because she refused him, the samurai tricked her to believe that she lost one of the 10 precious plates of the family.
At the time, the penalty for such an error was death. The girl counted the plates many times, but since she couldn’t find the missing plate, she asked for forgiveness. He said that he will forgive her if she agrees to become his lover. Okiku refused again and the samurai, enraged, threw her into this well, thus killing her.
Soon after her death, a voice started to be heard from inside the well, counting from 1 to 9, then beginning again. People realized that this was the spirit of Okiku, desperate to find the missing plate, and an exorcist was brought to pacify her soul…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: