There are lots of stories about European haunted castles… but Japan makes no exception. So, since today’s Friday 13th, here’s a haunted story about a Japanese castle…
During the second half of the 17th century, Tada Kasuke was the wealthy headman of a village from Matsumoto Domain, but at some point he was dismissed because he was too lenient with the villagers. One day, upon learning about a decision to raise taxes, Tada Kasuke, together with other farmers, wrote a protest letter, sending it to the magistrate at the Matsumoto Castle. Soon, the appeal grew into a full scale riot (known today as the Jōkyō Uprising), so their request was granted by the domain rulers and they even received a document attesting lowered taxes. But, after one month, he and 27 leaders were arrested and executed without any trial…
That was the history… and now begins the legend: Before dying, Tada Kasuke threw a curse upon the rulers of the Matsumoto Domain, the Mizuno family. They soon started experiencing bad luck, and 200 years afterwards, during the end of the Meiji Period, even the Matsumoto Castle began dangerously lean to one side (photo). Then people remembered the course…
The castle was saved at the beginning of the 20th century and today is one of the twelve remaining original castles. And, to appease the soul of Tada Kasuke, the Mizuno family honored him by making a statue and donating it to the shrine where he is revered as a selfless person and a predecessor of human rights movement.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: