There are many legends in Japan about hitobashira (literally “human pillar") human sacrifices made for erecting a construction. One of them is at the Maruoka castle, one of the 12 surviving Japanese castles.
Legend says that the wall built for the tenshu foundation was many times reconstructed, because it kept falling apart. Then, someone came up with the idea that a human sacrifice should be made to appease the gods, and a poor one-eyed woman named Oshizu, with two children, agreed to be sacrificed with the promise that one of her children will become samurai.
Afterwards the construction was finished, but the lord was transferred to a different province and failed to fulfill his promise. During the next spring, water started to spring from the wall and the people realized that the cause were Oshizu’s tears. And they made next to the castle a small grave to pray for her soul…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: