Friday, October 26, 2012

Konaki Jijii, A Yōkai Ripe with Superstition

Today's element is earth, 土.  Today's yōkai is also kind of popular in Japan.  Though perhaps best known from the ever-popular and all-encompassing series, Mizuki Shigeru's GeGeGe no Kitarō, sightings and stories of today's yōkai have been related all throughout the country.  Commonly attributed to Tokushima Prefecture in Shikoku, because of that island's association with the wild, natural locations in which this yōkai is known to dwell, in fact he has been spotted nationwide, and many rural villages have their own superstitions regarding... the Konaki Jijii (子泣き爺).

You are walking through a grove, or near to a field used for farming, on your way to or from whatever it was you're doing.  The wind is strange today, as if some natural disaster is looming on the horizon, and you've been feeling a little dizzy.  Suddenly, you hear an out-of-place sound: a baby crying.  Locating the source of the cries, you're perplexed to find an infant squirming in a patch of moss, soil, vegetables, or fertilizer.  There doesn't seem to be anyone else about, and the baby seems to have been abandoned.  You pick him up and attempt to stop his wailing, and soothe him while you try to figure out who he belongs to and what to do with him.  Then an enormous rock crushes you to death.

Too bad you didn't look closely at the poor infant you were trying to help.  If only you hadn't been feeling so out of sorts from the overpowering smell of composted earth!  But that's exactly why you felt that way, and why the "baby" was nestled into it.  He wanted to throw you off guard.  That's why you didn't notice that he was, in reality, a Konaki Jijii, a little old man with a baby's cry.

As seen in the anime GeGeGe no Kitarō, which recently has attributed to his becoming more famous and, disturbingly, rather popular amongst fans, and his statue on Mizuki Road.

Also, it was no rock that crushed you.  The Konaki Jijii actually clamps onto you so you can't let go, and increases himself in size and weight until you are buried under the enormous burden of this strange yōkai.

A tiny withered old man, who sounds eerily like an infant, and crushes you to death when you pick him up.  He's not particularly terrifying, I suppose, but he is creepy.

Really, really creepy.

No comments:

Post a Comment