The burning cart from Hell calls for a suicide without mercy


Today, I’m going to talk about a sad tale of the supernatural. The following is a story I heard from my maternal grandmother when I was a school boy, and it was around the end of the Pacific War.

  • sad 悲しい
  • tale of the supernatural 怪談話
  • maternal grandmother 母方の祖母
  • the Pacific War 太平洋戦争

There was a farmhouse near grandmother’s house in which a mother-in law and a young married couple lived. One day, the husband had to leave the house because of conscription, when his wife was pregnant. About half a year after he left home, the wife gave birth to her eldest son. Three months later, a telegraph arrived saying his husband fell in battle.

  • farmhouse 農家
  • mother-in law 姑
  • married couple 夫婦
  • one day ある日
  • because of A Aのために
  • conscription 徴兵
  • pregnant 妊娠した
  • half a year 半年
  • give birth to A Aを産む
  • eldest son 長男
  • telegraph 電信
  • fall in battle 戦死する

According to my grandmother, the wife had been bullied harshly by the mother-in law from the start of the marriage life. The mother – in law may have felt that her son was taken away by his wife. Feeling sorry for the wife, my grandmother would often encourage her secretly.

  • according to A Aによると
  • bully いじめる
  • may have pp 〜したかもしれない
  • take A away Aを奪う
  • feel sorry for A Aを可哀想に思う
  • encourage 励ます
  • secretly 陰で

The wife killed herself three days after receiving the telegraph, leaving her infant behind. Having lost her husband she could only rely on, she gave up hope for the future.

  • kill oneself 自殺する
  • receive 受け取る
  • leave A behind Aを置いて行く
  • rely on A Aに頼る
  • give up hope 絶望する

My grandmother had eight small children then and her youngest child was still an infant. Several days after the wife killed herself, the mother-in law came to her to ask her to give the breast to the baby, saying that if she did so in the morning and evening two times a day, she could have a bowl of rice every day.

  • infant 乳児
  • ask A to~ Aに〜するよう頼む
  • give the breast 乳を飲ます
  • a bowl of A 一杯のA

My grandmother was ready to undertake it because she was running short of food during the war with a lot of children at home and also she was very sorry for the baby. Every time she visited the mother-in law’s house to give the breast to the baby, she heard the baby crying because of hunger at the entrance of the house.

  • be ready to~ 喜んで〜する
  • undertake 引き受ける 
  • run short of A Aが不足する
  • every time S+V SがVする度に
  • hear A ~ing Aが〜しているところを耳にする
  • hunger 飢え
  • entrance 入り口

One evening, she couldn’t hear the cry of the baby. Thinking the baby was unusually sleeping well, she opened the sliding screen of the room where the baby was sleeping silently. When she looked into the room, she saw a figure bending over the baby in a state of sitting, who was looking down at the sleeping baby’s face. The baby looked happy moving its hands and feet, when she found something was wrong. The back view of the figure looked gray and slightly transparent. She recognized the figure. It was the dead wife. When my grandmother came back an hour later, the gray figure was already gone and the baby was crying for milk.

  • one evening ある夕方
  • unusually 珍しく
  • sliding screen 障子
  • silently 静かに
  • figure 人影
  • bend over A Aに身体を傾ける
  • in a state of sitting 座った状態で
  • look down at A Aを上から見る
  • something is wrong 何かがおかしい
  • back view 後ろ姿
  • gray 灰色
  • slightly わずかに
  • transparent 透けて見える
  • recognize 見分ける
  • be gone いなくなる

One morning, sometime later after the incident, my grandmother, looking toward the entrance of the farmhouse unintentionally, caught two ogres covered with fire standing at the back and front of Daihachiguruma(大八車),a large two-wheeled hand-drawn cart,  with a cage burning with blazing fire on it and drawing it toward heaven.

  • incident 出来事
  • unintentionally 何気なく
  • witness 目撃する
  • ogre 鬼
  • be covered with A Aで覆われている
  • burn 燃える
  • blazing fire 真っ赤な炎
  • draw 引く
  • heaven 天

This vehicle composed of fire was sent from Hell. The day she saw it fell just on the 49th day of the wife’s death. Anyone who commits suicide, even a person in poor, pitiful circumstances like the wife, would be taken to Hell in the vehicle without choice. You may feel sorry for such treatment toward her, but to kill your inner god can never be forgiven.

  • vehicle 乗りもの
  • composed of A Aでできている
  • fall on A  Aに当たる
  • commit suicide 自殺を犯す
  • poor 可哀想な
  • pitiful 不憫な
  • circumstances 境遇
  • without choice 否応無く
  • treatment 扱い
  • inner god 内在神
  • forgive 許す

All human beings have to live to the very end, no matter how shamefully they behave.

  • human beings 人間
  • to the very end 最後まで
  • no matter how~ どれくらい〜でも
  • shamefully 不名誉に
  • behave 振る舞う

Pay psychics and religious groups that chisel money out of people in trouble are shutting up and hurting people’s inner god to make them lose confidence.  The vehicle from Hell will surely come to pick them up.

  • pay 有料の
  • psychic 霊能者
  • religious group 宗教団体
  • chisel A out of B AをBからだまし取る
  • in trouble 困った
  • shut up A Aを押し込める
  • hurt 傷つける
  • lose confidence 自信をなくす
  • surely 必ず
  • pick A up Aを乗せる

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.

too tragic to talk about


There was a special TV program last night(August 5, 2007) on survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima(硫黄島). It was more of a hell than I had expected.

  • survivor 生還者
  • battle 戦い
  • more of A よりいっそうのA
  • hell 地獄
  • expect 予期する

In the program, three Japanese men were talking about their memories they had never talked about for the last 60 years with tears in their eyes. They were all more than eighty. It was like although they had never been able to talk about it for the past 50 years after the war, now that 60 years had passed and they became old enough to die anytime, they could barely talk about it. They said that they had been wondering to themselves if they were allowed to die without telling the truth of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

  • memory 思い出
  • tear 涙
  • more than A A以上
  • …enough to~ 〜するくらい十分…
  • anytime いつでも
  • barely かろうじて
  • wonder to oneself 自問自答する
  • be allowed to~ 〜するのを許される
  • truth 真実

Many returnees from other battles in foreign countries have told us about the situations of battlefields in many ways since the end of the World War Ⅱ. But what happened on Iwo Jima was too ghastly to talk about, so no one had never been able to talk about it on TV until recently. In fact there was a hell on Iwo Jima.

  • returnee 帰還者
  • sitiation 状況
  • battlefield 戦場
  • in many ways 多くの方法で
  • the World War Ⅱ 第二次世界大戦
  • ghastly 凄惨な
  • recently 最近
  • in fact 実際

At the last situation of the war, combined with what I heard about it before, the Japanese army ran out of ammunition. To kill American soldiers, Japanese ones hid themselves under the dead bodies of the soldiers at midnight and when the enemies came close, they stood up quickly and killed them with a Japanese sword.

  • combine A with B AをBと組み合わせる
  • army 軍
  • run out of A Aがなくなる
  • ammunition 弾薬
  • soldier 兵士
  • hide oneself 隠れる
  • dead body 死体
  • enemy 敵
  • close 近くに
  • stand up 立ち上げり
  • Japanese sword 日本刀

Those Japanese soldiers were all skins and bones in a tattered military uniform and their skin were hideously burned from head to arm by the attack of flame projectors. They looked like a fierce god whose eyes were shining, so many American soldiers lost their mind for fear. “Hitori-issatsu(一人一殺)”, a strategy of each soldier having to kill at least one enemy went on for a long time.

  • skins and bones ガリガリに痩せている
  • tattered ボロボロの
  • military uniform 軍服
  • be hideously burned ひどいやけどをしている
  • attack 攻撃
  • flame projector 火炎放射器
  • fierce god 鬼神
  • lose one’s mind 気が狂う
  • fear 恐怖
  • strategy 戦略
  • at least 少なくとも
  • go on 続く

Iwo Jima is a tropical island with only soil and rocks and without no forest. No drinking water is available there. It is said that just before dying, humans are all anxious for water, which is called “Shinimizu”(死に水),water that is used to moisten the lips of a dying person. The Japanese soldiers fought the battle after the hard labor of digging tunnels over half a year. I wonder how much they wanted to drink water when they were dying of a wound.

  • tropical 熱帯の
  • island 島
  • soil 土
  • rock 岩
  • exist 存在する
  • drinking water 飲み水
  • available 入手可能な
  • be anxious for A Aが欲しくてたまらない
  • moisten 湿らす
  • labor 労働
  • dig 掘る
  • wonder  〜かしらと思う
  • die of A Aが原因で死ぬ
  • wound 傷

Though the TV program told TV viewers enough of such a hellish situation on Iwo Jima, I hear that a part of the program had been deleted. One of the witnesses said shortly in the program that he had still something he couldn’t tell even to bereaved families. Such a story, if told, wouldn’t be understood by Japanese people living in the modern, peaceful age and the witness himself and his family would be tormented. It might be sealed for good.

  • TV viewer 視聴者
  • delete 削除する
  • bereaved family 遺族
  • modern 現代の
  • peaceful 平和な
  • torment 苦しめる
  • seal 封印する
  • for good 永久に

It has been 60 years since the war was over, but even now there is still a possibility anytime that such a hellish situation beyond description can take place on this planet again and be repeated.

  • It has been A since S+V SがVしてからAが経つ
  • possibility 可能性
  • hellish 地獄のような
  • beyond description 描写できないほどの
  • take place 起こる
  • repeat 繰り返す

Though we can live free in this society, a lot of people commit suicide everyday in the modern, peaceful Japan our ancestors left us at the expense of their lives. When I think of the dead soldiers in the Battle of Iwo Jima, we have to say sorry to them if we don’t live to the very end of life however miserable we are now and however handicapped our bodies are.

  • society 社会
  • commit suicide 自殺する
  • ancestor 先祖
  • at the expense of A Aを犠牲にして
  • to the very end 最後まで
  • however~ どれくらい〜でも
  • miserable 惨めな
  • handicapped 不自由な

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A RI Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.

A sad history of Izumo


When I gave a psychic reading about the main building of Izumo Taisha Shrine(出雲大社), which is said to have been a huge one in ancient times, what I saw in my clairvoyanace power was too cruel to write about. It was a scene where pillars bundled with three large trees were planted in the ground to build the main building of the shrine.

  • ancient times 古代
  • clairvoyanace 霊視
  • too…to~ とても…なので〜することができない
  • scene 場面
  • bundled 束ねられた
  • plant 立てる

Soil was first put on a level, vast ground to make a small, trapezoidal hill more than 70 meters tall. Holes were then dug vertically from the top of the hill, whose diameter was as wide as bundled three big trees. About nine vertical holes were dug in all on the trapezoidal hill, whose depth was more than 70 meters.

  • soil 土
  • level 平らな
  • vast 広大な
  • trapezodial 台形の
  • hill 小山
  • diameter 直径
  • in all 全部で
  • depth 深さ

The problem is when those holes were completed. Poor people like slaves who carried out the construction work were thrown alive into the holes. About 20 people were thrown into each hole, and enough stones to fill up the height of 5 meters were thrown down over them from above. Screams beyond description echoed in the holes.

  • complete 完成する
  • slave 奴隷
  • carry out A Aを行なう
  • construction 工事
  • throw A into B AをBに投げ込む
  • alive 生きている
  • enough A to~ 〜することができるくらい十分なA
  • height 高さ
  • throw down A Aを落とす
  • scream 悲鳴
  • beyond description なんとも言えない
  • echo 響く

And after a while, three big trees were bundled to make one huge pillar as long as 60 meters on the top of the trapezoidal hill. Those pillars were assembled under a lying state and were then put into the holes.

  • after a while しばらくすると
  • assemble 組み立てる
  • under a lying state 寝かせた状態で

9 huge pillars were put in the holes and the main building were built on them. The soil of the hill were removed from the top to the bottom and stairs were attached between the pillars in the state of crossing obliquely. After clearing the hill of all the soil, a huge main building appeared which was more than 50 meters tall. Later this large construction project became a model of Hitobashira (人柱), a practice of burying people alive under pillars of buildings to ensure protection.

  • remove 取り除く
  • stair 階段
  • attach 取り付ける
  • in the state of crossing 筋交い状に
  • obliquely 斜めに
  • clear A of B AからBを取り除く
  • appear 現れる
  • model 原型
  • practice 慣習
  • bury A alive 生き埋めにする
  • ensure 確保する
  • protection 保護

Those people who were forced to carry out the construction were inhabitants who had lived in Kinki(近畿)and Chugoku(中国) regions since ancient times. A certain cruel, powerful clan from Kyushu region, who originally immigrated from abroad, captured only young men living in those regions,  send them to Izumo and made them carry out the construction over and over.

  • be forced to~ 〜するよう強いられる
  • inhabitant 住民
  • region 地方
  • a certain A あるA
  • cruel 残酷な
  • powerful clan 豪族
  • originally 元々は
  • immigrate 移民する
  • capture 捕らえる
  • over and over 繰り返し

In short, the construction was carried out in order to prevent a rebellion, make prisoners worn out and rule them by fear. The extraordinarily tall main building was for repetitive destruction as well to make prisoners work over and over. Yes. Izumo used to be a place of banishment in ancient times. A sad history of Japan was there.

  • in short 要するに
  • in order to~ 〜するために
  • prevent 防ぐ
  • rebellion 謀反
  • prisoner 捕虜
  • worn out 疲れ果てる
  • rule 支配する
  • fear 恐怖
  • extraordinarily 異常に
  • repetitive 繰り返しの
  • destruction 破壊
  •  ~ as well ~も
  • a place of banishment 流刑地
  • sad 悲しい

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

生かして頂いて 有難う御座位ます

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.

spiritual flowers


The following story is when I was an elementary school child. There was a bright red cluster-amaryllis or a spider lily at a vacant lot near my house. The flower looked so beautiful among weeds that I thought I would take it home to please my mother. But when I showed it to her, she told me to put it back where it was because the flower was ominous.

  • the following 次の
  • elementary school child  小学生
  • bright red 真っ赤な
  • cluster-amarylis 彼岸花
  • vacant lot 空き地
  • weed 雑草
  • take A home Aを家に持って行く
  • please 喜ばせる
  • tell A to~ Aに〜するよう言う
  • ominous 不吉な

I thought it was too beautiful to put it back, so I poured water into an empty bottle and put the flower in it and hid it at the corner of the garden of my house. I began to have high fever in the evening of that day. As I , having rarely had a fever before, had a high fever abruptly, my mother asked me if I had really thrown away the flower, thinking something was wrong.

  • put A back Aを返す
  • pour 注ぐ
  • empty 空の
  • bottle 便
  • hide 隠す
  • corner 隅
  • fever 熱
  • rarely めったいに〜ない
  • abruptly 突然
  • throw away A Aを捨てる
  • something is wrong 何かがおかしい

When I told her honestly that I hid the flower, she ordered me to throw it away where I took it. Though I was suffering from fever, I left it where it was by myself. Strange to say, my fever was gone away soon after. There seems to have been a spiritual meaning in throwing it away in person.

  • honestly 正直に
  • order A to~ Aに〜するよう命じる
  • suffer from A A に苦しむ
  • by oneself 一人で
  • strange to say 奇妙なことに
  • go away なくなる
  • soon after その後すぐに
  • there seems to have been A Aがあったように思われる
  • meaning 意味
  • in person 自ら

Now when I think of a cluster-amaryllis, I know that the flower blooms in the Underworld(冥界)where spirits who cannot go to the World of Spirits gather. The flower is red so that it can be seen in the dim light of the Underworld.

  • think of A Aについて考える
  • bloom 咲く
  • the Underworld 冥界
  • the Word of Spirits 霊界
  • gather 集まる
  • so that S+V  SがVするように
  • dim 薄暗い


As God grieves about the spirits who are not taken care of by anyone, God makes them come into being in this world once in a year as cluster-amaryllises, which bloom during the equinoctial week. In my spiritual sight, I see faces of spirits on the petals of the flower. It it sensible that you leave them as they are.

  • grieve 憂う
  • take care of A Aを世話する 
  • come into being 出現する
  • the equinoctical week お彼岸
  • face 顏
  • petal 花びら
  • sensible 賢明な
  • leave A B AをBにしておく
  • as A be そのまま

A tiger lily(鬼百合), which bloom just before the equinoctial week, is also a spiritual one. This flower blooms in the World of Hell. The parts of this flower blooming naturally have been spreading recently. As there is no harm if it blooms in your garden, so just leave it as it is.

  • the World of Hell 地獄界
  • part 地域
  • naturally 自然に
  • spread 広がる
  • recently 最近
  • harm 害

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.

a truth hidden in Taketori Monogatari

IMG_0163 A reader of this blog asked me what I felt spiritually about Taketori Monogatari (竹取物語, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter), one of the oldest classical Japanese stories. It has often been said that it is a story about an alien from the moon and it has been used as material for a science fiction story. According to my psychic reading, however, what I found about it was much more realistic age and phase. Unfortunately, no aliens appeared.

  • classical 古典的な
  • alien 宇宙人
  • material  題材
  • according to A Aによると
  • realistic 現実的な
  • age 時代
  • phase 様相
  • unfortunately 残念ながら
  • appear 現れる

This story is the one for entertainment based on historical facts. What came to my mind first in reading it was bamboo forests. I think it was around Nara Period(奈良時代). In those days, groups of foreign settlers were coming to Japan from China and Korea to make villages in various parts of the Western Japan and settle down there. They brought bamboos with them from the Continent of Asia and planted them around their villages. They had a culture where they used bamboos in their lives.

  • entertainment 娯楽
  • based on A Aに基づいた
  • fact 事実
  • come to one’s mind 思い浮かぶ
  • bamboo forest 竹林
  • in those days 当時は
  • foreign settler 渡来人
  • various 様々な
  • part 地域
  • settle down 定住する
  • the Continent of Asia アジア大陸
  • plant 植える
  • culture 文化

Some areas whose name includes “bamboo” at present or where there used to be an old bamboo forest may have been a place foreign settlers lived a long time ago. The woman who modeled Princess Kaguya, the main character of the story, was an offspring of a clan who escaped overseas from a disturbance of a war on the Korean Peninsula. She is very beautiful with a fair skin and clear-cut features and must have in her genes some blood of a Westerner who traveled along Silk Road a long, long time ago.

  • include 含む
  • at present 現在
  • there used to be A 以前Aがあった
  • may have pp 〜したかもしれない
  • model モデルとなる
  • main character 主人公
  • offspring 子孫
  • clan 一族
  • escape 逃れる
  • a disturbance of a war 戦乱
  • the Korean Peninsula 朝鮮半島
  • fair skin 色白
  • clear-cut feature すっきりとした目鼻立ち
  • gene 遺伝子
  • Westerner 西洋人

This woman was from a royal family who lived on the Korean Peninsula.  The place she lived in Japan was near the present Kyoto(京都) and surrounded by big bamboo forests. When disturbances of wars on the Korean Peninsula was over for a while,  some men, in order for the royal family not to become extinct, came to Japan in search of its offspring and took her back to the Korean Peninsula.

  • royal family 王族
  • surround 囲む
  • in order for A to~ Aが〜するために
  • become extnct 絶える
  • in search of A Aを探して
  • take A back to B AをBに連れ戻す

Crossing the Sea of Japan required desperate efforts and it was like going to the moon for the people. The warriors coming to Japan looking for the offspring were so strong with advanced weapons of the Continent of Asia that Japanese soldiers couldn’t defeat them at all. This incident was described in the story.

  • cross 渡る
  • the Sea of Japan 日本海
  • require 必要とする
  • desperate 必死の
  • effort 努力
  • worrier 武人
  • advanced 進んだ
  • weapon 武器
  • soldier 兵士
  • defeat 打ち負かす
  • not … at all 全く
  • incident 出来事
  • describe 描写する

In Taketori Monogatari, there appears a Mikado(御門), the Emperor of Japan, which seems to have some deep meaning. I don’t know if an emperor often appears in classical Japanese stories, but it seems that the Imperial Family and the clan appearing in Taketori Monogatari had much to do with each other. This is one of the romances of ancient times, isn’t it?

  • the Emperor of Japan 天皇
  • seem to~ 〜するように思われる
  • meaning 意味
  • it seems that S+V SはVするように思われる
  • the Imperial Family 皇室
  • have much to do with A Aと大いに関係がある
  • each other お互い
  • romance ロマン
  • ancient times 大昔

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.