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Taken from first-person accounts and historical documents, this book chronicles more than 300 examples of alien encounters, conspiracy theories, and the influence of extraterrestrials on human events throughout history. Investigating claims of visits from otherworldly creatures, aliens living among us, abductions of humans to alien spacecraft, and accounts of interstellar cooperation since the UFO crash in Roswell, this discussion of the theories and mysteries surrounding aliens is packed with thought-provoking stories and shocking revelations of alien involvement in the lives of Earthling
THE TOP TEN MOST HAUNTED SCARIEST PLACES IN JAPAN TO MEET REAL GHOSTS EYE TO EYE
By Lisa Lee Harp Waugh
There are very many real extreme places and haunted locations that come to mind when questioning what is the most haunted scariest places in Japan to find real ghosts hauntings and actaul documented paranormal activity. For centuries ghosts and the spirit world and strange encounters wit the dead and many cryptids and beasts from the underworld. and don't forget bigfoot creatures and dragons and wild men are not unheard of.
Many notable people in the world of paranormal research will state that by populace, the Japnese are a very haunted country. I have loved my many long eyeopening and frightening haunted visits that I have had to Japan in my life. I expect many more real haunted ghost filled adventures real soon.
Yūrei (幽霊?) are figures in Japanese folklore, analogous to Western legends of ghosts. The name consists of two kanji, 幽 (yū), meaning "faint" or "dim" and 霊 (rei), meaning "soul" or "spirit." Alternative names include 亡霊 (Bōrei) meaning ruined or departed spirit, 死霊 (Shiryō) meaning dead spirit, or the more encompassing 妖怪 (Yōkai) or お化け (Obake).
Like their Chinese counterparts which is known as 灵魂 ,also spelled as 靈魂, and Western counterparts, they are thought to be spirits kept from a peaceful afterlife.
Botan Dōrō (牡丹燈籠) is a Japanese ghost story that is both romantic and horrific; it involves sex with the dead and the consequences of loving a ghost.
It is sometimes known as Kaidan Botan Dōrō, based on the kabuki version of the story. Most commonly translated as Tales of the Peony Lantern, it is one of the most famous kaidan in Japan.
Japan (日本, Nihon or Nippon?, officially 日本国Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku) is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, People's Republic of China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters which make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun".
Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands.The four largest islands are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku, together accounting for 97% of Japan's land area. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth-largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.
Archaeological research indicates that people were living on the islands of Japan as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan begins with brief appearances in Chinese history texts from the first century A.D. Influence from the outside world followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. Since adopting its constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament, the Diet.
On my recent trip to Japan by request I found that many places are more haunted then those there might want to believe. Here are my Top Ten Favorite Most Haunted Locations places that I visited while in Japan.
Real Ghost Hauntings and Paranormal Activity Japan
In Modern Japan folklore, the witching hour is the time when supernatural creatures such as spirits, vampires, witches, were animals, demons and evil ghosts and ghoulish eneties are thought to be at their most powerful, and use of ritual black magic spells and hexes are at its most effective point. Some old tales in the out back refer to it as dream time. (Not to be confused with Dreamtime.) In Australian Aboriginal mythology, The Dreaming or Altjeringa (also called the Dreamtime) is a sacred 'once upon a time' in which ancestral Totemic Spirit Beings formed The Creation.
This hour is typically in European Folklore to be the hour of midnight, and the term may now be used to refer to midnight, or any late hour, even without having the associated superstitious beliefs. Australian Witches often will tell you that though many believe that spells for love should be practiced at #am only and should not be practiced at any other then this time of day.
The term "witching hour" or "The Ghost Haunting Hour" or simply "The Ghosts Hour" can also refer to the period from midnight to 3am, while "devils hour" refers to the time around 3am AU. This the satanic inversion of 3 P.M., the hour that is claimed to be when Jesus Christ the Nazarene died on the cross on Golgatha. And in an anti- damnation to God.
In the movie, Paranormal Activity (film), a demon would typically haunt and disturb the couple between midnight to 3am. 3am is usually considered as Devil's Hour. This is because he, (The Devil) is then set free and his power is great for it is the darkest of the night when heavens light is hidden from the world for 1 hour.
According to traditional Japanese beliefs, all humans have a spirit or soul called a 霊魂 (reikon). When a person dies, the reikon leaves the body and enters a form of purgatory, where it waits for the proper funeral and post-funeral rites to be performed, so that it may join its ancestors. If this is done correctly, the reikon is believed to be a protector of the living family and to return yearly in August during the Obon Festival to receive thanks.
However, if the person dies in a sudden or violent manner such as murder or suicide, if the proper rites have not been performed, or if they are influenced by powerful emotions such as a desire for revenge, love, jealousy, hatred or sorrow, the reikon is thought to transform into a yūrei, which can then bridge the gap back to the physical world.
The yūrei then exists on Earth until it can be laid to rest, either by performing the missing rituals, or resolving the emotional conflict that still ties it to the physical plane. If the rituals are not completed or the conflict left unresolved, the yūrei will persist in its haunting.
In the late 17th century, a game called Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai became popular, and kaidan increasingly became a subject for theater, literature and other arts. At this time, they began to gain certain attributes to distinguish themselves from living humans, making it easier to spot yūrei characters.
Ukiyo-e artist Maruyama Ōkyo created the first known example of the now-traditional yūrei, in his painting The Ghost of Oyuki.
Today, the appearance of yūrei is somewhat uniform, instantly signalling the ghostly nature of the figure, and assuring that it is culturally authentic.
White clothing - Yūrei are usually dressed in white, signifying the white burial kimono used in Edo period funeral rituals. In Shinto, white is a color of ritual purity, traditionally reserved for priests and the dead. This kimono can either be a katabira (a plain, white, unlined kimono) or a kyokatabira (a white katabira inscribed with Buddhist sutras). They sometimes have a hitaikakushi (lit., "forehead cover"), which is a small white triangular piece of cloth tied around the head.
Black hair - Hair for a yūrei is often long, black and disheveled, which some believe to be a trademark carried over from Kabuki Theater, where wigs are used for all actors. However, this is a misconception. Japanese women traditionally grew their hair long and wore it pinned up, and it was let down for the funeral and burial.
Hands and feet - A yūrei's hands dangle lifelessly from the wrists, which are held outstretched with the elbows near the body. They typically lack legs and feet, floating in the air. These features originated in Edo period ukiyo-e prints, but were quickly copied over to kabuki. In kabuki, this lack of legs and feet is often represented by the use of a very long kimono, or even hoisting the actor into the air by a series of ropes and pulleys.
Hitodama - Yūrei are frequently depicted as being accompanied by a pair of floating flames or will o' the wisps (Hitodama in Japanese) in eerie colors such as blue, green, or purple. These ghostly flames are separate parts of the ghost rather than independent spirits.
While all Japanese ghosts are called yūrei, within that category there are several specific types of phantom, classified mainly by the manner they died or their reason for returning to Earth.
Onryō - Vengeful ghosts who come back from purgatory for a wrong done to them during their lifetime.
Ubume - A mother ghost who died in childbirth, or died leaving young children behind. This yūrei returns to care for her children, often bringing them sweets.
Goryō - Vengeful ghosts of the aristocratic class, especially those who were martyred.
Funayūrei - The ghosts of those who perished at sea.
Zashiki-warashi - The ghosts of children, often mischievous rather than dangerous.
Samurai Ghosts - Veterans of the Genpei War who fell in battle. Warrior Ghosts almost exclusively appear in Noh Theater.
Seductress Ghosts - The ghost of a woman or man who initiates a post-death love affair with a living human.
There are two types of ghosts specific to Buddhism, both being examples of unfullfilled earthly hungers being carried on after death. They are different from other classifications of yūrei due to their wholly religious nature.
In Japanese folklore, not only the dead are able to manifest their reikon for a haunting. Living creatures possessed by extraordinary jealousy or rage can release their spirit as an ikiryō 生き霊, a living ghost that can enact its will while still alive.
The most famous example of an ikiryo is Rokujo no Miyasundokoro, from the novel The Tale of Genji.
Yūrei often fall under the general umbrella term of obake, derived from the verb bakeru, meaning "to change"; thus obake are preternatural beings who have undergone some sort of change, from the natural realm to the supernatural.
However, Kunio Yanagita, one of Japan's earliest and foremost folklorists, made a clear distinction between yūrei and obake in his seminal "Yokaidangi (Lectures on Monsters)." He claimed that yūrei haunt a particular person, while obake haunt a particular place.
When looking at typical kaidan, this does not appear to be true. Yūrei such as Okiku haunt a particular place -in Okiku's case, the well where she died-, and continue to do so long after the person who killed them has died.
Yūrei do not wander at random, but generally stay near a specific location, such as where they were killed or where their body lies, or follow a specific person, such as their murderer, or a beloved. They usually appear between 2 and 3 a.m, the witching hour for Japan, when the veils between the world of the dead and the world of the living are at their thinnest.
Yūrei will continue to haunt that particular person or place until their purpose is fulfilled, and they can move on to the afterlife. However, some particularly strong yūrei, specifically onryō who are consumed by vengeance, continue to haunt long after their killers have been brought to justice.
Some famous locations that are said to be haunted by yūrei are the well of Himeji Castle, haunted by the ghost of Okiku, and Aokigahara, the forest at the bottom of Mt. Fuji, which is a popular location for suicide. A particularly powerful onryō, Oiwa, is said to be able to bring vengeance on any actress portraying her part in a theater or film adaptation.
The easiest way to exorcise a yūrei is to help it fulfill its purpose. When the reason for the strong emotion binding the spirit to Earth is gone, the yūrei is satisfied and can move on. Traditionally, this is accomplished by family members enacting revenge upon the yūrei's slayer, or when the ghost consummates its passion/love with its intended lover, or when its remains are discovered and given a proper burial with all rites performed.
The emotions of the onryō are particularly strong, and they are the least likely to be pacified by these methods.
On occasion, Buddhist priests and mountain ascetics were hired to perform services on those whose unusual or unfortunate deaths could result in their transition into a vengeful ghost, a practice similar to exorcism. Sometimes these ghosts would be deified in order to placate their spirits.
Like many monsters of Japanese folklore, malicious yūrei are repelled by ofuda (御札?), holy Shinto writings containing the name of a kami. The ofuda must generally be placed on the yūrei's forehead to banish the spirit, although they can be attached to a house's entry ways to prevent the yūrei from entering.
THE TOP TEN MOST HAUNTED SCARIEST PLACES IN JAPAN WHERE YOU MIGHT JUST ENCOUNTER A REAL GHOSTS OR PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
1. Aokigahara Forest, Japan
"THE MOST HAUNTED FOREST AND HOT SPOT IN THE ASIAN WORLD!"
By Lisa Lee Harp Waugh
I recently retured from an extended trip to the Orient. I visited many haunted locations that locals and paranomal investigators often fear to tread. During a recent tour of Austraila I was asked to come to Japan to investigate and see if I could actually comunicate with spirits and ghost that did not speak the same lanugae as I did. The results actually have me quite perplexed in giving concrete answers to this day.
Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), also known as the Sea of Trees (樹海, Jukai), is a forest that lies at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The caverns found in this forest are rocky and ice-covered annually. It has been claimed by local residents and visitors that the woods are host to a great amount of paranormal phenomena. It is an old ancient forest reportedly haunted by many urban historical legends of strange beasts, monsters, ghosts, and goblins, which add to its serious and sinister reputation.
Some in the world will tell you it is one of the actual seven gates to hell! The location is said to haunted by demons as well as ghosts. These demons or those that make you take your life. I found these forest to be very disturbing and in my mind what a hideous place of beauty for a infernal hole to hell to be in.
Below is the video of the actual research for a Swedish documentary about Aokigahara Jukai, a forest near Mt Fuji in Japan. The forest is famous for being a place where people choose to commit suicide. With english subtitles.
I did feel strange from the second I was asked by my new friend in Australia to explore and investigate the actual death haunted forest with them. I did not know much about it, only what I had read on the internet. But that feeling was deep in me for something kept telling me that strange things were in store for me when we got there.
There are so many suicide’s in the dark mountain forest that I counted over 50 or more signs that have been put up for this specific purpose, asking distraught suicidal people to seek out immediate help and not kill themselves. My guide was very frightened and would often cover their eyes in fear of seeing a real ghost.
"The perfect place to die." That's how Aokigahara was described in Wataru Tsurumui's bestselling book The Complete Manual of Suicide. A dense, dark forest bordering Mt. Fuji, Aokigahara is infamous throughout Japan as a popular spot for those taking their final journey.
Reportedly the world’s second most popular suicide location after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, due in some part to the novel Kuroi Jukai (Black Forest), which ends with the lovers of the novel committing suicide in the forest. Since the 1950s, more than 500 people have lost their lives in the forest, mostly suicides, with approximately 30 suicides counted yearly.
The forest floor consists primarily of volcanic rock and is difficult to penetrate with hand tools such as picks or shovels. There are also a variety of unofficial trails that are used semi-regularly for the annual "body hunt" done by local volunteers, who mark their search areas with plastic tape. The plastic tape is never removed, so a great deal of it litters the first kilometer of the forest, past the designated trails leading to and from known tourist attractions such as the Ice Cave and Wind Cave. After the first kilometer into Aokigahara towards Mount Fuji, the forest is in a much more pristine state, with little to no litter and few obvious signs of human contact. On some occasions human remains can be found in the distant reaches of the forest, but these are usually several years old and consist of scattered bones and incomplete skeletons, suggesting the presence of scavenging animals.
Ghost encounters of the wandering dead are said to be often encountered more then just frequently as well as many ghost photos and EVP's. My personal lack of being able to speak Japanese did not stop many spooks and specters from coming in contact with me.
Many also will tell you to look at the trees carefully because you can see the actual faces and images of the cursed dead in the bark. The photo below has a few strange images in it so I went to investigate it closer. That's when my head began to whirl. I actually blacked out.
Something strange happened to me in the shadows beneath the great Mount Fuji. Something that frightened me deep to my core, and made me think twice about searching for anything living or dead, or something else in this strange very haunted Dark Japanese forest.
A very popular myth also states that the magnetic iron deposits underground cause compasses to malfunction and travelers to get lost in the forest never to be found again. However this myth is largely false. Japan's Self Defense Force and the US Military regularly run training practices through portions of the forest, during which military grade many lensatic compasses have been verified to function properly. Vehicles, GPS equipment, and other electronic devices function properly also.
Some locals do call it the woods of death or even the actual dead's living hell. No one but the bored and the curious seem to be attracted to the area. I was really prepared for this investigation but thought at the time what a freak show the people near by must have thought as they saw me hug a tree.
My interpreter guide Mimi was very helpful in explaining to us carefully that; The actual entire forest is also a popular place for suicides, reportedly the world’s third most popular suicide location after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge , and (before the installation of the Luminous Veil) Toronto's Bloor Street Viaduct, due in some part to the novel Kuroi Jukai (黒い樹海, lit. Black Sea of Trees), which ends with the lovers of the novel committing suicide in the forest. Since the 1950s, more than 500 people have lost their lives in the forest, mostly suicides, with approximately 30 suicides counted yearly. In 2002, 78 bodies were found within the forest, replacing the previous record of 73 in 1998. The high rate of suicide has led officials to place signs in the forest, urging those who have gone there to commit suicide to seek help and not kill themselves. The annual search, consisting of a small army of police, volunteers and attendant journalists, began in 1970.
I'm glad I had Mimi our local guide with us to tell me these important things, because I do not speak read or understand any Japanese what so ever.
Then it happened! I came upon a thing!
The above photo of me is a ghost image of when I was actually taken, when my body became possessed by one of the many ghost that haunts this tangled forest of death. Those with me a group of 10 people said I spoke beautiful Japanese and my face changes to take on that of the dead mans ghost who took over my body.
He went on to tell them how he had hung himself from this very tree that I am standing by in the photo. The man inside me told them of how he had died and that his hanging was actually botched and he died from starvation and lack of water over a 5 day period until someone came along deep in the woods and found his lifeless corpse.
He went on to say that he would kill himself again if he had to do it over again but would use another method so he would not suffer as he did. He also spoke of the many real ghost that came to watch him die.
His reasons for suicide as he spoke to them in a perfect dialect from the area of Fujikawaguchiko they say was flawless. He told of how his wife had left him to move to another nearby town with another man. And how she disgraced him and his family.
Typically most suicides are men, with over 71% of suicides in 2007 being male. The rate among the over-60 population is also high, but people in their thirties are most likely to commit suicide. Suicide is the leading cause of death for people under 30 in Japan.
I was very weak as the ghost left my body and I fell to the ground shaken by this to my very soul. I was not aware that I was fully taken over. I must tell you all here and now this is the first time something like this ever occurred to me in my life.
They said to look at my ripped clothes from where I tried to tear at my own skin. Four of those present said they had to hold me down to stop me from running away or hurting myself or them.
Railroad tracks are also a common place for suicide in Japan, and the Chūō Rapid Line is particularly known for a high number. And the next day that was our destination.
Aside from those intending to die there, the dense forest and rugged inaccessibility has attracted thrill seekers. Many of these hikers mark their routes by leaving colored plastic tapes behind, causing concerns from prefectural officials for the ecosystem of the forest.
Below is the actual ghost photo I took as we entered the forbidden forest of death. Whether it is a trick of the light or my camera on the fritz I am not sure but the image was the last "I took because my batteries were totally dead at that point."
In 2004, a movie about the forest was released, called Jyukai — The Sea of Trees Behind Mt. Fuji (樹の海, lit. Sea of Trees?), by the director Takimoto Tomoyuki. It told the story of four people who decided to end their lives in the forest of Aokigahara. While scouting for shooting locations, Takimoto told reporters that he found a wallet containing 370,000 yen (roughly $3,760 USD), giving rise to the popular rumor that Aokigahara is a treasure trove for scavengers. Others have claimed to have found credit cards, rail passes, and driver's licenses.
Suicide in Japan is considered to be a major problem nationally. Causes of suicide include unemployment (due to the economic recession in the 1990s), depression, and social pressures. Japan has one of the world's highest suicide rates, especially amongst industrialized nations, and the Japanese government says the rate for 2006 is ninth highest in the world. In 2007, the number of suicides exceeded 30,000 for the tenth straight year. - Since 2008, the economic situation worsened in Japan due to the global financial crisis, and this has pushed the suicide rate in Japan even higher. The industries are becoming smaller which is causing higher unemployment. This in turn leads to the Japanese husbands being at home much more and this is causing domestic problems because it has been the traditional role of the Japanese women to be in the home. This situation has been the cause of some marriage breakdown, even divorce. Being unable to cope with these stresses, the Japanese men have turned to suicide.
The rapid increase in suicides since the 1990s has raised concerns, with 1998 having a 34.7% increase over the previous year.
Also, suicide of the youth in Japan is becoming more serious in recent years. The financial crisis has impacted also on the Japanese youth, and they see that there are few possibilities of work. A number of youth in Japan cannot see any improvement for themselves in the near future and because of this they are turning to suicide.
Common methods of suicide are jumping in front of trains, leaping off high places, hanging, or overdosing on medication. Rail companies will charge the families of those who commit suicide a fee depending on the severity of disrupted traffic.
A newer method, gaining in popularity partly to publicity from Internet suicide web sites, is to use household products to make the poisonous gas hydrogen sulfide. In 2007, only 29 suicides used this gas, but in a span from January to September 2008, 867 suicides resulted from gas poisoning.
2. Himeji Castle
"The Most Haunted Castle In Japan And The World"
Himeji Castle (姫路城, Himeji-jō?) is a flatland-mountain Japanese castle complex located in Himeji in Hyōgo Prefecture and comprising 83 wooden buildings. It is occasionally known as Hakurojō or Shirasagijō ("White Heron Castle") because of its brilliant white exterior.
It was registered as the first Japanese National Cultural Treasure by UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Japanese National Cultural Treasure in December, 1993. Along with Matsumoto Castle and Kumamoto Castle, it is one of Japan's "Three Famous Castles", and is the most visited castle in Japan.
The castle's earliest origins are in the early fourteenth century, but it is in the seventeenth century, at a time when the local Shogun government commissioned the tower to be built to its five-story height, that this story is set. At the foot of the tower, known as the Donjon, and located next to the Hara-kiri Maru (the Suicide Gate), where people were forced to commit ritual disembowelment stands the castle well. Its proximity to the gate is no mere coincidence; it was not a source of drinking water, but a means of washing away the blood of a hara-kiri suicide. Today it is known as Okiku's Well.
Okiku was a beautiful woman who worked at the castle and was the favorite servant of a great lord. Her devotion to him ran deep and she harbored a secret desire to be loved by him. Her tragedy began when she overheard one of her lord's chief retainers plotting to overthrow and kill the lord of Himeji and usurp the castle. Horrified, she revealed the plot to kill the lord instantly. Although her fast action had saved the lord's life, the chief retainer had escaped and learned of Okiku's role in averting the assassination. He was determined to take his revenge.
Part of Okiku's duties was the care of ten precious plates, a collection particularly treasured by the lord. Beautifully gilded and of incalculable worth, it was a great honor for Okiku to be given the sole care and responsibility for this collection. The retainer managed to steal one of the plates, thereby raising a suspicion that Okiku had stolen it. She was tried for the crime and found guilty. To add to her misery, the lord she had loved and whose life she had saved granted permission for the traitorous retainer to torture Okiku to death in a series of horrific, sexually degrading acts. Finally Okiku's dead body was thrown into the well.
The betrayal, heartbreak, and humiliation of Okiku's death ensured that her soul could find no peaceful repose. Her yurrei began to haunt the well into which her mutilated body had been thrown. In the early hours of every morning (the classic time for yurrei hauntings is between 2 A.M. and 3 A.M.), her voice would wake the lord from his sleep in the Donjon, as she counted the precious plates from one to nine, breaking into unearthly, ear piercing screaming and wailing before she reached ten. This nightly torture ultimately resulted in the complete breakdown of the lord's mental health, who had soon discovered Okiku's innocence and knew her death had been wrongful.
The story of Okiku's Well is a key story in Japanese culture, where it is now known as Banshu Sarayashiki and has been the subject of many variations in theater and literature. But at Himeji Castle, there are still those who say they have heard Okiku's howls in the still quiet hours of the early morning. The brutality of her murder and the profound sense of betrayal she felt are still so strong that she remains imprisoned by her own earthly emotions, her soul unable to find peace.
Himeji serves as an excellent example of the prototypical Japanese castle, containing many of the defensive and architectural features most associated with Japanese castles. The tall stone foundations, whitewashed walls, and layout of the buildings within the complex are standard elements of any Japanese castle, and the site also features many other examples of typical castle design, including gun emplacements and stone-dropping holes.
One of Himeji's most important defensive elements, and perhaps its most famous, is the confusing maze of paths leading to the main keep. The gates, baileys, and outer walls of the complex are organized so as to cause an approaching force to travel in a spiral pattern around the castle on their way into the keep, facing many dead ends. This allowed the intruders to be watched and fired upon from the keep during their entire approach. However, Himeji was never attacked in this manner, and so the system remains untested.
Himeji Castle was originally built in 1346. At this time, it was called Himeyama Castle. In 1331, Akamatsu Sadanori planned a castle at the base of Mount Himeji, where Akamatsu Norimura had constructed the temple of Shomyoji. After Akamatsu fell during the Kakitsu War, Yamana clan briefly took over planning of the castle; the Akamatsu family took over again following the Ōnin War.
In 1580, Toyotomi Hideyoshi took control of the badly damaged castle, and Kuroda Yoshitaka built a three-story tower. Following the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu granted Himeji Castle to Ikeda Terumasa who embarked on a nine-year expansion project that brought the castle roughly to its current form. "Only the east gate of one section of the second bailey" survived from the earlier period.The current keep dates from 1601, and the last major addition, the Western Circle, was completed in 1618.
Himeji was one of the last holdouts of the tozama daimyō at the end of the Edo period. It was held by the descendants of Sakai Tadasumi until the Meiji Restoration. In 1868, the new Japanese government sent the Okayama army, under the command of a descendant of Ikeda Terumasa, to shell the castle with blank cartridges and drive its occupiers out.
When the han system was abolished in 1871, Himeji Castle was sold at auction. Its final price was 23 Japanese Yen (in those days, approximately 100,000 yen at today's rates) and in public funds. Himeji was bombed twice in 1945, at the end of World War II. Although most of the surrounding area was burned to the ground, the castle survived almost entirely unscathed, with one firebomb dropped on the top floor of the castle miraculously unexploded. Castle restoration efforts began in 1956.
"The Most Haunted Place In Japan"
The actual site of Atomic Bomb Dome, the nuclear bomb blast that ended World War II. Is thought to be a very ahunted hotspot with what many claim is the residual hauntings and auditory phenomenon have been reported here and sensitive visitors have reported hearing cries and screams. This is what many refer to as Ghost Hunters ghost hunting Ground Zero!
Many actual electronic voice phenomena (EVP) happen here, but be respectful, as always when collecting them. One famous EVP is said to be of the actual sound of the bomb exploding.
is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshū, the largest island of Japan. It became the first city in history assaulted by nuclear armament when the United States of America dropped an atomic bomb on it on August 6, 1945, near the culmination of World War II. Hiroshima gained municipality status on April 1, 1889, and was designated on April 1, 1980, by government ordinance. The city's current mayor is Tadatoshi Akiba.During World War II, the Second Army and Chugoku Regional Army were headquartered in Hiroshima, and the Army Marine Headquarters was located at Ujina port. The city also had large depots of military supplies, and was a key center for shipping.
The bombing of Tokyo and other cities in Japan during World War II caused widespread destruction and hundreds of thousands of deaths, nearly all civilians. For example, Toyama, an urban area of 128,000, was nearly fully destroyed, and incendiary attacks on Tokyo are credited with claiming 90,000 lives. There were no such air raids in Hiroshima. However, the threat was certainly there and to protect against potential firebombings in Hiroshima, students were mobilized to demolish houses and create firebreaks.
On Monday, August 6, 1945, at 8:15 AM, the nuclear bomb 'Little Boy' was dropped on Hiroshima by an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay,directly killing an estimated 80,000 people. By the end of the year, injury and radiation brought total casualties to 90,000-140,000. Approximately 69% of the city's buildings were completely destroyed, and about 7% severely damaged.
Research about the effects of the attack was restricted during the occupation of Japan, and information censored until the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, restoring control to the Japanese.
Much has been written in news reports, novels, and popular culture about Hiroshima in the years after the bombing. And many keep private secrets of the ghost that encounter on daily basis.
4. Okinawa Prefecture
Okinawa Prefecture (沖縄県, Okinawa-ken?, Okinawan: Uchinaa) is one of Japan's southern prefectures, and consists of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over 1,000 km long, which extends southwest from Kyūshū (the southwesternmost of Japan's main four islands) to Taiwan. Okinawa's capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of the largest and most populous island, Okinawa Island, which is approximately half-way between Kyūshū and Taiwan. The disputed Senkaku Islands (Mandarin: Diaoyu Islands) are also administered as part of Okinawa Prefecture at present.
Many old and new ghost stories happen here all the time with a history of ghosts often coming to call on the living to take them to the other side. Camp Hanson is said to be a very haunted hotspot and many ghost photos happen her daily. Many ghosts from WWII and from ancient times are said to roam this land. Some often hear the loud sounds of heavey footsteps in in there homes, and encounter often a shadowy figure standing over them.
The oldest evidence of human existence in the Ryukyu islands was discovered in Naha and Yaese. Some human bone fragments from the Paleolithic era were unearthed, but there is no clear evidence of Paleolithic remains. Japanese Jōmon influences are dominant in the Okinawa Islands, although clay vessels in the Sakishima Islands have a commonality with those in Taiwan. Many say they were led to this discovery by a ghosts.
The first mention of the word Ryukyu was written in the Book of Sui. This Ryukyu might refer to Taiwan, not the Ryukyu islands.Okinawa was the Japanese word depicting the islands, first seen in the biography of Jianzhen, written in 779. Agricultural societies begun in the 8th century slowly developed until the 12th century. Since the islands are located in the center of the East China Sea relatively close to Japan, China and South-East Asia, the Ryūkyū Kingdom became a prosperous trading nation. Also during this period, many Gusukus, similar to castles, were constructed. The Ryūkyū Kingdom had a tributary relationship with the Chinese Empire beginning in the 15th century.
In 1609 the Satsuma clan, which controlled the region that is now Kagoshima Prefecture, invaded the Ryūkyū Kingdom. Following the invasion the Ryūkyū Kingdom surrendered to the Satsuma and was forced to form a tributary relationship with Satsuma and the Tokugawa shogunate, in addition to its previous relationship with China. Ryukyuan sovereignty was maintained since complete annexation would create a problem with China. The Satsuma clan earned considerable profits from trades with China during a period in which foreign trade was heavily restricted by the shogunate. And it is ghosts from this time and those that died seeking vengence on the family lines that destroyed them. that is what many locals believe.
Though Satsuma maintained strong influence over the islands, the Ryūkyū Kingdom maintained a considerable degree of domestic political freedom for over two hundred years. Four years after the 1868 Meiji Restoration, the Japanese government, through military incursions, officially annexed the kingdom and renamed it Ryukyu han. At the time, the Qing Dynasty of China asserted sovereignty over the islands of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, since the Ryūkyū Kingdom was also a tributary nation of China. Ryukyu han became Okinawa Prefecture of Japan in 1879, even though all other hans had become prefectures of Japan in 1872.
Following the Battle of Okinawa and the end of World War II in 1945, Okinawa was under United States administration for 27 years. During the trusteeship rule the USAF established numerous military bases on the Ryukyu islands.
In 1972, the U.S. government returned the islands to Japanese administration. Under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, the United States Forces Japan (USFJ) have maintained a large military presence. 27,000 personnel, including 15,000 Marines, contingents from the Navy, Army and Air Force, and their 22,000 family members are stationed in Okinawa. 18% of the main island was occupied by U.S. military bases and 75% of all USFJ bases are located in Okinawa prefecture.
Accidents and crimes committed by U.S. servicemen have reduced local citizens' support for the U.S. military bases. The Japanese and the US government consider the mutual security treaty and the USFJ absolutely necessary. The rape of a 12 year old girl by U.S. servicemen in 1995 triggered large protests in Okinawa. As a result, both the U.S. and Japanese governments agreed to the relocation of the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and other minor bases. However, at present, the closure of the bases has been indefinitely postponed. These disagreements also contribute to the relatively recent anti-Japanese sentiment and ensuing Ryukyu independence movement.
Tokyo is a city full of many things…. but the ghosts of Japanese samurai? Over the centuries, much blood has been shed in the Tokyo region, and some believe that angry spirits still wander the streets today. Perhaps the most famous ghost is that of Taira no Masakado (903-940AD), a man considered to be Japan's very first samurai.
A minor but successful warlord, Masakado chafed against the yoke of the Imperial government of Kyoto, establishing an independent kingdom in the Kanto region and proclaiming himself the 'new Emperor of all Japan.' In response, the existing government -- run, of course, by the 'old' Emperor -- quickly placed a bounty on the warrior's head.
Within two months Masakado was dead, felled by an arrow between the eyes during a ferocious battle in what is now Saitama prefecture. His decapitated head was brought to Kyoto for a public showing.
Dead head goes on tour
According to legend, the gruesome spectacle didn't last long. Infuriated at the insult of being removed from its body, Masakado's headtook to the skies over Kyoto, returning to the Kanto region in a frantic quest for its missing body. Desperate to make itself whole and fight another day, the head of the Japanese samurai searched far and wide to no avail.
Finally, spent by the fruitless efforts, the severed head crashed from the sky and came to rest on a plot of land known forever after as Masakado no Kubizuka -- 'The Hill of Masakado's Head.' Terrified villagers washed the head, buried it and erected a memorial stone to appease its fury.
Fast-forward 1,000 years, and the tiny fishing village in which Masakado's head long slumbered has grown into a metropolis: Tokyo. In a testament to its perceived power, Masakado's ancient shrine occupies some of the choicest real estate in the city, surrounded by gleaming modern skyscrapers a five-minute walk from the Imperial Palace.
But even a millennium later, Masakado's reputation lives on. Government leaders have tried to move it from its spot in Otemachi, only to fail each time. In the midst of one of the world’s most technologically advanced cities, this otherwise unassuming plot of land is considered untouchable because of Masakado's thousand-year-old curse.
The Minister's brush with the sinister
When the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 destroyed much of the city, Tokyo's Ministry of Finance took the opportunity to level the Hill of Masakado's Head, filling in the pond where his Japanese samurai's head was supposedly washed and erecting a temporary office building on the spot. Within two years, the Minister of Finance and some 14 other employees had perished, felled by accidents, illnesses and other misfortunes.
In the meantime, a spate of inexplicable injuries broke out among the other employees, many to the feet and legs. Mounting fear of treading upon the cursed ground led officials to raze the building and rebuild the hill after holding a Shinto ritual to ease the angry spirit. Thereafter, the government held a small servicein its honor every year, until the outbreak of World War II, which drew the government's attention to other things, and the ceremonies eventually lapsed.
In 1940, a bolt of lightning struck the Ministry of Finance, touching off a fire that destroyed much of the structure adjacent to Masakado's hill. It being the thousand-year anniversary of the warlord's death, the Minister of Finance sponsored an extravagant ceremony to appease his angry soul once again, erecting a stone memorial that stands on the site to this very day.
Masakado from the war to today
Masakado's story doesn't end there. When the American occupying forces took control of Japan after the war, they tried to raze the shrine to build a motor pool for American military vehicles. During the course of trying to level it, a bulldozer flipped over, killing the driver. A string of other accidents combined with pleas from local officials convinced the Americans to cancel the project, giving Japanese samurai Masakado his peace and quiet once again.
All of which begs a question: with all of this talk about his head, whatever happened to Masakado’s body? According to one legend, it went running around to look for its head!
It is believed to have fallen on the site of what is now Kanda Myojin Shrine, located in present-day Otemachi. Masakado may have been a traitor to Kyoto, but he was a hero to Tokyo, and to this very day, Masakado's body stands watch over the city of Tokyo. The Kanda-Myojin Matsuri festival is held downtown every May in his honor. Drop by if you'd like to make the acquaintance of Japan's first samurai!
If You Want to Visit Masakado's Shrine
The closest station is Otemachi (Tokyo Metro). Take exit C5 and head towards the Mitsui Bussan building. The shrine is right next to it, accessible by a small flight of stairs that are marked with banners. Closest address: Otemachi 1-2-1, Chiyoda-ku.
Amiidaji (Temple of Amida) in Dan-no-ura, in the Shimonoseki Strait, is the location of a legendary haunting. It is said that the blind Biwa hōshi Hoichi, a resident of the temple, was visited every night by the ghost of a dead samurai and made to play the biwa in the cemetery, but the priest of the temple soon found out and had the heart sutra painted on every part of Hoichi's body apart from the ears. When the samurai returned one night to take Hoichi to the cemetery, he could only see Hoichi's ears, so he took them instead and Hoichi was left earless. Hoichi is commonly known as "Mimi-Nashi Hoichi", "Hōichi the Earless", due to this event. This legend was famously retold by Lafcadio Hearn in his Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things which was later adapted as part of Masaki Kobayashi's film Kwaidan.
According to legend, Hoichi was a blind minstrel (or biwa hoshi) with amazing gifts for the biwa (a loquat-shaped Japanese lute). He was particularly good at performing the Tale of the Heike, an epic describing the fall of Emperor Antoku, who is buried at Amidaji Temple. His performances were so wonderful that "even the goblins could not refrain from tears." Despite his talents, Hoichi was very poor and was forced to live at Amidaji Temple with a friendly priest.
As the story goes, Hoichi was approached late one night by a gruff samurai who demanded that the minstrel play for his lord. The retainer led the blind Hoichi into what appeared to be the home of some powerful nobleman, where a performance of the Tale of the Heike was requested. Hoichi's performance was met by high praise and moved his audience to tears, and he was asked to return the next evening for a follow-up recital. Before the retainer returned him to his temple, Hoichi was told that the nobleman for whom he had been playing was traveling incognito, and was warned not to speak of the evening's events.
The following evening, the samurai returned to Hoichi's quarters and led him back to the nobleman. However, this time Hoichi's absence was discovered by his friend, the priest of Amidaji Temple. The priest grew suspicious and instructed his servants to look after Hoichi the next night. When they saw him leaving the temple the servants gave chase and eventually found Hoichi playing his biwa furiously in the middle of the Amidaji cemetery. When they dragged him back to the temple, Hoichi explained the previous night's events to the priest.
Realizing that Hoichi had been bewitched by ghosts, the priest vowed to save his friend from further trickery. He painted Hoichi's body with the kanji characters of the Heart Sutra for protection and instructed him to remain silent and motionless when he is called upon by his ghostly audience. That evening the samurai called for Hoichi as before, and was angered when he received no response. The ghostly samurai approached Hoichi but was unable to see anything but his ears. The sutra had rendered the rest of Hoichi's body invisible. Attempting to comply with his orders, the samurai ripped Hoichi's ears off as proof that they had been the only portion of the lute player that was available.
After the ghostly retainer had left, Hoichi was still too frightened to react, despite the blood gushing from the wounds on his head. When the priest returned, he realized in dismay that he had neglected to write the sutra on Hoichi's ears, which had left them vulnerable to the spirit. Despite his injury, Hoichi's ordeal had freed him from the spirit's power, and he went on to recover from his wounds and become a famous musician.
7. THE GHOST AND SPIRITS AND CBEINGS THAT HAUNT THE RIVERS OF JAPAN
Joganji River, Toyama Prefecture. The Mogami, the Fuji and the Kuma are regarded as the three most rapid rivers of Japan. Many different ghosts, spirits lycanthropes, Vampires witches and evil wizards and real ghosts are said to haunt them. There is alos sightings of sea beasts, dragons and Yeti.
Typical rivers of Japan rise from mountainous forests and cut out deep V-shaped valleys in their upper reaches, and form alluvial plains in their lower reaches which enable the Japanese to cultivate rice fields and to set up cities. Most rivers are dammed to supply both water and electricity.
Remember the Japanese Yeti hunting team we mentioned back in August 2008? They’re now claiming to have discovered a Yeti footprint in the Himalayan snow (see left side of photo below):
“The footprints were about 20 centimetres (eight inches) long and looked like a human’s,” Yoshiteru Takahashi, the leader of the Yeti Project Japan, told AFP in Kathmandu.
Mr Takahashi was speaking after he returned with his seven-member team from their third attempt to track down the half-man-half-ape, tales of which have gripped the imaginations of Western adventurers and mountaineers for decades.
Despite spending 42 days on Dhaulagiri IV – a 7,661-metre (25,135-foot) peak where they say they have seen traces of yetis in the past – the team failed in their prime objective of capturing one on film.
But Mr Takahashi said the footprints were proof enough.
“Myself and other team members have been coming to the Himalayas for years and we can recognise bear, deer, wolf and snow leopard prints and it was none of those,” he said.
“We remain convinced it is real. The footprints and the stories the local tell make us sure that it is not imaginary,” he added.
Yet another failed Yeti hunting trip, and disappointment for monster fans across the globe (and for the official sponsors of the Yeti hunt, which include Suntory and Kowa).
The longest river of Japan is the Shinano, which flows from Nagano to Niigata. The Tone has the largest watershed and serves water to more than 30 million inhabitants of Tokyo metropolitan area.
List of legendary creatures from Japan
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aaimuzxi - A green cactus with rather large muscles.
Abumi-guchi - a furry creature formed from the stirrup of a mounted military commander.
Raijū - a beast that falls to earth in a lightning bolt.
Raijū (雷獣,"thunder animal" or "thunder beast") is a legendary creature from Japanese mythology. Its body is composed of either lightning or fire and may be in the shape of a cat, tanuki, monkey, or weasel. The form of a white and blue wolf (or even a wolf wrapped in lightning) is also common. It may also fly about as a ball of lightning or fire (in fact, the creature may be an attempt to explain the phenomenon of ball lightning). Its cry sounds like thunder.
Raiju is the companion of Raijin, the Shinto god of lightning. While the beast is generally calm and harmless, during thunderstorms, it becomes agitated and leaps about in trees, fields, and even buildings (trees that have been struck by lightning are said to have been scratched by Raiju's claws).
Located two hours south of Tokyo, Atsugi Naval base has a secret past, which includes the fact that it was a CIA U-2 Base, which housed the U-2 flown over Russia by Gary Powers in the early 1960s. In 1957, Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of John F. Kennedy, was stationed at Atsugi as a Marine radar operator.
There are many spirits who wanders aimlessly from room to room is said to be the most haunted haunted naval or military base in the world. Many of the actual ghosts are thought to be those from the ancient past as well as contempory times.
The most frightening ghosts occurences are those of a ghostly Samari that attacks individuals by slapping them then dissapearing.
Many strange ghost encounters and supernatural tales or often spoken of in hushed tones. There has often been talk of those who have become possessed by these spirits and go into crazed fits.
9. Field Hospital- Kanagawa Prefecture
Located on the military base named Sagami Depot, this hospital has been the site of several unexplainable occurrences.
The building is hardly used, but nightly security checks reveal raised windows and locked doors that had been previously unlocked.
Many of the military police who patrol the building have reported seing strange shadows of someone or something of a paranormal nature.
ABOUT LISA LEE HARP WAUGH
LISA LEE HARP WAUGH Is a necromancer in the 21st century. She is by what may call a real conduit to the world of the dead. She dressers in ceremonial robes, draws magical circles on the floor and commands spirits from Heaven, Hell and all places in between to appear before her and communicate with the living. As a teenager she studied heavily The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish and The Grand Grimoire by A.E Waite, the Malleus Maleficarum and anything she could get her hands on by the great by Eliphas Levi, John Dee and the great beast, Aleister Crowley.
Waugh is what many have defined as the Most international traveling ghost hunter Necromancer to date.
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