The Art of Darkness

Unspooky Thursday

March 22nd, 2012 by Cobwebs

so today’s story of love and revenge comes from Japan
and I do not know why the Japanese are not
the most pacifistic people on earth
because if I were them I would be too afraid of creating a ghost
to indulge in anything more violent than contract bridge
Japanese ghosts do not mess around with cold drafts and creaking hinges
Japanese ghosts will personally fuck. you. up.
Japanese mythology is like six flags over psychosis
and their ghosts are the ultra twister

but I digress

so there’s this poor samurai named Iemon
and that is poor in the insolvent sense
not the feel-sorry-for-him sense
because he is a rat bastard
as exemplified in the beginning of this story
where he wants to marry a beautiful woman named Oiwa
and her father says he isn’t good enough for his daughter
so instead of trying to prove himself worthy
Iemon just straight up whips out his sword and kills him
which I would say justifies his belief
that he wasn’t good enough for his daughter

and then Iemon adds insult to injury
by promising Oiwa he’ll help find her father’s killer

I’m assuming she was out of the room at the time of the murder
although I guess she could just be supremely unobservant

so Iemon marries Oiwa
and somehow fails to find her father’s killer
and after a while
he decides that looks aren’t everything
making this decision specifically
upon meeting a rich woman named Oume
whose grandfather says could totally marry Iemon
thus sparing himself a nasty case of decapitation
except there’s the pesky problem
of Iemon already being married

so Iemon gallantly decides
to spare Oiwa the stress of divorce
by poisoning her instead
and the poison disfigures her
but does not kill her
so Iemon pretends that he’s happy she’s alive
and then takes her for a walk
and pushes her off a cliff
see that part up above about his general rat bastardry

fast forward to the night before Iemon and Oume’s wedding
where Oiwa pulls a Jacob Marley
and her disfigured face shows up as part of Iemon’s lantern
and she yells “Betrayal!”
and the story says that Iemon brushes this off
which I think you will agree
is a surprising reaction
to a shouting-dead-disfigured-wife lantern

but I digress

and also Iemon is less brush-offy the next day
at his wedding
when he lifts Oume’s veil
and instead there’s the disfigured face of Oiwa
and she shrieks “Betrayal!” again
and this time Iemon unsheathes his sword
and beheads her
and of course it’s Oume’s head that bounces down the aisle

worst wedding EVER

so he runs out of the hall
and hides in the shack where he lived with Oiwa
which if you have ever seen a horror movie in your life
you will know that this is the worst place
he could possibly hide
narrowly edging out
big dave’s serial killer supply emporium

so there’s a knock on the door
and for some reason Iemon is surprised
when he opens the door and Oiwa is standing there
all disfigured and betrayal-y
so he draws his sword
and beheads the ghost
because that has worked so well thus far
and then sees that he has just killed Oume’s grandfather

so he runs to the cliff where he shoved Oiwa to her doom
has he NEVER seen a horror movie
and hears ghostly laughter
and almost jumps
but then changes his mind
and then Oiwa appears and pushes him off the cliff
which is nicely symmetrical at least

the moral of this story is to not murder people in Japan

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