Japanese Folktale Series #1 “Such a Face”

What kind of face would appear?
A traditional Japanese falktale which has been handed down in Wakayama pref.


Once upon a time, in a certain place, there was a dreadful mountain.

People supposed that specters were wandering there, no one crossed the mountain after dark.

One day, a man heard of that rumor went up to the mountain in the evening.
“Say, I’m not a coward, I shall detect that fraud.”

Climbing up and up, it became dark. He felt lonely.

After a while, he noticed another steps in front of him.
So he was delighted with having an unexpected companion.
“Hey, wait, wait! I’ve thought I was alone among such a dreadful mountain, but you are.”
“Yes, I’ve been coming, hurry up and join me.”
The stranger answered.

“How fearful the specter’s face is, can you image that?”
The man asked to the stranger in front of him.

The stranger stopped suddenly, and turned to him saying,
“I know, it must be like that.”

The man was so frightened because the stranger had only one eye in the center of his pale face.
” Oh, my ! It’s a real specter!”
He ran away for dear life and come to a lighted hamlet at the foot of the mountain.

There were many people gathering there, so, he shouted with great relief,” Help me, help me! I’ve met a specter!”

“Come quick! it’s your fault to go into such a mountain after dark.”
“And, what kind of specter you’ve met?”
They asked him one after another.

“I found someone going ahead of me, and asked him ‘how horrible the specters are?’ ”
“Then, he turned to me and said ‘I know, it’s like that.’ ”
“I looked his face, and he was an one-eyed man! I escaped as fast as I could.”

Just then, people gathering there glared at him by turns and said,
“The face must be like that you’ve seen.”
How terrible! All the people in the hamlet had a pale face with only one eye!

He petrified with terror.

When he came to himself, he was still in the mountain, and the dawn had come.

That’s all.