A Japanese Folk Tale (A Tale of A Woman’s Ghost Who Raised Her Baby With Some Candies )

There are some sad folk tales in Japan. Today I want to talk one of sad folk tales to you.

A long long time ago, there is a candy shop. One day, the owner of the candy shop heard the sounds that somebody knocked the door of the shop after he closed the shop. After he opened the door, he discovered a woman whose hair was disheveled and close was very dirty was standing in front of the door. She asked the owner to let her buy some candies with her one coin. He doubted about her, but since her looking seemed very poor, he sold some candies to her.

Next day she also showed up. After she showed a coin, she asked some candies again. Every single day she came to the shop. Since the owner became interested in her, he asked her where she lives and why she needs candies every day. However, she never answered his questions and left as if she disappeared.

At the seventh day, while she was showing her lovely kimono, she asked the owner to let her buy some candies because she didn’t have any money. Since he was worry about her, he sold some candies with exchanging the kimono into some candies.

Next day while he was drying the kimono outside, a rich guy passed through in front of the shop. The kimono was his daughter’s. He entered the shop as soon as he saw the kimono and asked the owner where he got it. The owner told the story that the kimono was one of his customer’s who is coming to buy some candies every day. After the rich guy listened to the story, he told the owner that she might be her daughter who died last week. At the time she was pregnant but he thought when she passed away, the baby also died. However, after she passed away, she gave birth to the baby boy.

When they went to the cemetery, they heard a baby crying. After they dug the grave, they found the baby boy beside the woman’s corpse. The baby boy was gripping the candy.

After the baby grew up, he became a monk whose status was very high.

I know the candy shop in Kyoto. When we go there, we still can buy the same some candies that the ghost bought to raise her baby boy. The flavor is very simple. My ancestor’s grave of my mom’s side is near the candy shop, so when I was a child, my mom bought us the candies very often. At the time, she always told my sister and me the story. We were scared to listen to the story at the time, but after I became a mom, I realized the Mom’s love.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mikotoneko
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 13:23:15

    Intriguing story! Thanks for sharing with us. Is the candy shop near where you live now?


  2. yumi
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 13:34:53

    Hi, Miko-chan. Thank for the comment. The candy shop is near my ancestor’s grave of my mom’s side, so it’s far from my current house. The shop is in Kyoto. I live in Fukui. However, whenever I go to the cemetary, I can go there.


    • mikotoneko
      Oct 26, 2010 @ 13:57:16

      I see. I haven’t looked Fukui up on the map to see where it is, hehe, I guess I’ll do that now. Are the candies that the shop sell, Japanese style only?


  3. yumi
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 14:13:12

    I think you can search my house( put my address on the Google map) via the Google map. I think it is fun for you!
    There are various different types of candy shops here and there in Japan. However, the shop is popular as a ghost bought some candies to raise her baby. So, the shop has been keeping kind of oldfashion for a long time . Kyoto is a very Japanese style city, so the Japanese style is more popular there.
    Yes, the candies selling in the shop are only the same ones that the ghost bought for her baby before.


  4. Heart
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 19:31:41

    Oh how nice and heartwarming!! I thoroughly enjoyed the story, so beautiful, so much love for the mother for her child even if she passed away.. Growing up, I heard a lot of stories like this too.. I think it is a cultural thing! Thanks for reminding me once again about my childhood.. 🙂
    BTW, don’t mind my ignorance, what is a Kimono?


  5. yumi
    Nov 28, 2010 @ 01:57:18

    Hi, Heart. Thanks as always for the comments. I’m happy that you really enjoyed reading it. I also love the story. It’s sad, but it’s a really heartwarming story.

    Kimono is Japanese traditional outfits.
    Here is a wiki about Kimono. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimono


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