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Yawata no Yabushirazu 八幡の藪知らず The Forbidden Forest inside the City

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articolo in italiano


Inside the city of Ichikawa 市 川 市, just at an hour and half from Tokyo, there is one of the forbidden places in Japan, a "forest" in where it is forbidden enter under  the penalty of .... disappearance.

Japan is a country that carries with  millennia of traditions, history and culture but most of all ancient folklore that accompanies it, and in many cases conditions it, until today. It is incredible how in 2021 is possible believe in that kind of things, but we are talking about Japan and folklore is an intimate part of the culture of ot, it's also what attracts us and makes it mysterious and complicated.

The city of Ichikawa 市 川 市 is located in the prefecture of Chiba, not far from Tokyo, is founded on an ancient area with human settlements dating back more than 30,000 years (some historical artifacts found during the excavations certify the date) and it remained like an important area in the following periods that marked Japan.

The area is already full of real history, events and already this make it an interesting place to discovery. But let's see why this town has such a special place inside.
Let's make a small introduction, in order to not create disappointments, the place inside the city is defined as a "forest" but as you'll see it is  more a well-defined "plot" albeit quite wild, but this doesn't take away the charm of the "history" behind this place, indeed it increases it.

The "forest" (we'll continue to call it like so for simplicity and affinity to the local chronicles) has earned the reputation of kinsokuchi 神 隠 し, or divine disappearance, one of the few places in Japan that have the "supernaturale" characteristic  that if you enter or find yourself there you'll disappear. who enter will never return.

The legend, like often happens, is difficult to follow over the time, there is no certain date or a start on why that area is off-limits. Same said that the spirit of the deity of Iwashimizu Hachimangu is kept inside the small shrine, like request of Emperor Uda during the Kanpyo era (889-898). Just as the real remains of Taira no Masakado 平 将 門, a samurai who ruled the area in the 10th century BC, were buried inside the forest and that he was guilty of having started a bloody rebellion against the emperor. Over the centuries the story of the ghost of the samurai, killed by his cousin, that torments with anger and brutality, grew over time and so people thinking that his remains are buried right there, for this is a dangerous place to enter.




The legends related to the place are many, I add a link at the end of the page that leads to the site of the city where concerning the place is indicated. It's in Japanese but if you use Google translate you can get an idea of what it contains and see the area in more detail.

The area has changed a lot compared to the Meiji period, cause of urbanization, now the classic "fence" in concrete delimiting it as if it were the old original fence. The area is outlined and controlled, so don't be crafty trying to bypass it I don't recommend it, maybe not for the curse itself (but if someone believes on it, then it is more than enough to stay away from it) but for the consequences of the gesture of having passed through a protected area.




Japan never ceases to amaze us, there are places that are not so much known yet, ancient legends that outline a faint watershed between what is true and what transcends reality. Japan is a country strongly attached to its traditions and they never take their legends lightly. Getting to know it better, loving it or hating it, also passes through the knowledge of these small places that hand down stories and warnings that drag on over time.

If you happen to be in those parts, take a trip, it is always interesting to learn a little more about the traditions and folklore of this country that we love so much and of which we never tire of always learning new things.

Ichikawa Katsushika Hachimangu city and cultural heritage:




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