2012年1月23日月曜日

Hachishakusama

My first Translation will be about a Scary Story from 2ch. It's called "Hachishakusama". Hachi is 8, shaku is a old unit of length (one shaku is approximately 30.3cm), and Sama is like"Mr", "Ms,"etc, something which you add onto a name to show that you respect that person.
I know that there are somethings that can only be felt in its original language, and that my attempts to translate this story might end in vain. However, I want to give it a try so that the wall of language doesn't stop people interested in Scary Stories.

The URL for the original is here. Please remember that I'm just translating and this story is not
mine.
http://syarecowa.moo.jp/196-2/71.html

 I'm going to be writing this story in a first person manner in respect to the original.

Hachishakusama

It takes 2 hours to get to my Grandparents house who are farmers. I loved the unique atmosphere of the open fields and the scenery there, so when I got into Highschool and got my motorcycle license I frequently went over alone. My Grandparents also liked their grandson visiting them. However, the last time I visited was when I got into my last year of highschool, which is around ten years ago. Its not like I didn't want to visit. I couldn't, and this is the reason why.

It was during spring break(in japan the first semester of school starts in April, the second semester starts in September, and the last semester starts in January), and the weather was great so I decided to visit my Grandparents house. On the way there I rested on a patch of grass, feeling the soft rays of the sun and the slight breeze going over me. Just as I was about to get up and go my way, I heard a strange sound.

"Po, po, poppopo, po, po..."

It was hard to distinguish what it was saying, since it also sounded like Vo or Bo, but one thing was for sure, it was coming from something alive. I was searching for the source of the sound when I saw a straw hat peering over a wall of someones backyard. From between walls, I could see that the person wearing the hat was just a woman dressed in a white dress.  I would have gone away but there was one thing that caught my attention. The wall was over 2 meters and I was surprised at how tall she was. I was thinking, is she wearing some ridiculous high heels
or is that a NBA player disguised as a girl? when she strode sideways and disappeared into thin
air, the strange noise with her.

Bewildered, but thinking that the tall person had just gone into his/her house, I left the place and got to my Grandparent's house without any problems. I was sitting down in their living room drinking tea when I told my Grandparents what I saw. They were just barely listening, saying "uh-huh" and "oh that's great", until I remembered that distinct voice. I said laughing, "Oh yeah, it was making this strange sound, like Po, Po, Po," when the two froze. Grandpa's face became serious all of a sudden and grabbed my shoulders. He whispered, "....How tall was the wall?", and when I answered it was over 2 meters, he started battering me with questions, like"Where did you see it","When did you see it", and "Did it do anything". I barely answered his questions when he suddenly became quiet and went to the hallway and started calling someone. The sliding doors were closed so I couldn't hear what he was saying, and I looked over to Grandma for answers. I couldn't tell for sure, but it seemed like she was trembling, and it made me hesitate.

I was just about to ask her what it was all about when Grandpa came back to the room.

"I can't allow you to leave today. Grandma, I'm going to leave him with you, I've got to go and pick up Ms.K"

With he said made me feel like I had done something wrong, but I couldn't remember doing anything to make them angry. When Grandpa left on his truck to go somewhere, I gathered up my courage and cautiously asked Grandma what it was all about.

"You've been liked by Hachishakusama, but don't worry, Grandpa will do something. There's nothing to worry about. "

She answered with a wavering voice. Until grandpa came home, she told me in bits what was going on.

There is a dangerous existence called "Hachishakusama" in this area. Its appearance is like a large woman, and because of its height, it was named hachishakusama, and it makes sounds like "Bo Bo Bo" in a mans voice. Its appearance slightly differs from person to person, looking like a old woman in a kimono, a girl in funeral clothing, a woman wearing ragged cloth, but its height and way of laughing never changes. Legends say that it came to the land possessing a traveler, but we can't say for sure. A long time ago, it was sealed in the villiage by 4 "jizou"'s(small statues of monks) placed in the North, East, South, and West borders of the village to restrict its area where it could move around to within the village. People who saw Hachishakusama were destined to be killed within several days, and the last time it appeared was 15 years ago.
I thought, why the hell was it left like that, but according to the old records, Hachishakusama was on a level of its own, so strong that it was impossible to seal it in small objects like a normal "youkai"(a Japanse version of demons and ghosts), and the most the priest could do was to just prevent it from getting out of the village. It was hard to believe that the villagers would just consent to that, but by sealing hachishakusama in their village, they were given privileges, such as being given top priority over their surrounding villages when drawing water for their farms. Since Hachishakusama only appeared once in 10~20 years or so, the villagers thought it was a good deal.

Truthfully speaking, it sounded ridiculous and I couldn't take it seriously. I mean, think about it, with modern science and technology,  who believes in ghosts? I certainly didn't.

When Grandpa came back, he was with a old woman called K. She gave me a wooden plate the size of my hand and went upstairs with Grandpa to do something. I was left with Grandma again, but when she followed me to the bathroom and wouldn't allow me to shut the door, I finally felt some fear kicking in. After a while I was taken upstairs and was lead into a room with its four walls all covered in Newspaper. Over the newspaper, lots of paper with runes written on were pasted on, and on the four corners of the room salt(salt is used for purifying in japan) was placed. There were also 2 porta-pottys. What caught my attention most, though, was the small Buddha figure placed at the center of the room on top of a wooden box.

Grandpa faced me and said "The suns going down soon, so I'm going to be quick. Listen carefully, you must not under any circumstances leave this room till tomorrow morning. Grandma and I will not call you nor talk to you until then. Come out of the room when its 7 in the morning. Remember, do not leave the room until then. I'll tell your parents about whats going on."
He sounded talked in an extremely grave tone and all I could do was quietly nod.

I was also told by Ms.K to follow his instructions and to never let go of the wooden plate. If anything happened I was to pray to the wooden figure.

After the door was closed, I turned on the TV but the eerie mood didn't lift, and all the snacks and rice balls Grandma had prepared for me didn't turn my appetite on. I got into my futon(Japanese bed) and the grave mood was seriously getting to my nerves.

Before I realized, I was asleep, and when I woke up, the midnight shows were on TV. I looked at my watch and saw that it was just past 1a.m. I was a bit depressed, thinking, what a great time to wake up when, "Tak Tak ", the window was knocked on. It wasn't like the sound of branches hitting the window or pebbles being thrown at it, it sounded like a knock by hand. I felt the blood draining from my head and desperately tried to calm myself, telling myself it was the wind playing tricks. I took a sip of tea, but it didn't help, so I turned up the TV's volume and forced myself to watch it.

It was then I heard Grandpa calling me.
"Hey are you all right? If you're really scared you don't have to push yourself you know"
Instinctively I rushed to the door, but at the last moment I remembered what Grandpa said and stopped myself from opening the door.
Grandpa talked to me again, saying
"What are you doing? You can open it now"
It sounded really like Grandpa, but somehow, it was different. I couldn't tell what was, but I just knew. I glanced to the left and a chill went through my spine, the salt was slowly blackening,.

I scrambled to my feet and went before the Buddha figure, tightly held the wooden plate and started praying  for help, desperately.

When I started praying  I heard the voice,
"Poppopo, po, popo...."
and the knocking against the window resumed.
When I imagined "it" raising its hand and knocking at the window, fear overwhelmed me, and I was half crying and half praying for the remainder of the long night. It felt like forever, but morning has to come, and when I looked at the TV the morning news was on and the time showing on TV was 7:30. The sounds had stopped, and I deduced that I had somehow fallen asleep or lost consciousness during the night. The salt had almost become completely black.


Just to make sure, I checked my watch, and seeing that it was also 7:30, I cautiously opened the door and saw Grandma and Ms.K waiting for me. Grandma started crying after seeing my face, overjoyed that I was safe. I went down the stairs and was surprised to see my father sitting at the table. Grandpa came from outside and said "Hurry up and get in the car". I went out to the yard to see a van and several men waiting.

The van was a 9 seater and I was seated in the center, with eight men surrounding me, and Ms.K at the assistant drivers seat. The man on my left, who looked like he was in his fifties, said "You've got yourself in quite a trouble. I know it may be hard but keep your head down and eyes shut. We can't see "it", but you can, so until we get out of the area don't open your eyes"


With Grandpa's truck at the front and Father's car following from behind, the three vehicles slowly started moving. I think the cars were moving at around 20km/h or slower.


After a while Ms.K suddenly said "From here is where it gets hard" and started mumbling something like a prayer.

"Poppopo, po, pop, popopo..."

I heard the voice again.
I tightened my grip on the wooden plate and kept my head down, but I sneaked a look outside. A white dress came into my sight, and saw that "it" was moving with the van. Its long legs allowed it to keep pace, and its tall height prevented me from seeing its head from the window. I was still looking when "it" started bending down, trying to look inside the van.

"No.." I unconsciously whispered when the man in his fifties roared"SHUT YOUR F***** EYES!!!"

I immediately shut my eyes as hard as I could and tightened my grip on the wooden plate even more. I could feel the edged of it biting into my hand but I didn't care.

"Tak, Tak, Tak"

The window glass was being knocked on. The men around me were startled, some saying "what the.." or just letting some noise leave their mouth. It seemed that "it" couldn't be seen and "it"'s voice couldn't be heard, but the noise it made could be heard by other people. Ms.K's mumbling had become shouting by this time and the tension inside the van was at its peak. However, after a while "it"'s voice and noise disappeared and Ms.K said that we had safely gotten out of the area. The men around me all exclaimed breaths of relief and we all got out of the car where the road widened out. Ms.K told me to show her the plate and when I opened my palm, I saw that it had gotten a tinge of black. She said
"I think it'll be okay now, but just to be sure hold onto this for a while", and she gave me a new wooden plate.

After that we all left to our homes, and on a different day, grandpa brought me bike. Father had also known about the "Hachishakusama", and told me that his friend had been liked by "Hachishakusama" and had lost his life to it. He told me of people who were liked by "it" and had to move to other lands. The people on the van were all blood relatives of mine, and it was all done to try and confuse "Hachishakusama". However, the relatives couldn't gather immediately and moving during day was probably safer than night, I had been confined in room.

They made me promise never to go near my Grandparents house ever again, which is why I haven't visited them for over ten years.

When I talked with Grandpa over the phone, I asked him if he had called me that nightmarish night, and although I expected it, he said that he was driving all over the town to gather relatives and that he wasn't even close to the house. Confirming it gave me the chills again.

Its said that the victims are usually young people who haven't become adults yet, and I think that this is because they are more emotionally unstable and are more easier to be deceived when "it" pretends to be their relatives.

As I've been saying, its over 10 years since this happened, but the story didn't end there. Rather, the story got a hideous epilogue. My grandmother called a few days ago.(Grandpa had died 2 years ago, but he didn't allow me to visit him nor attend his funeral)

She said that "The jizou that was used for sealing was broken by someone.(its pretty common in japan), and thats not the worst part, its in the direction of your house"

Right now I force myself to believe that it was all just a legend, and what happened was a prank, but I have to say that I'm worried. If I hear that "Popopo" again, I don't know what I should do...








2012年1月22日日曜日

WHAT THIS BLOG IS ABOUT

Hello I don't know if anyone will read this blog, but just for the sake of raising my english levels and using my english for others I've started this blog. Right now, I'm just hoping that somebody will read this blog, but I'm wishing that anyone who reads this blog will be able to understand Japan's culture and the people living in that tiny island a little better.

So, what I'm going to be doing in this blog, is

1. Translate some stories I read on the infamous Japanese BBS, 2chan.

2. Post some pictures of what I take in Japan. Some of the pictures will be about what I see and feel is Japan-ish, and some pictures will be about some pictures I personally like.

3. Write about some of my interests, such as Anime and Otaku, lol. However, I'm not that deeply into Anime, probably not enough to be called an "otaku".

These are what I'm going to be posting about.

I think that I'll start translating some scary stories which I personally like reading in my free time.

If anyone has any questions about Japan I'll try and answer. If anyone has any requests(if anyone comes that is..) about some stories they want translated, I'll probably translate those also.

I have alot of free time until March, so until then I'll probably be posting at a high pace. Oh and btw, I lived in the states for a pretty long time and that's why I speak english better than your average Japanese.