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Anshitsu & Related Tales

Anshitsu , a home occupied by a lone Buddhist monk who spends his days in prayer and meditation. These houses are normally humble huts, deep within the woods or on the tops of mountains, away from most villages. In many Buddhist legends, the homes are occupied by the ghosts of monks who as soon as lived in them. Tales involving anshitsu, subsequently, are sometimes ghost tales.

In the story of the Corpse-Eater, set within the province of Mino, a younger priest loses his method within the mountains. When he comes to a clearing, he asks the aged hermit if he can take shelter in his anshitsu for the evening. The hermit angrily refuses, shooing him away in the direction of a small village, the place a funeral is happening. There, the son of the useless man presents the younger priest shelter, however asks him a favor in return: to maintain watch over his father’s corpse that evening and report what occurs. The younger priest agrees.

In the darkish room, the priest watches in horror as a wierd, ghostly determine enters the room and devours the corpse. The priest reviews this to the son, however the villagers will not be stunned. They grow to be suspicious in regards to the younger priest’s encounter with the hermit at his anshitsu, insisting no such place or particular person exists. The younger priest decides to return to the anshitsu. There, he finds the hermit, who apologizes for his impolite conduct and divulges that he was the unusual being that ate the useless man’s physique.

He was, the hermit confesses, reborn as a jikininki, or cannibal goblin, as punishment for being a nasty and egocentric priest in his personal lifetime. He begs the younger priest to assist free him of the curse by repeating particular prayers over his grave. When the sympathetic younger priest agrees, the hermit and anshitsu vanish to reveal a moss-covered tomb, the place the younger priest retains his promise to pray for the soul of the hermit.