This happened at a mountain near my ex-boyfriend’s house. It was really strange, so I’d like to tell you about it.
My ex-boyfriend lived in a small village somewhere in the Chuugoku region. There were about eight villages in the area in total. Even though they had plumbing that supplied water, it was the type of place where everyone drank water from wells. Both the water and air were beautiful and clear.
During autumn I had a few days off, so my ex took me to see his hometown. When we arrived everyone came running outside to greet us. “So, this is your girlfriend, hey~?” They seemed very nice, there was nothing strange at all about them.
There was a house close to the mountain, and at the end of the small path sitting between the rice fields there was a small shed, the type that keeps farm machinery and such. Anyway, a young woman came out of it. She was incredibly beautiful. She was wearing this beautiful deep crimson kimono (the sleeves were especially fancy), it really suited her.
I was fascinated by her, but the villagers started forcing everyone to go home. The young woman cackled and entered the mountainside.
I had no idea why she went up the mountain wearing such a kimono. I asked my boyfriend about it but he wouldn’t tell me, so all I could do was try to let it go.
Back at his house, he told me lots of stories about the adventures he’d had in the mountains. He seemed rather proud, like he knew exactly what was where, and so the next day he took me there.
We went hunting for mushrooms and walked around the mountain streams. Deep in the mountains we found an open area, and there was a small mound of dirt piled up in the middle. “What’s that?” I asked. “Nothing,” my boyfriend replied, and turned to leave in the other direction. As he did, I heard that beautiful woman’s cackling coming from somewhere. It scared the crap out of me. I wanted to run, but I also wanted to know more about the girl.
She was on top of the mound of dirt, laughing and looking at me. When I looked closer, I realised there was something like a well up there. I think it was a well.
So, while she was laughing she turned and spit in the well. Spitting in a well seemed like poor manners to me, and kind of gross, so I went to run but then I realised my boyfriend was no longer there.
The young woman continued to laugh and then began descending the dirt mound towards me. My heart was pounding furiously in my chest. But I somehow managed to keep a cool head. If I took off running in some direction, I was likely to have an accident and maybe even die. We were deep in the mountains and I wasn’t exactly sure where I was, anyway.
I was creeped out by the woman, but perhaps if I asked her, she would take me back to the village. I was so scared I thought my heart my stop, but I slowly approached her. When she saw I was walking towards her, and not running away, she stopped for a moment with a puzzled look on her face. ‘Ah, so she is just a normal person,’ I thought, and felt relieved.
“Um, excuse me. I got separated from my boyfriend and I’ve lost my way. If it’s no trouble, would you be able to show me the way back?” I asked. She laughed and closed the distance between us, standing so close our faces were almost touching.
‘What am I gonna do if she tries to stab me or something?’ I thought, but then she said in a small voice, “You can’t be here with me. You’ll be abducted. Do you know the way to the stream from here?”
“I do,” I replied. She said at this time people would be coming down the mountain from their charcoal making, so if I followed the stream I should be alright. She was very lively when she spoke, kind of like a handsome young man, so against my better judgement I said, “Can you come with me? I’m scared.”
“I can’t,” she said. “I have work to do. You probably shouldn’t tell anyone you spoke to me. Go now and don’t turn back.”
There was nothing else I could do, so I made my way back towards the stream. As I followed it back, I saw smoke in the distance. I went towards it and found a small shack where an old man was making charcoal. He was kind of blunt, and scarier than the young woman was, but he helped me back down the mountain towards the village. I asked him about the woman on the way, but he wouldn’t tell me much. Just that she had a duty to perform, and that she lived on the mountain serving someone (or something) called ‘Koge.’ “You were lucky you weren’t called upon and that you were able to return safely,” he said. Apparently this ‘Koge’ would never appear before men, so we were safe to return to the village together. “What happened to your boyfriend?” he asked me just before we got back. I laughed and told him that he left me behind. “I told him it was dangerous to come up here,” he muttered.
When we got back, I apologised to my boyfriend. He asked me about ‘Koge’ but I said I didn’t know anything about it.
After that, I never saw the young woman again. I returned home and shortly after I broke up with my boyfriend, so I have no idea what happened to her. But it all seemed rather strange, wouldn’t you agree?