The Man Who Ate Curses

By Seisoudou Touho (18??-????)

There was a gardener by the name of Inosuke who lived in Yotsuya Minami Igacho. One day, he was working in a daimyo’s residence in Owarihan when he put a mat down to rest for lunch. As he did, a snake attempted to crawl over it. He reached for his axe and immediately cut its head off. The head went flying, but to where, he didn’t know.

That night when he got home, Inosuke took the lid off his rice pot to find the snake’s head inside. He wasn’t in the least surprised, but instead swiftly stabbed it with his knife, stuck it on a skewer to roast, and then ate it as a snack with his sake.

The next day, Inosuke woke to discover a lump on his head. This type of lump was nothing significant to him, so he went about his day as normal. But it grew larger. Soon it was larger than a centimetre in length and starting to get itchy, so he grabbed his knife and cut it off at the base. He carefully washed the wound and then covered it in ointment, but when he looked at the lump he cut off, he realised that there were maggots inside it.

The maggots must have been the snake’s continuing curse, he thought, so he squished them with his hammer, mixed them into his salted fish entrails, and ate the entire thing.

He suffered no disturbance after that, and his wound healed completely.

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