yuki-onna

Civilization and Culture

Common Myths and Legends

In Niigata Prefecture, an elderly man operating inn in on a mountain trail with his wife. One snowy night the inn was visited by a young lady traveling alone. She warmed herself by the fire and ate with the innkeeper and his wife. She was sweet and charming and gorgeous. So it was even more of a surprise when in the middle of the night doing a fierce blizzard she stood up and made to leave the inn. The innkeeper bagged her not to go outside, to hold her back. It was cold as ice. Merely touching it sucked all the warmth from the innkeeper's body. As he tried to keep the girl in the house, her entire body turns into a fine icy mist and shots up the chimney and out into the night.   A man from Yamagata prefecture claims that he had been married to a yuki-onna. His wife was beautiful, with piercing eyes and skin as white as a marble statue. While he loved to take long hot baths every night, his wife always refused to bathe. This puzzled him greatly. One particularly cold and snowy night he insisted that's his wife taking a bath. Otherwise, she would freeze to death in the cold, he said she protested, but there was no reasoning with the man. Finally, she acquiesced. When he went in to check on her a few minutes later, all he found in the tub were half melted icicles.

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