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Kokushi

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Kokushi was a character in the tale the Human-Eating Ghost, one of the most popular stories collected in the Hyakumonogatari Kaidenkai, a comprehensive monogatari of popular Kwaidan. [1]

Tale Edit

Kokushi was an ascetic monk who arrived to a remote peasant village. The headman has recently died, and all the villagers departed that night, in order to return the next morning. They claimed the village was haunted, and everybody had to come away or a gaki would devour them. Kokushi dismissed the new headman, and perform the proper rites with the deceased. At midnight, a ghost appeared, lifted the corpse and devoured it whole. He decided to visit the village's monk, who lived in an anjitsu nearby. The man, named Muso, revealed himself as the Eater of the Dead, a Shokujinki. Muso had been a selfish priest, demanding to the villagers food and luxuries to perform the tasks that should be free. When he died he immediately reborn as an Human-Eating Ghost, who must devour those who died as he devoured in his life the livelihood of the living. Kokushi sat up with Muso that night and implored the Fortunes to intercede on his behalf. The ghost never was seen again. [2]

References

  1. Book of Void, pp. 129, 134
  2. Book of Void, pp. 134-135



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