Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Okinawa Folktale: Daughter and Demon

Turu A Stunning Beauty



Admired by all single men, she refused to give her hand in marriage.

One youngster would hide in the shadows at night.

He slipped into Turu's room while the Mom was sleeping.

Akamata, Dinoden semcarinatum,snake

This activitity took place over several months and, mother became aware.

She decided to check things out, one evening.

Through a conveniently located peephole, she observed.

What she saw, more than shocked her.  The guy, wasn't human.  He was a demon !

Motherly Advice






Mom, confronted Turu, concerning her admirer.

The daughter was startled by what the mother had to say about the man leaving her room.

Departing in the moonlight, he didn't cast the shadow of a man.

He was a long, slender creature.

Mother had a plan, to prove her suspicions to the daughter.

She gave the girl a sewing needle and spool of white thread, with some instructions.

The next time, her suitor visited, she would put them to use.

She would secretly, attach the thread to the man's collar, using the needle.

The Plan Worked





Turu's lover slipped away, in the dark, the following night.

He was unaware of the trail of white string he was leaving behind.

The following morning, Mom and Turu did some investigation.

The unraveled spool of thread, led them to a cave.

Akamata !





Mother and daughter were both shocked by what they saw in the cave entrance.

An Akamata (snake pictured above) was writhing in pain.

The sewing needle was stuck in his neck.

It would be nice to tell you, the snake died and, everybody lived happy, ever after.

OK.  Let's just say,  snake dead.

What could possibly go wrong here ?

Worst Part of the Story





They leave the cave and start walking home to the village.

Turu begins trembling and weeping.

Her skin, turns to a sickly shade of grey.

And, she confesses to Mom.  "I'm pregnant."







Mother takes daughter to the beach. 

She feeds her a special cake made of magical materials and, rice.

At high tide, they enter the water, kicking the wave crests 3 times, they soak in the sea.

Turu's body becomes cleansed and, the Akamata baby is washed away.

Many villages throughout the Ryukyu Island Chain, practice this ritual.

By the third day, of the third month, according to the Lunar Calendar, enter the sea.

It is believed, seawater, purges evil spirits, from a female's body.

The ritual is known as Sanguacha

REFERENCE: Okinawa Folk Stories ISBN978-4-99009-146-0 Page 100

Turu and the Demon

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