sechan19: Photo of me in a Spider-man crop trop. (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]
Your mom.
sechan19: Photo of me in a Spider-man crop trop. (Default)
I've never done one of these before, but the subject matter struck my fancy, so...

[Error: unknown template qotd]

In the collection Shadowings by Lafcadio Hearn, the great 20th century compiler of Japanese folklore, there is a story called "The Corpse Rider." In the story, a man who has left his wife begins to hear rumors about her. The rumors go like this: his wife, having been seized by a fit of rage, shut herself up in their own home and died. Months later, her body had not decayed and the nearby villagers were in terror of her lingering anger.

Realizing that his wife's ghost must surely intend to kill him, the man visits a shaman to ask for advice. He is told to go into the house where his wife's body lies and to sit astride it, taking her long black hair in his hands like a bridle. Then he is instructed to ride her corpse from dusk till dawn, never once letting go lest he be caught and killed by her murderous revenant.

I find this story unnerving on many levels. Certainly, the motif of riding a dead body is gruesome in the extreme, but even more unsettling in the tale is the inherent gender war at play. The husband leaves his wife to the vagaries of society, effectively killing her, then when she seeks retribution he subjugates her will by sitting on top of her body and riding her like an animal; basically, he kills her again.

Of course not all husbands are so lucky in Japanese ghost stories. I've read quite a few where the dead wife claimed victory in the end.

At any rate, the best horror stories are those that illuminate the realities of our everyday existence. And the eternal power struggle between man and woman, its violence, depravity, and cruelness, is a subject that deserves more careful attention.

May 2014

4 5678910


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 12:13 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios