The Terrifying Japanese Folktale of Mt. Kachi Kachi

Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko Mt. Kachi Kachi, KawaguchikoMt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko

Let me tell you a seriously messed up story that involves a homicidal tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) and a vengeful rabbit. Of course, there are many variations to this disturbing tale out there, but here’s the version I found online. I’d better warn you: it’s not pretty.

Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko

Basically, it goes something like this: a cheeky tanuki gets careless and is captured by a man who wants to kill and cook it for dinner. When the man leaves town, the tanuki begs the man’s wife to set him free. The wife does just that, only to have the horrible creature turn on her and kill her. The animal then disguises himself as the wife and uses the flesh of the dead woman to make a stew. When the man comes home, the tanuki lets him eat it. Following this, the tanuki reveals himself and confesses his deed before running off, leaving the poor man in shock.

Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko

This is where the rabbit comes in. Being a good friend of the couple, the rabbit decides to avenge the man’s dead wife. He pretends to befriend the tanuki and uses this advantage to torture the tanuki by playing painful tricks, including dropping a bee’s nest on his head, using a peppery poultice to ‘treat’ the bee stings, and pretty much setting his back on fire.

Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko Mt. Kachi Kachi, KawaguchikoMt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko

This is an actual Japanese folktale that mentions Mt. Kachi Kachi, “kachi kachi” being the onomatopoeic sound of the fire burning the tanuki. When you travel up the Mt. Kachi Kachi ropeway and reach the landing (oh, by the way, you can see glorious Mt. Fuji from up here), you will be greeted by statues depicting portions of this tale. Why? I have no idea, it’s pretty traumatic. But hey, the view is pretty good up there. We went on a day when it wasn’t so clear, but at least we saw Fujisan and had some delicious sweet, sticky mitarashi dango dumplings.

Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko Mt. Kachi Kachi, Kawaguchiko

KAWAGUCHIKO TENJŌ-YAMA PARK
MT. KACHI KACHI ROPEWAY

1163-1 Azagawa, Fujikawaguchiko-machi
Yamanashi, Japan 401-0303
www.kachikachiyama-ropeway.com

angie and james do stuff.

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8 thoughts on “The Terrifying Japanese Folktale of Mt. Kachi Kachi

    1. Oh goodness, yes, the ride was surprisingly steep! We also had to climb several sets of stairs to get to the actual gondola terminal at the base of the hill. Talk about tiring… hahaha.

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