Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Japanese urban legends – Part 3 –

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/20 Others , , , ,

“Toshi densetsu” : Japanese urban legends (3)

Mary-san (Ms. Mary)

Doll

Photo from Ashinari

A girl had an old Western doll and called it “Mary”.
When her family moved to another place, she disposed it because it was old.

One night, a telephone rang at her new home.
The girl got it, then heard the voice saying, “Hello, I’m Mary. I’m at a dump now”.
She hang up the phone immediately, but phone calls comes one after another.
“Mary” seemed to move towards her present house from her previous place.

Again, the phone rang.
“Hello, I’m Mary. I’m in front of your house now.”
The girl dared to open the front door, but nobody was there.
Prank calls after all?
Just when she wondered, there was a phone call.

“Hello, I’m Mary. I’m behind you now.”

Note:
There are many variants of this like other urban legends.
Examples:

  • The doll is not “Mary” but “Licca-chan”.
    (“Licca-chan” is a dress-up doll like “Barbie” produced by a Japanese company, “Takara”)
  • You’ll be killed if you look back after the last phone call.
  • “Mary” is lost and can’t reach the girl’s home. “Mary” phones her in tears to ask where it is now.
  • “Mary” passes by the girl’s home, and a few years later a phone call comes from Russia.

 

Legendary spots you can visit

Inogashira park

Inogashira park

Photo from Ashinari

If a couple rides on a boat in Inogashira park in Tokyo, they will end up splitting up.

It is said it’s because of “Benzaiten”, the Goddess who is worshipped in the shrine in Inogashira park.(Official website)
Benzaiten, a.k.a. “Benten”, is believed to be very jealous and she can’t stand a happy couple.
The origin of Benzaiten is an Indian Hinduism goddess “Sarasvati”, meaning “Holy River” but I assume this jealous thing is only in Japan.

This kind of legend (a cursed spot for couples) is not only in Inogashira.
Enoshima in Kanagawa has the same legend and there is also a shrine for Benzaiten.

 

Kani-douraku

Kani

This is rather a joke legend.
A huge fake “kani” (crab) on the front of each “Kani-douraku”, a “kani” restaurant in Osaka, is running on power generated by part-timers who pedal a bicycle-like machine.
Hourly wage is from 750 to 1200 yen depending on his / her performance.

 

Joke legend

Barcode

1. A senior staff was showing a new employee how to do a job in a convenience store.
Senpai (senior staff): “This is a barcode reader. We use this to scan a barcode on a product.”
Shinjin (new staff): “I see.”

Barcode1

 

2.
Senpai: “This is a barcode.”

Barcode2

 

3.
Senpai: “You just have to hold the reader over the barcode…”

Barcode3

 

4.
Senpai: “After the scan, the price is shown on the small screen. OK?”
Shinjin : “Yes.”

Barcode4

 

5. A customer came to the cashier.
Shinjin : “(Oh, here’s my first customer) Irasshaimase!”*

Barcode5

*Note: “Irasshaimase” (some might say “IrasshaimaSHI”) is a greeting to welcome (usually) customers.
It is a combination of “Irassharu” (respectful form of saying “come”, “go” and “there is”) and “mase (or mashi)” (imperative form of “masu”, a formal auxiliary verb).
I guess many Japanese feel “Irasshaimase” is politer than “Irasshai”, so “mase / mashi” is considered as courteous rather than imperative.

 

6. The customer dropped a coin when he was pulling money out of his pocket.

Barcode6

 

7. He bent down to pick up the coin…

Barcode7

…The reader scanned his “barcode” head.

 

8.

Barcode8

His price – 10 yen – was shown on the screen.

 

Note:
A person with a hairdo like the man in this legend is often called as “Barcode hage” or “Sudare hage”.
“Hage” means “bald head” and / or “bald-headed person”.
“Sudare” is a blind which is made of bamboo or other natural material.
Of course “hage” is not a nice word to say to the “hage” person.

sudare

- "Sudare" -
Photo from Ashinari

Sudare

- Closer look of "sudare" -
Photo from Ashinari

 

 

Related posts:
#Urban legends(1) (2)

The following two tabs change content below.

kara

A Japanese living in Okayama. A proud "Otaku"! Loves animals, snacks, manga, games (PC, iPad, Nintendo DS, PSP), foreign TV dramas, traveling and football (soccer).

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

Kyoto Gosho

Go west : Sugawara no Michizane strikes back

After Michizane’s death in 903, people, who were involved with the conspiracy to frame him, died in a mysterious death one after another. Also, there were natural disasters in Kyoto. Victims of vengeance by Sugawara no Michizane Year: Person 906: Fujiwara no Sadakuni (Age: 40) 908: Fujiwara no Sugane (Age: 53) He reported to the […]

Read Article

On-chuu

Basic Japanese : Japanese honorific titles in text

Many of Japanese honorific titles in text are the same as ones in speech. However, “sama” or “dono” is much more often used in text, especially for address. Maybe it’s because a writer is in the distance. In a letter, use the same title as one in speech. When I write a letter to my […]

Read Article

Dazaifu 06

Go west : Sugawara no Michizane – Legends

There are mysterious legends around Sugawara no Michizane. Most of them are episodes after he was framed by his political enemy. Michizane and the flying plum tree This legend is very well-known along with the following poem. The night before he left his home in Kyoto, the capital at that time, he composed a poem […]

Read Article

Tsukudo shrine

Mystery tour: Taira no Masakado – Part 2 –

Barrier for Masakado? There are seven main shrines (including “Kubi-zuka”) for Masakado. They are said to have been built to seal the powerful spirit of Masakado as well as to make use of it. [1. Torigoe shrine] It is not officially admitted, but this shrine is said to be the place where Masakado’s hand(s?) is […]

Read Article

daiso japan

Go Shopping at a 100 Yen Shop

I’m sure many of those who have been to Japan would agree that one of the places that got them spend money are 100 yen shops. These are shops that sell items that mostly cost 100 yen exclusive of tax. The items range from food to housewares to accessories, or in other words, there’s a […]

Read Article

Aiueo 3

Basic Japanese : Old Japanese Alphabets

Old Japanese Alphabets or Historical Japanese Alphabets The two red characters in “gojyuu-on” and “iroha-uta” are out of use now. Both characters had their own sounds consisting of a consonant and a vowel, but each of them changed into the same sound as a vowel which has a similar sound. Although they couldn’t be distinguished […]

Read Article

Number List 5

Basic Japanese : Trivia about numbers in Japanese

The final post about numbers in Japanese. Number over quadrillion Numbers over “chou” (trillion to quadrillion) are quite rarely used. You may hear the following unit “kei” sometimes, but numbers over the unit “kei” won’t be seen in usual life. I’ve never seen it myself even in the news and I actually can’t name units […]

Read Article

Red paper, blue paper

Japanese urban legends – Part 2 –

“Toshi densetsu” : Japanese urban legends (2) In this post, there are only two Japanese urban legends. The main topic is a Japanese toilet.   Yume (Dream) A high school girl had a nightmare that she was mangled by a psychopath with his knife on the way home from her school. It was so vivid […]

Read Article

Number List 4

Basic Japanese : Large numbers in Japanese – Thousand and over

Large numbers in Japanese : Thousand to quadrillion From thousand to quadrillion, the common units you hear in everyday life in Japan including in the news. As I wrote in the previous post, for digits over ten, “4” is always read as “yon” and “9” as “kyuu”. “7” is generally “nana”. For bigger numbers than […]

Read Article

Hyaku

Basic Japanese : Numbers in Japanese from eleven to hundreds (and Zero)

Numbers in Japanese : Zero and over ten to hundreds Zero and from 11 to 999. Zero in Japanese “Zero” or “Rei”. “Zero” from English, and “Rei” from Chinese. The pronunciation of “rei” is almost the same as English “lay”. Both are very commonly used, and generally considered as the same meaning. In fact, they […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑