A while ago, I worked in a department store in the downtown Sakae area of Nagoya, selling fresh juice to the customers. I met many kinds of people, some of them strange.
I would like to tell you about one elderly woman. She was about 80. However, her appearance was quite peculiar. The department store I worked at had many kinds of customers, but most of them looked elegant and rich. This lady, however, did not apply. She looked miserable and eccentric.
She came to my store and seemed to be shopping for juice. I asked her which juice she would like to buy, but she kept speaking next to her. I thought she had come with company, but when I looked beside her, I soon realized there was no one there but her. I guess she was speaking next to her for about five minutes, which is a long time! Finally, she walked away, still talking to someone who was invisible. Maybe she and her unseen company couldn’t come to a conclusion of which juice to buy.
I told this story to my co-worker. She told me that that old woman sometimes came into the store, and she was always talking with someone you couldn’t see. Once when my co-worker talked to the woman, she told her that she was always with her friend, who was a “Zashiki-Warashi”, which is a Japanese ghost that brings good luck. A Zahiki-Warashi is a ghost that looks like a young child and inhabits your house. If you treat it kindly, it will bring good fortune to you and your household. The lady said her Zashiki-Warashi was with her always, protecting her and bringing her good luck.
A few months later, I saw her again in the store. That time, she also said something to her company, but I could see no one. –- Yuri Mamiya
Extract from the new book Kanashibari: True Encounters With the Paranormal In Japan by Thomas Bauerle
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