This is part of the A-to-Z blog challenge for April. My theme is legends and legendary creatures (both real and fiction). I hope you enjoy following along!
The Japanese tale of the “Icicle Woman.”
Deep in the forest, a lonely young man stared out his cabin window into a cold winter day. An icicle hanging down from the roof grabbed his attention and he gazed into it, wishing that he was not alone–wishing for a female companion.
Later on, that wish was granted. A woman of surpassing beauty knocked on his door, and upon seeing her he instantly fell in love. The two become a married couple, and for a while everything seemed fine, until the man noticed that his wife hadn’t taken a bath since the day they met… He was concerned (eek, yeah obviously) and questioned her about it.
She brushed the matter aside and insisted that she didn’t need baths. Indeed she always looked beautiful, and never had a stench, but the man couldn’t accept this (who could?). So he continued to insist, day after day, until the woman grew weary of arguing with him.
She finally agreed to take a bath while the young man fixed supper. He was pleased, and soon had a nice meal ready. He waited for her to come out of the bath. Waited, and waited. An hour passed, and he grew anxious, knocking on the door. When no one answered, he entered the bath room, but only to find it empty… Empty of all but a few shards of ice in the bath.
The woman was made from the icicle and had melted in the water, and was gone…
I know, I know, cry it out. Why must these folklore tales have such sad endings?
This is why you don’t question the behavior of a beautiful woman, especially your wife, or you’ll end up alone again. (I think that’s supposed to be the lesson…?)
Join us tomorrow in another mysterious legend! Don’t forget to click on the “Follow” button to be notified of new blog posts!
Learn more about this folklore tale and other versions of it at Hyakumonogatari.
(Art/gifs belongs to their respective owners, not me. I make no profit through this.)