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Folklores in Arima



In olden times, the Arima Onsen was called "Yu-no-yama (Bath Mountain)" of the Settsu Country, and there was a hut in the range of mountains after entering the Yu-no-yama or Arima. This hut honoring Buddha and Jizo (guardian deity of children) was built as a place for travelers to rest. At this hut, there was a woman named Otoku who lived there and gathered mountain vegetables and herbs for the guests at an inn. Gradually, the inn had gained a reputation for healing the illness of the guests using mineral baths and providing food with wild plants.

One day a girl and mother came to this inn from the distant land of Tango (a country to the north of Kyoto). The hands and feet of the four people of the family were numb and they experienced extreme pain everyday, but since they had no money, only two, the daughter and the mother, came to be healed. The mother said that if they were healed, she would work hard to bring the husband and son staying at home. Otoku-san soon had them eat mountain vegetables and take mineral baths, but the mother and daughter became weaker each day, and as they lay on their bed crying, the mother said, "We have no more money and have to go home tomorrow."

Otoku-san knew of a fruit from a tree, which was said to be very effective for all kinds of illnesses. The tree was found close to Konbu Waterfall near her hut. However, a wolf lived near to the tree and this fruit was the favorite of the wolf. Otoku-san had never considered picking the fruit for fear of wolf's retaliation, but seeing the pitiful sight of the mother and daughter, she instantly resolved to pick fruit from the tree.

She discovered the tree with the fruit by Konbu Waterfall. She picked some of the fruit but was careful to leave enough fruit for the wolf. As started to return to the inn with portions for the mother and the daughter, she thought of the father and son suffering in Tango and without thinking she picked the wolf's portion of the fruit.

When she returned to the inn to feed the mother and daughter, their fever broke, and both their pain and numbness were relieved. With their health restored, the mother and daughter set off to return to Tango. Expressing their gratitude abundantly, the mother and daughter descended the mountain, waving and bowing all the way. Otoku-san, too, was overjoyed seeing the mother and daughter with their health and spirits restored.

Soon after that, Otoku-san was not seen for several days. Her neighbors went out and searched the mountain and fields almost everyday, but Otoku-san was never found. A few days later, a person appeared who said that he had seen the wolf in the valley in the heart of the mountain with Otoku-san's kimono in its mouth. When everyone heard that, there was a great layer of sadness. They built a fine gravesite for her in front of the hut.

About a year later, the four members of the family came from Tango and brought a Japanese silk crepe, a noted product of Tango, to give to Otoku-san. However, after hearing the sad end of Otoku-san from the master of the inn, they thought of Otoku-san's compassion, and in remembrance of Otoku-san, they constructed a stone statue of Buddha inside the hut and clothed the statue in a kimono made of Tango crepe.

Folklores in Arima Index
No. 1 Tale : Two Gods and Three Crows of Arima
No. 2 Tale : Saint Gyoki and Hot Springs of Arima
No. 3 Tale : Saint Ninsai and the Spider Guide
No. 4 Tale : Totoya-michi and the Mountain Dog's Repayment
No. 5 Tale : Spider Waterfall
No. 6 Tale : Valley of Hell (Bird Hell and Insect Hell)
No. 7 Tale : Mt. Kumuchi and Cedar Valley
No. 8 Tale : Uwanari-yu (Jealousy Bath)
No. 9 Tale : Tamoto-ishi (Tamato Stone)
No. 10 Tale : Negai-zaka (Slope of Wish)
No. 11 Tale : The Teakettle of Zenpukuji Temple
No. 12 Tale : Kobu-zaka (Lump Slope)
No. 13 Tale : Otoku-san
No. 14 Tale : Funasaka and Saint Gyoki
No. 15 Tale : Fire Protecting Jizo of Konomoto
No. 16 Tale : Origin of Motoyu "Ryuusenkaku"

"Motoyu Ryuusenkaku - Arima Onsen"
1663, Utsugidani, Arima-cho, Kita-ku,
Kobe City, Hyogo, 651-1401 Japan
Tel: 078-904-0901 Fax: 078-903-0099
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Experience the finest in Japanese hospitality complete with relaxing outdoor mineral baths and exquisite Japanese cuisine at Ryuusenkaku.
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Motoyu Ryuusenkaku