UBA YO-SARE (Japanese Urban Legend)
A man woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. He got up and groped his way to the door in the dark. He was about to open it when someone knocked it three times from the other side. This was strange, since he lived alone in the house. He thought he must have a friend staying over without remembering it, as such things often happened after a night of drunken revelry. He therefore opened it without much concern.
But instead of a familiar face of his friend, he saw a strange old woman dressed in kimono, with a bent back and downcast eyes, standing still in the doorway. Her face was unusually pale.
And the old woman, without words, took him away to some faraway place, and the man was never seen again.
If you have read this story, you may have a visit from the same old woman within three days. If you hear the knocks three times in the middle of the night before you open a door, do not open it immediately, but chant the word “Uba-Yo-Sare” three times. This will make the malicious old woman go away. If you don’t follow the instruction, well….. you know what happens.
“Kagome kagome, kago no naka no tori wa (Kagome kagome, the bird inside the cage) | Itsu itsu deyaru? (When, when will you come out?) | Yoake no ban ni (In the evening of the dawn) | Tsuru to kame to subetta (the crane and turtle slipped) | Ushiro no shoumen daare? (Who stands right behind you now?)”
Kagome Kagome is a Japanese children’s game. One child is chosen as the oni (literally demon or ogre, but similar to the concept of “it” in tag) and sits blindfolded (or with their eyes covered). The other children join hands and walk in circles around the oni while chanting the song for the game. When the song stops, the oni speaks aloud the name of the person behind them, and if they are correct, the person behind will exchange places with the oni.
Rumored Urban Legend: “Kagome Kagome” is a song about murder.