Amazing Reborn Japanese Boy Who Had a Memory Just Before Birth

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This is a true story of a boy who once died but was born again to another family.

About 200 years ago, Atsutane Hirata (1776-1843), one of the greatest Japanese scholars, had interest on an afterlife.

Atsutane Hirata (1776-1843)

Hirata is conventionally ranked as one of the Four Great Men of Kokugaku (nativist) studies of Japan, and one of the most significant theologians of the Japanese Shinto religion.

Hirata had a great interest in the spirit world.

What will happen to us after death?

Thus, Hirata collected evidences of the spirit world from all over Japan.

On June 1823, Hirata published “Chronicle of the Rebirth of Katsugoro” based on his interviews with a boy, Katsugoro Koyata (1814-1869).

Katsugoro was a son of a farmer of Tama District, Musashi Province (in present-day Higashinakano, Hachioji city, Tokyo) Japan.

Katsugoro had a strange memory of his previous life before birth.

On November 1822, one night, Katsugoro said to his family,

I was a child named Tozo of a family living in a Hodokubo village.

When I was 6, I died from smallpox.

Then, Katsugoro told his family his amazing experiences after death to rebirth.

If you are interested in Katsugoro’s amazing confession about his rebirth, please click the link below.

Here, I would like to introduce Katsurogo’s amazing memory just before birth.

A Japanese Boy Who Once Died Was Reborn to Another Family

In the former post, I introduced Katsugoro’s amazing after-death experience.

Since Katsugoro went to another world, three years passed.

One day, the mysterious old man said to Katsugoro pointing at a house.

Enter that house.

So, you will be born again to the family living in the house.

As the old man said, Katsugoro went near the house.

Then the old man was gone somewhere.

Katsugoro stood beneath a persimmon tree in the garden of the house.

He stood there for three days to wait and see how it goes, but nothing happened.

So, Katsugoro decided to get into the house through a window.

After he entered the house, he stood near a wood burning oven for three days.

Then one night, Katsurogo heard a man having a conversation with his wife.

Katsugoro listen with all his ears.

According to the conversation, his wife was going to go somewhere far away.

An Unborn Boy Listened to the Private Conversation of His Future Parents

Later, Nobutomo Ban, a Japanese scholar interviewed Katsugoro’s father, Genzou to verify Katsugoro’s story.

Nobutomo Ban (1773-1846), a Japanese scholar. Ban is conventionally ranked as one of the Four Great Men of Kokugaku (nativist) studies. Ban was also a friend of Atsutane Hirata.

Genzo told Ban,

I remember that day.

It was in January of the year when Katsugoro was born.

That night, I talked about future plans with my wife in a bedroom.

At that time, we lived in poverty but we had two children.

Further, we could not even support my old mother.

So, it was necessary to send out my wife as an apprentice to Edo (peresent Tokyo) from March.

My wife agreed the apprentice to Edo.

Until February, I didn’t tell my mother my wife’s apprenticeship in Edo.

Then, in March, my wife went to Edo as an apprentice.

But, she found in Edo that she was pregnant.

Thus she returned home.

We found out later that my wife got pregnant on January.

Then, on October 10, Katsugoro was born.

Here, Ban asked Genzou,

When your wife got pregnant, did something strange happen?


Did something strange happen after Katsugoro was born?

No, not at all.

Nothing special, the same.

Does Katsugoro know that your wife went to Edo before he was born?

Genzou shook his head.

No, he can’t know that.

Are you sure?


We have never told him my wife’s apprenticeship in Edo so far.

So, it’s kind of a mystery for us.

How did he know that?

I don’t really understand how he could know that!

In this way, Katsugoro knew the conversation between his parents 9 months before his birth, although his parents had never talked to him about it.

Katsugoro Had a Memory in His Mother’s Womb

As for the memory during pregnancy, Katsurogo said as follows,

At that time, I got inside my mother’s tummy.

But I don’t remember the detail well.

I remember that I moved my body aside in my mother’s tummy so that my mother would become less painful.

When Katsurogo was born, it was the fifth year since he died from smallpox in 1810 in his previous life.

Thus, Katugoro stayed in the another world for about 5 years.

Interestingly, Katsugoro also had a memory of the day when he was born.

Katsugoro said,

When I was born, I felt no pain at all.

Until the age of 4 or 5, I remembered the other things I felt when I was born, but that memory is fading away with time.

In this way, Katsurogo was born again in October 10, 1815 retaining a sharp memory.

Katsugoro’s Grandmother Asked the Other Villagers about His Previous Family

After hearing the Katsugoro’s story from death to rebirth, his grandmother wondered why an 8 year-old child could make up such a strange story.

It was too realistic and detailed for creation of a young child’s fancy.

One day after that, the meeting was held for elderly female villagers.

Then the grandmother dared to ask other villagers about the Katsugoro’s family in his previous life.

Excuse me, there’s something I’d like to ask.

Does anyone here know Mr. Kyubei in Hodokubo village?

According to Katsugoro, Kyubei was his father in his previous life.

One of them said to the grandmother,

I don’t know who Kyubei is.

But I have relatives in Hodokubo village.

So, I will make an inquiry to see if Kyobei is in Hodokubo village.

Oh! It would be very helpful if you could.

So, anyway, why do you ask about Kyubei?

What did he do?

The grandmother could not remain silent under the old women’s interested gaze.

So, she told them Katsugoro’s story in brief.

An Old Man Visited Katsugoro’s House to Verify His Previous Life

Sometime after the meeting, on January 7, an old man visited Katsugoro’s house from Hodokubo village.

The old man said to Katsugoro’s grandmother and his parents.

I came from Hodokubo village, because I heard that your grandson said that Hanshiro was his stepfather in his previous life.

The grandmother gazed at the old man with wide eyes.

Yes, that’s right.

But what’s the relationship between you and Hanshiro?

The old man made a respectful bow to her.

I’m sorry.

I should have introduced myself sooner.

My name is XXXX.

I am good friends with Hanshiro in Hodokubo village. 

Oh! Do you know Hanshiro?

Yes, I know Hanshiro well.

Katsugoro’s grandmother and parents were very surprised to hear that Hanshiro was an actual person.

Hanshiro was not a fictional character!

So, do you know Kyubei too?

According to Katsugoro, Kyubei was his birth father in his previous life.

The old man nodded to her.

Yes, I know Kyubei well, too.

Kyubei is his former name when he was young.

Later, he changed his name to Tougoro.

Katsugoro’s grandmother and parents looked at each other in amazement.

So, Kyubei is also an actual man, isn’t he?

Yes, Kyubei lived in Hodokubo village.

But 15 years ago, he passed away.

So, now, there is no person with the name Kyubei in Hodokubo village.

After Kyubei passed away, his wife married again to Hanshiro.

Amazingly, what the old man said was completely consistent with what Katsugoro said to his family to the last detail.

The memory of Katsugoro’s rebirth was the truth!

The old man continued.

By the way, I heard a strange rumor on the grapevine that the child of Kyubei named Touzo, who died at 6, was reborn to your family.

It sounds too good to be true.

To ascertain the truth, Hanshiro’s family would like to hear the details from your reborn son.

This is the reason I visited your house.

That is, I’m a messenger from Hanshiro’s family.

Thus, Katsurogo’s grandmother and parents told the old man the story that Katsugoro was living in Hodokubo village in his previous life.

The old man listened to the amazing story of Katsugoro’s rebirth.

Then he went back to Hodokubo village.

Katsugoro Became Famous Overnight

Since then, the rumor of Katsugoro’s rebirth became a hot topic through the village.

So, Katsugoro became famous overnight.

Some people visited Katsugoro’s house to take one look at him.

When Katsugoro went out from his house, villagers made a great fuss of him.

Look at that boy!

They say he was reincarnated.

Oh, really?


They say he was a boy living in Hodokubo village in his previous life.

So, he is a Hodokubo boy!

In this way, Katsugoro gained a nickname “Hodokubo boy.”

Since then, Katsugoro was looked at by villagers with a great deal of curiosity.

Thus, Katsugoro got shy and could not go out from his house.

I told you not to tell anyone but you didn’t listen!

I thought it would happen.

That’s what I told you!

In the Hirata’s book “Chronicle of the Rebirth of Katsugoro,” is written that Katsugoro blamed his grandmother after that terrible experience.

This amazing story is based on an official record certified by the Japanese government.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Someday, you may talk about future plans with your partner in the bedroom.

I’m hoping to have a baby.

How many children do you want to have?

You enjoy your pleasant time together with your partner.

Suddenly, you may feel like there is someone in the bedroom.

So, you have your eyes across the room.

However, there is no one but you and your partner in the room.

Your partner asks you with a questioning look.

What happened?

Did I imagine it?

I felt like someone is in this room!

Is anybody here?

It can be!

Nobody else is in this room.

I think it’s all in your mind!

But, it’s not in your mind.

That is the truth.

They are always watching you and listening to your private conversations in the bedroom.

Should I go inside her tummy?

Will they become worthy parents for me?

So, you have to be more careful what you say in your bedroom, because

They are always listening to your conversation before they are born, just like Katsugoro!

Published on June 9, 2019

Written by OTAKUPAPA


  1. Hirata Atsutane (June 1823). “Chronicle of the Rebirth of Katsugoro
  2. Hino City Local Museum (2015-2018). “The Story of Rebirth of Katsutoro
  3. Katsugoro Koyata in Wikipedia.
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Author of this article

A dad blogger who loves manga, anime, games. In this blog, I will introduce amazing Japanese spirituality and philosophy.


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