This is a true story of a boy who once died but he was born again to another family.
About 200 years ago, Atsutane Hirata (1776-1843), one of the greatest Japanese scholars in the early 1800s, 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.
Amazingly, Katsugoro had a strange memory of his previous life before birth.
On November 1822, one night, Katsugoro said to his family,
Before birth, I was a child named Tozo of a family living in a Hodokubo village.
But 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 an amazing dream interpretation of a Katsugoro’s sister’s nightmare.
Who Is the Old Man Who Took Katsugoro to Another World?
After Katsugoro died in his previous life, a mysterious old man with long white hair appeared before him.
The old man took Katsugoro to another world.
After Katsugoro stayed in another world for three years, the old man gave him instructions to enter a house.
By following the old man’s instructions, Katsugoro could be born again to the family living there.
By the way, who is the old man?
Hirata interviewed Katsugoro’s father, Genzo to find out who the old man was.
Hirata asked Genzo,
Do you know anything about the old man who took Katsugoro to another world?
Genzo answered the Hirata’s question.
I know something about the old man.
I have never told anyone about it before.
But, as you ask eagerly, I will tell you about it.
Katsugoro had an older sister.
Her name is Fusa and she was 15 years old.
According to Genzo, when Fusa was 13 years old, she lost a kitchen knife.
Her mother scolded Fusa for losing the kitchen knife.
I won’t ever do this again!
Please forgive me, mom!
She promised her mother that she would never do it again.
However, after a while, Fusa lost a kitchen knife again.
Oh! I’m in a crisis!
Mom will get very angry at me again!
What should I do?
After thinking a lot about it, Fusa decided to go to Kumano shrine of the village.
In Kumano shrine, the tutelary deity of the village was enshrined.
Then Fusa prayed to the deity for help.
Could you tell me where I’ve lost the kitchen knife?
If you could tell me, I’ll worship you hundred times!
All she could do was pray.
Katsugoro’s Sister Had a Strange Dream in Which an Old Man Appeared
That night, Fusa had a strange dream.
In the dream, an old man with long white hair appeared before her.
The old man said to Fusa.
Your lost kitchen knife is on the ground in such and such a rice field.
It’s behind grass turning its edge upward.
So, go and fetch your lost kitchen knife!
After waking from the dream, Fusa wondered,
What was that dream?
Was that a revelation from the tutelary deity of Kumano shrine?
Nex morning, Fusa went to the rice field that the old man indicated in the dream.
I found it!!!
Fusa found her lost kitchen knife there.
Surprisingly, the kitchen knife was behind grass turning its edge upward, just as the old man said.
The old man was right!
I had a prophetic dream!
Fusa became so excited that she hurried home with the kitchen knife.
After coming home, Fusa told her family the prophetic dream she had.
To hear that, Fusa’s mother was astounded.
Did you pray to the deity of Kumano shrine for such a trivial thing?
You did the unthinkable!
You should worship before the shrine hundred times as a token of your apology!
Her mother gave her a severe scolding.
Fusa Had a Nightmare Three Times in a Row
And one morning after that, Fusa wept bitterly.
Her parents asked why she was crying.
Fusa said with her eyes swollen from crying.
I had sad dreams three nights in a row since the night before last.
Fusa’s father, Genzo asked her with great concern.
What dreams did you have?
Tell us what you saw, Fusa.
Fusa told her parents about the strange dreams she had.
The night before last, that old man with long white hair and another man appeared before me.
According to Fusa, the old man said to another man as follows.
You did bad things before!
You could not stay this home in the future, even if it’s good now.
Then, you will suffer an agony of despair!
After Fusa had the nightmare, she tried not to worry so much.
However, she had the same nightmare the following night and the next.
I don’t wonder that I had a nightmare just one night.
But, I had the same nightmare for three nights in a row!
So, I think it must be a kind of ominous sign from the deity!
Fusa said to her parents in tears.
An Evil Man with a Snake’s Body Appeared in the Nightmare
Furthermore, Fusa said something strange to her parents.
On the third night, I had the same nightmare.
But it was slightly different from before.
What’s the difference?
Genzo asked Fusa, but she hesitated for a while.
Don’t hold back.
Let it out, Fusa.
At her father’s urging, Fusa started talking again.
In the dream, the old man stared at another man wordlessly.
Then, the man said to the old man,
I have a snake’s body!
Saying that, Fusa began to cry again in fear.
This dream is very alarming!
I don’t know what’s going to happen if it’s a prophetic dream!
So, this is the reason I cried!
Genzo stared with amazement at Fusa.
Then, he gave his daughter soothing words.
You had an unfamiliar dream.
So, you became obsessed with the dream.
I think that’s why you had the same dream for three days in a row.
So, don’t worry, Fusa!
Genzo comforted Fusa.
Hirata’s Dream Interpretation of the Fusa’s Nightmare
After that, Genzo noticed that the old man appeared in Fusa’s dream resembled the mysterious old man who took Katsugoro to another world.
For this reason, Genzo thought that the old man may be the deity of the Kumano shrine.
The deity of the Kumano shrine was considered as the numen of Nakano village where Katsugoro’s family lived.
By the way, who is the man with a snake’s body?
At that time, it struck Genzo that Fusa was born when his family lived in Koishikawa in Edo (present Bunkyo Ward in Tokyo).
Genzo remembered that the numen of Koishikawa was Hikawa Daimyojin.
Front shrine of the Hikawa shrine
Source – Own work
Thus, Genzo thought that the other man with a snake’s body may be Hikawa Daimyojin.
At that time, Asakaze Tsutsumi (1765-1834), a Japanese scholar, attended the interview with Genzo.
According to Japanese legend, Hikawa Daimyojin is a deity in the shape of a dragon!
Everyone else was surprised to hear Tsutsumi’s words.
Furthermore, Hirata added interesting information.
Speaking of Hikawa Daimyojin, it was originally Yamata no Orochi, a legendary 8-headed and 8-tailed Japanese dragon!
Japanese legend has it that an evil dragon, Orochi devoured seven young girls before it was slain by a heroic god, Susano.
Susanoo slaying the Yamata no Orochi, by Yoshitoshi
After that, Orochi reformed itself and became a messenger of Susano.
Perhaps, the man with a snake’s body appeared in the Fusa’s dream would be the legendary dragon, Orochi.
Actually, Hirata’s guess was correct, because Susano and the evil dragon, Orochi were enshrined in Hikawa shrine.
That is the reason why in Fusa’s dream, the old man accused the man with a snake’s body of having done bad things before.
If the man with a snake’s body is the evil dragon, Orochi, that makes total sense!
Curiously, Hirata’s interpretation was consistent with the legend and the facts.
Amazing Connection Between the Dream World and the Spirit World
This interesting story indicates the following points.
(1) The Old Man
First, in Fusa’s dream, an old man with long white hair appeared.
And the same old man took Katsugoro to another world.
Fusa saw an old man with long white hair
Katsugoro saw an old man with long white hair
Therefore, it is considered that our dreams are connected to another world.
(2) The Man with a Snake’s Body
Second, in Fusa’s dream, a man with a snake’s body who did bad things before appeared.
And according to Japanese legend, an evil dragon, Orochi devoured seven young girls.
Fusa saw a man with a snake’s body who did bad things before
A legendary dragon, Orochi devoured seven young girls
(3) The Evil Dragon, Orochi
Third, Orochi was enshrined in Hikawa shrine located in Koishikawa where Fusa was born.
Interestingly, when Fusa had the nightmare, she did not know anything about Hikawa shrine.
Fusa saw a man with a snake’s body who did bad things before
Orochi was enshrined in Hikawa shrine located in Koishikawa where Fusa was born.
In this way, there is a curious connection between our dreams and the mythical world.
From the above consideration, it could be said that our dream is connected to another world as well as mythical world and actual world.
In other words, our mind can go back and forth between this world and another world (or mythical world) through our dreams.
This is the amazing conclusion from Hirata’s dream interpretation of the Fusa’s nightmare.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Someday, you may have a nightmare.
In the nightmare, an evil dragon appears before you.
The dragon chases after you at full speed to devour you.
You try to get away from the dragon, but it keeps coming back!
Unfortunately, you stumble on a stone.
Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!
Suddenly, you awoke from the nightmare.
Oh, it was just a dream.
You felt a big relief to realize that it was only a dream.
Then you think about the dragon.
In this age of science, there is no such a thing as a dragon.
Actually, Dr. Dawkins tells us that a mythological story is a figment of imagination.
So, a supernatural entity like a dragon does not exist.
It’s a delusion!
But, at that time, you feel someone’s presence behind you.
Then, when you look back,
you see a man with a snake’s body right before your eyes!
You should remember that your dream is connected to another world, the mythical world and the actual world, just as Hirata considered.
Published on June 23, 2019
Written by OTAKUPAPA
- Hirata Atsutane (June 1823). “Chronicle of the Rebirth of Katsugoro“
- Hino City Local Museum (2015-2018). “The Story of Rebirth of Katsutoro“
- Katsugoro Koyata in Wikipedia.