A legendary curse versus a legendary dance move.

With such a long, rich history Japan is a land full of legends and superstitions. From demon burial sites to forbidden forests, there’s no shortage of locations with paranormal backstories for us to investigate.

This time, we headed to the uninhabited island of Oshima. The island has its own mythos, but this article is going to focus solely on the bridge leading to it, Oshimabashi. 

This bridge has one simple rule: Never turn back on it.

It’s exactly the kind of rule that puts our neurotic and superstitious reporter Seiji Nakazawa on edge. For example, what exactly constitutes “turning back?” What if he dropped his keys along the way and slightly turned around to pick them up? What if he slipped on a banana peel and fell backwards, but basically kept going forwards?

To find out, Seiji put his karma on the line and headed over to Oshimabashi to investigate the stipulations of its curse.

This area is located near Tojinbo, a series of steep cliffs over the sea in the town of Sakai, Fukui Prefecture, and one of Japan’s most notorious suicide spots. It is said that the bodies of those who throw themselves into the sea often get caught in the pillars of Oshimabashi.

So, when peering over the edge of the bridge, urban legends say it’s not uncommon to see human remains, from bones to a full corpse. Seiji decided to test this rumor out and peeked his head over the railing, braced for the worst.

But nothing was there…

Actually, the water was a lot shallower than he expected so if there were any dead bodies, there would have been no way he could have missed it.

Anyway, the legend of Oshimabashi has more to do with spiritual human remains than physical, so Seiji returned to the task at hand. According to legend, those who turn back while crossing the bridge to Oshima will bring back with them the spirits of those who perished and became trapped under the bridge. Presumably it’s because in turning back you are doing what they wished they could have done.

Seiji’s hypothesis was that the strict definition of “turning back” would require a person to rotate their facing roughly 180 degrees. If true, then Seiji could moonwalk his way back off the bridge without turning and thus not acquiring any souls of the damned.

Our reporter ventured to the middle of the bridge. The weather became very rough and a typhoon-like wind swept across that felt strong enough to knock Seiji into the haunted sea if he wasn’t careful. It was as if the bridge knew he was challenging it.

He pulled out his trusty Baketan Reiseki amulet that helped him locate the British spirits of Chillingham Castle. It works like a radar in that if a ghost is detected nearby it will glow blue and if the holder is in direct contact with the undead it will turn red and beep wildly. On the other hand, a steady beep and green light means the coast is clear.

Once far enough, he gathered his courage and started a 4/4, 116 beats per minute rhythm in his head…

▼ Tojinbo can be seen in the background where the red arrow is pointing

▼ “1…2…3…Go! Billie Jean is not my lover…”

▼ “Beep… Beep…”

▼ “She’s just a girl who claims that BAKETAN!!!”

▼ “Beep, beep, beep…”

Seiji’s battery-powered amulet began to flicker blue and red, but only for a moment. It was as if the spirits were sniffing around, checking if he was following the rules. By the time he reached the shore, it had returned to a steady green state.

▼ “Beeeeeep”

And so, Seiji’s experiment appeared successful. He had returned from the bridge without technically turning back and was not haunted.

▼ This reporter is clean.

Still, he had seen enough horror movies to know that it’s when the humans get lured into a false sense of security that the ghosts always appear for a good scare. As he drove along the wet and snowy roads, he continued to peek into the backseat of his car for any spooky surprises.

When he got back to the office, he scanned his co-workers to see if any of them became evil, dead, or worse… evil dead. However, everyone was the same chaotic neutral they’d always been.

Still, Seiji felt strangely different. It turned out he actually had picked up the soul of a deceased person while on that bridge and its spirit now consumed him.

▼ “A heehee! Sha’mon!”

We would seek help, but we kind of like him better this way.

Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]