URBAN LEGENDS OF JAPAN

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10. Tomino's hell

In 1919, Saijō Yaso published a collection of poetry that included a poem called “Tomino’s Hell.” It describes a young boy’s experience in hell after committing unspeakable acts. The poem is already pretty creepy, but the legend that surrounds it is even worse: it is said that if you read the poem, you must read it in your own head and never read it aloud. If you read the poem out loud, it causes disaster, and sometimes even death. You can read David Bowles’s translation of the poem here; just keep it to yourself, OK?

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