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Story of Otsuna / Legends and Folktales

Story of Otsuna

A long time ago, there was a gate called 'Otsuna Mon' that lead from Ninomaru to Korokan in the ruins of Fukuoka castle.

Local residents believe that if you touch the gate, you will get a high fever or have a nightmare. There is actually a horrifying tragic story about the gate.

In the Kan'ei period, a powerful samurai, Tadayuki Kuroda, returned from Edo with a Geisha from Osaka named Uneme. He was admonished by his superiors for his behavior, so he gave Uneme to his associate, Shirozaemon Asano.

Asano became obsessed with Uneme, and began to neglect his wife, Otsuna and their two children.

He gave Uneme his principal residence and sent his wife and children to another house in Hakozaki without any money to support them.

Otsuna and the children had financial difficulties. One day she sent a servant to the principal residence to obtain some money to celebrate Girls' Day for her four year old daughter.

Uneme treated the servant very badly and sent him back to Hakozaki empty-handed. Upon returning, the servant committed suicide because he felt he had failed to help Otsuna and the children.

Otsuna despaired when she found out what had happened between Uneme and the servant.

She killed her two children and ran to Asano's principal residence armed with a naginata (long-handled sword) intending to kill her husband. Unfortunately for her, her husband was not home, but was at the castle. In a struggle, she was stabbed by the ronin (lordless samurai), Hikogoro Akashi.

She still did not give up and tried to get to her husband at the castle. Wounded, bloodied and staggering along, she made it to the castle gate, where she died.

The gate was once called Otsunamon. Later it was moved to Nagamiyain, but Nagamiyain, in turn, was destroyed in an air raid in World War II. Today a family court stands on the site.

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