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Japanese fairy tales    Oni     Tengu     Kitsune     Tanuki     Kami

The Priest and the Kami's Cave

Not far from the village Jdzumo is a tall wild and rugged  mountain known as the sword. On the slopes of this mountain  is  temple to a  special kami to which the kami sword is dedicated. Sacrifices to this kami are made in front of a large dark cave which no one may enter.
Despite this prohibition the people of Jdzumo do tell of one pries to which the responsibility for the worship of the local kami was transferred.  A priest who had dared enter the cave. He prepared himself through intensive prayer and mortification as well as the strictest of fasts for seven days and seven nights.
So when he had purified himself and did nothing for evil he stepped into the dark cave. For a long time he could distinguish nothing, but at last he saw a very venerable old man in the corner of the cavern. The old man spoke kindly to him and allowed him to come closer, taking him through the cave so that he might inspect all that was in in. But the old  man warned him not to every tell anyone of what he’d just seen.
Word spread quickly among the villagers that the priest had entered the caves and come safely out again. So the people implored the priest to reveal some of the strange wonders he’d seen. At first he stubbornly refused to reveal anything, but after some time he felt vain pride in what he’d achieved and so he began to want to tell them what he’d seen. The moment he thought of saying something, however, he fell dead before he could even utter a word.