Kiyohime - a young woman's desire

  There once was a handsome young buddhist monk, named Anchin, who would make a yearly pilgrimage. On his way, he would take his lodgings at the mayors house per the mayors request. Kiyohime, the daughter of the mayor was to take care of the guest. But instead of taking care of the guest, the young girl, lively and rambunctious as she was, would follow and harass poor Ancin everywhere. For a good nights rest, this was not the place to be for the young monk.

  In an effort to get the young Kiyohime off his back, he made a proposal that if she would calm down and behave like a proper lady, he would come back for her hand in marriage when she would be of age.

  Big-eyed, Kiyohime listened intently and immediately quiet down. Being married with the handsome Anchin was all that she wanted, so she made sure to properly take care of Anchin as a proper, quiet lady. And she would wait for him until she would be old enough for marriage.


  Many years passed by and Anchin would go on his annual pilgrimage. Again he would stay for a night at the mayors house while passing through. As he made his way to the house, there at the entrance he saw Kiyohime waiting. Now a young woman, she stood there in her finest kimono with a smile on her face. 

  She welcomed Anchin back at the manor and while escorting him inside told him how long she had waited for this moment and how good she had been. Surprised Anchin looked at her, not fully understanding what she had been waiting for. 

  „Surely you remember the promise you made me when I was still a young girl?” she asked coy. Now fully aware what was going on Anchin was mortified. How could she not have understood that was only said as a joke?! „Ah yes, but that was such a long time ago” he tried backing out. „ A beautiful young lady such as yourself, surely should be with someone with a title and all the means to give you what you deserve?” 

  „Nonsense” she replied. „We have made a vow to one another that can never be broken.”

  Realizing she could not be persuaded otherwise, Anchin found himself in quite the pickle. He decided after the pilgrimage on his way home, he would go around Kiyohime’s place and avoid her that way forever. 

 Thinking that was quite the bulletproof plan, he said his goodbye to Kiyohime after the nights rest, promising he would come back after the pilgrimage.

  After Anchin had finalized his pilgrimage, he went around Kiyohime’s place and straight for the boatman. Before getting on the boat he made a deal with the boatman not to let Kiyohime on board. The boatman agreed and they would make the passage over the Hidaka river.

  However, it had come to Kiyohime’s knowledge that Achin had tricked her and would go straight for the boat. Frenzied, she ran bare feet from the manor to the pier. Not a boat in sight to help her get to Anchin, she threw all ladylike behavior out the window and ran in the water, where she started swimming after him. 

  The rage that was running through her veins made her not even feel the cold of the water and made her legs slowly turn into that of a scaly dragons tail, making her catch up to the boat.

  As Anchin thought he made it out, he realized all too soon that Kiyohime was right there behind him in the water, transformed into a snake dragon like monster. Terrified, he immediately started to think where he could hide as soon as he reached ashore.

  Remembering there was the Dojo-ji temple nearby the shore, he ran there as fast as he could as soon as he had reached land.

  Not a moment to spare, he ran to the monks of the temple and asked them to hide him from the kijo that was after him. The monks looked at each other and the best they could come up with was to lower the tower bell so he could hide under that. Meanwhile, while they hid the terrified Anchin, Kiyohime had reached land. Though she did not know where Anchin had run off too, she could smell him. So she followed her nose all the way up to the temple. Still no sight of Anchin, his scent was strongest at a tower bell on the ground. 

  She tried moving the bell, but to no avail. Frustrated she would bang her powerful tail against it, and still the bell would not budge and anchin would not come out. Enraged now, she coiled up around the bell and as she wanted to scream, instead her sounds turned into fire. She could not stop it, the whole tower bell melted down

  A moment of stillness passed and Kiyohime came to the realization that poor Anchin had been burned alive in the tower bell by her doing. Her heart now broken, she went back to the cold of the water and and went to the very deep end to end it all there.