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Tazunekuru Onna (The Visiting Woman)


A monster who comes to visit on a snowy night—The Snow Woman.
This monster combines the impermanence of melting snow with the wildness of a blizzard. It first appeared in literature in the fifteenth century. Tradition states that it takes the form of a beautiful woman, and I must admit that I have never heard of a snow man. The only snow man I know is the 'abominable snowman’ who is supposed to be a white anthropoid, but that has nothing to do with Japan.
I think that the fact that this creature, who is said to visit on snowy nights, is not described as a hideous monster or a violent anthropoid with whom it is impossible to communicate, but rather a beautiful woman is what pulls at the heartstrings of the Japanese. A story about a strange creature who suddenly enters a person’s uneventful life is truly the stuff of manga and moreover, if it is a beautiful woman it fits into a pattern that is popular these days. It is truly a classic pattern that has continued down from the fifteenth century.
I think that this is the reason why people still tell the story of the Snow Woman.
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