Tomino’s Hell

Welcome back, fellow humans. 

Have you heard about Tomino’s hell?

Tomino no Jigoku is written by Yomota Inuhiko in a book called The Heart is Like a Rolling Stone and also in the 27th collection of poetry by Saijō Yaso in 1919. It is a Japanese poem that narrates Tomino’s descent to hell. The legend says that if you read the poem out loud, you will suffer a great tragedy. In 1983, a director called Terayama Shuji produced a movie based on the poem and later died, this incident circulated the rumours of the poem being cursed.

Tomino’s hell

When reading the poem, people describe feelings of discomfort and dread. Tomino is identified as the male character who is losing his will to fight for the cause. His older and younger sisters are encouraging him. 


His sisters are suffering but he is unable to comfort them. He calls out for his younger sister as he carries himself through the unfathomable guilt and depression. He feels trapped inside a world that keeps moving forward. He desires to pay for his sins and subdue his guilt through struggles and pain. 

Do you think the poem is cursed?

Do not recite the poem out loud !!!

If you chose to ignore my warning please do it at your own risk.

Tomino’s hell translated by David Bowles – 


ane wa chi wo haku, imoto wa hibaku,

His older sister vomited blood, his younger sister vomited fire,

可愛いトミノは 宝玉(たま)を吐く。

kawaii tomino wa tama wo haku

And the cute Tomino vomited glass beads.


hitori jigoku ni ochiyuku tomino,

Tomino fell into Hell alone,


jigoku kurayami hana mo naki.

Hell is wrapped in darkness and even the flowers don’t bloom.


muchi de tataku wa tomino no ane ka,

Is the person with the whip Tomino’s older sister,

鞭の朱総(しゅぶさ)が 気にかかる。

muchi no shubusa ga ki ni kakaru.

I wonder whose blood is on it?


tatakeya tatakiyare tatakazu totemo,

Hit, hit, without hitting,


mugen jigoku wa hitotsu michi.

Infinite Hell’s one road.


kurai jigoku e anai wo tanomu,

Would you lead him to the dark Hell,


kane no hitsuji ni, uguisu ni.

To the sheep of gold, to the bush warbler.


kawa no fukuro niya ikura hodo ireyo,

Fit as much as you can into the leather sack,


mugen jigoku no tabijitaku.

For the preparation of the journey in the familiar Hell.

春が 来て候(そろ)林に谿(たに)に、

haru ga kite soro hayashi ni tani ni,

Spring is coming even in the forest and the stream,


kurai jigoku tani nana magari.

Even in the seven valley streams of the dark Hell.


kago niya uguisu, kuruma niya hitsuji,

The bush warbler in the birdcage, the sheep in the wagon,


kawaii tomino no me niya namida.

Tears in the eyes of cute Tomino.


nakeyo, uguisu, hayashi no ame ni

Cry, bush warbler, toward the raining forest

妹恋しと 声かぎり。

imouto koishi to koe kagiri.

He shouts that he misses his little sister.


nakeba kodama ga jigoku ni hibiki,

The crying echo reverberates throughout Hell,


kitsune botan no hana ga saku.

The fox penoy blooms.


jigoku nanayama nanatani meguru,

Circling around Hell’s seven mountains and seven streams,


kawaii tomino no hitoritabi.

The lonely journey of cute Tomino.

地獄ござらばもて 来てたもれ、

jigoku gozaraba mote kite tamore,

If they’re in Hell bring them to me,


hari no oyama no tomehari wo.

The needle of the graves.


akai tomehari date ni wa sasanu,

I won’t pierce with the red needle,


kawaii tomino no mejirushini.

In the milestones of little Tomino.


Thank you for reading, fellow humans.

56 thoughts on “Tomino’s Hell

  1. I do not believe it is cursed but it is very scary to read. I totally felt disturbing and uneasy reading that even though I normally love Japanese oriented pieces of writing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I ugh, didn’t read the poem. I’m not usually superstitious, but the way you spoke of the poem really creeped me out. haha.


  3. Wow reading your introduction about this poem got me scared haha. I remember the movie “The Ring” japanese version. I didn’t read the poem, thanks for the warning lol.


  4. I skimmed through the poem, but I didn’t want to read the whole thing. I very much believe the spirits of darkness exist, and there’s no sense in inviting trouble or curses.


  5. I think it is a little creepy to read. I haven’t skipped anything and towards the end I got the overall gist of it. It’s nice, something different to read.


  6. I feel like this is sort of a thing in the Japanese culture. Like, do not share this thing that is curse or do share this thing that is cursed or else you’ll die in 7 days! (Referring to the movie Ringu) 🙂


  7. This is such an Interesting post. I’m so curious, but scared at the same time. I skipped that poem part… I’m not risking it lol Thanks for sharing!


  8. Creepy! I was afraid to linger on the poem words too much because I was afraid it might count toward the curse lol. I love Japanese literature and culture in general so this was fascinating!


  9. I like poems but I’ve never read one quite like this before. I love intrigue and I’m not superstitious so curses don’t bother me, lol.


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