Tomino’s Hell

Welcome back, fellow humans. 

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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. 

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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 – 

姉は血を吐く、妹(いもと)は火吐く、

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.

ひとり地獄に落ちゆくトミノ、

hitori jigoku ni ochiyuku tomino,

Tomino fell into Hell alone,

地獄くらやみ花も無き。

jigoku kurayami hana mo naki.

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

鞭で叩くはトミノの姉か、

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?

叩けや叩きやれ叩かずとても、

tatakeya tatakiyare tatakazu totemo,

Hit, hit, without hitting,

無間地獄はひとつみち。

mugen jigoku wa hitotsu michi.

Infinite Hell’s one road.

暗い地獄へ案内(あない)をたのむ、

kurai jigoku e anai wo tanomu,

Would you lead him to the dark Hell,

金の羊に、鶯に。

kane no hitsuji ni, uguisu ni.

To the sheep of gold, to the bush warbler.

皮の嚢(ふくろ)にやいくらほど入れよ、

kawa no fukuro niya ikura hodo ireyo,

Fit as much as you can into the leather sack,

無間地獄の旅支度。

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,

暗い地獄谷七曲り。

kurai jigoku tani nana magari.

Even in the seven valley streams of the dark Hell.

籠にや鶯、車にや羊、

kago niya uguisu, kuruma niya hitsuji,

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

可愛いトミノの眼にや涙。

kawaii tomino no me niya namida.

Tears in the eyes of cute Tomino.

啼けよ、鶯、林の雨に

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.

啼けば反響(こだま)が地獄にひびき、

nakeba kodama ga jigoku ni hibiki,

The crying echo reverberates throughout Hell,

狐牡丹の花がさく。

kitsune botan no hana ga saku.

The fox penoy blooms.

地獄七山七谿めぐる、

jigoku nanayama nanatani meguru,

Circling around Hell’s seven mountains and seven streams,

可愛いトミノのひとり旅。

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,

針の御山(おやま)の留針(とめはり)を。

hari no oyama no tomehari wo.

The needle of the graves.

赤い留針だてにはささぬ、

akai tomehari date ni wa sasanu,

I won’t pierce with the red needle,

可愛いトミノのめじるしに。

kawaii tomino no mejirushini.

In the milestones of little Tomino.

Thank you for reading, fellow humans.

65 thoughts on “Tomino’s Hell

  1. First time I have come across some stuff like this. I didn’t read the poem loud. It’s intriguing how every culture has it’s own description of hell

    Like

  2. It’s also the first I hear about this. Sounds interesting. I love horror films so this doesn’t scare me at all. 🙂 In fact, I am enjoying.. will check more about this seeing it’s japanese!

    Like

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