Oiwa (お岩) (role )



Oiwa is aptly described as a 'ghost of hate' (怨霊) by Zack Davisson in his Yurei: The Japanese Ghost. This character has been ever present in the Japanese psyche since her first appearance in 1825. She was a "...woman who was disfigured and murdered by poison, nailed to a wooden door and then dumped into a fast-flowing river by an unscrupulous husband who wanted to clear the way so he could marry a richer and younger woman, thus increasing his happiness at the expense of her own..."


One version of the Oiwa story

John Fiorillo and Hendrik Lühl wrote in a special issue of Andon in 2006: "Yotsuya Oiwa is married to a dissolute rōnln ('wave man' or masterless samurai) named Tamiya Ie'mon who kills her father. After he tires of Oiwa, Ie'mon decides to marry a neighbor's daughter named Itō Oume. The Itō family provides a potion (actually a poison), ostensibly to aid Oiwa during a post-natal convalescence, which disfigures her. Soon after she learns of her husband's treachery, Oiwa dies by accidentally slashing her throat after walking into a servant's sword sticking out through a pillar. In the last act le'mon is haunted by the ghosts of Oiwa and others he has murdered, and he is finally killed by Oiwa's brother-in-law (or driven to suicide by the victims' ghosts in another adaptation)."