What is the scariest urban myth

Fujiwara no Yasumasa

Much is said in Japan that some people have the power to captivate others with their gaze, to hold them back and paralyze them through magic. The most famous example of this kind is reported by a court nobleman from ancient times, from the eleventh century of the Christian era, named Yasumasa. This Yasumasa belonged to a very illustrious house, distinguished by its loyal attachment to the imperial family, that of the Fujiwara - a house from which the old rulers very often chose their highest ministers, but sometimes also their wives. Yasumasa could therefore have laid claim to the highest offices; he was content, however, with that of an imperial stable master, who brought him into constant, close contact with his beloved monarch, and that satisfied his ambition.


One evening, it was deep in winter, and the paths were deserted and deserted, this Mr. Yasumasa was walking outside the gates of Kyoto city, playing the flute from time to time, in which he had acquired great skill, to help himself with it to pass the time on the lonely wandering. Then one of the most dangerous muggers of that time, the gigantic Hakamadare, noticed him from a hiding place. The same thought the poorly armed walker an easy and welcome prey and also thought that he would frighten him without any effort, and that it would not take a fight to get hold of his cash. With his sword drawn he advanced on Yasumasa and called him to give him his money: however, he had been very mistaken and could not even come close to him. Yasumasa only had to fix his eye on him and he stood motionless against his will. He had to turn away and withdraw, ashamed; as often as he dared to step forward, Yasumasa's gaze was spellbound.

Now he thought he wanted to sneak up from a distance and, when he got close, perform a mighty blow on his opponent from behind; but he did not succeed either, for Yasumasa's eye remained fixed on him wherever he turned, and he constantly felt the power of the magical gaze. Yasumasa stayed calm and blew his flute as he pleased.

At last Hakamadare began to tremble all over. He threw himself at Yasumasa's feet and pleadingly raised his hands to him. Yasumasa now showered him with the bitterest accusations about his criminal lifestyle. He asked his name, and when the robber named him, Yasumasa said: “I have heard a great deal about your deeds, and I have always been deeply saddened that a man as capable and brave as you has gone so shamefully astray. Shouldn't you have to strive above all to use your gifts and your strength to benefit humanity instead of harming your neighbors and putting their lives in danger? Now follow me! ”Without will, Hakamadare did as he was told and walked with bowed head behind Yasumasa as far as the city and his house. Here Yasumasa ordered him to stay quietly until he had returned himself, and thereupon he went to the emperor, told him what happened to him, and as a special favor asked Hakamadare's pardon so urgently that the emperor granted it to him. When he announced this to the robber, who was already prepared for the worst, and told him at the same time that he would always support him with advice and action, if he only wanted to give up his shameful trade and become an honest person from now on, was there Hakamadare was almost more overwhelmed by Yasumasa's generosity than by his magical gaze. Tears came to his eyes; on his knees he vowed improvement for ever, and it is said that he faithfully kept this vow to the end of his life.