Reader, pray take not the story of the O'Iwa Inari, the Yotsuya Kwaidan, as a mere fairy tale or novel of the day. The shrine of the Tamiya Inari stands now to attest the truth of the tradition. Let the doubter but witness the faith of the believer in the powers of the fearful lady; and, if doubt still continues to exist, the salutary fear of others at least will inspire respect.
Nipponese mind; especially among the women. If the present writer might have felt momentarily an amused feeling at sight of her worshippers, it was quickly lost at sight of the positive unhappiness expressed in these faces of the abandoned. A visit to the Tamiya Inari is not necessarily either one of idle curiosity or without results. Some exceedingly painful impressions can be brought away in the mind.
It is not entirely in jest therefore that apology is made for the reproduction of the story. It is well in such matters to follow one's predecessors. Moreover, public sentiment is not to be derided nor disregarded. It has a certain title to respect, even when superstition is involved. Hence the statement can be made, that in telling this story of the "Yotsuya Kwaidan" no derogatory motive is involved--to people, class, or person; least of all in reference to the dread Lady of Tamiya.
OMARUDANI--4th July, 1916.
PROEM 15 I. O'MINO AND DENSUKÉ