A preparation for the cremation was being
held at the house of Kiku in Yamada. People
gathered around in a circle with a priest
leading to close the lid of the coffin
Suddenly, they heard a rusling noise from
inside the coffin, and the buds of flowers
that had been put
neatly around the body of Kiku started to
The chanting stopped, everybody stared at
the coffin, their faces white with fear when
they saw that the dead Kiku started to rise,
Turning her head from left to right, and
staring at the people around, she said:"What
happened? Where am I?
This is not my room, this is not my store!"
Some people started running out of the house,
some fell to the ground overcome with fear,
but the parents of Kiku were so glad to see
their daughter alive again, looking fresh
and full of energy with no traces of having
been sick for so long.
They hugged her tightly and whispered : "Kiku,
dear Kiku, don't you remember your room?
Look, your kimono and all your clothes are all still there,
at the same place where you kept them."
Kiku cried out loud: "No, no, this is
not my room, not my clothes. This is not
my grocery store in Utari."
She got up, and running away barefooted,
she shouted frantically: "Let me go
back to Utari!"
She walked along the river, crossed the mountain,
and arrived at the town of Utari. She remembered
everything, the old temple with the Jizo statues that she used to visit, the children playing there, and
the sound of the stream of the river with
the birds singing their sweet songs.
She felt relieved when she saw her house,
and opening the front door she said happily:"I'm
An old couple came out from the kitchen,
and they were surprised to see Kiku there,
a complete stranger.
They stared at her, asking :"Who are
"I'm Kiku, your daughter, Kiku, don't
you recognize me anymore?"
The parents were still full of sorrow at
the loss of their daughter. They looked at
each other and ushering her out, said with
a deep sigh:"We don't know who you are.
Our Kiku died a few days ago, and the cremation was
held yesterday. Please don't upset us with
your miserable joke."
The parents shut the door, leaving the bewildered
The poor Kiku remembered clearly her encounter
with Enma and all the reason why she had
to enter another person's body to get back
to this world.
She knocked at the door once more, and made
an effort to explain everything to her parents,
but they just
wouldn't believe her, and thought that she
was out of her mind.
At last the mother decided to find the truth
by testing her with a lot of questions. She
asked Kiku the date of her birthday, the
names of her children, her aunts and uncles.
She also asked Kiku the prices of the goods
their store, the contents of the warehouse
and other trivial things.
To their surprise, Kiku answered everything
correctly without a moment of hestitation.
"She must be our daughter", at
last the parents were convinced, and led
her into the house,bursting into tears
After a while, some people came rushing to
the store. They said politely to the parents,referring
to Kiku who was sitting inside:
"Please forgive our daughter, Kiku.
We came from the town of Yamada. She had
been sick for a long time and
doesn't know what she is doing. We came to
take her home with us."
The parents invited the people from Yamada
into the house, and let Kiku explained the
First the parents couldn't believe it, but
finally they realized that there's nothing
they could do but to accept everything they
The parents from Yamada said to each other:"
She is exactly the same Kiku, our daughter
Kiku. Look at her,
her eyes, her brows, her smile..............We
will treat her as our own daughter forever,
even though she has a different soul now."
Kiku was very happy, having both parents
treat her as their own daughter, and she
took good care of all of them
in their old days.
When the parents died, she received quite
a fortune from both sides, and lived happily