YouTubers are modern gods

Inunaki: The cursed village

The myth about the cursed village of Inunaki in the gloomy mountains of Fukuoka Prefecture has become one of the most famous horror stories in Japan. The legend not only attracts tourists and YouTubers from all over the world to the enchanted area, but also serves as a template for horror films and video games. But what about the mysterious village? Does Japan really have an isolated minority above the law?

What does Inunaki mean?

The region is named after Mount Inunaki (犬 鳴), which literally means "howling of the dog". The true origin of the name is unknown, but three explanations could prevail. For one thing, it is rumored that the locals named the mountain that because their dogs felt uncomfortable around it and began to howl.

A second explanation is based on a story that is said to have happened in the woods. Once a man went hunting with his dog. But since his pet barked continuously and drove all the prey to flight, the hunter became so angry that he killed the four-legged friend. Only later did he find out that the dog actually wanted to warn him about a black dragon (in other versions this is interpreted as a black poisonous snake). Out of repentance, the man decided to become a monk and repent.

A third story says that the name was due to a woman's desperate cries for help. The wind distorted her voice so much that from a distance it sounded like the howl of a dog.

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The location of the village

A village called Inunakidanimura actually existed from 1691 to 1889 at the foot of Mount Inunaki and then merged with neighboring locations to form today's city of Miyawaka (Fukuoka Prefecture). As expected, this region is subject to the Japanese legislature and does not have a particularly high crime rate. Those who visit them return in the best of health and cannot complain about the residents.

However, according to legend, today's Miyawaka and Inunaki are not one and the same city. The cursed village is not shown on any map and according to the stories it is very difficult to find. Allegedly the entrance is at the Inunaki tunnel and is marked as such by a sign.

"From here on the Japanese law no longer applies"

In 1999 an unknown author sent Japanese TV stations initial information about the village and laid the foundation for the Inunaki myth. Nowadays, the Inunaki Tunnel near the mountain is said to be the most haunted place in Japan.

According to legend, the cursed village already existed in the Edo period (1603-1868). It is said that the residents were discriminated against and cut off from the outside world after a contagious disease spread in the settlement. This is said to have led the Japanese government to remove the village from the maps. In the 1930s, a man ran amok and killed almost all of the residents in a bloodthirsty manner. The survivors are said to be found deep in the woods to this day.

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According to legend, the entrance to the cursed settlement is well hidden and located in the form of a small path next to the old Inunaki tunnel. If you find this, according to the stories you come across a sign warning the visitor with the following words:

“From here on, Japanese law no longer applies. Enter at your own risk."

It is said that if you value your life, you turn immediately. However, if you dare to go ahead, you will feel the violence of the locals first-hand. The village is surrounded by a wall that you first have to overcome in order to get deeper. In addition, various traps are placed in the dense thicket. If you bump into one of these, a man with an ax appears and begins to chase the unwanted visitor.

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If you can enter the village unnoticed, you can allegedly see an old white sedan at the entrance. There is also said to be a hut deeper in the settlement, in which dozen of corpses are piled up. The village is believed to be inhabited by the Inunaki clan, who are said to practice incest and cannibalism. Even the police apparently fear the residents so much that food would have to be brought in by helicopter. Neither the internet connection nor the telephone network works and creepy grimaces are often seen on the windows of the abandoned buildings.

Accidents and tragic deaths over and over again

None of the events mentioned in the previous paragraph has been confirmed so far and the background to these stories is largely unclear. Nevertheless, there are many true reports from the region that should give the reader goose bumps.

The most famous case at the Inunaki tunnel occurred on December 7th, 1988 and ended with the tragic death of the worker Umeyama Kōichi. On his way home, a group of teenagers stopped him and asked him to give them his car. After he refused, the perpetrators dragged him out of the vehicle and took him into the tunnel, where they forcibly abused him and set his body on fire. Apparently you can still hear his painful screams from inside the underpass today. The telephone booth at the entrance was demolished after visitors reported hearing ghostly voices.

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In addition, there are reports of an unspeakable number of corpses found. Some of the teenagers who died in traffic were “ghost hunters” who went out to take snapshots for blogs and shoot videos, while others were people who went to the deserted forest to kill themselves.

The high accident rate at Mount Inunaki forced the government to barricade the old tunnel in 2000. In addition, the police issue annual warnings of black ice in winter, the risk of landslides and criminal motorcycle gangs.

Is that cursed village real?

With no evidence to prove the existence of the village, it stands to reason that this story came from the imagination of a creative mind. It is believed that the legend was inspired, among other things, by the Tsuyama massacre in 1938, in which the 21-year-old Toi Mutsuo broke into eleven houses and executed a total of 30 people before he committed suicide.

In addition to horror games like “Forbidden Siren” (SCE Japan Studio) and “Inunaki Tunnel” (Chilla's Art), which take up elements of the myth or reinterpret it, “Howling Village” (2020) is also a film by the Ju-On director Shimizu Takashi appeared on this topic. The legend of the village and its entrance at the Inunaki tunnel will remain in the memory of future generations.


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