Japanese Folktale Review- Yuki Onna

Thursday, March 19, 2020


Yuki Onna

In this article I'll talk about the Japanese folktale Yuki Onna, and I'll give my take on the folktale.

If you want to read the original story, please check this:
Yuki Onna Story >>

The Story

Yuki Onna starts off with two loggers. They are father and son, and their names are Minokichi and Mosaku. Mosaku is the son of Minokichi. Every year the two would travel to the mountain to hunt. On this particular day, it was a very cold winter day and it looked like a storm was rolling in. They couldn't find animals to hunt, the storm was become stronger, and the sun was about to set.
The father Minokichi told his son that they wouldn't be able to make it home that night. They decided to stay in a hut on the mountain. The snowstorm raged outside while Minokichi slept. However, the son, Mosaku was unable to sleep due to the loud storm. Then, suddenly, the door to the hut blows open, and there stood a woman. The woman had long black hair, she wore a white kimono, and had extremely white skin.
Mosaku tried to scream but was frozen in place. The woman moved to Minokichi who was still sleeping. The woman exhaled a cold breath that Minokichi inhaled through his nose. Then, Minokichi was suddenly frozen to death. The woman began to move towards Mosaku, but she said that he was still young so she would spare his life.
There was a catch though. If Mosaku ever told anyone about what happened that night, she would be back, and she would have to kill him. Mosaku passed out from the fear and the cold, only to wake up the next day with his father dead. He went back to his village. He lived there alone because he only had his father.
Many years had passed since the incident. On one snowy night, a beautiful woman knocked on Mosaku's door. She said that she was walking, and the sun went down. She asked to stay at his home due to the cold and the snow. Mosaku said yes. He spoke with this woman and learned more about her. Her name was Oyuki. She had no family and was traveling alone. They became good friends. Mosaku asked Oyuki if she would like to stay with him longer. She said yes, so they started to live with one another.
After some time, they got married. They spent many great years together. They even had children. Mosaku began to grow old, but Oyuki mysteriously did not. On one night while Oyuki sewed, Mosaku told Oyuki how beautiful she was. He started to recall a night where he saw a woman that looked vry similar to Oyuki.
He told her about the night that his father died. He said the monster may have been a Yuki Onna, a snow monster. Then Oyuki said exactly. She confessed that she was the Yuki Onna from that night. She said that since Mosaku had spoken about that night that she must kill him. However, she loved him and their children so she could not. But she could also not stay because he had spoke about what happened. She disappeared into dust while saying goodbye. He begged her not to go while screaming I'm sorry, but she was already gone. The end.

My Thoughts

I felt that this story was pretty good. I think in the United States that we are so use to happy endings. However, in Japan, that is not normally the case. They leave things how they leave things. In a more realistic light. It's unfortunate what happened to Mosaku and his father.
It is unlucky for the both of them, but Mosaku still got to enjoy many happy years with his wife. And I honestly feel that it was his fault for not recognizing that she was the monster all along anyway. I mean the name alone. And after all those years they spent together. I mean he had children with this monster. After all that time together, he didn't see the resemblance until he was older. It doesn't make sense.
Also, it took him that long to realize that she didn't age. This one was really on Mosaku if you ask me. He took too long to figure it out, but by the time he did, it was too late. At least he got kids out of it.


I would say the lesson here is to take secrets to the grave. I'm not sure that else I'm SUPPOSED to get from this story. However, I actually just feel that this couldn't possibly happen. You know beside the snow monster thing. His father dying was probably the most traumatic thing that had happened to him. Therefore, I highly doubt for one second that he wouldn't recognize that monster right off the back the moment he opened his door to her. With that being said, I still think that it's still a pretty entertaining story.

I say, go read it if you haven't already.
You can read it using Kanji, Hiragana, Romanji, and English! See you soon!