#atozchallenge – U is for Ubume, mourning her loss

Could you carry her poor child, just for a moment?

You might get a nasty surprise …

In Japanese folklore, the Ubume was the spirit of a woman who died in childbirth. She appears soaked in blood, carrying what looks like her swaddled infant. She often appears near rivers, begging passers-by to help her carry her baby across. Once someone takes up her child, she vanishes, leaving her victim compelled to carry the baby to safety. As the victim carries the ‘baby’, the bundle becomes heavier and heavier, until the swaddling comes off and the ‘baby’ is revealed to be a large stone, impossible to carry further. Some poor folk have then been pulled down by the weight of the stone, meeting a cold end as they drown in the river.


Image – Ubume on Wikipedia