Ōtoshi no Kyaku

Ōtoshi no Kyaku

Ōtoshi no Kyaku (大年の客 – The New Years Eve Visitor) is a group of Japanese folktales centered around the New Year.

The general theme of these tales is that a vistor (or divine being known as a Toshinigami) will come on New Years Eve and will bring you great fortune.

There are several versions. In one an old couple give shelter to a traveller and in the morning find the travellers body has turned into a pile of gold. Another states that a maid servant who is searching for coals to light her hearth is asked to take charge of a strangers coffin. She does so and later finds the coffin to be filled with gold.1

Footnotes

1. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.

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Ōtoshi no Kyaku