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Word Count: 1,096
The concept of spirits and the afterlife is a common motif in many cultural works throughout the world Within the Kwaidan selections searching and aimless spirits portray ghastly brutality as we read about them mutilating murdering and haunting without remorse The theme of untamed brutality pervades throughout many tales in the Kwaidan selections including The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi Yuki-Onna as well as the The Story of O-Tei Ultimately there is no escape from the wrath of these aimless spirits In The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi the notion of untamed brutality within the spirits is immediately brought forth with a description of how the spirits would rise about ships passing in the night and try to sink them and at all times they would watch for swimmers to pull them down Kwaidan 4 From the very get go the theme of untamed brutality is introduced The purposeless nature of these spirits sends a chill to the reader which reaches a peek when the servants discover Hoichi sitting alone in the rain before the memorial tomb of Antoku Tenno followed by a intimidating message from the priest to Hoichi about the nature of these beastly spirits Kwaidan 14 Alas this violent theme is driven home with the samurai warrior tearing Hoichis ears right off of his face The Buddhist portrayal of these brutal spirits sets a horrific mood for this selection as well as the rest of the Kwaidan selections Yuki-Onna carries on the theme of brutal spirits as the spirit of Yoki-Onna blows a wisp of breath like a bright white smoke upon Mosaku immediately bringing about his death Naturally there is no reasoning behind this murder except for untamed brutality which immediately becomes tame once it is impressed by Minokichis handsomeness However once the secret is unleashed Yuki-Onnas threatening nature is let loose as she says for those children asleep there I would kill you this moment The brutal image of the spirits is further carried
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