Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kijimuna Attack

It is three in the morning. I am sleeping soundly...in fact more soundly than I usually do when I am in a new place. I hear a tap, tap, tap...I wake up. "What was that?" I think to myself, it must be Jocelyn...but I am not sure if she is tapping on the wall or on the door. I make my way to the door with no glasses, in the dark, in an unfamiliar room. Knowing how nights in her house full of animals can be, I am hoping that she is not just suffering from insomnia and in need of company as I really do want to go back to sleep. As I get close to the door, I forget that there is a step down and I almost kill myself falling towards it.

As I reach the door, I think I better ask to make sure it is Jocelyn at the door...and it is. I open the door, still feeling groggy and incoherent from being in such a deep sleep. She asks me if I am okay...I tell her I am. She looks back towards her room and tells me that something is in her room...a spirit or something. That it has woken her up on the hour for the last three hours. That the first time, it grabbed her hand, the second time it tried to smother her, and the third time it turned her TV to black screen and tried to wrap her up in the blanket so she couldn't breathe or move. I am a bit skeptical and still feeling the effects of my deep sleep so I ask her if she wants to sleep in my room. She says yes.

We walk over to her room and grab her bedding and pillow and drag it all back to my room. We make up the bed for her. She tells me again about what has happened to her now that I am more awake and can actually grasp it. We both lay down on our beds and turn out the light but continue to talk about it and question whether we could have disturbed some kind of spirit during our travels that day. We had been to several historical sites on our tour of the island, specifically a cave that had a shrine in it and was really dark and spooky.

While I have had my own experiences with ghosts/spirits in the past and am a firm believer, I am not sure how to take what has happened to her. I am hoping that it is over and we can both get back to sleep as we have another full day ahead of us. We continue to talk off and on as I get more and more sleepy. I do not realize that it is already past the 4 o'clock hour.

At some point I fall back to sleep. I am having this dream about Jocelyn, where we are in my room and it is now 7:20am and the sun is out, the room bright. I am thinking to myself that the night before must have all been our imaginations, and am about to tell her this when her daughter (Jocelyn doesn't have a daughter), walks into the room. She is about 8 years old, blond hair in a ponytail, and named Brianna. She walks over to Jocelyn's bed and starts talking to her. Jocelyn is playing with her hair and while this is going on, I am thinking to myself, "how did I not know that Jocelyn had a daughter considering how much we hang out?". Just as I have this thought in my dream, I wake up, open my eyes and realize that I was dreaming because the room is still dark.

All of a sudden, I feel these two hands pushing down on my blankets right over my hands and chest. Pushing hard, knocking all the wind out of me. I can't believe how hard the pressure is. I try twice to say Jocelyn's name but I have no air in my lungs and it just comes out as squeaks. I can feel myself not being able to take a breath in. I finally push my hands back from my chest and the pressure is released. I take a huge breath in and then say "oh my gosh". Jocelyn turns over and says, "what?". I tell her, "it just happened to me!!!". I grab my phone and look at the time...it is right at 5am. My heart is pounding...

She gets up and looks outside...the sun is just starting to lighten the sky. We talk for a few minutes but amazingly, I fall back to sleep. Minutes before 6am (which I expect will be the next attack), my phone starts to vibrate like I am getting a call (even though I am not and it is not set to silent). Right after that, Jocelyn's phone lights up like she is getting a call but she is not. Either the power of the spirit is diminishing with the coming of dawn or some other force is trying to wake us up to keep us from being attacked again at 6am. We wait out the top of the hour and then both doze back off until our alarms go off to get up at 7am...no more attacks that night.

We get dressed and get ready to meet Alex for breakfast. While we are drinking canned coffee from the machine and sitting on the seawall near our guest rooms, we talk over again what happened the night before. At this time, Jocelyn informs me that what happened to us sounds like a kijimuna attack. I know of the kijimuna but not the specifics of their attacks. I always just thought they were these little elf-like creatures that lived in banyan trees, and part of a myth. When Alex arrives, we relay the story to him (which sends him into fits of giggles) and then again when we get to breakfast at the other guesthouse. Irei-san tells us that kijimuna attacks are very common, and doesn't seem surprised by our story at all...in the course of the day, we meet several others that have been attacked in similar ways.

I feel kind of weird about the whole thing...honored that I have experienced this very unique thing but also kind of scared of the fact that what I thought was a cute story, is real. I'll never look at a banyan tree quite the same way.

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Five Years Ago on In My Words...Corona

2 comments:

Heather @Critter Chronicles said...

That's an awesome story, Mishka! You know, that would be a good one to submit to OH if you're interested. We've got a short little link about kijimuna but nothing personal like this. If you want I can direct Joelle here to check it out and let you know!

And thanks for sharing!

Jocelyn said...

That story brought me right back to the event a year ago. Hands down the best experience I had on Okinawa. Not just the ghost attack but that magical beautiful island so far away from all the others. It's like we landed on another planet when we got off the ferry. If I think about it, I can still feel how that hand felt coming up my covers and grabbing my arm. Thanks for FINALLY opening your door and letting me in friend. Ha ha. Glad something so significant happened with my bestest girl, while we were on a wonderful mission...delivering english books to Japanese school kids. Like I said, one of the best and weirdest 48 hours EVER.