Welcome, fellow weirdos, to another captivating exploration of Japanese culture. Prepare yourselves for a spine-chilling journey as we delve into a tale filled with possessed dolls, ancient curses, and the enigmatic realm of lost media. Brace yourselves, for this combination is bound to send shivers down your spine.

You may already be familiar with the infamous Okiku, the haunted Ichimatsu doll adorned with eerily growing human hair. Her name often takes center stage when discussing cursed humanoid toys in Japan. However, today, we unravel another perplexing case that continues to baffle many and draws immediate comparisons to the legendary Annabelle.

So, without further ado, allow us to introduce you to the haunting story of the Iki Ningyo: The Cursed Living Doll.

How did the Iki Ningyo curse start?

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Everything started in 1978 when Junji Inagawa, an actor, scriptwriter, and director of traditional Japanese plays, participated in a late-night radio broadcast. While he was getting ready, he found one of his crew crying hysterically. The man, who was a singer, told him that he heard the voice of one of his fans while one of his songs was playing. The problem is that said fan died months ago.

Inagawa, being a man who dedicated part of his career to investigating supernatural events, took it surprisingly well and took the show’s director back home in a taxi, since the guy was still a bit shaken about the whole incident that happened in the radio station. Suddenly, Inagawa sees something in the streets: a little girl wearing a red kimono. To this day, he claims the little girl seemed normal until she started to levitate and headed to him. Neither the director nor the taxi driver saws anything. After this incident, he reported hearing weird noises and footsteps at his house, but he did not give much thought to it. Later, he would start to work on a new theatrical project, which involved a doll as a central prop. To his horror, when the doll was presented to him, he would notice how much she resembled the girl he saw that night. This would be the beginning of a nightmare.

From that moment, the lives of the people working on the play would become quite hectic. The artisan who made the doll vanished, the scriptwriter’s house was burned down, and the cousin of the puppeteer in charge died suddenly. Accidents happened too during rehearsals, which not only affected props but also the crew, with a few of them getting hurt. Curiously, most of the wounds affecting them occurred on their right hand and the right knee.

After getting enough and being concerned about his crew’s well-being, Inagawa took the doll to different temples and shrines. Eventually, she would be put in a coffin and things seemed to improve. The play went on and it seemed that everything would be ok. Shockingly, Inagawa’s father died all of a sudden the next day after. The puppeteer, Mr. Maeno took the doll home after the play was over. It is said his mental health declined considerably during this time.

The Iki Ningyo’s Lost Episode

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In 1979, a TV station knew about the doll and invited Inagawa and Mr. Maeno for an interview. This is when things get weird. During the episode, strange things started to happen like lights falling and tech failures, crew members and the audience started to feel uneasy, and Maeno talked to the doll as if she was a real person. To this day, this specific episode cannot be found, and it is considered lost media. People on 2chan, however, coincide that the broadcast indeed happened, and it was even worse since many called the show asking for the identity of a child standing next to the doll. No child was present in the set. It is easy to think this is just a case of mass hysteria or the Mandela effect, but screenshots of the program do exist.

Inagawa later would appear in other TV programs, but he would take a replica of the doll with him. During a planned appearance, the producer would locate the doll maker hiding in a mountain and working sculpting Buddha statues. An interview was planned but a weird event would start to happen again, and the project was scrapped. Inagawa would eventually give the doll to a friend in Nishizu. After he and his family started to suffer strange incidents, the friend would put the doll in a shrine. After a while, it was reported that she vanished and no one to this day knows where she is. Inagawa still talks about the whole ordeal and fears the doll will come his way to his life someday.

Final Thoughts

If this story is real or not is up to you to decide. However, all we know for sure is that one of the TV appearances featuring the doll is lost. It is hard to tell though if the episode is missing because it is cursed or because of more mundane reasons. Still, no matter how fictional it is, you have to admit this is a great story to tell others when they require a quick fix of creepy urban legends.

Shoutout to Sakura Stadurst’s video for all the info on the subject matter

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