Here’s a Japanese urban legend that’s the foundation of the upcoming horror film Howling Village from Ju-On‘s original creator, the existence of a spirit village that’s displaced in time and traditions.

Inunaki Village is a legendary village in the Fukuoka Prefecture, first reported existing in 1999, that is supposedly isolated from modern Japan and frozen in the Edo period culturally. It’s a weird echo of a village that’s supposed to no longer exist. While in a state of ruin, it is far from derelict, inhabited by immensely aggressive villagers who follow many taboo/illegal practices due to independence from surrounding ethics/morals (e.g. cannibalism, incest, homicide) 

Perhaps exacerbated from detachment to our corporeal world, in the event they’re no longer worldly; any communication/connection to these is impossible due to their intensely hostile attitude towards outsiders, numerous missing person cases are rumored. If it’s a tangible village in our ordinary reality, the status would mirror the many uncontacted tribes who’re conserved in New Guinea.

However, this is certainly improbable with awareness from modern technology in Japan’s government, how interconnected their land is, a village would be documented and contacted unless there was divine intervention. As such, the legend itself is likely supernatural in nature: an old village seemingly lost in time and maybe of another dimension, sometimes accessible for dire results.

Factually, a confirmed official Inuaki Village did exist from 1691 to 1889, it was integrated into the adjacent Yoshikawa Village to subsequently merge into Miyawaka City. Unfortunately,  the site of the original village is no longer accessible, it is underneath a constructed dam that impedes any visit.

The village, however, is supposedly still around despite this… For example, one anecdote claims there is a tunnel close to the original buried site of the village, which acts as a supernatural gateway to access the spirit village, ‘Inunaki Tunnel’. Alternatively,  a nearby gravel road parallel to the tunnel serving as a conduit to reach it, a kind of mystical ‘secondary’ path to the end to arrive elsewhere. Interestingly, the local area has records of ghastly crimes and this has only enhanced the dark allure to this legend.

As a believer in science foremost above any superstition, I’m skeptical of this urban legend on an empirical basis. However, the tales are certainly enjoyable as a mere horrifying idea for our imagination, an idea which has since inspired a film as initially mentioned!

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