Two Film Adaptions of Botan Dōrō, Japan’s Favorite Ghost Story
The Botan Dōrō story originally came to Japan in a Chinese collection of ghost stories by Qu You. It is a classic tale of doomed lovers who cannot be together. In some versions it is because of their differing social status, in others, it is because of family duty or honor, but in all of them, the ultimate barrier that keeps Otsuyu and Shinzaburou from being together is death. The story usually begins with Otsuyu’s death, often before she even meets Shinzaburrou. They meet during the Japanese festival of Oban, a festival for the dead.