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Iemon.jpg

Iemon was a legendary samurai and the main antagonist of the "Oiwa" legend, a classic Japanese ghost story. Like many such tales it involves a tragic woman and a hateful consort, though even by the standards of ancient Japan, Iemon stands out as a particularly brutal example of said consort.

History

Iemon was a samurai and married to a woman known as Oiwam but was a thief and waster. The marriage was thus an unhappy onem and Oiwa decided to return to her family home to try and escape it. Iemon followed but was stopped by Oiwa's father, who was aware of Iemon's thieving nature and demanded Iemon divorce his daughter due to these misdeeds. Instead, Iemon murdered him and lied to Oiwa that a stranger killed her father, begging her to reconcile and promising to avenge her father's murder (she did so). 

Later, Oiwa became pregnant with Iemon's son but they had little money and Oiwa grew sick after giving birth. Iemon grew resentful of his wife and conspired with a rich doctor to poison Oiwa, so the samurai could marry Oume (the doctor's daughter). Instead of killing Oiwa, the poison disfigured her and Iemon grew to hate his wife even more. He then decided to divorce her and even began to pawn off all her belongings to save up for his new marriage (including his own son's clothing), however, he needed a reason to divorce under the law and so he hired a friend to rape her so he could claim infidelity. The attempt failed when his friend saw her disfigurement and refused to do so, although Oiwa then learned of her disfigurement and killed herself in grief, cursing Iemon as she died. 

Her body was discovered by Iemon's servant, but instead of being sad by her death, Iemon was overjoyed. The servant was obviously suspicious of this, and so Iemon murdered his servant: nailing both the servant and Oiwa's bodies to a door which he tossed in a river and lying about how that the servant and Oiwa had been sleeping together.

Iemon proceeded to marry Oume but soon became the "victim" of Oiwa's vengeful ghost, who drove him to kill his new wife and her father before driving him into the wilderness where he went insane. One day, Oiwa's brother came to him to avenge the death of his sister. Iemon had the upper hand and cornered him. Oiwa then appeared making him paralyzed, as Oiwa's brother then slit his throat, killing him.

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