The Snow Woman (Yuki Onna)

This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series Japanese folk tales

As they slept, a beautiful but eerie woman with long, flowing white hair and pale skin appeared in the hut. She was the Snow Woman, known as Yuki Onna. She approached the old man and breathed on him, freezing him to death. When she turned to Minokichi, she stared at him for a moment, then said, “You are young and handsome. I will spare your life, but you must never tell anyone about this night. If you do, I will come back and kill you.” With that, she vanished into the storm.

Minokichi was terrified but grateful to be alive. He never spoke of the encounter and returned to the village alone, explaining that the old man had died in the storm.

Years passed, and Minokichi met a beautiful young woman named Yuki. They fell in love, married, and had children. Yuki was a devoted wife and mother, and they lived happily together.

One winter night, as they sat by the fire, Minokichi remembered the terrifying night with the Snow Woman. He decided to share the story with Yuki, thinking it was a harmless tale. As he finished, Yuki’s expression changed. She stood up, her face growing cold and distant.

“You promised never to tell anyone,” she said, her voice turning icy. Minokichi realized with horror that his wife was the Snow Woman. She had kept her promise to spare his life until now.

“You broke your promise,” she continued, “but for the sake of our children, I will not kill you. Take good care of them.” With that, she melted away into the cold night air, never to be seen again.

Minokichi was left heartbroken but devoted himself to raising their children, always remembering the mysterious and tragic love of the Snow Woman.

Series Navigation<< The Grateful Crane
Scroll to Top