vessels,—for the dead must have water. Flowers also must be offered to them; and before every tomb you will find a pair of bamboo cups, or other flower-vessels; and these, of course, contain water. There is a well in the cemetery to supply water for the graves. Whenever the tombs are visited by relatives and friends of the dead, fresh water is poured into the tanks and cups. But as an old cemetery of this kind contains thousands of mizutamé, and tens of thousands of flower-vessels, the water in all of these cannot be renewed every day. It becomes stagnant and populous. The deeper tanks seldom get dry;—the rainfall at Tōkyō being heavy enough to keep them partly filled during nine months out of the twelve.
Well, it is in these tanks and flower-vessels that mine enemies are born: they rise by millions from the water of the dead;—and, according to Buddhist doctrine, some of them may be reincarnations of those very dead, condemned by the error of former lives to the condition of Jiki-ketsu-gaki, or blood-drinking pretas. … Anyhow the malevolence of the Culex fasciatus would justify the suspicion that some wicked human soul had been compressed into that wailing speck of a body. …
Now, to return to the subject of