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Article Osorezan


JREF Editor
15 Mar 2002
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Osorezan (恐山, Mount Osore, 879 m), often transliterated as "Mount Fear" or "Mountain of Terror", is a composite volcano located on Shimokita Peninsula in the north of Aomori Prefecture. It is part of the Shimokita Peninsula Quasi-National Park. Lake Usori (宇曾利湖) is in the centre of its caldera. Osorezan is notorious as a place where the spirits of the dead are believed to linger on their way to the Buddhist paradise.

Lake Usori is surrounded by steaming banks with countless vents emitting sulphuric gas. The only plant life able to survive in the wasteland are rhododendrons. The bleak and desolate landscape is reminiscent to the banks of the mythical River Sanzu (三途の川 Sanzu-no-kawa), the River of Three Crossings, a Buddhist belief similar to the Greek Styx, symbolising the gate to the netherworld. Souls of children are said to wander here, condemned to pursue salvation by building towers of stone (stupa) which are trampled down by...

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