Junji Ito Wiki

Chapter four of Souichi's Diary of Curses.


Souichi is snooping around in Sayuri's room and finds one of her fashion magazines. He sneers at her ambition to become a model but, browsing through the magazine, is instantly stricken with the beauty of one of the models featured; and falls in love with her at first sight.

Souichi has been trying to get the attention of Midori, the girl he likes, even going so far as to use a voodoo doll to make her boyfriend sick and had to go to hospital. However, she continues to ignore Souichi. Midori and her friend Madoka are very vain about their looks and love to gossip. Rumors soon begin to spread about Souichi including that he rescued children and old ladies, and is the cousin of a famous celebrity. The school begins to hero-worship him but Midori doesn't believe it and discovers that Souichi is spreading the rumors himself. She exposes him to the class, causing everyone to hate him again. Meanwhile, Midori visits her boyfriend, Ootsuka, at the hospital and finds Madoka there at the same time. Midori suspects they are having an affair behind her back.

One day, when the kids go into class, they see a lipstick advert pinned to the chalkboard, featuring a terrifying woman who resembles a zombie. One girl recognizes her as a fashion model from magazines and the kids decide that she must be in their village to visit the "Virgin Pool", a local swamp that is reported to make women beautiful if they bathe in it. Shortly after this, another rumor begins to spread that the woman has appeared in alleyways and tried to eat the children who encountered her there. The teacher dismisses the rumor as a version of the "Kuchisake-onna" story - a monster from Japanese folklore with a split/slashed mouth, who appears on street corners.

Ootsuka returns to school and the gossip dies down for a while, but soon begins again. This time the rumor is that Madoka has been visiting the Virgin Pool to make herself beautiful. Midori and her friends decide that Madoka must be planning to steal Ootsuka's heart for herself. Midori decides that she must bathe in the swamp if she wants to be beautiful; but discovers that it was a trick by Souichi. He started all the rumors including the story about the model appearing in alleyways and using the swamp, in order to get revenge on Midori for exposing his lies to the class. He views the model as genuinely beautiful and so he believed Midori would fall for the swamp story.

Souichi tries to take a picture of Midori in the swamp but to the kids' shock, the woman (Fuchi) from the magazine appears from under the water. She is an enormous giant with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. She decides to eat Souichi for taking her photo without copyright permission, and advances on him while Midori runs away.