September 22, 2019
Gifu- A haunted attraction in Gifu, central Japan, featuring "Kuchisake-onna" (slit mouth woman), is set to be ended on Monday, after having attracted some 85,000 visitors since 2012.
The city is believed to be the origin of the urban legend. In the late 1970s, the rumor of Kuchisake-onna started among local children, according to Yasuo Inagaki, 50, spokesman for the attraction.
The rumor then spread to elsewhere in the country, while becoming increasingly exaggerated. She was eventually rumored to eat people and slash them with a knife, Inagaki said.
The haunted attraction was launched by six Gifu natives, using a vacant lot in the Yanagase shopping street.
The attraction "brought new life to the deserted shopping avenue," said a woman who worked in a nearby building at the time.
The organizers, however, have decided to end the attraction now, due to difficulties juggling the business and their primary jobs.
"We hoped that people would visit our beloved Yanagase," said Inagaki. "We feel sad now, but we have to take care of our companies, as well."
They have been donating some of the attraction's revenues to the city government.
"I'm sad that the attraction, which has been an entertainment for me during summer breaks, will disappear," said Runa Sugimoto, 14, who visited there with her family on Tuesday. Jiji Press
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