Topic: The Enigma of Amigara Fault By:Junji Ito

I recently read a short story written by a Japanese author known as Junji Ito called, The Enigma of Amigara Fault. This story followed the mysterious journey of a man named Owaki and a woman named Yoshida the two meet at a mountain range that has recently been split in two by an earthquake that has struck Japan. The real mystery, however, is that within the middle of the mountain there are holes in the shape of people. These holes have begun drawing people to them by some unknown compelling force. The real kicker though is that no one knows where they lead or what happens to the people who enter them. Yoshida believes she has found the hole shaped like her and has to be convinced by Owaki not to enter it as she feels compelled to it because of her loneliness. It is later revealed that a man has entered one of the openings and was pulled forward and lost into the mountain causing mass panic throughout the nation. Although the panic has swept the nation people keep showing up to the fault and proceed to enter their openings despite the unknown consequences as if they were somehow brought there by a force beyond their control. The story finally sees its conclusion when Owaki wakes up in the middle of the night only to find that Yoshida is missing. As he frantically searches for her he finds that she has moved the rocks blocking her opening and has entered the fault. As Owaki is struck with guilt and regret he turns around only to find his own opening and proceeds to enter it.

Re: The Enigma of Amigara Fault By:Junji Ito

I really thought that this story was very powerful and brought the horror genre a fresh new take. Junji Ito as the author uses a lot of elements that most do not by utilizing a fear that we all have. The fear of the unknown. As H.P Lovecraft once stated,”.The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”, and Ito definitely uses this fear to his advantage. By not explain the reasons for these human shapes holes or the people's motivation towards them it leaves a lot of it to the imagination and allows a different type of fear and suspense to envelop the readers. He also uses a type of plot development we don’t usually see as he focuses more so on building a sense of fear and questioning of the mysterious craters rather than building a sense of connection with the characters. This may seem like it would ruin the story however it really adds to it as we are less focused on our characters and more so on the mystery surrounding them. Also, the way he never actually explains the reasons for people being compelled to enter the fault allows us as readers to try and draw our own conclusions is it paradise, completion we will never know the true reasoning and this is what makes it such a powerful piece of literature. Although we are shown the fate of those who entered the fault we will never truly know why they wanted to enter it in the first place which is where the true psychological horror lies

Re: The Enigma of Amigara Fault By:Junji Ito

Another thing I would like to discuss this story if it’s the use of symbolism. I know I have gone into extensive detail on this short story but I just really feel like it was very well done and had many amazing elements to it. So back to my concept of symbolism. Overall this story symbolizes the act of compulsion. We are shown throughout the story all the characters explainable urge you enter the fault. This is compulsion, the fact that the holes were “made for them” makes them want to enter even though they know that it will result in their demise. Psychologists describe this type of compulsion as the “death drive” and is essentially the drive to destroy oneself despite the known consequences. This really drives the physiological horror of the story as it is by their own choice every person who enters the fault does this by their own free will. And when you begin to look further you also see that every character was in some type of emotional distress when they entered their hole. Such as Owaki’s Spain over losing his friend and Yoshida’s immense loneliness. This hints that the fault itself was preying on people who were in a sense of emotional turmoil and using it to draw them to their almost inevitable demise.

Re: The Enigma of Amigara Fault By:Junji Ito

In the epilogue or final conclusion of this short story, we are finally able to know the final fate of the poor souls who entered the fault. After a few months of investigating the Japanese police are finally able to find the other side of the mountain. However, when they go to further investigate it they see that the human-shaped holes from before are now deformed and grotesque and almost incoherent. The confusion is obvious and as they look in to see what lies in these grotesque shapes it is revealed that those who entered the fault are now deformed beyond comprehension and were slowing being deformed as they were pulled forward into the mountain. This doesn’t really answer the question of why but rather what became of these people this still allowing the psychological horror element to still stand and hold its powerful effect in the story.