Jotai – A to Z Challenge

Byobu Screen

Here I sit, gathering dust. Collecting the darkness, to wear around myself as a cloak, to hold still the passing of time.

Here I sit, discarded, thrown aside. Too old, in brief. Alone in this eternity of endless space inside my mind.

Born, one hundred years old. Born, no longer needed.

Grief, I now know your face.

I wait.

They performed the jinja ceremony, but still I rot.


They said I am “old-fashioned,” they call me “out-of-date.”


They locked me in this storage shed – handed down from father to son, for one hundred years they were raised beneath my shadow.

And now I am too old.

Together we sit, antiques, abandoned and forgotten.

Together we bask in our anger, contemplating our revenge.

That IKEA bookshelf will never know what hit it.


Written for my series on Under-represented Monsters my contribution to the A to Z Challenge. The Jotai is one of a peculiar class of Japanese monsters, the Tsukumogami – as an object reaches 100 years of use it gains a soul, often used to illustrate Buddhist teachings. Along the lines of Waste not, want not, or so I’ve come to understand. These objects/spirits are fascinating (to me) and I can see at least one more tsukumogami story in the challenge. I also used this week’s (actually last week’s) Three Word Wednesday prompts: BaskGrief and Raise. Comments and criticism always welcome! 



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11 thoughts on “Jotai – A to Z Challenge

  1. Anil Sawan says:

    that is an interesting take!

  2. That is an amazing story and I love the being you featured. I want to know more.

  3. Linda says:

    It’s amazing what you learn from this challenge. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh God, that last line killed me! 😀 Brilliant stuff.

  5. First off, I will take that gorgeous piece of art off their hands for nothing!

    You gave the shade a voice, which is lovely, and I truly felt its angst at being tossed aside. Very much like how a lover would feel.

    The IKEA line made me laugh out loug! The revenge will be sweet, indeed! Great write, Chris. Amy

  6. […] Jotai by ChrisWhiteWrites ~ @chriswhitewrite ~ Less than 500 words ~ Paranormal ~ Serial […]

Comments and criticism always welcome!

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