Feb 06, 2019 I Paul Seaburn

Ghost Trumpeter of Lake Iruka in Japan — Solved?

“No.0481: Lake Iruka – A holding pond is located within Hida-Kisogawa Quasi-National Park in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture. Rumors include “the appearance of those who died there in accidental or suicidal drownings” and “if you visit late at night, a young boy can be seen standing on the water and playing the trumpet.”

On January 23rd, an interesting Japanese Twitter site called Shinrei Spot or Spirit Spot (@spiritspots_) featured the above story that is apparently told often by people living around Lake Iruka, Japan’s second-largest manmade reservoir, located in Inuyama, a city in the Aichi prefecture on the southeastern coast of the country. It’s probably no surprise to find that spirits or ghosts are seen around Lake Iurka. On May 13, 1868, its soil dam collapsed under the pressure of heavy April rains and flooding, causing severe damage to Inuyama and other nearby cities. An estimated 941 people were killed, 807 houses were destroyed and another 11,709 flooded. However, it was the reference to the ghost of a boy playing a trumpet while walking across the water that piqued the most interest in the comments.

“I’ve heard that story before…”
“I think a guy playing a trumpet on the water is a vision, not a ghost. It’s more cool than scary.”
“I live around there but this is the first time I’ve heard that.”
“A boy playing trumpet on the water? That’s awesome!”
“I went there once during the day, but I didn’t know it was a spirit spot.”

Obviously, the residents of Inuyama around Lake Iruka were not of the more common panicky-because-I-heard-a-mysterious-trumpet-sound types since none of them appear to have actually heard the sound … just the story. It turns out there’s a reason for that.

“At night when junior high school days, I practiced here loud laughing”

Even with the poor Google translation, you can catch the drift of Toko (@toko6137) who saw the first post and came out of the trumpet case to reveal he’s the cause of this trumpet case. As proof, he followed up with a tweet announcing that he’s playing his horn in public next month “as a part of a brass band called the Nobi Brass Society.”

So, trumpet case closed … right?

“I used to tell my son that story as a kid, but there really was a trumpet! But how old is this guy, because I remember hearing this story when I was a kid.”
“I heard the story of a trumpet kid at Lake Iruka like 20 years ago though…”

Some commenters say the young man who tweeted the coronet confession appears to be too young to have been the water-walking wailer for the 20 years they’ve been hearing the story. Soranews24.com speculates that it’s hard in crowded Japan for kids to find places to practice that won’t bother the neighbors, so it’s conceivable that others followed the example of Toko and practiced while standing near the reservoir.

But what about the people who claim the trumpeter walked on water?

Did a musician play while Inuyama flooded in 1868?

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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