This story from the Kamakura Period tells of a journey to the mouth of hell and back. While out hunting, the shogun finds a cave at the base of Mount Fuji. He gives his retainer Nitta no Shiro Tadatsune a precious sword and orders him to take six men and explore the cave. When Tadatsune returns the next day, he reports that the cave was extremely narrow, pitch black, and filled with bats and snakes. They came to a raging river where the cries of demons echoed around them. A frightening apparition appeared, and four of his men immediately dropped dead. Discerning what the spirit wanted, Tadatsune threw his sword into the river. The apparition then disappeared, and Tadatsune escaped. The shogun's councilors explained that Sengen Bodhisattva, the deity of Mount Fuji, dwells in the cave—a place forbidden to men from ancient times. ED