During the Sengokujidai or Warring States period, when there was civil war in Japan,
 there was a small village in the Nasu area.
 One day to a house in that small village came a young man.
 This young man was on his way to Mt. Nasu to train as a Yamabushi (mountain priest).
 He asked if he could stay the night at the house,
 the family eventually agreed and the young daughter of the house was told to look after him.
 Early the next day the young man left, continuing his journey up to the mountain
 and his training to be a Yamabushi.
 However the young girl kept thinking about him,
 worrying about him realizing that she loved him.
 So she dressed herself in men's clothes to disguise herself,
 and went up the mountain to look for the young man.
 She disguised herself because, the mountain being a holy place, women were forbidden.
 At that time Kita onsen was a center for training Yamabushi,
 the onsen was used to help the Yamabushi to recover from their hard training
 and to help cure diseases.
 Women were also forbidden to go there; the Yamabushi rules were very strict.
 She looked for the young Yamabushi, but didn't find him,
 and then suddenly she saw a Yamabushi.
 It wasn't the young man but another, who realized that she was a woman.
 He pulled out his sword and cut off her head!
 Some time later the young Yamabushi discovered her body,
 when he saw it he was grief struck.
 He built a shrine over the spot where she was killed.
 The sword that had killed her was then taken to the shrine
 and kept there to be prayed over and purified.


 Later, during the Tokugawa period this area was taken over by the Kurobane-han
 or The Oseki family.
 They had been given this area as a reward for their services to Hideoshi.
 This same family controlled the area from then until the Meiji period,
 some 400 years!! A very unusual occurrence in Japan.
 The Kurobane-han used Kita onsen as a base for the defeat of the Yamabushi
 and mountain worship.
 The old shrine stopped being used and the sword disappeared.
 The Ozeki family (Kurobane-han) built a house on the site that later became Himenoyu.


 At the beginning of the Meiji period (1867) Kita onsen came into the Kumagai family,
 the owner being Kumagai Genzo.
 Whilst preparing the site to build a new onsen ryokan, the missing sword was found.
 This was a great surprise, but it also disturbed him to find the sword,
 he thought that it would bring bad luck.
 So he put the sword in the room that had been built over the place
 where it had been found and ordered the room to be kept closed and sealed.
 Believing that as long as the room was kept sealed the ryokan would prosper.


 In Meiji 40 (1907) the sealed room's walls were broken by a large rockfall.
 The owner immediately ordered the walls to be repaired.
He also asked a Yamabushi to say prayers and ask for the continued prosperity
 of the ryokan.


 During Showa 13 (1938) there was a massive storm in the Nasu area that caused flooding
 at Kita onsen,the floodwater carrying away the sealed room and the sword.
 Despite many efforts the sword wasn't found and the restoration of the ryokan took place
 but with many difficulties and problems.


 In Showa 60 (1985) the father of the present owner
 (Kumagai Sadahiko) a very strong healthy man
 became seriously ill.
 He slept a lot and one night he dreamt about a woman
 and a sword the woman asking why she had been killed,
 she wanted the shrine to be rebuilt and prayers offered.
 When he awoke he drew a picture of the woman,
 he also called for a Shaman.
 The Shaman gave many prayers and put many gifts for her
 in the river,the Yosasegawa.
 A memorial service was also held for her.
 Very soon afterwards Kumagai Sadahiko-san's father
 became well again and the ryokan became prosperous.

 This story of the lost sword and the sealed room
 from 400 years ago is a part of the history
 and legends of Kita onsen.