Junji Ito The Enigma Of Amigara Fault Read Online: The Riddle of the Amigara Rift is a short story by Junji Ito included at the end of one of his major works, Gyo. The story follows Owaki and Yoshida who, like many others, are drawn to an unnamed Japanese prefecture after a rift is discovered on Mount Amiga.
The particular site is littered with countless human-shaped holes in the rock face that were revealed due to a recent earthquake. Although this Junji Ito story does not feature aliens, grotesque monsters, or panels depicting copious amounts of blood, it still manages to instill a sense of horror in its viewers.
The Amiga Rift mystery is not only incredibly mysterious but also psychological, leaving readers as captivated by its old holes as the protagonists who follow them. In the end, it’s hard to escape stories that disturb the Lovecraftian sense of doom even days after reading them.
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Table of contents
The origin of the holes
The origin of man-shaped holes is never fully explained. Owaki once experiences a dream that he is a criminal from the distant past. As punishment for committing a heinous crime, he is condemned to enter an abyss that seems to have been created especially for him.
As he passes through the corridor, his body twists to the point that no human could survive, but he remains conscious and screams in pain. Although these tunnels may be the invention of an ancient civilization using technology unknown to the modern world, how and why exactly they fit the bodies of people today remains a mystery.
Readers wonder if Owaki was just dreaming or if this earlier society had something to do with founding these mysterious holes. It allows the reader to wander through the dark halls of their mind while trying to find a solution to this problem. From the origins of extraterrestrial beings to demonic forces, there are myriad possibilities.
The lack of substantial explanation leaves the reader horrified. The origin and purpose of these rooms will depend entirely on who perceives the riddle of the Amigara Rift. In doing so, Ito holds up a mirror to the reader and asks the question: what are people really afraid of? While the decapitated heads and creatures of deeply or psychologically disturbed characters are certainly terrifying, there’s nothing scarier than not being aware of the darkness within.
Freudian symbolism holes
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of these man-shaped holes is that people feel an irresistible urge to enter them. Although they are aware that the result of such an action is certain death, people still do everything in their power to find a hole “made for them“. This sensation is what Sigmund Freud called a “death drive,” an irrational urge that seeks to eliminate the person.
The Amiga rift mystery likely has no distinctive enemies other than the humans inside. While the holes themselves can be seen as a mysterious check on the characters in the story, it’s much scarier to think that their destruction only comes from themselves.
According to Freud, “the goal of all life is death.” Given this, Owaki and Yoshida seem to want to return to “something that will seem more primitive, more elementary, than the joys that life offers them, they are more instinctual.
Ito’s use of a smack in the ass to enact this psychological drama seems to have been done with great purpose. In Otto Rank’s 1924 book The Trauma of Birth, he states that a person’s first experience of anxiety occurs when they are separated from their mother’s womb. Therefore, many have a strong desire to return to this space to relive their trauma.
As Owaki crawls through the hole passages, he symbolically returns to the point of his birth, where he enters a state of being that is neither dead nor alive.
The Riddle of Amigara’s Fault is a haunting, introspective story that challenges the innate human instinct for self-destruction. Although on the surface this could be seen as another story where curiosity killed the cat, it instead manages to get under the skin of the reader and themes that are far more sinister and revealing than one would expect, investigate
Ito’s masterful use of Freudian psychology, symbolism and attention to what scares people is expertly portrayed in this story. The hypnotic pull of these human-shaped holes is perhaps more frightening than any monster. Ultimately, Ito gets back to the basics of what scares people: dark, claustrophobic spaces with a sense of the unknown.