Cases of Japanese Children with Past Life Memories

A comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of past-life memories among Japanese children.

Feeling out of place in the modern era, knowing certain things before having any exposure, or having the same kind of physical mark as the deceased are just some of the supposed signs of having lived a past life. Recalling one in great detail may even sound ludicrous to some. It’s a situation often relegated to the world of what if’s and make-believe. However, there are thousands of documentations that say otherwise.

The article from the Psi Encyclopedia provides an in-depth exploration of the phenomenon of past-life memories in Japanese children, a subject that has been systematically studied since 2000. These cases bear similarities to those reported globally, but with unique aspects in the Japanese context. The article is structured into several key sections, each detailing different aspects of these phenomena.

Historical Background

The concept of reincarnation in Japan has roots dating back to the Jomon period (14,000-300 BCE), as evidenced by archaeological and cultural findings. The earliest written reference to reincarnation in Japan appeared after the introduction of Buddhism in the sixth century. Over the centuries, numerous reincarnation stories, influenced by Buddhism, emerged in Japanese folklore and literature. The first investigative report of a reincarnation case was that of Katsugoro in the nineteenth century. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in reincarnation stories, with researchers like Ohkado Masayuki employing methodologies developed by Ian Stevenson to study these cases.

Japanese Cases with Family Relationships

  1. Ao: A unique case involving abortion. Ao, born in 2016, claimed to be the spirit of an aborted child from 1989. His grandmother, Tomiko, had aborted her third child and held a memorial service for the soul. Ao recognized items related to the aborted child and exhibited behaviors suggesting he was the reincarnated spirit.
  2. Kanon: Kanon, born in 2009, showed behaviors and memories indicating he was the reincarnation of his sister Momoka, who died of leukemia in 2004. He exhibited preferences and behaviors similar to Momoka and even wrote a letter with words she had promised to write before her death.
  3. Kazuya: Kazuya, born in 2004, displayed behaviors and memories suggesting he was the reincarnation of his uncle Jun, who committed suicide in 1997. He referred to family members in ways specific to Jun and talked about experiences after Jun’s suicide.
  4. Takuma: Born in 2009, Takuma casually mentioned having entered his mother’s womb twice before, correlating with her two miscarriages in 2002 and 2004. He later wrote about these experiences in a school essay.
  5. Tae: Tae, born in 1996, showed characteristics and behaviors reminiscent of her deceased grandmother, Midori, who died three years before Tae’s birth. Tae’s actions and preferences mirrored those of Midori, and she even referred to a picture of Midori as herself.
  6. Tomiko: In this experimental birthmark case, Tomiko, born in 1954, had a birthmark matching a mark drawn on her deceased uncle, who died in 1934. She did not make explicit statements about past-life memories but was noted for her robust health, similar to her uncle.

Japanese Cases with Stranger Relationships

  1. Katsugoro: A well-documented historical case where Katsugoro, born in 1815, claimed to be the reincarnation of Tozo, a boy from a nearby village who died of smallpox. Katsugoro’s detailed knowledge of Tozo’s life convinced Tozo’s parents of his claim.
  2. Sakutaro: Born in 2012, Sakutaro recounted memories of a past life as a young man who died in a motorcycle accident. He provided details about his former life, including his mother and the accident, leading his current mother to search for his past-life family.
  3. Takeharu: Takeharu, born in 2012, showed a fascination with the Japanese battleship Yamato and made statements suggesting he was recalling a past life related to the ship. His knowledge of the ship and its fate, along with his emotional reactions, supported his claims.

Unsolved Japanese Cases

  1. Akane: Born in 2006, Akane had a birthmark resembling a bindi and memories of a past life in India, including a violent death. She showed a strong affinity for Indian culture and knowledge of Indian gods.
  2. Aya: Aya, born in 2002, talked about past-life memories as a child of a restaurant owner, with detailed knowledge of fish and marine products, and dialectal expressions from a region she had never visited.
  3. Mu: Mu, born in 2008, recounted being male in a past life, with memories of an airplane journey and the absence of a mother. She provided a name from her past life but no further verifiable details.
  4. Koko: Koko, born in 2001, experienced phobias and anxieties related to past-life memories. Her mental conditions improved significantly after she began discussing these memories, which included recollections of over twenty past lives.
  5. Noriya: Noriya, born in 2003, had traumatic reactions linked to past-life memories, including a fear of buttons and recollections of being in a concentration camp. His symptoms subsided after his mother consulted a psychic who helped them understand these were past-life memories.
  6. Tomo: Born in 2000, Tomo recalled being a child in Edinburgh, Scotland. He showed a preference for English and claimed to be a restaurant owner’s son who died in 1997. A trip to Edinburgh at age seven did not confirm his memories but helped fade them.
  7. Yu: Yu, born in 2014, exhibited fears and memories suggesting he was a 9/11 World Trade Center victim. He described working in the South Tower and dying in an explosion, but could not identify any related individuals from photos.
  8. Yumeri: Yumeri, unusually pious and born in 2005, experienced past-life memories triggered by a song, recalling her parents’ deaths. She eventually recognized her current mother as the same spirit from her past life.

The article presents a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of past-life memories among Japanese children, offering insights into both solved and unsolved cases. It highlights the cultural and historical context of reincarnation beliefs in Japan and documents various cases where children have exhibited behaviors and memories suggesting past-life experiences. These cases range from reincarnations within families to those involving strangers, and even include historical and international cases, providing a broad perspective on this intriguing phenomenon.

In the same vein, Tomo mentioned to his family when he was just 3 that he wanted to go back home to his mother in Edinburgh. Prior to that request, he had displayed behavioral changes at 11 months of age such as writing letters in the roman alphabet before starting to learn Japanese. He even went as far as to sign his name under doodles: T-O-M-O by the time he was 2. One might think that it’s not so unusual, as various media outlets could be found written in English at that time; however, how would one go about explaining Tomo knowing the lyrics to the song Top of the World upon first listen? His family had had zero association with Scotland.
Through two separate interviews with Tomo’s mother on June 22, 2010, and with his father on
July 2, 2010, Ohkado was able to record evidence of a past life lived with the help of the mother’s
detailed diary. The first written conversation about Tomo wanting to peel garlic, although short, revealed
a lot:

  1. Tomo’s past persona was named “Geiris”
  2. Geiris had peeled garlic before because “he was a child of a restaurant”
  3. Despite Tomo being right-dominant, he peeled left-handedly, suggesting that Geiris may have
    also been left-handed
  4. Tomo could remember his old date of birth (August 9, 1988)
  5. Geiris had died of a horrible fever (45°C, 113°F) on October 24th or 25th, 1997 at 9 years old
    Over the course of almost two years, Tomo’s mother made note of things like him recalling a past-life
    medicine he had taken called EMD, his past mother’s good night kisses, and pinpointing Edinburgh on a
    world map. This was also the time when Tomo remembered his past life in the greatest detail. For
    example, at 4 years old, Tomo was recorded three times as having said, “I had a dog called John. He had
    yellow or golden hair with a long nose. His ears were on the upper head. We slept in the same room.”
    More instances of him recalling past-life information included things like “In the UK, I bathed in milk” or,
    when he was 4.7 years old after seeing news of a train crash, “There was also a train accident in the UK,
    in Southall. I watched the news on TV. It said ‘Accident! Accident!’ Two trains collided, and a fire
    occurred. Eight people died.” There was indeed such a crash on September 19, 1997.
    As time went on, Tomo’s family realized the importance of taking him to the UK to try and find
    his old home, and so, when he was 7, him and his father took off in search of answers in August, 2008.
    Although proving unsuccessful, here too were notable points:
  6. Chili con carne is served in many pubs and restaurants in the area, as Tomo had reported when
    he was 4.9 years old
  7. Jerked from sleep, he told his father he could feel his “mother” in the area
    Upon returning to Japan, Tomo seemed at peace and began talking less and less of his past life. By
    the last interview at 9 ½ years old, he was unable to recall any further information.
    Ohkado concluded in 2011 that, after visiting Edinburgh personally, and conducting several
    searches and consultations through various societies and record agencies, both in the UK and Scotland,
    and despite clear evidence of paranormal activity and the boy’s status as a CORT, Tomo’s case remains
    unsolved. Nonetheless, this begs a question: How many more are there in Japan who can recall their
    past life?
  • 9 Signs of a Reincarnated Soul | HuffPost Contributor
  • Katsugoro (reincarnation case) | Psi Encyclopedia (
  • RMT remembers Southall train crash 26 years ago today – rmt
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