Posted: August 11, 2010 in mazes, riddles, Yohtorozu
Tags: , , , , , ,

Coop here, 

I came across the name “Yohtorozu” again while searching through Wes’s materials.  This time, the term shows up in the form of a hand-drawn maze.  In the bizarre untitled poem, Yohtorozu is refered to as the “Vile Enigma”.  From what I can gather so far, Yohtorozu is some sort of malevolent entity who constructs elaborate challenges or puzzles for unfortunate victims to attempt to conquer.  

Here’s a copy of the maze… 

Click for a larger, printable version...

Click it for a larger, printable version...


Apparently Wes spent a lot of time working on the solution to this maze.  In his own words, here is what he discovered about it (highlight the blank space below to read)… 

After many attempts and dozens of sheets of printing paper wasted, I’ve determined that there is no solution to the Yohtorozu Maze.  This seems to be the entire point.  I believe this maze in itself is the actual definition of the Vile Enigma.  It’s a game you cannot beat.  A puzzle you cannot solve.  A challenge you cannot win.  Whatever this Yohtorozu is, there are a few things I am certain of…  The Vile Enigma is cruel and cunning.  One would not enter into a bargain with it and expect to win.  The more distressing idea is the notion that you could already be in the center of one of its games and not know it until it was too late.  Even though I found this maze in a moldy-old children’s book of puzzles, I already regret having discovered it.  There’s something really disconcerting about spending all that time trying to find your way out then suddenly realizing there isn’t one. 

– Wes


In regards to terminlogy, I believe the words Yohtorozu and the Vile Enigma could also be used to refer to the situation or puzzle itself.  It’s hard to figure out because the usage is vague.  In context, you could also assume that the pleasure in the game is not experienced from the one playing but from the one who constructed it. 

This sort of “be careful what you wish for” theme that surrounds the Yohtorozu mystery reminds me of the classic 1902 horror short story “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs.  If there were such a thing as Yohtorozu, the object of the Monkey’s Paw would certainly been of his construction. 

Finally, it’s obvious you wouldn’t want to be caught up in one of Yohtorozu’s games, but as Wes said…  How would you know you’re not already in one? 



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