About 600 years ago, Oguri, a young man with a bright future as a government official was unlucky in love. His first wife, charmed him until he realized she was a snake in disguise. His second wife, Terute, didn't love him at first, but later came to love him, and her family tried to murder Oguri. First a man-eating horse was sent to kill him, and when that failed, his wife's father poisoned him. Oguri fell into a place in Hell.
Terute was thrown into a river, but he somehow survived after rescue. She was sold as a slave from one house to another time after time.
One day, the lord of the Hell took pity on Oguri and sent him back up to the world of the living. But, he was a shell of a man－deformed so badly that he could not even walk and with his hearing, sight and speaking ability destroyed.
A monk found Oguri. He hung a sign around Oguri's neck with a message left by the lord of the Underworld inscribed on it, "He will be cured if he is taken to the hot springs of Yunomine in the land of Kumano." The monk added, "If you pull this cart once, you will receive blessings as good as prayers by a thousand monks." So, it came to be that Oguri was pulled towards Kumano by many kind people hoping to be blessed.
The cart passed by Terute's master's house one day, and Terute asked for time off to pull the cart. She only had five days off, so she pulled the cart for three days and nights along the mountainous paths and then rushed back to her work.
With the help of many, compassionate people, Oguri finally arrived at Kumano after a 444-day journey. He bathed in the hot springs of Yunomine. On the seventh day, his eyes opened. On the fourteenth day, his hearing was cured. On the 21st day, he was able to talk. On the 49th day, he was completely cured and was a young man again. His recovery was due both to the medicinal efforts of the hot springs and the mercy of the Kumano gods.
Oguri traveled back to Kyoto, where his parents forgave him and welcome him home. He was then appointed as the mayor of Mino, where he reunited with Terute, and they lived happily ever after.