Kanashibari, directly translated, is a Japanese word meaning "paralysis." Such a quick translation skips a major cultural connotation, however;
Kanashibari is most often used to refer to a state of paralysis brought on by possession.
Generally speaking, those said to be most susceptible to Kanashibari (Kana = metal, gold and shibari, a variant of shibaru = to be bound/held in place, constricted) are also those sensitive to the presence of spirits (yuurei) and the like...though, if you end up walking alone in a dark tunnel at night (or any other spot famed for "sightings"), you can end up experiencing one ("voluntarily," however, is another thing...).
An average experience (just search online for "Kaidan" to get examples) goes something like this:
You slowly open your eyes, but are greeted by darkness. Two thoughts cross your mind; What time is it? and HOT. Knowing you won`t be able to fall asleep until you stop sweating by the litre, you drag yourself out of bed, stumbling to the fan in a sleep-deprived stupor (not that the heat is helping any - 35 degrees Celsius all day, every day; all night, every night), and turn it on.
With that accomplished, you trudge back to your bed, stopping briefly to check the time - 2:15 AM, and promptly fall asleep.
...except for the "fall asleep" part. Tossing and turning for a few minutes (or has it been hours?), you suddenly feel...odd.
No matter what you do, you can`t get back to sleep. Somehow, every breath you draw in is stifled, until you feel like you`re gasping for just enough air to stay conscious (and barely succeeding at that). You hear a thud - probably that couple down the hall, you think...until you remember that they leave in the morning shortly before you do (employment, and all that)...which leaves a disturbing question:
What the hell is making that noise (when everyone else is asleep?)
Slightly nervous, you try to push your worries aside, focusing on the 3.5 hours of precious sleep you`ve left until sunrise.
It doesn`t work.
Was it ever this...quiet, before?
Not long after those words echo through your mind, you hear a different sound entirely; a low chuckle, but it doesn`t seem to be coming from anywhere.
No time to react; your entire body quickly transforms into one giant muscle spasm. You twitch, you contort, you desperately plead to whatever faith you hold that this pass quickly...
And then it`s over, quick as it began. Through the soul-wrenching fear, the residual disbelief, and the foreboding you feel for the long night ahead, one thing`s for sure:
Inagawa Junji won`t be out of work anytime soon.