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Abe no Seimei and his shikigami (bottom right) before an assembly of god-like demon spirits
Abe no Seimei and his shikigami (bottom right) before an assembly of god-like demon spirits

Shikigami (式神, also read as Shiki-no-kami, 式の神) is the term for a being from Japanese folklore. It is thought to be some sort of kami, represented by a small ghost.[1] The belief of shikigami originates from Onmyōdō. The foundations of this thought is in the study of exogenous and endogenous factors that lead to disease and disharmony in Traditional Chinese medicine, These principles transformed through lack of correct education and misinformation to the public and laypeople creating superstition in all naturally occurring phenomenon.[2]


Shikigami are conjured beings, made alive through a complex conjuring ceremony. Their power is connected to the spiritual force of their master, where if the invoker is well introduced and has much experience, their shiki can possess animals and even people and manipulate them, but if the invoker is careless, their shikigami may get out of control in time, gaining its own will and consciousness and can even raid its own master and kill them in revenge. Usually shikigami are conjured to exercise risky orders for their masters, such as spying, stealing and enemy tracking. Shikigami are said to be invisible most of the time, but they can be made visible by binding them into small, folded and artfully cut paper manikins. There are also shikigami that can show themselves as animals.[1][3][4]

In the Izanagi-ryu (Japanese: いざなぎ流) folk religion, the most elite onmyōji could also conjure an exceptionally powerful type of shikigami called a shikiōji (Japanese: 式王子) to ward off disasters or demons that cause sickness. Regular mystics could not attempt to summon it without risking losing control of it due to its oni-like nature.

See also


  1. ^ a b Inoue, Nobutaka (2002). An Encyclopedia of Shinto. Tokyo: Kokugakuin University. pp. 84–90. ISBN 978-4905853084.
  2. ^ "李富华:《赵城金藏》研究 - 弘善佛教网". Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  3. ^ Avant, G. Rodney (2005). A Mythological Reference. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse. p. 356. ISBN 978-1418492786.
  4. ^ Drazen, Patrick (2011). A Gathering of Spirits: Japan's Ghost Story Tradition: from Folklore and Kabuki to Anime and Manga. Bloomington, Indiana: Iuniverse. p. 224. ISBN 978-1462029426.
This page was last edited on 4 November 2020, at 23:48
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