I’m featuring a Japanese spirit today, in the hopes of bringing attention to the plight of thousands of people left homeless in Northern Japan by the quake and the tsunami that followed. If you also think that things from Japan are cool, please donate to your local Red Cross to help those living without access to adequate shelter, enough food, and clean water. Thank you.
Okay, not a demon at all, but VERY COOL…
Wandering spirits aren’t uncommon in folklore (and in this blog). The difference with the ikiryo is a) Japanese (automatic cool), and b) the person who owns the spirit is still alive.
Anyone can develop an ikiriyo — just get so pissed off, vengeful, or jealous that the feeling develops a power of its own and leaves your body. The ikiriyo then attacks the person you’re ticked at by entering their body.
There’s a famous incidence of this in The Tale of Genji, one of the first novels (that we know about), attributed Murasaki Shikibu, a Japanese noblewoman in the early 11th century. Lady Rokujo’s vengeful and jealous ikiriyo attacks and kills her rival, Lady Aoi.
Again, here are those links:
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
|Gabriel, J. Philip, Spirit Matters|