Yūrei - Classifications - Yūrei

Yūrei

While all Japanese ghosts are called yūrei, within that category there are several specific types of phantom, classified mainly by the manner they died or their reason for returning to Earth.

  • Onryō: Vengeful ghosts who come back from purgatory for a wrong done to them during their lifetime.
  • Ubume: A mother ghost who died in childbirth, or died leaving young children behind. This yūrei returns to care for her children, often bringing them sweets.
  • Goryō: Vengeful ghosts of the aristocratic class, especially those who were martyred.
  • Funayūrei: The ghosts of those who died at sea. These ghosts are sometimes depicted as scaly fish-like humanoids and some may even have a form similar to that of a mermaid or merman.
  • Zashiki-warashi: The ghosts of children, often mischievous rather than dangerous.
  • Samurai Ghosts: Veterans of the Genpei War who fell in battle. Warrior Ghosts almost exclusively appear in Noh Theater. Unlike most other yūrei, these ghosts are usually shown with legs.
  • Seductress Ghosts: The ghost of a woman or man who initiates a post-death love affair with a living human, as seen in Botan Dōrō.

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Yūrei - Exorcism
... The easiest way to exorcise a yūrei is to help it fulfill its purpose ... When the reason for the strong emotion binding the spirit to Earth is gone, the yūrei is satisfied and can move on ... Traditionally, this is accomplished by family members enacting revenge upon the yūrei's slayer, or when the ghost consummates its passion/love with its intended lover, or when its ...