Yūrei (幽霊) are figures in Japanese 🇯🇵 folklore, analogous to Western legends of ghosts👻. The name consists of two kanji, 幽 (yū), meaning “faint” or “dim” and 霊(rei), meaning “soul” or “spirit”. Alternative names include 亡霊 (Bōrei), meaning ruined or departed spirit, 死霊 (Shiryō) meaning dead spirit, or the more encompassing 妖怪 (Yōkai) or お化け (Obake).
According to traditional 🏯 Japanese beliefs, all humans have a spirit or soul called a reikon. When a person dies, the reikon leaves the body and enters a form of purgatory, where it waits for the proper funeral and post-funeral rites to be performed, so that it may join its ancestors. If this is done correctly, the reikon is believed to be a protector of the living family and to return yearly in August during the Obon Festival 🎪 to receive thanks.
Yūrei interact with the living world in a wide range of ways, from creating phantom lights and sounds, to invoke powerful curses. They do not roam about, but they haunt one particular place or person. In the case of a place it is often where they died or are buried. In the case of a person it is often their killer, or sometimes their loved ones. Yūrei exist only to haunt, and they remain “stuck” in this world until they can be put to rest. This might require bringing their killers to justice, finding their lost body, or something as simple as passing on a message to a loved one. Some yūrei are so reluctant to accept their deaths that they haunt their living family, bringing misfortune and unhappiness for the rest of their family members’ lives.
Types of Yūrei:-
1)Onryō:- Vengeful ghosts who come back from purgatory for a wrong done to them during their lifetime.
2)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.🍬
3)Goryō:- Vengeful ghosts of the aristocratic 👑 class, especially those who were martyred.These terrible ghosts bring calamity and destruction to those who wronged them in life.
4)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.They can be seen at night, when the moon is new or full, or on particularly stormy or foggy nights, especially during Obon. They appear as an eerie, luminescent mist at first, which gets closer and closer until it forms into a ship with a ghostly crew.
5)Zashiki-warashi:- The ghosts of children, often mischievous rather than dangerous.
•A famous haunting of yūrie:- the Aokigahara forest (the suicide forest):-
The Aokigahara is considered to be haunted by demons in Japanese mythology.Legend says that those who are engaged in this sea forest never return. But there is some truth in that, as even in these days, many hikers 🚴lose their way.
In the Japanese popular belief, if a person dies💀 in a deep sense of hatred, anger, sadness, or desire for revenge, their soul can’t leave this world and continues to wander, appearing to people affected by the spell or those who cross his path.🚧
According to some Japanese spiritualists, the trees themselves soaked in themselves a malevolent energy accumulated over centuries.
Moreover, even without believing, trees🌳 give the impression of being alive , they have grown on an incredibly fertile land and thus have roots🎋 in all shapes, resembling sometimes tentacles, and sometimes they give you the impression they can walk
Some believe the yurei of those abandoned by ubasute and the mournful spirits of the suicidal linger in the woods. Folklore claims they are vengeful, dedicated to tormenting visitors 😱 and luring those that are sad 😢 and lost off the path.So if you dare to venture into this forbidding forest 🌳, do as the signs ➡ suggest and stay on the path.🚧