Hitodama

Hitodama
Hitodama in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki.

Hitodama

Hitodama (人魂) is a type of Yurei depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien.

It is represented as a kind of floating orb or fireball, which are state to be the souls of the dead.

There are ways to ensure that when the supernatural apparears, your spirit remains insideof your body, so you Hitodama does not leave you.

This involves binding your kimono hem, which we can find mentioned in its earliest form in the Tale of Genji, in the tale the Lady Rokujo speaks through the dying Lady Aoi stating; ‘bind the hem of my robe, to keep it within.’

More detals concernng this practise can be found in the Heian Period poetry anthology known as the Fukuro-sōshi, dating to 1159. Inside it states one should read a specific poem three times over, and then knot the lower corner of your kimono hem for three days. For a man, you must knot the left lower corner, and the right corner for women.

The poem in question goes as follows:1

tama wa mitsu
nushi wa dare tomo shiranedomo
nusubi todomeyo
shitagai no tsuma
If you see a soul
drifting free of its owner
then knot up your hem.

External Links

Footnotes

1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

List of Supernatural Creatures

Abura akago * Aka Manto * Akaname * Akashita * Amanozako * Amefuri Kozo * Amikiri * Aōbozu * Aonyobo * Aosagi no hi * Buruburu * Chochin bi * Funa Yurei * Furaribi * Furutsubaki no rei * Gaikotsu * Ganbari Nyudo * Gagoze * Gensuke * Haka no hi * Hannya * Hashi-Hime * Hiderigami * Hikeshi baba * Hinode * Hitodama * Hitotsume Kozō * Hiyoribo * Hone Onna * Hyōsube * Ikiryō * Inugami * Jorōgumo * Kamaitachi * Kamikiri * Kanedama * Kappa * Kasha * Katawa Guruma * Kawa Akago * Kawauso * Kitsunebi * Kejoro * Kodama * Kosenjo no hi * Kurozuka * Makurageishi * Mikoshi * Momonjii * Nekomata * Noderabō * Nopperabo * Nuppeppō * Nurarihyon * Nureonna * Nuribotoke * Nyūnai Suzume * Obariyon * Ōkaburo * Ōkubi * Okiku * Ōmagatoki * Oni * Onmoraki * Osakabe * Otoroshi * Ouni * Rokurokubi * Sakabashira * Samebito * Sansei * Sarakozoe * Satori * Seta * Shirachigo * Shiranui * Shōkera * Shuten-dōji * Sōgenbi * Suiko * Takaonna * Tamamo-no-mae * Tanuki * Tenasobi * Tenjō-Kudari * Tengu * Tenome * Teratsutsuki * Tesso * Tōfu Kozō * Tsurubebi * Ubagabi * Ubume * Umibozū * Umizatō * Ushinotoki-mairi * Ushioni * Uwan * Waira * Wani * Wanyudo * Yamabiko * Yamauba * Yamawarawa * Yanari * Yukionna * Zenki and Goki

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