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The expression to "spirit away" means to remove without anyone's noticing.
Kamikakushi (神隠し?, lit. "hidden by Kami") means "spirited away". Kamikakushi is used to refer to the mysterious disappearance or death of a person that happens when an angered god takes a person away. In pre-modern Japan children would often disappear in this way and be rediscovered several days later in a shrine or temple, consistently telling a story of being swept away by a god.
In the anime, manga and visual novel Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, when people disappear, they blame the curse of Hinamizawa's guardian god/demon Oyashiro-sama, who takes people away every year, and then people talk about "Onikakushi" (鬼隠し?, lit. "hidden by an Oni"), which is the name for the first arc of the manga, anime and visual novel.
In the manga Rin-ne by Rumiko Takahashi, heroine Sakura Mamiya disappeared for a week after being taken away by spirits, and she was brought back to this world by Rinne's grandmother Tamako. Sakura can't remember what exactly happened to her during these days, but as a consequence she gained spirital powers that let her see ghosts, something that she wants to get rid of.
- Blacker, C. (1967). "Supernatural Abductions in Japanese Folklore". Asian Folklore Studies 26 (2): 111. doi:10.2307/1177730. JSTOR 1177730.
- Staemmler, Birgit (2005). "Virtual Kamikakushi: An Element of Folk Belief in Changing Times and Media". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 32 (2): 341–352. doi:10.2307/30234067. JSTOR 30234067.
- Sadler, A. W. (1987). "The Spirit-Captives of Japan's North Country: Nineteenth Century Narratives of the "Kamikakushi"". Asian Folklore Studies 46 (2): 217–226. doi:10.2307/1178585. JSTOR 1178585.
- Staemmler, Birgit (2009). Chinkon Kishin: Mediated Spirit Possession in Japanese New Religions. ISBN 9783825868994.
- The dictionary definition of spirit away at Wiktionary
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