Spirit away

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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.

Modern fiction[edit]

In the anime film Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, Sen and Chihiro's Spiriting Away), the main protagonist, Chihiro, is "spirited away" from reality to the spirit world.

In the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, when the main character Ichabod Crane vanishes after being pursued by the Headless Horseman, he is rumored to have been spirited away by the specter.

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 novel and manga Missing / Spirited Away by Gakuto Coda, the main character Utsume Kyoichi goes missing for a second time, in the company of his new spirit girlfriend Ayame.

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 spiritual powers that let her see ghosts, something that she wants to get rid of.

Kamikakushi is mentioned in a song "Madoite Kitare, Yuuda na Kamikakushi ~ Border of Death" by IOSYS. It refers to Yukari's mystic abilities.

In the video game series Fatal Frame many of the characters get spirited away by ghosts often leading them into a spirit world where they use the Camera Obscura (射影機 / しゃえいき Shaeiki?), an antique camera-like device that captures images of spirits to either find a way out or save someone who has been spirited away.

See also[edit]


  • 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 (inactive 2018-09-05). 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.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of spirit away at Wiktionary