Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Send us Your Yowling Yūrei Yarn!

Keeping with the theme of our current callout, our blog for 'Y' features yet another malignant spectre in addition to our favourite phantoms and revenants! As with the ikiryo previously, this spirit is again drawn from Japanese culture. Today we focus on the yūrei. In our discussion on the 19th century ghost story, we noted that according to M. R. James when composing a good ghost story, the spirit should be odious and malignant. The yūrei most certainly match this description! Those familiar with the movies The Ring or The Grudge will be familiar with this spirit if not it's traditional name.

Yūrei is a composite word combining yu for faint, with rei for the soul. Traditionally, yūrei are female spirits, depicted with pale skin and unkempt long black hair which obscures their face. The distinctive hair of the yūrei may herald their presence, appearing in advance of the spectre and offering great potential for developing tension when setting the scene. Similarly, yūrei may express a distinctive sound or smell which may signal their presence before they achieve spiritual manifestation. 

Thought to arise from murder or suicide, yūrei are vengeful spirits. Typically tied to a specific location, the vengeance of a yūrei is indiscriminately dispensed onto whatever living outlet becomes accessible. To add to the terror imposed by this creature, as depicted in The Ring, yūrei typically move in a disjointed manner, often crawling, although possessing potential for very rapid motion and capable of defying physical laws such as gravity. Thought to be impervious to exorcism and with the sole aim of imposing harm onto the living, yūrei represent a truly fearsome spirit! 

So, what are you waiting for? Send us your yowling yūrei yarn!

Further reading:

This blog post was written in the spirit of the April 2014 A-Z Challenge whereby a post is written every day during the month of April (with the exception of Sunday). The theme of each post is meant to correspond with a letter of the alphabet in sequential order. Our final post on Wednesday will be on Z. For details and to visit the A-Z Challenge website, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment