Japanese ghosts (yurei) are spirits that have been prevented from a peaceful resting place by dramatic events during their life. Often they are murder or suicide victims . In other cases, an injustice has sparked intense desires of love,revenge, sorrow or hatred — these desires are so strong that the ghost is able to transcend death to dwell on the earth.
Japanese ghosts fall into broad categories based on how they were scorned and how they seek revenge or redemption. For example:
1. OnryoOnryo are female ghosts that were abused or neglected by their lovers. They dwell in the physical world after death seeking vengeance. Powerless in life they become strong in death. Strangely enough they rarely harm the lovers who vexed them.
2. UbumeWomen that died in childbirth or without making sure their children are provided for in life. The power of their love allows them to stay in the physical world. Usually they come back to help their child in a time of need or leave gifts for children that later turn into dead leaves.
3. GoryoGoryo are dangerous and vengeful ghosts that have been martyred in life and return for revenge. They can be incredibly powerful: destroying crops or bringing fire, typhoons or earthquakes.
Funayūrei (literally "ship ghosts") are the ghosts of mariners who died at sea. They approach ships at sea and ask for a ladle. If they are given the ladle they will scoop water into the ship so effectively that the ship will sink.
5. Zashiki-warashiZashiki-warashi are child ghosts who dwell in large well maintained houses. They are mischievous and may play small tricks on the living. However, seeing a zashiki-warashi or having one in your house is considered very lucky and can bring great fortunes.
6. Seductress GhostsJapanese folklore is full of ghosts both male and female who come back to the world to seduce the living.