Magic in Japan Part 3 – Exorcism

A form of exorcism in Japan comes from the distribution of Taoist talismans called ofuda, gofu, or shinpu. The priest (or sorcerer) paints the Thunder Writing or Celestial Calligraphy on rectangular strips of white, yellow, or red paper; wood, cloth, or metal. The calligrapher inscribes a prayer, along with the name of a kami (a divine being or spiritual force in the Shinto religion) while using a brush made of peach wood and cinnabar pigment. Many cultures believe that red cinnabar (also called Dragon’s blood) has strong, mystical properties.



Omamori, talisman of a similar type to ofuda, come wrapped in a decorated brocade bag, contain a prayer and inscribed invocation. Ancient belief asserts that both ofuda and omamori contain the essence of a particular kami. Created for various purposes, Shinto priests use numerous mantras, mudras (hand gestures) rituals, and invocations to empower and bless the talismans.



Shinto shrines distribute both types of talisman. The one who possesses the ofuda should attach it to a door, pillar, ceiling, or inside a kamidana (house shrine). Many believe that ofuda protect the family from harm. The owner of an omamori can carry them for personal protection. For the magical defense to remain strong, the owner of the talisman should renew both ofuda and omamori yearly.

Roadside Shinto Shrine

Roadside Shinto Shrine in Nikko, Japan


Persoanl Kamidana

Kamidana 2

Kamidana displaying a shimenawa and shide


Omamori –

Ofuda –

Ofuda –

Dragon’s Blood –

Shinto Shrine –

Kamidana –

The Complete Book of Spells, Ceremonies & Magic

The Complete Book of Spells, Ceremonies & Magic