A curse is a wish of misfortune, bad luck or some other hardship to befall or place about a person or object. Many folklore mention such a supernatural force could be invoked through spells, rituals, hexes and even from the divine intervention of deities. In some myths, spirits of dead may conjured curses upon those who wronged them in life. Japanese legends tell of a ghost that seeks damnation upon its enemy known as the Goryo.
In times of conflict through Japan’s history, many feared killing nobles and other members of the aristocracy class. They believed those to had died horrible, suffered painful deaths or not given a proper, their spirit would return as a ghost of vengeance. These spirits could not directly kill anyone, however they would exact their wrath by conjuring curses upon their enemies. Wars, fires, floods, droughts, death of family members and other misfortunes were often believed as the actions of a goryo. This legend gave raise to several professions in Japan to combat such forces.
Sometime during the 9th to 10th century, the onmyoji emerged in the imperial court as a civil servant responsible in fighting against supernatural threats. They were priests specialized in magic and divination to protect the country from evil spirits. Upon confronting a goryo, the onmyōji could attempt to transform into peaceful ghost through ritual. If not successful, the ghost could be sealed away into object like a jar or bottle or into nature like a tree or object.
Onmyoji would be employed to warding homes, castles, and other building from possibility future incidents of goryo and other evil entities. At times, wealth families would pay small fortunes in having these people on hand. Today, rumours whisper that onmyoji services are still in demon by people fearing those who recently died they had wrong in life may return wanting revenge.