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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Goryō
Spiritual entities that cause calamities and epidemics to an unspecified, wide range of people. However, kami such as those originally worshipped at shrines (jinja) were not viewed as goryō. Specifically, spirits of people who had lost their positions of power and the various kami of epidemics were called goryō; they were linked to calamities and thus feared. Rituals to temporarily console and dispatch the goryō were called goryō'e and beliefs related to this were called goryō shinkō. From the medieval period on, goryō gradually came to indicate one group of angry spirits of the dead. There were also examples of attempts to transform the fearsome power of goryō into the power of protection through continued worship. Although there were aspects of angry spirits (onryō) that overlapped with that of goryō, these former were distinguished from the latter because they did not include kami of epidemics and because they caused calamities to and around specific people. See also goryō shinkō

—Yonei Teruyoshi
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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