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Shikigami (式神 , Shikigami or 式の神, Shiki-no-kami) are creatures introduced after Haku's raid on Zeniba's residence in the Japanese animated film Spirited Away. They are first assumed to be birds by Chihiro Ogino.


Shikigami, in traditional Japanese folklore, are either invisible or appear in the shape of neatly-folded paper manikins. However, in the film's adaptation, the Shikigami are portrayed as fully-visible, semi-humanoid paper creatures with the ability to fly at extremely high speeds (on par with Haku in his dragon form). They are white in color and resemble birds and have a circular head, wings, and a pointed "tail". When magically commanded, they can stand (or hover) on the tip of their tails and plaster themselves onto a person's body.


In the film, the Shikigami are portrayed as being emotionless creatures acting under the will of whoever commands them (Zeniba, in the film's only case). They appear to show no signs of human expression, but are incapable of moving after their fragile paper bodies are torn or crushed. While seemingly harmless alone, the Shikigami have proven capable of harming Haku when chasing him in droves and can also project the image of their magical conjurer. This ethereal image can cast magical spells, even as a projection, but will immediately split apart and fade away after the Shikigami in which the image is being projected from is ripped to shreds.


  • While they may be spirits in the traditional Japanese folklore, it is unknown whether the Shikigami mentioned in Spirited Away are living beings or mere magical tools. Therefore, they can be classified as both a spirit and an object of use.
  • Natori Shuuichi from the Natsume Yuujinchou series are known to be well-informed about the use of shikigami, frequently applying them in his exorcism work.