Shikigami (式神 Shikigami?) are animated objects or beings created from cursed energy ,and therefore presumed to be artificial cursed spirits; created and controlled by the Ten Shadows Technique (Tokusanokage Bojutsu) (also known as "Shadow Rule of Ten Species"), a cursed technique used by the Zen'in clan. They have the ability to exorcise curses.
Creation & Summoning
The actual process of creating shikigami is relatively unknown. It is implied that a sorcerer will have to knead their own cursed energy to form the shikigami, with an outline in mind for how they would like the shikigami to look. Shikigami also require some level of purification or must surrender to the sorcerer controlling them, but it is unclear what this involves.
To use a shikigami, a sorcerer must make a certain hand sign and use a talisman, charm, or particular thing as an intermediary, to form and summon a shikigami of their choice. It is implied that most shikigami users require some form of charm or talisman as a medium or intermediary in order to summon and control shikigami; however, this appears to be contested later, so it remains unclear whether this is a common prerequisite for shikigami users.
Megumi's shikigami are alleged to be unique because they use shadows rather than a charm (SJ) or talisman (JB, MR) as a medium or intermediary. Geto's opponent comments that Geto's use of curses without an intermediary is "like shikigami users" (SJ). It could be inferred from this that summoning cursed spirits (including shikigami) without an intermediary is actually not uncommon to the Zen'in clan, or was not uncommon at the time of the flashback. The shikigami will then appear and act on the command of the user.
- Shikigami have been seen to take on the characteristics of animals such as dogs, snakes, birds, toads, and elephants. They can differ in size and ability considerably.
- The shikigami seen so far all have certain symbols or patterns on parts of their bodies, which resemble the symbols of the Ten Sacred Treasures/Regalia in Shinto tradition (十種神宝, Tokusa no Kamu Dakara).
- Given that the sorcerer forms the shikigami from their own cursed energy and in a desired image, shikigami can be used for a variety of uses extending beyond just exorcising curses, such as surveillance and scouting.
- Once a shikigami is created and summoned, they can be dispelled and resummoned as many times as necessary.
- Shikigami can be destroyed or broken. Once destroyed, they cannot be summoned again. Even when destroyed, however, the cursed energy that formed the shikigami will return to the sorcerer that created it and will be recycled in new shikigami, which will take on the characteristics of that deceased shikigami.
- Certain shikigami called "the Seiteishirazu: Bottomless" are different to other shikigami in either their regenerative aspect or their ability to be re-summoned once they have been destroyed, but it is unclear what the difference is.