This chapter focuses on the power of spirits of the dead—often vindictive and vengeful (onryō)—which came to play an increasing role in the management of power and its contestation. It particularly narrates how Emperor Kanmu had to placate spirits and was thus forced to operate in a symbolic universe that was significantly different from the one created by Tenmu. The killings in the royal circles that accompanied the shift away from Tenmu's line haunted Kanmu personally for a long time, especially Crown Prince Sawara's suicide/murder. The chapter also looks into the case of Prince Nagaya, who was accused of black magic in 729—a case that may have provided the occasion for outlawing Daoist magic.
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