InuYasha
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Mayose

Kikyō's mayose tree

A mayose (せ, "Demon lure") is, according to Miroku, a high-level mystical spell of exorcism that, as the name suggests, is used to lure yōkai of a specified type (i.e. massive swarms of low-level yōkai, such as the demonic shrine rats that are under the command of a Zushinezumi yōkai) in large numbers, and purify them. According to Miroku, a mayose is an extremely powerful spell that only be performed by a highly-skilled and experienced priest or priestess with exceedingly strong and powerful spiritual power and knowledge, such as Kikyō, could produce.

Upon coming into effect, the mayose, as its name implies, lures all low-level yōkai swarming the surrounding-areas to it. The only example of a mayose seen in the franchise was used by Kikyō to stop increasingly-large swarms of rat demons released by Hakudōshi in an attempt to lure her out of hiding. The form of mayose that she seems to favor is in the form of a tree, specifically an ōgatama (Michelia compressa), native to mountains to the west of the area. After sending one of her Shikigami, Kochō, to retrieve a fresh branch of an ōgatama, Kikyō drew a pentacle/pentagram (anime/manga) into the ground, of where she wants the Mayose to be, with the end of her bow, sticks the ōgatama branch-cutting into the centre of the pentacle/pentagram, and then uses her spiritual energy to cause the ōgatama branch-cutting to grow-up into the form of a new, giant-sized ōgatama tree, that, either, is so-high as-to reach-up-in towards the cloudline, or the branches high-up are shrouded in a purifying mist. The rat demons mindlessly headed to the ōgatama tree Mayose, en-masse, compelled to climbed up its trunk, up towards the branches obscured by clouds/mists, and where-upon they are purified from existence as they disappeared from sight. Hakudōshi then, however, killed-off Kikyō's Mayose tree by infesting it with giant demon slugs, which fed off of it until it withered, becoming too weak to keep working.

Trivia[]

  • The term Mayose (魔寄せ), meaning "Evil Lure", is similar to the Shinto term Mayoke (魔除け), meaning "Evil Exclusion", a Ward, an example of Apotropaic magic.
  • The Pentacle/Pentagram symbol that Kikyō uses to create her Mayose tree is called, fittingly-enough, a "Seimei Kikyō" (晴明紋, lit. "Clearest/Brightest Crest"), or the "Seal of Abe-no-Seimei", the personal seal of Abe-no-Seimei, one of the most famous and most powerful Onmyōji (practitoners of Onmyōdō), if-not the most powerful practitioner in the history of Onmyōdō. The "Seimei Kikyō" also serves as the symbol of the Onmyōryō (the government ministry department for the practice of Onmyōdō, or the Bureau of Taoist Geomancy) and as the symbol for Onmyōdō-itself, given its association with the Five Chinese Elements.
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