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With practice, a shinki is able to use various abilities.

Vessel Transformation

All shinki are capable of transforming into a vessel form. This may include garments, weapons, or other items, as well as real or mythical animals. It is said that when a vessel takes an anachronistic form (not of the current era), it means that the god and shinki are particularly well-matched.[1]

To summon the vessel form, a god calls the on-yomi reading of their shinki's name, followed by () (ki, meaning "vessel, tool").[2] To revert the vessel back to their human form, the god calls the kun-yomi reading of their name, either with[3] or without their clan name.[4]

Rend

Shinki whose vessel forms are weapons are capable of exterminating ayakashi. In the anime, this technique is referred to as Rend ( (ざん) , Zan).[5]

Borderline

Yukine draws a borderline.

All shinki are capable of using a skill called Borderline ( (きょう) (かい) (せん) , Kyoukai-sen), which creates a barrier between the user and the target. However, the target can break the borderline if they are strong enough.[6]

To make a borderline, a shinki uses their index and middle fingers to draw a horizontal line between themselves and the target.[6]

Restrictions

  • It cannot be performed by gods, humans,[6] or loose spirits.[7]
  • Shinki can only use this skill while in their human forms.[8] A notable exception is divine weapons applying the principles of borderlines to avoiding damage to the Near Shore during Far Shore battles.[9]
  • Its effectiveness can be influenced by the user's mental fortitude and/or the power dynamics between the user and target.[6][10][11]

Spells

Spells ( (じゅつ) , Jutsu) are commands that shinki can use to affect humans or other shinki. To cast a spell, the user must speak the target's name. Using a revoked name will cause the spell to fail.[12] If the target is a stray, then the user must say all of their current names before the spell can be cast - otherwise, the spell fails.[13][14] Spells are also said not to work on gods.[15] Additionally, a spell can be undone instantly by calling the target's name.[16]

Like borderlines, the effectiveness of a spell depends on mental fortitude and the power dynamics between user and target.[17] Certain spells can also be blocked if the target draws a strong enough borderline in time.[18]

The following is a list of known spells.

Spell Kanji Translation Effects First usage Known users
Bakufu (ばく) () Binding cloth Freezes the target in place Chapter 9 by Kazuma Kazuma, The Stray[19] Yukine,[12] Ōshi[17]
Inko (いん) () Solid Shade Makes the target invisible to outsiders Chapter 9 by Kazuma Kazuma
Rakusui (らく) (すい) Sleep Fall Puts the target to sleep Chapter 17 by Kugaha Kugaha, Kazuma[17]
Rourou (ろう) (ろう) Articulate Forces the target to tell the truth Chapter 39 by Kazuma Kazuma, Mikagami[20]

Curses

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Curses ( (しゅ) , Shu) are enchantments used for a diverse set of purposes. It is stated by Kazuma that curses corrupt shinki.[13] There appears to be be at least one exception, although it is unclear whether this is due to the nature of the curse itself or the shinki who cast it.[21]

Although at least one curse can be used by gods,[22] the following is a list of curses that have been used exclusively by shinki.

Cursed Weaponry

It is possible to imbue objects with a curse using one's name, but the exact process for doing so remains unspecified.[23] According to Yato, these types of weapons are unusual and more dangerous than ayakashi. Thus far, the byakujou ( (びゃく) (じょう) , byakujou) staff wielded by Aiha has been the only example of cursed weaponry. The byakujou is capable of firing energy blasts that are powerful enough to start a Near Shore fire, damage a god,[13] and destroy cursed seals.[24]

Controlling Ayakashi

A curse-controlled ayakashi targets Yato.

See also: The Word

Shinki can control ayakashi by using one's name to enact a curse. This effect can be spread across a large number of ayakashi.[23] The cursed ayakashi that have appeared in the series are shown to be contained inside a jar marked with the mask, but it has not been specified whether this curse's power is directly related to the Word.

Sealing

An unnamed curse can be used to seal off a space, forcibly separating it from the outside world. The seal is strong enough to withstand attacks from shinki and half-ayakashi. To the extent of Kazuma's knowledge, there is no way to escape such a prison from the inside.[13] However, the seal can be broken from the outside using a cursed weapon.[24]

Kagome

Kagome (かごめ, Kagome) is a curse that can be used to entrap and weaken other shinki, preventing them from using borderlines.[12]

Name Concealment

The Stray prepares the Name Concealing Curse.

The Name Concealing Curse hides the kanji imprint of a shinki's name. However, the curse is undone if the shinki's master calls the hidden name. The casting sequence, described by the Stray as long and mind-numbing, appears to involve writing one's name repeatedly. She notably calls this ritual a spell at first, and although she corrects herself, she does not specify the distinction between spell and curse.[21]

Tracking

Minonawa (みのなわ, Minonawa, lit. "rope on the body") is a curse that alerts the user when the target is within a certain proximity.[25] Enacting this curse seems to require the use of blood, although the blood does not have to belong to either caster or target - in one case, Kugaha's blood is used to place the curse between Kazuma and the Stray.[26]

Body Decoys

Migawari ( () () わり, Migawari, lit. "person substitution") is a curse that can be used to disguise one person's body for another. How the curse works is unknown, but it appears that the curse can be broken when the target is injured or killed. It is also unspecified whether this is a separate curse or a precursor step to casting Minonawa.[26]

Songs

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"You wanna dig out my tush-crystal, Yukine?!"
The contents of this article and/or its subpages contain manga spoilers.

Songs or Incantations ( (じゅ) () , juka, meaning "song of spells," or simply (うた) , Uta, meaning "song") involve reciting an invocation, often in the form of a pre-existing poem in Japanese literature. Unlike spells, they do not require the name of a target, and cannot be "blocked" by a borderline. Rather, the effects of a song can be reversed by reciting a counter-song to the original.[27][28] Songs also have somewhat flexible casting sequences, as they can be rearranged in order to create a new effect.[29]

The following is a list of known songs used by shinki.

Firefighting Incantation

The Firefighting Incantation ( () () せの (じゅ) () , Hifuse no juka) can be used to douse flames. Thus far, this song has only been used on a fires that were created by an ayakashi[30] or shinki,[28] and it is unspecified whether it would also work on Near Shore fires. It has two known rearrangements:

  • Crimson Petals ( (せっ) () , Sekka) is an anagram of the Firefighting Incantation which creates a series of delayed explosions.[29][31]
  • Microburst ( (しゅう) () , Shūu) is an alteration of a fire-suppression song which creates a rain of arrowheads.[32]

Fire Summoning Incantation

An unnamed incantation can be used to create flames, although its effects can be directly counteracted by the Firefighting Incantation.[28] This song is a tanka poem that is original to the series. It is possibly of Kazuma's own creation, as it contains references to his relationship with Hagusa.[33]

(にく) () の / あさき (ゆき) 退 () け / (つの) () らば / (はふり) () () に / () ゆる (たたり) ()
(Original Japanese text)

Nikushi me no / Asaki yuki noke / Tsuno oraba / Hafuri ko no shini / Moyuru tatari ki
(Romaji transliteration)

Let thine eyes of hate / Clear away the shallow snow / Once pride is broken / The burier shall perish / As a cursèd burning bough
(Official English translation)

Not long bound to flesh / The faint spirit of Yuki / When its pow'r is rent / The bless'd vessel perishes / A cursèd burgeoning bough
(Alternate official English translation)[33]

Lightning Ward Incantation

The Lightning Ward Incantation ( (かみなり) () けの (じゅ) () , Kaminariyoke no juka) can be used to suppress lightning. Thus far, it has only been performed on another shinki, and it is unspecified whether it would work to dispel Near Shore electricity.[34]

Counter-Incantations

The Stray vs. Yukine

The Stray uses a song to call ayakashi to attack Yukine.[27] This song is an actual poem which has been used in Japan for centuries. In modern day, it is most commonly seen written on pictures of the Seven Gods of Fortune's treasure ship, which is placed under pillows to invite good dreams.[35] Here, the Stray uses it as a way to awaken ayakashi as her minions.

(なか) () の / (とお) (ねふ) りの / (みな) () () め / (なみ) () (ふね) の / (おと) () きかな
(Original Japanese text)

Nakaki yo no / Toono nefuri no / Mina mesame / Naminori fune no / Oto no yoki kana
(Romaji transcription)

From a distant sleep / Through the long expanse of night / All open your eyes / The rich vessel 'pon the waves / How pleasing its silent sound
(Official English translation)

I, writer of names (*) / Call to those brandishing sound / Hon'rable names, wake / Soundless names have come to fruit / How pleasing these instruments
(Alternate official English translation)[35]

Yukine improvises a counter which sends away the ayakashi.[27] It reverses the effects of the original by using similar words but opposite commands and imagery. While the Stray's song contains aquatic imagery, Yukine's song contains references to mountains and earth. Notably, this song is original to the series rather than already existing in Japanese literature.[36]

(なな) (ふさ) の / (とお) () () () の / () (めと) り / (きよ) (ねふ) () / (かみ) () () かな
(Original Japanese text)

Nanafusa no / Toono no one no / Yo no metori / Kiyoki nefuri na / Kami no mime ka na
(Romaji transcription)

From sev'n distant peaks / Over an expansive field / Nestle 'gainst the night / Close your eyes in purest sleep / Is it a god I see there?
(Official English translation)

Obstructing the names (*) / Of sounds recently addressed / Be you admonished / O vessel, brandish your sound / Will your deeds honor your god?
(Alternate official English translation)[36]

(*) The alternate translation of these songs were constructed based on the meanings of the kanji, reasonably applicable double meanings, and Noragami-specific jargon. For example, "Any time the syllable na shows up [in Noragami], it could mean 'name'."[35]

Trivia

  • Kazuma describes a shinki's name as a curse, since they are used to control others through spells.[23]
  • Kazuma seems to place a curse on Hiyori in order to keep her away from Yato. However, it is unclear whether this is meant literally or metaphorically. Unlike all other instances, here he uses the term (のろ) Noroi rather than (しゅ) Shu.[37]

References

  1. Chapter 42: Causes Nothing But Disaster (Vol 11)
  2. Jisho dictionary: 器
  3. Chapter 1: The Man in the Sweatsuit (Vol 1)
  4. Chapter 47: Taboo (Vol 12)
  5. Episode 1: A Housecat, A Stray God, and A Tail
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Chapter 5: Borderline (Vol 2)
  7. Chapter 13: Signs (Vol 4)
  8. Chapter 19: Prayer (Vol 5)
  9. Chapter 12: To Cut, or Not To Cut (Vol 4)
  10. Chapter 34: Such Were Their Desires (Vol 9)
  11. Chapter 58: Messy Entanglements, Crossed Signals (Vol 15)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Chapter 31: Like Parent, Like Child (Vol 8)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Chapter 17: In Search of A Place to Go (Vol 5)
  14. Chapter 39: Until Now and From Now On (Vol 10)
  15. Chapter 48: You, My Dear One (Vol 13)
  16. Chapter 65: Golden Days (Vol 17)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Chapter 33: Wielder of an Iron Will (Vol 9)
  18. Chapter 30: The Sound of Thread Snapping (Vol 8)
  19. Episode 6: Scary Person
  20. Chapter 62: Pride, Collide, Untied (Vol 16)
  21. 21.0 21.1 Chapter 86: The Box (Vol 22)
  22. Chapter 64: Dear One (Vol 17)
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Chapter 18: Drawn Swords (Vol 5)
  24. 24.0 24.1 Chapter 20: Prayerful Oath (Vol 6)
  25. Chapter 83: World In Shambles (Vol 21)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Chapter 77: Dispensable (Vol 20)
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Chapter 44: Cut + Ties (Vol 12)
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Chapter 89-2: Echoes of the Word (Vol 23)
  29. 29.0 29.1 Chapter 92: When Dawn Comes... (Vol 24)
  30. Chapter 43: Secrets (Vol 11)
  31. Chapter 82: Time To Move Forward (Vol 21)
  32. Chapter 94: Hope (Vol 24)
  33. 33.0 33.1 Volume 23: Let thine eyes of hate (translation notes)
  34. Chapter 65: Golden Days (Vol 17)
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Volume 12: From a distant sleep (translation notes)
  36. 36.0 36.1 Volume 12: From sev'n distant peaks (translation notes)
  37. Chapter 78: Object of Desire (Vol 20)
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