Kokkuri San (Japanese Necromancy)

Kokkuri-san is Japanese necromancy widely played by Japanese girls at primary schools. In order to play this necromancy, players need to prepare pieces of papers saying, “Yes”, “No”, “Boy”, “Girl”, and also a table of Japanese syllabary.  A coin is placed on pieces of papers and index finger of all players are placed on the coin before start. When they start, they need invite Kokkuri-san (a ghost of fox)  by saying “Kokkuri-san, kokkuri-san, please come down”. Then the coin with fingers placed on starts moving without players’ will. Players are able to ask any questions that they want to know, such as who likes whom, and player’s future.  After kokkuri-san answering all questions, players need to thank him. To prevent haunting by Kokkuri-san, players need to tear up papers used for the necromancy and have to spend the coin within 48 hours.

Informant is a 20years old female college student who moved to America when she was 13. The folklore was told in the starbucks café.


This is like a Japanese version of table turning game. It is unsure where it came from but reasonable to think this is widely played by young girls in Japan who have many secrets that they do not want to share with adults. Instead of asking questions to adults they ask to the fox of ghost who is able to answer anything. This secret necromancy crates tight relationship between players because if they do not follow certain rules, they will be haunted by the ghost. It is interesting multiple players place fingers on one coin so that they do not know who is actually moving the coin. Also this game had a huge psychological impact on children and in the past some children commit suicide because they thought they were haunted. These actual events made kokkuri-san become more truthful.