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The Ghost Tribe (幽霊族 Yūrei-zoku) is a nearly extinct tribe of yōkai, the last survivor of which is Kitarō.

They are occasionally referred to as the Human Mole Tribe (人間モグラ族 Ningen-Mogura-zoku) or simply the Yōkai Tribe (妖怪族 Yōkai-zoku).

Description

Despite the name, the Ghost Tribe are not literal ghosts, but rather living yōkai. The name came about when humans would catch a glimpse of them hunting in the woods or picking through trash for food and mistook them for ghosts.

History

In the times before humans were born, the Ghost Tribe was the most prestigious clan of the yōkai world and ruled the land. In Zoku GeGeGe no Kitarō, Medama-Oyaji says that Kitarō's ancestors took the Ghost Tribe throne around 3800 BC. They were a peaceful race who disliked conflict, and so when humans came about and began multiplying, they hid in caves and forests and gradually began to starve to death. How the humans brought about their decline or how they became so prosperous in the first place is never gone into detail. Eventually, the only living tribesmen were Kitarō's parents. Kitarō was born after they both died, while his mother was still pregnant with him, and crawled out of the grave. His father worried for his well-being so much that he willed his soul into his eyeball, becoming Medama-Oyaji.

Kitarō and Medama-Oyaji are usually depicted as the last survivors of the tribe, but other Ghost Tribe members have appeared from time to time. While they have become quite famous, particularly Kitarō, who is recognized as an immensely powerful yōkai, it is unknown whether or not other tribe members were as powerful as them. Among the other tribe members are Medama-Oyaji's cousin Kemedama (Kitarō's Vietnam War only) and related tribes such as the Ghost Tribe of the Sea (海の幽霊族 Umi-no-Yūrei-zoku) the Amami Tribe (アマミ一族 Amami-Ichizoku). In the Jigoku Arc anime, Kitarō's mother is said to be related to Oiwa-san (from the ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan).

In the live-action film GeGeGe no Kitarō: Sennen Noroi Uta, Kitarō did not know that humans destroyed the Ghost Tribe until Nurarihyon told him, as Medama-Oyaji kept it secret from him so he wouldn't hold a grudge against humans. In the manga Saishinban GeGeGe no Kitarō and Kitarō Kunitori Monogatari, however, he is very aware of the fact.

In Saishinban GeGeGe no Kitarō, Jigoku-Dōji is speulated to be a member of the tribe as well.

Powers and Abilities

Spirit Hair (霊毛 Reimō): When a tribe member dies, their soul leaves behind a single magical hair called a Spirit Hair which is then entrusted to their descendants. When the Spirit Hairs are bundled together they give off a tremendous amount of spiritual power. The Chanchanko is the result of knitting several of these hairs together.

Finger Guns (指鉄砲 Yubi Teppō): In the 2007 anime, the Finger Guns is a secret technique of the Ghost Tribe. Where the technique uses air, giving it incredible accuracy. However, it uses quite a lot of spirit energy to perform and if the user lacks enough then they can only manage to fire bubbles.

References

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