TRANSLATION: broom spirit
ALTERNATE NAMES: hōkigami
APPEARANCE: A hahakigami is a tsukumogami which takes up residence in a broom. They can sometimes be seen on cold, windy late autumn mornings, sweeping wildly at the blowing leaves.
ORIGIN: Long ago, brooms were not household cleaning tools, but actually holy instruments used in ritual purification ceremonies. They were used to on the air in a room or area in order to purify it and sweep out any evil spirits and negative energy that might be lingering there. Like any tool used for many years, a broom which reaches a very old age becomes a perfect home for a spirit — perhaps even moreso in the case of a hahakigami because of the ritual nature of its origin.
Hahakigami are used also as magical charms for safe and quick childbirth. Because brooms are used to “sweep out” evil energy, a hahakigami acts as a sort of totem to “sweep out” the baby from its mother safely. They are also used as charms to keep guests from overstaying their visit. Anyone who has stayed beyond their welcome might also be “swept out” by the power of the hahakigami.