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Onryō: the vengeful Japanese spirits that inspired ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Grudge’

Onryō japanese ghosts legends spirits

If there’s one ghost who has taken on multiple incarnations in pop culture, it’s the girl from “The Ring.”

The character, who seems rarely referred to by name — it’s Sadako Yamamura, for reference — has lingered in our collective consciousness since the original Japanese film was first released in 1998, haunting horror movie fans for more than 20 years. But the inspiration for Sadako has been part of the Japanese imagination for a lot longer.