[[quoteright:350:[[Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/paper_talisman.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Overdoing it a bit?]]

These paper tags, also known as "[=ofuda=]", are used in UsefulNotes/{{Shinto}} and UsefulNotes/{{Onmyodo}} for purification and exorcisms or as wards. They are sometimes used with [[ZigzagPaperTassel Shide]], and most commonly at [[ShrinesAndTemples Shinto Shrines]] or by {{Miko}}.

Taoists also use a version of the tags called ''[=Fu=]''. In UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}} and UsefulNotes/{{Hinduism}} they are called ''[=Sutras=]''. In Korean shamanism they are known as ''Pujok''.

The western equivalent would be a conspicuously-placed rosary or crucifix, although it was common practice in the Middle Ages to use thin parchment prayer scrolls and wax seals in a similar fashion.

In {{Anime}} and {{Manga}} they can do anything, even [[MadeOfExplodium explode]]. If in the form of a card, a DeathDealer may use these.

Compare with PaperMaster, a form of FunctionalMagic that uses paper.


* ''Manga/AiYoriAoshi'' - Taeko the NightmareFetishist papers the entire house with both types of wards when rumors of a ghost pop up.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'': The Mafuba (Evil Containment Wave) lets one use any mundane container -- even an electric rice cooker -- to [[SealedEvilInACan seal away an opponent]]. In the Piccolo Jr. Saga of the original series, Kami gets around this by simply writing the kanji for the technique on the jar itself (though the fact that he's {{God}} probably helps), while in the Future Trunks Saga of ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', the technique would have defeated an immortal enemy if Goku hadn't forgotten the ''ofuda''[[note]]In the [[Manga/DragonBallSuper manga]] he accidentally grabbed one of [[DirtyOldMonk Master Roshi]]'s coupons for a naughty cabaret shows instead; in the anime he forgets it completely[[/note]].
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' - Rei, a {{miko}} as well as a MagicalGirl, uses these to complement her magic. They have effects such as dispelling a [[TakenForGranite petrifying venom]], immobilizing the MonsterOfTheWeek, and [[HoistByHisOwnPetard making Jadeite's possessed planes chase him instead of the Senshi]]. Mostly used for immobilization so Usagi can attack, though. Noteably the only Senshi attack not tied to her transformed state (though it's given stock footage anyways). In the anime she combines it with her actual Senshi powers to create the Fire Soul Bird attack, while in the Manga, Minako gets to use the attack during a side story that involved Rei getting possessed. One of the movies lets her use it against dozens of possessed humans at once, complete with her apparently summoning dozens of the Ofudas in a fancy non-stock footage attack, while not transformed.
* ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei'':
** Kafuka overdoes it (in above picture) when she doesn't want [[{{Hikikomori}} Kiri]] to leave her house.
** Also Kafuka [[http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/1325/szsflvsnapshot030820101.jpg uses the tags]] during the MagicalGirl spoof as a shoutout to [[Franchise/SailorMoon Rei]].
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'':
** Setsuna is known to use ''[=ofuda=]'', and once used them to protect the hotel from UsefulNotes/{{Onmyodo}} Shikigami [[note]]paper demons[[/note]] during the Kyoto arc.
** [[ColdSniper Mana]] also uses a {{Teleportation}} ''[=Sutra=]'' vs [[{{Ninja}} Kaede]] during the [[SchoolFestival Festival]] {{Arc}}, apparently they cost 800,000 yen each ([[ItOnlyWorksOnce Single Use]]).
** Kaede herself uses these in one of her stronger attacks. She throws FuumaShuriken (smaller than ''that'' one, though) to wrap chains around her opponent. Chains with [=ofuda=] dangling from the links. If you've seen the series below, you know what comes next...
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' - Exploding paper tags can be used as mines, time bombs, or even grenades (if tied to a kunai and thrown). One infamous ninja even attaches them to his ''sword'', and the resident PaperMaster uses them to great effect. Additionally, binding talismans show up every now and again, such as those worn by Ao and the First Hokage's wife, Mito, as well as the seals used to take control of the people [[UnwantedRevival summoned]] with Impure World Resurrection (Edo Tensei in the Japanese).
* In the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime, some characters use these to repel ghost Pokemon.
** Ironically, in the games, the Spell Tag item strengthens the power of Ghost-type moves.
*** However, there is another item, the Cleanse Tag, that decreases the wild Pokemon encounter rate if the lead Pokemon in the party is holding it.
** The ''ANime/{{Pokemon}}'' Jirachi (who is said to have the power to fulfill wishes) has three paper tags attached to it.
* Marron in ''Manga/SorcererHunters'' uses these to case his spells.
* Several mages/priest in ''Creator/{{Clamp}}'s Manga/{{X1999}}'', most notably Subaru and Seishiro.
* ''Anime/DennouCoil'' uses these as "metatags", to modify virtual objects.
* ''Manga/{{Inuyasha}}''. Buddhist monk Miroku often uses [=sutras=] as weapons against demons.
* They pop up from time to time in ''Manga/GhostHunt'' - both the Miko and the Buddhist Monk of the team can make them. They're usually used to create barriers against evil spirits, or contain and redirect same.
* Kyouko from ''Manga/GaRei'' uses these to summon Shikigami.
* Jun Tao uses Chinese jufu talismans to control her guardian zombie, Lee Bailong, in ''Manga/ShamanKing''.
* In ''LightNovel/RentalMagica'', meets DeathDealer. Because UsefulNotes/{{Onmyodo}} adepts can be ''that'' badass too.
* ''VisualNovel/HarukanaruTokiNoNakaDe'''s [[UsefulNotes/{{Onmyodo}} onmyoji]] Abe no Yasuaki and [[{{Expy}} Abe no Yasutsugu]] use these; the effect varies from creating energy shields to exorcism to just plain stopping some [[SmallAnnoyingCreature annoying]] SleepModeSize'd {{youkai}} from following them around.
* In ''Manga/BlackCat'', Shiki (ambiguously an AU Onmyoji) uses these with [[AmbiguousGender his/her]] Tao.
* The medicine peddler in ''Anime/AyakashiSamuraiHorrorTales'' and ''Anime/{{Mononoke}}'' throws out an absurd amount from his [[HyperspaceArsenal defensive arsenal]] against demons.
* In ''Anime/DigimonTamers,'' Taomon has a ([[ForgottenPhlebotinum once-used]]) attack that fires a thousand of the things (the explody variety) at her opponent.
* These are used occasionally in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' most noticeably in the story arc with the Oni.
* Yamigumo Nami, the resident Miko of ''Manga/SilentMobius'' uses [=ofuda=] along with holy water to do magic, ranging from barriers to putting down lesser monsters.
* Syaoran uses these in ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura''...both to defeat Clow Cards and (once) to set Touya's jacket on fire.
* In ''Manga/BloodyCross'', Hinata uses paper talismans in most of his spells.
* Yui Lee from ''Manga/VampirePrincessMiyu''
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', the bandages that cover Mukuro's face have [=ofudas=] all over them.
* These keep vampires away in ''Manga/{{Shiki}}''. At one point they're all over Natsuno's room.
* Nanami uses them in ''Manga/KamisamaKiss,'' first to do things like make plants bloom or send messages to other people. She gets more creative with them as the series progresses, even using one concerning ''Traffic Safety'' to kill a couple of demonic thugs chasing her.
* In ''Manga/NatsumesBookOfFriends'', paper tailsman are commonly used in exorcism on {{youkai}} (and sometimes humans). While exorcists are the common user of them, the Natori clan even specializes in this art, ayakashi can also use them on other youkai.
** Exorcists, monks and other humans in ''Manga/NatsumesBookOfFriends'' use paper talismans to seal and otherwise affect and interact with youkai, gods and spirits.
* Yurie of ''{{Anime/Kamichu}}'' makes very little use of [=ofuda=], which is kind of surprising given that it's virtually the only use of her power that doesn't put her into an exhausted sleep while getting very powerful results. A full episode is devoted to her improving her handwriting by studying with the boy she loves, Kenji, which results in her writing absolutely no [=ofuda=] (though one of Kenji's is later empowered.)
* ''LightNovel/TokyoRavens'': Used by everyone as the magic system is based on {{UsefulNotes/Onmyodo}}.
* In each of the first three parts of ''Manga/SazanEyes'', paper talismans play an important role:
** In the first part: while promising of capturing the "moster" haunting Huang's villa [[MrViceGuy Ling Ling]] offers a huge demon-repelling talisman for protection, causing all the presents (who are all supernatural beings of sort, unknown to her) to become scared and step back. Later on [[TheDragon Ju]] use a paper talisman to bind Pai. Said talisman is later used to finish him off.
** In the second part: [[FatBastard Zhou]] [[EvilSorcerer Gui]] can use paper talismans to cast magic, called "Soul Cutting Dragon" (Zhang Ling Long) and "Soul Freezing Dragon" (Dong Ling Long). He usually carries the blank papers and a pen with him.
** In the third part: Huang Shun Li/Xun Gui plans to summon a soul-eating monster called Quan for her plans, and it's said that 108 sacred talismans are required to make him manifest in a physical form. Said talismans also shields him from other magic, [[spoiler: but also make him easy to burn.]]
** For the rest of the series, paper talismans are commonly employed as demon-killing or demon-repelling tools by taoists and sorcerers, as Hasrath Hahn or Steve Long, most notably to [[spoiler: protect the world-wide communication system from Shiva's soul-harvesting spell.]]
* The first member of the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Juttenkun]] to appear in ''Manga/SoulHunter'' is Yotenkun, whose spacial Paopei [[YourSoulIsMine Rakkonjin]] consist in a vast, cilindrical space full of massive paper charms of varying size, from which he can fire [[OneHitKill soul-reaping beams of light]]. Even outside of his Paopei, he can summon the "Rakkon Talismans" to blow things up, a technique that is later copied by Yozen.
* The Onmyoji of ''Manga/NurarihyonNoMago'' use this of course. They have various uses, including crafting Shikigami to fight. Yura, the resident ChildProdigy, can summon up to ''four'' shikigami at her first appearance.
* The {{youkai}} killer and exorcist Hyo from ''Manga/UshioAndTora'' frequently employs paper charms along with his roped darts. [[spoiler: During his final duel with his nemesis Guren, it's revealed that he managed to put [=Ofuda=] charms even inside his own body, like the arm Guren just ate, which are then used to kill the rogue Azafuse from the inside out.]]

* SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}'s enemy T-Ray used pieces of paper with Japanese-looking writing on them to achieve various magical effects. They may have been [=Ofuda=].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/ZeroNoTsukaimaSaitoTheOnmyoji'', Saito makes frequent use of these due to being a practitioner of UsefulNotes/{{Onmyodo}}.

* The heroine of ''Film/DWar'' covers the inside of her house with these after she discovers that her birthmark cum tattoo is glowing. It doesn't actually make that much more sense in context.
* The morticians in the ChineseVampire movie ''Film/MrVampire'' can paralyze the ''jiangshi'' when they attach these to the creatures' foreheads.
* These have a particularly funny use in the first ''Film/AChineseGhostStory'' movie. The unlucky protagonist, having gotten his clothes soaked, accidentally backs into a stall selling these, ending up with six of them stuck to his back (and the inscriptions remaining after the angry shopkeeper peels them off, resulting in another dunking later).

[[folder: Literature]]
* Though it takes place in a FantasyCounterpartCulture of Japan, paper talismans in ''Literature/SpiritHunters'' are primarily used by Tao priestess Kitsune Sura, who can erect magical barriers that block spirits with them
* In ''Literature/TheGirlFromTheWell'', while trapped in heavily haunted Aitou village during ''The Suffering'', Kagura uses ofuda to ward rooms against intrusion by the hostile ghosts.

[[folder: LiveActionTV]]
* In ''Series/PowerRangersOperationOverdrive,'' Kamdor uses these to turn objects (always blue like his armor) into the MonsterOfTheWeek, and to invoke MakeMyMonsterGrow. For extra anime ninja-ness, he controls them via HandSeals.
** In ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce,'' Princess Shayla once sealed a MonsterOfTheWeek in this manner in a FlashBack (said monster was [[SealedEvilINACan uncanned]] at the episode's beginning.)

* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' 1st Edition supplement ''Oriental Adventures''.
** Oriental magic items included four Charms of Protection (from disease, fire, spirits and theft). They were made of yellow or red paper with inked inscriptions involving supplications or threats toward various deities. They protected any building they were attached to.
* Several Charms of the [[TabletopGame/{{Exalted}} Sidereal Exalted]] require the preparation of Prayer Strips, which are then used up by the activation of the Charm.
** Venus, the Maiden of Serenity, is also often accompanied by floating wisps of paper. When she cares to fight, she typically uses them as weapons.
* In the Hyper Asian Fantasy TabletopGames/TenraBanshoZERO the onmyouji use to summon/create there shikigami servants.
* The Purity Seals preferred by the Imperium Of Man in ''{{TabletopGame/Warhammer40000}}'' are essentially the Western version from the page description, a strip of parchment inscribed with a benediction of some kind, and affixed with wax.

* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' - Zuo Ci a Taoist uses 6 tags as his weapon which he swings in a line or dance around him.
** Starting in ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors 2'', Kanetsugu Naoe's weapon is a sword and a handful of spell-tags, which he mostly seem to use to shoot FrickinLaserBeams...
* These are a major gameplay mechanic in ''VideoGame/IzunaLegendOfTheUnemployedNinja''. Talismans can be used directly to cast spells or stuck onto equipment to customize it.
* These are... pretty common in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}''. Reimu and Sanae, the resident {{Miko}}, are the most strongly associated with them, but they get used by a fair number of bosses and even some [[{{Mook}} generic fairies]].
** Reimu's Ofuda are unusual in that, rather than any kind of spiritual message, the writing on them is 大入 ("ooiri"), a phrase written on red and white envelopes of money given as gifts or bonuses. It's been suggested that she does this to [[SchmuckBait trick youkai into approaching them]], or it could be taken as another sign of Reimu's own [[{{Greed}} money-hungry]] personality.
** Several characters have [=ofuda=] as parts of their outfits: Mokou has them attached to her pants (possibly to make the pants [[MagicPants fireproof]]), [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Yoshika]] has one on her hat (as a magically-raised zombie/ChineseVampire), and [[CuteGhostGirl Tojiko]] has her dress adorned with them (for no apparent reason).
* The ''VideoGame/KikiKaiKai'' series has the main protagonist Sayo-chan, a {{miko}} who uses ofuda as ranged weapons and an [[ZigzagPaperTassel oharai stick]] as a melee weapon.
* Show up in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', in the Arbiter's Grounds miniboss room. You enter to see a huge, ominous sword tied down with a bunch of ropes with papers hanging on them. Every single gamer, viewer and troper instinct screams at you not to remove the seals, [[StupidityIsTheOnlyOption but of course...]]
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Onmyoji}} Onmyōji]]'', of course, but it seems that Seimei is the one using them most frequently, tossing them around in most of his skills. And then there's the Summoning feature, which is basically a game of lottery in which you draw weird shapes on talismans before sending them off into the summoning circle, hoping to acquire a ''shikigami'' of high rarity.
* The ''VideoGame/FatalFrame'' series uses these to keep certain doors sealed until you find and photograph a specific item or ghost to remove the ofuda (in the third game, they're shaped like people), effectively similar to finally [[LockAndKeyPuzzle finding the proper "key" to "unlock" its door in order to make progress]].
* In ''VideoGame/DungeonFighterOnline'' the Exorcist subclass uses several different paper talismans with various effects, such as Holy, Red Phoenix, Suppression, and Lightning amulets.
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' games have them as the result of casting Hama spells, OneHitKO light-type spells.
* Nu-13 and Mu-12 from ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' both have several red talismans hanging from their cloaks. [[FauxSymbolism They don't seem to do anything special, though, and disappear along with the cloaks as soon as they get into their battle armor.]]
* They appear in ''VideoGame/CorpseParty'' on a few doors to prevent you from going in until you find a way to break them.
* Sheena from ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' uses these to [[ElementalEmbodiment summon creatures]], and...apparently to punch as well, as she never puts them away during combat.
* In ''VideoGame/PerfectWorld'', the basic fire spell for the wizard class is essentially throwing a burning paper talisman against a target.
* The second case of ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' takes place in a remote village whose culture is centered around fear of the {{Youkai}}. One of the characters you meet is Jinxie Tenma, who uses talismans everywhere to ward off anything she believes will invite the Youkai (including Apollo himself, whom she mistakes for a demon, as well as on herself).
* The PlatformGame ''Youkai Yashiki'' has the player collect five paper talismans for a key on each level.
* In ''VideoGame/FateExtra'', Caster uses her Curse-type skills by throwing talismans with different inscriptions on them at her opponent.
* VideoGame/DiabloII had several types of "charms" - items that, in most cases, looked like pieces of parchment with some artwork on them. Keeping them in your inventory would yield some bonuses.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'', certain enemies in Tokyo can't be permanently destroyed by even your strongest attacks unless you make proper use of an ''ofuda''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}'' - Lei-Lei uses the Taoist variant since she's a jiangshi.

* In ''Webcomic/{{Distillum}}'' these are Sidney's main tool of work.
* ''Webcomic/TheFoxSister'': Yun Hee's Pujok charms are the Korean version.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebAnimation/MagicalBorderPatrol'': Jake Harrier uses them to banish Spirits, although he can apparently use them for other things.