Recent years have seen a burgeoning interest in the reikai or the "spirit world" in Japan. An important figure in this explosion of interest is the fifty-nine year-old clairvoyant, Aiko GIBO. GIBO has appeared on numerous television programs to perform "spirit readings" (reishi), and she has also published a large number of best-selling books on spiritualism.
After recognizing her spiritualistic power at the age of six, GIBO began giving advice to the troubled. One of her most important functions is in reading clients' haigorei or "following spirits." In accordance with the good or evil nature of the spirits, GIBO advises clients to pacify them or get along with them. To one client she might say, "You haven't visited your family grave lately? Your grandfather cares for you but now he's so lonely. If you don't have time to see him, you should at least offer his favorite foods on a small table and bow in reverence before him. That will make him happy."
This kind of "recipe" for spiritual success is an entirely traditional form of senzo kuyo or memorial service for ancestors." Since many younger Japanese have forgotten the practice, however, it may appear quite novel when dressed in the garb of reishi. Like Kofuku no Kagaku (Science of Happiness), which advocates a hierarchical structure of the spirit world, GIBO Aiko contributes to the spreading popularity of the concept of spiritual existences (rel).