Onmyōji were practitioners of divination, sorcery, exorcism and other mystic arts who reached the height of their power and influence in the imperial court of the Heian Period (794-1185). As concisely explained in the opening of Shimako Sato’s mind-expanding and eye-popping “The Yin Yang Master Zero,” they had their own school for apprentices, who were taught by specialists in various subject areas, including spells and curses, and presided over by a mysterious grandmaster (Kaoru Kobayashi). Think of a Japanese Hogwarts with adults as students.

Based on Sato’s script, which was inspired by Baku Yumemakura’s novel series, the film is not the first on its esoteric subject. In the early 2000s, Yojiro Takita directed two films derived from Yumemakura’s work, starring Mansei Nomura as Abe no Seimei, a real-life onmyōji who was known in his lifetime for his divination skills. After his death in 1005, Seimei became a figure of folklore, much like Merlin in the Arthurian legends.