In this presentation I examine the subversive possibilities of spectrality, focusing on the re-writing of the departed spirit of Yang Guifei in the late Heian tale Sagoromo monogatari (The Tale of Sagoromo). Evocations of the tragic love affair between Yang Guifei and Emperor Xuanzong from Bo Juyi’s “Song of Everlasting Sorrow” abound in Heian court literature. Originally used to express the intensity of a male protagonist’s grief at the loss of a woman, the legend is used quite differently in late Heian tales: unlike the Yang Guifei of Bo Juyi’s poem, we find a speaking and thinking Yang Guifei figure whose image as a passionate mother competes with her image as a passionate concubine. Furthermore, late Heian tales mobilize the departed spirit’s spectrality and incumbent capacity to make visible the invisible, and to appear despite lacking a corporal body. I focus on the latter-day Yang Guifei figure Asukai, with the goal of broadening discourse on spectral femininity beyond the confines of jealous revenge, a storyline familiar to readers from scenes of spirit possession. Asukai’s spectrality allows her to override the confines of her feminine gender and middle rank, appearing to her lover on her own terms and ensuring that her story is passed on to her descendent. I argue that this new method of characterizing the departed spirit of Yang Guifei signals a radical departure from the conventional theme of lost love and heartbreak centered on the emperor, and effectively re-writes the possibilities of feminine spectrality in the monogatari genre.