According to Japanese Folklore, a ''Shinigami'' was a non-specific Spirit (Ghost, Demon etc.) which lured around a Person near Death. They ''beckoned or invited'' these recently ''departed'' Spirits to join Them in ''The Afterlife''. However, it is not specified on which Shinigami were ''Good or Bad''. If decerned as ''Good'', then such Human Spirits were conveyed to ''Paradise'' or to assume the role of ''Spirit Guide'' (to help other Humans recently dead.
However, ''Bad Spirits'' could trap or otherwise hinder One's progress to Paradise. Such ''fooled'' Spirits would become many of Ancient Japan's ''Evil Ghosts'' or related, forever trapped for making the ''wrong choice''. Japanese mythos tells little of just ''how'' a Human Spirit can determine ''choice''. Many conclude that such choices are based on a Person's life and their religious belief (which will apparently transfer to The Afterlife).