Yomi (Yomi-no-Kuni, Yomi-Tsu-Kuni) The netherworld, or land of the dead, in Shinto myths. The word is translated in different ways in English: “night heart” or “land of darkness” are usual. Yomi is also called Ne no Kuni, or “Land of Roots,” and Soko no Kuni, “The Deep Land.”

The land of the dead is described in different ways in different myths, and so it is difficult to picture. In the Shinto creation myth, Izanagi unsuccessfully travels to Yomi to seek the return of his wife to the land of the living (see Izanagi and Izanami). Here it is a horrible place, with demons, maggots, and other ghastly sights. But elsewhere it is more like a Christian purgatory. While it is guarded by monsters, souls there are cleansed, not tortured.


Japanese Mythology A-Z – Second Edition – Written by Jeremy Roberts – Copyright © 2010 by Jim DeFelice – Publisher : Chelsea House Publishers