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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Ashihara no Nakatsukuni
This is another word for the country or the location of Japan. Perhaps the term was considered appropriate because the land was damp and covered with reeds (ashi) in ancient times. Examples of other words using the term ashi in describing Japan like toyoashihara no nakatsukuni and toyoashihara no mizuho no kuni are also numerous, and besides using ashi as a euphemism for the country, these types of expressions reflect an awareness and recognition of the environment as being good for rice cultivation. The meaning of naka in the word nakatsukuni is based upon the worldview (sekaikan) of ancient peoples, where nakatsukuni indicates the real world or country between Takamanohara in the heavens and Yomi no kuni in the netherworld.

—Fukui Yoshihiko
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
4-10-28 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8440, Japan
URL http://21coe.kokugakuin.ac.jp/
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