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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
The word ame refers to the dwelling place of the heavenly deities (amatsukami) beyond the sky. Paired with ame, the term tsuchi means both the ocean and the land. According to Motoori Norinaga, because ame is a land where the heavenly kami reside, everything there is like the actual environment; the palaces and myriad other things are exactly the same as those known in the land of the reigning emperor (sumemima no mikoto). Takamanohara is the most superior and special place within the ame. The tsuchi was so named when Izanagi and Izanami stood on the Floating Bridge of Heaven (ame no ukihashi) that connects heaven and earth and scraped up the islands of Japan with the heavenly jeweled spear (ame no nuboko).

—Nishioka Kazuhiko
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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