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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Ame no masuhito
This term found in the great purification incantation (oharae kotoba) of the Engishiki uses the people of the nation of Japan as a metaphor to describe how the population of Takamanohara (the Plain of High Heaven) gradually increases. The word ame is a euphemism that does not necessarily indicate Takamanohara. It is a general term of expectation regarding the creation, formation, and growth of human beings. The word is a synonym for the term aohitokusa found in the Kojiki. As recounted in both the Nihonshoki and Kojiki, when Izanami declared she would kill one thousand people every day as revenge for Izanagi escaping from the land of Yomi (the underworld) after seeing her decaying form therein, Izanagi countered by declaring that he would create one thousand five hundred new human beings every day. Thus, people in ancient times took this as proof that they and their communities were guaranteed to prosper like green grass, thanks to the kami.

—Nishioka Kazuhiko
"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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