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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
A term denoting "other world" (see View of the other world ) in folk religions and in Shintō. The locus of Tokoyo can be various: in a foreign land, under the sea, in heaven, under the ground, or in a place beyond the ocean. Various kami and spirits of ancestors are believed to live there. In ancient times people perceived Tokoyo as a utopia of eternal youth, long life, bounteous wealth, and pleasure across the sea. Tokoyo also implied the land of the dead, the nether worlds of yomotsukuni, or nenokuni. Various episodes related to Tokoyo are found in the classics. Kojiki says that Sukunahikona and Mikenu no mikoto crossed Tokoyo. According to stories in the Kiki (Kojiki and Nihongi), during the reign of Suinin Tennō, Tajimamori was sent to Tokoyo to obtain an "ever fragrant fruit." Nihongi records an incident that occurred during the reign of Kōgyoku Tennō [in the seventh century]: in the eastern region, a fanatic cult appeared and people worshipped the kami of Tokoyo. Motoori Norinaga, on the other hand, thought that the word Tokoyo broadly denoted a distant place to and from which one could not travel easily. He categorized three types of Tokoyo: a dark world (tokoyo), a world where people never grew old, and a world across the sea.

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