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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Magakoto
Maga- is the opposite of naho (straight, correct) and thus means bent or evil. It is used to describe misfortunes, wicked deeds, and calamities. Shintō does not assume evil to be absolute but rather conceives it as a distorted or abnormal condition. The mythical explanation of the idea of magagoto begins with the Kojiki, in which, on returning from the realm of the dead (yomi-no-kuni), Izanagi undergoes ritual bathing and purification on [the plain] of Ahaki-ga-hara by the river-mouth in Tachibana in Himuka in Chikushi, there giving birth from his defiled state to the deities Yaso-magatsuhi-no-kami and Ō-magatsuhi-no-kami. Motoori Norinaga saw these two Magatsuhi deities as the source of evil and contrasted them to the Naohi deities (Kamu-naobi-no-kami and Ō-naobi-no-kami) which he saw as the origin of good. Hirata Atsutane on the other hand, maintained that Magatsuhi-no-kami were benevolent deities that points out evil and correct it. The dualism of Norinaga and the monism of Atsutane later developed as the "Magatsuhi debate."

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