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Depths of Jigoku


Jigoku, also known as the Realm of Evil, was one of the Spirit Realms. It was a realm of pure and darkest evil and the source of the oni and the Shadowlands. Though all of the Spirit Realms were occassionally referred to as "Jigoku", the proper use of the name was only for the one dark Realm. [1]


Much of Jigoku was nearly formless and shapeless. [2] The realm itself was a maelstrom of pain and suffering, with the yokai spirits being constantly hounded and tortured by oni. The gates of Jigoku were guarded by Yakamo no Oni, who kept Kitsu Okura's soul eternally bound to the gates as a reminder of Yakamo's failure. [3] Jigoku was one of the most jealous realms, exerting its control in the form of the Shadowlands Taint. [4] It was primarily concerned with the corruption of Ningen-do, since it was connected to all other realms. [5]

Connection to other Realms[]

Jigoku bordered closely on Gaki-do, Sakkaku, and Yomi. The realm that laid closest to Jigoku was Ningen-do. Jigoku was far from Chikushudo and Toshigoku. Both Meido and Tengoku were completely closed to Jigoku. The Celestial Heavens and the Realm of Waiting were beyond the touch of corruption. [6]

Jigoku was connected to the world with a stone, the Oblivion's Gate. The Lying Darkness attempted to destroy this connection. [7] The Festering Pit of Fu Leng led directly to the heart of Jigoku, [8] as well as the Second Festering Pit. [9] During a short period the Tower of Fear also permitted the minions of Jigoku to enter the mortal realm. [10]



Looking to Ningen-do[]

After Ningen-do became how it actually was, by the intermediate of the Five Races and the elemental kami, Jigoku looked upon the stability of Ningen-do with a terrible hunger. It wished to destroy this newborn world. It extended its dark tendrils into the mortal world and began to corrupt what it found there. It sent forth its servants, the ruthless oni, and began to wage war upon Ningen-do. [13] Jigoku was not simply a place, it was a state of pure evil that existed for no other reason than to undo Ningen-do, creating self-aware entities to carry out Its desires and plans. [14]

Fu Leng[]

When the Kami fell to earth to escape their father Lord Moon, the Nothing attempted to turn the realm of Jigoku against the Kami, warning that Fu Leng especially must be destroyed. But this inspired more curiosity than fear within Jigoku, which seized Fu Leng as he descended. The realm snatched Fu Leng as he fell from the sky, dragging him deep into the earth and suffusing him with its corruption. Fu Leng was now a powerful entity. [15]

Dark Oracles[]

When the Dragons created the Oracles of Light chosing enlightened shugenja among the mortals, the nameless entities of Jigoku writhed in hatred of their ancient foes, the Dragons, so they sought their own pawns among mankind. These corrupted shugenja eventually made their way to the Shadowlands to became the Dark Oracles. [16] They balanced the scales between the Celestial Heavens and Jigoku gaining similar powers. The Dark Oracles could not interfere in mortal affairs, except if the Oracle was attacked or unless they were invited to by a person in authority. [17]

Day of Thunder[]

Jigoku sought to spread its corruption through the Mortal Realm, while the powers of the Celestial Heavens sought to leave Ningen-do free to seek its own fate. In every age, there was a confrontation between the Champions of both realms, the Champion of Jigoku, and the Champion of Ningen-do. [18]

Burning Sands[]

Jigoku also worked in the Burning Sands, and the Ma'Ghul was the ambassador from Jigoku there. He allied with the Jackal [19] and after the Awakening with Kaleel, the Jinn Lord. [20]

Celestial Tournament[]

The Celestial Tournament hold in 1170 followed with the proclamation of Iweko I as Empress, but also as the Heavens representative in the mortal realm, and it entitled her as Champion of Ningen-do. When the Celestial Heavens chose their new agent on Ningen-Do, Jigoku also saw fit to choose a new representative. [21] In 1169 Kali-Ma had been reborn after the opening of the Black Scroll known as the Essence of Jigoku. She had expelled Fu Leng from Jigoku, seeking to become its Champion. The Destroyer managed to ravage the Ivory Kingdoms in 1170, an event which led Jigoku to recognize her power. [22] It led to Kali-Ma appointment as Champion of Jigoku. [23]

Master of Jigoku[]

In 1173 the Dark Lord of the Shadowlands, Daigotsu, killed himself and reached Jigoku. The fallen Kami, Fu Leng, gave him his power, and Daigotsu instead becoming an agent of the will's realm, bound the realm to his own will, becoming the Master of Jigoku. [9]


Daigotsu bargained with the Empire, and as a consequence the Master of Jigoku withhold the taint over the humans. The people of Rokugan would be spared the Taint forever. Only those who willingly embraced the blessings of Jigoku could become tainted. Those born of Jigoku who possessed free will, as the oni, might reject the Dark Lord's commands, and they would flee to Ningen-do to escape Daigotsu's wrath. [9]

Other realms[]


  1. Fortunes and Winds, p. 6
  2. Secrets of the Empire, p. 196
  3. Creatures of Rokugan, p. 57
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fortunes and Winds, p. 32
  5. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 33
  6. Fortunes & Winds, pp. 31-32
  7. Voices: The Final Days of Oblivion's Gate, by Ree Soesbee
  8. Rokugan, p. 175
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Goddesses, Part 4, by Shawn Carman Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Goddesses4" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Goddesses4" defined multiple times with different content
  10. Secrets of the Crab, p. 86
  11. 11.0 11.1 Secrets of the Empire, p. 197
  12. Afthermath, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  13. Enemies of the Empire, pp. 175-176
  14. Creatures of Rokugan, p. 55
  15. Hidden Emperor, p. 6
  16. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 123
  17. Clan Letter to the Phoenix #21 (Imperial Herald v2 #6)
  18. A Gathering of Thunder, by Rich Wulf
  19. The Ma'ghul (LBS - The Awakening Boxtext)
  20. Slaves of Mortals, Part II, by Patrick Kapera
  21. Darling of the Season, by Lucas Twyman
  22. Imperial Histories 2, pp. 248-249
  23. The Harbinger, by Shawn Carman

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