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Meido was the Realm of Waiting. This was the domain of Emma-o, the Fortune of Death, [1] Ryoshun, the tenth Kami, and as well as the Lords of Death, the gaijin gods of the Ujik-hai. It was in this Spirit Realm that the deceased await judgement and their eventual fates.


Meido was a bleak, grey realm-- colorless, nearly featureless, and was marked by only the rare landmark-- the most notable of which was the palace now shared by Emma-O and the Lords of Death. All human souls fated for eventual reincarnation appeared in this realm after death, and the Realm quickly claimed the dead. Those under the spiritual influence of Meido quickly lost all semblance of initiative and personal drive, awaiting only their turn to be judged. The few living visitors to Meido were not affected by the mind-numbing Control of this realm, as Meido had no claim and no interest in those who were not dead. [2]

Gate of the Dead[]

Another feature of the realm was the titanic gate to which the endless waiting souls were inexorably drawn. It was guarded by Ryoshun, the Tenth Kami, ensuring that each soul was drawn into the realm Emma-O had assigned it. [3]


Before Daigotsu's daring raid on this Spirit Realm to rescue Fu Leng, Emma-O's supremacy was absolute, and the Fortune acted as judge, jury, and executioner of sentences. At times, he would consult with the absolute wisdom of Fukurokujin for guidance in the sentencing of a particular soul. Jizo, the Fortune of Mercy, had been known to plead for leniency on behalf of some of these dead, and while he had only changed Emma-O's mind five times in all of known history, that he had succeeded at all was a memorable thing. [2]

In modern times, the balance of power had shifted away from the sole control of the Fortune of Death. A delicate treaty was negotiated in the wake of the Dark Kami's attack on Tengoku by Kitsu Hisashi, establishing a tentative peace between Emma-O and the Lords of Death, who ruled this realm jointly. [4] Emma-O guarded the realm with a watchful eye, keeping the dead from wandering and indelicately escorting the rare travellers back to their native Realm. The Lords of Death collectively passed judgement upon unworthy souls-- those whose deeds had stained their kharma-- and then passed them onwards to the last influential inhabitant, Ryoshun. The dead Tenth Kami was a breath of comfort for the confused, listless dead in this desolate place, and guided them on to their next path when the time was ready. [5]

Other Realms and Meido[]

The gates of Maigo no Musha [6] and the realm of Jigoku were completely closed off to Meido. [7] Realms close to Meido included Ningen-do, Yume-do, Toshigoku, and Yomi; realms distant from Meido included Chikushudo, Gaki-do, Sakkaku, and Tengoku. Additionally, Meido possessed the power to utterly strip nearly any amount of spiritual Control from creatures entering it through death. Only those who were completely Lost to Jigoku's influence escaped the Realm of Waiting, though "escape" in this case was a relative term at best as these souls were generally sent hurtling into Jigoku itself for an eternity of torment. [8]

A known passage to Ningen-do was the Sleeping Lake beneath Kyuden Bayushi. [9] Meido was one of the three realms touched by the opening of Oblivion's Gate. [10]


  1. Fortunes & Winds, p. 6
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fortunes & Winds, p. 53
  3. Fortunes & Winds, p. 54
  4. Lifeless, Part 2, by Rich Wulf
  5. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 220-221
  6. Secrets of the Empire, p. 203
  7. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 34
  8. Fortunes & Winds, p. 52
  9. Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 15
  10. Prelude to Darkness, Part 6: The Dark Lord, by Rich Wulf

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