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Tengoku, also known as the Celestial Heavens, or Takamagahara, [1] was the Spirit Realm that was home to virtually all of the Fortunes, as well as the Elemental Dragons and the Sun and Moon. All but two of the Emperors of Rokugan resided there after ascending upon their deaths. Mortals were not normally allowed to see Tengoku, though the living Emperors were supposedly able to perceive the Realm at will. [2]


All of Tengoku was a swirling, cloud-filled eddy of peace and light, where all might be altered at the whim of those who ruled the place. [3] Tengoku had two major permanent features: the Celestial Palace, home to the various entities of the realm, and the Celestial Court, where the inhabitants of Tengoku hold court. [4] Tengoku exerted little control over its inhabitants, but it did influence visitors into becoming more lawful and honorable. [5]


After the Nothing created the world, it was a mixture. The heavy staff fell deeper and deeper, forming nothing but the shapeless chaos, and the rest climbed to form the Heaven. [6]

First inhabitants[]

The Three Gods Whose Names Cannot Be Spoken came at the same time the Heaven was created. They created Onnotangu and Amaterasu losing their names and identity in the process. They gave name to the shapeless world, and the forms of life appeared. The Fortunes were born in the dreams of the creatures who slept in Ningen-do. [6]

Tengoku and Ningen-do[]

Rokugani mythology held that before the Fall of the Kami, Tengoku was much closer to Ningen-do, and that the inhabitants of the two realms could easily pass between them. The story told that after the Fall, the Dragons were enthralled with humanity, offering power to those they chose, and even bringing some to live in Tengoku. Amaterasu and Onnotangu were troubled by the Dragons' meddling, believing that their interference would be detrimental to the newly-created Empire, and so they lifted the Celestial Heavens away from Rokugan, forcing the Dragons to decide whether to tear humanity away from Ningen-do or to abandon them to mortality. The Dragons chose to leave humanity, along with parts of themselves, that they might continue contact. These essences of the Dragons were each given to a single individual, who became the Dragon's agent in Ningen-do. Thus, the Oracles were created. [7] [8]

Heaven's Gates[]

Tengoku had gates to prevent unwelcome visitors, and only one road , the Dragon Road came to the gates. Since 1133 the guardian of the gates was Oni no Okura. [9]

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. [10]


In the 12th century the Heavens suffered several imbalances, that affected the realms.

Toturi Kaede, the Empress and Oracle of Void[]

After the death of Toturi I in 1158, Toturi Kaede took the Imperial Throne [11] in the Month of the Boar. After ascending to the Throne Kaede realized that she had overstepped her bounds as the Oracle of Void. She had tipped the balance of the elements. [12] The boundaries between the realms weakened just enough to give Daigotsu his chance to release Fu Leng, and enabled the later Invasion of the Celestial Heavens. [9] Tonbo Toryu became the first Dark Oracle of Void when he willingly took up the post in an attempt to balance the elements, leaving his former office of Oracle of Thunder. [13]

Jade and Obsidian[]

In 1159 Omen was appointed by the Dragon of Jade the first Oracle of Jade. [9] This event caused an imbalance in the Heavens that led to the awakening of the Eighth Dragon, the Obsidian Dragon. The Obsidian Dragon was born in 1167, to balance out his twin, Jade. [14] In 1168 Shosuro Maru was chosen to become the first Oracle of Obsidian. [15]


The Celestial Heavens were unbalanced and Yume-do, as it was made of dreams, was the least stable of the realms so it was the first affected. The land of dreams was going mad and destroying itself in the process. Tomorrow threatened to collapse the land, and dragons, or what appeared to be dragons, destroying everything as they went. Entities resembling Lord Sun and Lady Moon walked at their side. The realm itself was in danger, and the One Tribe traveled to Yume-do in 1169 to join with the Transcendents to restabilize it. The nezumi won the Battle of Tomorrow, and the realm estabilized, but the nezumi involved were trapped there. [16]


Passages to Ningen-Do[]

The only constant passage into the Celestial Heavens was located in Otosan Uchi. [17] This unique passage was located in the Imperial Throne Room. [18] The ancestral dojo of the Seppun Miharu was also suffused with the essence of the Celestial Heavens, due to the nature of the Seppun themselves and its location in the home of Tengoku's chosen ruler of Rokugan. [19]

Other realms[]


  1. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 18
  2. Fortunes and Winds, p. 6
  3. Secrets of the Empire, p. 210
  4. Fortunes and Winds, p. 75
  5. Fortunes and Winds, p. 67
  6. 6.0 6.1 Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 17
  7. Way of the Phoenix, p. 106
  8. The Dragon and the Nezumi
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Jade, by Rich Wulf
  10. A Gathering of Thunder, by Rich Wulf
  11. Imperial Funeral (Gold flavor)
  12. Four Winds, p. 30
  13. One Question (Rulebook story Fall of Otosan Uchi), by Rich Wulf
  14. The Ruins of Otosan Uchi, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  15. Shosuro Maru (The Truest Test Boxtext)
  16. Tomorrow (Imperial Herald v2#22), by Rusty Priske
  17. Fortunes & Winds, p. 66
  18. Fortunes & Winds, p. 106
  19. Fortunes & Winds, p. 66

Sources Conflict
The sources relating to this article are in conflict with each other.
The Four Wind p.154 indicate that there is no passage to Tengoku, only a thinning of the spirit barrier in the Imperial Throne Room of Otosan Uchi where Fu Leng died.

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