The "other worlds" of Japanese mythology often double as
foreign countries in Japanese literature. The most important
were known as Takamagahara "Plain of the High
Heaven," Nenokuni (also Yominokuni) "Root
Country (or 'Motherland') and Tokoyonokuni "Eternal
Since the Meiji Era, Japanese scholars have attempted to
connect these fairylands with known foreign geography.
All these locations are associated with the ocean and long
sea voyages in the direction of the South. In Okinawa and
the Ryukyus, these lands are known by names like Niraikanai,
Nirai, Nira, Niza, etc. depending on the location. Again,
the semi-mythical locations are said placed in the ocean
requiring a long journey and tend to be situated toward the
In Japan, the southernmost tip of Kyushu, the lands
associated with the ancient Kumaso and Hayato tribes were
the traditional departure point and port of entry for
journeys to and from the "other worlds."
Japanese scholars have sought locations for these lands from
Melanesia to South China, Taiwan, Tibet and Korea.
Here is the partial list of Japanese faeries (fairies):
TENNIN: In Japanese Buddhism, an angel or fairy, a
heavenly, beautiful person who may appear on a mountain.
To meet one, the pilgrim has to climb to the summit.
YOSEI: They are most often seen as birds, cranes or swans.
I that led you through the painted meads,
Where the light Fairies danced upon the flowers
Hanging on every leaf an orient pearl.
Wisdom of Dr.
Rosebay Willow Herb Fairy