What Do the Shinto Japanese Believe Happens To the Sinful After Death and Who Decides Where Souls Are Sent?

According to Japanese Shinto mythology, after death, evil people descend to Jigoku, a world with eight realms of fire and eight realms of ice.

Each soul stands before a mirror that reflects back its sins.

The god, Emma-ho, rules Jigoku and decides where each male soul is sent according to the severity of his crimes.

Emma-ho’s sister judges female souls. Demons, called Oni, inhabit both Jigoku and the earth.

They bring disease, famine, and a host of other miseries to people on earth and torment the souls in Jigoku.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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