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Perfect Memento: Encyclopedia: Yama

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King of Hell



主な危険度:  極高

Usual threat level: Extremely High

遭遇頻度:   低

Frequency of encounters: Low

多様性:    低

Diversity: Low

主な遭遇場所: 彼岸

Main place of encounters: Higan

主な遭遇時間: 不明

Main time of encounters: Unknown




Because the Yama are not any of the youkai who reside in Gensokyo, and also because they rarely appear in Gensokyo, they will herein be given an introduction.


In times past, when there were comparatively fewer humans, the cycles of spiritual transmigration were operated with great reliability. The policy of crossing over seven times (plus 3 additional times)(*1) was carried out by the Ten Kings (*2). If the first judgement was succesful, then the cycles of spiritual transmigration would be as gratifying as the sweetest of desserts.


However, the number of humans increased little by little, leading to a lack of judicial manpower, at which point the Ten Kings called upon the most powerful of Yamas of the day to reduce the number of pending trials insofar as was possible. And thus the shortage in personnel was resolved.


Additionally, from all over the country, those who arrived via Jizou (the bodhisvattas for children, travellers, and the underworld) and were interested in serving as Lord Yamas had a meeting, wherein the deceased who had died in proximity to Jizou were entrusted with the vocation of being judges.


As it was, the Lord Yamas became mostly composed of old Jizou.


In present times, to address the issue of humans outnumbering judges, shinigami, oni from Hell, together with the official organization 「The Ministry of What's Right and What's Wrong」 have taken up the business of operations and oversight.


The Ministry of What's Right and What's Wrong


At the top of this organization, there preside 10 yamas.(*3)


Below them are lesser judges and fierce administrative demons. Each and every judge also commands several shinigami, while each of the fierce administrative demons similarly commands a number of lesser oni.


Within this place, all lower ranks including lesser judges may consult with the yamas.


First, for the spirits who have been brought along by shinigami via Higan, they will be taken to the court of the lesser judge who matches up with the spirit's previous station in life.


Each shall have only one lesser judge presiding, who will pass judgement without heeding the testimony of the deceased (*4), and thus divide the souls towards Heaven, Hell, or the Netherworld as each outcome dictates.


The fierce administrative demons will take charge as the souls fall down to Hell and will command the lesser oni in their torment of the deceased.


A wide array of torture devices could be used, but current economic conditions mean that many of these contraptions are in serious need of maintenance and repair.


The organization's primary sources of income will be fares from those crossing the Sanzu River, as well as confection stands and food carts operating on the Road of Liminality.


The Judgement of Yama


Misdeeds committed while still living will be read loudly and clearly, the details and the numbers will be considered, and the judgement will then be announced.


Once the judgement has been passed down, there's nothing along the lines of revoking or appealing the decision.


While this judgement will determine the final destination of the spirit, there are often lies (those who lie to the Lord Yama have their tongues pulled out) spoken in the process, the Lord Yama keeps at his side an extensive archive of past lies with which to threaten the deceased regarding risks and dangers.


To address the issue of an excess of deceased subjects, the judging proceeds in an assembly-line fashion, executed with extraordinary speed.


Two alternating shifts unceasingly pass down judgements, with a carefree and enjoyable break during the religious observances of Equinoctial Week.

*1 元々は七回だったが、七回全てで問題有りと判断されても、三回の追加審判があった。

1: The number was originally seven times, but all of these "seven times" cases had problems, and so three additional judgements were implemented.

*2 秦広王・初江王・栄帝王・五官王・閻魔王・変成王・泰山王・等王・都市王・五道転輪王の十王。

2: King Shinkou the Immovable, King Shoukou the Enlightened One, King Soutei the Wisest, King Fukan of Virtuous Conduct, King Enma the Merciful Savior, King Henjyou of the Future, King Taizan of Medicine and Healing, King Byoudou of Mercy and Compassion, King Toshi of Strength and Wisdom, and King Gotoutenrin of Limitless Light and Life make up the Ten Kings.

*3 トップが沢山いる時点で、組織としてどうなのか。

3: When the number of those holding the top position start becoming too numerous, what will the Ministry do then?

*4 死人に口なし。

4: Dead men tell no tales. [Translators' Note: Possibly meaning that the deceased can say nothing that the judges don't already know of.]

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