Depending on the version of the myth, as well as available translations, one can talk about the Land of the Dead, Land of the Dead beneath the Earth, the Land of Darkness and the Root Country.
Description of Yomi in Kojiki may reflect the early Japanese practice of burying the dead in their tombs that had their entrances sealed with huge boulders (as Izanagidid to escape from Izanami’s pursuit). Yomi is being physically identified as the cave on the Shimane coast.
Littleton C. Scott points out that attempts to rescue the dead from the clutches of death by a visit to the different worlds of the dead is a recurring motif, and can be found in such myths like:
- the story of Persephone, which is permanently connected with Hades through consumption of a pomegranate (Izanami also mentions that she have eaten at Yomi, and, therefore, the return to the Land of Living would be hard if not impossible)
- the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, who tried to save his beloved from the Land of the Dead too.
In some Japanese manuscripts the Land of the Dead is being referred to as Ne no Kuni (Land at Sea). Yanagita Kunio in “Teihon Yanagita Kunioshu” considers a variant in which the vision of the Japanese mythological Land of the Dead is a combination of two concepts from different sources. Yanagita Kunio draws a theory, in which Ne no Kuni has its roots in East Asia where it was a term used to refer to Japan. It was only after time had passed that Ne no Kunibegan to be identified with Yomi no Kuni, through the beliefs of the peoples of northern Asia.
Additionally, one of the alternative names for Yomi no Kuni is Ne no Katasukuni.
- Littleton C. Scott – Japanese Mythology
- J. Edward Kidder, Jr. – The earliest societies in Japan in „The Cambridge History of Japan – Ancient Japan”, Cambridge University Press
- Matsumae Takeshi – Early Kami Worship in „The Cambridge History of Japan – Ancient Japan”, Cambridge University Press
- Yanagita Kunio – Teihon Yanagita Kunio shu, quoted by Matsumae Takeshi – Early Kami Worship in „The Cambridge History of Japan – Ancient Japan”, Cambridge University Press
- Edwin A. Cranston – Asuka and Nara culture: literacy, literature, and music in „The Cambridge History of Japan – Ancient Japan”, Cambridge University Press