Takamagahara is one of the worlds that are participating in The Game. It's based on Shinto mythology and named after the land of gods.
Its exile was Susanoo.
The surface world of Takamagahara is ruled by Amaterasu and her Amatsukami, the gods of the heavens. This land was originally ruled by Okuninushi and his Kunitsukami, the gods of the land, but was usurped during the event known as the Transfer of the Land.
Beneath the surface world lies the land of the dead, known by many names such as Kakuiyo, Yoru no Osukuni, and Ne no Kuni. After falling to the realm of the dead, Okuninushi would become ruler. This land is notable for being a place where the sun does not shine.3
The world holds an ocean where anything that is deemed 'unwanted' is dumped. At the very bottom of the sea lays a gate to other worlds, resulting in foreign objects drifting into Takamagahara's ocean.12
Takamagahara seeks to achieve perfection by banishing anything that was perceived as 'unwanted' to the bottom of the sea. The 'unwanted' ranged from dolls, Sacred Artifacts, memories, or even a person.
In addition, the world also operates under a state of high surveillance where the people believe they are being watched by the heavens and sun above. This places pressure on them to avoid mistakes or doing anything that could be seen as shameful. However, mistakes are inevitable. Someone will lose something they borrowed or forget an important date.7 The people would need a method to deal with the shame they've brought upon themselves, one of which was the Dragon Palace.
Palace of God Watatsumi
Welcome to Dragon Palace. Please enter and forget all that you leave behind.— Otohime, Virtual Summer Memories (Prologue-2)
The Dragon Palace, also known by its true name of Palace of God Watatsumi,12 is a prototype subsystem of the world of Takamagahara that exists at the bottom of the ocean. It was designed to fill in the holes that the world's System leaves open. More specifically, it allows people to remove and seal away any memories of unbearable shame, suffering, and grief stemming from mistakes one had committed in the past.7
The Dragon Palace originated from a microchip that drifted from the world of Utopia into Takamagahara's ocean. It was built from the accumulation of unwanted items from various worlds due to it being at the bottom of Takamagahara's ocean and made it its purpose to collect and take in all the unwanted flotsam and jetsam from other worlds. The palace's repeated self-modification would result in its managing AI gaining a sense of self, now known as Otohime.12
Those who visit the Dragon Palace are treated to an underwater paradise where they are free to stay for as long as they want and free to leave whenever. It acts as a sanatorium for those who have been traumatized by the suffering in the world above. There, they are free to partake in activities that brings joy and comfort, such as relaxing in hot springs or alternative exercise activities. Violence and fighting, however, are strictly banned. Anyone attempting to fight will be frozen in place, unable to move until their intentions change. Any act of combat is prohibited regardless of the reason. A loophole can be exploited by reframing one's attacks under the guise of non-violent activities, such as dancing or cleaning.3 4
Its visitors are free to leave whenever they wish to do so.5 Before they leave, Otohime would remove their painful memories and store them inside an imitation Tamate Box. Some visitors request that they also store the memories of their stay in the Dragon Palace as they might regret the memories of having stayed there for too long. In the past, Otohime viewed the memories as belonging to their owner even if they were unwanted. Because of this, she would give her parting guests their Tamate Box and warn them to never open it. If they were to open the box, their body would age rapidly to match the amount of memories stored within. As simple warnings may not be effective enough, Otohime later allowed her guests to leave behind their boxes in the Dragon Palace indefinitely instead.11
Despite sealing away the grief and suffering of their guests, the Dragon Palace was never able to make anyone truly happy. Their sadness would ultimately return to them, falling into despair and opening their Tamate Box in the end. Some have even cut off so much of their sadness so many times that they stopped feeling emotion altogether, withering into nothingness.12
Representative and Exile
The exile of Takahamahara is Susanoo. He is the younger brother to both Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi, the latter describing him as the hero of Takamagahara.8 He wielded the sword Boundless Tail and used it to slay the giant serpent Orochi, severing its jurisdiction and reign of power.22
Onamuchi, the Original Representative
One day, Onamuchi died and was sent to Ne no Kuni, where he would meet Susanoo. He would gift Onamuchi the name of Okuninushi, the Master of the Land, during their encounter. Afterwards, Onamuchi returned to the surface world.10
The day the Transfer of the Land occurred, Onamuchi took on the name of Okuninushi. He would also be given three presents from his ancestors as a reward for besting his brothers in combat: the holy sword, the holy bow and arrows, and a koto. These artifacts were proof of his skill as well as him inheriting the will of his ancestors who controlled the world of the dead.3
Transfer of the Land
Takeminakata, serving his lord Okuninushi, defended his homeland as acting World Representative but was bested at his own game of sumo, sealing his lord's defeat.23 To lessen the impact of his defeat, Takeminakata played the part of the ideal loser, portraying himself as pathetic in order to bring both sides to a resolution with no loss of a single life.23 Sarutahiko also helped smoothen out the end of the Transfer of the land, cleaning up the Kunitsukami's defeat and helping the celestial deities settle current matters.11
After his defeat, Okuninushi and his Kunitsukami would lose everything to Amaterasu and fell to the underworld. No longer the ruler of the surface realm, he would become the ruler of the dead instead.3 Due to his defeat, Okuninushi became a stale, empty name that conveyed no rank or place in the hierarchy.9
|Transients of Takamagahara|
Land of Wa】
Yamata no Orochi】
- The transients of Takamagahara are derived from various Japanese dieties:
- Kagutsuchi is the son of Izanami and Izanagi, while Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, and Susanoo came into existence after Izanagi washed his face following his return from the underworld, although in some mythology Susanoo still considers Izanami his mother, and in Nihon Shoki, the latter three are also the children of Izanami.
- Jugo is based on Kushinadahime, the wife of Susanoo who married him after he saved her from Yamata-no-Orochi.
- Tajikarao is based on the god of the same name who brought Amaterasu, who sealed herself inside Ama-no-Iwato from Susanoo's wrath, back to the outside world.
- Part of Daikoku is based on Okuninushi, god of nation-building. He is the sixth-generation descendant of Susanoo and Kushinadahime, and he is also the son-in-laws of Susanoo after his marriage to Suseribime, Susanoo's daughter. Okuninushi has various other names, such as Onamuchi-no-kami or Onamuji-no-Kami, and is usually syncretized with Daikokuten.
- Ebisu is based on Hiruko, the eldest son of Izanami and Izanagi, as well as Kotoshironushi, the son of Okuninushi.
- Takeminakata is based on Takeminakata, Shinto God of water, wind, and agriculture, and a son of Okuninushi and Nunakawahime.
- Otohime is based on character of the same name from Urashima Taro, as well as the character's origin Toyotamahime, the daughter of Watatsumi. In some mythologies, Watatsumi was created from the body of Kagutsuchi after he was killed by his father Izanagi in rage. The parallel between Otohime and Toyotamahime is also reflected in the Dragon Palace's true name: Palace of God Watatsumi (Wadatsumi no Kami no Miya).
- Yamasachihiko is based on Hoori, the son of Ninigi and Konohanasakuyahime. Hoori was also the husband of Toyotamahime, before she turned into a Wani and fled from him in shame due to him seeing her true form after giving birth to their child.
- Despite being born in Takamagahara, Otohime was created from a drifting chip containing Utopia's technology. That's how she has characteristics of that world though never been there.