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彼岸 (ひがん)

The other side of the Sanzu River

Official Games
Print Works

Higan (彼岸) is the far side of the Sanzu River, where deceased souls wait for their turn to be judged by the Yama. As a Pure Land, it has no weather, no seasons, and no night and day-- just an endless flower garden with a gentle warmth. It is strictly not part of Gensokyo.

General Information

Souls of the deceased will wait at the Shigan (此岸) (the shore of the living world) of the Sanzu River for a Shinigami to ferry them one at a time. As one gets to the Higan side, there is nothing to do but silently wait and contemplate death until the Yama is ready to pass judgement. The yama, who can see the souls' past, will judge whether they should go to the Netherworld, Heaven, Hell, or be reincarnated. If it's Hell, then the soul will fall outside the cycle of reincarnation temporarily.

The word "Higan" is composed of the kanji for that or over there () and shore (), so its literal meaning is "that shore" or "the shore on the other side". The Shigan (此岸), which is located on the opposite end to the Higan, can literally mean this shore or the shore on this side as well. Both of these term originate in Japanese Buddhism.


Higan's Appearances

Wily Beast and Weakest Creature

Wily Beast and Weakest Creature marked Higan's first in-game appearance, as the protagonist crosses through it to reach Hell. They're warned of the danger ahead and fought by Kutaka Niwatari, though only as a precaution, as she was already authorized to let them pass.


Wild and Horned Hermit
Visionary Fairies in Shrine

Books and Articles