After death, the souls of the deceased must be judged in order to be
sent to the appropriate place for punishment or reward. In Japan, the land
of the dead is called Meifu and the organization that handles the processing
of souls is JuOhCho, underwhich are ten separate governmental bureaus.
The story mainly revolves around Tsuzuki Asato who has been working as
a common employee of the EnmaCho's Shoka Division. This division is made
up of eighteen people who are in charge of collecting dead people to bring
to trial (judgement of their life's deeds). However, since they are often
called upon to bring in people who haven't died yet, they're unofficially
called "Shinigami", Gods of Death.
These Shinigami are assigned to one of nine sections of Japan and always
work in pairs. This is a precautionary measure to keep them in line and
on track with their duties. Those who become Shinigami do so because of
their own selfish reasons for wanting to travel to the living world. Because
of their special privilige of freely traveling between Meifu and the living
world, they are the highest ranking employees of JuChoOh, answering directly
to EnmaDaiOh, but also among the lowest paid. ^_^
- Cho - In Yami no Matsuei, a cho is one of the districts that Japan is divided into to handle the court cases of the deceased. The ten Chos and their locations are shown in Tatsumi's JuOhCho Basics Lecture at the end of the first tankoubon.
- EnmaCho - This is one of ten government bureaus that form JuOhCho.
This bureau's Shokan Division answers only to EnmaDaiOh-sama and are hence the highest ranking employees in the Meifu. EnmaCho is also unique in that it exists within another Cho (one of the court districts) and it handles all of the cases in Tokyo in addition to the special cases of other Chos.
- EnmaDaiOh - Head of JuChoOh.
- Fuda - These are rectangular paper "charms" that are cast as parts
of spells that can form shields, break shields, create illusions, banish
evil influence, etc.
- JuOhCho - This is a government type organization that runs the admission,
cataloging, and sorting of dead souls. Theorectically, each country has
their own one of these to deal with their own dead.
- Kiseki - This is a list of the people who are supposed to die and
it is by this that the dead are admitted into Meifu. People who are on
the list but haven't died are often the cases handed over to the Shinigamis.
- Meifu - Land of the Dead.
- Shikigami - These are mythical and spiritual deities that can be summoned by those that they have agreed to serve. Most Shinigamis can only summon two or three at best. Tsuzuki can summon twelve.
- Shinigami - God of Death. Because those who work in the EnmaCho's
Shokan Division are often called upon to kill people, they are called this
by both living and dead people. All Shinigamis learn some sort of magic,
usually Fuda, and most seem to have some other supernatural power as well.
All of them have the ability to fly (usually) and regeneration.
- Shokan - This part of EnmaCho deals with summoning the dead to appear at court. Other translation of this word is subpoena.