I know ningen is a word (at least in entertainment media) that is used to refer to something as human or simply mundane. In this context, what are the words used to describe something as "godly"/"heavenly" or "ungodly"/"hellish"?

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    I'm Japanese native and am generally fun of entertainment media but cannot figure out example usage of 人間 used to refer something human or simply mundane (especially the mundane part) .... Could you give specific example? – Yuki Inoue Dec 10 '16 at 14:48

人間 (ningen) means human, and this word on its own does not mean mundane. But 人間界 (ningen-kai, lit. "human world") is commonly used in various fictional works to refer to the human world as opposed to heavenly or hellish worlds. See: What would be the most apt word in kanji, for "Animal world"?

Anyway, in many fictional works, it's very common to categorize items/characters/magics/etc into holy vs evil, godly vs daemonic, light vs dark etc. 人間界 is often described as an opposing idea of 天界 ("heavenly/celestial world") and/or 魔界 ("evil/monster world").

Here are some other words typically used in such situations:

  • 神: "god(ly)" vs 悪魔, 魔: "demon(ic), monster(ous)"
  • 光: "light" vs 闇: "darkness"
  • 聖: "holy, sacred" vs 邪: "evil"
  • 神聖: "holy, sacred" vs 邪悪: "evil"
  • 天国: "heaven" vs 地獄: "hell"
  • 祝福: "blessing" vs 呪い: "curse"
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