- Supernatural guests, possibly ancestors, who arrive from tokoyo, conceived of as a miraculous land across the sea, to infuse the land with power at New Year. Remnants of belief in marebito survive in folk dances and mimes and they share some of the characteristics of the horned, straw-coated namahage of northern Japan and the toshidon of the south. They are part of a 'horizontal' cosmological structure in which kami, like ancestral spirits at bon, are believed to come from, and return to, a place over land or across the sea rather than from another world vertically above or below this one. Boundary deities (sae no kami etc.) as well as deities of good fortune such as Ebisu and Daikoku also belong in the general category of marebito as deities who come 'from the outside' and are invoked for special purposes.See also Takama-ga-hara.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.