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Shinto Classics and Literature


§An Overview of Shintō Texts and of Trends in Research

Since the early modern period, the mainstream of Shintō studies has consisted of the analysis and explication of relevant texts. Those texts held to record the essence of Shintō have been awarded a special status as "Shintō classics" (sometimes termed "sacred texts"; shinten).  ...

Fudoki

Fudoki is a general title given to a set of documents compiled in the Nara period according to a specific form and composition—a gazetteer composed of publicly reported documents. The title was likely modeled after Chinese works like Zhou chu feng tu ji or Ji zhou feng tu ji, but the title fu...

Jinjaengi

This is a record dealing with the origins a shrine and of its connection with the deity enshrined at a shrine (saijin), and the relation of the festival surrounding that deity as well as supernatural stories related to the shrine and its deity. There are some records that also include drawings inst...

Kogoshūi

This work, in one volume, was presented to the court by Inbe no Hironari on the thirteenth day of the second month of 807. Kogoshūi was written by Hironari, a member of the Inbe, who, along with the Nakatomi, were in charge of festival rites at court from ancient times. Hironari included old t...

Kojiki and Nihon shoki (Nihongi)

Kiki is an abbreviation referring to Kojiki (often abbreviated as ki ) and Nihon shoki (often abbreviated as , and referred to as Nihongi), the two oldest extant historical records of Japan. During the reign of Emperor Kinmei in the middle of the sixth century, a period before the Kiki, it appe...

Man'yōshū

A poetic anthology of the Asuka and Nara eras. It is composed of twenty books, and includes about four thousand five hundred poems. Man'yōshū is a collection of poetry and not a text that directly refers to religion or Shintō, but compared with Kojiki and Nihon shoki—compilati...

Nakatominoharae

Purification rituals of the Nakatomi. This refers to the ōharae (great purification ritual). Because the Nakatomi clan read the words of purification on the last day of the sixth and twelfth months, these came to be known as Nakatomi saimon (Nakatomi ritual documents), Nakatomi harae kotoba (N...

Norito

These are liturgies or incantations, words written in a particular script that are then read by the head orator at certain festivals for the deities. In general the classification norito is widely used to include auspicious words (yogoto) as well as language for ritual purification (harae no kotoba...

Sendaikujihonki

A history in ten books arranged in a chronological format, mainly centering around events from the beginning of the "age of the kami" down to the reign of Emperor Suiko, with other sections (like the Kokuzō hongi) added. The title is also abbreviated to Kuji hongi and Kujiki. The period of ori...

Senmyō

This refers to edicts written down in a Japanese phonetic script. Originally this referred to the words spoken by the emperor, but later this term came to specifically refer to the text of these words. Compared with texts written in classical Chinese and promulgated that were called "imperial edict...

Shinsen shōjiroku

This is a record of the genealogy of the ancient families living in the capital (Heian-kyō) and the five inner provinces. It was compiled near the beginning of the Heian period. It is also known as Shōjiroku and Shinsen shōjiroku-shō . It consists of thirty books. The complete w...

Shinto and Literature

Shintō and literature. There are many ways that Shintō and literature intersect, but among this confluence, the influence of legends in the records of the shrines (engi setsuwa) is considerable. There are an abundant number of medieval legends influenced by kenmitsu bukkyō (exoteric...

Shintōkōshaku

Expounding on Shintō. This is the action of expounding on the Shintō classics and Shintō doctrine to people in plain and easy to understand language, and thus educating and enlightening the masses. This is also called Shintō kōdan(Shintō discussions). Tachibana Mitsuyo...





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