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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
A compound of "to possess" plus "land." Generally means the land ruled by the kami and the emperor. "Osu" is made up of the continuative form verb "to be" plus the honorific particle "su." As an honorific, it originally denoted "to occupy, possess" and "to make something one's own." Later it is thought to have come to convey diverse meanings, such as "to eat," "to wear" and "to rule." It is found in the Kojiki as "You rule the land (osukuni) of night"; several times in the Manyōshū, such as "Since our Sovereign rules the land (osukuni)" (4006) and "The land over which our Sovereign rules (osukuni)" (956); and in the Kujihongi, where the great chieftains called the ōmuraji and the ōomi are referred to as "officials who govern the land to be ruled (osukuni)" (7).

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