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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Kenkoku
To establish a country, or to establish the foundations of a country for the first time. It refers to the birth of a nation. It is the same as hatsukuni (chōkoku). Generally, nations in the ancient past had histories of both tribulation and glory leading up to their establishment as countries, and in these idealized histories are also apparent. Renewed efforts to (re)establish countries often take place with these histories in mind. From ancient times the founding of Japan has been based on the foundation myth of Emperor Jinmu in the Kojiki and Nihongi. National Foundation Day (called kenkoku kinen no hi, but called kigensetsu before the Second World War) has been set using the traditional day(+) for Emperor Jinmu's ascension to the throne (sokui). There are also legendary accounts of national expansion and unification occurring under the emperors Sujin, Keikō and Yūryaku. In a wide sense these also can be said to be foundation legends. See chōkoku.
(+)Translator's note. National Foundation Day is February 11.

—Fukui Yoshihiko
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
4-10-28 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8440, Japan
URL http://21coe.kokugakuin.ac.jp/
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