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Home » 9. Texts and Sources » Shinto Classics and Literature
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 traditions that had not been included in the official histories of the court along with the origins of festivals as well as the appropriate nature of certain festivals. Hironari expressed his indignation regarding variations in precedents and disarray in the administration of the festivals for local kami. These objections were compiled into one work by order of Emperor Heizei, who had commanded Hironari to report on these things. The title means "gleanings that have missed being included in the ancient stories (ancient sayings, ancient events, thus ancient traditions)." Regarding the reason for the presentation of this work to the court, traditionally scholars believe Hironari resented that his family, having been suppressed by the influence of the Nakatomi, did not have more prosperity, so he presented his work to Emperor Heizei. The work has therefore been appraised as nothing more than a letter of complaint. In reality, however, the following explanation is more persuasive. The colophon notes that "the first year of Daidō [806] is a zōshiki year (detailed adjustments in the legal codes)," so Emperor Heizei conducted a project to compile a work on the procedures of the ritsuryo government, consulting with the Inbe (who had jurisdiction over the festivals), and the answers to those questions were included in this work.

Inbe no Hironari, the compiler
       The birth and death dates of the compiler, Inbe no Hironari, are unclear, but other than some evidence for his life that appears in Kogoshūi, we have almost no other documentation. Under the entry for the seventeenth day of the eleventh month of 808 as recorded in Nihon kōki, it records that he was promoted from the Senior Sixth Rank Upper to the Junior Fifth Rank Lower. That is the only documentation of him. It is believed that this promotion is in reward for Hironari's work on the daijōsai (the Great Thanksgiving Festival) after the ascension of Emperor Heizei. According to the colophon of Kogoshūi, Hironari was already eighty years old at this time. Just below the title on the first leaf of the Karoku manuscript of Kogoshūi the words "Compiled by Inbe no Sukune Hironari, Junior Fifth Rank Lower," which conflicts with the belief that this text originated on the thirteenth day of the second month of 807 when Hironari held the rank of Senior Sixth Rank Upper. Some believe that perhaps this is an addition by a later hand, or a later scribe altered Hironari's rank. Inbe means "an occupational group that deals with divine things, abhorring defilement." From ancient times the Inbe clan have participated in festivals of the court, mainly having authority over procurement and manufacturing goods and heihaku (paper offerings), offering the divine sword and mirror (presented to the emperor upon enthronement), and the construction of shrines and palaces. In ancient times Inbe () was also written "group of abhorrence" in the Kojiki and Nihon shoki, but in Kogoshūi the name is also written "the taboo group." The sojin (founding deity) of the Inbe is Amanofutotama no mikoto, and Kogoshūi claims that Amanofutotama no mikoto's ancestral deity is Takamimusuhi (The first part of the divine lineage of the Right Half of the Capital families in Shinsen shōjiroku makes the same claim).

       The text of Kogoshūi can be divided into four large sections: 1) ancient traditions of the age of the kami; 2) ancient traditions of Emperor Jinmu; 3) eleven omissions from the ancient recorded traditions; 4) an ancient tradition about the festival surrounding the deity Mitoshi. The first and second sections are mainly based on Nihon shoki, but these also contain selections from the Yōrō Codes, and formal phrases from the Nakatomi purification ritual (Nakatomi no harae) and norito. In category one the creation of heaven and earth down to the birth of the three precious children and the violent acts of Susanoo are recorded. When Amaterasu hides in the rock cave there is a detailed account of the rituals and the construction of shrines by Futodama and Amenokoyane. This section also records the Sun goddess coming out of the cave after this ritual, the proceeding banishment of Susanoo and the discovery of the Amenomurakumono tsurugi sword, its presentation to the Sun goddess, the descent of the heavenly grandchild to earth (tenson kōrin) and the active role played by Amenokoyane, Futodama, and Ame no Uzume, who attended the heavenly grandchild. The second section records the meritorious service rendered by the Inbe in building the Kashiwara Palace of Emperor Jinmu, and the various roles played by the Mononobe and Nakatomi in performing the rituals at court. Passing through the era of Emperor Sujin, and after recording the enshrinement of the Sun goddess in the Ise Shrine in the era of Emperor Suinin, and the presentation of the Kusanagi Sword to the Atsuta Shrine after Yamatotakeru's subjugation of the east in the era of Emperor Keikō, and the meritorious service rendered by the immigrant families from the era of Emperor ōjin on, this sections expounds on the deficiencies of the administration of the native deities since the days of Emperor Kōtoku. In the third section, Hironari indicates eleven omissions, in light of the ancient traditions in the age of the kami found in sections one and two, and the ancient practices since the days of Jinmu, such as there is no contribution of offerings to the Atsuta Shrine or Ise Shrine being the last shrine of all the shrines in having officials from the Jingikan visit to present offerings (hanbei). The fourth section details the origin of the offerings of a white boar, a white horse, and a white chicken to the deity Mitoshi in relation to the Kinensai under the jurisdiction of the Jingikan.
       Kogoshūi includes ancient traditions not found in Kojiki or Nihon shoki, and these are invaluable materials for the study of the ancient rituals and the government of Shintō. Also, Kogoshūi is cited in the Sendai kuji hongi, Honchō getsurei, Seiji yōryaku, Chōkan kanbun, Nenjū gyōji hishō, Shaku Nihongi, and the various works of Ise Shintō, and has been venerated as a Shintō classic.

Manuscripts and recensions
       Of the surviving manuscripts, there is a great difference between the Urabe manuscript line and the Ise manuscript line. Of the former, the Karoku manuscript, in possession of the Tenri Library, and was copied by Urabe Kanenao in 1226, is representative. The latter is represented by the Ryōjun manuscript of the Sonkei Kakubunko, copied by Ryō Jun in 1334. The greatest difference between these two lines of manuscripts is that the Urabe manuscript line records the lineage at the beginning of the age of the kami' as the three deities Amenominakanushi no kami, Takamimusuhi no kami, and Kamimusuhi no kami, while the Ise manuscript line has evidence of textual tampering, and has Amenominakanushi no kami, and then the three male deities of Takamimusuhi no kami, Tsuhayamusuhi no kami, and Kamimusuhi no kami.
       As far as recensions and commentary on the text, there are the following: Gunsho ruijū, Yasuda Naomichi and Akimoto Yoshinori's Kogoshūi-Takahashi ujibumi Shinsen Nihon koten bunko, no. 4 (1976, Gendai Shichōsha), Nishimiya Kazutami Kogoshūi (1985, Iwanami Shoten), Iida Mizuho Shintō taikei (1986).
       See also Inbe no Hironari

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