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Home » 9. Texts and Sources » Shinto Classics and Literature
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 instead of just text, and these are generally known as engi emaki (picture scrolls of the shrine record). Originally these records derived from prominent Buddhist temples, and many are labeled temple and shrine origin records (jisha engi). In the Heian era, as the amalgamation of Shintō and Buddhism (shinbutsu shūgō) spread throughout the country, we have early examples of these records appearing, such as Kitano tenjin engi. After the era of the cloistered government, people became fascinated with the origin of the deities of heaven and earth, so numerous records of the origins of various shrines were compiled. Many of these are written against the background of honji suijaku setsu (the theory of the manifestation of Buddhist deities as kami). After the Namboku-chō era (when political power was divided between the Southern and Northern courts) many of these records begin to include supernatural events or tales of worldly benefits (goriyaku), and while the early records are written in classical Chinese, the latter records are written in the vernacular. From this we surmise that the readership of these records was becoming more popularized. Shintōshū, which was compiled in the mid-fourteenth century, contains many suijaku engi (origins of the manifest trace doctrine). Many records that are labeled "traditions of the shrine" are included under this heading of shrine origin records.
See Shintōshū

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"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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