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Home » 9. Texts and Sources » Other Basic Texts
(Hirata Atsutane)
Essays on Sources from Ancient Histories. By Hirata Atsutane . One fascicle in four volumes with a one-volume appendix. Completed in 1819. Koshi chō (Sources from Ancient Histories) was originally entitled, Koshi wakumon (Doubts Regarding Ancient Histories), but Atsutane later changed the title. Koshi chō refers to clarifying (chō) ancient histories, and is a work in four fascicles, of which Essays comprises the first. Essays is in four volumes, divided into "Spring," "Summer," "Autumn," and "Winter." The "Spring" volume consists of a general discussion of ancient legends, an account of jindai moji ("Divine Age Characters"), and a treatise on the Kojiki and the Nihon shoki. The "Summer" volume continues the treatise on the Kojiki and Nihon shoki and also discusses the genealogical work, Shinsen shōjiroku (New Compilation of Clan Lineages). The "Autumn" volume treats the imperially-commissioned histories beginning with Shoku nihongi, the Ruijū kokushi, the Fudoki gazetteers, and the legal codes, procedures, rules, and edicts (ryō, shiki, kaku, ritsu). The "Winter" volume follows the development of ancient ceremonies and procedures, basing the account on a variety of sources. Each volume begins with a short introduction by Atsutane's disciple, Yamazaki Atsutoshi. The appendix includes a "Divine Age Genealogy," commencing with Ame no Minakanushi no Kami. This work is valuable in providing a concise summary of the scholarly side of Atsutane's activities. Included in Hirata Atsutane zenshū, vol. 5 (Naigai Shoseki, 1939), Shinshū Hirata Atsutane zenshū, vol. 5 (Meicho Shuppan, 1977), and, in an abridged version, in Shintō taikei: Ronsetsu-hen 26: Fukko Shintō 4.

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