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Home » 9. Texts and Sources » Other Basic Texts
Jinnōshōtōki
This is a historical record dealing with events from the age of the kami down to Emperor Go-Murakami, written in a mixture of Chinese characters and katakana by Kitabatake Chikafusa. Along with Jien's Gukanshō , this is one of the two most influential historical works of the medieval period. The number of volumes is unclear, as there is variation among the manuscripts. Most of the popular editions come in six volumes. The first draft of this work was written in 1339 at Hitachi Oda Castle, but the manuscript from which all other manuscripts descend - aside from the Ato manuscript - was written in 1343. The framework for this record is the imperial chronology, and an explanation regarding circumstances surrounding imperial succession forms the primary substance. This work has had a great influence on later eras in regards to the theory of Japan being the divine country (shinkoku), and the three imperial regalia (sanshu no shinki ). It also includes the Ise Shintō version of Shintō doctrine. This work is contained in Volume 87 of Nihon koten bungaku taikei (Iwanami Shoten, 1965), and the Kitabatake Chikafusa volume of the Shintō Taikei, ronsetsu hen. H. Paul Varley has also published an English translation (A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns: Jinnō shōtōki of Kitabatake Chikafusa. Columbia University Press, 1980).

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