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The Complexity of the Nihon Shoki
It is a well-known fact that the scroll of the Nihon Shoki referred to as the °»Age of the Kami°… or °»Divine Age°… (kamiyo) is divided into two parts, the first comprising the °»primary account°… and the second containing °»alternative accounts.°… It came to take this format because the Nihon Shoki was compiled from a number of various traditions, thus contrasting with the Kojiki, which relates the °»Age of the Kami°… from a single fixed perspective. The contents of the Nihon Shoki version of the °»Age of the Kami°… are complex, for a number of the appended (in other words °»alternative°…) accounts differ in various passages from the primary account, not to mention the fact that alternative accounts themselves do not have any apparent relationship to each other. It is clear there were several different explanations even for the genesis of the kami. For example, the seven generations of kami in the °»divine age°… begins, in the primary account, with Kunitokotachi no mikoto, whereas in the second and third alternative accounts it begins with Umashiashikabihikoji no mikoto, and in the sixth alternative account it begins with Amenotokotachi no mikoto. Also in the first alternative account, the entrance of Kunitokotachi no mikoto is the same as in the primary account, but the identity of the next kami to appear differs in these two versions. These are but a few examples of complexity that pervades the Nihon Shoki.
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