Having heard a song in a dream, he felt that he should continue the succession; having reached the water at night, he knew that he should receive the inheritance. Suddenly riding in the Imperial Palanquin, he forced his way across mountains and rivers: the Six Divisions rolled like thunder, the Three Hosts sped like lightning. The erect spears lifted up their might, and the bold warriors arose like smoke: the crimson flags glistened among the weapons, and the ill-omened crew were shattered like tiles. Or ere a day had elapsed, the evil influences were purified: forthwith were the cattle let loose and the horses given repose, as with shouts of victory they returned to the Flowery Summer; the flags were rolled up and the javelins put away, as with dances and chants they came to rest in the capital city. Having grasped the celestial seals, he was paramount over the Six Cardinal Points; having obtained the heavenly supremacy, he annexed the Eight Wildernesses.

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Jun 01, Michael Havens rated it liked it Recommends it for: Those intersted in the early history of Japan.

Kojiki, or Records, is one of the oldest existing documents, besides the Nihongi Chronicles , which covers the very early history of Japan. It is rich with mythic allusions, hundreds and hundreds of Japanese Deities Kami , and is highly influenced by the nature-based, nationalistic religion of Shintoism. Up until recently, this work was considered to be the oldest work, surpassing Nihongi, but recent scholarship has shown that indeed, the Nihongi receives this distinction.

Nevertheless, the Kojiki is very valuable as a source of historical information, which also accurately accounts for the Emperors and Empresses who ruled early Japan.

But there are also other things that would interest a geeky reader like me. There are the deceptions between brother and brother.

There are the sieges against an enemy. There is even the heart wrenching story of a love betrayal, where the princess, who sides with her brother, is executed by her lover and husband , after failed attempts to kidnap her and bring her over the fortifications, thereby saving her from destruction.

The mirror that causes Izanagi, to come out of hiding and bring light back into the world, after she had been shamed by. Izanagi is also featured as the Kami, who, along with her companion, created Japan out of drops of ink dripping from the blade of a long spear.

There is the very huge sword which uses on occasion. There are is also the unusual story of the use of oranges as a magical source in one section of the text. Then there is the court poetry near the end of the text. It should be of interest to the western reader how these poems are presented. Much like a question and answer, or more appropriately, like a call and echo, these poems have the one lover lamenting over their desire, almost to the breaking point, to have their lover be present with them.

In response, the companion will create their own verse, agreeing with the situation, yet augmenting the problem by pointing out the difficulties faced on his or her end of things. I think for anyone interested in the spiritual and historical heritage of Japan, would find these lengthy lists of interest. There is also subtle references to Chinese influence in these stories.

There are annotated references to actual places in China and of things of Chinese import sprinkled throughout the work. Obvious to whom? A Latin scholar? I know that Basil Hall Chamberlain lived in the 19th century, but he must have known, even then, that some of his readers, professors or scholars, who were and are not conversant in Latin to make heads or tails of the text! Unless this work was considered only for scholastic publication, which it may very well have been.

Finally, some of the numbers referring to the footnotes or the footnotes themselves are either hard to read, or are placed in the wrong place, where you would expect to find a train of thought on a tagged line to be. For these reasons above, I could only give this particular translation three stars. Please note that not all of the commentaries are to be ignored. In fact, there are numerous comments that are of great value. Please let me know in a comment should you have one.

Finally, I wish to make apology for the lack of citation for this review.



Gukazahn Kojiki Japanese religious text As instruction about the origins of Japanese cultural context and the basis of Shinto, Kojiki anciennt essential. The Kojiki itself is interesting reading, but this edition is not. So the book cover is anachronistic and misleading. Kojiki — Wikisource, the free online library Published September 15th by Tuttle Publishing first published I found it very difficult to follow who was what and when the translator was talking about a deity or a piece of land.


The Kojiki: Records of Ancient Matters

According to the preface, Emperor Tenmu reigned ordered the review and emendation of clan documents and commissioned a certain court attendant toneri of exceptional memory named Hieda no Are to memorize records and oral traditions concerning the imperial lineage. Whereas the Nihon Shoki uses a variety of source documents including Chinese texts , the Kojiki is apparently based on sources handed down within the court. Modern scholarly consensus holds the Kuji Hongi to be a Heian period forgery based on both the Kojiki and the Shoki, although certain portions may indeed preserve genuine early traditions and sources. By the Kamakura period — , the work languished in obscurity such that very few people had access to the text, particularly that of the middle second volume.

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