Fudoki are ancient reports on provincial culture and oral tradition presented to the reigning monarchs of Japan known as local gazetteers. They contain agricultural and historical records as well as mythology and folklore. Fudoki manuscripts document local myths and poems that are not mentioned in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki chronicles, which are the most important literature of the ancient national mythology and history. In the course of national unification, the imperial court enacted a series of criminal and administrative codes called ritsuryō and surveyed the provinces established by such codes to exert greater control over them. In the narrower sense, Fudoki refer to the oldest records written in the Nara period called Kofudoki. Compilation of Kofudoki was completed over a 20-year period. Following the Taika Reform in 646 and the Code of Taihō enacted in 701, there was need to centralize and solidify the power of the imperial court; this included accounting for lands under its control.
According to the Shoku Nihongi, Empress Genmei issued a decree in 713 ordering each provincial government to collect and report the following information: Names of districts and townships Natural resources and living things Land fertility Etymology of names for geographic features, such as mountains and rivers Myths and folktales told orally by old people Empress Genmei ordered in 713 that place names in the provinces and townships should be written in two kanji characters with positive connotations. This required name changes. For example, Hayatsuhime became Ishinashi no Oki became Ishii. At least 48 of the Gokishichidō provinces contributed to their records but only that of Izumo remains nearly complete. Partial records of Hizen, Bungo and Hitachi remain and a few passages from various volumes remain scattered throughout various books; those of Harima and Hizen are designated National Treasures. Below is a list of scattered passages. In 1966 the Agency for Cultural Affairs called on the prefectural governments to build open-air museums and parks called Fudoki no Oka near historic sites such as tombs and provincial temples.
These archaeological museums preserve and exhibit cultural properties to enhance public understanding of provincial history and culture. Japanese Historical Text Initiative Akimoto, Kichirō. Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei 2: Fudoki. Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten. ISBN 4-00-060002-8. Sakamoto, Masaru. Zusetsu Chizu to Arasuji de Wakaru! Fudoki. Seishun Publishing. ISBN 978-4-413-04301-4. Kojima, Noriyuki. Nihon no Koten wo Yomu 3 Nihon Shoki Ge • Fudoki. Shogakukan. ISBN 978-4-09-362173-1. 風土記 texts of the remaining Fudoki & scattered passages in other books. Manuscript scans at Waseda University Library: Hizen, 1800,Bungo, 1800, unknown Tsukamoto, Tetsuzō. Kojiki, Fudoki. Yūhōdō Shoten. Pp. 383–586. Scan at the Internet Archive. 風土記 国土としての始原史～風土記逸文
Glossary of Shinto
This is the glossary of Shinto, including major terms the casual reader might find useful in understanding articles on the subject. Words followed by an asterisk are illustrated by an image in one of the photo galleries. Within definitions, words set in boldface are defined elsewhere in the glossary. Aku - Evil; the term's meaning is however not limited to moral evil, includes misfortune and unhappiness. Amaterasu Ōmikami - The Sun Goddess, tutelary kami and ancestor of the Emperor, enshrined at Ise Shrine. An* - a small table or platform used during Shinto ceremonies to bear offerings, it may have eight or sixteen legs. Anzen - Safety safety at work requested from a kami, in fact corporations have a tutelary shrine to ensure their business prospers. Aramitama - The rough and violent side of a spirit. Bekkū or betsugū - Subsidiary shrine next to the honden, which may however enshrine an important kami. Benzaiten - Originally a Vedic goddess Sarasvati, now a syncretic goddess member of the seven lucky gods.
Her Shinto name is Ichikishima-hime-no-mikoto. Bettō - before the shinbutsu bunri, when the Meiji period law forbade the mixing of Shinto and Buddhism, a bettō was a monk who performed Buddhist rites at a Shinto shrine. Bishamonten - Syncretic deity of Buddhist origin part of the Seven Lucky Gods. A symbol of authority, he protects warriors. Bon Matsuri - a festival celebrated around July 15 in order to console the spirits of the dead. In theory a Buddhist in practice an ancestor and family festival part of Shinto. Bosatsu - Bodhisattva. Term of Buddhist origin which however was and is used for deities of mixed Buddhist/Shinto ancestry like Benzaiten and Jizō, kami like Hachiman and deified human beings like Tokugawa Ieyasu. Buden - see kaguraden. Bunrei - process of division of a kami producing two complete copies of the original, one of, transferred to a new shrine through a process called kanjō. Bunsha - Shrine part of a network headed by a famous shrine, from whence its kami was transferred through an operation called kanjō.
Butsudan - Buddhist altar found in Japanese homes enshrining a family's ancestors. Chigi* - Forked decorations common at the ends of the roof of shrines. Chinju - the tutelary kami or tutelary shrine of a certain area or Buddhist temple. Chinjusha* - a small shrine dedicated to the tutelary kami of an area or building. Chōchin - paper lanterns always present at Shinto festivals chōzuya - see temizuya. Daijōsai - Ceremony marking the beginning of an Emperor's reign in which he offers first fruits to ancestors, including Amaterasu; the Emperor shares a meal with the goddess. Dai-gongen - see gongen. Daikokuten - syncretic god part of the seven lucky gods fusing Buddhist god Mahakala and kami Ōkuninushi. Dōsojin - group of kami and Buddhist gods protectors of roads and other places of transition. Ebisu - god of prosperity found at both temples and shrines. One of the Seven Lucky Gods. ema* - small wooden plaques on which worshipers at shrines, as well as Buddhist temples, write their prayers or wishes.
Fox - See kitsune. Fuji - The most famous among Japan's sacred mountains, it is inhabited by a kami called Konohanasakuya-hime. Fukkō Shintō - name synonymous with kokugaku. Go-hei* - called onbe or heisoku. A wooden wand decorated with two shide and used in Shinto rituals as a yorishiro. Gongen A Buddhist god that chooses to appear as a Japanese kami to take the Japanese to spiritual salvation. Name sometimes used for shrines before the shinbutsu bunri. Gongen-zukuri - a shrine structure in which the haiden, the heiden and the honden are interconnected under the same roof in the shape of an H.* Goryō - A soul, angry for having died violently or unhappy, which needs to be pacified through Buddhist rites or enshrinement, like Sugawara no Michizane. Goshintai - see shintai. Gozu-tennō - Buddhist name of kami Susanoo, considered an avatar of Yakushi Nyorai. -gū - suffix of certain shrine names indicating it enshrines a member of the imperial family. Hachiman-gū shrines, for instance, enshrine Emperor Ojin.
Hachiman - Popular syncretic kami tutelary god of the warrior class. First enshrined at Usa Hachiman-gū, it consists of three separate figures, Emperor Ōjin, his mother and his wife Himegami. Hachiman-zukuri - Shinto architectural style in which two parallel structures with gabled roofs are interconnected on the non-gabled side forming a single building which, when seen from the side, gives the impression of two. Haibutsu kishaku - Literally "Destroy Buddha, kill Shakyamuni", it was the slogan of a Meiji period anti-Buddhist movement responsible for the destruction of thousands of Buddhist temples. Haiden* - "hall of prayer". A shrine building dedicated to prayer, the only one of a shrine open to laity. Hakusan - collective name given to three mountains worshiped as kami and sacred to the Shugendō. Hakusan shrines are common all over Japan. Hamaya - Literally "evil breaking arrow". Arrows kept at home all year. Han-honji suijaku - theory initiated by Yoshida Kanetomo which reversed the standard honji suijaku theory, asserting Buddhist gods were just avatars of Japanese kami. haraegushi - an ōnusa having an hexagonal or octagonal wand. harae - general term for rituals of purification in Shinto.
Hassoku-an - See an. Hatsumōde - the first shrine visit of the New Year; some shrines, for example Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, see millions of visitors in just a few days. Heiden - a section of a shrine where offerings are presented to the gods. Heihaku - see
Kagura is a Japanese word referring to a specific type of Shinto theatrical dance—with roots arguably predating those of Noh. Once a ceremonial art derived from kami'gakari, Kagura has evolved in many directions over the span of more than a millennium. Today it is much a living tradition, with rituals tied to the rhythms of the agricultural calendar, as well as vibrant Kabuki-esque theatre, thriving in parts of Shimane prefecture, urban centers such as Hiroshima; the epics Nihonshoki describe a folklore origin for the dances. In these texts, there is a famous legendary tale about the sun goddess Amaterasu, who retreated into a cave, bringing darkness and cold to the world. Ame-no-Uzume, kami/goddess of the dawn and of revelry, led the other gods in a wild dance, persuaded Amaterasu to emerge to see what the ruckus was all about. Kagura is one of a number of arts said to derive from this event. Called kamukura or kamikura, kagura began as sacred dances performed at the Imperial court by shrine maidens who were descendants of Ame-no-Uzume.
Over time, these mikagura, performed within the sacred and private precincts of the Imperial courts, inspired popular ritual dances, called satokagura, being popular forms, practiced in villages all around the country, were adapted into various other folk traditions and developed into a number of different forms. Among these are miko kagura, shishi kagura, Ise-style and Izumo-style kagura dances. Many more variations have developed over the centuries, including some which are new, most of which have become secularized folk traditions. Kagura, in particular those forms that involve storytelling or reenactment of fables, is one of the primary influences on the Noh theatre; the formal ritual dances were performed in a number of sacred places and on a number of special occasions. At the Imperial Sanctuary, where the Sacred Mirror was kept, they were performed as part of gagaku court music. Mikagura were performed at the Imperial harvest festival and at major shrines such as Ise and Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū.
Since around the year 1000, these events have taken place every year. According to the ritual department of the Imperial Household Agency, kagura still take place every December in the Imperial Sanctuary and at the Imperial harvest festival ceremonies. Satokagura, or "normal kagura", is a wide umbrella term containing a great diversity of folk dances derived from mikagura, incorporated with other folk traditions. For the sake of brevity, a selection of traditions from the Kantō region will be used as examples. Miko kagura – dances performed by shrine maidens derived from ritual dances in which the miko channeled the kami, speaking and dancing as the god. Though these had a loose form, akin to similar god-possession dances and rituals in other world cultures, they have developed, like many other Japanese arts, into regular set forms. Today, they are performed in worship to kami at Shinto shrines, or as part of a ritual martial arts demonstration at Buddhist temples; these dances are performed with ritual props, such as bells, bamboo canes, sprigs of sakaki, or paper streamers.
Izumo-ryū kagura – Dances based on those performed at Izumo Shrine serve a number of purposes, including ritual purification, celebration of auspicious days, the reenactment of folktales. Quite popular in the Chūgoku region, near Izumo, these dances have spread across the country, have developed over the centuries, becoming more secular folk entertainment and less formal religious ritual. Ise-ryū kagura – A form of dances derived from those performed alongside yudate rituals at the outer shrines of Ise Shrine. Associated with Hanamatsuri, the miko or other group leaders immerse certain objects in boiling water as part of a purification ritual; as with other forms of kagura, this has become secularized and popularized as it transformed into a folk practice. Shishi kagura – A form of lion dance, in which a group of dancers take on the role of the shishi lion and parade around the town; the lion mask and costume is seen as, in some ways, embodying the spirit of the lion, this is a form of folk worship and ritual, as other forms of lion dances are in Japan and elsewhere...
Daikagura – A form of dance deriving from rituals performed by traveling priests from Atsuta and Ise Shrines, who would travel to villages and other locations to help the locals by driving away evil spirits. Acrobatic feats and lion dances played a major role in these rituals. Around the time of the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate, performances derived from this emerged in Edo as a major form of entertainment. In connection with the celebrations surrounding the beginning of the shogunate, lion dances, juggling, a great variety of other entertainments were performed on stages across the city, all nominally under the auspices of "daikagura". Over the course of the period, these came to be more associated with rakugo storytelling and other forms of populair entertainment, still today, daikagura continues to be performed and include many elements of street entertainment. Mystery plays Kagura suzu Derived from the Japanese Wikipedia article. Giolai Andrea, Introducing Mikagura; some Ethnomusicological Features of an Ancient Japanese Ritual, http://www.centrostudiorientaliroma.net/introducing-mikagura-%E5%BE%A1%E7%A5%9E%E6%A5%BD-some-ethnomusicological-features-of-an-ancient-japanese-ritual/?lang=en Media related to Kagura at Wikimedia Commons
Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto is the goddess of dawn and revelry in the Shinto religion of Japan, the wife of fellow-god Sarutahiko Ōkami. She famously relates to the tale of Amaterasu Omikami, her name can be pronounced as Ama-no-Uzume. She is known as Ōmiyanome-no-ōkami, an inari kami due to her relationship with her husband. Amaterasu's brother, the storm god Susano'o, had vandalized her rice fields, threw a flayed horse at her loom, brutally killed one of her maidens due to a quarrel between them. In turn, Amaterasu retreated into the Heavenly Rock Cave, Amano-Iwato; the world, without the illumination of the sun, became dark and the gods could not lure Amaterasu out of her hiding place. The clever Uzume overturned a tub near the cave entrance and began a dance on it, tearing off her clothing in front of the other deities, they considered this so comical. This dance is said to have founded Kagura. Uzume had hung a beautiful jewel of polished jade. Amaterasu heard them, peered out to see what all the fuss was about.
When she opened the cave, she saw the jewel and her glorious reflection in a mirror which Uzume had placed on a tree, came out from her clever hiding spot. At that moment, the god Ame-no-Tajikarawo-no-mikoto dashed forth and closed the cave behind her, refusing to budge so that she could no longer retreat. Another god tied a magic shimenawa across the entrance; the deities Ame-no-Koyane-no-mikoto and Ame-no-Futodama-no-mikoto asked Amaterasu to rejoin the divine. She agreed, light was restored to the earth. Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is still worshiped today as a Shinto kami, spirits indigenous to Japan, she is known as Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, The Great Persuader, The Heavenly Alarming Female. She is depicted in kyōgen farce as a woman who revels in her sensuality. According to Michael Witzel, Uzume is most related to the Vedic goddess Ushas, a descendant of the Proto-Indo-European goddess Hausos. Both goddesses share many similarities such as the cave and the exposure of breasts as a sign of friendship.
Witzel proposed that the Japanese and Vedic religions are much more related compared to other mythologies under what he calls Laurasian mythology, that the two myths may go back to the Indo-Iranian period, around 2000 BCE. Music, Ame-no-Uzume op. 4 composed by Hiroaki Zakōji In Lewis Libby’s The Apprentice, Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is praised at the novel’s climax as “the goddess who brought laughter to the heavens and coaxed the sun from its cave”, while mocked by the novel’s narrator as a “false goddess” who merits her ceremonial murder at the novel’s climax by a figure leaping from the back of the stage. After her death, various successors take up her powers, regaining control of the novel’s youthful protagonist. Ame-no-Uzume appears in the second season of American Gods, played by actress Uni Park. Littleton, C. Scott. Mythology: The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling. London: Duncan Baird Publishers. Pp. 464–467. A substantial article on this subject Amaterasu and Uzume, Goddesses of Japan, at Goddess Gift A one-paragraph glossary entry in Italian
Modern system of ranked Shinto shrines
The modern system of ranked Shinto shrines was an organizational aspect of the establishment of Japanese State Shinto. This system classified Shinto shrines as "other" shrines; the official shrines were divided into Imperial shrines, which are parsed into minor, medium, or major sub-categories. Some shrines are the "first shrines" called ichinomiya that have the highest rank in their respective provinces of Japan; the Ise Grand Shrine stood at the top of all shrines and thus was outside the classification. In 1871, an Imperial decree established a hierarchic ranking of Shinto shrines; these rankings were set aside in 1946, when such rankings were deemed "State Shinto" by the Occupation Shinto Directive. The Jinja Honcho has a different List of Special Shrines. In 1871, the Kanpei-sha identified the hierarchy of government-supported shrines most associated with the imperial family; the kampeisha were shrines venerated by the imperial family. This category encompasses those sanctuaries enshrining emperors, imperial family members, or meritorious retainers of the Imperial family.
The most ranked Imperial shrines or Kanpei-taisha encompassed 67 sanctuaries. The mid-range of ranked Imperial shrines or Kanpei-chūsha included 23 sanctuaries; the lowest ranked among the Imperial shrines or Kanpei-shōsha were five sanctuaries. In addition to the ranked Imperial shrines, there were other shrines at which the kami of emperors were venerated; the Kokuhei-sha identified the hierarchy of government-supported shrines with national significance. The kokuheisha enshrined kami considered beneficial to more local areas; the most ranked, nationally significant shrines or Kokuhei Taisha were six sanctuaries. The mid-range of ranked, nationally significant shrines or Kokuhei Chūsha encompassed 47 sanctuaries; the lowest ranked, nationally significant shrines or Kokuhei Shōsha includes 50 sanctuaries. List of Shinto shrines Twenty-Two Shrines Setsumatsusha
Misogi is a Japanese Shinto practice of ritual purification by washing the entire body. Misogi is related to another Shinto purification ritual called Harae – thus both being collectively referred to as Misogiharae. In Kyoto, people douse themselves under Kiyomizu Temple's Otowa no taki waterfall, although the majority of visitors drink from the waters rather than plunging into them; every year, many groups take pilgrimages to sacred waterfalls and rivers, either alone or in small groups, to perform misogi. Mount Ontake, the Kii mountain range and Mount Yoshino are but a few examples of ancient and well known areas for Misogi in Japan. In the United States misogi is performed at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America at the Konryu Myojin no Taki waterfall each morning. Before encountering misogi, members undergo some sort of preliminary purification; such things as prayers, fasting, or some sort of physical activity is common. Women put on a special white kimono and a headband and men put on a fundoshi and head band.
They begin furitama or "spirit shaking" by clenching their hands in front of the stomach and shaking them up and down, vibrating the upper torso. The purpose of this is to become aware of/unified with the spirit's presence within. Following this is a "warm-up" or calisthenics; these two aforementioned practices are sometimes accompanied by special incantations. After, the leader begins to speak out invocations/prayers; the followers speak along with them, thus affirming the potential for realizing one's own spirit, thus unifying them with the kami around them. The above exercises are done so participants raise their metabolism and some groups accompany this with deep breathing, they may be sprinkled with purifying salt and may be given sake to spit into the waterfall in three mouthfuls. Sometimes the participants are given salt to throw into the waterfall. In some groups, the leader counts to nine and cuts the air while shouting the word "yei!" to dispel this impurity. The participants enter the waterfall while continuously chanting the phrase harai tamae kiyome tamae rokkon shōjō.
This phrase asks the kami to wash away the impurity from the six elements that make up the human being, the five senses and the mind. The practice of this varies from group to group, each having their own methods. Misogi is used in some forms of martial arts aikido, to prepare the mind for training and to learn how to develop one's Dantian, or centre; the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba used this form of meditation to complement his training and search for perfection. The Sen Shin tei Misogi Well at Ki Society Headquarters in Japan is a well-known place for people performing misogi with cold water before sunrise. Baptism Ghusl Mikveh Temizuya, a pavilion for ritual purification at the entrance to Shinto shrines Fisher, Mary Pat. Living Religions, 5th ed. Prentice Hall
Japanese mythology embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculturally-based folk religion. The Shinto pantheon comprises innumerable kami; this article will discuss only the typical elements present in Asian mythology, such as cosmogony, important deities, the best-known Japanese stories. Japanese myths, as recognized in the mainstream today, are based on the Kojiki, the Nihon Shoki, some complementary books; the Kojiki, or "Record of Ancient Matters", is the oldest surviving account of Japan's myths and history. The Shintōshū describes the origins of Japanese deities from a Buddhist perspective, while the Hotsuma Tsutae records a different version of the mythology. One notable feature of Japanese mythology is its explanation of the origin of the Imperial Family, used to assign godhood to the imperial line; the title of the Emperor of Japan, tennō, means "heavenly sovereign". Japanese is not transliterated across all sources, see: #Spelling of proper nouns In the Japanese creation myth, the first deities which came into existence, appearing at the time of the creation of the universe, are collectively called Kotoamatsukami.
The seven generations of kami, known as Kamiyonanayo, following the formation of heaven and earth. The first two generations are individual deities called hitorigami, while the five that followed came into being as male/female pairs of kami: brothers and sisters that were married couples. In this chronicle, the Kamiyonanayo comprise 12 deities in total. In contrast, the Nihon Shoki states that the Kamiyonanayo group was the first to appear after the creation of the universe, as opposed to the Kamiyonanayo appearing after the formation of heaven and earth, it states that the first three generations of deities are hitorigami and that the generations of deities are pairs of the opposite gender, as compared to the Kojiki's two generations of hitorigami. Japan's creation narrative can be divided into the birth of the land; the seventh and last generation of Kamiyonanayo were Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto, they would be responsible for the creation of the Japanese archipelago and would engender other deities.
To help them to achieve this and Izanami were given a naginata decorated with jewels, named Ame-no-nuboko. The two deities went to the bridge between heaven and earth and churned the sea below with the halberd. Drops of salty water formed Onogoro; the deities made their home on the island. They fell in love and wished to mate. So they built. Izanagi and Izanami circled the pillar in opposite directions, when they met on the other side, the female deity, spoke first in greeting. Izanagi didn't think that this was proper, they had two children and Awashima, but the children were badly formed and are not considered gods in their original form. The parents, who were dismayed at their misfortune, put the children into a boat and sent them to sea, petitioned the other gods for an answer about what they had done wrong, they were informed that Izanami's lack of manners was the reason for the defective births: a woman should never speak prior to a man. So Izanagi and Izanami went around the pillar again, this time, when they met, Izanagi spoke first.
Their next union was successful. From their union were born the Ōyashima, or the eight great islands of Japan: Awaji Iyo Oki Tsukushi Iki Tsushima Sado Yamato Note that Hokkaidō, Chishima and Okinawa were not part of Japan in ancient times. Izanami died giving birth to Kagutsuchi called Homusubi due to severe burns, she was buried on Mount Hiba, at the border of the old provinces of Izumo and Hoki, near modern-day Yasugi of Shimane Prefecture. In anger, Izanagi killed Kagutsuchi, his death created dozens of deities. The gods who were born from Izanagi and Izanami are symbolic aspects of culture. Izanagi undertook a journey to Yomi. Izanagi found little difference between Yomi and the land except for the eternal darkness. However, this suffocating darkness was enough to make him ache for life, he searched for Izanami and found her. At first, Izanagi could not see her, he asked her to return with him. Izanami informed him that he was too late, she had eaten the food of the underworld and now belonged to the land of the dead.
Izanagi was shocked at this news, but he refused to give in to her wishes to be left to the dark embrace of Yomi. Izanami first requested to have some time to rest, she instructed Izanagi to not come into her bedroom. After a long wait, Izanami did not come out of her bedroom, Izanagi was worried. While Izanami was sleeping, he took the comb that set it alight as a torch. Under the sudden burst of light, he saw the horrid form of the once graceful Izanami; the flesh of her ravaged body was rotting and was overrun with maggots and fou