Kojiki sometimes read as Furukotofumi, is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, dating from the early 8th century and composed by Ō no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Genmei. The Kojiki is a collection of myths, early legends, genealogies, oral traditions and semi-historical accounts down to 641 concerning the origin of the Japanese archipelago, the Kami; the myths contained in the Kojiki as well as the Nihon Shoki are part of the inspiration behind many practices. The myths were re-appropriated for Shinto practices such as the misogi purification ritual. Emperor Tenmu ordered Hieda no Are to memorize stories and texts from history, many of which appear to have been, until the creation of the Kojiki known oral traditions. Beyond this memorization, nothing occurred until after Empress Jitō and Emperor Monmu had both passed and Empress Genmei came to reign. According to the Kojiki, Empress Genmei on the 18th of the 9th month of 711 ordered the courtier Ō no Yasumaro to record what had been learned by Hieda no Are.
He finished and presented his work to Empress Genmei on the 28th of the 1st month of 712. The Kojiki could be made to further the Imperial right to rule; this historical narrative is broken into the Age of Gods and the Age of Humans, wherein the mythology of the gods which gave birth to the land is told and transitioned in a chronological fashion to the reign of the Emperors. This narrative sets forth the divine mandate by which the Yamato line has right to rule, through the rhetoric used in the Age of Humans, the historical and military qualifications were established. Several of the narratives which give support to the imperial line, such as the subjugation of certain Korean kingdoms, have been confirmed as false and were included to erase failures and bolster reputations of Emperors past. Vast amounts of the Age of Humans is spent recounting genealogies, which served not only to give age to the imperial family, much newer than the Kojiki claims as little evidence has been found to support the existence of early Emperors, but served to tie, whether true or not, many existing clan's genealogies to their own.
Regardless of the original intent of the Kojiki, it finalized and even formulated the framework by which Japanese history was examined in terms of the reign of Emperors. The Kojiki contains various poems. While the historical records and myths are written in a form of Chinese with a heavy mixture of Japanese elements, the songs are written with Chinese characters, though only used phonetically; this special use of Chinese characters is called Man'yōgana, a knowledge of, critical to understanding these songs, which are written in Old Japanese. The Kojiki is divided into three parts: the Nakatsumaki and the Shimotsumaki; the Kamitsumaki known as the Kamiyo no Maki, includes the preface of the Kojiki, is focused on the deities of creation and the births of various deities of the kamiyo period, or Age of the Gods. The Kamitsumaki outlines the myths concerning the foundation of Japan, it describes how Ninigi-no-Mikoto, grandson of Amaterasu and great-grandfather of Emperor Jimmu, descended from heaven to Takachihonomine in Kyūshū and became the progenitor of the Japanese Imperial line.
The Nakatsumaki begins with the story of Emperor Jimmu, the first Emperor, his conquest of Japan, ends with the 15th Emperor, Emperor Ōjin. The second through ninth Emperors' reigns are recorded in a minimum of detail, with only their names, the names of their various descendants, the place-names of their palaces and tombs listed, no mention of their achievements. Many of the stories in this volume are mythological, the historical information in them is suspect; the Shimotsumaki covers the 16th to 33rd Emperors and, unlike previous volumes, has limited references to the interactions with deities. These interactions are prominent in the first and second volumes. Information about the 24th to the 33rd Emperors is missing, as well. What follows is a condensed summary of the contents of the text, including many of the names of gods and locations as well as events which took place in association to them; the original Japanese is included in parentheses where appropriate. The handing down of old folklore and its significance Emperor Tenmu and setting out the Kojiki Ō no Yasumaro compiling the Kojiki In the Edo period, Motoori Norinaga studied the Kojiki intensively.
He produced. Chamberlain, Basil Hall. 1882. A translation of the "Ko-ji-ki" or Records of ancient matters. Yokohama, Japan: R. Meiklejohn and Co. Printers. Philippi, Donald L. 1968/1969. Kojiki. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press and Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press. Heldt, Gustav. 2014. The Kojiki: An Account of Ancient Matters. New York: Columbia University Press. There are two major branches of Kojiki manuscripts: Urabe; the extant Urabe branch consists of 36 existing manuscripts all based on the 1522 copies by Urabe Kanenaga. The Ise branch may be subdivided into the Shinpukuji-bon manuscript of 1371–1372 and the Dōka-bon manuscripts; the Dōka sub-branch consists of: the Dōka-bon manuscript of 1381.
The axis mundi, in certain beliefs and philosophies, is the world center, or the connection between Heaven and Earth. As the celestial pole and geographic pole, it expresses a point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point travel and correspondence is made between lower realms. Communication from lower realms may ascend to higher ones and blessings from higher realms may descend to lower ones and be disseminated to all; the spot functions as the omphalos, the world's point of beginning. The image relates to the center of the earth, it may have a product of human manufacture. Its proximity to heaven may carry implications that are chiefly secular; the image appears in secular contexts. The axis mundi symbol may be found in cultures utilizing shamanic practices or animist belief systems, in major world religions, in technologically advanced "urban centers". In Mircea Eliade's opinion, "Every Microcosm, every inhabited region, has a Centre; the axis mundi is associated with mandalas.
The symbol originates in a natural and universal psychological perception: that the spot one occupies stands at "the center of the world". This space serves as a microcosm of order because it is settled. Outside the boundaries of the microcosm lie foreign realms that, because they are unfamiliar or not ordered, represent chaos, death or night. From the center one may still venture in any of the four cardinal directions, make discoveries, establish new centers as new realms become known and settled; the name of China, meaning "Middle Nation", is interpreted as an expression of an ancient perception that the Chinese polity occupied the center of the world, with other lands lying in various directions relative to it. Within the central known universe a specific locale-often a mountain or other elevated place, a spot where earth and sky come closest gains status as center of the center, the axis mundi. High mountains are regarded as sacred by peoples living near them. Shrines are erected at the summit or base.
Mount Kunlun fills a similar role in China. For the ancient Hebrews Mount Zion expressed the symbol. Sioux beliefs take the Black Hills as the axis mundi. Mount Kailash is holy to several religions in Tibet; the Pitjantjatjara people in central Australia consider Uluru to be central to both their world and culture. In ancient Mesopotamia the cultures of ancient Sumer and Babylon erected artificial mountains, or ziggurats, on the flat river plain; these supported staircases leading to temples at the top. The Hindu temples in India are situated on high mountains. E.g. Amarnath, Vaishno Devi etc; the pre-Columbian residents of Teotihuacán in Mexico erected huge pyramids featuring staircases leading to heaven. These Amerindian temples were placed on top of caves or subterranean springs, which were thought to be openings to the underworld. Jacob's Ladder is an axis mundi image. For Christians the Cross on Mount Calvary expresses the symbol; the Middle Kingdom, had a central mountain, known in Taoist literature as "the mountain at the middle of the world."
To "go into the mountains" meant to dedicate oneself to a spiritual life. Monasteries of all faiths tend, like shrines. Wise religious teachers are depicted in literature and art as bringing their revelations at world centers: mountains, temples; because the axis mundi is an idea that unites a number of concrete images, no contradiction exists in regarding multiple spots as "the center of the world". The symbol can operate in a number of locales at once. Mount Hermon was regarded as the axis mundi in Caananite tradition, from where the sons of God are introduced descending in 1 Enoch; the ancient Armenians had a number of holy sites, the most important of, Mount Ararat, thought to be the home of the gods as well as the center of the Universe. The ancient Greeks regarded several sites as places of earth's omphalos stone, notably the oracle at Delphi, while still maintaining a belief in a cosmic world tree and in Mount Olympus as the abode of the gods. Judaism has the Temple Mount, Christianity has the Mount of Olives and Calvary, Islam has Ka'aba, said to be the first building on earth, the Temple Mount.
In Hinduism, Mount Kailash is identified with the mythical Mount Meru and regarded as the home of Shiva. In Shinto, the Ise Shrine is the omphalos. In addition to the Kunlun Mountains, where it is believed the peach tree of immortality is located, the Chinese folk religion recognizes four other specific mountains as pillars of the world. Sacred places constitute world centers with the place of prayer as the axis. Altars, incense sticks and torches form the axis by sending a column of smoke, prayer, toward heaven; the architecture of sacred places reflects this role. "Every temple or palace--and by extension, every sacred city or royal residence--is a Sacred Mountain, thus becoming a Centre." The stupa of Hinduism, Buddhism
The sea, the world ocean or the ocean is the connected body of salty water that covers over 70 percent of the Earth's surface. It moderates the Earth's climate and has important roles in the water cycle, carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, it has been travelled and explored since ancient times, while the scientific study of the sea—oceanography—dates broadly from the voyages of Captain James Cook to explore the Pacific Ocean between 1768 and 1779. The word "sea" is used to denote smaller landlocked sections of the ocean and certain large landlocked, saltwater lakes such as the Caspian Sea and the Dead Sea; the most abundant solid dissolved in sea water is sodium chloride. The water contains salts of magnesium and potassium, amongst many other elements, some in minute concentrations. Salinity varies being lower near the surface and the mouths of large rivers and higher in the depths of the ocean. Winds blowing over the surface of the sea produce waves. Winds create surface currents through friction, setting up slow but stable circulations of water throughout the oceans.
The directions of the circulation are governed by factors including the shapes of the continents and the rotation of the earth. Deep-sea currents, known as the global conveyor belt, carry cold water from near the poles to every ocean. Tides, the twice-daily rise and fall of sea levels, are caused by the rotation of the Earth and the gravitational effects of the orbiting Moon, to a lesser extent of the Sun. Tides may have a high range in bays or estuaries. Submarine earthquakes arising from tectonic plate movements under the oceans can lead to destructive tsunamis, as can volcanoes, huge landslides or the impact of large meteorites. A wide variety of organisms, including bacteria, algae, plants and animals, live in the sea, which offers a wide range of marine habitats and ecosystems, ranging vertically from the sunlit surface waters and the shoreline to the enormous depths and pressures of the cold, dark abyssal zone, in latitude from the cold waters under the Arctic ice to the colourful diversity of coral reefs in tropical regions.
Many of the major groups of organisms evolved in the sea and life may have started there. The sea provides substantial supplies of food for humans fish, but shellfish and seaweed, whether caught by fishermen or farmed underwater. Other human uses of the sea include trade, mineral extraction, power generation and leisure activities such as swimming and scuba diving. Many of these activities create marine pollution; the sea is important in human culture, with major appearances in literature at least since Homer's Odyssey, in marine art, in cinema, in theatre and in classical music. Symbolically, the sea appears as monsters such as Scylla in mythology and represents the unconscious mind in dream interpretation; the sea is the interconnected system of all the Earth's oceanic waters, including the Atlantic, Indian and Arctic Oceans. However, the word "sea" can be used for many specific, much smaller bodies of seawater, such as the North Sea or the Red Sea. There is no sharp distinction between seas and oceans, though seas are smaller, are partly or wholly bordered by land.
However, the Sargasso Sea has no coastline and lies within a circular current, the North Atlantic Gyre. Seas are larger than lakes and contain salt water, but the Sea of Galilee is a freshwater lake; the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states that all of the ocean is "sea". Earth is the only known planet with seas of liquid water on its surface, although Mars possesses ice caps and similar planets in other solar systems may have oceans, it is still unclear where Earth's water came from, seen from space, our planet appears as a "blue marble" of its various forms: oceans, ice caps, clouds. Earth's 1,335,000,000 cubic kilometers of sea contain about 97.2 percent of its known water and cover more than 70 percent of its surface. Another 2.15% of Earth's water is frozen, found in the sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean, the ice cap covering Antarctica and its adjacent seas, various glaciers and surface deposits around the world. The remainder form underground reservoirs or various stages of the water cycle, containing the freshwater encountered and used by most terrestrial life: vapor in the air, the clouds it forms, the rain falling from them, the lakes and rivers spontaneously formed as its waters flow again and again to the sea.
The sea's dominance of the planet is such that the British author Arthur C. Clarke once noted that "Earth" would have been better named "Ocean"; the scientific study of water and Earth's water cycle is hydrology. The more recent study of the sea in particular is oceanography; this began as the study of the shape of the ocean's currents but has since expanded into a large and multidisciplinary field: it examines the properties of seawater. The subfield dealing with the sea's motion, its forces, the forces acting upon it is known as physical oceanography. Marine biology studies the plants and other organisms inhabiting marine ecosystems. Both are informed by chemical oceanography, which studies the behavior of elements and molecules within the oceans: at the moment, the ocean's role in the carbon cycle and carbon dioxide's role in the increasing acid
Shinto or kami-no-michi is the traditional religion of Japan that focuses on ritual practices to be carried out diligently to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written historical records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in the 8th century. Still, these earliest Japanese writings do not refer to a unified religion, but rather to a collection of native beliefs and mythology. Shinto today is the religion of public shrines devoted to the worship of a multitude of "spirits", "essences" or "gods", suited to various purposes such as war memorials and harvest festivals, applies as well to various sectarian organizations. Practitioners express their diverse beliefs through a standard language and practice, adopting a similar style in dress and ritual, dating from around the time of the Nara and Heian periods; the word Shinto was adopted as Jindō or Shindō, from the written Chinese Shendao, combining two kanji: shin, meaning "spirit" or kami.
The oldest recorded usage of the word Shindo is from the second half of the 6th century. Kami is rendered in English as "spirits", "essences", or "gods", refers to the energy generating the phenomena. Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the singular divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms: rocks, rivers, objects and people can be said to possess the nature of kami. Kami and people are not separate; as much as nearly 80% of the population in Japan participates in Shinto practices or rituals, but only a small percentage of these identify themselves as "Shintoists" in surveys. This is. Most of the Japanese attend Shinto shrines and beseech kami without belonging to an institutional Shinto religion. There are no formal rituals to become a practitioner of "folk Shinto". Thus, "Shinto membership" is estimated counting only those who do join organised Shinto sects. Shinto has about 85,000 priests in the country. According to surveys carried out in 2006 and 2008, less than 40% of the population of Japan identifies with an organised religion: around 35% are Buddhists, 3% to 4% are members of Shinto sects and derived religions.
In 2008, 26% of the participants reported visiting Shinto shrines, while only 16.2% expressed belief in the existence of a god or gods in general. According to Inoue: "In modern scholarship, the term is used with reference to kami worship and related theologies and practices. In these contexts,'Shinto' takes on the meaning of'Japan's traditional religion', as opposed to foreign religions such as Christianity, Islam and so forth." Shinto religious expressions have been distinguished by scholars into a series of categories: Shrine Shinto, the main tradition of Shinto, has always been a part of Japan's history. It consists of taking part in worship events at local shrines. Before the Meiji Restoration, shrines were disorganized institutions attached to Buddhist temples; the current successor to the imperial organization system, the Association of Shinto Shrines, oversees about 80,000 shrines nationwide. Imperial Household Shinto are the religious rites performed by the imperial family at the three shrines on the imperial grounds, including the Ancestral Spirits Sanctuary and the Sanctuary of the Kami.
Folk Shinto includes the numerous folk beliefs in spirits. Practices include divination, spirit possession, shamanic healing; some of their practices come from Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism, but most come from ancient local traditions. Sect Shinto is a legal designation created in the 1890s to separate government-owned shrines from local organised religious communities; these communities originated in the Edo period. The basic difference between Shrine Shinto and Sect Shinto is that sects are a development and grew self-consciously, they can identify a founder, a formal set of teachings and sacred scriptures. Sect Shinto groups are thirteen, classified under five headings: pure Shinto sects, Confucian sects,mountain worship sects, purification sects, faith-healing sects (Kurozumikyo／黒住教, Konkokyo/金光教 and its branching Omotokyo/大本教 and Tenrikyo／天理教. Koshintō, literally'Old Shinto', is a reconstructed "Shinto from before the time of Buddhism", today based on Ainu religion and Ryukyuan practices.
It continues the restoration movement begun by Hirata Atsutane. Many other sects and schools can be distinguished. Faction Shinto is a grouping of Japanese new religions developed since the second half of the 20th century that have departed from traditional Shinto and are not always regarded as part of it. Kami, shin, or, jin is defined in English as "god", "spirit", or "spiritual essence", all these terms meaning "the energy generating a thing". Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms. Rocks, rivers, objects, places
A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines deity as "a god or goddess". C. Scott Littleton defines a deity as "a being with powers greater than those of ordinary humans, but who interacts with humans, positively or negatively, in ways that carry humans to new levels of consciousness, beyond the grounded preoccupations of ordinary life". In the English language, a male deity is referred to as a god, while a female deity is referred to as a goddess. Religions can be categorized by. Monotheistic religions accept only one deity, polytheistic religions accept multiple deities. Henotheistic religions accept one supreme deity without denying other deities, considering them as aspects of the same divine principle. Although most monotheistic religions traditionally envision their God as omnipotent, omniscient and eternal, none of these qualities are essential to the definition of a "deity" and various cultures conceptualized their deities differently.
Monotheistic religions refer to God in masculine terms, while other religions refer to their deities in a variety of ways – masculine, feminine and without gender. Many ancient cultures – including the ancient Mesopotamians, Greeks and Norsemen– personified natural phenomena, variously as either deliberate causes or effects; some Avestan and Vedic deities were viewed as ethical concepts. In Indian religions, deities were envisioned as manifesting within the temple of every living being's body, as sensory organs and mind. Deities were envisioned as a form of existence after rebirth, for human beings who gain merit through an ethical life, where they become guardian deities and live blissfully in heaven, but are subject to death when their merit is lost; the English language word "deity" derives from Old French deité, the Latin deitatem or "divine nature", coined by Augustine of Hippo from deus. Deus is related through a common Proto-Indo-European origin to *deiwos; this root yields the ancient Indian word Deva meaning "to gleam, a shining one", from *div- "to shine", as well as Greek dios "divine" and Zeus.
Deva is masculine, the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea. In Old Persian, daiva- means "demon, evil god", while in Sanskrit it means the opposite, referring to the "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones"; the linked term "god" refers to "supreme being, deity", according to Douglas Harper, is derived from Proto-Germanic *guthan, from PIE *ghut-, which means "that, invoked". Guth in the Irish language means "voice"; the term *ghut- is the source of Old Church Slavonic zovo, Sanskrit huta-, from the root *gheu-,An alternate etymology for the term "god" comes from the Proto-Germanic Gaut, which traces it to the PIE root *ghu-to-, derived from the root *gheu-. The term *gheu- is the source of the Greek khein "to pour"; the German root was a neuter noun. The gender of the monotheistic God shifted to masculine under the influence of Christianity. In contrast, all ancient Indo-European cultures and mythologies recognized both masculine and feminine deities.
There is no universally accepted consensus on what a deity is, concepts of deities vary across cultures. Huw Owen states that the term "deity or god or its equivalent in other languages" has a bewildering range of meanings and significance, it has ranged from "infinite transcendent being who created and lords over the universe", to a "finite entity or experience, with special significance or which evokes a special feeling", to "a concept in religious or philosophical context that relates to nature or magnified beings or a supra-mundane realm", to "numerous other usages". A deity is conceptualized as a supernatural or divine concept, manifesting in ideas and knowledge, in a form that combines excellence in some or all aspects, wrestling with weakness and questions in other aspects, heroic in outlook and actions, yet tied up with emotions and desires. In other cases, the deity is a principle or reality such as the idea of "soul"; the Upanishads of Hinduism, for example, characterize Atman as deva, thereby asserting that the deva and eternal supreme principle is part of every living creature, that this soul is spiritual and divine, that to realize self-knowledge is to know the supreme.
Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more deities. Polytheism is the belief in and worship of multiple deities, which are assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, with accompanying rituals. In most polytheistic religions, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator God or transcendental absolute principle, which manifests immanently in nature. Henotheism accepts the existence of more than one deity, but considers all deities as equivalent representations or aspects of the same divine principle, the highest. Monolatry is the belief that many deities exist, but that only one of these deities may be validly worshipped. Monotheism is the belief. A monotheistic deity, known as "God", is u
Magatama are curved, comma-shaped beads that appeared in prehistoric Japan from the Final Jōmon period through the Kofun period ca. 1000 BCE to the sixth century CE. The beads described as "jewels", were made of primitive stone and earthen materials in the early period, but by the end of the Kofun period were made exclusively of jade. Magatama served as decorative jewelry, but by the end of the Kofun period functioned as ceremonial and religious objects. Archaeological evidence suggests that magatama were produced in specific areas of Japan and were dispersed throughout the Japanese archipelago via trade routes. Magatama first appeared in Japan in the Final Jōmon period, c. 1000 to 300 BCE, in this period magatama were made from simple occurring materials, including clay, slate, gneiss, jadeite and serpentinite. They lack the uniformity of design found in magatama produced in periods. Magatama from the Jōmon period were irregularly shaped, lacked continuity in form from region to region, have been called "Stone Age magatama" for this reason.
Magatama are thought to be an imitation of the teeth of large animals, pierced with a hole, which are found in earlier Jōmon remains. These resemble magatama, but more recent scholarship indicates that these early Jōmon may have had a decorative function, have no relationship to magatama. Magatama in the Jōmon period appear to have moved from the purely decorative to having a status and ceremonial function by the end of the period. A "middle Jōmon exchange network" may have existed, whereby magatama were produced in regions where materials for their manufacture were plentiful. Jade and talc examples produced in bead-making villages located in present-day Itoigawa, Niigata have been found at a large number of sites in along the northern coast, central mountains, Kantō region. Examples of magatama from the Jōmon period have been discovered in large numbers at the Kamegaoka site in Tsugaru, Aomori Prefecture; the Kamegaoka remains are among the largest known Jōmon settlement in Japan, the magatama, among other decorative objects found, may be an indicator of the high social status of the settlement.
Other sites associated with the Kamegaoka settlement have yielded magatama, including the Ōboriya shell mound, in the northwest corner of Ōfunato Bay, which yielded a huge number of beads, as well as the Karekawa site, near Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture. Remains from the Karekawa site can be seen at the Karekawa Achaeogical Museum in Hachinohe. Stone and clay magatama and magatama-like beads have been discovered at the Amataki site, Iwate Prefecture, Osagata site, Ibaraki Prefecture, the Kou site, Osaka Prefecture. Numerous magatama at the Ōishi site, Bungo-ōno, Ōita Prefecture, Kyushu show signs of being used for ceremonial, rather than decorative, purposes; the Sannai-Maruyama site, excavated 1992 in Aomori, Aomori Prefecture, yielded 3 large jade beads, 5.5 cm × 6.5 cm. Magatama in the Yayoi period, c. 300 BCE to 300 CE, are notably different from Jōmon-period magatama. The jewels moved from a primitive, non-standard form towards more polished and uniform form in this period; the technology to cut large gemstones and polish jewels notably advanced in the Yayoi period.
Refined materials such as jadeite and glass replaced the less sophisticated materials of the Jōmon period. Yayoi period magatama are noted for their reverse C-shaped form, which by the end of the period became an squared shape. From the Yayoi period on magatama uniformly feature a bored hole that allowed the jewels to be held on a string; the Yayoi period is marked by specific centers specializing in magatama and the widespread trade of magatama. The period is marked by the formation of power centers; the development of weapons increased in this period to protect developed rice fields and fishing rights. Trade increased in this period, as did the specialization of production of certain items, including magatama. Magatama producing areas exchanged their product with other products rice, leading to the widespread distribution of magatama across Japan. Magatama were used to create necklaces and bracelets worn on the wrists or ankles; the necklace was constructed of jadeite magatama separated by cylindrical bored-holed pieces of jasper.
Small beads of dark-blue glass are not uncommon on the necklace. The bracelet was also used shells from the coastal areas of Shikoku and the Inland Sea and bronze. In this period the use of the mirror and jewels as status symbols for village, regional leaders of all kinds, emerged in the Yayoi period, point to the origin of the mirror and magatama as the Imperial Regalia of Japan; the Records of the Three Kingdoms, the earliest historical document with a reference to Japan, describes the Wa people, an ancient country of Yamatai, its queen, Himiko. The Record indicates that when Himiko died her relative Iyo, a girl of thirteen, was made queen and sent a delegation of twenty officials under Yazuku, an imperial general, to offer tribute to the Northern Wei court. "The delegation visited the capital and offered to the court five thousand white gems and two pieces of carved jade, as well as twenty pieces of brocade with variegated designs." The carved jade in the Record describes a tribute of two jade magatama.
The large-scale Yayoi period remains at the Yoshinogari site and Kanzaki in Saga Prefecture revealed examples of lead glass magatama typical of the Yayoi period. In 2003 the excavation of a large Yayoi period settlement in Tawaramoto, revealed two large jade magatama, one 4.64 centimetr
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were used by the samurai class of feudal Japan, as well as by ashigaru and sōhei; the naginata is the iconic weapon of the onna-bugeisha-archetype, a type of female warrior belonging to the Japanese nobility. Naginata for fighting men and warrior monks were ō-naginata; the kind used by women was called ko-naginata. Since the naginata with its pole is heavier and much slower than the Japanese sword, the blade of the ko-naginata was smaller than the male warrior's ō-naginata in order to compensate for the lesser height and upper body strength of a woman than an armoured male samurai. A naginata consists of a wooden or metal pole with a curved single-edged blade on the end. Similar to the katana, naginata have a round handguard between the blade and shaft, when mounted in a koshirae; the 30 cm to 60 cm long naginata blade is forged in the same manner as traditional Japanese swords.
The blade has a long tang, inserted in the shaft. The blade is removable and is secured by means of a wooden peg called mekugi that passes through a hole in both the tang and the shaft; the shaft is oval shaped. The area of the shaft where the tang sits is the tachiuke; the tachiuchi/tachiuke would be reinforced with metal rings, and/or metal sleeves and wrapped with cord. The end of the shaft has a heavy metal end cap; when not in use the blade would be covered with a wooden sheath. The naginata was developed from an earlier weapon type of the 1st millennium AD, the hoko yari. It's difficult to tell. Though claimed as being invented by the sōhei during the Nara period, physical evidence of their existence dates only from the mid-Kamakura period, earlier literary sources are ambiguous; the earliest clear references to naginata date from 1146 in the late Heian period, with one suggesting that the weapon may have been recent. Earlier 10th through 12th century sources refer to "long swords" that while a common medieval term or orthography for naginata, could simply be referring to conventional swords.
Some 11th and 12th century mentions of hoko may have been referring to naginata. The assumed association of the naginata and the sōhei is unclear. Artwork from the late-13th and 14th centuries depict the sōhei with naginata but don't appear to place any special significance to it: the weapons appear as just part of a number of others carried by the monks, are used by samurai and commoners as well. Depictions of naginata-armed sōhei in earlier periods were created centuries after the fact, are using the naginata as a symbol to distinguish the sōhei from other warriors, rather than giving an accurate portrayal of the events. During the Genpei War, in which the Taira clan was pitted against the Minamoto clan, the naginata rose to a position of high esteem, being regarded as an effective weapon by warriors. Cavalry battles had become more important by this time, the naginata proved excellent at dismounting cavalry and disabling riders; the widespread adoption of the naginata as a battlefield weapon forced the introduction of greaves as a part of Japanese armor.
The rise of importance for the naginata can be seen as being mirrored by the European pike, another long pole weapon employed against cavalry. The introduction in 1543 of firearms in the form of the matchlock caused a great decrease in the appearance of the naginata on the battlefield; as battlefield tactics changed, the yari took the place of the naginata as the pole weapon of choice. During the Edo Period, as the naginata became less useful for men on the battlefield, it became a symbol of the social status of women. A functional naginata was a traditional part of a samurai daughter's dowry. Although they did not fight as normal soldiers, women of the samurai class were expected to be capable of defending their homes while their husbands were away at war; the naginata was considered one of the weapons most suitable for women, since it allows a woman to keep opponents at a distance, where any advantages in height and upper body strength would be lessened. An excellent example of the role of women in Japanese martial culture is Hangaku Gozen, famous for her naginata skills, led the garrison of 3,000 warriors stationed at Toeizakayama castle.
Ten thousand Hōjō clan warriors were dispatched to take the castle, Hangaku led her troops out of the castle, killing a significant number of the attackers before being overpowered. The naginata saw its final uses in combat in 1868, at Aizu, in 1876, in Satsuma. Due to the influence of Westernization, after the Meiji Restoration the perceived value of martial arts, the naginata included, dropped severely, it was from this time that the focus of training became the strengthening of the will and the forging of the mind and body. During the Showa period, naginata training became a part of the public school system in 1912, it "remains a staple of girls’ physical education"Since World War II, naginata has been practiced as a sport with a particular emphasis on etiquette and discipline, rather than as military training. Although associated with smaller numbers of practitioners, a number of "koryu bujutsu" systems (tradit