Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region
Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region, is a group of sites in northwest Kyūshū, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017, under criteria ii and iii. The three Munakata kami are said in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki to be daughters of Amaterasu, spawned upon the sun-goddess' consumption of giant swords. Okitsu-Miya on the island of Okinoshima is part of the Shinto shrine complex of Munakata Taisha. Over 80,000 artefacts were ritually deposited at the site from the fourth to the tenth centuries; these have been designated a National Treasure. They include mirrors and bronze dragon-head finials from Wei China; the Munakata clan, powerful local rulers, controlled the route to the continent and "presided over the rituals". The many kofun or tumuli in the area are believed to be their burial ground; the following sites were included in the serial nomination: List of National Treasures of Japan Yorishiro World Heritage Sites in Japan Okinoshima Island and Related Sites in Munakata Region Proposal document Pamphlet
The kagura-den called maidono or buden with reference to the bugaku traditional dance, is the building within a Shinto shrine where the sacred dance and music are offered to the kami during ceremonies. It was just a temporary stage, first mentioned in a 9th-century text describing a maidono built in front of Hirano Shrine. In about a century it had become a permanent shrine feature, its use was extended until its function as a worship hall prevailed over the original, it is now used for weddings and Noh plays. Some scholars believe the heiden, or hall of worship, has its origins in the kagura-den
Important Cultural Property (Japan)
An Important Cultural Property is an item classified as Tangible Cultural Property by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and judged to be of particular importance to the Japanese people. To protect Japan's cultural heritage the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties was created as a "designation system" under which important items are appropriated as Cultural Properties, thus imposing restrictions to their alteration and export. Besides the "designation system", there exists a "registration system", which guarantees a lower level of protection and support to Registered Cultural Properties. Cultural Properties are classified according to their nature. Items designated as Tangible Cultural Properties, cultural products of high historical or artistic value such as structures, sculptures, calligraphic works, ancient books, historic documents, archeological artifacts and other such items, can if they satisfy certain criteria, be designated either Important Cultural Properties or National Treasures, for valuable items.
The designation can take place at prefectural or national level. In this last case the designating agency is not specified. Varying levels of designation can coexist. For example, Sankei-en, a traditional Japanese-style garden in Naka Ward, Yokohama, is both city and nationally designated as an Important Cultural Properties. List of Important Cultural Properties of Japan List of Important Cultural Properties of Japan List of Important Cultural Properties of Japan List of Important Cultural Properties of Japan List of Important Cultural Properties of Japan List of Important Cultural Properties of Japan Cultural Properties of Japan
The Nihon Shoki, sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second-oldest book of classical Japanese history. The book is called the Nihongi, it is more elaborate and detailed than the Kojiki, the oldest, has proven to be an important tool for historians and archaeologists as it includes the most complete extant historical record of ancient Japan. The Nihon Shoki was finished in 720 under the editorial supervision of Prince Toneri and with the assistance of Ō no Yasumaro dedicated to Empress Genshō; the Nihon Shoki begins with the Japanese creation myth, explaining the origin of the world and the first seven generations of divine beings, goes on with a number of myths as does the Kojiki, but continues its account through to events of the 8th century. It is believed to record the latter reigns of Emperor Tenji, Emperor Tenmu and Empress Jitō; the Nihon Shoki focuses on the merits of the virtuous rulers as well as the errors of the bad rulers. It describes diplomatic contacts with other countries.
The Nihon Shoki was written in classical Chinese. The Kojiki, on the other hand, is written in a combination of Chinese and phonetic transcription of Japanese; the Nihon Shoki contains numerous transliteration notes telling the reader how words were pronounced in Japanese. Collectively, the stories in this book and the Kojiki are referred to as the Kiki stories; the tale of Urashima Tarō is developed from the brief mention in Nihon Shoki that a certain child of Urashima visited Horaisan and saw wonders. The tale has plainly incorporated elements from the famous anecdote of "Luck of the Sea and Luck of the Mountains" found in Nihon Shoki; the developed Urashima tale contains the Rip Van Winkle motif, so some may consider it an early example of fictional time travel. Chapter 01: Kami no Yo no Kami no maki. Chapter 02: Kami no Yo no Shimo no maki. Chapter 03: Kan'yamato Iwarebiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 04: Kamu Nunakawamimi no Sumeramikoto. Shikitsuhiko Tamatemi no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Hikosukitomo no Sumeramikoto.
Mimatsuhiko Sukitomo no Sumeramikoto. Yamato Tarashihiko Kuni Oshihito no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Nekohiko Futoni no Sumeramikoto. Ōyamato Nekohiko Kunikuru no Sumeramikoto. Wakayamato Nekohiko Ōbibi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 05: Mimaki Iribiko Iniye no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 06: Ikume Iribiko Isachi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 07: Ōtarashihiko Oshirowake no Sumeramikoto. Waka Tarashihiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 08: Tarashi Nakatsuhiko no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 09: Okinaga Tarashihime no Mikoto. Chapter 10: Homuda no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 11: Ōsasagi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 12: Izahowake no Sumeramikoto. Mitsuhawake no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 13: Oasazuma Wakugo no Sukune no Sumeramikoto. Anaho no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 14: Ōhatsuse no Waka Takeru no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 15: Shiraka no Take Hirokuni Oshi Waka Yamato Neko no Sumeramikoto. Woke no Sumeramikoto. Oke no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 16: Ohatsuse no Waka Sasagi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 17: Ōdo no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 18: Hirokuni Oshi Take Kanahi no Sumeramikoto.
Take Ohirokuni Oshi Tate no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 19: Amekuni Oshiharaki Hironiwa no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 20: Nunakakura no Futo Tamashiki no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 21: Tachibana no Toyohi no Sumeramikoto. Hatsusebe no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 22: Toyomike Kashikiya Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 23: Okinaga Tarashi Hihironuka no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 24: Ame Toyotakara Ikashi Hitarashi no Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 25: Ame Yorozu Toyohi no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 26: Ame Toyotakara Ikashi Hitarashi no Hime no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 27: Ame Mikoto Hirakasuwake no Sumeramikoto. Chapter 28: Ama no Nunakahara Oki no Mahito no Sumeramikoto, Kami no maki. Chapter 29: Ama no Nunakahara Oki no Mahito no Sumeramikoto, Shimo no maki. Chapter 30: Takamanohara Hirono Hime no Sumeramikoto; the background of the compilation of the Nihon Shoki is that Emperor Tenmu ordered 12 people, including Prince Kawashima, to edit the old history of the empire. Shoku Nihongi notes that "先是一品舍人親王奉勅修日本紀。至是功成奏上。紀卅卷系圖一卷" in the part of May, 720.
It means "Up to that time, Prince Toneri had been compiling Nihongi on the orders of the emperor. The process of compilation is studied by stylistic analysis of each chapter. Although written in classical Chinese character, some sections use styles characteristic of Japanese editors; the Nihon Shoki is a synthesis of older documents on the records, continuously kept in the Yamato court since the sixth century. It includes documents and folklore submitted by clans serving the court. Prior to Nihon Shoki, there were Tennōki and Kokki compiled by Prince Shōtoku and Soga no Umako, but as they were stored in Soga's residence, they were burned at the time of the Isshi Incident; the work's contributors refer to various sources
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
The hidden roof is a type of roof used in Japan both at Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. It is composed of a true roof above and a second roof beneath, permitting an outer roof of steep pitch to have eaves of shallow pitch, jutting from the walls but without overhanging them; the second roof is visible only from under the eaves and is therefore called a "hidden roof" while the first roof is externally visible and is called an "exposed roof" in English and "cosmetic roof" in Japanese. Invented in Japan during the 10th century, its earliest extant example is Hōryū-ji's Daikō-dō, rebuilt after a fire in 990. Japanese Buddhist architecture and most Shinto architecture are not indigenous, but were imported from China and Korea together with Buddhism around the 6th century. Climate in Japan being different from that on the continent, several structural adaptations became necessary, the most important of, the noyane, invented some time during the Heian period. During the previous Nara period, the structural elements of a roof were considered ornamental and therefore left exposed by design.
The rafters supporting the roof's eaves would enter the building and would be visible from below. Above the rafters would be laid directly the roofing material, for example wood shingles; this is the structure of Hōryū-ji's five-storied pagoda. Because the local climate is more moist than in either China or Korea, roofs had to have a steeper incline to help quicken the flow of rainwater. Due to the permeable nature of the walls, the lack of channelled roof drainage, it was necessary that eaves project far from the walls. On a roof of steep pitch, the wide eaves were deep, restricting light to the windows and trapping humidity; the solution devised by Japanese artisans was to construct a hidden roof raised above a ceiling which had non-structural rafters as aesthetic elements. From the hidden roof projected the principal rafters of the shallow-pitched eaves; the structural elements of the outer roof were raised above this, with an outer inclination independent of the pitch of the eaves. The earliest extant example of hidden roof is Hōryū-ji's Daikō-dō, built in 990 and was discovered only in the 1930s during repair work.
This structure not only solved drainage problems, but eliminated deep shadows and gave the whole temple a feel, different from that of its ancestors of the Asian continent. It was as a consequence successful and was adopted all over the country. One important exception is the architectural style called Daibutsuyō which, although arrived in Japan from China at the end of the 12th century, thus well after the invention of the hidden roof, never adopted it. Although all extant Zen temples have it, it is that the Zenshūyō style, which arrived at the same time of the Daibutsuyō, adopted the hidden roof only some time after its arrival; because the hidden roof allowed the structure of the roof to be changed at will with no impact on the underlying building, its use gave birth to many structural innovations. For example, Fuki-ji's Ō-dō has a square roof over a rectangular footprint. Ways were found to make use of the space between the two roofs. For example, at Jōruri-ji in Kyōto part of the Hon-dō's ceiling was raised above the rest to give space to the room.
It would become common to raise the exposed roof above the entire core of a temple building. The same evolution we have seen in Buddhist architecture can be seen in the roofs of several Shinto architectural styles it influenced; the kasuga-zukuri, nagare-zukuri, hachiman-zukuri, hie-zukuri all followed the evolution path we have seen. All extant examples of the ancient shinmei-zukuri, taisha-zukuri and sumiyoshi-zukuri styles however show no sign of a hidden roof. Before the invention of the hidden roof the so-called tsumakazari were structural elements left visible by design. See for example Hōryū-ji's Denpō-dō in the photo to the right, where the brown elements within the gable are all part of the roof's support system. After the adoption of the hidden roof, the tsumakazari remained in use, albeit with a purely decorative role. Another of the repercussions of the invention of the hidden roof was the role change undergone by struts called nakazonae. Nakazonae are intercolumnar struts provided in the intervals between bracket complexes at religious buildings in Japan.
In origin they were necessary to support the roof above, however at the end of the 10th century the invention of the hidden roof, which had its own hidden supporting structure, made them superfluous. They remained in use, albeit in a purely decorative role, assuming a variety of forms, are typical of the Wayō style
National Treasure (Japan)
A National Treasure is the most precious of Japan's Tangible Cultural Properties, as determined and designated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. A Tangible Cultural Property is considered to be of historic or artistic value, classified either as "buildings and structures" or as "fine arts and crafts." Each National Treasure must show outstanding workmanship, a high value for world cultural history, or exceptional value for scholarship. 20% of the National Treasures are structures such as castles, Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, or residences. The other 80% are paintings; the items span the period of ancient to early modern Japan before the Meiji period, including pieces of the world's oldest pottery from the Jōmon period and 19th-century documents and writings. The designation of the Akasaka Palace in 2009 and of the Tomioka Silk Mill in 2014 added two modern, post-Meiji Restoration, National Treasures. Japan has a comprehensive network of legislation for protecting and classifying its cultural patrimony.
The regard for physical and intangible properties and their protection is typical of Japanese preservation and restoration practices. Methods of protecting designated National Treasures include restrictions on alterations and export, as well as financial support in the form of grants and tax reduction; the Agency for Cultural Affairs provides owners with advice on restoration and public display of the properties. These efforts are supplemented by laws that protect the built environment of designated structures and the necessary techniques for restoration of works. Kansai, the region of Japan's capitals from ancient times to the 19th century, has the most National Treasures. Fine arts and crafts properties are owned or are in museums, including national museums such as Tokyo and Nara, public prefectural and city museums, private museums. Religious items are housed in temples and Shinto shrines or in an adjacent museum or treasure house. Japanese cultural properties were in the ownership of Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, aristocratic or samurai families.
Feudal Japan ended abruptly in 1867/68 when the Tokugawa shogunate was replaced by the Meiji Restoration. During the ensuing haibutsu kishaku triggered by the official policy of separation of Shinto and Buddhism and anti-Buddhist movements propagating the return to Shinto, Buddhist buildings and artwork were destroyed. In 1871, the government confiscated temple lands, considered symbolic of the ruling elite. Properties belonging to the feudal lords were expropriated, historic castles and residences were destroyed, an estimated 18,000 temples were closed. During the same period, Japanese cultural heritage was impacted by the rise of industrialization and westernization; as a result and Shinto institutions became impoverished. Temples decayed, valuable objects were exported. In 1871, the Daijō-kan issued a decree to protect Japanese antiquities called the Plan for the Preservation of Ancient Artifacts. Based on recommendations from the universities, the decree ordered prefectures and shrines to compile lists of important buildings and art.
However, these efforts proved to be ineffective in the face of radical westernisation. In 1880, the government allotted funds for the preservation of ancient temples. By 1894, 539 shrines and temples had received government funded subsidies to conduct repairs and reconstruction; the five-storied pagoda of Daigo-ji, the kon-dō of Tōshōdai-ji, the hon-dō of Kiyomizu-dera are examples of buildings that underwent repairs during this period. A survey conducted in association with Okakura Kakuzō and Ernest Fenollosa between 1888 and 1897 was designed to evaluate and catalogue 210,000 objects of artistic or historic merit; the end of the 19th century was a period of political change in Japan as cultural values moved from the enthusiastic adoption of western ideas to a newly discovered interest in Japanese heritage. Japanese architectural history began to appear on curricula, the first books on architectural history were published, stimulated by the newly compiled inventories of buildings and art. On June 5, 1897, the Ancient Temples and Shrines Preservation Law was enacted.
Formulated under the guidance of architectural historian and architect Itō Chūta, the law established government funding for the preservation of buildings and the restoration of artworks. The law applied to architecture and pieces of art relating to an architectural structure, with the proviso that historic uniqueness and exceptional quality were to be established. Applications for financial support were to be made to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the responsibility for restoration or preservation lay in the hands of local officials. Restoration works were financed directly from the national coffers. A second law was passed on December 15, 1897, that provided supplementary provisions to designate works of art in the possession of temples or shrines as "National Treasures"; the new law provided for pieces of religious architecture to be designated as a "Specially Protected Building"