Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. "Roman mythology" may refer to the modern study of these representations, to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period. The Romans treated their traditional narratives as historical when these have miraculous or supernatural elements; the stories are concerned with politics and morality, how an individual's personal integrity relates to his or her responsibility to the community or Roman state. Heroism was an important theme; when the stories illuminate Roman religious practices, they are more concerned with ritual and institutions than with theology or cosmogony. The study of Roman religion and myth is complicated by the early influence of Greek religion on the Italian peninsula during Rome's protohistory, by the artistic imitation of Greek literary models by Roman authors.
In matters of theology, the Romans were curiously eager to identify their own gods with those of the Greeks, to reinterpret stories about Greek deities under the names of their Roman counterparts. Rome's early myths and legends have a dynamic relationship with Etruscan religion, less documented than that of the Greeks. While Roman mythology may lack a body of divine narratives as extensive as that found in Greek literature and Remus suckling the she-wolf is as famous as any image from Greek mythology except for the Trojan Horse; because Latin literature was more known in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, the interpretations of Greek myths by the Romans had a greater influence on narrative and pictorial representations of "classical mythology" than Greek sources. In particular, the versions of Greek myths in Ovid's Metamorphoses, written during the reign of Augustus, came to be regarded as canonical; because ritual played the central role in Roman religion that myth did for the Greeks, it is sometimes doubted that the Romans had much of a native mythology.
This perception is a product of Romanticism and the classical scholarship of the 19th century, which valued Greek civilization as more "authentically creative." From the Renaissance to the 18th century, Roman myths were an inspiration for European painting. The Roman tradition is rich in historical myths, or legends, concerning the foundation and rise of the city; these narratives focus on human actors, with only occasional intervention from deities but a pervasive sense of divinely ordered destiny. In Rome's earliest period and myth have a mutual and complementary relationship; as T. P. Wiseman notes: The Roman stories still matter, as they mattered to Dante in 1300 and Shakespeare in 1600 and the founding fathers of the United States in 1776. What does it take to be a free citizen? Can a superpower still be a republic? How does well-meaning authority turn into murderous tyranny? Major sources for Roman myth include the Aeneid of Vergil and the first few books of Livy's history as well as Dionysius' s Roman Antiquities.
Other important sources are the Fasti of Ovid, a six-book poem structured by the Roman religious calendar, the fourth book of elegies by Propertius. Scenes from Roman myth appear in Roman wall painting and sculpture reliefs; the Aeneid and Livy's early history are the best extant sources for Rome's founding myths. Material from Greek heroic legend was grafted onto this native stock at an early date; the Trojan prince Aeneas was cast as husband of Lavinia, daughter of King Latinus, patronymical ancestor of the Latini, therefore through a convoluted revisionist genealogy as forebear of Romulus and Remus. By extension, the Trojans were adopted as the mythical ancestors of the Roman people; the characteristic myths of Rome are political or moral, that is, they deal with the development of Roman government in accordance with divine law, as expressed by Roman religion, with demonstrations of the individual's adherence to moral expectations or failures to do so. Rape of the Sabine women, explaining the importance of the Sabines in the formation of Roman culture, the growth of Rome through conflict and alliance.
Numa Pompilius, the Sabine second king of Rome who consorted with the nymph Egeria and established many of Rome's legal and religious institutions. Servius Tullius, the sixth king of Rome, whose mysterious origins were mythologized and, said to have been the lover of the goddess Fortuna; the Tarpeian Rock, why it was used for the execution of traitors. Lucretia, whose self-sacrifice prompted the overthrow of the early Roman monarchy and led to the establishment of the Republic. Cloelia, A Roman woman taken hostage by Lars Porsena, she escaped the Clusian camp with a group of Roman virgins. Horatius at the bridge, on the importance of individual valor. Mucius Scaevola, who thrust his right hand into the fire to prove his loyalty to Rome. Caeculus and the founding of Praeneste. Manlius and the geese, about divine intervention at the Gallic siege of Rome. Stories pertaining to the Nonae Caprotinae and Poplifugia festivals. Coriolanus, a story of politics and morality; the Etruscan city of Corythus as the "cradle" of Trojan and Italian civilization.
The arrival of the Great Mother in Rome. Narratives of divine activity played a more important role in the system of Greek religious belief than among the Romans, for whom ritual and cult were primary. Although Roman religion did not have a basis in scriptures and exegesis, priestly literature was one of the earliest written forms of Latin prose; the books and commentaries of the College of Pontiffs and
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
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
Japanese festivals are traditional festive occasions. Some festivals have their roots in Chinese festivals centuries ago, but have undergone great changes as they mixed with local customs; some are so different that they do not remotely resemble the original festival despite sharing the same name and date. There are various local festivals that are unknown outside a given prefecture. Unlike most people in East Asia, Japanese people do not celebrate Lunar New Year. In Yokohama Chinatown, Japan's biggest Chinatown, tourists from all over Japan come to enjoy the festival. Similar for Nagasaki's Lantern Festival, based in Nagasaki Chinatown. See: Japanese New Year. Festivals are based around one event, with food stalls and carnival games to keep people entertained; some are based around temples or shrines, others hanabi, still others around contests where the participants sport loin cloths. Matsuri is the Japanese word for a holiday. In Japan, festivals are sponsored by a local shrine or temple, though they can be secular.
There are no specific matsuri days for all of Japan. Every locale has at least one matsuri in late summer/early autumn related to the rice harvest. Notable matsuri feature processions which may include elaborate floats. Preparation for these processions is organized at the level of neighborhoods, or machi. Prior to these, the local kami may be paraded through the streets. One can always find in the vicinity of a matsuri booths selling souvenirs and food such as takoyaki, games, such as Goldfish scooping. Karaoke contests, sumo matches, other forms of entertainment are organized in conjunction with matsuri. If the festival is next to a lake, renting a boat is an attraction. Favorite elements of the most popular matsuri, such as the Nada no Kenka Matsuri of Himeji or the Neputa Matsuri of Hirosaki, are broadcast on television for the entire nation to enjoy. Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the largest festivals of the year in Sapporo, held in February for one week, it began in 1950. The event is now large and commercialized.
About a dozen large sculptures are built for the festival along with around 100 smaller snow and ice sculptures. Several concerts and other events are held. Lake Shikotsu is the northernmost ice-free lake, 363 meters deep; this festival features a moss-covered cave, which has evergreen draped on the inside and is covered in ice. This festival is held from late January to mid February; this festival features ice sculptures and large. At night the sculptures are illuminated by different colored lights. There is a fireworks show during the festival as well. Admission is free. Amasake is available for purchase to enjoy; this lake festival is held in the beginning of February. Held in the town of Yasumiya, this festival is on the south side of Lake Towada; this festival is open all day, but at 5 pm one can enjoy activities such as going through a snow maze, exploring a Japanese igloo, eat foods from Aomori and Akita prefectures. There is events held on an ice stage; this festival is held annually and features colorful lantern floats called nebuta which are pulled through the streets of Central Aomori.
This festival is held from about August 2–7 every year. This event attracts millions of visitors. During this festival, 20 large nebuta floats are paraded through the streets near Aomori JR rail station; these floats are constructed of wooden bases and metal frames. Japanese papers, called washi, are painted onto the frames; these amazing floats are finished off with the historical figures or kabuki being painted on the paper. These floats can take up to a year to complete. There is a dance portion of this festival. There are haneto dancers and they wear special costumes for this dance. Everyone is welcome to purchase their own haneto costume; this event is held every year. Thousands of artists from all over Tohoku and further regions come to Nango to perform; this is the largest open-air jazz concert held in Tohoku region. This festival began in a small venue indoors. There was such a large response from the fans. One must purchase tickets for this event; this summer jazz festival doesn't cost anything but potential members of the public still need to receive a ticket to enter the event.
Japan celebrates the entire season of the cherry blossoms. There are festivals in nearly every region of Japan, some locations, food is available or a park may be decorated with lanterns; some locations of cherry blossom festivals include: Yaedake Cherry Blossom Festival in Okinawa. This festival takes place from late January – mid February Matsuyama Shiroyama Koen Cherry Blossom Festival in Matsuyama-city, Ehime; this festival takes place early April. Matsue Jozan Koen Festival in Matsue-city, Shimane; this festival has a feature of illuminating the cherry blossom trees at night. This festival takes place late March-early April. Tsuyama Kakuzan Koen Cherry Blossom Festival in Tsuyama-cit
A Shinto shrine is a structure whose main purpose is to house one or more kami. Its most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects, not for worship. Although only one word is used in English, in Japanese Shinto shrines may carry any one of many different, non-equivalent names like gongen, -gū, jingū, mori, myōjin, -sha, ubusuna or yashiro. Structurally, a Shinto shrine is characterized by the presence of a honden or sanctuary, where the kami is enshrined; the honden may however be absent, as for example when the shrine stands on a sacred mountain to which it is dedicated, and, worshiped directly. The honden may be missing when there are nearby altar-like structures called himorogi or objects believed capable of attracting spirits called yorishiro that can serve as a direct bond to a kami. There may be a haiden and other structures as well. However, a shrine's most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects rather than for worship. Miniature shrines can be found on roadsides.
Large shrines sometimes have on their precincts miniature shrines. The portable shrines which are carried on poles during festivals enshrine kami and are therefore true shrines. In 927 CE, the Engi-shiki was promulgated; this work listed all of the 2,861 Shinto shrines existing at the time, the 3,131 official-recognized and enshrined Kami. That number has grown and exceeded this figure through the following generations. In Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan placed the number of shrines at 79,467 affiliated with the Association of Shinto Shrines; some shrines, such as the Yasukuni Shrine are independent of any outside authority. The number of Shinto shrines in Japan is estimated to be around 100,000; this figure may, or may not, include private shrines in homes and owned by small groups, abandoned or derelict shrines, roadside Hokora. etc. Ancestors are kami to be worshiped. Yayoi-period village councils sought the advice of ancestors and other kami, developed instruments to evoke them. Yoshishiro means "approach substitute" and were conceived to attract the kami to allow them physical space, thus making kami accessible to human beings.
Village-council sessions were held in quiet spots in the mountains or in forests near great trees or other natural objects that served as yorishiro. These sacred places and their yorishiro evolved into today's shrines, whose origins can be still seen in the Japanese words for "mountain" and "forest", which can mean "shrine". Many shrines have on their grounds one of the original great yorishiro: a big tree, surrounded by a sacred rope called shimenawa; the first buildings at places dedicated to worship were huts built to house some yorishiro. A trace of this origin can be found in the term hokura, "deity storehouse", which evolved into hokora, is considered to be one of the first words for shrine. True shrines arose with the beginning of agriculture, when the need arose to attract kami to ensure good harvests; these were, just temporary structures built for a particular purpose, a tradition of which traces can be found in some rituals. Hints of the first shrines can still be found there. Ōmiwa Shrine in Nara, for example, contains no sacred images or objects because it is believed to serve the mountain on which it stands.
Those images or objects are therefore unnecessary. For the same reason, it has a worship hall but no place to house the kami. Archeology confirms that, during the Yayoi period, the most common shintai in the earliest shrines were nearby mountain peaks that supplied stream water to the plains where people lived. Besides the mentioned Ōmiwa Shrine, another important example is Mount Nantai, a phallus-shaped mountain in Nikko which constitutes Futarasan Shrine's shintai; the name Nantai means "man's body". The mountain not only provides water to the rice paddies below but has the shape of the phallic stone rods found in pre-agricultural Jōmon sites. In 905 CE, Emperor Daigo ordered a compilation of Shinto rules. Previous attempts at codification are known to have taken place, neither the Konin nor the Jogan Gishiki survive. Under the direction of Fujiwara no Tokihira, the project stalled at his death in April 909. Fujiwara no Tadahira, his brother, took charge and in 912 CE and in 927 CE the Engi-shiki was promulgated in fifty volumes.
This, the first formal codification of Shinto rites and Norito to survive, became the basis for all subsequent Shinto liturgical practice and efforts. In addition to the first ten volumes of this fifty volume work, sections in subsequent volumes addressing the Ministry of Ceremonies and the Ministry of the Imperial Household regulated Shinto worship and contained liturgical rites and regulation. Felicia Gressitt Brock published a two-volume annotated English language translation of the first ten volumes with an introduction entitled Engi-shiki; the arrival of Buddhism changed the situation, introducing to Japan the concept of the permanent shrine. A great number of Buddhist temples were built next to existing shrines in mixed complexes called jingū-ji (神宮寺, lit. shri
Association of Shinto Shrines
The Association of Shinto Shrines is a religious administrative organisation that oversees about 80,000 Shinto shrines in Japan. These shrines take the Ise Grand Shrine as the foundation of their belief; the association has five major activities, in addition to numerous others: Publication and dissemination of information on Shrine Shinto The performance of rituals. It has an administrative structure including a main office and branches, its headquarters in Yoyogi, Tokyo, adjacent to Meiji Shrine. Its leadership includes the head priestess of the Ise Shrine, presently Sayako Kuroda; the tōri is Kuniaki Kuni, the post of sōchō or Secretary-General is held by Masami Yatabe, the chief priest of the Mishima Shrine. The association maintains regional offices in every prefecture, they handle financial and personnel matters for member shrines. The association was established following the Surrender of Japan at the end of World War II. On 15 December 1945, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers issued the Shinto Directive, ordering the Disestablishment of Shinto as a state religion.
On February 2, 1946, to comply with the SCAP order, three organizations – the Kōten Kōkyūjo, Dainippon Jingikai, Jingū Hōsaikai – established the nongovernmental Association, assuming the functions of the Jingi-in, a branch of the Home Ministry. The association is a successful lobbyist. Shinto This article incorporates material in 神社本庁 in the Japanese Wikipedia, retrieved on January 27, 2008. Official website
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.