國學院大學
國學院大學デジタルミュージアム

Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1 7. Concepts and Doctrines
カテゴリー2 Basic Terms
Title
Text An alternate name for the country of Japan. Yamato is also written 日本, 山跡, 倭, and 夜麻登. Originally, this was the place name for the area around the present day city of Tenri in Nara Prefecture, but it later became the name for one of the five kingdoms of the Kinai region. (Yamato Province, as it was then called, covered the entire area of present-day Nara Prefecture.) Most likely owing to the fact that this province was an early seat of centralized imperial power, Yamato came to refer to all of Japan. Moreover, when used as a qualifier, yamato indicates that the noun it qualifies is "inherently Japanese" (e.g. yamato damashii, "Japanese spirit"). It is also said that the country of Yamatai mentioned in Weizhi woren chuan (Jap., Gishi-wajinden) section found in the late third century Wei dynastic history (the Wei shu) can be read as "Yamato."
— Fukui Yoshihiko
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Yamato