國學院大學
國學院大學デジタルミュージアム

Encyclopedia of Shinto

Main Menu:    Foreword    ≫Guide to Usage   ≫ Contributors & Translators   
Links:    Images of Shinto: A Beginner's Pictorial Guide   

詳細表示 (Complete Article)

カテゴリー1 9. Texts and Sources
カテゴリー2 Shinto Classics and Literature
Title
Text Kiki is an abbreviation referring to Kojiki (often abbreviated as ki 記) and Nihon shoki (often abbreviated as 紀, and referred to as Nihongi), the two oldest extant historical records of Japan. During the reign of Emperor Kinmei in the middle of the sixth century, a period before the Kiki, it appears that compilations of the history of Japan based on oral traditions known as Teiki (Teiō no hitsugi) and Kuji (Honji and Sendai kuji) and others were created, but these have not survived down to the present. Teiki appears to have had as its main theme the genealogy of the imperial family, while Kuji seems to have contained legends, stories, and song-tales handed down by the imperial family. Also, even in the beginning of the seventh century during the reign of Empress Suiko, Shōtoku Taishi and Soga no Umako began compiling the historical works Tennōki and Kokki, but neither of these is extant. In the latter half of the seventh century, Emperor Tenmu, who ascended the throne following the Jinshin Disturbance (672), followed in the footsteps of his predecessors and there early attempts in historiography. According to the preface to Kojiki, Tenmu believed that historical records were the foundation of the state, and the groundwork of imperial rule (the framework of the state, the great foundation of the imperial influence), and from this standpoint he attempted to have preceding works like Teiki and Kuji combined and amended, in order to create a standard historical text. This undertaking did not reach fruition during his lifetime but, with this project as its beginning, the Kojiki and Nihon shoki were both completed within thirty or forty years.

Kojiki

Kojiki was presented to the court in 712 during the reign of Empress Genmei. The oldest surviving manuscript is the Shinpukuji copy which was produced during the around the Nanboku period. In the past this record was called furukotobumi, meaning a record of ancient things or events. The record was edited and transcribed by Ō no Yasumaro. According to the preface written by Yasumaro at the beginning of Kojiki, Emperor Tenmu ordered the compilation of the work, and instructed Hieda no Are, a palace retainer, to read through and learn the texts of Teiki and Kuji, and this work was then transcribed by Yasumaro according to the command given by Genmei, the ruler at the time. The meaning of the statement 'read through and learn' is believed to refer to gaining a proficiency in a variety of heretofore unrecorded oral traditions and myths. Hieda no Are was low courtier who had possessed no official post, and even Yasumaro only advanced to receive the fifth rank by the time of his death. This indicates a crucial difference with the work of Prince Toneri, a son of Emperor Tenmu, who was put in charge of the compilation of Nihon shoki, a work compiled to be an official history of the state. Also the title Kojiki does not appear in Shoku Nihongi, the second official history after Nihon shoki, suggesting that Kojiki was not considered a historical record.
     In essence Kojiki is not a history, but is mythology. It is not produced for the benefit of the state-based ritsuryo system, and it seems that it was compiled as a record of the origins of the imperial family. The composition of Kojiki was likely fraught with a number of difficulties. In particular, the use of Chinese characters in recording and preserving the oral tradition of as it had existed in Yamato (native Japanese) vocabulary and language without losing the kotodama (the spirit power of the word) inherent in the original lexicon was problematic. In order to overcome this difficulty, Kojiki is written in a mixture of Chinese and Japanese by using Chinese characters for their phonetic value at times and in other places their semantic value. For example, when recording song lyrics, the phonetic script is used, while the prose portions are typically characterized by the use of characters for there semantic value with phonetic use occasionally mixed in—this was almost certainly an attempt to preserve the spirit of the oral traditions and mythology. For those courtiers well-versed in Chinese at the time, Kojiki was certainly much more difficult to read than Nihon shoki, but rather than being compiled for a wide readership, Kojiki was compiled to preserve the original language of the myths, so the court did not consider the difficulty of reading the text a problem. Futhermore, the composition of Kojiki often take a form that notifies the reader before a certain action occurs and, subsequently, depicts the resolution or conclusion in great detail, and this too is characteristic of literature based on oral tradition.
     Kojiki is composed of three volumes, with the first dealing with the age of the kami, and the second and third books are concerned with imperial lineage, dealing with the events of the imperial family up to the death of the thirty-third ruler, Empress Suiko, in the thirty-sixth year of her reign (628), which occurred about a century before the completion of the work. By the third book, the record is mainly concerned with revolts and the love stories of successive rulers composed in the style of lyrical tales. Substantial information about events continues down to the time of Emperor Kenzō of the late fifth century, after which portions dealing with the Emperor consist almost entirely of little more than genealogical records. The origins of the imperial family as the rulers of the state are sufficiently detailed in the second book and were probably not treated again in the third volume so as to leave room for historically significant events in the reigns of Keitai, Suiko, and other rulers. The three volume structure of Kojiki mirrors the establishment of the three orders: the establishment of the order of the universe, the establishment of the order of humanity, and the establishment of the order of history, which then again correspond to the mythology of the gods, the epics and lyrical tales. This arrangement differs with Nihon shoki because Kojiki preserves no clear distinction between the reigns of the emperors, and there are even times when the story continues after a ruler has passed away. Additionally, aside from a few exceptional examples that cite the deaths of emperors, there are very few concrete dates in the record. Also the fact that many important events regarding relations with the continent are abridged entirely, especially in the third volume, is in complete contrast with Nihon shoki. Furthermore, despite the fact that Emperor Genmei, to whom Kojiki was presented, was a fervid believer in Buddhism, Kojiki does not contain a single reference to the religion. In Kojiki there appears to be a conscious attempt to refrain from making any mention of Buddhism. These characteristics demonstrate that Kojiki is grounded in the timeless and repetitive world of mythology, and for that reason is it a 'closed' and self-contained structure of myth-history. When conducting a study of Kojiki, it is better to focus on the mythical nature of the work and to concentrate on the world view (sekaikan) which is supported by the structure and mythology that remain the main theme throughout the work, rather than dissecting the stories in order to discover the proto-form or kernel of historical truth in the events, festivals, or mythological motifs described.

Nihon shoki

Nihon shoki was presented to the court in 720 in the reign of Emperor Genshō. The oldest surviving manuscript is the Shitennōji copy, which dates somewhere from the end of the Nara period to the beginning of the Heian period. As a public project carried out by the ritsuryo government, Nihon shoki is Japan's first official history, completed during a thirty-nine year period, starting in 681, compiled by Tenmu's third son, Prince Toneri and a team of bureaucrats and historians. This work is written in classical Chinese, and includes many quotes from Chinese classics and chronicles. Chinese source materials include Wei shi, Shi ji, Han shu, Hou Han shu, and Wen xuan. It appears that Yiwen leiju, an encyclopedia in one hundred books compiled by Ou Yangxun and others of the Tang period, was also used effectively by the Nihon shoki compilers. In the entry from 720 in Shoku Nihongi, the continuation of the official history of which followed Nihon shoki, states, "Prince Toneri of the first princely rank presented to the court the Nihongi which he was ordered to compile." Because of this the work is believed to have originally been called Nihongi. During the Heian period Murasaki Shikibu was known as Nihongi no Tsubone. The title Nihongi and the structure of the text in thirty books are based on a Chinese model. In the case of China, shu (書) refers to a records that discuss dynastic affairs, the biographies (liezhuan) of ministers in the court, and other historiographic formats. Ji (紀), on the other hand, was used for chronological histories. Nihon shoki consists of a record done in chronological order, and for that reason the character ki (Ch., ji 紀) is employed in the title. Moverover, Chinese chronological records like Han ji and Hou Han ji which consist of thirty volumes, appear to have served as models for the composition of Nihon shoki which is also comprised thirty volumes. However, the court selected nihon, which means 'origin of the sun' as the official title of Japan and refused to use the Chinese term wa (倭 'dwarf'), and therefore, asserted its independence from China.
     Of the thirty books, the first two discuss the 'age of the kami' and the remaining books portray the events of the rulers down to the forty-first Emperor, Jitō. The last section—books twenty-eight to thirty—deals with the newest events of the final twenty years with book twenty-eight consisting almost entirely of the Jinshin Disturbance which resulted in Tenmu ascending the throne. The final book, book thirty, ends with the abdication of Jitō in the eleventh year of her reign (697) and deals with recent history that continues up to just twenty years before the completion of Nihon shoki's compilation. The direction of events in Nihon shoki which emphasizing the most recent segment of history last is entirely in fitting with the chronological format of the work which purports to have recorded historical facts for each era. In that respect Nihon shoki is an unfinished project demonstrating that it is 'open' with an attitude that the in the future later additions and compilations would be made. In fact other official histories were compiled starting with Shoku Nihongi.
     However; there are difficulties in the beginning sections of Nihon shoki because of the chronological nature of the history. Chinese histories did not feel the need to record the beginning of the world, but in the case of Japan, the court realized that recording the divine lineage of the royal family was indispensable and were thus forced to meld history with myth. But the chronology of the mythical period could not be delineated, and it was difficult to determine dates for these earliest rulers. Therefore the compilers set aside the first two books for the 'age of the kami', and then grafted Jinmu into this fabric. The ascension of Jinmu was finally assigned to a shinyū year (660 BCE), which in China was designated as a year of great revolution. The Nihon shoki compilers set the present as their starting point, and projected a chronological lineage into the past, even as they left the future chronology open. At the same time that they modeled the record after Chinese annals, spliced in mythology and were able to emphasize the uniquely divine nature of the royal blood line.

Kojiki and Nihon shoki

 The greatest commonality between Kojiki and Nihon shoki is justification for imperial rule is grounded in connecting the genealogy of the emperor to the deities Amaterasu and Takamimusuhi. Kojiki and Nihon shoki have many differences, as have been noted above. We can interpret this to mean that between the seventh and eighth centuries Japan had two basic attitudes or displayed a two-fold interest in the superior culture of China. The first attitude can be described as a rejection of the Chinese model and movement toward affirming and preserving indigenous characteristics. By rejecting the use of pure classical Chinese, Japan attempted to maintain the oral and mythical nature of its traditions by using a mixture of phonetic script and ideograms. Kojiki fits into this category in the way that it avoids any mention of China or Buddhism. The second attitude can be described as a type of independent imitation wherein the Japan copies China without becoming subservient to things Chinese by distinguishing between that which is Chinese and that which is Japanese. Nihon shoki with its classical Chinese and a chronological framework—which were formal international standard of the time—expressing Japanese history but in depicting the divine lineage of the imperial house beginning with the 'age of the kami' it simultaneously emphasizes indigenous concepts. The differences in Kojiki and Nihon shoki demonstrate that from the end of the seventh century to the beginning of the eighth, between the eras of Tenmu and Genmei, the court went through a systematic change where the government was modeled after the Tang ritsuryo codes, but in regard to kingship there were two competing ideologies. Recent scholarship has shown that Kojiki claims that the imperial family is one member of an influential group of families where consultation is held in a system of kingship where each family is equal while Nihon shoki claims the imperial family has consolidated power and has a unique position of authority.
     By national standards, Kojiki with its descriptions of the mythological origins of imperial family written in a cumbersome mixture of Chinese and phonetic scripts was certainly not as highly regarded as the Nihon shoki which was written in classical Chinese. In 721, one year after Nihon shoki had been completed, there was already a lecture held at court concerning the text, and in the Heian era, after 812, six lectures on the text were held regularly every thirty years until 956. After 878 a Nihongi banquet was held at the end of the lectures and poetry was composed (Nihongi kyōen waka). The results of these lectures were compiled into a large work called Shaku nihongi in 1274 by Urabe Kanekata. After this period, in the middle ages, given the increased influence of shinbutsu shūgō (the amalgamation of Buddhism and Shintō), the ‘age of the kami' portions of the received exegetic treatment. Kojiki, on the other hand, gathered very little attention but, in 1798, Motoori Norinaga completed the Kojiki-den. Through the work of individuals associated with kokugaku, who rejected syncretism with things Confucian or Buddhist in an effort discover pure Shinto, Kojiki came to be viewed as a Shintō classic. Similarly, Hirata Atsutane, in Koshi seibun and other works, investigated the differences between Kojiki and Nihon shoki and claimed to have a method for reconstructing what he thought was the correct ancient tradition. In this way, research on Kojiki and Nihon shoki by kokugaku scholars in the early modern period has opened way for a flourishing number of studies into the classics of Japan.
— Matsumura Kazuo
クリックすると音声を再生します

Kojiki and Nihon shoki (Nihongi)