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 9. Texts and Sources
カテゴリー2 Shinto Classics and Literature
Title
Text A history in ten books arranged in chronological format, mainly centering around events from the beginning of the "age of the kami" down to the reign of Emperor Suiko, with other sections such as Kokuzō hongi appended. The title of this work is also occasionally abbreviated as Kuji hongi and Kujiki. The date of composition and the exactly identity of the compiler remain unknown but it is believed the work was compiled by someone of the Mononobe family around the end of the ninth century in the beginning of the Heian period. As for the contents, Book One consists of Jindai hongi (the original record of the age of the kami) and In'yō hongi (the original record of yin and yang); Book Two of Jingi hongi (the original record of divine worship); Book Three of Tenjin hongi (the original record of the heavenly deity), Book Four of Chigi hongi (the original record of earthly deity worship), Book Five of Tenson hongi (the original record of the heavenly grandchild), Book Six of Kōson hongi (the original record of the imperial grandchild), Book Seven of Tennō hongi (the original record of heavenly sovereigns), Book Eight of Shinnō hongi (the original record of divine sovereigns), Book Nine of Teikō hongi (the original record of earthly sovereigns), and Book Ten of Kokuzō hongi (the original record of provincial governors). According to the preface and the table of contents a separate genealogy of the divine lineages was previously included but this portion is no longer extant. Books One through Six detail events in the age of the kami, and Books Seven through Nine contain a chronological history of Emperors Jinmu down to the twenty-ninth year of Emperor Suiko. Book Ten contains a record of the origins of the pre-Taika reformation governors (kuni no miyatsuko) of one hundred forty-four different provinces including Yamato, Kazuraki, Ōshikawachi, and Izumi.

The theory of fraudulence

The preface of this work states, "This work was compiled and presented by Minister Soga no Umako no Sukune and others," and is most likely nothing more than an attempt to show that this work was a history complied by Shōtoku Taishi and Soga Umako in 620. By the Jōhei era (936), as is recorded in Nihongi shiki, this work is already known as a "composition of Crown  Prince Upper Palace" (Shōtoku Taishi). Not long after its inception, Kujiki was revered as Japan's oldest historical record. Kujiki was especially revered by those of Ise Shintō (Ise shintōka) in the middle ages, and, in Yuiitsu shintō myōhō yōshū, it is presented as one of the tripartite scriptures of Yoshida Shintō, along with Kojiki and Nihon shoki. But in the early years of the early modern period, starting with Imai Arinobu's Sanbu honsho ben it became obvious that there were parts of the text that post-dated Shōtoku Taishi. Furthermore, Tokugawa Mitsukuni later pointed out that Chinese-style posthumous names of the emperors first presented by Oumi Mifune in the Nara era appear in Kujiki and, moreover, quotations from Nihon shoki appearing here and there. This resulted in the work being labeled a forgery produced in a later era. Subsequently, with the production of Tada Yoshitoshi's Kujiki gisen (On the Fraudulent Compilation of the Kujiki) and Ise Sadatake's (Teijō's) Kujiki hakugi (The Fraudulence of the Kujiki Stripped Bare), it became clear that the preface of Kujiki could not be sufficiently trusted. In spite of this, in a small segment called Kujiki to iu sho no ron (An essay on the work called Kujiki) in the first book of Kojiki den, Motoori Norinaga argues that in Tenjin hongi and Tenson hongi there are sections found in no other work and, similarly, that Kokuzō hongi contains information found nowhere else. Motoori Norinaga argues that this is valuable information rooted in ancient sources and passed down from ancient times.

Date of Completion

Because Kujiki contains excerpts from Book One of Kojiki, Nihon shoki and Kogo shūi, it is evident that it must have been compiled after the 807 presentation of Kogo shūi. Judging from the fact that the Jōhei Nihongi shiki of 936 cites Kujiki as the "explanations of previous teachers" against an argument given in the Kuji hongi indicates that Kujiki had already been completed by the time of the Fujiwara Harumi (Yatabe no Kinmochi's teacher) Engi lectures of 904 and 906 and is probably a document dating from the very end of the ninth century. Regarding the identity of the compiler, due to the relative detail provided in Tenson hongi for the genealogy of the Owari and Mononobe families and the information given about traditions particular to the Mononobe in Tenjin hongi, Hirata Atsutane assumes in Koshichō kaidaiki and Koshi niten no ron that the compiler was a member of the Mononobe. The Mononobe in ancient times were a powerful group who had charge over military affairs at court along with the Ōtomo and had administrative authority over the festival rites of Isonokami Jingū and the divine treasures (jinpō).

Contents

Regarding the characteristics specific to the contents of Kujiki, the first deity to appear when heaven and earth divided and opened is called Ameyuzuruhiama no sagiri kuniyuzurihikuni no sagiri no mikoto, a divinity that does not appear in the lineages of kami presented in other texts. Also, concerning the descent of the heavenly grandson, Ninigi who appears in Kojiki and Nihongi is replaced in Kujiki by Nigihayahi, the founding deity (sojin) of the Mononobe. Nigihayahi continues on to receive the ten precious heavenly treasures (tokusano kamudakara). This is followed in Kujiki with an explanation of mysterious power of these heavenly treasures. The descriptions given herein regarding the ten precious heavenly treasures plays a crucial role is in helping scholars understand the pacification rites in which the ancient Mononobe participated which differed from the traditions maintained by the court. Also, the genealogies of the Owari and Mononobe families, as well as the Kokuzō hongi, are valuable historical materials for the research of ancient Japanese history. Generally speaking, Kujiki is considered an important record because it contains accounts of festivals and traditions passed down by the Mononobe which differ from those of the imperial family and, therefore, presents a unique manifestation of Shintō. On the other hand, Kujiki also, in its role as a Shintō classic, serves to elucidate festivals, aspects of Shintō history from the middle ages on, and the history of the development of Shintō thought. As an aside, it should also be noted that Sendai kuji hongi is occasionally mistaken for Sendai kuji taiseikyō (Kuji taisekyō) which actually a different work.
     There are a number of critical editions of Kujiki and they can be found in volume seven of Shintei zōho kokushi taikei, Kamata Jun'ichi's Sendai kuji hongi no kenkyū—kōhon no bu (1960, Yoshikawa Kōbunkan), volume eight of Shintō Taikei, Koten-hen among others. A number of studies on Sendai kuji hongi have also be conducted: Kokuzō hongi kōchū by Ban Nobutomo, Kokuzō hongi by Kurita Hiroshi, Sendai kuji hongi sekigi by Mikannagi Kiyonao, and Sendai kuji hongi no kenkyū—kenkyū no bu (1962, Yoshikawa Kōbunkan) by Kamata Jun'ichi as well as others.
— Motosawa Masafumi
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