The Kojiki, translated by Basil Hall Chamberlain, , at sacred-texts.com
The religious beliefs of the modern upholders of Shintō 57 may be ascertained without much difficulty by a perusal of the works of the leaders of the movement which has endeavoured during the last century and a half to destroy the influence of Buddhism and of the Chinese philosophy, and which has latterly succeeded to some extent in supplanting those two foreign systems. But in Japan, as elsewhere, it has been impossible for men really to turn back a thousand years In religious thought and act; and when we try to discover the primitive opinions that were entertained by the Japanese people prior to the introduction of the Chinese culture, we are met by difficulties that at first seem insuperable. The documents are scanty, and the modern commentaries untrustworthy, for they are all written under the influence of a preconceived opinion. Moreover, the problem is apparently complicated by a mixture of races and mythologies, and by a filtering in of Chinese ideas previous to the compilation of documents of any sort, though these are considerations which have hitherto scarcely been taken into account by foreigners, and are designedly neglected and obscured by such narrowly patriotic native writers as Motowori and Hirata.
In the political field the difficulties are not less, but  rather greater; for when once the Imperial house and the centralized Japanese polity, as we know it from the sixth or seventh century of our era downwards, became fully established, it was but too clearly in the interest of the powers that be to efface as far as possible the trace of different government arrangements which may have preceded them, and to cause it to be believed that, as things were then, so had they always been. The Emperor Tem-mu, with his anxiety to amend "the deviations from truth and the empty falsehoods" of the historical documents preserved by the various families, and the author of the "Chronicles of Japan" with his elaborate system of fictitious dates, recur to our minds, and we ask ourselves to what extent similar garblings of history,—sometimes unintentional,—may have gone on during earlier ages, when there was even less to check them than there was in the eighth century. If, therefore, the translator here gives expression to a few opinions founded chiefly on a careful study of the text of the "Records of Ancient Matters" helped out by a study of the "Chronicles of Japan," he would be understood to do so with great diffidence, especially with regard to his few (so to speak) constructive remarks. As to the destructive side of the criticism, there need be less hesitation; for the old histories bear evidence too conclusively against themselves for it to be possible for the earlier portions of them, at least, to stand the test of sober investigation. Before endeavouring to piece together the little that is found in the "Records" to illustrate the beliefs of Archaic Japanese times, it will be necessary, at the risk of dullness, to give a summary of the old traditions as they lie before us in
their entirety, after which will be hazarded a few speculations on the subject of the earlier tribes which combined to form the Japanese people; for the four questions of religious beliefs, of political arrangements, of race, and of the credibility of documents, all hang closely together and, properly speaking, form but one highly complex problem.
Greatly condensed, the Early Japanese traditions amount to this: After an indefinitely long period, during which were born a number of abstract deities, who are differently enumerated in the "Records" and in the "Chronicles," two of these deities, a brother and sister named Izanagi and Izanami (i.e., the "Male who Invites" and the "Female Who Invites"), are united in marriage, and give birth to the various islands of the Japanese archipelago. When they have finished producing islands, they proceed to the production of a large number of gods and goddesses, many of whom correspond to what we should call personifications of the powers of nature, though personification is a word which, in its legitimate acceptations, is foreign to the Japanese mind. The birth of the Fire-God causes Izanami's death, and the most striking episode of the whole mythology then ensues, when her husband, Orpheus-like, visits her in the under-world to implore her to return to him. She would willingly do so, and bids him wait while she consults with the deities of the place. But he, impatient at her long tarrying, breaks off one of the end-teeth of the comb stuck in the left bunch of his hair, lights it and goes in, only to find her a hideous mass of corruption, in whose midst are seated the eight Gods of Thunder. This episode ends with the deification of
[paragraph continues]  three peaches 58 who had assisted him in his retreat before the armies of the under-world, and with bitter words exchanged between him and his wife, who herself pursues him as far as the "Even Pass of Hades."
Returning to Himuka in south-western Japan, Izanagi purifies himself by bathing in a stream, and, as he does so, fresh deities are born from each article of clothing that he throws down on the river-bank, and from each part of his person. One of these deities was the Sun-Goddess, who was born from his left eye, while the Moon-God sprang from his right eye, and the last born of all, Susa-no-Wo, whose name the translator renders by "the Impetuous Male," was born from his nose. Between these three children their father divides the inheritance of the universe.
At this point the story loses its unity. The Moon-God is no more heard of, and the traditions concerning the Sun-Goddess and those concerning the "Impetuous Male Deity" diverge in a manner which is productive of inconsistencies in the remainder of the mythology. The Sun-Goddess and the "Impetuous Male Deity" have a violent quarrel, and at last the latter breaks a hole in the roof of the hall in Heaven where his sister is sitting at work with the celestial weaving-maidens, and through it lets fall "a heavenly piebald horse which he had flayed with a backward flaying." The consequences of this act were so disastrous, that the Sun-Goddess withdrew for a season into a cave, from which the rest of the eight hundred myriad (according to the "Chronicles" eighty
myriad) deities with difficulty allured her. The "Impetuous Male Deity" was thereupon banished, and the Sun-Goddess remained mistress of the field. Yet, strange to say, she thenceforward retires into the background, and the most bulky section of the mythology consists of stories concerning the "Impetuous Male Deity" and his descendants, who are represented as the monarchs of Japan, or rather of the province of Idzumo. The "Impetuous Male Deity" himself, whom his father had charged with the dominion of the sea, never assumes that rule, but first has a curiously told amorous adventure and an encounter with an eight-forked serpent in Idzumo, and afterwards reappears as the capricious and filthy deity of Hades, who however seems to retain some power over the land of the living, as he invests his descendant of the sixth generation with the sovereignty of Japan. Of this latter personage a whole cycle of stories is told, all centering in Idzumo. We learn of his conversations with a hare and with a mouse, of the prowess and cleverness which he displayed on the occasion of a visit to his ancestor in Hades, which is in this cycle of traditions a much less mysterious place than the Hades visited by Izanagi, of his amours, of his triumph over his eighty brethren, of his reconciliation with his jealous empress, and of his numerous descendants, many of whom have names that are particularly difficult of comprehension. We hear too in a tradition, which ends in a pointless manner, of a microscopic deity who comes across the sea to ask this monarch of Idzumo to share the sovereignty with him.
This last-mentioned legend repeats itself in the sequel. The Sun-Goddess, who on her second appearance is constantly
represented as acting in concert with the "High August Producing Wondrous Deity,"—one of the abstractions mentioned at the commencement of the "Records,"—resolves to bestow the sovereignty of Japan on a child of whom it is doubtful whether he were hers or that of her brother the "Impetuous Male Deity." Three embassies are sent from Heaven to Idzumo to arrange matters, but it is only a fourth that is successful, the final ambassadors obtaining the submission of the monarch  or deity of Idzumo, who surrenders his sovereignty and promises to serve the new dynasty (apparently in the under-world), if a palace or temple be built for him and he be appropriately worshipped. Thereupon the child of the deity whom the Sun-Goddess had originally wished to make sovereign of Japan, descends to earth,—not to Idzumo in the north-west, be it mentioned, as the logical sequence of the story would lead one to expect,—but to the peak of a mountain in the south-western island of Kiushiu.
Here follows a quaint tale accounting for the old appearance of the bèche-le-mer, and another to account for the shortness of the lives of mortals, after which we are told of the birth under peculiar circumstances of the heaven-descended deity's three sons. Two of these, Ho-deri and Howori, whose names may be Englished as "Fire-Shine" and "Fire-Subside," are the heroes of a very curious legend, which includes an elaborate account of a visit paid by the latter to the palace of the God of Ocean, and of a curse or spell which gained for him the victory over his elder brother, and enabled him to dwell peacefully in his palace at Takachiho for the space of five hundred and eighty years,—the first statement
resembling a date which the "Records" contain. This personage's son married his own aunt, and was the father of four children, one of whom "treading on the crest of the waves, crossed over to the Eternal Land," while a second "went into the sea plain," and the two others moved eastward, fighting with the chiefs of Kibi and Yamato, having adventures with gods both with and without tails, being assisted by a miraculous sword and a gigantic crow, and naming the various places they passed through after incidents in their own career, as "the Impetuous Male" and other divine personages had done before them. One of these brothers was Kamu-Yamato-Ihare-Biko, who (the other having died before him) was first given the title of Jim-mu Ten-no more than fourteen, centuries after the date which in the "Chronicles" is assigned as that of his decease.
Henceforth Yamato, which had scarcely been mentioned before, and the provinces adjacent to it become the centre of the story, and Idzumo again emerges into importance. A very indecent love-tale forms a bridge which unites the two fragments of the mythology; and the "Great Deity of Miwa," who is identified with the deposed monarch of Idzumo, appears on the scene. Indeed during the rest of the story this "Great Deity of Miwa," and  his colleague the "Small August Deity" (Sukuna-Mi-Kami 59), the deity Izasa-Wake, the three Water-Gods of Sumi, and the "Great Deity of Kadzuraki," of whom there is so striking a mention in Sect. CLVIII, form, with the Sun-Goddess and with a certain divine sword
preserved at the temple of Isonokami in Yamato, the only objects of worship specially named, the other gods and goddesses being no more heard of. This portion of the story is closed by an account of the troubles which inaugurated the reign of Jim-mu's successor, Sui-sei, and then occurs a blank of (according to the accepted chronology) five hundred years, during which absolutely nothing is told us excepting dreary genealogies, the place where each sovereign dwelt and where he was buried, and the age to which he lived,—this after the minute details which had previously been given concerning the successive gods or monarchs down to Sui-sei inclusive. It should likewise be noted that the average age of the first seventeen monarchs (counting Jim-mu Ten-nō as the first according to received ideas) is nearly 96 years if we follow the "Records," and over a hundred if we follow the accepted chronology which is based chiefly on the constantly divergent statements contained in the "Chronicles." The age of several of the monarchs exceeds 120 years. 60
The above-mentioned lapse of an almost blank period, of five centuries brings us to the reign of the Emperor known to history by the name of Sū-jin, whose life of one hundred and sixty-eight years (one hundred and twenty according to the "Chronicles") is supposed to have immediately preceded the Christian era. In this reign the former monarch of Idzumo or god of Miwa again appears and produces a pestilence, of the manner of staying which Sū-jin is warned in a dream, while a curious but highly indecent episode tells us how a person called Oho-Taka-Ne-Ko was known to be a son of the
deity in question, and was therefore appointed high-priest of his temple. In the ensuing reign an elaborate legend, involving a variety of circumstances as miraculous as any in the earlier portion of the mythology, again centres in the necessity of pacifying the great god of Idzumo; and this, with details of internecine strife in the Imperial family, of the sovereign's amours, and of the importation of the orange from the "Eternal Land," brings us to the cycle of traditions of which Yamato-Take, a son of the Emperor Kei-kō, is the hero. This prince, after slaying one of his brothers in the privy, accomplishes the task of subduing both western and eastern Japan; and, notwithstanding certain details which are unsavoury to the European taste, his story, taken as a whole, is one of the most striking in the book. He performs marvels of valour, disguises himself as a woman to slay the brigands, is the possessor of a magic sword and fire-striker, has a devoted wife who stills the fury of the waves by sitting down upon their surface, has encounters with a deer and with a boar who are really gods in disguise, and finally dies on his way westward before he can reach his home in Yamato. His death is followed by a highly mythological account of the laying to rest of the white bird into which he ended by being transformed.
The succeeding reign is a blank, and the next after that transports us without a word of warning to quite another scene. The sovereign's home is now in Tsukushi, the south-western island of the Japanese archipelago, and four of the gods, through the medium of the sovereign's wife, who is known to history as the Empress Jin-gō, reveal the existence of the land of Korea, of
which, however, this is not the first mention. The Emperor disbelieves the divine message, and is punished by death for his incredulity. But the Empress, after a special consultation between her prime minister and the gods, and the performance of various religious ceremonies, marshals her fleet, and, with the assistance of the fishes both great and small and of a miraculous wave, reaches Shirai 61 (one of the ancient divisions of Korea), and subdues it. She then returns to Japan, the legend ending with a curiously naive tale of how she sat a-fishing one day on a shoal in the river Wo-gawa in Tsukushi with threads picked out of her skirt for lines.
The next section shows her going up by sea to Yamato,—another joint in the story, by means of which  the Yamato cycle of legends and the Tsukushi cycle are brought into apparent unity. The "Chronicles of Japan" have even improved upon this by making Jingō's husbands dwell in Yamato at the commencement of his reign and only remove to Tsukushi later, so that if the less elaborated "Records" had not been preserved, the two threads of the tradition would have been still more difficult to unravel. The Empress's army defeats the troops raised by the native kings or princes, who are represented as her step-sons; and from that time forward the story runs on in a single channel and always centres in Yamato. China likewise is now first mentioned, books are said to have been brought over from the mainland, and we hear of the gradual introduction of various useful arts. Even the annals of the reign of O-jin however, during which this civilizing impulse from abroad is said to have commenced, are not free from
details as miraculous as any in the earlier portions of the book. Indeed Sects. CXIV-CXVI of the following translation, which form part of the narrative of his reign, are occupied with the recital of one of the most fanciful tales of the whole mythology. The monarch himself is said to have lived a hundred and thirty years, while his successor lived eighty-three (according to the "Chronicles," O-jin lived a hundred and ten and his successor Nin-toku reigned eighty-seven years). It is not till the next reign that the miraculous ceases, a fact which significantly coincides with the reign in which, according to a statement in the "Chronicles," "historiographers were first appointed to all the provinces to record words and events and forward archives from all directions." This brings us to the commencement of the fifth century of our era, just three centuries before the compilation of our histories, but only two centuries before the compilation of the first history of which mention has been preserved. From that time the story in the "Records," though not well told, gives us some very curious pictures, and reads as if it were reliable. It is tolerably full for a few reigns, after which it again dwindles into mere genealogies, carrying us down to the commencement of the seventh century. The "Chronicles," on the contrary, give us full details down to A.D. 701, that is to within nineteen years of the date of their compilation.
The reader who has followed this summary, or who will take the trouble to read through the whole text for himself will perceive that there is no break in the story,—at least no chronological break,—and no break between the fabulous and the real, unless indeed it be at the commencement of the fifth century of our era, i.e. more
than a thousand years later than the date usually accepted as the commencement of genuine Japanese history. The only breaks are,—not chronological,—but topographical.
This fact of the continuity of the Japanese mythology and history has been fully recognized by the leading native commentators, whose opinions are those considered orthodox by modern Shintoists; and they draw from it the conclusion that everything in the standard national histories must be equally accepted as literal truth. All persons however cannot force their minds into the limits of such a belief; and early in the last century a celebrated writer and thinker, Arawi Hakuseki, published a work in which, while accepting the native mythology as an authentic chronicle of events, he did so with the reservation of proving to his own satisfaction that all the miraculous portions thereof were allegories, and the gods only men under another name. In this particular, the elasticity of the Japanese word for "deity," kami, which has already been noticed, stood the eastern Euhemerus in good stead. Some of his explanations are however extremely comical, and it is evident that such a system enables the person who uses it to prove whatever he has a mind to. 62 In the present century a diluted form of the same theory was adopted by Tachibana no Moribe, who, although endeavouring to remain an orthodox Shintoist, yet decided that some of the (so to speak) uselessly
miraculous incidents need not be believed in as revealed truth. Such, for instance, are the story of the speaking mouse, and that of Izanagi's head-dress turning into a bunch of grapes. He accounts for many of these details by the supposition that they are what he calls wosana-goto, i.e. "child-like words," and thinks that they were invented for the sake of fixing the story in the minds of children, and are not binding on modern adults as articles of faith. He is also willing to allow that some passages show traces of Chinese influence, and he blames Motowori's uncompromising championship of every iota of the existing text of the "Records of Ancient Matters." As belonging to this same school of what may perhaps be termed "rationalistic believers" in Japanese mythology, a contemporary Christian writer, Mr. Takahashi Gorō, must also be mentioned. Treading in the foot-steps of Arawi Hakuseki, but bringing to bear on the legends of his own country some knowledge of the mythology of other lands, he for instance explains the traditions of the Sun-Goddess and of the Eight-Forked Serpent of Yamada by postulating the existence of an ancient queen called Sun, whose brother, after having been banished from her realm for his improper behaviour, killed an enemy whose name was Serpent, etc., while such statements as that the microscopic deity who came over the waves to share the sovereignty of Idzumo would not tell his name, are explained by the assertion that, being a foreigner, he was unintelligible for some time until he had learnt the language. It is certainly strange that such theorists should not see that they are undermining with one hand that which they endeavour to prop up with the other, and that their own individual fancy is made by them the
sole standard of historic truth. Yet Mr. Takahashi confidently asserts that "his explanations have nothing forced or fanciful" in them, and that "they cannot fail to solve the doubts even of the greatest of doubters." 63
The general habit of the more sceptical Japanese of the present day,—i.e. of ninety-nine out of every hundred of the educated,—seems to be to reject, or at least to ignore, the history of the gods, while implicitly accepting the history of the emperors from Jim-mu downwards; and in so doing they have been followed with but little reserve by most Europeans, almanacs, histories and cyclopædias all continuing to repeat on the antiquated authority of such writers as Kaempfer and Titsingh, that Japan possesses an authentic history covering more that two thousand years, while Siebold and Hoffmann even go the length of discussing the hour of Jim-mu's accession in the year 660 B.C.! This is the attitude of mind now sanctioned by the governing class. Thus, in the historical compilations used at text-books in the schools,  the stories of the gods,—that is to say the Japanese traditions down to Jim-mu exclusive,—are either passed over in silence or dismissed in a few sentences, while the annals of the human sovereigns,—that is to say the Japanese traditions from Jim-mu inclusive,—are treated precisely as if the events therein related had happened yesterday, and were as incontrovertibly historical as later statements, for which there is contemporary evidence. The same plan is pursued elsewhere in official publications. Thus, to take out one example among many, the Imperial Commissioners to the Vienna Exhibition, in their
[paragraph continues] "Notice sur l’Empire du Japan," tell us that "L’histoire de la dynastie impériale remonte très-haut. L’obscurité entoure ses débuts, vu l’absence de documents réguliers ou d’un calendrier parfait. Le premier Empereur de la dynastie présente, dont il reste des annales dignes de confiance, est Jin-mou-ten-nō 64 qui organisa un soulèvement dans la province de Hiuga, marcha à l’Est avec ses compagnons, fonda sa capitale dans la vallée de Kashihara dans le Yamato, et monta sur le trône comme Empereur. C’est de cet Empereur que descend, par une succession régulière, la présente famille régnante du Japon. C'est de l’année de l’avènement de Jin-mou-ten-nō que date l’ère japonaise (Année 1—660 avant Jésus-Christ)."
As for the ère Japonaise mentioned by the commissioners, it may be permitted to observe that it was only introduced by an edict dated 15th Dec., 1872 65 that is to say just a fortnight before the publication of their report. And this era, this accession, is confidently placed thirteen or fourteen centuries before the first history which records it was written, nine centuries before (at the earliest computation) the art of writing was introduced into the country, and on the sole authority of books teeming with miraculous legends!! Does such a proceeding need any comment after once being formulated in precise terms, and can any unprejudiced person continue to accept the early Japanese chronology and the first thousand years of the so-called history of Japan.
* * *
Leaving this discussion, let us now see whether
[paragraph continues]  any information relative to the early religious and political state of the Japanese can be gleaned from the pages of the "Records" and of the "Chronicles." There are fragments of information,—fragments of two sorts,—some namely of clear import, others which are rather a matter for inference and for argument. Let us take the positive fragments first—the notice as to Cosmological ideas, dreams, prayers, etc.
The first thing that strikes the student is that what, for want of a more appropriate name, we must call the religion of the Early Japanese, was not an organized religion. We can discover in it nothing corresponding to the body of dogma, the code of morals, and the sacred book authoritatively enforcing both, with which we are familiar in civilized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. What we find is a bundle is miscellaneous superstitions rather than a co-ordinated system. Dreams evidently were credited with great importance, the future being supposed to be foretold in them, and the will of the gods made known. Sometimes even an actual object, such as a wonderful sword, was sent down in a dream, thus to our ideas mixing the material with the spiritual. The subject did not, however, present itself in that light to the Early Japanese, to whom there was evidently but one order of phenomena,—what we should call the natural order. Heaven, or rather the Sky, was an actual place,—not more ethereal than earth, nor thought of as the abode of the blessed after death,—but simply "high plain" situated above Japan and communicating with Japan by a bridge or ladder, and forming the residence of some of those powerful personages called kami,—a word which we must make shift to translate by "god"
or a "goddess," or "deity." An arrow shot from earth could reach Heaven, and make a hole in it. There was at least one mountain in Heaven, and one river with a broad stony bed like those with which the traveller in Japan becomes familiar, one or two caves, one or more wells, and animals, and trees. There is, however, some confusion as to the mountain,—the celebrated Mount Kagu,—for there is one of that name in the Province of Yamato.
Some of the gods dwelt here on earth, or descended hither from Heaven, and had children by human women. Such, for instance, was the emperor Jim-mu's great-grandfather. Some few gods had tails or were otherwise personally  remarkable; and "savage deities" are often mentioned as inhabiting certain portions of Japan, both in the so-called "Divine Age" and during the reigns of the human emperors down to a time corresponding, according to the generally received chronology, with the first or second century of the Christian era. The human emperors themselves, moreover, were sometimes spoken of as deities, and even made personal use of that designation. The gods occasionally transformed themselves into animals, and at other times simple tangible objects were called gods,—or at least they were called kami; for the gulf separating the Japanese from the English term can never be too often recalled to mind. The word kami, as previously mentioned, properly signifies "superior," and it would be putting more into it than it really implies to say that the Early Japanese "deified,"—in our sense of the verb to "deify,"—the peaches which Izanagi used to pelt his assailants with, or any other natural objects whatsoever. It would, indeed, be to, attribute to them a
flight of imagination of which they were not capable, and a habit of personification not in accordance with the genius of their language. Some of the gods are mentioned collectively as "bad Deities like unto the flies in the fifth moon"; but there is nothing approaching a systematic division into good spirits and bad spirits. In fact the word "spirit" itself is not applicable at all to the gods of Archaic Japan. They were, like the gods of Greece, conceived of only as more powerful human beings. They were born, and some of them died, though here again there is inconsistency, as the death of some of them is mentioned in a manner leading one to suppose that they were conceived of as being then at an end, whereas in other cases such death seems simply to denote transference to Hades, or to what is called "the One Road," which is believed to be a synonym for Hades. Sometimes, again, a journey to Hades is undertaken by a god without any reference to his death. Nothing, indeed, could be less consistent than the various details.
Hades 66 itself is another instance of this inconsistency. In the legend of Oho-Kuni-Nushi (the "Master of the Great Land"),—one of the Idzumo cycle of legends,—Hades is described exactly as if it were part of the land of the living, or exactly as if it were Heaven, which indeed comes to the same thing. It has its trees, its houses, its family quarrels, etc., etc. In the legend of Izanagi, on the other hand, Hades means simply the abode of horrible putrefaction and of the vindictive dead, and is fitly described by the god himself who had ventured thither as "a hideous and polluted land." The
only point in which the legends agree is in placing between the upper earth and Hades a barrier called the "Even Pass (or Hill) of Hades." The state of the dead in general is nowhere alluded to, nor are the dying ever made to refer to a future world, whether good or evil.
The objects of worship were of course the gods, or some of them. It has already been stated that during the later portions of the story, whose scene is laid almost exclusively on earth, the Sun-Goddess, the deity Izasa-Wake, the Divine Sword of Isonokami, the Small August Deity (Sukuna-Mi-Kami), the "Great Gods" of Miwa and of Kadzuraki and the three Water-Deities of Sumi, alone are mentioned as having been specially worshipped. Of these the first and the last appear together, forming a sort of quaternion, while the other five appear singly and have no connection with each other. The deities of the mountains, the deities of the rivers, the deities of the sea, etc., are also mentioned in the aggregate, as are likewise the heavenly deities and the earthly deities; and the Empress Jin-gō is represented as conciliating them all previous to her departure for Korea by putting into a gourd the ashes "of a maki tree, 67 and likewise making a quantity of chopsticks and also "of leaf-platters, and scattering them all on the waves."
This brings us to the subject of religious rites,—a subject on which we long for fuller information than the texts afford. 68 That the conciliatory offerings made to the gods were of a miscellaneous nature will be expected from the quotation just made. Nevertheless, a very
natural method was in the main followed; for the people offered the things by which they themselves set most store, as we bear at a late period of the poet Tsurayuki, when in a storm at sea, flinging his mirror into the waves because he had but one. The Early Japanese made offerings  of two kinds of cloth, one being hempen cloth and the other cloth manufactured from the bark of the paper mulberry, offerings very precious in their eyes, but which have in modern times been allowed to degenerate into useless strips of paper. They likewise offered shields, spears, and other things. Food was offered both to the gods and to the dead; indeed, the palace or tomb of the dead monarch and the temple of the god cannot always be distinguished from each other, and, as has already been mentioned, the Japanese use the same word miya for "palace" and for "temple." Etymologically signifying "august house," it is naturally susceptible of what are to us two distinct meanings.
With but one exception, 69 the "Records" do not give us the words of any prayers (or, as the Japanese term norito has elsewhere been translated, "rituals.") Conversations with the gods are indeed detailed, but no devotional utterances. Fortunately, however, a number of very ancient prayers have been preserved in other books, and translations of some of them by Mr. Satow will be found scattered through the volumes of the Transactions of this Society. They consist mostly of declarations of praise and statements of offerings made, either in return for favours received or conditionally on favours being granted. They are all in prose, and hymns do not seem to have been in use. Indeed of the hundred and eleven
[paragraph continues] Songs preserved in the "Records," not one has any religious reference.
The sacred rite of which most frequent mention is made is purification by water. Trial by hot water is also alluded to in both histories, but not till a time confessedly posterior to the commencement of intercourse with the mainland. We likewise hear of compacts occasionally entered into with a god, and somewhat resembling our European wager, oath, or curse. Priests are spoken of in a few passages, but without any details. We do not hear of their functions being in any way mediatorial, and the impression conveyed is that they did not exist in very early times as a separate class. When they did come into existence, the profession soon became hereditary, according to the general tendency in Japan towards the hereditability of offices and occupations.
Miscellaneous superstitions crop up in many places. Some of these were evidently obsolescent or unintelligible  at the time when the legends crystallized into their present shape, and stories are told purporting to give their origin. Thus we learn either in the "Records" or in the "Chronicles," or in both works, why it is unlucky to use only one light, to break off the teeth of a comb at night-time, and to enter the house with straw hat and rain-coat on. The word-wide dread of going against the sun is connected with the Jim-mu legend, and recurs elsewhere. 70 We also hear of charms,—for instance, of
the wondrous "Herb-Quelling Sabre" found by Susa-no-Wo (the "Impetuous Male Deity") inside a serpent's tail and still preserved as one of the Imperial regalia. Other such charms were the "tide-flowing jewel" and "tide-ebbing jewel," that obtained for Jim-mu's grandfather the victory over his elder brother, together with the fishhook which figures so largely in the same legend. 71 Divination by means of the shoulder-blade of a stag was a favourite means of ascertaining the will of the gods. Sometimes also human beings seem to have been credited in a vague manner with the power of prophetic utterance. Earthenware pots were buried at the point of his departure by an intending traveller. In a fight the initial arrow was regarded with superstitious awe. The great precautions with which the Empress Jin-gō is said to have set out on her expedition to Korea have already been alluded to, and indeed the commencement of any action or enterprise seems to have had special importance attributed to it.
To conclude this survey of the religious beliefs of the Early Japanese by referring, as was clone in the case of the arts of life, to certain notable features which are  conspicuous by their absence, attention may be called to the fact that there is no tradition of a deluge, no testimony to any effect produced on the imagination by the earthquakes from which the Japanese islanders suffer such constant alarms, no trace of star-worship, no notion
of incarnation or of transmigration. This last remark goes to show that the Japanese mythology had assumed its present shape before the first echo of Buddhism reverberated on these shores. But the absence of any tradition of a deluge or inundation is still more remarkable, both because such catastrophes are likely to occur occasionally in all lands, and because the imagination of most nations seems to have been greatly impressed by their occurrence. Moreover what is specifically known to us as the Deluge has been lately claimed as an ancient Altaïc myth. Yet here we have the oldest of the undoubtedly Altaïc nations without any legend of the kind. As for the neglect of the stars, round whose names the imagination of other races has twined such fanciful conceits, it is as characteristic of Modern as of Archaic Japan. The Chinese designations of the constellations, and some few Chinese legends relating to them, have been borrowed in historic times; but no Japanese writer has ever thought of looking in the stars for "the poetry of heaven." Another detail worthy of mention is that the number seven, which in so many countries has been considered sacred, is here not prominent in any way, its place being taken by eight. Thus we have Eight Great Islands, an Eight-forked Serpent, a beard Eighty Hand-breadths long, a God named "Eight Thousand Spears," Eighty or Eight Hundred Myriads of Deities, etc., etc. The commentators think it necessary to tell us that all these eights and eighties need not be taken literally, as they simply mean a great number. The fact remains that the number eight had, for some unknown reason, a special significance attached to it; and as the documents which mention eight also mention
nine and ten, besides higher numbers, and as in some test cases, such as that of the Eight Great Islands, each of the eight is separately enumerated, it is plain that when the Early Japanese said eight they meant eight, though they may doubtless have used that number in a vague manner, as we do a dozen, a hundred, and a thousand.
How glaringly different all this is from the fanciful accounts of Shintō that have been given by some recent  popular writers calls for no comment. Thus one of them, whom another quotes as an authority, 72 tells us that Shintō "consists in the belief that the productive ethereal spirit being expanded through the whole universe, every part is in some degree impregnated with it, and therefore every part is in some measure the seat of the deity; whence local gods and goddesses are everywhere worshipped, and consequently multiplied without end. Like the ancient Romans and the Greeks, they acknowledge a Supreme Being, the first, the supreme, the intellectual, by which men have been reclaimed from rudeness and barbarism to elegance and refinement, and been taught through privileged men and women, not only to live with more comfort, but to die with better hopes."(!) Truly, when one peruses such utterly groundless assertions,—for that here quoted is but one among many, one is tempted to believe that the nineteenth century must form part of the early mythopœic age.
With regard to the question of government, we learn little beyond such vague statements as that to so-and-so was yielded by his eighty brethren the sovereignty of the land of Idzumo, or that Izanagi divided the dominion
over all things between his three children, bestowing on one the "Plain of High Heaven," on another the Dominion of the Night, and on the third the "Sea-Plain." But we do not in the earlier legends see such sovereignty actually administered. The heavenly gods seem rather to have been conceived as forming a sort of commonwealth, who decided things by meeting together in counsel in the stony bed of the "River of Heaven," and taking the advice of the shrewdest of their number. Indeed the various divine assemblies, to which the story in the "Records" and "Chronicles" introduces us, remind us of nothing so much as of the village assemblies of primitive tribes in many parts of the world, where the cleverness of one and the general willingness to follow his suggestions fill the place of the more definite organization of later times.
Descending from heaven to earth, we find little during the so-called "Divine Age" but stories of isolated individuals and families; and it is not till the narrative of the wars of the earlier Emperors commences, that any kind of political organization comes into view. Then at once we hear of chieftains in every locality, who lead  their men to battle, and are seemingly the sole depositories of power, each in his microscopic sphere. The legend of Jim-mu itself, however, is sufficient to show that autocracy, as we understand it, was not characteristic of the government of the Tsukushi tribes; for Jim-mu and his brother, until the latter's death, are represented as joint chieftains of their host. Similarly we find that the "Territorial Owners" of Yamato, and the "Rulers" of Idzumo, whom Jim-mu or his successors are said to have subjugated, are constantly spoken of in the Plural,
as if to intimate that they exerted a divided sovereignty. During the whole of the so-called "Human Age" we meet, both in parts of the country which were already subject to the Imperial rule and in others which were not yet annexed, with local magnates bearing these same titles of "Territorial Owners," "Rulers," "Chiefs," etc.; and the impression left on the mind is that in early historical times the sovereign's power was not exercised directly over all parts of Japan, but that in many cases the local chieftains continued to hold sway though owning some sort of allegiance to the emperor in Yamato, while in others the emperor was strong enough to depose these local rulers, and to put in their place his own kindred or retainers, who however exercised unlimited authority in their own districts, and used the same titles as had been borne by the former native rulers,—that, in fact, the government was feudal rather than centralized. This characteristic of the political organization of Early Japan has not altogether escaped the attention of the native commentators. Indeed the great Shintō scholar Hirata not only recognizes the fact, but endeavours to prove that the system of centralization which obtained during the eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and part of the twelfth centuries, and which has been revived in our own day, is nothing but an imitation of the Chinese bureaucratic system; and he asserts that an organized feudalism, similar to that which existed from the twelfth century down to the year 1867, was the sole really ancient and national Japanese form of government. The translator cannot follow Hirata to such lengths, as he sees no evidence in the early histories of the intricate organization of mediaeval Japan. But that, beyond the immediate
limits of the Imperial domain, the government resembled feudalism rather than centralization seems indisputable.  It is also true that the seventh century witnessed a sudden move in the direction of bureaucratic organization, many of the titles which had up till that time denoted actual Provincial chieftains being then either suppressed, or else allowed to sink into mere "gentile names." Another remark which is suggested by a careful perusal of the two ancient histories is that the Imperial succession was in early historical times very irregular. Strange gaps occur as late as the sixth century of our era; and even when it was one of the children who inherited his father's throne, that child was rarely the eldest son.
* * *
What now are we to gather from its analysis of the religious and political features revealed to us by a study of the books containing the Early Japanese traditions as to the still remoter history and tribal divisions of Japan, and as to the origin of the Japanese legends? Very little that is certain, perhaps; but, in the opinion of the present writer, two or three interesting probabilities.
In view of the multiplicity of gods and the complications of the so-called historical traditions, he thinks that it would be a priori difficult to believe that the development of Japanese civilization should have run on in a single stream broken only in the third century by the commencement of intercourse with the mainland of Asia. We are, however, not left to such a merely theoretical consideration. There are clear indications of there having been three centres of legendary cycles, three streams which mixed together to form the Japan which meets us
at the dawn of authentic history in the fifth century of Our era. One of these centres,—the most important in the mythology,—is Idzumo; the second is Yamato: the third is Tsukushi, called in modern times Kiushiu. Eastern and Northern Japan count for nothing; indeed, much of the North-East and North was, down to comparatively recent times, occupied by the barbarous Ainos or, as they are called by the Japanese, Yemishi, Yebisu, or Yezo. That the legends or traditions derived from the three parts of the country here mentioned accord but imperfectly together is an opinion which has already been alluded to, and upon which light may perhaps be thrown by a more thorough shifting of the myths and beliefs classified according to this three-fold system. The question of the ancient division of Japan into several independent states is, however, not completely a matter of  opinion. For we have in the "Shan Hai Ching" 73 a positive statement concerning a Northern and a Southern Yamato ( ), and the Chinese annals of both the Han dynasties tell us of the division of the country into a much larger number of kingdoms, of which, according to the annals of he later Han dynasty, Yamato ( ) was the most powerful. A later official Chinese historian also tells us that Jih-pên ( , our Japan) and Yamato had been two different states, and that Jih-pên was reported to have swallowed up Yamato. By Jih-pên the author evidently meant to speak of the island of Tsukushi or of part of it. That the Chinese were fairly well acquainted with Japan is shown by the fact of there being in the old Chinese literature more than one mention of "the country of the hairy people beyond the mountains in the
[paragraph continues] East and North."—that is of the Yemishi or Ainos. No Chinese book would seem to mention Idzumo as having formed a separate country; and this evidence must be allowed its whole weight. It is possible, of course, that Idzumo may have been incorporated with Yamato before the conquest of the latter by the Tsukushi people, and in this case some of the inconsistencies of the history may be traceable to a confusion of the traditions concerning the conquest of Idzumo by Yamato and of those concerning the conquest of Yamato by Tsukushi. Perhaps too (for so almost impossible a task is it to reconstruct history out of legend) there may not, after all, be sufficient warrant for believing in the former existence of Idzumo as a separate state, though it certainly seems hard to account otherwise for the peculiar place that Idzumo occupies in mythic story. In any case, and whatever light may hereafter be thrown on this very obscure question, it must be remembered that, so far as clear native documentary evidence reaches, 400 A.D. is approximately the highest limit of reliable Japanese history. Beyond that date we are at once confronted with the miraculous; and if any facts relative to earlier Japan are to be extracted from the pages of the "Records" and "Chronicles," it must be by a process very different from that of simply reading and taking their assertions upon trust.
With regard to the origin, or rather to the significance, of the clearly fanciful portions of the Japanese legends, the question here mooted as to the probability  of the Japanese mythology being a mixed one warns us to exercise more than usual caution in endeavouring to interpret it. In fact, it bids us wait to interpret it until
such time as further research shall have shown which legends belong together. For if they are of heterogeneous origin, it is hopeless to attempt to establish a genealogical tree of the gods, and the very phrase so often heard in discussions on this subject,—"the original religious beliefs of the Japanese,"—ceases to have any precise meaning; for different beliefs may have been equally ancient and original, but distinguished geographically by belonging to different parts of the country. Furthermore it may not be superfluous to call attention to the fact that the gods who are mentioned in the opening phrases of the histories as we now have them are not therefore necessarily the gods that were most anciently worshipped. Surely in religions, as in books, it is not often the preface that is written first. And yet this simple consideration has been constantly neglected, and, one after another, European writers having a tincture of knowledge of Japanese mythology, tell us of original Dualities, Trinities, and Supreme Deities, without so much as pausing to notice that the only two authorities in the matter,—viz., the "Records" and the "Chronicles," differ most gravely in the lists they furnish of primary gods. If the present writer ventured to throw out a suggestion where so many random assertions have been made, it would be to the effect that the various abstractions which figure at the commencement of the "Records" and of the "Chronicles" were probably later growths, and perhaps indeed mere inventions of individuals priests. There is nothing either in the histories or in the Shintō Rituals to show that these gods, or some one or more of them, were in early days, as has been sometimes supposed, the objects of a pure worship which was
afterwards obscured by the legends of Izanagi, Izanami, and their numerous descendants. On the contrary, with the exception of the deity Taka-Mi-Musu-Bi, 74 they are no sooner mentioned than they vanish into space.
Whether it is intrinsically likely that so rude a race  as the Early Japanese, and a race so little given to metaphysical speculation as the Japanese at all times of their history, should have commenced by a highly abstract worship which they afterwards completely abandoned, is a question which may better be left to those whose general knowledge of early peoples and early religious beliefs entitles their decisions to respect. Their assistance likewise, even after the resolution of the Japanese mythology into its several component parts, must be called in by the specialist to help in deciding how much of this mythology should be interpreted according to the "solar" method now so popular in England, how much should be accepted as history more or less perverted, how much should be regarded as embodying attempts at explaining facts in nature, and what residue may be rejected as simple fabrication of the priesthood in comparatively late times. 75 Those who are personally acquainted with the Japanese character will probably incline to enlarge the area of the three later divisions more than would be prudent in the case of the highly imaginative Aryans, and to point out that, though some few Japanese legends
portions of legends can be traced to face etymologies invented to account for names of places, and are therefore true myths in the strict acceptation of the term, yet the kindred process whereby personality is ascribed to inanimate objects,—a process which lies at the very root of Aryan mythology,—is altogether alien to the Japanese genius, and indeed to the Far-Eastern mind in general. Mythology thus originated has been aptly described as a "disease of language." But all persons are not liable to catch the same disease, neither presumably are all languages; and it is hard to see how a linguistic disease which consists in mistaking a metaphor for a reality can attack a tongue to which metaphor, even in its tamest shape, is an almost total stranger. Thus not only have Japanese Nouns no Genders and Japanese Verbs no Persons, but the names of inanimate objects cannot even be used as the subjects of Transitive Verbs. Nowhere for instance in Japanese, whether Archaic, Classical, or Modem, do we meet with such metaphorical,—mythological,—phrases as "the hot wind melts the ice," or "his conversation delights me," where the words "wind" and "conversation" are spoken of as if they were personal agents. No, the idea is invariably rendered in some other and impersonal way. Yet what a distance separates such statements, in which the ordinary European reader unacquainted with any Altaic tongue would scarcely recognize the existence of any personification at all, from the bolder flights of Aryan metaphor! Indeed, though Altaic Asia has produced very few wise men, the words of its languages closely correspond to the definition of words as "the wise man's counters;" for they are colourless and matter-of-fact, and rarely if ever carry him who
speaks them above the level of sober reality. At the same time, it is patent that the sun plays some part in the Japanese mythology; and even the legend of Prince Yamato-Take, which has hitherto been generally accepted as historical or semi-historical, bears such close resemblance to legends in other countries which have been pronounced to be solar by great authorities that it may at least be worth while to subject it to investigation from that point of view. 76 The present writer has already expressed his conviction that this matter is not one for the specialist to decide alone. He would only, from the Japanese point of view, suggest very particular caution in the application to Japanese legend of a method of interpretation which has elsewhere been fruitful of great results.
A further particular which is deserving of notice is the almost certain fact of a recension of the various traditions at a comparatively late date. This is partly shown by the amount of geographical knowledge displayed in the enumeration of the various islands supposed to have been given birth to by Izanagi and Izanami (the "Male who Invites" and the 'Female who Invites"),—an amount and an exactness of knowledge unattainable at a time prior to the union under one rule of all the provinces mentioned, and significantly not extending much beyond those provinces. Such a recension may likewise be inferred,—if the opinion of the manifold origin of the Japanese traditions be accepted,—from the fairly ingenious Manner in which their component parts have generally been welded together. The way in which one or two legends,—for instance, that of the curious curse pronounced 
by the younger brother Ho-wori on the elder Ho-deri—are repeated more than once exemplifies a less intelligent revision. 77 Under this heading may, perhaps, be included the legends of the conquest of Yamato by the Emperor Jim-mu and of the conquest of the same country by the Empress Jin-go, which certainly bear a suspicious likeness to each other. Of the subjection of Korea by this last-named personage it should be observed that the Chinese and Korean histories, so far as they are known to us, make no mention, and indeed the dates, as more specially given in the "Chronicles," clearly show the inconsistency of the whole story; for Jin-gō's husband, the Emperor Chiū-ai, is said to have been born in the 19th year of the reign of Sei-mu, i.e. in A.D. 149, while his father, Prince Yamato-Take, is said to have died in the 43rd year of Kei-kō, i.e. in A.D. 113, so that there is an interval of thirty-six years between the death of the father and the birth of the son! 78
One peculiarly interesting piece of information to be derived from a careful study of the "Records" and "Chronicles" (though it is one on which the patriotic Japanese commentators preserve complete silence) is that, at the very earliest period to which the twilight of legend stretches back, Chinese influence had already begun to
make itself felt in these islands, communicating to the inhabitants both implements and ideas. This is surely a fact of very particular importance, lending, as it does, its weight to the mass of evidence which goes to prove that in almost all known cases culture has been introduced from abroad, and has not been spontaneously developed. The traces of Chinese influence are indeed not numerous, but they are unmistakable. Thus we find chopsticks mentioned both in the Idzumo and in the Kiushu legendary cycle. The legend of the birth of the Sun-Goddess  and Moon-God from Izanagi's eyes is a scarcely altered fragment of the Chinese myth of P’an Ku; the superstition that peaches had assisted Izanagi to repel the hosts of Hades can almost certainly be traced to a Chinese source, and the hand-maidens of the Japanese Sun-Goddess are mentioned under the exact title of the Spinning Damsel of Chinese myth ( ), while the River of Heaven ( ), which figures in the same legend; is equally Chinese,—for surely both names cannot be mere coincidences. A like remark applies to the name of the Deity of the Kitchen, and to the way in which that deity is mentioned. 79 The art of making an intoxicating liquor is referred to in the very earliest Japanese legends. Are we to believe that its invention here was independent of its invention on the continent? In this instance moreover the old histories bear witness against themselves; for they mention this same liquor in terms showing that it was a curious rarity in what, according to the accepted chronology, corresponds to the century immediately preceding the Christian era, and again in the third century of that era. The whole story
of the Sea-God's palace has a Chinese ring about it, and the "cassia-tree" ( ) mentioned in it is certainly Chinese, as are the crocodiles. That the so-called maga-tama, or "curved jewels," which figure so largely in the Japanese mythology, and with which the Early Japanese adorned themselves, were derived from China was already suspected by Mr. Henry von Siebold; and quite latterly Mr. Milne has thrown light on this subject from an altogether unexpected quarter. He has remarked, namely, that jade or the jade-like stone of which many of the maga-tama are made, is a mineral which has never yet been met with in Japan. We therefore know that some at least of the "curved jewels" or of the material for them came from the mainland, and the probability that the idea of carving these very oddly shaped ornaments was likewise imported thence gains in probability. The peculiar kind of arrow called nari-kabura ( ) is another trace of Chinese influence in the material order, and a thorough search by a competent Chinese scholar would perhaps reveal others. But enough at least has been said to show the indisputable existence of that influence. From other sources we know that the more recent mythic fancy of Japan has shown itself as little impenetrable to such influence as have the manners and customs of the people. The only difference is that assimilation has of late proceeded with much greater rapidity.
In this language is another guide; for, though the discoverable traces of Chinese influence are comparatively few in the Archaic Dialect, yet they are there. This is a subject which has as yet scarcely been touched. Two Japanese authors of an elder generation, Kahibara and
[paragraph continues] Arawi Hakuseki, did indeed point out the existence of some such traces. But they drew no inference from them, they did not set to work to discover new ones, and their indications, except in one or two obvious cases, have received little attention from later writer's whether native or foreign. But when we compare such words as kane, kume, kuni, saka, tana, uma, and many others with the pronunciation now given, or with that which the phonetic laws of the language in its earlier stage would have caused to be given, to their Chinese equivalents , , , , , , etc., the idea forces way that such coincidences of sound and sense cannot all be purely accidental; and when moreover we find that the great majority of the words in question denote things or ideas that were almost certainly imported, we perceive that a more thorough sifting of Archaic Japanese (especially of botanical and zoological names and of the names of implements and manufactures) would probably be the best means of discovering at least the negative features of an antiquity remoter than all written documents, remoter even than the crystallization of the legends which these documents have preserved. In dealing with Korean words found in Archaic Japanese we tread on more delicate ground; for there we have a language which, unlike Chinese, stands to Japanese in the closest family relationship, making it plain that many coincidences of sound and sense should be ascribed to radical affinity rather than to later intercourse. At the same time it appears more probable that, for instance, such seemingly indigenous Japanese terms as Hotoke, "Buddha," and tera, "Buddhist temple," should have been in fact borrowed from the corresponding Korean words Puchhö and
chöl than that both nations should have independently chosen homonyms to denote the same foreign ideas. Indeed, it will perhaps not be too bold to assume that  in the case of Hotoke, "Buddha," we have before us a word whose journeyings consist of many stages, it having been first brought from India to China, then from China to Korea, and thirdly from Korea to Japan, where finally the ingenuity of philologists has discovered for it a Japanese etymology (hito ke, "human spirit") with which in reality it has nothing whatever to do.
These introductory remarks have already extended to such a length that a reference to the strikingly parallel case of borrowed customs and ideas which is presented by the Ainos in this same archipelago must be left undeveloped. In conclusion, it need only be remarked that a simple translation of one book, such as is here given, does not nearly exhaust the work which might be expended even on the elucidation of that single book, and much less can it fill the gap which still lies between us and a proper knowledge of Japanese antiquity. To do this, the co-operation of the archaeologist must be obtained, while even in the field of the critical investigation of documents there is an immense deal still to be clone. Not only must all the available Japanese sources be made to yield up the information which they contain, but the assistance of Chinese and Korean records must be called in. A large quantity of Chinese literature has already been ransacked for a similar purpose by Matsushita Ken-rin, a translation of part of whose very useful compilation entitled "An Exposition of the Foreign Notices of Japan" ( ) would be one of the greatest helps towards the desired knowledge. In fact
there still remains to be done for Japanese antiquity from our standpoint what Hirata has done for it from the standpoint of a Japanese Shintoist. Except in some of Mr. Satow's papers published in these "Transactions," the subject has scarcely yet been studied in this spirit, and it is possible that the Japanese members of our Society may be somewhat alarmed at the idea of their national history being treated with so little reverence. Perhaps, however, the discovery, of the interest of the field of study thus only waiting to be investigated may reconcile them to the view here propounded. In any case if the early history of Japan is not all true, no amount of make believe can make it so. What we would like to do is to sift the true from the false. As an eminent writer on anthropology 80 has recently said, "Historical criticism, that is, judgment, is practised  not for the purpose of disbelieving, but of believing. Its object is not to find fault with the author, but to ascertain how much of what he says may be reasonably taken as true." Moreover, even in what is not to be accepted as historic fact there is often much that is valuable from other points of view. If, therefore, we lose a thousand years of so-called Japanese history, it must not be forgotten that Japanese mythology remains as the oldest existing product of the Altaic mind.
* * *
The following is a list of all the Japanese works quoted in this Introduction and in the Notes to the Translation. For the sake of convenience to the English reader all the titles have been translated excepting some
few which, mostly on account of their embodying recondite allusion, do not admit of translation:—
Catalogue of Family Names,
, by Prince Mata 81
Chronicles of Japan (generally quoted as the "Chronicles") or by Prince Toneri and others.
Chronicles of Japan Continued, , by Sugano Ason Mamichi, Fujihara no Ason TSUGUNAHA and others.
Chronicles of Japan Explained, , by URABE no Yasukata.
Chronicles of the Old Matters of Former Ages, , authorship uncertain.
Collection of a Myriad Leaves, , by TACHIBANA NO MORAYE (probably).
Collection of Japanese Songs Ancient and Modem, , by Kino TSURAYUKI and others.
Commentary on the Collection of a Myriad Leaves, , by Kamo no MABUCHI.
 Commentary on the Lyric Dramas, ,by Jinkō.
Commentary on the Ritual of the General Purification, , MOTOWORI Norinaga.
Correct Account of the Divine Age, , by MOTOWORI Norinaga.
Dictionary of Pillow-Words, , by Kamo no MABUCHI.
Digest of the Imperial Genealogies, , by Yokoyama Yoshikiyo and Kurokaha Saneyori.
Discussion of the Objections to the Inquiry into the True Chronology,
, by MOTOWORI Norinaga.
Examination of Difficult Words, , by Tachibana no MORIBE.
Examination of the Synonyms for Japan, , by MOTOWORI Norinaga.
Explanation of Japanese Names, , by KAHIBARA Tokushin.
Explanation of the Songs in the Chronicles of Japan, , by Arikida no HISAOI.
Exposition of the Ancient Histories, , by HIRATA Atsutane.
Exposition of the Foreign Notices of Japan, , by Matsushita Ken-rin.
Exposition of the Records of Ancient Matters (usually) quoted simply as "Motowori's Commentary"), , by MOTOWORI Norinaga.
Exposition of the Record of Ancient Matters Criticized (usually quoted as "Moribe's Critique on Motowori's Commentary,") , by Tachibana no MORIBE.
Gleanings from Ancient Story, , by Imibe no HIRONARI.
Idzu no Chi-Waki, , by Tachibana no MORIBE.
Idzu no Koto-waki, , by (sentence ends—JBH)
Inquiry into the Signification of the Names of the Provinces (MS.), , by Fujihara no Hitomaro.
Inquiry into the True Chronology, , by MOTOWORI Norinaga.
Japanese Words Classified and Explained, , by MINAMO NO SHITAGAFU.
Ko-Chi Tsū, , by ARAI Kumbi HAKUSEKI.
Ko-Gan Shō, (MS.), , by KEI-CHIYU.
 Perpetual Commentary on the Chronicles of Japan (usually quoted as "Tanigaha Shisei's Commentary,")
, by TANIGAHA SHISEI.
Records of Ancient Matters (often quoted simply as the "Records"), , by Futo no YASUMARO.
Records of Ancient Matters in the Divine Character, , by Fujihara no Masaoki.
Records of Ancient Matters in the Syllable Character. , by Sakata no Kaneyasu.
Records of Ancient Matters Revised, , Anonymous.
Records of Ancient Matters With Marginal Notes (usually quoted as "the Edition of 1687"), , by Deguchi NOBUYOSHI.
Records of Ancient Matters With the Ancient Reading, , by Nagase no Masachi (published with Motowori's, sanction)
Records of Ancient Matters with Marginal Readings, , by Murakami Tadayoshi.
Ritual of the General Purification, , Authorship Uncertain.
Shintō Discussed Afresh, , by Takahashi Gorō.
Sources of the Ancient Histories, , by HIRATA Atsutane.
Tale of a Bamboo-Cutter, Authorship Uncertain.
Tama-Katsuma, , by MOTOWORI Norinaga.
Tokihara-Gusa (the full title is Jin-Dai-Sei-Go Tokiha-Gusa), , ( ), Hosoda TOMINOBU.
Topography of Yamashiro, , Authorship Uncertain.
Tō-Ga (MS.), , by ARAI Kumbi HAKUSEKI.
Wa-Kun Shiwori, , by TANIGAWA SHISEI.
Yamato Tales, , Authorship Uncertain.
Besides these two or three standard Chinese works are referred to such as the "Yi Chin" or "Book of Changes" ( ), and the "Shan Hai Ching" or "Mountain and Sea Classic" ( ); but they are very few, and so easily recognized that it were unnecessary to enumerate them. All Japanese words properly so called are transliterated according to Mr. Satow's "Orthographic System," which, while representing the native spelling, does not in their case differ very greatly from the modern pronunciation. In the case of Sinico-Japanese words, where the divergence between the "Orthographic" spelling and the pronunciation is often considerable, a phonetic spelling has been preferred. With but two or three exceptions, which have been specially noted, Sinico-Japanese words are found only in proper names mentioned in the Preface and in the translator's Introduction, Footnotes, and Sectional Headings. The few Chinese words that occur in the Introduction and Notes are transliterated according to the method introduced by Sir Thomas Wade, and now so widely used by students of Chinese.
lix:57 The Chinese characters used to write this word are , which signify the "Way of the Gods." The term was adopted in order to distinguish the old native beliefs from Buddhism and Confucianism.
lxii:58 Conf. p. xvii, last paragraph for the modified sense in which alone the word "deification" can be used in speaking of the Early Japanese worship.
lxv:59 In Sect. XXVII, where this deity is first mentioned, he is called Sukuna Biko-Na-no-Kami, the "Little Prince the Renowned Deity."
lxvi:60 See Appendix II.
lxx:62 As a specimen of the flexibility of his system, the reader to whom the Japanese language and Japanese legend are familiar is recommended to peruse pp. 13-24 of Vol. I of Arawi Hakuseki's "Ko Shi Tsū" ( ) where an elaborate rationalistic interpretation is applied to the story of the amours of Izanagi and Izanami. It is amusing in its very gravity, and one finds it difficult to believe that the writer can have been in earnest when he penned it.
lxxii:63 Mr. Takahashi Gorō's book here alluded to is his "Shintō Discussed Afresh."
lxxiii:64 I.e. the emperor Jim-mu,—ten-nō, written , being simply the Sinico-Japanese word for "emperor."
lxxiii:65 15th day of 11th moon of 5th year of Meiji.
lxxvi:66 For the use of this word to represent the Japanese Yomo or Yomi, see Sect. IX, Note 1.
lxxvii:67 Podocarpus macrophylla.
lxxvii:68 The least meagre account will be found in Sects. XVI and XXXII.
lxxviii:69 To be found at the end of Sect. XXXII.
lxxix:70 In the Jim-mu legend we have the more usual form of the superstition, that, viz., which makes it unlucky to go from West to East, which is the contrary of the course pursued by the sun. In Sect. CLIII, on the other hand, the Emperor Yū-riaku is found fault with for acting in precisely the reverse manner, viz., for going from East to West, p. lxxx i.e. with his back to the sun. The idea is the same, though its practical application may thus diametrically differ, the fundamental objection being to going against the sun, in whatever manner the word against, to or some kindred expression. may be interpreted.
lxxx:71 See Sects. XXXIX to XLI. For the "Herb-Quelling Sabre" see Sects; XVIII and LXXXII, et. seq.
lxxxii:72 General Le Gendre, quoted by Sir Edward Reed.
lxxxix:74 I.e. the High August Producing Wondrous Deity. He is the second divine personage whose birth is mentioned in the "Records" (see Sect. I. Note 5). In the story of the creation given in the "Chronicles" he does not appear except in "One account."
lxxxix:75 Sect. XXXVII is a good instance of the third of these categories. For an elaborate myth founded on the name of a place see Sect. LXV. Lesser instances occur in Sects. XLIV, LXV, and LXXIII.
xci:76 See Sects. LXXIX-XCI.
xcii:77 See this legend as first given in Sects. XL and XLI and afterwards in quite another context in Sect. CXVI. The way in which "One account" of the "Chronicles of Japan" tells the story of the ravages committed on the fields of the Sun-Goddess by her brother, the "Impetuous Male Deity," might perhaps justify the opinion that that likewise is but the same tale in another form. The legend is evidently a very important one.
xcii:78 The translator's attention was drawn to the inconsistency of these dates by Mr. Ernest Satow.
xciii:79 See Sect XXIX, Note 16.
xcvii:80 Dr. Tylor in his "Anthropology," Chap. XV.
xcviii:81 The names in small capitals are those by which the authors (or compilers) are best known, and are mostly either their surname or personal name. Japanese usage is however very fluctuating, and sanctions moreover the use of a variety of noms de plume. Thus Motowori is not only often mentioned by his personal name Norinaga, but also by the, designation of Suzunoya no Ushi, Mabuchi by the designation of Agatawi no Ushi, etc.