Chamberlain's translation of The Kojiki

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by Kaldayen, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Kaldayen

    Kaldayen Spiritual ronin

    Sep 16, 2003
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    I started to read the Kojiki and other Shinto writings for a text I have to produce in my Intro to Japan course. I went here in the Shinto section and printed The Kojiki translated by B.H. Chamberlain. (Thank you Brian for the accessibility of the texts :) )
    The problem I have is : The part 2 starts with a paragraph named "The Land of Hades". I was wondering how could the name of Hades be incorporated in a classical japanese text.. the same thing for a phrase in latin "usque ad privates partes" (Part 3, The door of the heavenly rock-dwelling).

    When I read "Hades" in the text... I thought : ok.. maybe it's an approximative translation for an equivalent concept, more or so. But I really questionned the validity of the translation when I found the latin part.

    Have anyone read the original text or another translation and could answer me as to whether yes or no this is "acceptable" ? Thanks! :D

  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Jul 10, 2003
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    Namaste Kal,

    thanks for the post.

    good question, i'll check my texts and see what they have to say specifically on this.

    generally speaking, though, English speakers are often confuted by seemingly similar terms in Japanese and Chinese, especially when it comes to Buddhist and Shinto thought. usually this manifests itself with strange word alliterations such as "hades" which would seem to be very unlikely given the history of Japan.

    You'll see instances of this same type of thing in Jung and Wilhelms transliteration of the Golden Flower texts.
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

    Jul 15, 2003
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    Thanks for the comments - and apologies about the confusion. I'm afraid that I'm currently restricted by copyright issues as to what I can actually put up on this site. Although there is some copyrighted work up, it is very much in minority, and usually just a single text from a single individual. I do intend to rectify this soon, but I need to plan entirely which areas to target. Until then, there's a terrible over-reliance on older translations - often even 19th century - which can certainly contribute to problems of clarity and accuracy. I'll definitely try to build up on the Eastern sections, though.

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