translated by B.H. Chamberlain

Set in writing in 712 AD, the Kojiki is the Japanese for a group of ancient stories that would be otherwise translated as “Records of Ancient Matters”. They represent the culmination of the Yamato dominance over the islands of Japan towards the end of the 7th century. The Kojiki essentially begins with the beginning of the world, the birth of Gods and Goddesses, the creation of the islands of Japan, and the descent of the Gods and Goddesses to Japan itself. The line of the tale, of course, will conclude logically that the rulers of the period, overseeing the compilation of the texts, will be linked directly with the Gods.

The Kojiki is a rich lore of folk tale that has ultimately helped shape how the Japanese people view themselves. The Kojiki, along with the Nihongi, have defined Japanesis image, by the communication through literature of the most ancient of Japan’s surviving mythology.

part 1 – The birth of the deities

part 2 – The quarrel of Izanaga and Izanami

part 3 – Amaterasu, the sun-goddess, and the storm-god

part 4 – The beast-legends

part 5 – The champion of Japan

FEATURE: Roman Religion

Explore the core beliefs of Roman Religion, beyond the mythology, in our section Roman Religion.