Religion Past and Present

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(359 words)

[German Version]

As the oldest compilation of myths and legends from ancient Japan, the Kojiki is highly significant not only in the context of Shintō (Shintoism), but also for the cultural history of Japan as a whole. It was set down in writing in 712 ce by the court nobleman Yasumaro, although it doubtlessly goes back to oral traditions attributed to Emperor Temmu in their existing form. The latter had ascended the throne in 673 and was interested in placing the legendary descent of the ruling clan from the gods ( Kami ) in a favorable light. The mythological sections contain a cosmo…

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Pye, Michael, “Kojiki”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 October 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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