KOJIKI, RECORDS OF ANCIENT MATTERS

MS 5327
MS Short Title KOJIKI, RECORDS OF ANCIENT MATTERS
Text KOJIKI, RECORDS OF ANCIENT MATTERS; FURUKOTOFUMI, SACRED BOOK OF SHINTO
Description Blockprint with MS additions in Chinese, Jodai Nihongo (Old Japanese), and Japanese on paper, Edo, Japan, 1803, 3 vols., 78+80+56 ff. (complete), 26x18 cm,7+8 columns, (21x31 cm, wood-block size), 15 and 16 Kanji (Chinese characters) each, with Katakana added, woodblocks signed by calligrapher/carver, the inter-columnar MS additions in red Kanji up to 42 characters per column, and up to 32 columns of black MS additions on top of the page with up to 10 characters per column, 3 ownership stamps in red Hanko (seal script, and 3 in red Kanji.
Binding Edo, Japan, 1803 blue paper covers, stitced on 4 stations (Xian Zhuang).
Context 1. 2 Private owners, Edo, Japan (19th c.); 2. Kimio Koketsu, Ohya-Shobo Ltd, Tokyo.
Provenance Kojiki was finished in 712 by O no Yasumaru based on a story memorized by Hieda no Are under order of the Imperial Court. It is the oldest surviving work of Japan’s history. It starts with the mythological beginning of the world as it was created by the Kami (Shinto sacred deities or spirits) Izanagi and Izanami. The Creation story was followed by the Imperial line descending directly from the sun goddess Amaterasu (born from the left eye of Izanagi as he purified himself in a river). She was the most important deity of Shintoism, and gave birth to Emperor Jimmu who was followed by 39 Japanese emperors. This Shinto legitimacy of the Imperial house was the main reason why Shinto was made the official religion of Japan following the Meiji restoration until the abrupt halt in 1945. With the Emperor’s descent from Amaterasu and being father of all Japanese, he was considered to be a living Kami on earth, giving him a divine status. Even if there are no official sacred scriptures of Shintoism, both Kojiki and Nihon-Shoki are still regarded as the sacred foundation books of Shinto.
Place of origin Edo, Japan
Dates 1803

Location