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Historians of ancient Japan, from Japan or from the West, have been relying on the six official records (rikkokushi) since the dawn of the discipline.
As such, the recorded events that are said to have occurred prior to the beginning of the eighth century are now widely regarded by scholars as wielding little historical accuracy.
denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)Hosoi Hiroshi ..., Kodai no tenmon ihen to shisho ... These compilations, which started with the establishment of an administrative system inspired by Tang China's codes, present events relevant to the state that occurred within the reign of each emperor and are arranged in chronological order.
[Official chronicles and astronomical anomalies of ancient Japan] Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 2007. The first of the six, the Nihon Shoki (720), which deals with the mythical origins of the land and with legendary sovereigns for most of its first half, appears clearly as an attempt to legitimize and promote imperial power, taking Japanese aristocrats as well as the Chinese empire as its targets.
Most weddings are performed by Shinto priests; most funerals are performed by Buddhist priests.
Each shrine is dedicated to a specific Kami who has a divine personality and responds to sincere prayers of the faithful.
In other words, modern historians, when dealing with official records of ancient Japan, have to face two major issues.
First, are the dates given for the events accurate, given the successive changes of calendar that occurred during the Nara period?
A secular, country-wide National Founding Day is held on FEB-11 to commemorate the founding of Japan; this is the traditional date on which the first (mythical) emperor Jinmu ascended the throne in 660 BCE.Their children became the deities of the various Japanese clans. The word "Kami" is generally translated into English as "god" or "gods." However, the Kami bear little resemblance to the gods of monotheistic religions.Amaterasu Omikami (Sun Goddess) was one of their daughters. Her brother, Susano came down from heaven and roamed throughout the earth. There are no concepts which compare to the Christian beliefs in the wrath of God, his omnipotence, his omni-presence, or the separation of God from humanity due to sin.On the other hand, he concentrates on the nature and structure of these records from the point of view of their sources, and questions the way said sources were actually managed and preserved.
Following the introduction, where Hosoi explains his method and his goals, the book, which consists of a collection of revised articles and new contributions by the author, is divided into two parts.Thus, common sense dictates using these accounts with care and with a critical mind.