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Japanese Mythology

Japanese Mythology

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Published by: Adrian Frenț on Jun 28, 2011
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J.
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'From:RoyWillis,ed.,WORLD~-1YTHOLOGY.London:DuncanBairdEditions,1993
TibetandMongolia102
DR.\1AR.TINBOORD
:\lythsof
Origin/Raaiant,BlackMiseryanathekarmIcunnd
104MythsoftheAncientKings/
Thesky-descendedrulers
105
8~
~~
C"l~
a~
t"l
e
~~
Japan110~
DR
C.
SCOTT
LITTLETO~
El
<
Izanagi'and
IzanamliThe
primal
couple
112;;
m
Arnarerasuand
Susana/Thecontestofthe...~siblingdeities
lIS
d
0
[heDivine
CrisisiAmaterasu'sremoval
Vl~
of
thesun
116
8~
TheIzumo
Cycle/Susano'sdescent
to
earth:
t:j
et
o
kumnushiandtheWhiteRabbit
118~
td
><
King
GesariThewarrior-king
106
TheTamingoftheGodsl
TheimpactofBuddhism107
Mongoiian
Shamamsm/Encounterswiththe
spmt
realm
108Gods.Heroesand
Demons/Inarz,HachimanandtheOni121
TheRealmof
Saga/Theexploitso{jimmu-tennoandYamato-takeru122
Buddhist
MythsiThreefiguresof
mercv
123
Greece124
DR
SIMONGOLDHILL
:\lv,hand
Society/Publicandprivateobservances126
TheBirrn
or
the
GodslTheriseoftheGlvmpians128
TheOriginsof
Humamrv!Prometheus.Pandora.Deucalion,Pvrrba130Zeus/Kingorthegods132
The
COUDllngS
or
ZeustHumanand.iiuineconsorts1.33
:\rhene/The
t'trgmgoddess136
PoselcioruGod
otthesea137A.podo/Thebrilliantgod
138Artemis/
Chastegoddessat"thehunt
139:JionvsoslGoa
otunneandalteredstates140
Gociciesses
or
the
.soilJDemererandPersetihone
l42AresandAphrodite/War.
loveandsex143
Home.Hearthand
Fire!Hermes.Hesuaand
H
ephaistos144
TheUnderworld/Tee
kingdomorHades146
Heroesand
Monsters/Theworld'sprodigies
147
HeraklesiThearchetypalhero148TheseusiAthenianheroandstatesman150Jason/Thegreataduenturer152
TheArgonautsilason's
questtortheGoldenFleece154PerseuS/SlayerofMeausa156
TheTrojan
War/Homerswarriorepic157
After
Troy/OdysseusandAgamemnon160TransgressorsiBreakersofthenaturalorder
162
Centaursand
AmazonsiRacesoffabulousbeings
164
TtansformationsiMythsofmetamorphosis;Orpheus165
Rome166
DRMARYBEARD
Godsand
GoddessesiTheborrowedpantheon;householdgodsandcivicvirtues168
TheFoundation
of
Rome/ThedestinyorAeneastheTrojan172
RomulusandtheKingsof
Rome/Theshe-wolfanathemythsofthepast174
TheCelticWorld176
DR
JOHN!'lV.dNNES
TheCelticPantheon/A
miscellany
of
gods
1-8
MythsandGods
oi
Ireland/
TheMythologicalCycle180
TheHero
of
Ulster/TalesofCUChulainn182
FinnandHis
WarriorsiTheFenianmyths184
Goddesses!
Motherhood,warandsouereigntv186
Otherworldly
VoyagesiConla,MaelDuinandBran187
Stories
or
WalesiThe
"Mabinogion'188
TheArthurianLegendJArthur
andhisknights189
NorthernEurope190
DR
HILDA
Ei.us
DAVIDSON
EarlvandLost
Gods/Fragmentsor.\iorthernmvth192
CosmologymtheViking
Age/TheWoridTreeanditsreaims
193
Loki
anaRagnaroKiThe
trickster.the
woii
amithelastgreatbattle
195
Odin/Ruler
or
Asgard196Thor/Thethundergod
198
FrevrandtheVamri
Godsotsk:v,landandwater200
GoddessesandFemaleSpirits/
Previa,Golden':wples.FaikvriesandNoms202
TheDragon·Slavers/Beowui(
andSigurd204
CentralandEasternEurope206
DRF.'\!TIl
WIGZELL
TheOther
World/Thethricetenthkingdom208
TheBabaIagaandthe
ArnazonsiFemaiecreaturesoffolktale209
AncestorsandHearth
Spirits/IvantheFoolandthedomouoi210
SpiritSoulsoftheDeparted/The
rusalka,uilaanaothervisitors211
Malevolent
SpiritsiForestcreatures,werewolvesandvampires212
<.
 
110
.,..
EveryShinto
shrine
hasasimple
rom
(gateway)attheentrance
to
itsprecincts.This
torii
risingfromthesea
IS
linkedwiththeMiva;irrtQshrinenearHiroshima,sacredtothethreedivmedaughtersofthestormgodSusano.
LyingoffthenortheastcoastoftheEurasianlandmass,fromwhichitisseparatedbytheTsushimaStraits,Japanisatonce
in
EastAsia,butnotreally
of
EastAsia.Itshistory,inthestrictsenseofaliteratehistoricaltradition,beganlatebyWesternstandards:theconventionalstartingdateis552ADwhenthekingoftheKoreankingdomofPaekche(nearmodernPusan)sentsomeBuddhistmissionariestotheemperorofJapanasagestureofgoodwill.Atthattime,theprincipalJapaneseinstitutionwasthe
uji,
ordan.Each
uji
seemstohavecontrolleditsownterritoryand
to
havebeencomposedofbothcommonersandaristocrats,andalmostcertainlyhaditsownmythology,whichcentredonadivineancestor.Bythebeginningofthe6thcentury,oneoftheseclans(sometimesreferredtoastheYamatoclan,fromtheregionofcentralHonshuthat
still
bearsthisname)hadmanagedtogaineffectivehegemonyovertheothers-and,byextension,sohaditsdivineancestors.Theimperialfamily,whichhascontinuedinanunbrokenlinetothepresent,soonbecametheprimaryfocusofJapanesemyth.ThenativereligionofJapan,Shinto,isbasedontheworshipofamultitudeofgods,spiritsandobjectsofreverence.ItsmythologyconcentratesontalesofthesungoddessAmaterasuandtheadventuresbywhichherdescendantsunifiedtheJapanesepeople.WiththeintroductionofBuddhismcameaperiodofculturalborrowing,initiallyfromKorea,laterfromChina,the"mothercivilization"ofEastAsia.BuddhismmingledwithShintoincomplexways,butfromthe17thcenturytherewasastrongShintorevival,culminatingintheadoptionofShintoasstatereligionundertheMeijigovernment(1868-1912).
 
','
-,:,,'
SOURCESOFJAPANESEMYTHThe
primMJ'
sourceforJapanesemythology,the
Koii";,
orRecordofAncientManers.
is
theoldestsurvivingimperialgenealogy.The
finaj
lextwascompiled
by
acourtiernamedOno
Yuumaro
&om
severalearlier
textS(nolonger
CXlaDtl
afterreceivingacommission&omtheEmpressGemmci
in
AD7110
Theworkwasformallypresentedalcourtfourmoothslater.inthelintmonthof
AD712.
Wrincoinacuriousmixtureof
archaic
JapaneseandChinese.the
Ko;;;,;~...
ththecreationoftheworld.theoriginorthegods.thedivineancatryoftheimperialfamily,andendswiththedeathoftheEmperorSuikoin
AD641.
Thesecondmajorsource
is
the
Niho1UholH.
orChronicleofJapan,compiledbyseveral"holanataroundthesametimeasthe
Kojilr.i,
andcompletedin
AD720.
Exceptforits
poetry,
the
NilM1Uholti
is
wrinen
in
classicalChineseand
is
stronglyintIvenccdbyChinese(and
Korean'
historicalandmythologicalb1ldirioosanddvnasticchronicles.For
tbis
reasoa,
theNihotuhoJtiis,ODthewbole,lessreliablethan!be
Ko;ilt.i
asasourceforindigcoousmyth.OthersourcesmclvdctheKogosm.;.or
Gleanings
&omAncientStories
lAD807),
various
..onto
(ancicotShintOpraycni.the
(ruJo1H
(8th-centuryprovincial
"gazetteers"'.
andthefirstgreatanthologyofJapanese
poetry.
the,~!.znyo:s;'"(c:.Alli60l.
JAPAN111
."'1",-~...
AD794-
1868
1192
-.:">
..·c·
.,"".
1600
1603-18681868-1912
1872
1946.\1YTHlCSITESANDSACREDPlACES
.\10UNT~AKACHIO
Mo......
aio
inKvushuwhereHoninigidescended&ombeaven(secp.120).
lsE
SiteortheGrandShrineofAma[crasuandIbeRice
God;
themOSIsacredplace
LD
theShintoreligion(seep.115.m~l.
THEHI
RIvER
NowinSbimanePrefecture.Susanoisbelieved
[0
have
landed
ncarirs,hcadwatenlwhcohewasbanishedfromheaven(see
p.Ll
Z),'
lZUMO-TAISHA
SiteoftheGrand
Shrine
ofOkuninushiIsometimescalledDaikokusamaloffsprin~ofSusanaandtheproteceoroftheimperialfamily(seepp.118-20l..
KUMANO
Sireof[immu-rennu'sencounterwiththe
bear
spirit<secp.tU)._..~HEKANTO
PurN
SiteofYamato-takeru'sbarriewiehtheEmishi(secp.lii).
L
RAGA
Sl"RAIT!;
Here
Yamaro-".,
takeru's
consonsacrificedherselfto
a'.:'
waterspirironarough
SC3
crossing,tocaimthewavesIsecp.1221.
SHImo
Shinto."TheWav
otthe
Gods",centres
o~
rhe
of
Ir
a
mi.
divinitiesbelievedinn.bireverydistinct.phenomenoninnature;.includinghuman
bein~.
Fr-;;m
1872to1945Shintowasdie.'StatereligioDofJapan.butaftertheSe.:ondWorldWarit~evcned
10
being
a
"congreganonal·Inwhicheachshrine.or
;i
;4,
is,,'mv".
LX>!l,.....
related
10
theothers.Themost
LmDO.:t2rLt
»:
annualevenrat
every
,;,,;a
is
the
"",,"-Pi.
Q[
Ihnaefestival.
An
imageofthelocal~;;.earnedaroundIheneighbourhoodondie._,-
I,
'houlders
f'.
.0
youngmenand
wOmCD-
[hereby,.sanCtlfyiogboththeviciniryandthecarrion-,,
Sf.;!
·OE·;
f
A.PAN,
PA·CIFl"C
0C
f.
AN
KEYTOMAP
-.RoueeofccnqofYamato
by
Jimmu__logcnciarr
fi
emperorofJapan,c.
ADJ~
_KamoPlainSiteofmythical
episode
.....Mouotallls.."oimytbical~
Saaed
Site

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