Written in the early eighth century, the Kojiki is considered Japan's first literary and historical work. A compilation of myths, legends, songs, and genealogies, it recounts the birth of Japan's islands, reflecting the origins of Japanese civilization and future Shinto practice. The Kojiki provides insight into the lifestyle, religious beliefs, politics, and history of early Japan, and for centuries has shaped the nation's view of its past. This innovative rendition conveys the rich appeal of the Kojiki to a general readership by translating the names of characters to clarify their contribution to the narrative while also translating place names to give a vivid sense of the landscape the characters inhabit, as well as an understanding of where such places are today. Gustav Heldt's expert organization reflects the text's original sentence structure and repetitive rhythms, enhancing the reader's appreciation for its sophisticated style of storytelling.
AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPrefaceBook OneThe First Generations of SpiritsIzanagi and IzanamiAmaterasu and Susa-no-o?kuni-nushiHiko-ho-no-ninigiHo-deri and Hoho-demiBook TwoSovereign JinmuSovereign SuiseiSovereign AnneiSovereign ItokuSovereign K?sh?Sovereign K?anSovereign K?reiSovereign K?genSovereign KaikaSovereign Sujin Sovereign SuininSovereign Keik?Sovereign SeimuSovereign Ch?aiSovereign ?jinBook ThreeSovereign NintokuSovereign Rich?Sovereign HanzeiSovereign Ingy?Sovereign Ank?Sovereign Y?ryakuSovereign SeineiSovereign Kenz?Sovereign NinkenSovereign BuretsuSovereign KeitaiSovereign AnkanSovereign SenkaSovereign KinmeiSovereign BidatsuSovereign Y?meiSovereign SushunSovereign SuikoGlossary of General TermsGlossary of Personal NamesGlossary of Place NamesMap 1. Ancient Lands of Yamato JapanMap 2. Central YamatoBibliography
An accomplished and approachable new translation of a crucially important work that has been desperately in need of such a new rendition.
David Lurie, Columbia University
A highly accomplished translation of the Kojiki that is accurate and faithful to the original and at the same time exciting to read. A key element of the Kojiki mythology is the power of naming, and Heldt's decision to translate the names of its various gods and royal figures has brought the narrative alive in a way that it has never been before in English.
Torquil Duthie, UCLA
O no Yasumaro (d. 723) was a nobleman of the Japanese court whose O clan ruled over an area bearing the same name near the eighth-century capital of Nara.
Gustav Heldt is an associate professor of Japanese literature at the U