Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1: 9. Texts and Sources
カテゴリー2: Shinto Classics and Literature
Fudoki is a general title given to a set of documents compiled in the Nara period according to a specific form and composition—a gazetteer composed of publicly reported documents. The title was likely modeled after the titles Chinese works like Zhou chu feng tu ji or Ji zhou feng tu ji, but the title fudoki does not appear in any work until Iken fūji (914) by Miyoshi Kiyotsura in the Heian period. Originally it had been believed, according to the first page of the extant manuscript of Hitachi fudoki, that these gazetteers were official surveys (which is addressed later), and had no specific title. Also, like their predecessors in China, the majority of Japanese Fudoki have been lost, and what is known about these comes from a few surviving manuscripts, and scattered quotes in poetic treatises and commentaries from the medieval era. Of the five surviving Fudoki, only Izumo fudoki is a complete manuscript, because the other four, Harima, Hitachi, Bungo, and Hizen survive down to the present in incomplete, abbreviated, or disorganized manuscripts. Furthermore, the only manuscript that dates from the Heian period is the Sanjōnishike manuscript of Harima fudoki.

Origin of Fudoki

Proof that Fudoki originated in the Nara period is found in the imperial order that these gazetteers be compiled, as contained in the entry in Shoku Nihongi, dated second day of the fifth month of 713. This entry notes that the following were commanded to be reported: 1) Write the names of the districts and villages in the various provinces in the capital area and the seven circuits with auspicious characters; 2) record the various kinds of minerals, animals, and vegetation found in each district; 3) record the fertility of the land; 4) record the origins of the names of mountains, rivers, plains, and moors; 5) record old stories and strange events as remembered by the elderly in the area, and report these as historical accounts. Concerning number 1, the first book of procedures of Popular Affairs in Engishiki notes, "The names of all districts and villages in the various provinces will be written with two characters, and these shall be auspicious names." It is believed that this measure was based on the policy of the state at the time while Numbers 2 through 5, being based on actual conditions in the various provinces, possess the character of an official report. Furthermore, there is a possibility that numbers 4 and 5 contain records of oral traditions specific to certain locations.
Next we will look at the creation of each of these five fudoki. Of these five, the one that appears to have originated closest in time to 713 is the Harima fudoki. As noted earlier, there is only one manuscript that of the Sanjōnishike but even so the Harima fudoki expresses that which is characteristic of the original fudoki. Even in so doing, the manuscript itself lacks the general section and the following report on the district of Akashi. However, there are two fragments from the record of Akashi District quoted in Shaku nihongi (Book Eight, entry under "fast bird," and Book Ten, entry under "Nihotsuhime"), so we are safe in assuming that these sections existed in the original manuscript. Judging from the way some sections have been augmented, there are some who argue that the original was a draft, but when the manuscript was compiled, all the administrative units from the district level down are sato 里 (small village or hamlet) which demonstrates that the information predates the year 715, so it is reasonable assume that the compilation was carried out relatively quickly after the order in 713.
Hitachi fudoki starts with the words, "Governor of Hitachi, Report: a record of things past as heard and related by the elderly." As can be seen in this statement, Hitachifudoki takes the form of an official report largely consisting of a presentation of (5) above. However, aside from the general report and the location of the district (Namekata District), the records of the other districts contain comments like "The rest has been abbreviated" or "The beginning has been dropped," showing that the manuscript has been transmitted in an abridged form, and as a consequence, neither the date of origin nor the name of the compiler is not recorded. Internal evidence, such as the heavy use of the term sato as the geographical unit at the district level and the line "Province of Mutsu, District of Iwaki (later it is Iwaki Province)," leads us to believe the manuscript originated before 718.
Izumo fudoki has the following at the end of the manuscript, "(This text) was collated and created on the thirtieth day of the second month of the fifth year of Tenpyō [733] (by) Miyake Omi Matatari, a person from the district of Aika under the supervision of Izumo Omi Hiroshima of the Extra-code Upper Sixth rank, having received the twelfth grade award, governor of Izumo who is concurrently Overseer of the Ou District." Thus it is clear that the text originated in 733, having been collated by Miyake Omi Matatari, and overseen by Izumo Omi Hiroshima. This compilation also records the post and surname (but not the given name) of everyone in the district governments from the post of secretary down, so it would appear that various records taken at the district (gun) level had been collected by the provincial office and compiled into one document. By 733, it had been twenty years since the first edict in 713 and it is important to note that Izumo fudoki also contains inscriptions of areas of military importance that are not seen in the sections (1) through (5) described above. Moreover, this record contains some characteristics that differ from both Harima and Hitachi fudoki. Many of these characteristics can also be witnessed in Bungo fudoki and Hizen fudoki.
The manuscripts of both Bungo fudoki and Hizen fudoki. have records pertaining to the general record and the individual districts, but the contents of these individual district records are incomplete, raising issues abridgement. This two fudoki have a number of "unique characteristics." of these two fudoki. For example, both contain accounts of military defenses such as castles and beacon fires, and the basic unit below the district is "village" (郷) and not sato "hamlet." This suggests that these two fudoki were produced before the abolishment of the "village-hamlet" system around 739—740. Additionally, given the fact that these two fudoki exhibit an overall unity in both style and content, it is sometimes asserted these they were compiled by order of the Dazaifu in 732 after Fujiwara Umakai arrived as a special envoy for the Western Circuit and for this reason these fudoki are called the Western Circuit Fudoki. Another issue of critical importance when considering exactly when and how these two fudoki were produced is there strong resemblance to parts of Nihon shoki in both written style and content. It is clear that these two fudoki and parts of Nihon shoki have parallels in style or recording and characters but there are also sections where no parallels exist. Moreover, the relationship between this two fudoki and the Nihon shoki is still fraught with many unresolved problems including issues regarding whether or not Nihon shoki existed prior to or after these two texts. Based on the origins of these five fudoki, scholars call Hitachi and Harima the Wadō fudoki, and Izumo, Bungo, and Hizen the Tenpyō fudoki.

The Characteristics of Fudoki

Below we will take a concreted look at the contents of fudoki, focusing on the legends of the various kami. In so doing, it is essential to keep in mind the relationship fudoki have with the mythology in Kojiki and Nihon shoki. Expressed most plainly, the myths in Kojiki and Nihon shoki have been systematized into a central mythology whereas the legends in fudoki are regional myths strongly tied to the local traditions. However, referring to the myths of the fudoki as regional myths does not suggest that these myths were devoid of any influence from the central mythologies. For example, this influence is clear even when considering that these works were formulated and produced under the ritsuryō system with the emperor as its pinnacle. More precisely, as we have already argued, these legends are divided into local traditions and legends that frequently grant the journeys the emperor made to certain locations a central role. In this way there is an overlapping of sorts with the central myths. However, given their regional character, one of the fascinating points of the fudoki is the diversity of nature of these legends. Among some of the representative kami found in Harima fudoki are Ashiharanoshiko'o, Amanohihoko, Iwaōkami, and Ōnamuchi. In particular, the legend of securing (and opening) the land makes these kami distinctive. In the district of Iibo there are two examples of Iwaōkami securing the land (in the hamlets of Kaguyama and Hayashida). There also is the story of the fight between Amanohihoko, who came from Kara (mainland Asia, Korea), with Ashiharanoshiko'o, the landowner (in the Ihibo'oka section). In the Shisaho District record, Amanohihoko and Ashiharanoshiko'o fight over who will secure and inhabit the land (in Inakagawa, the hamlet of Mikata), and there is the story where Amanohihoko leads a vanguard against Iwaōkami (Haka Village). Also of special interest is the Mikata village legend where the three strands of black club moss possessed by Ashiharanoshiko'o land in the Tajima districts of Keta and Yabu and the Harima hamlet of Mikata, but the black club moss of Amanohihoko lands only in Tajima, and thus this kami (who?) is able to secure of the area of Izushi. To give another example, the legend Iwaōkami's enshrinement in Shisaho District (Iwa village) can be looked upon as an important myth surrounding the origin of various local kami. In one case, Ōnamochi (大穴持命) who has a deep connection with Izumo is also, interestly, found in the legends of Harima. The Harima legends spell this kami's name 大汝命 (there are eleven examples of this), and in contrast to the stories of Izumo, Ōnamochi often appears in conjunction with Sukunahikone. On the other hand, in Izumo, there is only instance where these two kami (Ōnamochi and Sukunahikone) are noted together, that being the record concerning the coming of the rice seed (in Iishi District, Tane Village []). In Harima, a similar legend appears in the entry about Mount Inadane of Iibo District. It is believed that at this time in Harima and Izumo there may have been a deep connection in the faith and belief in the various kami.

Izumo fudoki

A greater variety of kami appear in Izumo fudoki than in any other gazetteer. Among those deities, kami that are labeled "great kami," including Nogiōkami, Kumano'ōkami, Sadaōkami, and Amenoshitatsukurashishi Ōkami, are thought to represent specific locales. As far as these legends attest, the kami wielding the greatest amount of power is the great kami who created everything under the heavens (Amenoshitatsukurashishi Ōkami or Ōnamochi). This great kami is the hero of the "land-pulling" myth where he comparable to Yatsukamizuomitsu (Ou District) who is the hero of the "land creating" myth, and is called "Ōnamochi who took the five hundred plows and created everything under heaven" (Ou District, Izumo no Kamube). In that same legend, Amenoshitatsukurashishi Ōkami's tales of marriage to the daughter of Kamumusubi (two examples) and the daughter of Susanoo (two examples), and the enshrinement of the divine offspring (mikogami) such as Yamashirohiko, Ajisukitakahiko, Wakafutatsunushi, Adakayanushitakikihime are given. This legend of mikogami and the marriage with the daughter of Kamumusubi and Susanoo legitimizes the lineage of the various kami of Izumo and, as a consequence, demonstrates the process whereby local kami are subsumed by more powerful kami. As is the case with a number of other legends containing stories of the enshrinement of Susanoo's divine offspring (as those of Aohatasakusahiko, Tsurugihiko, Kunioshiwake, Iwasakahiko, Tsukihokoto'oyoruhiko), the story of Kamumusubi does not relate the activities of this kami himself but rather only the myths of his offspring (seven examples). The incorporation of the kami of Izumo into the family lineages of the predominant kami of Kojiki and Nihon shoki is also point worthy of our attention.

Other fudoki

In Hitachi fudoki great kami called Kashimaōkami and Futsuōkami appear. The former is connected with the Nakatomi clan, and the latter is connected with the Mononobe clan, and these kami have contact with the central tradition (of Kojiki and Nihon shoki) by way of festivals celebrating the kami. This same kind of relationship is also seen in the utagaki no kai (meeting of men and women who compose poetry) legend centered on the kami Tsubagami and the legend of the snake kami wherein Yamatogami appears. The legend of Yamatotakeru is a pervasive tale but in Hitachi fudoki Yamatotakeru is referred to as an emperor. The title of emperor does not appear in this fashion in any other record making it one of this fudoki's most unique characteristics and the naming of locations and the connection they have with the journeys made by Yamatotakeru suggest the strength of the fundamental belief in this legend. Another legend of Yamatotakeru's journeys is also seen in Hizen fudoki, but what separates these two Kyūshū gazetteers (Hizen and bungo fudoki ) from the others is the appearance of Emperor Keikō (known as the Emperor who ruled from the Makimuku Hishiro Palace) and in these legends there are many events not found in Nihon shoki. For example, in Bungo fudoki a kami of the area is known as Tsuchigumo (dirt spider) and is subjugated by Emperor Keikō. On the other hand, in Hizen fudoki the story takes the form of Keikō journeying about the land either hunting or observing, and he praises the shape of the land (kunimi legend) and the names of various locales. The kami seen in the five fudoki whether they be local kami or kami from the central tradition (such as emperors) took root in those provinces, and this gives us a glimpse into the diversity of local beliefs.
— Aoki Shūhei

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