Encyclopedia of Shinto
詳細表示 (Complete Article)
|カテゴリー1：||7. Concepts and Doctrines|
This term is used as a noun to refer to people in the world. It is seen for the first time in Kojiki, where it has the same meaning as jinmin, shomin, and tamikusa (all meaning "the people"). Although the term is commonly rendered with the characters 青人草, Nihon shoki uses the character-combination 蒼生. In Kojikiden by Motoori Norinaga, the term is explained as a metaphor for an increasing population, like green grass spreading and thickening. The word 蒼生 appears in several classical Chinese texts, beginning with the Shokyō (Ekishoku), and also in works such as Nihon shoki and Shiki (私記, or 己本) where it is written with the characters 安乎比止久佐 and pronounced aohitokusa, following the Japanese reading. Other examples can be found in ancient sources such as poem 802 in Man'yōshū, or in another work called Shōmu tennō doban chokuganbun from 753.
— Fukui Yoshihiko