Encyclopedia of Shinto

詳細表示 (Complete Article)

カテゴリー1: 7. Concepts and Doctrines
カテゴリー2: Basic Terms
Literally, "Great Eight Islands," it actually means "Great Myriad Islands," and is another name for Japan. The word is also an abbreviation of Ōyashima no kuni, or the "Great Country of Myriad Islands." According to the legends in Kojiki and Nihongi about the birth of the land (kuniumi), Izanagi and Izanami gave birth to eight great islands, beginning with the mainland, Shikoku and Kyushu. Therefore, the whole area of Japan came to be called the Great Country of Myriad Islands. As "great" (ō) is a eulogistic prefix and "eight" (ya) refers in this case to a "myriad" rather than a specific number, the name originally meant a land made up of a large number of islands. The Kushikiryō section of the ritsuryō legal codes established Ōyashima as a generic term demarking the lands that should fall under the rule of the divine emperor, stipulating: "The emperor, as an embodied deity (aramikami, akitsukami), rules the Great Myriad Islands."
— Fukui Yoshihiko

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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