Do you know about Japanese mythology?

Do you know about Japanese mythology?
Maybe a little? Or maybe not at all?
It is a story that is less and less common in modern Japan.
Japanese mythology is described in ancient manuscripts from different parts of Japan, such as the first volume of the Kojiki (Chronicles of Ancient Facts) or the first two volumes of the Nihon Shoki (Annals of Japan).
While the story may differ between the different manuscripts, we will use the Kojiki version for this website.

Japanese mythology was written about 1,300 years ago.
But the story takes place much earlier. It begins at the birth of this world.
Many gods, laughing or crying, sometimes committing failures, grace it with their presence.
Yet, and this is perhaps a Japanese specificity, these gods are still venerated there.
If they are not yet perfect, these gods can change, they must even do so.
And this is also what they teach us.

These emotional gods are also deeply connected to the nature of Japan.
Gods of nature like the sun or the moon, or gods linked to our daily life, like the god of the house or the god of ships.
This existence, which arose in ancient times, has been passed on to our days.
The human being, far from being the main character of this world, is only a being whose presence is barely tolerated by nature.
And that is why we are never alone.

When you are in Japan, in the middle of nature, remember Japanese mythology.
And through this story, try to experience and reflect on various sensations.
Because Japanese mythology is not just an “ancient story”, but a living story in today’s Japan.

In this website, we present, without exception, all the gods that appear in the Kojiki. Because of their number, the story may seem complicated. But the gods, even the lesser known ones, are still gods. Even if they are not the main characters, they are gods, and each has an important role to play. By telling us that this world is full of gods, even the most banal landscape can appear to us in a different light. So feel free to read this story while trying to imagine what the various gods represented.

In this website, the words of the gods reproduced as they are found in the Kojiki are written in inverted commas ” “, and the rest of their dialogues are preceded by a dash -. The story will be completed little by little. We hope you can enjoy it for a long time.

Books about Japanese mythology:

In Japanese

« Kojiki » (Notes by Kenji Kurano, published by Iwanami Bunko.)

In Japanese, manga :

« Let’s ! Kojiki », Keiko Satsukime (Poplar Library)

In English

 » Kojiki : An Account of Ancient Matters (Translations from the Asian Classics)  » Translated par Gustav Heldt

In French

« Kojiki demande à ceux qui dorment »

by Yan Allegret, Carla Talopp, Gallimard-Jeunesse Giboulées


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