photo credits: Ken'yu (賢瑜), Koten Hozonkai (古典保存会) - CC-PD-Mark
Kojiki (古事記, "Records of Ancient Matters" or "An Account of Ancient Matters"), also sometimes read as Furukotofumi, is an early Japanese chronicle of myths, legends, songs, genealogies, oral traditions and semi-historical accounts down to 641 concerning the origin of the Japanese archipelago, the kami (神), and the Japanese imperial line. It is claimed in its preface to have been composed by Ō no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Genmei in the early 8th century (711–712), and thus is usually considered to be the oldest extant literary work in Japan. The myths contained in the Kojiki as well as the Nihon Shoki (日本書紀) are part of the inspiration behind many practices. Later, the myths were re-appropriated for Shinto practices such as the misogi purification ritual.
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