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The Kojiki


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction Preface Book One The First Generations of Spirits Izanagi and Izanami Amaterasu and Susa-no-o Okuni-nushi Hiko-ho-no-ninigi Ho-deri and Hoho-demi Book Two Sovereign Jinmu Sovereign Suisei Sovereign Annei Sovereign Itoku Sovereign Kosho Sovereign Koan Sovereign Korei Sovereign Kogen Sovereign Kaika Sovereign Sujin Sovereign Suinin Sovereign Keiko Sovereign Seimu Sovereign Chuai Sovereign Ojin Book Three Sovereign Nintoku Sovereign Richu Sovereign Hanzei Sovereign Ingyo Sovereign Anko Sovereign Yuryaku Sovereign Seinei Sovereign Kenzo Sovereign Ninken Sovereign Buretsu Sovereign Keitai Sovereign Ankan Sovereign Senka Sovereign Kinmei Sovereign Bidatsu Sovereign Yomei Sovereign Sushun Sovereign Suiko Glossary of General Terms Glossary of Personal Names Glossary of Place Names Map 1. Ancient Lands of Yamato Japan Map 2. Central Yamato Bibliography

Promotional Information

Heldt's new translation of the Kojiki offers readers a powerful and beautifully written rendition of this critically important Japanese classic. General readers will find it an accessible and fascinating look into Japanese folklore. Specialists will find Heldt's interpretation of Kojiki's magic words, rich in wordplay and metaphor, deeply insightful and provocative. -- Joan Piggott, University of Southern California

About the Author

O no Yasumaro (d. 723) was a nobleman of the Japanese court whose O clan ruled over an area bearing the same name near the eighth-century capital of Nara. Gustav Heldt is an associate professor of Japanese literature at the University of Virginia and the author of The Pursuit of Harmony: Poetry and Power in Early Heian Japan.


An accomplished and approachable translation of a crucially important work that has been desperately in need of such a new rendition. -- David Lurie, Columbia University A translation of the Kojiki that is accurate and faithful to the original and at the same time exciting to read. A key element of the Kojiki mythology is the power of naming, and Heldt's decision to translate the names of its various gods and royal figures has brought the narrative alive in a way that it has never been before in English. -- Torquil Duthie, University of California, Los Angeles Heldt's new, complete, and contemporary translation brings vibrancy and clarity to this often politicized work of ancient Japan. The poetry is rendered exquisitely, the narratives unfold with clarity; the translation itself is at once impeccable and imaginative. A master work that will generate discussions far into the future. -- James E. Ketelaar, University of Chicago The Kojiki has a lot to interest those with a strong passion for Japanese literature... an essential read if you have more than a superficial interest in the culture. Tony's Reading List For the reader willing to surrender his or her empirical insistencies - to luxuriate in the beauty of language - the Kojiki is time well spent. The Japan Times The first time a translator has gone so far as to translate the names of the spirits, rulers, and places, an addition that makes the text infinitely more meaningful. CHOICE This rich and accessible translation will be welcomed by specialists and students alike, and will no doubt invite renewed interest in the Kojiki as literature in the English reading audience. -- Ann Wehmeyer H-Asia Gustav Heldt's translation of the Kojiki provides the English-speaking reader with the easiest access to Japan's oldest extant book. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies

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