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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter attempts to elucidate Shinto’s primal worldview as its concept first emerged in the eighth century. An important fact of that time was that two texts were officially compiled to record the ancient myths of Japan: the Kojiki and the Nihon shoki. Completed under the auspices of Emperor Tenmu, these two texts laid the foundation of Shinto as a state cult, providing its worldview through mythic narratives, some of which were later developed into important Shinto beliefs and rituals. By way of examining these primal texts, we will clarify how Shinto propounds the relationships among the divine, the human, and the world—the Japanese cosmogony that makes a remarkable contrast to that of Western theism.

Keywords: Japanese myth, Kojiki, Shinto, Japanese cosmogony, kami, musuhi, kegare (defilement), tsumi (sin), chthonic dialectic

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