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Kojiki-den: Book 1

87 Kojiki Den
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MOTOORI NORINAGA (1730-1801) believed that the intersection of time, language, meaning, and culture in the Kojiki had the power ro reveal the voice of archaic Japan. Japan's self-image was changed forever when Motoori's great commentary explicated its myth and song, thereby resurrecting an oral tradition which had been eclipsed by Chinese writing. Book 1 of the commentary outlines the nativist ideology and philological principles underlying the whole endeavor, and is key to understanding Motoori's contribution to literary theory, political thought, and linguistic investigation. The preface by Naoki Sakai grounds the significance of the work in the context of eighteenth century discouse, and Ann Wehmeyer's biographical introduction focuses on the development of Motoori's interest in the language of the Kojiki. | 290 pages


  1. The Texts of Antiquity: Clarification
  2. Discussion of the Nihonshoki
  3. Discussion of the Kujiki
  4. On the Title of the Kojiki
  5. Manuscripts and Commentaries
  6. On the Style of Writing
  7. On Kana
  8. On the Method of Reading
  9. Naobi no mitama (The Spirit of Rectification)

  • Ann WEHMEYER is Associate Professor of Japanese and Linguistics at the University of Florida. She has published articles on the concept of kotodama (word split) in Edo nativism, and on the interface of kotodama and fuudo (climate) in Japanese culture. Her current research is on the role of Kotodama in the origin of linguistic investigation in Japan, and the use of kotodama in the New Religions.

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