Fudoki

Fudoki

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Encyclopedia
are ancient records of the culture and geography of provinces of Japan
Provinces of Japan
Before the modern prefecture system was established, the land of Japan was divided into tens of kuni , usually known in English as provinces. Each province was divided into gun ....

. They contain agricultural, geographical, historical and mythological records, as well as folklore.

Compilation of Fudoki began in 713
713
Year 713 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 713 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* Byzantine Emperor Philippicus is...

 and was completed over a 20-year period.

Following the Taika Reform
Taika Reform
The ' were a set of doctrines established by Emperor Kōtoku in the year 645. They were written shortly after the death of Prince Shōtoku, and the defeat of the Soga clan , uniting Japan. Crown Prince Naka no Ōe , Nakatomi no Kamatari, and Emperor Kōtoku jointly embarked on the details of the Reforms...

 of 646
646
Year 646 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 646 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* Alexandria is recaptured by the...

, there was need to centralize and solidify the power of the imperial court. This included accounting for lands under its control. According to Shoku Nihongi
Shoku Nihongi
The is an imperially commissioned Japanese history text. Completed in 797, it is the second of the Six National Histories, coming directly after the Nihon Shoki and followed by Nihon Kōki. Fujiwara no Tsugutada and Sugano no Mamichi served as the primary editors...

, Empress Gemmei
Empress Gemmei
, also known as Empress Genmyō, was the 43rd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Gemmei's reign spanned the years 707 through 715....

 issued a decree in 713
713
Year 713 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 713 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* Byzantine Emperor Philippicus is...

 requiring the following information from each province:
  • Name
  • Natural resources
  • Land fertility
  • Etymology of name for geographical regions
  • Folklore


A requirement of the name was that it had to be written with two kanji
Kanji
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters hanzi that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana , katakana , Indo Arabic numerals, and the occasional use of the Latin alphabet...

 (characters). This occasionally required name changes. For example, became and became .

At least 48 provinces contributed to their records but only that of Izumo
Izumo Province
was an old province of Japan which today consists of the eastern part of Shimane Prefecture. It was sometimes called . The province is in the Chūgoku Region.- History :It was one of the regions of ancient Japan where major political powers arose...

 remains nearly complete. Partial records of Hizen
Hizen Province
was an old province of Japan in the area of Saga and Nagasaki prefectures. It was sometimes called , with Higo Province. Hizen bordered on the provinces of Chikuzen and Chikugo. The province was included in Saikaidō...

, Bungo
Bungo Province
was a province of Japan in eastern Kyūshū in the area of Ōita Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Buzen Province. Bungo bordered Buzen, Hyūga, Higo, Chikugo, and Chikuzen Provinces.-History:...

, Harima
Harima Province
or Banshu was a province of Japan in the part of Honshū that is the southwestern part of present-day Hyōgo Prefecture. Harima bordered on Tajima, Tamba, Settsu, Bizen, and Mimasaka Provinces. Its capital was Himeji....

 and Hitachi
Hitachi Province
was an old province of Japan in the area of Ibaraki Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Hitachi Province bordered on Iwashiro, Iwaki, Shimousa, and Shimotsuke Provinces....

 remain and a few passages from various volumes remain scattered throughout various books.

External links

  • 風土記(Big5 Chinese) texts of the remaining Fudoki & scattered passages in other books.
  • Manuscript scans at Waseda University Library
    Waseda University Library
    The library of Waseda University is one of the largest libraries in Japan. It was established in 1882, and currently holds some 4.5 million volumes and 46,000 serials.-History:...

    : Hizen, 1800, Bungo, 1800, Bungo, unknown)|title=Kojiki
    Kojiki
    is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, dating from the early 8th century and composed by Ō no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Gemmei. The Kojiki is a collection of myths concerning the origin of the four home islands of Japan, and the Kami...

    , Norito, Fudoki |pages=383–586|publisher=Yūhōdō Shoten |year=1915|id=}}