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Historiography of Japan

historiography of japan
Historiography of Japan is a term for the study of the methodology and development of "history" as an academic subject in Japan The term also means the evolving list of historical works which have been written over the course of centuries


  • 1 History
  • 2 Selected works
    • 21 Extant
    • 22 Partially or completely lost
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 Further reading
  • 6 External links


History of Japan

The process of compiling a written history of Japan began in the seventh century The most important of the early works are the Rikkokushi or six national histories which were written in the 9th century1 The strategies for writing history changed over time The earliest works were created by Imperial edict In 1793, the Tokugawa shogunate established the Institute for Japanese Studies Wagaku Kôdansho2 In 1869, Emperor Meiji issued an Imperial rescript which explained the importance of historiography:

Historiography is a for ever immortal state ritual taiten and a wonderful act of our ancestors But after the Six National Histories it was interrupted and no longer continued Now the evil of misrule by the warriors since the Kamakura period has been overcome and imperial government has been restored Therefore we wish that an office of historiography shikyoku be established, that the good custom of our ancestors be resumed 3

In 1929, the Meiji period office of historiography was renamed the Historiographical Institute Shiryo Hensan-jo2

Selected worksedit

This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries


  • Kojiki, 7124
  • Nihon Shoki, 7205
  • Gukanshō, c 1220—historical argument, Buddhist perspective6
  • Shaku Nihongi, 13th century—an annotated version for Nihon Shoki7
  • Jinnō Shōtōki, 1359—historical argument, Shinto perspective8
  • Nihon Ōdai Ichiran, 1652—historical argument, neo-Confucian perspective9
  • Tokushi Yoron, 1712—historical argument, rationalist perspective10
  • Dai Nihon Shiryō, overview of records between the years 887 and 186711

Partially or completely lostedit

  • Kokki, 61212
  • Tennōki, 62013
  • Teiki, 68114
  • Iki no Hakatoko no Sho, a historical record used as a reference in the compilation of Nihon Shoki15

See alsoedit

  • Chinese historiography
  • Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo
  • International Research Center for Japanese Studies
  • Japanese Historical Text Initiative
  • Historiography
  • Philosophy of history


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric 2005 "Rikkokushi" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp 789-790
  2. ^ a b Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo, "History"; retrieved 2013-2-1
  3. ^ Mehl, Margaret 2002 "German Influence on Historical Scholarship in Meiji Japan," in The Past, Present and Future of History and Historical Sources, p 227; Umesao, Tadao et al 2000 Japanese civilization in the modern world, Vol 16, p 47
  4. ^ Japanese Historical Text Initiative JHTI, Kojiki; retrieved 2013-2-1
  5. ^ JHTI, Nihon Shoki; retrieved 2013-2-1
  6. ^ JHTI, Gukansho; retrieved 2013-2-1
  7. ^ Nussbaum, "Shaku Nihongi" at p 848
  8. ^ JHTI, Jinno Shotoki; retrieved 2013-2-1
  9. ^ Nussbaum, "Nihon-ō dai ichi ran" at p 709
  10. ^ JHTI, Tokushi Yoron; retrieved 2013-2-1
  11. ^ Historigraphical Institute Shiryō hensan-jo, University of Tokyo, "Dai Nihon Shiryo"; retrieved 2013-2-1
  12. ^ Nussbaum, "Kokki" at p 549
  13. ^ Nussbaum, "Tennō-ki" at p 960
  14. ^ Nussbaum, "Teiki" at p 955
  15. ^ Nussbaum, "Iki no Hakatoko" at pp 379-380

Further readingedit

  • Brownlee, John S 1997 Japanese historians and the national myths, 1600-1945: The Age of the Gods and Emperor Jimmu Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press ISBN 0-7748-0644-3 Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press ISBN 4-13-027031-1
  • Brownlee, John S 1991 Political Thought in Japanese Historical Writing: From Kojiki 712 to Tokushi Yoron 1712 Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press ISBN 0-88920-997-9

External linksedit

  • The International Commission for the History and Theory of Historiography ICHTH

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