Basic Terms of Shinto

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Fudoki[Glossary: fudoki]

Regional gazetteers presented to the court in response to an imperial order in 713. Local governments recorded information on the origin of geographical names, the fertility of the soil, regional products, and old tales and legends. The complete Izumo fudoki and fragments of the Bungo, Harima, Hitachi, and Hizen fudoki have survived. There are also works compiled under the same name during the Tokugawa period.

Fukko Shintô[Glossary: fukko_shinto][Glossary: motoori_norinaga][Glossary: kojiki-den]

Restoration Shinto. A school of thought represented by Kada no Azumamaro (1669-1736), Kamo no Mabuchi (1697-1769), Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801), and Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843). While other Shinto schools also sought to rediscover ancient, natural Shinto, they often relied on Buddhist or Confucian methodology or ways of thought, and therefore produced Buddhistic or Confucianistic theories about Shinto. Fukko Shintô scholars began with a painstaking study of ancient philology in their attempt to elucidate the mentality of the ancient Japanese and thus to discover the essence of Shinto.


[Funadama] A spirit worshiped by fishermen and seafarers as a protector of ships. A hole is made in the mast of the ship and certain items are inserted to symbolize the spirit; these items may include a woman's hair, dolls, two dice, twelve pieces of money, and the five grains. Widely believed to be a goddess, and to grant abundant catches if worshiped when catches are poor.


Boat races between villages. Strong men are chosen from each contesting village. A common event in festivals held along the shores of western Japan. Originally significant as a way of divining the abundance of the year's harvest. Also held at Iki, Tsushima, and Sakurajima. The Peiron Festival held in June at Nagasaki is a famous example.

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