New Essay

May’s Patreon essay was about the myths of Sujin Tennō, and it is now available on Gumroad. It is also available on Amazon as part of Myths of the First Emperors, where it is combined with March’s essay about the myths of the accession of Jinmu Tennō, which is also on Gumroad.

These myths (of Jinmu and Sujin) are not, I think, very well known outside Japan, but they are very interesting for the history of Shinto. First, there are a number of descriptions of Shinto rituals, which appear to have reflected what people actually did. This includes one of the myths suggesting that particular family lines were expected to serve as priests for particular kami. Second, there are three myths of sacred marriages with kami. Actually, all with the same kami. One of these involves Yamatototobimomosohimë, a clear example of a female oracle of the kami, and further evidence for the important role played by women in early Shinto. Third, there is an important myth about an epidemic, and the beginnings of Jingū, at Isë.

All the essays I have published through my Patreon are available in some form or other, so if you are interested, please take a look.

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