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New Book: Myths from the Harima Fudoki

I have just made Myths from the Harima Fudoki available on Amazon. This is another compilation of my Patreon essays, but because there are a lot of interesting myths in this Fudoki, it is a compilation of three essays, rather than the normal two. Here is the blurb:

The Harima-no-Kuni Fudoki is a gazetteer of the province of Harima, part of modern Hyōgo Prefecture, in the early eighth century. It contains a lot of myths about the kami of that region, and these myths include both kami who do appear in the more famous myths of the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, and ones who do not. Some of these myths hint at different legends of the origins of Japan, while others underline the importance of Okinagatarashihimë, an empress in the early imperial line. And some of the myths seem to be nothing more than ancient funny stories. Note that this book is a compilation of three essays, and is about 18,000 words long.

The myths in this Fudoki are particularly interesting for the way in which they mix kami known from other myths with kami who only appear in the Fudoki. Iwa Ōkami seems to have been the ruling kami of the region at some point, for example, but there is no mention of him in the Kojiki or Nihonshoki. In fact, it is not entirely clear that one of the kami who seems to be from the famous myths is actually the same kami, rather than a different kami with the same name. That’s something I discuss in the essay. Further, one of the funny story myths about that kami is a bit scatological, and so does not get retold very much in the standard collections. If you are interested in seeing what Shinto myths look like beyond the famous ones, take a look.

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