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Space and the Gods of Space in Japanese Myths


This article focuses on the concept of space and two different structures of space in the mythological chronicles Kojiki and Nihon Shoki. It considers two main invisible divine gods of space, probably connected to Chinese mythology and appearing in the mythological chronicles first – Ame-no-minaka-nushi and Kuni-no-tokotachi. It traces their evolution in history and also deals with obtaining by some of Japanese gods, within the Buddhist worldview, a fantastic appearance and the key role in cosmogenesis. It also deals with the connection of the first verbal descriptions of the appearance of the Japanese lands as a living creature or a symbolic thing seen from above with the ritual of “viewing the realm” (kunimi), and also with a technique of Chinese-Japanese painting wherein an object is portrayed as seen from above (for the purpose of which, in the cases of indoor scenes, a building is depicted without a roof), etc.

About the Author

L. M. Ermakova
Kobe City University of Foreign Studies

Ermakova Liudmila Mikhailovna – Doctor of  Sciences (Literature), Professor Emeritus, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies.

9 Chome Gakuen Higashimachi Nishi Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 651-2102.


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For citations:

Ermakova L.M. Space and the Gods of Space in Japanese Myths. Russian Japanology Review. 2022;5(1):76-96.

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