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Nihon Ryōiki

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Title: Nihon Ryōiki  
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Subject: Setsuwa, Imperial Regalia of Japan, List of legendary creatures from Japan, List of sacred objects in Japanese mythology, Tenson kōrin
Collection: Late Old Japanese Texts, Setsuwa
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Nihon Ryōiki


Nihon Ryōiki (日本霊異記) is an early Heian period setsuwa collection. Written by Kyōkai between 787 and 824, it is Japan's oldest collection of Buddhist setsuwa. It is three volumes in length.

Contents

  • Title 1
  • Contents 2
  • Manuscripts 3
  • Linguistics 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Title

Commonly abbreviated as Nihon Ryōiki, which means "Ghostly Strange Records from Japan," the full title is Nihonkoku Genpō Zen'aku Ryōiki (日本国現報善悪霊異記). It may also be read as Nihon Reiiki. The book has been translated into English under the title Miraculous Stories from the Japanese Buddhist Tradition, but this does not represent a literal translation of the Japanese title.[1]

Contents

The work is composed of three parts contained within three volumes. Each volume begins with a preface, and the final volume contains an epilogue. There are a total of 116 tales all dealing with Buddhist elements. There are also a total of nine poems.

Manuscripts

There are five existing manuscripts:

All manuscripts are incomplete. The full text must be reconstructed from multiple manuscripts.

Linguistics

The text contains a number of words in man'yōgana, an archaic orthography that may be used to express Jōdai Tokushu Kanazukai. While it is an Early Middle Japanese text, it is early enough to still preserve the distinction between ko1, ko2[2] and he1, he2 prior to their mergers.

Notes

  1. ^ Miraculous Stories from the Japanese Buddhist Tradition: The Nihon Ryōiki of the Monk Kyōkai, trans. and annotated with an introduction by Kyoto Motomochi Nakamura, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973).
  2. ^ Yoshida (2001: 147)

References

External links

  • 日本靈異記 text
  • Bibliography (on modern works about the NR)
  • Bibliography (Japanese works about)
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