Chronicle of Japan, Volumes 1 and 2


Nihon shoki (Chronicle of Japan) is the first official Japanese history book, edited by Imperial Prince Toneri and others and completed in the fourth year of the Yōrō era (720). The 30 volumes cover the period from the mythological age to the time of the Empress Jitō (end of the seventh century). The first and second volumes, which deal with the mythological age, have been highly regarded in Japan since ancient times. The oldest existing manuscript of Nihon shoki dates from the Heian period (794−1185). The first published edition appeared in the fourth year of the Keichō era (1599), when the Emperor Goyōzei (1571−1617) ordered the printing of the first and second volumes, Jindai-no-maki (literally, volumes of the mythological age), in the old movable type. This book has a slip of paper that bears the work’s title and another slip of paper indicates that it was handwritten by the Emperor Goyōzei.

Last updated: February 26, 2014