Himiko and Japan's Elusive Chiefdom of Yamatai : Archaeology, History, and Mythology

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-03-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Hawaii Pr
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The third-century Chinese chronicle Wei zhi (Record of Wei) is responsible for Japan's most enduring ancient mystery. This early history tells of a group of islands off the China coast that were dominated by a female shaman named Himiko. Himiko ruled for more than half a century as head of the largest chiefdom, traditionally known as Yamatai, until her death in 248. Yet no such person appears in the old Japanese literature. Who was Himiko and where was the Yamatai she governed? In this, the most comprehensive treatment in English to date, a senior scholar of early Japan turns to three sources--historical, archaeological, and mythological--to provide a multifaceted study of Himiko and ancient Japanese society.

Author Biography

J. Edward Kidder, Jr., is emeritus professor of Japanese at International Christian University, Tokyo.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tablesp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Ancient Texts and Sourcesp. 1
The Wei Zhi and the Wa Peoplep. 8
The Initial Problem and Three Centuries of Compounding Itp. 21
Travel by Land and Water to Neighboring Countriesp. 36
Han Commanderies, Korean Kingdoms, and Wei Chinap. 53
Japan in Transition from Yayoi to Kofunp. 59
The Izumo-Yamato Contentionp. 114
Himiko, Shamans, Divination, and Other Magicp. 127
Mirrors and Himiko's Allotmentp. 160
The Japanese View of the Wei Zhi Yearsp. 186
The Endless Search for Yamataip. 229
Makimuku and the Location of Yamataip. 239
List of Abbreviationsp. 283
Notesp. 285
Wei Zhi Textp. 339
Select Glossaryp. 343
Bibliographyp. 359
Indexp. 391
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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