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Areal Connections of Ancient Japanese Mythology

[Areal’nye sviazi drevnei yaponskoi mifologii]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150008766-2

Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 07.07.2019

Accepted: 28.02.2019

About author(s)

Yuri Berezkin | http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6001-7339 | berezkin1@gmail.com | Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences (3 University Emb., St. Peterzburg, 199034, Russia)


Japanese mythology, Southeast Asian mythology, “Kojiki” (A.D. 712), origins of the Japanese people


Most of the parallels for episodes and images that can be found in “Kojiki” and other sources on mythology and folklore of Ancient Japan demonstrate correspondences across southern areas of the Indo- Pacific margin of Asia. Parallels in northern provinces of China, in Siberia and especially in Korea are rare, while Ainu mythology and folklore practically do not contain such motifs at all. Both Ancient Japanese mythology and late folklore of the Japanese and the Ainu find correspondences in America and this is an evidence of the early spread of all these sets of motifs. However, different sets are unrelated historically. Though language ancestors of the Japanese, according to common view, came from Korea, those mythological motifs that were integrated into the elite ideology of Japan during the epoch of the state formation reached this country not from Korea but from the Southeast Asia via South China or Taiwan.

Funding Information

The research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant no. 18-19-00361]


Berezkin, Yu.E. 2020. Areal Connections of Ancient Japanese Mythology [Areal’nye sviazi drevnei yaponskoi mifologii]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 1: 154–168. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150008766-2

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