Himiko and Japan's Elusive Chiefdom of Yamatai: Archaeology, History, and Mythology
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.
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Ancient Texts and Sources
The Wei Zhi and the Wa People
The Initial Problem and Three Centuries of Compounding It
Travel by Land and Water to Neighboring Countries
Han Commanderies Korean Kingdoms and Wei China
Japan in Transition from Yayoi to Kofun
The IzumoYamato Contention
Himiko Shamans Divination and Other Magic
Mirrors and Himikos Allotment
The Japanese View of the Wei Zhi Years
archaeology Aston boat burial century ceremonies chiefdoms chieftains China Chinese coffin Daifang deities divination Early Kofun east Emperor Emperor Sujin Emperor Temmu Empress excavation female Fukuoka GBHSJ grave-goods haniwa Hashihaka Himiko Ibid identified imperial Inland Sea inscription iron island Izanagi Izumo Japan Japanese Jimmu Jingű kami Keik˛ keyhole Kobayashi Kofun period Kojiki Korean Kumaso Kurozuka Kyoto land Late Yayoi later Makimuku male Middle J˛mon Middle Yayoi Miwa moated Mononobe mounded tombs Nara Nara prefecture Nihon shoki north Kyushu official Okayama Osaka palace Philippi political population pottery practice prefecture prince Princess probably province region reign rice ritual ruler Sakurai says sent shamans shrine south Korea stone story Suinin Sujin Sun Goddess sword tion triangular-rim mirrors Tsubai-˛tsukayama Tsunoda and Goodrich Ujitani Wei zhi wooden worship writers Yamatai Yamato Yamato-takeru Yasumoto Yayoi period Yoshinogari