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An illustrated guide to the traditional culture of Japan: legends, arts, customs, etc.
Who are the Japanese? Where did they come from? What are the origins of this unique people?
During the eighth century a scribe named Yasumaro compiled--at the behest of the Empress--the oldest traditions that had survived. He produced two books: the Kojiki("Records of Ancient Matters") and the Nihongi("Chronicles of Japan"). These provide information about the earliest days of the nation, and about its cosmological origins.
In the beginning, we are told, the world was a watery mass - a sea that surged in darkness. Over it hung the Bridge of Heaven.
One day Izanagi and Izanami--brother-and-sister deities strolled onto the Bridge. They peered into the abyss below. And Iz...