Aoki, Michiko Yamaguchi. Ancient Myths and Early History
of Japan: A Cultural
Foundation. New York: Exposition Press, 1974.
Ebersole, Gary L. Ritual Poetry and the Politics of Death in Early
N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989.
[This study provides a fascinating political reading of the Yamato
Takeru myth and other myths and rituals found in Kojiki. Ebersole
examines the role and rituals of death in early Japan to discuss the configurations
of society and power; his work provides an alternate approach to reading
this early body of literature. The volume comes with a good index and an
Horton, H. Mack. "Japanese Spirit and Chinese Learning: Scribes and
Storytellers in Pre-modern Japan." The Ethnography of Reading. Ed.
Jonathan Boyarin. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992. 156-179.
[This article provides a great explanation of the development of the
writing systems in Japan, the importation and adaptation of Chinese characters,
the relationship between oral and written traditions, and other aspects
that are related to the creation of Kojiki and other texts in the
8th century and later.]
Morris, Ivan. The Nobility of Failure. New York: Holt, Rinehart
and Winston, 1976.
[This study is one of the classics of western scholarship on Japan
and its literature. While some of it is definitely outdated and some of
it should be, and has been, questioned, this study still provides interesting
insights and approaches to the figure of the tragic hero in Japanese literature
and history. The first chapter of the book is devoted to the story of Yamato
Takeru, Morris' archetypal tragic hero.]
Obayashi, Taryô. "The Origins of Japanese Mythology," Acta
Asiatica 31, 1977.
[This article discusses 3 themes in Japanese mythology: 1) the origin
of the world or land, 2) the origin of culture, especially agriculture,
and 3) the origin of kingship. Obayashi takes a comparative approach; he
locates the similarities and links between the Japanese myths and those
of other parts of Asia and the rest of the world.]
Pelzel, John C. "Human Nature in the Japanese Myths." Personality
in Japanese History. Eds. Albert M. Craig and Donald H. Shively. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1970. 29-56.
[This article covers a number of interesting points concerning the
characterization of human nature found in the myths of Kojiki and
Shoki. It could be a useful article for thinking about how Japanese
myths deal with concepts of "good" vs. "evil", morality and ethics, views
of heaven and earth, etc. that come up in many myths from all parts of
Aston, W. G. Nihongi. London: Kegan Paul, 1896. [translation
of Nihon shoki, (720) also known as Nihongi]
Borgen, Robert and Marian Ury. "Readable Japanese Mythologies: Selections
from Nihon shoki and Kojiki." Journal of the Association
of Teachers of Japanese 24:1 (April 1990). 61-97. [Includes versions
from both works of the creation myths and a translation of the Yamato Takeru
myth from Kojiki]
Chamberlain, Basil Hall, The Kojiki, Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle
Company, 1981. [First
Philippi, Donald L. Kojiki.
Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1968. [The standard
scholarly complete translation of Kojiki] Excerpt
on this site.