Sumiyoshi taisha jindaiki (Records of the Age of the Gods from the Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine) (住吉大社神代記)

Sumiyoshi taisha jindaiki (Records of the Age of the Gods from the Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine) was an ancient book introducing the origin of the Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine that resided there from ancient times. It consists of one volume, containing 719 lines. It is one of the important books for the study of ancient history. It has been designated as an important cultural property.


"Sumiyoshi taisha jindaiki" was a letter to Jingikan (Department of Worship) in which a Shinto priest of Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine described the origin of the Shrine. The most important part of this letter was 'Sumiyoshi Okami Kengen Shidai' (origin of manifestation of the great gods of Sumiyoshi), which described the origin and enshrinement of Sumiyoshi Sanjin (Sumiyoshi three deities), and in addition to the above, the letter gave a detailed description of the holy precincts of the Shrine, its sacred treasures, Kenzokushin (ancillary deities), its boundaries, and the origin of individual territories. Among historical materials, the name of "Jindaiki" first appeared in FUJIWARA no Teika's "Meigetsuki." According to FUJIWARA no Teika, when there was a territorial issue between Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine and Shitenno-ji Temple, the Shrine submitted "Jindaiki" as evidence. Although "Jindaiki" was quite often referred to in historical materials, it was a document designed to be kept secret, and therefore not even family of the priests were allowed to view it. After the Meiji period in which it started to attract academic society's attention, viewing of it was allowed on rare occasions and also copies were made, and these copies were published as 'Sumiyoshi taisha jindaikiji' by Ariyoshi SAEKI in 1907 ("Jingi zensho" vol. 3). The original document "Jindaiki" (in the book collection of Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine) became widely known after the Showa era started, and in 1936, a real size photocopy of it was published by Naokazu MIYAJI. The book was properly studied by Takashi TANAKA, and in 1951, he published a research book "Sumiyoshi taisha jindaiki." Note that "Sumiyoshi taisha jindaiki" is a tentative name; researchers always called it by different names such as "Sumiyoshi jindaiki" and "Sumiyoshi-jinja Shrine jindaiki." After Takashi TANAKA strongly recommended use of the title "Sumiyoshi taisha jindaiki," this name was commonly used. Three years later, in 1954, "Sumiyoshi taisha jindaiki" was designated as an important cultural property.


At the end of the book the date July 3, 731, and the names of two authors, Shinto priest Juhachiinoge (Junior Eighth Rank, Lower Grade) TSUMORI no SUKUNE Shimamaro and Kento-shi (Japanese envoy to Tang Dynasty China) and Shinto priest Shorokuinojo (Senior Sixth Rank, Upper Grade) TSUMORI no SUKUNE Kyakujin, are written. Furthermore, as of August 27, 789, the signatures of eight people such as TSUMORI no SUKUNE Yanushi were added as proof of the genuineness of "Jindaiki." According to these signatures, the document was written in 731, but this has been questioned for a long time.


At the beginning of the book, there was a word "combine" followed by two book names "Jusanmi (Junior Third Rank) sumiyoshi daiimyojin taisha jindaiki" and "Sumiyoshi akitsumikami okami kenza shinenki" (2-4) suggesting that these two books were combined into one book; however, how the content of these books were arranged to be made into one book has never been explained. Sumiyoshi Okami Kengen Shidai' (origin of manifestation of the great gods of Sumiyoshi) describing the origin of Sumiyoshi Sanjin accounts for 60% of the book, mostly consisting of the sections on the age of the gods, Emperor Chuai, and Empress Jingu cited from "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) that were closely related to Sumiyoshi Sanjin. They were not however direct citations, and in fact, quite often they were modified or summarized, or sometimes unique stories were inserted to show the originality of the book.

For example, in the section on the age of the gods, myths included as apocrypha in "Nihonshoki" were selected instead of mythologies introduced in the body of that book. These selected mythologies resembled those contained in "Kojiki" (The Records of Ancient Matters). This however was quite natural because Sumiyoshi Sanjin appeared when Izanagi, who had visited the land of the dead after the death of Izanami, carried out a purification ceremony, and therefore it would not be possible to select a myth from the body of a book in which Izanami did not die. It is worth noting that the god who created the heaven and the earth was described as Amenominakanushi no kami (God Ruling the Center of Heaven) from "Kojiki" instead of Kuni no Tokotachi no Kami (eternal god of the land) from "Nihonshoki." Sumiyoshi Sanjin is also known as Sansho Okami or Sangunshin.

In the cited part on Emperor Chuai, his father YAMATO Takeru no Mikoto was called Emperor (YAMATO Takeru no Mikoto however never became an emperor in "Kiki" - Kojiki and Nihonshoki). Also, Emperor Seimu was called grandfather, and he supposedly supported his grandson (Emperor Chuai) to become an emperor.

The most famous story in "Jindaiki" was about Empress Jingu in which there was a notation that she and Sumiyoshi Okami (the great god of Sumiyoshi) secretly had a relationship and later became husband and wife. This story is often referred to in relation to Empress Jingu.


Shinden (shrines), Kanbe (households affiliated with shrines for ritual purposes), Shiniki Shishi (boundaries of the holy precincts of a shrine), Daijingu (daijingu shrines), Buruishin (gods by category), and Kogami (child gods)
Sumiyoshi Okami Kengen Shidai
Gofu Hoki Hongi (or Sanga Hoki Hongi – Record of Gofu Hoki or Origin of Sanga Hoki)
Ikomayama Kamunabiyama Hongi (Records of Mt. Ikoma and Mt. Kamunabi)
Nagara Funase Hongi (Record of Nagara Funase)
Aguchi no Minatohime-jinja, Tamino Shimahime-jinja (Aguchi no Minatohime-jinja Shrine and Tamino Shimahime-jinja Shrine)
Toshima-gun Shirobe-yama, Kawabe-gun Ina-yama (Mt. Shirobe in the Toshima district and Mt. Ina in the Kawabe district)
Inagawa, Kizugawa (Ina-gawa River and Kizu-gawa River)
Nosaki Nisho, Mitehama Honen (Origin of Nosaki Nisho and Mitehama)
Kanzaki Saniwa no Hama (Kanzaki Saniwa Beach)
Hokigikojima, Karashima, Awashima, Nishikigatanajima Mikuriya Honengi (Origin of Hokigiko-jima island, Kara-shima island, Awa-shima island, and Mikuriya of Nishikigatana-jima island)
Suwa no Saba Nashio Chiryo Honen (Origin of Suwa no Saba Nashio Chiryo)
Funakito Hongi (Record of Funakito)
Akashi-gun Natsugi no Hama Issho (Gathering in Akashi-gun Natsugi no Hama)
Kako-gun Abenotsunohama Issho (Gathering in Kako-gun Abenotsunohama)
Yatsugami Nan Yatsugami Me Hokyo Hongi (Record of Yatsugami Nan Yatsugami Me Hokyo)
Tenpyokahon Hongi (Record of Tenpyokahon)
Hoheiji Outa Hongi (Record of Hoheiji Outa)
Zatsu (miscellaneous)

[Original Japanese]