Fuso Ryakki (A Brief History of Japan) (扶桑略記)

Fuso Ryakki is a history book privately selected in the Heian period. It was considered a useful book by intellectuals in later years, having a role of an abridgment of Rikkokushi (Six National Histories) as well as a comprehensive history book of Japanese Buddhist culture.

It is said that a priest Koen (a master to Honen) of the Kodoku-in Temple in Mt. Hiei compiled the book during the reign of Emperor Horikawa after 1094, though there are differing views about it. The book consists of 30 volumes in total, and of these, 16 volumes (volume 2 to 6 and volume 20 to 30) are extant, and abridged transcripts of volume 1 and volume 7 to 14 have also survived. It was written in classical Chinese and in chronological order, dealing with the national history ranging from Emperor Jinmu's reign to March 26 1094 (Emperor Horikawa's reign) in which chronicles of Japan and China based on a genealogical table of the Emperor were added, and besides that Rikkokushi and "Jikaku Taishi Den" (Biography of Bishop Jikaku), which contains the Buddhist related articles such as biographies of priests, history, and origins of temples were put in the book. One of the characteristics of this book is that it contains many quotations from other books ---although most of the quoted books don't exist now--- and some articles whose sources are unknown seem to have been based on the diaries and records in those days. The book was often quoted in the history books in the Kamakura period such as "Mizu Kagami" (The Water Mirror) and "Gukansho" (Selections of the Opinions of A Fool), and had a great influence on later generations.

[Original Japanese]