Mizukagami (Water Mirror) (水鏡)

"Mizukagami" (Water Mirror) is a historical tale. It is inferred that it was completed at the beginning of the Kamakura period (around 1195). The prevailing view indicates Tadachika NAKAYAMA as the author, but others favor MINAMOTO no Masayori, and the truth is not known. It is the third so-called "Shikyo" (four historical narratives of the late Heian and early Kamakura periods with the word "mirror" in the title), in terms of the order of completion. Contentwise, it deals with the earliest period.


It describes the achievements of 57 emperors from Emperor Jinmu to Emperor Ninmyo in a chronological form. The form of this tale is as follows; a 73 year-old lady was staying in Hase-dera Temple for the night to pray, a shugensha (mountain ascetic of the Shugendo tradition) appeared and told her his amazing experiences, then she wrote them down. There is no article that is unique to "Mizukagami," but all of them are taken from sections of "Fuso ryakki" (A Short History of Japan) written by Koen. In the preface, however, a unique historical view of the author is contained and certain uniqueness is found there.

[Original Japanese]