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Fudoki


Fudoki (風土記?) are ancient reports on provincial culture, geography, and oral tradition presented to the reigning monarchs of Japan, also known as local gazetteers. They contain agricultural, geographical, and historical records as well as mythology and folklore. Fudoki manuscripts also document local myths, rituals, and poems that are not mentioned in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki chronicles, which are the most important literature of the ancient national mythology and history. In the course of national unification, the imperial court enacted a series of criminal and administrative codes called ritsuryō and surveyed the provinces established by such codes to exert greater control over them.

In the narrower sense, Fudoki refer to the oldest records written in the Nara period, later called Kofudoki (古風土記?) (Old-Fudoki). Compilation of Kofudoki began in 713 and was completed over a 20-year period. Following the Taika Reform in 646 and the Code of Taihō enacted in 701, there was need to centralize and solidify the power of the imperial court. This included accounting for lands under its control. According to the Shoku Nihongi, Empress Genmei issued a decree in 713 ordering each provincial government ( kokuga?) to collect and report the following information:


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