The Hotsuma Tsutaye is the most fascinating mystery I've ever encountered, and definitely a credit to parahistory as a discipline. It consists of a 40-chapter epic poem written in ancient Japanese, covering much of the material described in the Nihon Shoki, but lacking its propensity for exaggeration, and demonstrating a interest in time and place that gives it a strong sense of historical accuracy missing from the Nihon Shoki. It shows an encyclopedic knowledge of Japanese geography as well as providing much-needed background to the stories behind some extremely popular kami who are barely mentioned in the Three Japanese Classics.
In the Meiji period, a poem such as this could have concievably been forged by various people with an interest in the poetry and culture of the Ainu, or perhaps Greek epics. Yet as research continued on the Hotsuma Tsutaye it was found to date back to 1777 at the latest. Even if it was forged at this date, this is quite an important achievement in Japanese literature; the first epic poem, the first modern epic written in old Japanese, and so forth. Its continued omission from academic study of Japanese literature is therefore notable, possibly speaking to a prolonged war wound. Perhaps the parahistorical subject matter may make left-leaning academics hesitant to study it at all.
- 1775 和仁估安聡は秀真政伝紀写本を近江国三尾神社に奉納
- 1777 坊・溥泉「春日山記」「朝日神紀」
- 1779 和仁估安聡「生洲問答」
- 1794 坊・敬光「和字考」
- 1819 平田篤胤「神字日文傳」の「疑字篇」
- 1830 小笠原通当
- 1843 小笠原通当「神代巻秀真政伝」
- 1849 釈頓慧「神代神字弁」
- 1850s 小笠原長弘
- 1874 正木昇之助と小笠原長弘の「奉呈本」
- 1889 親写本は滋賀県高島市安曇川町の日吉神社
- 1900s 小笠原長武
- 1910s 近江国三尾神社取壊し
- 1966 松本善之助
- 1971 松本善之助
- 1992 日吉神社発見
Yasutoshi Waniko completes his manuscript and Chinese translation of the Hotsuma Tsutaye. It is left in Mio Shrine, Sanjo-mura, Oomi.
A Buddhist monk named Fusen authors a text called Kasugayamaki, which includes a chapter of the Hotsuma Tsutaye and Mikasafumi.
Waniko authors Kuniumi Mondo, which analyzes the differences between Hotsuma Tsutaye, Mikasafumi, Kagunofumi, and Nihon Shoki.
A Buddhist monk named Guho authors a text called Wajiko which mentions the Hotsuma Tsutaye.
Atsutane Hirata publishes Kanna Hifumi Den, a promotion of his own form of kamiyo moji, which notes the existence of woshide as a "hoax".
Michimasa Ogasawara discovers Waniko's manuscript and takes it to Kyoto for transcription.
Ogasawara publishes "Hotsuma Tsutaye: The Age of the Gods", a commentary in ten volumes.
Ogasawara dies. His nephew Nagahiro makes another copy of the manuscript, and returns it to Mio Shrine.
Shonosuke Masaki and Nagahiro Ogasawara present three aya of the Hotsuma Tsutaye to Emperor Meiji. A ceremonial printing is made.
Tadamasa Iwatani purchases Waniko's Hotsuma Tsutaye manuscript and enshrines it in Hiyoshi Shrine, Adogawa-cho, Oomi.
Nagahiro's nephew Nagatake Ogasawara writes some essays about Hotsuma Tsutaye, which apparently go unpublished.
Mio Shrine is demolished as part of the Home Bureau's shrine consolidation measures.
Yoshinosuke Matsumoto discovers the Masaki and Ogasawara printing in a used bookstore. After extended research, he finds the Ogasawara family household in Shikoku, run by Nagahiro's grand-nephew Nagatane. They possess in manuscript form twenty-two aya written by Nagatake. The next day, he visits Nagahiro's grandson Nagakyo, and discovers Nagahiro's complete manuscript.
Matsumoto self-publishes a fascimile of the complete Hotsuma Tsutaye. Before this date, virtually nothing was written about it in the 20th century. After this date, a great proliferation begins.
Takao Ibo, great-g-g-g-g-grandson of Yunoshin Ibo (Yasutoshi Waniko), discovers the original Hotsuma Tsutaye manuscript in Hiyoshi Shrine.
|未解決問題 / Unresolved Questions
No epic poetry in Japanese or Chinese tradition
Hotsuma Tsutae is written in 10,000 lines of 5-7 waka. Now, have you ever heard of an epic poem (叙事詩) in Japanese? Who could conceive of such a thing? I checked around, and there is not a single instance of epic poetry in Japanese or Chinese before the manuscript of Hotsuma Tsutae. The longest 7-5 poems are norito and Manyoshu examples.
MORI Ōgai 森鴎外's 1889 collection of translated poetry, Omokage (於母影, "Images"), was "considered the first poetic anthology in Japanese to successfully convey a sense of the aesthetic qualities of Western poetry". That was in 1889. Who would be the first Japanese author to discuss the epic poem? Such a thing couldn't have happened earlier than 1850 or so. But Hotsuma Tsutaye is from at least 1777.
The only thing that could make sense of this is if the author was acquainted with Ainu epics. Or, alternatively, Hotsuma Tsutae really was a transmission from 100AD as its author claims. Given that the Japanese in that period had no lost love for the Ainu these seem equally likely.
The Ainu epic Kutune Shirka was only translated in 1931.
See the kamiyo moji article.
Links to other documents
Hotsuma Tsutaye displays an advanced understanding of astronomy, politics, and cosmology. Possible sources for these, assuming a 1775 date, are unknown.
The name "Hotsuma" is attested in Nihon Shoki:
Of old, Izanagi no Mikoto, in naming this country, said:--"Yamato is the land of Ura-yasu: 1 it is the land of Hosohoko no Chi-taru: 2 it is is the land of Shiwa-Kami-Ho-tsuma."
|リンク / External Links|
The existence of this website in English (and French!) somewhat confuses me. It appears to be the initiative of one guy who happens to run a translation company; a likely occurrence, or a weird accident? Anyway, a partial translation of Hotsuma Tsutaye is printed here.
This exquisite guide allows you to read the Hotsuma Tsutaye with a complete glossary.
Some videos on Woshite