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Makurakotoba and God Names in Ancient Japanese

  • 日本硏究
  • 2017, (44), pp.163-184
  • DOI : 10.20404/jscau.2017.02.44.163
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Received : December 31, 2016
  • Accepted : February 1, 2017
  • Published : February 20, 2017

CHOI, KUN SIK 1

1부경대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This argues that makurakotoba (枕詞), which was followed by proper nouns such as god and place names in the divine messages, was originally used as shōshi (称詞) to explain their origins and to praise gods’ dignity or divinity, and that it was later standardized into the five letter form as it began to be hired in rhythmic kayō (歌謡) or waka (和歌). It is assumed that more various types of makurakotoba were used before the standardization process. Shamans possessed by gods used rhythmic predicative shōshi including shamanistic god names in the divine messages for their memorial services, which was orally transmitted and then the praise part began to be omitted. God names in the transitional phases such as makurakotoba form, shōshi form, and divine message form are found here and there in the old documents. This study argues that the origin of makurakotoba was various complex pre-modifying shōshi employed to express the origin, praise and marvel of gods in the divine messages by shamans and that it was later standardized into four or five letter forms in kayō or waka because complex praise forms which were difficult to understand need to be simplified.

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