SOURCESTHE most important sources for the study of primitive religion in Japan, and its developed form Shinto, are accessible through the distinguished labours of Sir Ernest Satow, Prof. Basil Hall Chamberlain, W. G. Aston, Esq., and Doctor Karl Florenz. It has been unnecessary, therefore, to deal with the facts in detail, as, indeed, the limits of these lectures would not permit. I have referred in support of the statements in the text constantly to the Kojiki, the Nihongi, and the Revival of Pure Shinto. The references to the Kojiki and the Nihongi are to the translations, respectively, by Chamberlain and Aston. After the text of these lectures had been completed, the work entitled Shinto, the Way of the Gods, by Mr. Aston came into my hands. To my great pleasure, I found in it a most useful classification and description of the gods, rites, myths, and superstitions of the ancient Japanese. I also found many of my own conclusions anticipated and ably supported. I have therefore freely referred in my notes to this book also, although I have not needed to modify the statements in the text by its aid. I would recommend it to students who desire to know the facts of the primitive religion of the Japanese without the labour of perusing the Kojiki and Nihongi.
Modern Japanese writers on Shinto add little to our understanding of the subject. They are for the most part under the influence of certain presuppositions which largely vitiate the value of their work. To this an exception must be made in the work of Prof. K. Asakawa, whose book, The Early Institutional Life of Japan, is a scientific study of interest and importance. It adds largely to our knowledge of the period of which it treats, and I feel myself under obligation to him.
The sources for the study of Buddhism in Japan are not yet made accessible. The subject itself is one of difficulty, and would require for its elucidation the life-long devotion of a competent scholar. My independent studies in Japan led me only into the beginnings of it, as I had neither time nor opportunity for its thorough investigation. Certain of the original scriptures on which Japanese Buddhism is based are translated in the series entitled The Sacred Books of the East. In addition, in the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan there are numerous articles of value, especially by the Rev. A. Lloyd, M.A., in vol. xxii., and by James Troup, Esq., in vols. xiv. and xxii. Besides, numerous brief statements have been prepared by modern Japanese scholars, but none of these is either comprehensive or critical.
In Confucianism I have been compelled to depend upon my own studies. I am not familiar with writings of European or American scholars who have investigated with any thoroughness the modern school of Confucianists who, from the twelfth century of our era, have determined the direction of Chinese philosophical and ethical thought. I have made frequent reference to certain articles of my own published in the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, and elsewhere.
For a somewhat more minute account of the religions of Japan, emphasising some periods which are entirely omitted in my brief survey, the lectures given at Union Theological Seminary, New York, by the Rev. W. E. Griffis, D.D., published in a volume entitled The Religions of Japan, may be consulted.
In the notes, the abbreviations used are as follows: K. = Kojiki. N. = Nihongi. T. A. S. = Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan. S. B. E. = Sacred Books of the East. A. = Asakawa's Early Institutional Life of Japan. Shinto - Mr. Aston volume, Shinto, the Way of the Gods.