Dai Nihonshi

The Dai Nihonshi (大日本史), literally Great History of Japan, is a book on the history of Japan. It was begun in the 17th century, during the Edo period, by Tokugawa Mitsukuni, the head of the Mito branch of the Tokugawa family. After his death, work was continued by the Mito branch until its completion in the Meiji era. The work starts with Emperor Jimmu, the legendary first emperor of Japan, during the early Kofun period, and covers the first hundred emperors, ending with Emperor Go-Komatsu after the merging of the Southern and Northern Court in 1392. The whole work comprises 397 scrolls in 226 volumes, and 5 scrolls of index.

The book is one of the major scholarly works of the Edo period, and laid the foundation of the Mito school and Kokugaku. Aizawa Seishisai worked on it. It is heavily influenced by Confucianism, especially the later Neo-Confucianism under Zhu Xi. However, instead of focusing on the Chinese classics like other Confucian schools, it centered on the Japanese classics and Japan as a land ruled by the tennō (尊王論 sonnōron). This school of thought led to the Sonnō jōi movement, and eventually the Mito Rebellion against the Tokugawa shogunate during the Bakumatsu period.

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