Category Archives: Literature

Agō Kiyohiko on Kototama

Agō Kiyohiko on Kototama

“Kototama no michi is explained in super-ancient history of Biwako’s esoteric doctrine. Dr. Agō accomplished this momentous research in a lifetime career as pioneering director of the Biwako Research Center. “ 

These statements were retrieved in November 2013 from the website of the Biwako Research Center. The website is no longer online. Biwako, largest lake in Japan, lies in the center of Shiga Prefecture. It is of particular interest to students of Wosite as the Naka-Kuni Central Land of Isanami and Isanagi. Biwako is also of historical interest to geologists, biologists, archaeologists, and anthropologists as a region rich in human and natural activity from ancient times.

Agō Kiyohiko, former electrical engineer who spent his long retirement years studying ancient matters such as Wosite, made the following remarks about Kototama on this website.

“Kototama is the recognized spiritual function of Japan’s ancient language.”

“Kototama is a language inseparable from sending the supernatural…”

“Kototama is the sound coming from kami, as distinct from the sound made by ordinary people.”

“When ordinary people speak a language of understanding, then it is kototama. ‘That person has kototama’ we often hear, meaning that he/she has grasped spiritual phenomena.”

“In today’s scientific, materialistic civilization, there are those who deride it mistakenly. But wise people find a deep recognition.”

Brief Biography of 吾郷清彦  Agō Kiyohiko (1909-2003)

Agō Kiyohiko is best known for his research into Old Shinto and ancient literature of Japan. He went to school in Shimane-ken. He had a degree in electrical engineering from the Manchuria Institute of Electrical Engineering. He worked as a power engineer at Manchu Electric Industry in a thermal power plant. After returning to Japan, he played a central role in the construction and operation of a hydroelectric power plant in Shimane.

After his retirement, he devoted himself to research in ancient Japan and leadership of the Biwako Research Center. He published fifteen or more books on topics such as Old Shinto, Takamahara, Uetsufumi, Kuki Shinden, Kamiyo-moji, ultra-ancient history, Takeuchi documents, Hotsuma Tsutaye, and Kototama. Introduction to Old Shinto (Koshinto Nyumon ), a book of three-person dialogues on many of the above subjects, was published in 2000 when Dr. Agō was 90 years old. He died three years later.   

Koshinto Nyumon by Agō Kiyohiko et al.

“In today’s scientific, materialistic civilization, there are those who deride it [Kototama] mistakenly. But wise people find a deep recognition.”   — Agō Kiyohiko

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1.1 Revised References and Resources

This is an updated list of references and resources. Here are some sources for the Western and Japanese Wosite researcher. There are only two books in English; the others are in Japanese. We are preparing what will be the third book in English. Keep watching for further news. We welcome your inputs.

Books

The first modern books on Wosite were written (in Japanese) by Yoshinosuke Matsumoto after he had studied the Hotsuma Tsutae for thirty years. Two books appeared in English. 

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Book 1 by Ikeda and Book 2 by Matsumoto

1.  Mitsuru Ikeda, The World of the Hotsuma Legends, Japan Translation Center, 1996.

2.  Yoshinosuke Matsumoto, The Hotsuma Legends: Paths of the Ancestors, Japan Translation Center, 1999.

Numerous books in Japanese have been published by Mitsuru Ikeda. Of particular value is this two-volume work offering all the extant Woshite literature, in Woshite with footnotes,

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Book 3 in two volumes by Ikeda

3.  記紀原書ヲシテ 上巻―『ホツマツタヱ』『ミカサフミ』『フトマニ』のすべて,  Ki-ki gensho Woshite: Hotsuma Tsutae, Mikasafumi, Futomani  (two volumes), Woshite Original Documents for Ki-Ki (Kojiki and Nihon Shoki):  Hotsuma Tsutae, Mikasafumi, Futomani.  池田 満  (著)  Ikeda Mitsuru (author), 2006.

Book 4 Hotsuma Jiten by Ikeda

4. ホツマ辞典―漢字以前の世界へ, Hotsuma Jiten — Kanji Izen no Sekai he, 池田 満  (著)  Ikeda Mitsuru (author), 1999.

Book 5 by Matsumoto

5. ミカサフミ・フトマニ Mikasafumi – Futomani , 松本 善之助 (監修), 池田 満 , Matsumoto Yoshinosuke (author), Ikeda Mitsuru (supervision), 1999.

More recently, books by Wosite researchers Aoki, Hiraoka, and Shiba have appeared, also in Japanese. Wosite research and this site draw heavily from these two books:

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Book 6 by Aoki and Hiraoka

6.「よみがえる日本語 −−ことばのみなもとヲシテ」Yomigaeru Nihongo — Kotoba no minamoto Woshite,  Revival of Japanese Language – Woshite Origin of Language. 青木 純雄・平岡 憲人 (著), 池田 満 (監修),   Aoki Sumio and Hiraoka Norito (authors), Ikeda Mitsuru (supervision). 明治書院 Meiji Shoin Publishing House, 2009.    

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Book 7 by Aoki and Shiba

7.  よみがえる日本語II: 助詞のみなもと「ヲシテ」 Yomigaeru Nihongo II:  Joshi no minamoto Woshite,  Revival of Japanese Language II: Woshite Source of Particles.青木 純雄 (著), 斯波 克幸 (著), 池田 満 (監修),  Aoki Sumio and Shiba Katsuyuki (authors), Ikeda Mitsuru (supervision). 明治書院 Meiji Shoin Publishing House, 2015.

Book 8 in two volumes by Suda Masako

8. 完訳 超古代史 秀真伝  Kanyaku (complete translation) “Chou-Kodaishi Hotsuma Tsutae” by 須田麻紗子. Ultra Ancient Document Hotsuma Tsutae, 2013, two volumes by Suda Masako. See previous post for details.

Book 9 by JTC

9. 〔ホツマツタヱ〕―秀真政伝紀 by 大田田根子命、 安聡, 和仁估. Hotsuma Tsutae by Ohta Taneko, Yasutoshi Waniko, Japan Translation Center, 2000/2010. This book presents the complete text of Yasutoshi Waniko, handwritten in 1775.

Book 10 Koshi Koden Taikei

10. 古史古伝大系―神道・倭人・天皇の歴史 Koshi Koden Taikei, Compendium of Ancient History of Legends, by 吾郷 清彦, 鹿島昇Agō Kiyohiko et al., 1983. The term koshi koden was coined by Agō to refer to this genre of literature. There is a chapter on Hotsuma Tsutaye and Mikasafumi by Agō. Other chapters include Kodai moji (ancient scripts); Uetsufumi, Kuki Shinden, and Takenouchi Monjo ancient documents. The Wosite documents are not the only documents written in an ancient script.

Internet Sources

Chapters of the Hotsuma Tsutae can be read on the English language site of the Japan Translation Center, http://www.hotsuma.gr.jp/index-e.html

The Julian Way Wosite website of Beace is tremendously informative, if you can read Japanese or have it translated for you.

Our sister blogsite, https://okunomichi.wordpress.com/ has carried posts on Woshite which can be found by searching on this word. These were earlier posts that were translated from various Japanese language sources to the best of our ability at that time. We have since had the honor and the privilege to study with Japanese Wosite researchers and have produced this site devoted to Wosite research.

Online Japanese-English dictionary

If you have a digital text in Japanese, you can copy and paste it into this dictionary: http://jisho.org/.  “Enter any Japanese text or English word in the search box and Jisho will search a myriad of data for you.”

We hope that this Woshite World site now makes Wosite research more accessible to English language readers.

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Wosite Fundamentals 1. Similarity of Wosite and Modern Nihongo

Wosite Language

Wosite, the language spoken in the land of Hinomoto up until 2,000 years ago was very similar to modern Japanese!

When we look at a Wosite passage, we are startled to see strange writing. Examining more closely we notice a great regularity of form. Fortunately for us, preceding researchers have decoded the characters.

Wosite writing is highly regular and symbolic of cosmic energies. It reveals the physics and philosophy of a forgotten people. After we learn the Wosite language, we come to understand a little better the worldview of modern Japanese and origins of their culture.

We say that Wosite and modern Nihongo are similar, out of surprise and delight. Of course, they are quite different. And yet, after learning how to read Wosite and having translated some of the passages in the documents, we are convinced of this because we can read and understand the writing! Very little of real consequence has changed in (1) word order, (2) joshi (particles, connecting words, postpositions), (3) basic vocabulary words. Examples are (1) verb at the end; (2) particles no, ni, to and others serving the same roles as now; (3) words such as ki for tree, mi for fruit, yama for mountain, hirakeru verb meaning spread, umu verb meaning to give birth.

Wosite Literature

There are only three extant documents written in Wosite script. They are the Hotsuma Tsutae, the Futomani, and the Mikasafumi. Here is a passage from Hotsuma Tsutae lines 2576-258e. Wosite literature is read from right to left, top to bottom as in traditional Nihongo. Wosite documents were written in poetry with five and seven syllables, a rhythm said to be the rhythm of earth and cosmos. The spoken Wosite is naturally syllabic and lends itself well to poetry.   
Ametuti Passage H.T

Ametuti 2576 H.T

Let us show you how easy it can be to read Wosite. Here is line 2576. It reads:


a me tu ti no     hi ra ke ru to ki no

Even today, ame means sky or cosmos, and tuti means earth (tsuchi). Hirakeru is to separate, toki is time. The particle no, indicating possessive, appears twice. Literally, we may say, sky-earth’s separation time’s…  We translate this phrase as, at the time when sky and earth separate, …

The first character is read  a  and it is written as a spiral opening to the left at the top to indicate the cosmic meaning of sky/cosmos.

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Basics of Wosite

Ametuti Passage H.TWosite Literature

There are three extant documents written in Wosite script. They are called the Hotsuma Tsutae, the Futomani, and the Misakafumi. Here we show an excerpt from the Hotsuma Tsutae, lines 2576-2583. Wosite literature is read from top to bottom and right to left, the same as in traditional Nihongo. The Wosite documents have been composed and written as poetry with a five-seven rhythm, said to be the rhythm of earth and cosmos.

Each character is read as a syllable, consonant first and vowel second. There are only two sounds, a consonant and a vowel in each syllable. For pure vowels, of course, there is no consonant at all. There are 48 such syllables.

We will show how the syllables are written, starting with their vowel sounds. We will find that the Wosite written language is full of meaning, especially having to do with the energies of creation of Universe. As for spoken Wosite, it may be considered kototama, that is, spoken Wosite carries the power of sound energy. Therefore, one speaks in a responsible manner.

Vowels

There are five vowels.  The vowels are  a,  i,  u,  e,  o.  They are always given in this order because the order represents cosmological process.

Utsuho tai    A           Utuho     “space”          Originating energy/process

Kase tai     I            Kase          “wind”        Vibrating energy/process

Ho tai     U            Ho             “fire”           Burning energy/process

Mitu tai       E             Mitu         “water”       Flowing energy/process

Hani tai       O            Hani         “earth”        Solidifying energy/process

Vowel sounds are similar to Hawaiian and Spanish. There are no diphthongs.

Each vowel represents a cosmic energy or process. Although their names seem to be “things” or “elements,” they are really “actions” or “movements.” Universe creates through movement.

Exercise: Pronounce the vowels out loud. Imagine the type of process each vowel represents.

Consonants

There are ten consonants if we count the null sound as a consonant. The consonant order is important for cosmological reasons.

The first five consonant glyphs read (top to bottom):

                                              –         K          H        N        M                                                                     Ten consonants

                                              T          R          S        Y        W

Ten consonants copy

In Nihongo, since there are no consonants per se, one would say, “a  ka  ha  na  ma  ta  ra  sa  ya  wa.”

Exercise:  Learn the order of the ten consonants, reciting “a  ka  ha  na  ma  ta  ra  sa  ya  wa.”

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1. Woshite Literature

Woshite Documents

There are only three documents extant in the Woshite corpus, even though many others are mentioned in the ones that we have. The three documents are the Mikasafumi, the Hotsuma Tsutae, and the Futomani. They are written in verse of five and seven syllables. Even today, Japanese poems, called waka, have five and seven syllables. In Woshite World, we study the Woshite written language and equip ourselves to read and understand the messages contained in these ancient documents. This is an introduction to the three documents. As you read this article, you will begin to become familiar with the Woshite World. There is much to learn, and it will be tough-going at first. But fascinating as well! Your understanding will grow as you keep studying with us.

A note about the Wosite society.  In Wosite times, wise and compassionate persons rose to leadership positions. They took on the responsibility to oversee the welfare of the people of the land. At the top was the Amakami, and he was assisted by his Tomi. Today, we may think they were rulers governing people, but it was not quite like that. They kept the best interests of the people in mind as they dealt with issues from time to time. They approached situations from the view of the Amenaru-miti teachings. In a particularly difficult situation they consulted the Hutomani for inspiration and guidance. Therefore, for the most part, their society lived in peace and sufficiency for a long period of time.

Sounds of Wosite.  Woshite in the old days was pronounced Wosite. You will learn how to pronounce Wosite syllables and words in later lessons. You will note some differences with contemporary Japanese, namely the syllables:  hu, ti, tu, si in Wosite versus fu, chi, tsu, shi in contemporary Japanese. We are writing Wosite words for English readers using Roman letters that are close to the way the Wosite language was spoken. In Wosite times, the H syllables were pronounced like fa, fi, fu, fe, fo. However, the F sound spoken by Japanese is very gentle and very similar to an H sound. This is unlike the Western F sound which is very fricative. Therefore, we will use the letter H. Later the sounds of language changed so that the syllable hu became sounded more like fu, as it is written now. So these days most people say and write Futomani. Here on these pages we will write it Hutomani. And instead of Mikasafumi we write Mikasahumi. Let us start using the Wosite spellings of words. At first, you may have encountered some Wosite words before in their modern soundings and will find the traditional way a bit strange.
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Hotuma Tutaye (Hotsuma Tsutae)

The Hotuma Tutaye, at age around 2,000 years, is the youngest of the three documents and is, fortunately, complete. Of course, what we have are copies of copies. Tutaye is a term meaning a document that imparts knowledge and wisdom for later generations. All forty chapters, called aya, have been found and can be read today. The Hotuma Tutaye is an epic history of the land of Hotuma, the events and developments as well as the people who were prime movers. It shows that they tried to live in harmony with Universe, and most of the time succeeded in doing so. It conveys the lessons learned so that future generations can benefit.

The original 28 ayas of Hotuma Tutaye were composed by Kushimikatama, the Oomononushi who wrote it for Ihawarehiko (now called Jinmu Tenno). Oo-Tataneko of the same blood relationship added to it 12 more ayas in the times of Woshirowake (Keikou Tenno), approximately 800 years later. Oo-tataneko was Turugi-tomi and a descendant of Sosano-o, and this lineage called the Oo-mononusi held the position of Turugi-tomi from genertion to generation. His duty was to maintain peace and order in the land according to the principles of Amenaru-miti. (The title of Turugi-tomi is also called Migi-no-tomi which translates fo Minister of the Right. However, at that time, the position was different from what Migi-no-tomi came to mean later.)

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Hutomani (Futomani)

11)Motoake(Amoto)The Hutomani was compiled by Amateru Amakami. In order to have the best document for use by the leaders of society, Amateru compiled 128 waka verses. He was in his last years of life. The Kagami-tomi Amano-koyane assisted. The Wosite original calls this document Moto ra tutaye no humi. A humi, like a tutaye, is a written document to convey wisdom of the elders to succeeding generations. The term Moto ra tutaye no humi refers to how the solution to a problem is found. It is based on applying the principles of creation of Ame-tuti Universe. The words, Hutomani and Motoake, also refer to the creation process. The teachings were vital to understanding the process of creation, and thus to deriving a solution. The creation of Universe is taught through the Motoake chart shown here, and details are given in Post 6.1 and other posts. Please search on Category Motoake.

Motoake chart depicts the forty-eight creation Kami as the ideograms of phonemes. What is the relationship of the Motoake Kami to waka? Waka poetry is made of the combination of sounds of two kinds of Kami and their effects. Waka has a connection with the energies of Universe and the solution of a problem. When a problem arose, one of these waka poems would be selected to assist in the solution. Regretfully, we do not know the selection rules.

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Mikasahumi (Mikasafumi)

Mikasahumi is an older Wosite narrative of which only around 14% has been discovered so far. The fragment that we have consists of approximately 10,000 Wosite characters. The contents include history similar to that of the later Hotuma Tutaye. They also describe important events more precisely than does the Hotuma Tutaye. The theme of Mikasahumi is how to keep Amenaru-miti, the Way of Cosmos, alive for daily life. It carefully analyzes the changes that take place seasonally. It formed the basis for festivals and other events that observe the seasonal changes and express thanks for their blessings.

This seasonality has been transmitted even to today’s matsuri/festivals of gratitude: New Year’s eve and New Year’s day, Nanakusa (rice porridge with seven herbs), Setsubun (the traditional end of the winter festival), the Hina-matsuri doll festival in the third month, the Aoi-matsuri in the fifth month, the Tanabata-matsuri star festival in the seventh month. This is also continued in the observances of Jichin-sai (ceremony of calming the ground prior to building construction) and of Shichi-go-san (for children 7-5-3 years of age), and others. The origins and the ideas of all these traditional festivals are written in the ancient Mikasahumi.

There’s even more. Mikasahumi describes how the size of Universe is determined by a certain measurement technique. More familiarly, there is a measure to use for everyday purposes.

We learn from Mikasahumi that those who took on the responsibility for the welfare of people operated in accordance to the Laws of Ama, the Universe. (It would not be fitting to call them rulers or governors.) These ideas from Universe form the basis of the academic study of Japanese tetsugaku (philosophy).

Mikasahumi was written by Oo-Kasima who held the position of Kagami-tomi. It is said that the first half of Mikasafumi was written by the first Kagami-tomi Amano-koyane. Amano-koyane was a great-great-grandson of Toyoke-sama. Kagami-tomi was a top leadership position according to Wosite tradition. After Amano-koyane, the position was inherited for many generations by members in the lineage of Toyoke-sama. Kagami-tomi’s duty was to keep alive the transmission of the Kagami tradition: the discernment of good and bad in pursuit of Amenaru-miti, the right Way, in running society for the sake of the people. The word, Kagami, comes from ka (good) ga (not good) mi (to see). Kagami-tomi held the important responsibility of upholding the principles of Kagami. (In those days, Kagami-tomi was also called Hidari-tomi, which can be literally translated as Minister of the Left. The title, Minister of the Left, has continued but has come to carry a different meaning for his role.)

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Wosite Literature

Wosite writing is found extant only in the three documents described above. Two primary characteristics of Wosite literature are:  (1) Writing and reading proceed from top to bottom, and from right to left. This is similar to traditional Japanese writing.  (2) Documents were written in columns of 5 and 7 ideograms each. When read aloud, these lines amount to verses with rhythms of 5 and 7 syllables.

You will see selections from the Wosite literature in following lessons.

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