Shamanism in (Mo) Manghol-un Niuča Tobča’an “The Secret History of
the Mongols” and (Jap) 古事記 Kojiki “Records of Ancient Matters”
(62nd Meeting Friedensau, 2019)
In the oldest Mongolian chronicle Manghol-un Niuča Tobča’an “The Secret History of the Mongols” (abbr. Secret History) (13-14 c.) and the oldest Japanese chronicle 古事記 Kojiki “Records of Ancient Matters” (712 AD) shamans and matters related to shamanism can be identified.
In the Secret History and in Kojiki dreams play an important role. Dreams were divined with or without the help of a shaman. According to the Kojiki, 神功皇后 Empress Jingū (3 c.) was herself a shaman and worshiped gods from her dreams. By divine possession, she decided to excute the expedition to 新羅 Silla. 天武天皇 Emperor Tenmu (7 c.) knew which political and religious operations to carry out by divining songs in his dreams.
Shamans predicted what should be done or not, and as such, had much influence on the politics of the State. In the Secret History the shaman Qorči who predicted Temüjin to rule over the people in the future became a leader of ten thousand households and got thirty women as his prophecy came true (§121, §207). The shaman Old Üsün was appointed to a beki who became not only a religious but also political adviser to Činggis Qa’an (§216).
In this paper some words which are related to shamanism are compared between Mongolian and Japanese, e.g.:
• (Mo) bo’e “shaman”, bo’es (pl.) “shamans”, tölgecin “diviner, fortuneteller, soothsayer”, abitla- “to divine”;
• (Jap) 占い uranai “fortune-telling, divination, forecasting”, 神がかり kamigakari “divine possession”, 祟り tatari “divine punishment”.