“Koziki”, known as the earliest literature of Japan, concluded a lot of description about “shame”. For example, in the story ‘yomotsukuni houmon setsuwa’, the wife, Izanami, forbade her husband, Izanaki, to take a glance at her, but Izanaki disobeyed her words and made Izanami feel ashamed. In another story ‘Toyotamabime shussan setsuwa’, since Hoori violated the taboo ‘miruna’ (do not look), Toyotamabime felt ashamed. Moreover, there are still other stories that related to “shame” in the contemporary literature “Nihonsyoki” and “Fudoki”. Furthermore, the Japanese still use the word “hazukasyii (shame)” nowadays. It can be seen that “shame” is the one of themes that important not only to ancient literature of Japan, but also to recent Japan.
Originally, literature is not only a part of culture, but also reflects culture. Therefore, studying the stories related to “shame” in ancient Japan literature can help us know more about the concept of “shame”, which is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Focusing on the earliest three exist contexts “Koziki”, “Nihonshyoki”, and “fudoki”, author observed expressions and the features of “shame” by analyzing its occurrences, constructions and function.
Author thoroughly observed the chosen words, constructions and the expression of the characters of the stories, and the process of occurrence of “shame” by adopting documental and textual analysis method. Additionally, since that “shame” is a critical element of Japanese culture, author took the materials related to folklore and cultural anthropology to understand the cultural implications of the story, and reveal the meaning of “shame”.