Shinsen Shōjiroku

Shinsen Shōjiroku

Shinsen Shōjiroku

The Shinsen Shōjiroku (新撰姓氏録 – Revised Geneologies) is a piece of Japanese literature listing the geneologies of many noble families from the Heian Period. Originally created as a collection in 30 chapters1 now only fragments of the original 30 survive.2

Begun in 799AD at the order of Emperor Kammu and compiled by a group of people led by the Emperors son Manda,3 it was finally completed in 815 and then presented to the court during the reign of Emperor Saga.1


1177 families are listed in the book (originally 1182) showing them to have lived in the capital and the surrounding provinces. In the text they are grouped into 3 categories. Kōbetsu (offshoots of the Imperial line descended from Amaterasu), shimbetsu (those claiming descent from other spirits) and shiban (those of foreign origin.)1

Kōbetsu category inclusions:

Shimbetsu category inclusions:

External Link


1. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
2. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.
3. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.
4. Borgen, R. (1975) “The Origins of the Sugawara. A History of the Haji Family”. Monumenta Nipponica. Vol.30 No.4 pp.405-422

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