Fudoki (風土記) are ancient reports on provincial culture, geography, and oral tradition presented to the reigning monarchs of Japan, also known as local gazetteers. They contain agricultural, geographical, and historical records as well as mythology and folklore.
Fudoki captured stories that were passed down the generations and ensured they wouldn’t be lost. In doing so, they created a cultural zeitgeist.
In more modern times, our oral traditions are falling by the wayside: we no longer sit round the fire together, swapping tales. Working patterns prevent parents from having the time to tell their children the same stories they were told as youngsters.
And these stories are needed. They are our compass in times of angst or peril. They entertain and amuse us. They warn us and they warm us. We find comfort in their familiar motifs and apply these patterns to our own lives.
These stories are part of our cultural heritage and, as with fudoki, we need to record and capture them before they’re lost to history.