Japanese Legends of a Forgotten World Empire

This article was published in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 8 No 3 (June 2014)

“In the world of Tradition,” writes Julius Evola, “the most important foundation of authority and of the right of kings and chiefs, and the reason why they were obeyed, feared, and venerated, was essentially their transcendent and nonhuman quality.”1What if a prestigious noble family possessed secret records of this world of Tradition millions of years ago? Would you want to read them? Most people would certainly call any such documents unbelievable, an obvious fraud. But, in fact, several documents that appeared in various parts of the world in the early 20thcentury attest to a shared knowledge of the “transcendent” ultra-ancient empire described by Evola, including a group of texts from Japan mostly unknown to the Western occult world, called the Takenouchi Documents.

In 1921 a Polish professor named Ferdinand Ossendowski published a book called Beasts, Men, and Gods in which he described his dangerous escape from the Soviet Union, through Siberia, into the Buddhist kingdom of Mongolia and the legends he heard there of the King of the World (see “Mystery of Shambhala” by Jason Jeffrey, New Dawn 72.) Ossendowski’s book caused such an international stir that the French metaphysician René Guénon used it as the basis for his most controversial work, The King of the World. Guénon alleged there was a universal symbol across all the world’s great traditions of a past King of the World who had once ruled the world from a holy land, which has since been sealed off.

A few years later, in the hinterlands of rural Japan, an uneducated, possibly illiterate shrine keeper named Kiyomaro Takeuchi called some researchers to his house. Born into a poor and undistinguished household, Takeuchi had long been an unemployed wanderer and sometime ascetic. As early as 1893 he was documented training at Kurama Temple, an esoteric temple in the mountains north of Kyoto. Kurama Temple was Buddhist at the time, but today it is an independent sect that worships a being said to have come from Venus 6.5 million years ago, identified by some with the theosophist Saint Kumara. Takeuchi returned to Kurama Temple many times before moving permanently to northern Japan.

When historians arrived at his house, Takeuchi made a shocking announcement. He told them that his family was descended from Takenouchi no Sukune, a heroic minister recorded in the official histories of the nation as having lived for over 300 years around 50-400 CE. The minister Takenouchi had preserved ancient records of the origin of the nation in clay pots, and over the course of many generations these records had come to Takeuchi, who now revealed them for the first time. They consisted of hundreds of documents written in Classical Chinese and strange, unknown scripts. The majority of the records were destroyed in World War II, but we have a good variety of secondary sources that describe the story they contained.

World-Emperors & The Five-Coloured Peoples

Innumerable billions of years ago, the Takenouchi Documents tell us, the world was a sea of mud. After 22 billion years of formation out of All emerged the first God and Goddess, and the heavens and the Earth were separated and became a firmament. The Earth hardened and became a sphere. The God and Goddess gave birth to another couple, representing the Sun and Moon respectively, and in this way the Earth took form for six generations.

The fifth generation God and Goddess gave birth to the Creator of the Nations and his wife who descended to Mt. Kurai in Japan and took on “shining bodies.” In the seventh generation various beings developed technologies for life on Earth such as transportation and writing. The seventh generation Sun God declared the beginning of the lineage of World-Emperors, called Sumera-Mikoto in ultra-ancient Japanese. He also set out the islands of Japan as distinct from the rest of the planet, naming Japan “the Land of Hidama” or the Sun-Sphere. Today Japan remains the only nation that fights under the flag of the rising sun, but in ancient times the scribes still spoke of the Egyptian king reigning from “the seat of Horus,” the Persian ruler “who rises in the company of the sun,” and the Roman sol invictus.

The Sun God’s heir began the High Ancient Dynasty and after eight billion years dispatched his sons and daughters around the planet to found their own nations. He divided the world into sixteen sections, one for each new mittoson, a sort of king or vassal. These kings became the Five-Coloured Peoples – white, blue, red, yellow, and black – and were scattered across the continents in no particular pattern. The first king of the red-coloured race, for example, is called “Adameve,” and he is granted sovereignty over the Fertile Crescent. At almost the same time on the other side of the world Guénon was writing that “the literal meaning of the name Adam is ‘red’ and [we] can see in it one indication of the link of the Hebraic tradition to the Atlantean tradition, which was that of the red race.”2

After the establishment of the sixteen nations, the World-Emperor’s role became to tour the world to ensure that the peace and rule of the Sun were being kept among the Five-Coloured Peoples. In high ancient times the World-Emperor was able to travel all over the world on a flying ship called Ame-no-Ukifune, literally, the “floating ship of heaven.” Using this ship he could visit all the mittoson in a matter of years rather than decades. Actually, the Ame-no-Ukifune was long known to Japanese historians before the Takenouchi Documents appeared. Early history books in Japan describe a flying ship called Ame-no-Iwafuneon which one of the nation’s ancestral clans descended to Earth. In the Takenouchi Documents this ship was used by the gods to descend to Earth, but thereafter became the exclusive property of the World-Emperor who lent it out only on rare occasions.

When he arrived in a place the World-Emperor would be met with awe. Writes Wado Kōsaka: “It is easy to imagine the extreme anxiety of the Mittoson who had to receive the Sumera-Mikoto without prior notice. For the five-coloured peoples who were suffering from misgovernment, the world visits by the Sumera-Mikoto were opportunities for relief, and thus the Sumera-Mikoto was always welcomed with the highest honour and respect in very land.”The World-Emperor never had to use force but could replace a bad king simply through proclamation, echoing Evola’s assertion that Traditional rule “did not need physical strength to assert itself, and when it did, it was only sporadically. It imposed itself mainly and irresistibly through the spirit.”All people were taught about the origin and the authority of the Sumera-Mikoto so his judgment could resolve any dispute and ensure complete peace.

While the Japanese of this era were Hibito, People of the Sun, and were given special duties to maintain the Imperial teachings, the World-Emperors themselves only lived in Japan and were not themselves Japanese. Rather, they were above all colours and married women of pure heart, called Kisakinomiya, from all over the world. When no male heirs were produced there would be a World-Empress who would marry a man of pure heart called Yosachio. The practice of selecting a spouse from among the Five-Coloured Peoples ended in the Fukiaezu dynasty, which seems associated with the decline of the World-Emperor’s power. From that point on the World-Emperor was forced more and more to limit his activities to Japan, and only the Hibito were dispatched around the world to continue education programs.

‘Holy Lands’ & Guénon’s ‘King of the World’

In The King of the World, Guénon finds sufficient witnesses in “the concordant testimonies of all traditions” to conclude that “there is a ‘Holy Land’ par excellence, that it is the prototype for all other ‘Holy Lands’, and that it is the spiritual centre to which all others are subordinate. The ‘Holy Land’ is also the ‘Land of the Saints’, the ‘Land of the Blessed’, the ‘Land of the Living’, and the ‘Land of Immortality’.”We have found that Japan can be described in all of these terms in the Takenouchi Documents. Furthermore, the World-Emperor is very much a Guénonian King of the World.

Guénon proceeds to say that this land was available to us only in past ages, hundreds of thousands of years ago, and that it is now “invisible and inaccessible.” Since Japan is very much visible and accessible today, does that count against the symbolic authority of the Takenouchi Documents? In fact, it counts for them, for just as the Holy Land was closed at the beginning of the Kali Yuga, the spiritual centre of Japan was sealed at the beginning of the present age, and will not be reopened until our age of material power ends.

As the world took form it was also rocked by cataclysms, earthquakes, and floods, attested in texts all over the world. In the Takenouchi Documents there are not one but dozens of such events over the course of history, caused by an imbalance in the order of Heaven. These crises grew steadily more severe. In fact, two whole continents called Miyoi and Tamiara in the Pacific Ocean sank. The World-Emperor was forced to scale back his activities, and eventually ended them. Two different researchers of the Documents have offered different theories as to how this happened.

Wado Kōsaka calls the Tenpenchii a result of disobedience: “While people were enjoying highly civilised society guided by the Sumera-Mikoto, arrogance took root in the heart of humanity. The kings of the five coloured peoples gained power over the Sumera-Mikoto, lost respect towards the Sumera-Mikoto and began to ignore and despise him.”As long as the people had faith in the World-Emperor, though, he could simply use his authority to replace any bad governor, so surely the great age of world-empire could not have been put to an end by rebellions alone.

The aikido master Mikoto Nakazono offers a more subtle explanation: education, not only in obedience to the World-Emperor but also in basic principles of divinity and law, was becoming steadily more difficult as the world became more separated. Despite thousands of years of efforts by the World-Emperors and their delegates to raise the level of the Five-Coloured Peoples to enlightenment, writes Nakazono, the incarnated humans could not maintain a high level of consciousness:

Ordinary people simply could not see the point. Why spend so much time and energy listening to teachers, why go through such discipline, why go hungry, sleep, meditate…

In the end, the younger leaders came before their elders saying, “We have worked for forty thousand years to make a perfect society, and we have not succeeded because the people cannot understand us… How much longer must we go on? In the end, this will make a greater sacrifice than the development of a material situation ever could. Please, give us the permission to guide society in this direction. If we cannot bring them to understand the activity of their senses, they must explore it for themselves. If we guide them straight to the mark, it can be done so much more quickly.”

The discussion went on for a long time. Finally, the elder god-men agreed. They gave their consent, asking only that the work be begun as far away from Hinomoto Kuni as possible.7

Takenouchi researchers generally believe the work indeed began on the other side of the world, and the first group to be segregated from the universal rule of the Sumera-Mikoto was the ancient Middle Eastern civilisation of the Fertile Crescent, who out of love for their former leader named themselves the Sumerians.

Nakazono interprets the Documents as saying that over many decades the teachings were slowly wound up and then disguised as myth, religion, and spiritual messages “in competition” with matter in order to allow a material society to develop and flourish. But the perennial tradition, which he calls the Kototama Principle, remains hidden underneath these various disguises to be unveiled after material civilisation reaches its natural conclusion. This is all in accordance with Guénon, who wrote “it is more true to say that the tradition is hidden rather than lost, or at least that it can be lost only to certain secondary spiritual centres that have ceased to remain a direct contact with the supreme centre.”8

At this point, the symbolic world of the Takenouchi Documents becomes completely outrageous, but perhaps an outraged reaction is evidence that people are uncomfortable with the truth. So I will press on with my narrative, keeping in mind that Guénon, when trying to understand the difficult and hidden teachings of the King of the World, made use of accounts that he knew were faulty, incomplete, or even a “caricature” of the truth since the existence of such accounts symbolises deeper forces at work.

The Takenouchi family preserved the Documents in urns lying in secret locations beneath the ground of Kōso Kōtai Jingū, awaiting the day when the world would be able to understand the history they revealed, making themselves available only to select foreign teachers – none of their students were Japanese, although the reason for this is not given.

Jesus’ Visit to Japan

The most notable teacher, both for us and for Takenouchi researchers, was Jesus. Occultists may be familiar with Nicholas Notovich’s claim that Jesus made a pilgrimage to India in his teens to study Buddhist philosophy, returning to Judea at the age of thirty to teach what he had learned. For the Takenouchi proponents, who clearly regard Japan as a sort of Shambhala with wisdom open only to a select few, Jesus’ journey took him past the classical centres of India to the true centre in Japan. After stopping in India, Jesus, a fully human son of Mary and Joseph whose real name was apparently Jesuchri Christmas, continued his journey to Kōso Kōtai Jingū, where the head priest, seeing his innate abilities, subjected him to what Wado Kōsaka calls “ninja training.”

According to a woman who saw the Jesus document herself, Jesus “acquired the ability to perform approximately twenty divine arts out of fifty or so. Curing diseases is the preliminary stage of the divine art. The divine techniques include the skill to disappear, jumping up or down from a tall tree which is so tall that one cannot see the top, walking on the surface of the water with a bamboo rod that is thrown onto the sea or the river, walking in the air, purifying a room or the soil.” Jesus returned to Judea to demonstrate the great spiritual messages and ninja abilities of the divine principle, but he became a wanted man. His brother, Isukiri, met with the disciples and agreed to die in his place; it is this brother, not Jesus, who Judas handed over to the Romans.9

Jesus himself returned to Japan to continue his study with fourteen new disciples from around the world, including men of Japanese, Ainu, Italian, German, Native American, Australian, Jewish, Roman, and African ancestry. He travelled around the world spreading teachings of peace and love, and died on 25 December 82 CE, at the respectable age of 118, after which he was buried in Japan. His tomb was rediscovered in 1934 and can still be visited today in Herai village in Aomori.

The release of the Takenouchi Documents, including the histories summarised here and many others, caused a stir in Japan. The government moved to prosecute Kiyomaro Takeuchi and his circle immediately for telling false stories about the Imperial household. Some books about the Documents were banned, and in the late 1930s the government demolished Takeuchi’s shrine and seized many documents and artefacts, which were later destroyed in the firebombing of Tokyo. For the great majority of Japanese society, they were a rejected, suppressed, and forbidden history.

Even so, the Documents had a subtle, underground impact on Japanese culture. They inspired fresh interest in the mysteries of the past, and in kotodama, the ancient practice of spiritual power in language. One student of the Documents, Norihiro Yasue, learned from them that the Jews and the Japanese shared a common ancestor, and he must have considered that knowledge during World War II when he helped tens of thousands of Jews escape from Germany into Manchuria. They have been revived and republished in the postwar period and continue to attract curious readers today.

In Japan, there are many other “parahistories” like the Takenouchi Documents, attesting to a realm of being that is vastly different from the way we write history today. Like the ancient traditions that attracted Evola and Guénon, they present glimpses of an Eden known to all human beings, submerged in the fog and confusion of our modern condition. Despite the thorough debunkings they have received from sceptics, they continue to be popular today – perhaps indicating that they possess a more perennial value.

You can read more on this little known ‘parahistory’ in Avery Morrow’s book The Sacred Science of Ancient Japan (Bear & Co., 2014). 

This article was published in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 8 No 3.
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  1. Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, Inner Traditions, 1995, 22
  2. Rene Guénon, Traditional Forms & Cosmic Cycles,Sophia Perennis, 2003, 29
  3. Wadō Kōsaka, Takenouchi Documents I, 119. English translation available at takenouchi-documents.com/
  4. Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World, 8
  5. René Guénon, The King of the World,Sophia Perennis, 2001, 72
  6. Kōsaka,Takenouchi Documents I, 205.
  7. Mikoto Masahilo Nakazono, The Source of the Present Civilization, Kototama Books, 1990, 59-64
  8. Guénon, King of the World, 29
  9. Kōsaka, Takenouchi Documents I, 293-297

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About the Author

Avery Morrow is the author of The Sacred Science of Ancient Japan: Lost Chronicles of the Age of the Gods (Bear & Co., 2014) and various articles providing new perspectives on Eastern traditions. He is a graduate student with a B.A. in religion from Carleton College. Avery's website is http://avery.morrow.name.

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