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Commonly abbreviated as Nihon Ryōiki, which means "Ghostly Strange Records from Japan," the full title is Nihonkoku Genpō Zen'aku Ryōiki (日本国現報善悪霊異記). It may also be read as Nihon Reiiki. The book has been translated into English under the title Miraculous Stories from the Japanese Buddhist Tradition, but this does not represent a literal translation of the Japanese title.
The work is composed of three parts contained within three volumes. Each volume begins with a preface, and the final volume contains an epilogue. There are a total of 116 tales all dealing with Buddhist elements. There are also a total of nine poems.
There are five existing manuscripts, two of which are designated National Treasures:
- Kōfuku-ji, 904 (National Treasure)
- Raigō-in, late Heian period (National Treasure)
- Shinpuku-ji, Kamakura period
- Sanmai-in, 1214
- Maeda estate, 1236
All manuscripts are incomplete. The full text must be reconstructed from the multiple sources, and this was only possible after the Raigō-in manuscript was discovered in 1973.
The text contains a number of words in man'yōgana, an archaic orthography that may be used to express Jōdai Tokushu Kanazukai. While it is an Early Middle Japanese text, it is early enough to still preserve the distinction between ko1, ko2 and he1, he2 prior to their mergers.
- Miraculous Stories from the Japanese Buddhist Tradition: The Nihon Ryōiki of the Monk Kyōkai, trans. and annotated with an introduction by Kyoto Motomochi Nakamura, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973).
- Yoshida (2001: 147)
- Endō, Yoshimoto; Kazuo Kasuga (1967). Iwanami Nihon Koten Bungaku Jiten: Nihon Ryōiki (in Japanese). Iwanami Shoten. ISBN 4-00-060070-2.
- Izumoji, Osamu (1996). Shin Iwanami Nihon Koten Bungaku Jiten: Nihon Ryōiki (in Japanese). Iwanami Shoten. ISBN 4-00-240030-1.
- Kubota, Jun (2007). Iwanami Nihon Koten Bungaku Jiten (in Japanese). Iwanami Shoten. ISBN 978-4-00-080310-6.
- Nakamura, Kyoto Motomochi (1973). Miraculous Stories from the Japanese Buddhist Tradition: The Nihon Ryōiki of the Monk Kyōkai. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-57635-7.
- Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten: Kan'yakuban. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten. 1986. ISBN 4-00-080067-1.
- Yoshida, Kanehiko; Hiroshi Tsukishima; Harumichi Ishizuka; Masayuki Tsukimoto (2001). Kuntengo Jiten (in Japanese). Tōkyō: Tōkyōdō Shuppan. ISBN 4-490-10570-3.