The "Chronicle of Japan," also known as the Nihongi. The Nihon Shoki was compiled in the year 720 C.E., at the request of Empress Gemmei. It was compiled by eight scholars, who wished to create a state history to legitimize the Japanese with respect to the Chinese Emperor. With the Kojiki it forms the basis of the National Histories of Japan.

Like the Kojiki, the Nihon Shoki is a myth-history, extending far back, until the date 660 B.C.E., with the mythical founding of the nation by Emperor Jimmu. The Nihon Shoki was written in Chinese characters, however, in the Chinese language, and using Chinese historical norms. Thus, while it was well-studied for all of Japan's history, the scholars of the National School (kokugaku) belittled the work's authenticity and obvious Chinese influences and interpolations.

Nevertheless, the Nihon Shoki remained the foundation of history in Japan until the end of World War II. Because of this blind acceptance of a gloirified mythology by the ultranationalist military regime, the government and Emperor especially were seen as inviolate, and this was a major factor leading to the outbreak of war in the Pacific.

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