Kojiki-Den [古事記傅] volume 1, Explanation by Itwse (002)
Thus, we can think that there were a number of old records on the time when Syoki was began to edit.
(Should understand by the fact that the volume of Kamiyo of that record quote from many records as a reference.)
In Syoki, it is written below,
“In 620 A.D., Syoutoku-Miko-No-Mikoto and Sogano Umako-No-Ooomi had edited the records of imperial’s, countries’s, and 180 sections from Omi-Muraji, Tomono-Miyatsuko and Kunino-Miyatsuko, farthermore, and biographies from the peoples and so on.”
, that must be an evidence of the first record, as much as we can see.
※ The latter “曽” in “書紀曽阿累”, maybe a misscopying. it maybe true, “尓”.
And, in 671 A.D., Mikado ordered 12 members included a person Kawashima-No-Miko a direction to edit the history of Mikado and the various ancient matters. that is written in Syoki.
However, those two records wouldn’t be handed down to modern times.
Then, on November 7, 711 (Wado 4.9.18, in Japanese calender), Mikado ordered Oo-No-Asomi Yasumaro a direction to finish to edit that Kojiki.
In the introduction of the record, it is written, “On March 13, 712 (Wado 5.1.28, in Japanese calender), that work was completed and submitted.” (But, Shyoku-Nihongi isn’t written this thing.)
Therefore, this is the oldest record among the existing recods about the ancient matters.
By the way, according to Syoku-Nihongi, “Syoki have been finished to be made in 720 (Yoro 4, in Japanese calender),” then the record, Syoki, would be finished to be made after eight years from Kojiki was made.
We can find it in the introduction of this record, that made efforts to edit it to preserve the real states of ancient times, without a adorning the latters. And that is as follows.
However, after the record, Syoki, was appeared, most of peoples have thought of Syoki just as important, and just studied it, so there are many persons who don’t know even the title of Kojiki.
The reason is what most of persons have exclusively studied the knowledges of Chinese, and prefered or admired the style of Chinese, then they take Syoki what look similar to the Chinese records in impressions, and they don’t take Kojiki, with saying, “it is not a correct appearance of the history of our states.”