Kojiki ("Record of Ancient Matters") is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, dating from the early 8th century (711-2) and composed by O no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Gemmei. The Kojiki is a collection of myths concerning the origin of the four home islands of Japan, and the Kami. Along with the Nihon Shoki, the myths contained in the Kojiki are part of the inspiration behind Shinto practices and myths. O no Yasumaro (died August 15, 723) was a Japanese nobleman, bureaucrat, and chronicler. He is most famous for compiling and editing, with the assistance of Hieda no Are, the Kojiki, the oldest extant Japanese history. Empress Genmei (r. 707-721) charged Yasumaro with the duty of writing the Kojiki in 711 using the various clan chronicles and native myths. It was finished the following year in 712. Yasumaro became clan head in 716, and died in 723.