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The Kojiki, translated by Basil Hall Chamberlain, [1919], at

p. 32


Through giving birth to this child her august private parts were burnt, and she sickened and lay down. 1 The names of the Deities born from her vomit were the Deity Metal-Mountain-Prince and next the Deity Metal-Mountain-Princess. 2 The names of the Deities that were born from her faeces were the Deity Clay-Viscid-Prince and next the Deity Clay-Viscid-Princess. 3 The names of the Deities that were next born from her urine were the Deity Mitsuhanome 4 and next the Young-Wondrous-Producing-Deity. 5 The child of this Deity was called

p. 33

the Deity Luxuriant-Food-Princess. 6 So the Deity [30] the Female-Who-Invites, through giving birth to the Deity-of-Fire, at length divinely retired. 7 (Eight Deities in all from the Heavenly-Bird-Boat to the Deity Luxuriant-Food-Princess. 8)

The total number of islands given birth to jointly by the two Deities the Male-Who-Invites and the Female-Who-Invites was fourteen, and of Deities thirty-five. (These are such as were given birth to before the Deity Princess-Who-Invites divinely retired. Only the Island of Onogoro, was not given birth to. 9 and moreover the Leech-Child 10 and the Island of Aha are not reckoned among the children).

So then His Augustness the Male-Who-Invites said: Oh! Thine Augustness my lovely younger sister! Oh that I should have exchanged thee for this single child!" 11 And as he crept round her august pillow, and [31] as he crept round her august feet and wept, there was born from his august tears the Deity that dwells at Konomoto near Unewo on Mount Kagu, 12 and whose name is the Crying-Weeping-Female-Deity. 13 So he buried the divinely retired 14 Deity the Female-Who-Invites on Mount Hiba 15 at the boundary of the Land of Idzumo 16 and the Land of Hahaki. 17

p. 34


32:1 p. 33 "Lying down" (koyasu) is a term often used in the Archaic language in the sense of "dying." But here it must be taken literally, the death ("divine retirement") of the goddess being narrated a few fines further on.

32:2 Kana-yama-biko-no-kami and Kana-yama-bime-no-kami. The translation of this pair of names follows the plain sense of the characters with which they are written, and which seems appropriate enough, coming as they do between the deity of fire and deities of clay. Motowori however, declaring both characters to be merely phonetic, derives kana-yama from korena-yamasu, "to cause to wither and suffer." And interprets the names accordingly. This is at any rate ingenious.

32:3 Hani-yasu-biko-no-kami and Hani-yasu-bime-no-kami.

32:4 p. 34 The signification of this name is not to be ascertained. In the text it is written phonetically , and two passages in the "Chronicles," where this deity is mentioned as and with directions in each case to read the name with the sounds here given to it, do not help us much, except in so far as they show that Mitsuhanome was conceived of as the deity of water and as a female.

32:5 Waku-musu-bi-no-kami.

33:6 Toyo-uke-bime-no-kami.

33:7 I.e., "died."

33:8 There is here an error in the computation, as nine deities are mentioned. The total of thirty-five deities given immediately below is still more erroneous, as no less than forty are named in the preceding passage. Motowori makes an ingenious effort to reconcile arithmetic and revelation by supposing the five pairs of brothers and sisters with parallel names to have been considered as each forming but one day.

33:9 See Sect. III. This island was not born, but arose, spontaneously from drops of brine.

33:10 Hiru-go. See the latter part of Sect. IV for these two names, Hiru-go was not counted among the children of these Deities for the reason that the latter abandoned him as soon as he was born, he being a failure. The reason for omitting Aha from the computation is not so clear.

33:11 The text here is very peculiar, the characters rendered "single child" being where we should expect or . Hirata proposes to consider , "tree," while most scholars agree in reading ke instead of ki in this place, as phonetic for ke ( ) "hair," and to interpret the god's words to signify that he values the child no more than a single hair in comparison with the wife whom that child's birth has lost for him. Moribe, in his "Examination of Difficult Words." s.v. Ko no hito-tsu ki (Vol. I. p. 8 et seq.), ingeniously argues that ki was an old native Japanese "Auxiliary Numeral" for animals, afterwards driven out by the somewhat like-sounding Chinese word hiki ( ) which is now in common use, and that the god employs this degrading Auxiliary Numeral in speaking of his child on account of the resentment which he feels against him. On the other hand we gather from the "Chronicles of Japan Explained" that was used in its natural sense as an "Auxiliary Numeral" for gods and for men of exalted rank. This seems to the translator the better view to follow, and it is supported by the use of p. 35 hashira, as the regular "Auxiliary Numeral" for divine personages. The parallel passage in the "Chronicles" has simply "one infant."

33:12 This rendering is but tentative; for it is not certain that Hirata, whose view has been adopted, is right in regarding Konomoto and Unewo as names of places. If we followed the older authorities, we should have to translate thus: "The Deity that dwells at the foot of the trees on the slope of the spur of Mount Kagu." The etymology of the name of this celebrated mountain (known also as Ame-no-kagu-yama or Ama-no-kagu-yama, i.e. "Heavenly Mount Kagu") is disputed. But Hirata's view, according to which it should be connected with kago, "deer," is the most plausible. If it were established, we should be tempted to follow him in rendering by "deer-possessor" the name of the deity Kagu-tsu-chi, of whom were born the eight gods of mountains, and whose slaying forms the title of the next section. That the fire-deity should be connected with the mountain-deities, and thereby with the deer who roam about the mountains and furnish the hunter with a motive for penetrating into their recesses, is of course but natural. The character with which Kagu is written signifies "fragrant"; but it has been suggested that the Japanese word may be connected with an expression signifying "heaven-descended," in allusion to the supposed origin of the mountain as related in an old geographical work (now lost) treating of the Province of Iyo.

33:13 Naki-saha-me-no-kami. The sense of the second word of the compound is "marsh" or "stream but Motowori seems right in considering the character to be here used phonetically as an abbreviation of isaha from isatsu, "to weep."

33:14 I.e., dead.

33:15 Etymology uncertain.

33:16 For this name see Sect. XIX, Note 6.

33:17 Etymology uncertain.

Next: Section VIII.—The Slaying of the Fire-Deity