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

p. 81


So this Deity Master-of-the-Great-Land had eighty Deities his brethren; but they all left the land to the Deity Master-of-the-Great-Land. The reason for their leaving it was this: Each of these eighty Deities had in his heart the wish to marry the Princess of Yakami 1 in Inaba, 2 and they went together to Inaba, putting their bag on [the back of] the Deity Great-Name-Possessor, whom they took with them as an attendant. Hereupon. when they arrived at Cape Keta, 3 [they found] a naked hare lying down. Then the eighty Deities spoke to the hare, saying: "What thou shouldest do is to bathe in the sea-water here, and lie on the slope of a high mountain exposed to the blowing of the wind." So the hare followed the instructions of the eighty Deities, and lay down. Then, as the sea-water dried, the skin of its body all split with the blowing of the wind, so that it lay weeping with pain. But the Deity Great-Name-Possessor, who came last of all, saw the hare, and said: "Why liest thou weeping?" The hare replied, saying: "I was in the Island of Oki, 4 and wished to cross over to this land, but had no means of crossing over. For this reason [69] I deceived the crocodiles 5 of the sea, saying: 'Let you

p. 82

and me compete, and compute the numbers of our [respective] tribes. So do you go and fetch every member of your tribe, and make them all lie in a row across from this island to Cape Keta. Then I will tread on them, and count them as I run across. Hereby shall we know whether it or my tribe is the larger.' Upon my speaking thus, they were deceived and lay down in a row, and I trod on them and counted them as I came across, and was just about to get on land, when I said: 'You have been deceived by me.' As soon as I had finished speaking, the crocodile who lay the last of all seized me and stripped off all my clothing. As I was weeping and lamenting for this reason, the eighty Deities who went by before [thee] commanded and exhorted me, saying: 'Bathe in the salt water, and lie down exposed to the wind.' So, on my doing as they had instructed me, my whole body was hurt." Thereupon the Deity Great-Name-Possessor instructed the hare, saying: "Go quickly now to the river-mouth, wash thy body with the fresh water, then take the pollen of the sedges [growing] at the river-mouth, spread it about, and roll about upon it, whereupon thy body will certainly be restored to its original state." 6 So [the hare] did as it was instructed, and its body became as it had been originally. This was the White Hare of Inaba. 7 It is now called the Hare Deity. So the hare said to the Deity Great-Name-Possessor: "These eighty Deities shall certainly not get the Princess of Yakami. Though thou bearest the bag, Thine Augustness shall obtain her."


81:1 p. 82 Yakami-hime. The etymology is uncertain.

81:2 The name of a province not far from that of Idzumo. The word may possibly, as Motowori suggests, be derived from ina-ba, "rice-leaves."

81:3 p. 83 Kita-no-saki. The etymology of the name seems uncertain. The meaning of the word keta is "the beams of a roof, the yards of a sail." But perhaps Keta and keta may be nothing more than homonyms of independent origin.

81:4 Not far from the coast of Idzumo and of Inaba.

81:5 See Translator's Introduction, p. xxxiii, Note 41.

82:6 Literally "to its original skin"; that is to say that its skin would again be covered with fur.

82:7 Motowori and Moribe agree in considering that the word "white" means "bare" in this place, and the latter in his Critique of the former's Commentary quotes examples which show that their view is probably correct.

Next: Section XXII.—Mount Tema