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

p. 184


So when, after the decease of the Heavenly Sovereign, 1 [150] the elder half-brother, His Augustness Tagishi-mimi, 2 wedded 3 the Empress I-suke-yori-hime, he plotted how he might slay his three younger brethren, pending which their august 4 parent I-suke-yori-hime lamented, and made [the plot] known to her august children by a Song. The song said:

"From the River Sawi the clouds have risen across, and the leaves of the trees have rustled on Mount Unebi: the wind is about to blow." 5

Again she sang, saying:

"Ah! What rest on Mount Unebi as clouds in the day-time, will surely blow as wind at night-fall, [whence] the rustling of the leaves!" 6

When hereupon her august children, hearing and knowing [of the danger], were alarmed and forthwith were about to slay Tagishi-mimi, His Augustness Kamu-nuna-kaha-mimi said to his elder brother His Augustness Kamu-ya-wi-mimi: "Thy dear Augustness, [do thou] take a weapon, and go in and slay Tagishi-mimi." So he took a weapon and went in, and was about to slay him. But his arms and legs trembled so, that he was

p. 185

unable to slay him. So then the younger brother His Augustness Kamu-nuna-kaha-mimi begged [to be allowed] to take the weapon which his elder brother held, and [151] went in and slew Tagishi-mimi. So again, in praise of his august name, he was called His Augustness Take-nuna-kaha-mimi. 7 Then His Augustness Kamu-ya-wi-mimi resigned [in favour of] the younger brother His Augustness Take-nuha-kaha-mimi, saying: "I could not slay the foeman; but Thine Augustness was at once able to slay him. So, though I be the elder brother, it is not right that I should be the superior. 8 Wherefore do Thine Augustness be the superior, and rule [all] beneath the Heaven. I 9 will assist Thine Augustness, becoming a priest, 10 and respectfully serving thee."


184:1 I.e., the Emperor Jim-mu. His decease is not otherwise specially mentioned; but a formula at the end of the Section, which is repeated mutatis mutandis in the case of each Emperor, tells us the number of years he lived or reigned, and the place of his sepulture. Throughout these "Records," much matter is often placed in the reign of a Monarch already deceased, and which, according to our ideas, would more naturally be narrated under the heading of his successor.

184:2 Who was the deceased Emperor's son by Princess Ahira (see Sect. LI, Note 6,) and consequently step-son to the Empress and half-brother to her three sons.

184:3 This is the meaning of the Chinese character in the text, Motowori tries to save the Empress-Dowager's reputation for conjugal fidelity by rendering it in his kana reading by a word signifying "raped."

184:4 See Sect. XXII, Note 4.

184:5 The import of this metaphorical poem, taken in its context, is too clear to need much comment. The rising off the clouds and the rustling of the leaves may be supposed to represent the murderer's preparations, and the blowing of the wind his actual onslaught.

184:6 The meaning of this Song is: "The would-be murderer remains quiet during the day-time like the clouds hanging to the mountain-side; but at night he will I burst upon you like the storm-wind. Already I p. 186 hear the leaves begin to rustle; already he is gathering his men together."

185:7 The word take prefixed to the name of this prince signifies "brave."

185:8 I.e., either "superior to thee," or as Motowori understands the phrase, "the superior of all," scil. the Emperor.

185:9 Though the elder brother, he here uses the humble character "servant," to show his respect and deference.

185:10 Literally, "a person who shuns," q.d. who shuns all pollution, and avoids certain food at certain seasons. Conf. the gentile name Imi-be commented on in Sect. XXXIII, Note 32.

Next: Section LIII.—Emperor Jim-mu (Part X.—Genealogies)