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

p. 263 [212]


When he thence penetrated on, and crossed the sea of Hashiri-midzu, 1 the Deity of that crossing raised the waves, tossing the ship so that it could not proceed across. Then [Yamato-take's] Empress, 2 whose name was Her Augustness Princess Oto-tachibana 3 said: "I 4 will enter the sea instead of the august child. 5 The august child must complete the service 6 on which he has been sent, and take back a report [to the Heavenly Sovereign]." When she was about to enter the sea, she spread eight thicknesses of sedge rugs, 7 eight thicknesses of skin rugs and eight thicknesses of silk rugs on the top of the waves, and sat down on the top [of them] Thereupon the violent waves at once went down, and the august ship was able to proceed. Then the. Empress sang, saying:

"Ah! thou [whom I] enquired of, standing in the midst of the flames of the fire burning on the little moor of Sagamu, where the true peak pierces!" 8

So seven days afterwards the Empress's august comb [213] drifted onto the sea-beach,—Which comb was forthwith taken and placed in an august mausoleum which was made.


263:1 p. 263 I.e., "running water."

263:2 I.e., his consort. Conf. Sect. ???, Note 5.

263:3 Oto-tachibana-hime no mikoto. (See Sect. XCII, Note 3.)

263:4 Written with the humble character , literally "concubine."

263:5 I.e., instead of thee, the Prince."

263:6 More literally, "finish the government."

263:7 Or "mats." But the same word is used as that which must be translated "rugs" immediately below.

263:8 p. 264 This Song gives much trouble to the commentators, whose remarks (to be found in Motowori's "Commentary." Vol. XXVII, pp. 67-9, and Moribe's "Idzu no Koto-Waki" Vol. III, pp, 6-9,) should be consulted by the student desirous of forming an opinion of his own. The general purport of the poem is of course to allude to Yamato-take's adventure on the burning moor, and at the same time to the love which bound him and his consort together; almost each individual line offers matter for doubt. Thus it is not certain whether the Verb tohishi, here rendered "enquired of" (i.e., attended upon by the Empress). should not rather be given the word "thou" as subject, in which case the signification would be "thou who enquiredst of [i.e., wooedst]." The word used for "thou;" is the Honorific equivalent of that Pronoun signifying literally "prince." Moribe disputes the propriety of considering Sagamu in this place as the name of a province, and the word sanesashi, here translated "where the true peak pierces" (Mt. Fuji being by some supposed to be thus alluded to) is of very doubtful interpretation. Motowori tells us that the final Particles ha mo, rendered by the initial Interjection "Oh," should here be understood as an exclamation more forcible than that which usually belongs to him. Finally Moribe points out that the Song does not suit the context in which it is found, and has probably been erroneously inserted here instead of in an earlier portion of the text.

Next: Section LXXXV.—Emperor Kei-kō (Part X.—Yamato-Take Slays the Deity of the Ashigara Pass.)