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

p. 264


When, having thence penetrated on and subdued all the savage Yemishi 1 and likewise pacified all the savage Deities of the mountains and rivers, he was returning up [to the capital], he, on reaching the foot of the Ashigara Pass, 2 was eating his august provisions, when the Deity of the pass, transformed into a white deer, came and stood [before him]. Then forthwith, on his waiting 3 and striking [the deer] with a scrap of wild chive, 4 [the deer] was hit in the eye and struck dead. So, mounting to

p. 265

the top of the pass, he sighed three times and spoke, saying: "Adzuma ha ya!5 So that land is called by the name of Adzuma.


264:1 This is the traditional ancient reading of what is according to the modern pronunciation Yezo, while the Chinese characters , with which the name is written, signify "Prawn Barbarians," in allusion (if Motowori may be trusted) to the long beards which make their fades resemble a prawn's head. The hairy barbarians known to English readers as Ainos, and whose name of Yezo is applied by the Japanese to the northernmost large island of the Japanese Archipelago, which is still chiefly tenanted by them, are almost certainly here referred to. In ancient times they inhabited a great part of the Main Island of Japan. The translator may add that the genuiness of the so-called ancient reading "Yemishi" appears to him doubtful. The name known to the people themselves, and which apparently can be traced as far as Kamschatka, is Yezo.

264:2 Ashigara-zaka, one of the passes from Sagami into Suruga leading towards Mount Fuji.

264:3 I.e., lying in ambush.

264:4 Nira, the Allium odorum.

265:5 I.e., "my wife! "Adzuma is still used as a poetical designation of Eastern Japan. The translator doubts the correctness of the derivation of it given in the text, although it is universally accepted and certainly fits in well with the graceful legend by which it is here accounted for.

Next: Section LXXXVI.—Emperor Kei-kō (Part XI.—Yamato-take Dwells in the Palace of Sakawori.)