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

p. 286


Then, astonished and alarmed, they set him in a mortuary palace, 1 and again taking the country's great offerings, 2 seeking out all sorts of crimes, such as flaying alive and flaying backwards, 3 breaking down the divisions of rice-fields, filling up ditches, evacuating excrements and urine, marriages between superiors and inferiors, 4 marriages with horses, marriages with cattle, marriages with fowls, and marriages with dogs, and having made a great purification of the land, 5 the Noble Takeuchi again stood in the pure court and requested the Deities' commands. Thereupon the manner of their instruction and counsel was exactly the same as on the former day: "Altogether this land is a land to be ruled over by the august child in Thine Augustness's august womb." 6 Then the Noble Take-uchi said, "[I am filled with] awe, my Great Deities] The august child in this Deity's [231] womb, 7 what [sort of] child may it be?" [The Deities] replied, saying: "It is a male child." Then [the Noble Take-uchi] requested more particularly, [saying]: "I wish to know the august names of the Great Deities whose words have now thus instructed us." Forthwith [the Deities] replied, saying: "It is the august doing 8 of

p. 287

the Great-August-Heaven-Shining-Deity, likewise it is the three great Deities Bottom-Possessing-Male, Middle-Possessing Male and Surface-Possessing-Male. 9 (At this time the august names of these three great Deities were revealed. 10) If now thou truly thinkest to seek that land, thou must, after presenting the offerings 11 to every one of the Heavenly Deities and Earthly Deities, 12 and likewise of the Deities of the mountains and also of all the Deities of the river and of the sea, and setting our august spirits 13 on the top of thy vessel, put into gourds 14 the ashes of the podocarpus macrophylla tree, 15 and likewise make a quantity of chopsticks and also of leaf platters, 16 and must scatter [232] them all on the waves of the great sea, that thou mayest cross over." So when [she] punctually fulfilled these instructions, equipped an army, marshalled [her vessels, and crossed over, the fishes of the sea-plain, both great and small, all bore the august vessels 17 across their backs, and a strong favourable wind arose, and the august vessel followed the billows.

p. 288


286:1 p. 287 A temporary resting-place for the corpse before interment. (See Sect. XXXI, Note 20.)

286:2 Or, if, with Motowori, we take country in the Plural, "the great offerings of the countries," i.e., of the various countries or provinces of Japan or of Kiushiu. These "offerings" (nusa) are the same as those mentioned in Sect. XVI (Notes 24 and 25) under the names nigi-te and mitegura. They consisted of cloth, for which in later times paper has been substituted.

286:3 There are different views as to the exact bearing of this curious expression. Conf. Sect. XV, Note 10.

286:4 I.e., incest between parents and children.

286:5 I.e., a general purification.

286:6 The Deities now speak to, as well as through, the Empress. Before the quotation marks announcing their words we must understand some such clause as and they added this divine charge." It would p. 288 also be possible to translate the whole passage thus: "Thereupon the manner of their instruction and counsel. was '[Things] being exactly as on the former day, altogether this land,'" etc., etc.

286:7 I.e., in the Empress's womb. Motowori supposes that she is thus spoken of as a Deity on account of her being at that moment divinely possessed.

286:8 Literally, "heart."

287:9 Soko-dzu-tsu-no-wo, Naka-dzu-tsu-no wo, and Uha-dzu-tsu-no-wo three of the deities born at the time of the purification of Izanagi (the "Male-Who-Invites") on his return from Hades, and known collectively as the Deities of the Inlet of Sumi. (See Sect. X, Notes 18 and 22). The grammar of this sentence is, as Motowori remarks, not lucid. One would expect the author to say that it was "the august doing" of all the four deities mentioned.

287:10 I.e., says Motowori, they then first informed Take-uchi who they were. Up in that time, it had not been known by what Deities the Empress was possessed. Mabuchi, however, rejected this gloss as a later additions.

287:11 I.e., the sacred offerings of white and blue cloth.

287:12 Here written with the Chinese locution , by some rendered "the Spirit of Heaven and Earth." Conf. Sect. I. Note II.

287:13 Here, as before, the Singular would be at least as natural an interpretation as the Plural. The three ocean-deities are supposed to be specially referred to, and in that case, the three being easily conceived as one (like the deified peaches mentioned in Sect. IX, Note 19) owing to the want of discrimination in Japanese between Singular and Plural, we might retain the Singular in English. Altogether the Sun-goddess seems out of place in this passage, and it would be satisfactory to have some authority for expunging from it the mention of her name.

287:14 Or, "into a gourd."

287:15 In the original maki ( ). In modern ma-ki signifies the P. macrophylla, as in the translation. It is however uncertain whether that or the Chamæcyparis obtusa (both being conifers), or simply any "true" (i.e., good) tree is here intended by the author.

287:16 I.e., broad shallow platters made of the oak-tree, and used for placing food on.

287:17 Viz., that in which the Empress herself took passage.

Next: Section XCVIII.—Emperor Chiū-ai (Part IV.—The Empress Jin-gō Conquers Korea)