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

p. 320


Thereupon while the two Deities 1 His Augustness Oho-sazaki and Uji-no-waki-iratsuko were, each of them, ceding the Empire to the other, 2 a fisherman 3 came with a great feast as tribute. 4 So they each resigned it to the other. So the elder brother refused it, and caused [258] it to be offered to the younger brother, and the younger brother refused it, and caused it to be offered to the elder brother, during which mutual cedings many days elapsed. As such mutual ceding took place not [only] once or twice, the fisherman wept from the fatigue of going backwards and forwards. So the proverb says:

p. 321

[paragraph continues] "Ah! the fisherman weeps on account of his own things." 5a Meanwhile Uji-no-waki-iratsuko died early. 6 So His Augustness Oho-sazaki did rule the Empire.


320:1 It is not actually the word kami, "deity," that is here used in the original, but hashira, which is the Auxiliary Numeral for Deities.

320:2 Neither being willing to accept the Imperial dignity.

320:3 Or, "some fishermen," and similarly in the Plural throughout.

320:4 I.e., came to present fish to His Majesty.

321:5a Motowori is probably right in saying that the point of this proverb lies in the consideration that, whereas people in general weep for that which they have not, this fisherman wept on account of the trouble which was caused to him by the fish which he had.

321:6 Or, "died first," The use in this place of the character , properly confined to the meaning of the "death of an Emperor," is remarkable. See Motowori's observations on the point in Vol. XXXIII, pp. 78-80.

Next: Section CXIV.—Emperor Ō-jin (Part XI.—Ama-no-hi-boko Crosses Over to Japan)