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


Moreover of old there had been [a man] called by the name of Ama-no-hi-boko, 1 child of the ruler of the land of Shiragi. This person crossed over here [to Japan]. The reason of his crossing over here was [this]: In the land of Shiragi there was a certain lagoon, 2 called by the name of the Agu Lagoon. 3 On the bank of this lagoon 4 a certain poor girl was [taking her] midday sleep. Tunc solis radii, coelesti arcui similes, in privatas partes impegerunt. Again there was a certain poor man, [259] who, thinking this occurrence 5b strange, constantly watched the woman's behaviour. So the woman, having conceived from the time of that midday sleep, gave birth to

p. 322

a red jewel. Then the poor man who had watched her begged [to be allowed] to take the jewel, and kept it constantly wrapped up by his side. 6 This person, having planted a rice-field in a valley, 7 had loaded a cow 8 with food for the labourers, and was getting into the middle of the valley, when he met the ruler's son, Ama-no-hi-boko, who thereupon asked him, saying: "Why enterest thou the valley with a load of food upon a cow? Thou wilt surely kill this cow and eat her." Forthwith he seized the man and was about to put him into prison, when the man replied, saying: "I was not going to kill the cow. I was simply taking food to the people in the fields." But still [the ruler's child] would not let him go. 'Then he undid the jewel [which hung] at his side, and [therewith] bribed [the ruler's child]. So [the latter] let the poor man go, brought the jewel [home], and placed it beside his couch. Forthwith it was trans-formed into a beautiful maiden, whom he straightway wedded, and made his chief wife. Then the maiden perpetually prepared all sorts of dainties with which she constantly fed her husband. So the ruler's child [grew] proud in his heart, and reviled his wife. But the woman said: "I am not a woman who ought to be the wife of such as thou. I will go to the land of my ancestors;"—and forthwith she secretly embarked in a boat, and fled away across here [to Japan], and landed 9 at Naniha. 10 (This is the deity called Princess Akaru, 11 who dwells in the shrine of Hime-goso 12 at Naniha.) Thereupon Ame-no-hi-boko, hearing [260] of his wife's flight, forthwith pursued her across hither, and was about to arrive at Naniha, when the Deity of the passage 13 prevented his entrance. So he went back again, and landed in the country of Tajima. 14


321:1 p. 323 Or, according to Motowori's reading, Ame no-hi boko. The characters in the next, signify "heavenly sun-spear." But the homonymous characters , with which the name is written in the "Gleanings from Ancient Story," and which are approved of both by Motowori and by Tanigaha Shisei. signify "fisherman's chamaecyparis spear."

321:2 Apparently nothing more is meant than that there was "a lagoon;" but still the one ( ) in this context is curious, and Motowori retains it as hito-tsu no in the Japanese reading. "A certain" seems best to render its force in English, as again in the following sentences, where Motowori interprets it by the character . It is of strangely frequent recurrence in the opening sentences of this Section, which are altogether peculiar in style.

321:3 Agu-numa. The meaning of this name is unknown.

321:4 The Old Printed Edition has the word "mud" instead of "lagoon."

321:5b Literally, "this appearance."

322:6 Literally, "attached to his loins."

322:7 The words rendered "in a valley "are in the text , of which the commentators find it difficult to make proper Japanese. The translator has followed them in neglecting the character , "mountain."

322:8 Or bull, or bullock; for Japanese does not distinguish Genders.

322:9 Literally, "stopped."

322:10 See Sect. XLIV, Note 26.

322:11 Akaru-hime, i.e., "Brilliant Princess."

322:12 The signification of this name is obscure. Motowori identifies the place with the modern Kodzu ( ).

322:13 I.e., the water-god of the sea near Naniha.

322:14 See Sect. LXXIV, Note 1.

Next: Section CXV.—Emperor Ō-jin (Part XII.—Descendants of Ama-no-hi-boko, and Treasures Brought by Him.)