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

p. 326


So this Deity had a daughter whose name was the Deity Maiden-of-Idzushi. 1 So eighty Deities wished to [262] obtain this Maiden-of-Idzushi in marriage, but none of them could do so. 2 Hereupon there were two Deities, brothers, of whom the elder was called the Youth-of-the-Glow-on-the-Autumn-Mountains, 3 and the younger was named the Youth-of-the-Haze-on-the-Spring-Mountains. 4 So the elder brother said to the younger brother: "Though I beg for 5 the Maiden of Idzushi, I cannot obtain her in marriage. Wilt thou [be able] to obtain her?" He answered, saying: "I will easily obtain her." Then the elder brother said: "If thou shalt obtain this maiden, I will take off my upper and lower garments, and distil liquor in a jar of my own height, 6 and prepare all the things of the mountains and of the rivers 7 [and give them to thee] in payment of the wager." Then the younger brother told his mother everything that the elder brother had said. Forthwith the mother, having taken wistaria-fibre, wove and sewed in the space of a single night an upper garment and trowsers, and also socks and boots, and likewise made a bow and arrows, and clothed him in this upper garment, trowsers, [263] etc., made him take the bow and arrows, and sent him to the maiden's house, where both his apparel and the bow and arrows all turned into wistaria-blossoms. Thereupon the Youth-of-the-Haze-on-the-Spring-Mountains hung up the bow and arrows in the maiden's privy. Then, when the Maiden-of-Idzushi, thinking the blossoms strange, brought them [home, the Youth-of-the-Haze-on-the-Spring-Mountains]

p. 327

followed behind the maiden into the house, and forthwith wedded her. So she gave birth to a child. 8 Then he spoke to his elder brother, saying: "I have obtained the Mayden-of-Idzushi." Thereupon the elder brother, vexed that the younger brother should have wedded her, did not pay the things he had wagered. Then when [the younger brother] complained to his mother, his august parent replied, saying: "During my august life the Deities indeed are to be well imitated; moreover it must be because he imitates mortal men 9 that he does not pay those things." Forthwith, in her anger with her elder child, she took a jointed bamboo 10 from an island in the River Idzushi, and made a coarse basket with eight holes, 11 and took stones from the river, and mixing them with brine, wrapped them in the leaves of the bamboo 12 and caused this curse to be spoken: 13 "Like unto the becoming green of these bamboo-leaves, [do thou] become green and wither! [264] Again, like unto the flowing and ebbing of this brine 14 [do thou] flow and ebb! Again, like unto the sinking of these stones, [do thou] sink and be prostrate! "Having caused this curse to be spoken, she placed [the basket] over the smoke. 15 Therefore the elder brother dried up, withered, sickened, and lay prostrate 16 for the space of eight years. So on the elder brother entreating his august parent with lamentations and fears, she forthwith caused the curse to be reversed. 17 Thereupon his body became sound 18 as it had been before. (This is the origin of the term "a divine wager payment.") 19

p. 328


326:1 p. 327 Idzushi-wotome no kami.

326:2 Literally "eighty Deities wished to obtain this Maiden of Idzushi, but none could wed (her)." But the sense is that given in the translation.

326:3 p. 328 Ahi yama no shita-bi-wotoko. The explanation of the name is that given by Motowori (following Mabuchi), who sees in it a reference to the ruddy brilliance of the leaves, which is so marked a feature of the Japanese woods in autumn. The Chinese characters used have, indeed, the signification of the lower ice of the autumn mountains; but "lower ice "may well be simply phonetic in this case.

326:4 Haru-yamu no kasumi-wotoko.

326:5 In Japanese kohedomo, written with the characters . Perhaps Motowori is right in supposing this Verb to have been originally identical with kofuru, "to love" ( ) whose corresponding form is kofuredomo. If so, the author may have meant to make his hero say, "though I love the maiden, etc." But it is better to be guided by the characters, and to suppose that he referred to the request made to her mother to grant her to him.

326:6 Literally, "compute the height of my person and distil liquor in a jar."

326:7 I.e., all the valuable produce of the chase and of the fisheries, such as are perpetually mentioned in the Shinto "Rituals" as being presented to the gods, Thus in the "Service of the Goddess of Food" (see Mr. Satow's translation in Vol. VII, Pt. IV, p. 414 of these "Transactions,") we read that the worshipper offered: "as to things which dwell in the mountains—things soft of hair and things rough of hair; as to things which grow in the great-field-plain sweet herbs and bitter herbs; as to things which dwell in the blue-sea-plain—things wide of fin and things narrow of fin, down to weeds of the offing and weeds of the shore."

327:8 Literally, "one child."

327:9 The Japanese original of the words here unavoidably rendered by "mortal men" in order to mark the antithesis to the word "Deities, has been more literally translated by "living people" in an earlier passage of the work (see Sect. IX, Note 17). The signification of the entire sentence is: "During my lifetime, thy brother should be careful to imitate the upright conduct of the gods. For if, instead of doing so, he be dishonest and untruthful as are the sons of men, it will be at his own peril."

327:10 Or, according to the more usual reading, "a one-jointed bamboo;" but in either case the meaning is obscure. Motowori, who adopts the reading that has been followed in the translation, suggests that the expression may simply be a periphrasis for the bamboo in general.

327:11 . Motowori remarks that the word "eight" in this p. 329 place (where, to indicate a considerable number we should rather expect "eighty") is curious, and he surmises that may be an error for , "large." The word "coarse" itself is sufficient to show that the apertures left in the plaiting of the basket were large.

327:12 Scil. of which the basket was woven.

327:13 Scil. by her younger son.

327:14 In this case, as Motowori remarks, it is the sea-water that is intended to be spoken of, whereas the allusion in the previous sentence is to hard salt. But the Japanese language uses the same word for both, and the same Chinese character is here also used in both contexts. For this curse conf. Sect. XL (Note 18 et. seq.) and Sect. XLI.

327:15 Scil. of the furnace (kitchen) in the younger brother's house, as Motowori suggests.

327:16 The text has the character , which signifies "to wither" or "dry up" (spoken of trees). But the translator agrees with Motowori in considering it to be in all probability an error for , "to be prostrate; and in any case it could not here be rendered by either of the verbs "dry up" or "wither "without introducing into the English version a tautology which does not exist in the Japanese original.

327:17 Such seems to be the meaning of the obscure original sono tokohi-do wo kahesashimeki ( ), Motowori would understand it in a rather more specialized sense to signify that "she caused the implement of the curse (i.e., the basket) to be taken away,"

327:18 Literally, "was pacified."

327:19 Or, if we take in the text as equivalent to , "this is the origin of "divine water-payments."

Next: Section CXVII.—Emperor Ō-jin (Part XVI.—Genealogies)