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

p. 340


After this time the Empress made a progress to the land of Ki in order to pluck aralia-leaves for a copious feast; 1 and in the mean while the Heavenly Sovereign wedded Yata-no-waki-iratsume. Hereupon, when the Empress was returning in her august vessel loaded full

p. 341

of aralia-leaves, a coolie from Kozhima 2 in the land of Kibi, who was in the service of the Superintendent of the Water-Directors, 3 being on his way off to his own country, met at the great passage 4 of Naniha the vessel of a lady of the train 5 who had got behind, and forthwith told her, saying: "The Heavenly Sovereign has [274] recently 6 wedded Yata-no-waki-iratsume, and plays with her day and night. It must probably be because the Empress has not heard of this thing, that she quietly makes progress for pleasure." Then the lady of the train, having heard this narrative, forthwith pursued and reached the august vessel, and reported everything exactly as the coolie had told it. Hereupon the Empress, greatly vexed and angry, threw away into the sea all the aralia-leaves which she had put on board the august vessel. So the place,[where she did so] is called by the name of Cape Mitsu. 7 Forthwith without entering the palace, but taking her august vessel [from it] 8 and ascending the channel 9 against the current, she made a progress up into Yamashiro by the river; 10 At this time she sang, saying:

"Oh! the river of Yamashiro where the seedlings grow in succession! As I ascend, ascend the river, oh! on the bank of the river [there] stands growing a sashibu!—a sashibu-tree; below it stands growing a broad-foliaged five hundred[-fold branching] true camellia-tree; oh! he who is brilliant like its blossoms, widely powerful like its foliage, is the great lord." 11

Forthwith going round by Yamashiro, 12 and arriving at [275] the entrance of the Nara Mountain, 13 she sang, saying:

p. 342

"Oh! the river of Yamashiro where the seedlings grow in succession! As I ascend, ascend to Miya, I pass Nara, I pass Yamato with its shield of mountains; and the country I fain would see is Takamiya in Kadzuraki, the neighbourhood of my home." 14

[276] Having sung thus, she returned and entered for some time into the house of a person from Kara 15 named Nurinomi 16 at Tsutsuki. 17

p. 343


340:1 See Sect. CVII, Note 7.

341:2 I.e., "small island." It is first mentioned in Sect V (Note 29).

341:3 See Sect. XLVII, Note 18.

341:4 Oho watari. The mouth of the River Yedo is meant to be designated by this name.

341:5 The original, expression kuru-bito-me ( ) is obscure, being met with nowhere else in Japanese literature. Motowori conjectures that the function exercised by this lady. was one connected with the Emperor's privy purse.

341:6 The text has the character , "all," which make no sense; and Motowori (following Mabuchi) reasonably emends it to , "recently," "just now."

341:7 Mitsu no saki. Mitsu, signifying "three," is supposed by the author to refer to the three-cornered leaves of the aralia (the name of the latter being mitsuna gashiha); but a more likely opinion is that which would have us take mitzu as two words, in the sense of "august harbour." In the parallel passage of the "Chronicles," we are told that the place was called Kashiha no watari, i.e., "Oak passage."

341:8 I.e., going on up the river without stopping at Naniha where the palace was.

341:9 Jr., ,the artificial bed of the river mentioned in Sect. CXX, Note, 8.

341:10 I.e., the river Yodo.

341:11 The meaning of this Song is: "As I make my way up the river by boat, I see a sashibu (the name of a tree which cannot now be identified), below which,—that is to say nearer to the water,—there grows a p. 343 camellia-tree, wide-spreading and full of blossoms. Ah! how the sight of the sturdy brilliant beauty of this camellia-tree brings back my lord and master to my mind!"—It must be remembered that in Japan the camellia-trees grow to a size far superior to that reached by their representatives in Europe. Tsuginefu, rendered according to the view taken by Motowori and Moribe by the phrase "where the seedlings grow in succession," is the Pillow-Word for Yamashiro, and its import is disputed. The interpretation here adopted considers it to refer to the regular succession of young trees planted on a mountain's side when a tract of older timber has been cut down. Mabuchi, in his "Dictionary of Pillow-Words," sees in it, on the contrary, a reference to the rising of peak upon peak in a mountainous district (tsugi-ne fu ). Both interpretations rest on the connection between this term and yama, the first half of the name of the province of Yamashiro, which it qualifies. "Five hundred[-fold-branching]"and "true" are ornamental epithets applied by the poetess to the camellia-tree. Moribe would take the syllable ma, "true," in the sense of ha, "leaf but this seems less good.

341:12 For the straight road from Naniha in Settsu-to Nara in Yamato would have taken her through the province of Kafuchi. and not through Yamashiro.

341:13 I.e., the pass or hill leading from the district of Sagara in Yamashiro to Nara in Yamato. For Nara see Sect. LXXII, Note 23.

342:14 This Song expresses the Empress's desire to return to her parental house at Takamiya in the district of Kadzuraki,—a desire which, however, her restless frame of mind did not allow her to fulfil.—The Pillow-Word for Yamashiro, which here recurs, has already been discussed in Note 11. There are two other Pillow-Words in this Song,—awoniyoshi, which is prefixed to Nara, and wo-date (or wo-date-yama according to the old reading, or wo-date tatsu according to another reading), which is prefixed to Yamato. The former of these is so obscure that, rather than attempt to render it into English, the translator prefers to refer the student to the remarks of the various commentators,—Mabuchi s.v. in his "Dictionary of Pillow-Words," Motowori in his Commentary, Vol. XXXVI, pp. 22-24, and Moribe in loco. Wodate [-yama] seems to refer undoubtedly to the circle of mountains that guard the approach to the province of Yamato, and it has been rendered accordingly. The great difficulty of the Song lies in the line rendered "ascend to Miya," and the commentators from Keichiū downwards make all sorts of efforts to explain it. Moribe's view, according to which the word should be regarded p. 344 as a familiar abbreviation of Takamiya, naturally used by one whose native place it was, seems the most acceptable. Motowori takes the line to signify: "When I ascend past the palace [of Naniha]."

342:15 , i.e., Korea.

342:16 For Nuri no omi, i.e., "the Grandee of Nuri." Nuri is probably a corrupt form of some Korean name.

342:17 Or Tsudzuki, in Yamashiro. Etymology obscure.

Next: Section CXXIV.—Emperor Nin-toku (Part VI.—He Follows the Empress into Yamashiro)