Sacred Texts  Shinto  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

p. 398


Again once the Heavenly Sovereign made a progress up to the summit of Mount Kadzuraki. 1 Then a large [wild] boar ran out. When the Heavenly Sovereign forthwith shot the boar with a whizzing barb, 2 the boar, furious, came towards him roaring. 3 So the Heavenly Sovereign, alarmed at the roaring, climbed up to the top of an alder. Then he sang, saying:

"The branch of the alder-tree on the opportune mound which I climbed in my flight on account of the terribleness of the roaring of the boar, of the wounded boar, which our great lord who tranquilly carries on the government had been pleased to shoot!" 4



398:1 p. 398 See Sect. LV, Note 1.

398:2 See Sect. XXIII, Note, 7.

398:3 This is the sense attributed by the commentators to the obscure word utaki, which seems to be only found written phonetically.

398:4 Our author cannot be right in attributing this Song to the Emperor, and we need not hesitate to accept the different version of the story given in the parallel passage of the "Chronicle," where the Monarch, as might be expected from all the other details that have been preserved concerning him, bravely faces the boar, while it is one of his attendants who runs away and climbs a tree to be out of danger, and afterwards composes these lines. This Song is a good instance of what Mr. Aston (in his "Grammar of the Japanese Written Language," 2nd Edit., p. 194) has said concerning some of the short poems of a later date: "These sentences are not statements of fact; they merely picture to the mind a state of things without making any assertion respecting it." Here we, as it were, simply see the frightened courtier sitting breathless and terrified amid the branches of the alder, and the whole verse has but the meaning of an exclamation. The term ari-wo rendered "opportune mound." is the only word in the text which raises any difficulties p. 399 of interpretation. Moribe's exegesis has here been followed. According to the older view it signifies "barren mound." For the words "our great lord who tranquilly carries on the government" see Sect CLVI, Note 3.

Next: Section CLVIII.—Emperor Yū-Riyaku (Part IX.—Revelation of the Great Deity of Kadzuraki, Lord of One Word)