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

p. 15



The names of the Deities 1 that were born 2 in the Plain of High Heaven 3 when the Heaven and Earth began were the Deity Master-of-the-August-Centre-of-Heaven, 4 next the High-August-Producing-Wondrous Deity, 5 next the Divine-Producing-Wondrous-Deity. 6 These three Deities were all Deities born alone, and hid their persons. 7 The names of the Deities that were born next from a thing that sprouted up like unto a reed-shoot when the earth, 8 young and like unto floating oil, drifted about medusa-like, were the Pleasant-Reed-Shoot-Prince-Elder Deity, 9 next the Heavenly-Eternally-Standing-Deity. 10 [16] These two Deities were likewise born alone, and hid their persons.

The five Deities in the above list are separate Heavenly Deities. 11

p. 16


15:1 p. 15 For this rendering of the Japanese word kami see Introduction, pp. xvii-xviii.

15:2 Literally, "that became" ( ). Such "becoming" is concisely defined by Motowori as "the birth of that which did not exist before."

15:3 In Japanese Takama-no-hara.

15:4 Ame-no-mi-naka-nushi-no-kami.

15:5 Taka-mi-musu-bi-no-kami. It is open to doubt whether the syllable bi, instead of signifying "wondrous," may not simply be a verbal termination, in which case the three syllables musubi would mean, not "wondrous producing," but simple "producing," i.e., if we adopt the interpretation of the Verb musubu as "to produce" in the Active sense of the word, an interpretation as to whose propriety there is some room for doubt. In the absence of certainty the translator has followed the view expressed by Motowori and adopted by Hirata. The same remark applies to the following and other similar names.

15:6 p. 16 Kami-musu-bi-no-kami. This name reappears in later Sections under the lengthened form of ami-musu-bi-mi-oya-no-mikoto, i.e., His Augustness the Deity-Producing-Wondrous-August-Ancestor, and also in abbreviated forms.

15:7 I.e. they all came into existence without being procreated. in the manner usual with both gods and men, and afterwards disappeared, i.e., died.

15:8 Here and elsewhere the character , properly "country" (regio), is used where "earth" (tellus) better suits the sense. Apparently in the old language the word kuni (written ), which is now restricted to the former meaning, was used ambiguously somewhat like our word "land."

15:9 Umashi-ashi-kabi-hiko-ji-no-kami. For hiko here and elsewhere rendered "prince" see Introduction p. xvi; ji is rendered "elder" in accordance with the opinion expressed by Motowori and Hirata, who say that it is "an Honorific designation of males identical with the ji meaning old man."

15:10 Or, the Deity-Standing-Eternally-in-Heaven, Ame-no-toko-tachi-no-kami. The translation of the name here given follows the natural meaning of the characters composing it, and has the sanction of Tanigaha Shisai. Motowori and Hirata take toko to stand for soko, "bottom," and interpret accordingly; but this is probably but one of the many instances in which the Japanese philologists allow themselves to be led by the boldness of their etymological speculations into identifying words radically distinct.

15:11 This is a note in the original, where such notes are indented, as has also been clone In the translation. The author's obscure phrase is explained by Motowori to mean that these Heavenly Deities were separate from those who came into existence afterwards, and especially from the Earthly-Eternally-Standing-Deity (Kuni-no-toko-tachi-no-kami) who in the "Chronicles" is the first divine being of whom mention is made. These five were, he says, "separate" and had nothing to do with the creation of the world. It should be stated that the sentence will also bear the interpretation "The five Deities in the above list are Deities who divided Heaven" (presumably from Earth;) but this rendering has against it the authority of all the native editors. As the expressions "Heavenly Deity" and "Earthly Deity" (lit., "Country Deity" are of frequent occurrence in these "Records," it may be as well to state that. according to Motowori, the "Heavenly Deities" were such as either dwelt in Heaven or had originally descended to Earth from Heaven, whereas the Earthly Deities were those born and dwelling in Japan.

Next: Section II.—The Seven Divine Generations