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

p. 44


Therefore the Great Deity the Male-Who-Invites said: "Nay! hideous! I have come to a hideous and polluted land,—I have! 1 So I will perform the purification of my august person." So he went out to a plain [covered with] ahagi 2 at a small river-mouth near Tachibana 3 in Himuka 4 in [the island of] Tsukushi, and purified and cleansed himself. So the name of the Deity that was born from the august staff which he threw down was the Deity Thrust-Erect-Come-Not-Place. 5 The name of [40] the Deity that was born from the august girdle which he next threw down was the Deity Road-Long-Space. 6

p. 45

[paragraph continues] The name of the Deity that was born from the august skirt which he next threw down was the Deity Loosen-Put. 7 The name of the Deity that was born from the august upper garment which he next threw down was the Deity Master-of-Trouble. 8 The name of the Deity that was born from the august trousers which he next threw down was the Road-Fork-Deity. 9 The name of the Deity that was born from the august hat which he next threw down was the Deity Master-of-the-Open-Mouth. 10 The names of the Deities that were born from the bracelet of his august left hand 11 which he next threw down were the Deities Offing-Distant, 12 next the Deity Wash-Prince-of-the-Offing, next the Deity Intermediate-Direction-of-the-Offing. The names of the Deities that were born from the bracelet of his august right hand [41] which he next threw down were: the Deity Shore-Distant, next the Deity Wash-Prince-of-the-Shore, next the Deity Intermediate-Direction-of-the-Shore.

The twelve Deities mentioned in the foregoing 13 list from the Deity Come-Not-Place down to the Deity Intermediate-Direction-of-the-Shore are Deities that were born from his taking off the things that were on his person.

Thereupon saying: "The water in the upper reach is [too] rapid; the water in the lower reach is [too] sluggish," he went down and plunged in the middle reach; and, as he washed, there was first born the Wondrous-Deity-of-Eighty-Evils, and next the Wondrous-Deity-of-Great-Evils. 14 These two Deities are the Deities that were born from the filth [he contracted] when he went to that polluted, hideous land. 15 The names of the Deities that were next born to rectify those evils were:

p. 46

the Divine-Rectifying-Wondrous Deity, next the Great-Rectifying-Wondrous-Deity, 16 next the Female-Deity-Idzu. 17 The names of the Deities that were next born, as he bathed at the bottom of the water, were: the Deity Possessor-of-the-Ocean-Bottom, 18 and next His Augustness Elder-Male-of-the-Bottom. The names of the Deities that were born as he bathed in the middle [of the water] were: the Deity Possessor-of-the-Ocean-Middle, and next His Augustness Elder-Male-of-the-Middle. The names of the Deities that were born as he bathed at the top of the water were the Deity Possessor-of-the-Ocean-Surface, and next His Augustness Elder-Male-of-the-Surface. These three Ocean-Possessing Deities are the Deities held in reverence as their ancestral Deities by the Chiefs of Adzumi. 19 So the Chiefs of Adzumi are the descendants of His Augustness Utsushi-hi-gana-saku20 a child of these Ocean-Possessing Deities. 21 These three Deities His Augustness Elder-Male-of-the-Bottom, His Augustness Elder-Male-of-the-Middle, and His Augustness Elder-Male-of-the-Surface are the three Great Deities of the Inlet of Sumi. 22 The name of the Deity that was born as he thereupon washed his left august eye was the Heaven-Shining-Great-August-Deity. 23 The name of the Deity that was next born as he washed his right august eye was His Augustness, Moon-Night Possessor. 24 The name of the Deity that was next born as he washed his august nose was His Brave-Swift-impetuous-Male-Augustness. 25

The fourteen Deities in the foregoing list from the Wondrous-Deity-of-Eighty-Evils down to His Swift-Impetuous-Male-Augustness are Deities born from the bathing of his august person.


p. 47 p. 48 p. 49


44:1 p. 47 The words "I have" thus repeated are an attempt to render the concluding words ari keri of the sentence in the original, by which, though they have no particular sense, the author evidently set great store, as he writes them syllabically. They may be considered to emphasize what goes before and, says Motowori, "convey the idea of lamentation." The idiom occurs some half-dozen times in the course of the present work.

44:2 This botanical name is identified by Arawi Hakuseki and Hirata with the modern hagi, or "bushclover" (lespdeza of various species). The received opinion used to be that the awoki (Aucuba Japonica) was here intended.

44:3 Tachibana is understood to be the general designation of trees of the orange tribe. (See however Sect. LXXIV, Note 7). Here it is used as a proper name.

44:4 This name, which signifies "sun-confronting," was not unnaturally bestowed on a province in the eastern part of the westernmost of the larger Japanese islands, as it might well be conceived as lying "opposite the sun." It has, however, been supposed to have originally denoted the whole of the island in question. In any case the name is not inappropriate, as the island has a long eastern sea-board.

44:5 In our text Tsuki-tatsu-funa-do. But funa should almost certainly be ku-na, and the name (which has here been translated accordingly) is then illustrated by the more extended version of this myth which is given in the "Chronicles," where we read that the god (probably addressing his sister) threw down his staff with the words: "Come no further." "Stand" must be understood in a Transitive sense: the god stood his staff up by thrusting it into the sand.

44:6 This is Moribe's explanation ("Idzu-no-Chi-waki." Vol. IV, p. 44) of the meaning of the original name Michi-no-naga-chiha-no-kami, the syllable ha of which is considered by him to be an alternative form of ma ( , "space"). It is however a great crux, and Motowori confesses his inability to explain it satisfactorily. Other views as to the import of the syllable in question will be found in the "Jin-dai no maki Mo-shiho-gusa." Vol. II. p. 29.

45:7 This seems to be the meaning of the original name, if we retain the reading Toki-okashi-no-kami. See however Motowori's remarks in loco.

45:8 Wadzurahi-no-ushi-no-kami.

45:9 Chi-mata-no-kami.

45:10 p. 48 Aki-guhi-no-ushi-no-kami. The English rendering of this obscure name proceeds on the assumption that Motowori is correct when he proposes to consider kuhi as equivalent in this place to kuchi, "mouth." The gaping trousers no longer filled by the deity's legs would perhaps suggest the idea of an open mouth, though it is true that this is not the deity said to have been actually born from that portion of the attire.

45:11 or "arm."

45:12 The names of this deity and the five who follow are in the original Oki-zakaru-no-kami, Oki-tsu-nagisa-biko-no-kami, Oki-tsu-kahi-bera-no-kami, He-zakaru-no-kami, He-tsu-nagisa-biko-no-kami and He-tsu-kahi-bera-no-kami. The word "wash," by which for want of a better one the Substantive nagisa has been rendered, must be understood to signify the part nearest to the strand o the sea or of a river,—the boundary of the waves. The third and sixth of this set of names, in which the syllables kahi-bera (here represented by "Intermediate Direction") offer a good deal of difficulty, have been translated in accordance with Motowori's explanation of their probable meaning.

45:13 Lit. "right." In Chinese and Japanese compositions the lines follow each other from right to left instead of from top to bottom as with us. "Right" therefore signifies "foregoing," and "left," "following."

45:14 The names of these two deities in the original are Ya-so-maga-tsu-bi-no-kami and Oho-maga-tsu-bi-no-kami.

45:15 Viv. to Hades.

46:16 The names of these two deities in the original are Kamu-naho-bi-no-kami and Oho-na-ho-bi-no-kami.

46:17 Idzu-no-me-no-kami. The word Idzu is incomprehensible, unless indeed, following Motowori, we identify this goddess with the god and goddess Haya-aki-dzu-hiko and Haya-aki-dsu-hime mentioned in Sect. VI, Note 10, and consider idzu as standing by apheresis for aki-dsu.

46:18 The original names of this deity and the five who follow are Soko-tsu-wata-tsu-mi-no-kami, Soko-dzutsu-no-wo-no-mi-koto, Naka-tsu-wata-tsu-mi-no-kami, Naka-dzutsu-no-wo-mikoto, Uha-tsu-wata-tsu-mi-no-kami, and Uha-dzutsu-no-wo-no-mikoto. There is the usual doubt as to the signification to be assigned to the syllable tsu in the second, fourth and last of these names. If it really means, not "elder" but "possessor," we should be obliged to translate by "the Bottom-Possessing-Male." etc.

46:19 Adumi-no-murazhi. This name is said by Motowori to be taken from that of a place in the province of Shinano. But Moribe shows that p. 49 at any rate the etymology of the word may be traced to ama-tsu-mochi, "Possessors of fishermen."

46:20 It is impossible to translate this name which, according to Motowori, is derived from those of two districts in Shinano to which the word utsushi (for utsutsu, "present" or "living") is prefixed.

46:21 Attention must again be drawn to the vagueness of the Japanese perception of the distinction between Singular and Plural. As three deities are particularly and repeatedly mentioned in the foregoing text, we are forced to translate this passage in the Plural; and yet how could one child have three fathers?

46:22 Sumi-no-ye, also called Sumi-yoshi, i.e., by a play upon words, "pleasant to dwell in." The real etymology of sumi is not certain.—Instead of "the three Great Deities," we might translate by "the Great Deities of the Three Shrines."

46:23 Ama-terasu-oho-mi-kami ( ). The reading terasu, which is established by the authority of the "Collection of a Myriad Leaves" and by almost universal usage, must not mislead the student into imagining that the Verb, because it is Causative in form, has a Causative meaning which would require some such English translation as "Heaven-Illuminating." The Causative form is simply Honorific, and the two words ama terasu signify, as Motowori explains, "shining in heaven."

46:24 Tsuki-yomi-no-kami. There is no doubt as to a moon-god being intended, but the precise import of the name is disputed. The translator has followed Mabuchi's view as quoted by Motowori, and which is supported by the fact that, from classical times down to the present day, tsuku-yo or tsuki-yo has been a word in common use to denote a fine moonlight night. If we were to take yomi as one word, we should have to render it either by "Moon-Hades" or by "Moon-Darkness," which seem less appropriate designations, though still of plain enough intent. The characters , and , with which the name is variously written, seem all phonetic unless we might take the second set to mean the crescent (lit. "moon-bow).

46:25 Take-haya-susa-no-wo-no-mikoto. Susa, which is sometimes read Sosa, is rendered by the word "impetuous" in accordance with Mabuchi's View as quoted by Motowori. The first member of this compound name is frequently omitted.

Next: Section XI.—Investiture of the Three Deities; The Illustrious August Children