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

p. 52


So thereupon His-Swift-Impetuous-Male-Augustness said: "If that be so, I will take leave 1 of the Heaven-Shining-Great-August-Deity, and depart." [With these words] he forthwith went up to Heaven, whereupon all the mountains and rivers shook, and every land and country quaked. So the Heaven-Shining-Great-August Deity, alarmed at the noise, said: 'The reason of the ascent hither of His Augustness my elder brother 2 is surely no good intent. 3 It is only that he wishes to wrest my land from me." And she forthwith, unbinding her august hair, twisted it into august bunches; and both into the left and into the right august bunch, as likewise into her august head-dress and likewise on to [46] her left and her right august arm, 4 she twisted an augustly complete [string] of curved jewels eight feet

p. 53

[paragraph continues] [long],—of five hundred jewels, 5 and slinging on her back a quiver holding a thousand [arrows], and adding [thereto] 6 a quiver holding five hundred [arrows], she likewise took and slung at her side a mighty and high [-sounding] elbow-pad, 7 and brandished and stuck her bow upright so that the top 8 shook, and she stamped her feet into the hard ground up to her opposing thighs, 9 kicking away [the earth] like rotten snow, 10 and stood valiantly like unto a mighty man, and waiting, asked: "Wherefore ascendest thou hither?" Then His-Swift-Impetuous-Male-Augustness replied, saying: "I have no evil intent. It is only that when the Great-August-Deity [our father] spoke, deigning to enquire the cause [47] of my wailing and weeping, I said 'I wail because I wish to go to my deceased mother's land,'—whereupon the Great-August-Deity said: 'Thou shalt not dwell in this land,' and deigned to expel me with a divine expulsion. It is therefore solely with the thought of taking leave of thee and departing, that I have ascended hither. I have no strange intentions." Then the Heaven-Shining-Great-August-Deity said: "If that be so, whereby shall I know the sincerity of thine intentions?' Thereupon His-Swift-Impetuous-Male-Augustness replied, saying: "Let each of us swear, 11 and produce children." So as they then swore to each other from the opposite banks of the Tranquil River of Heaven. 12 the august names of the Deities that were born from the mist [of her breath] when, having first begged His-Swift-Impetuous-Male-Augustness to hand her the ten-grasp sabre which was girded on him and broken it into three fragments, and with the jewels making a jingling sound 13 having brandished and washed them in the True-Pool-Well of

p. 54

[paragraph continues] Heaven, 14 and having crunchingly crunched them, the [48] Heaven-Shining-Great-Deity blew them away, were Her Augustness Torrent-Mist-Princess, 15 another august name for whom is Her Augustness Princess-of-the-Island-of-the Offing; next Her Augustness Lovely-Island-Princess, 16 another august name for whom is Her Augustness Good-Princess; next Her Augustness, Princess-of-the-Torrent. 17 The august name of the Deity that was born from the mist [of his breath] when, having begged the Heaven-Shining. Great-August-Deity to hand him the augustly complete [string] of curved jewels eight feet [long],—of five hundred jewels,—that was twisted in the left august bunch [of her hair], and with the jewels making a jingling sound having brandished and washed them in the True-Pool. Well of Heaven, and having crunchingly crunched them, His-Swift-Impetuous-Male-Augustness blew them away, was His Augustness Truly-Conquer-I-Conqueror-Conquering-Swift-Heavenly-Great-Great-Ears. 18 The august name of the Deity that was born from the mist [of his breath] when again, having begged her to hand him the [49] jewels that were twisted in the right august bunch [of her hair], and having crunchingly crunched them, he blew them away, was His Augustness Ame-no-hohi. 19 The august name of the Deity that was born from the mist [of his breath] when again, having begged her to hand him the jewels that were twisted in her august head-dress, and having crunchingly crunched them, he blew them away, was His Augustness Prince-Lord-of-Heaven. 20 The august name of the Deity that was born from the mist [of his breath] when again, having begged her to hand him the jewels that were twisted on her left august arm, 21 and having crunchingly crunched them,

p. 55

he blew them away, was His Augustness Prince-Lord-of-Life. 22 The august name of the Deity that was born from the mist [of his breath] when again, having begged her to hand him the jewels that were twisted on her right august arm, 23 and having crunchingly crunched them, he blew them away, was His-Wondrous-Augustness-of-Kumanu. 24 (Five Deities in all).

p. 56 p. 57


52:1 p. 55 The English locution "to take leave" exactly represents the Chinese character here used which, from having the sense of "asking permission," has come to mean "bidding adieu."

52:2 He was her younger brother. But see what is said on the subject of names expressive of relationship on p. xxxvii of Introduction. The phonetic characters are here used to represent , "elder brother."

52:3 Literally "heart," here and elsewhere.

52:4 Or "hand."

53:5 The original is here obscure, but the translator has, as usual. followed the Chinese characters as far as possible, and has been chiefly guided by Moribe's interpretation. According to this, the "eight feet" (which Moribe takes to mean simply "several feet") must be supposed to refer to the length of the necklace which, he says, probably resembled a Buddhist rosary, only that the beads were somewhat larger. For a discussion of the various interpretations to which this phrase descriptive of the Sun-Goddess's ornaments may be subjected, see Note 4 to Mr. Satow's third paper on the "Rituals" in Vol. IX Pt. II, p. 198 of these "Transactions," and Moribe's "Examination of Difficult Words," Vol. II. pp. 4-5, s.v. Ya-saka-ni no iho-tsu no mi sumaru no tama. Mr. Satow, adopting some of the bolder etymologies of the Japanese commentators, translates thus: "the ever-bright curved (or glittering) jewels, the many assembled jewels," and concludes that "a long string of, perhaps, claw-shaped stone beads" was what the author meant to describe.

53:6 Hirata supposes this additional quiver to have been slung in front.

53:7 Motowori's long note on the expression taka-tomo, to be found in Vol. VII, pp. 39-40 of his "Commentary" seems to prove that "high-low-sounding elbow-pad" ( being written phonetically for ) is the most likely meaning,—these pads, of which one was worn on the left elbow, having been made of skin. Arawi Hakuseki however takes in its p. 56 literal sense of "bamboo" and Moribe suggests the ( ) which occurs so often in proper names with the signification of "bold," "brave," or "stout."

53:8 The reading yu-hara, here rendered "top [of the bow]" is doubtful, and yu-hadsu, "bow-notch," has been proposed as an emendation.

53:9 I.e., "both legs penetrated into the ground up to the thigh," a proof of the vigour with which she used her limbs in stamping.

53:10 Lit. "bubble-snow."

53:11 I.e., "pledge our faith," "bind ourselves," in order to show forth the sincerity of our intentions.—Hirata has a long note on the word ukehi, here rendered "swear" (elsewhere as a Substantive, "oath,") which the student will do well to consult. It is contained in his "Exposition of the Ancient Histories," Vol. VII, pp. 61-63.

53:12 Ame-no-yasu-kaha (according to Motowori's reading Ame-no-yasu-no-kaha), our Milky Way. The "Chronicles of Old Matters of Former Ages" perhaps preserve the true etymology of the word by writing it Ama-no-ya-se-kaha, i.e., "the Heavenly River of eight currents (or reaches)." This would mean simply "a broad river." The text literally says: "having placed the Tranquil River of Heaven in the middle," etc.; but the sense of the clause is that given in the translation.

53:13 These words seem, as Motowori says. to have been erroneously brought in here from the next sentence, where they come in appropriately.

54:14 Ame-no-ma-na-wi. The interpretation adopted is that which has the authority of Motowori and Hirata. Perhaps only "Heavenly Well" is intended. The above authorities warn us that the word wi, "well," was not in ancient days restricted to its modern sense, but was used to designate any place at which water could be drawn, and Motowori thinks that Heaven contained several such. That mentioned in the text seems to have been a pool in the bed of the Tranquil River of Heaven.

54:15 This is the interpretation of the original name Ta-kiri-bime-no-mikoto which is proposed by Moribe. It is less far-fetched, and agrees better with the name of the sister deity Princess-of-the-Torrent, than do the other explanations that have been attempted. The alternative name is Oki-tsu-shima-no-mikoto.

54:16 Ichiki-shima-hime-no-mikoto, ichiki being an unusual form of itsuki. The island, which is in the Inland Sea, is still celebrated, but bears in common parlance the name of Miya-shima, i.e., "Temple Island." p. 57 The alternative name is Sa-yori-bime-no-mikato, in which sa is an Ornamental Prefix not calling for translation.

54:17 Tagi-tsu-hime-no-mikoto.

54:18 Masa-ka-a-katsu-kachi-hayabi-ame-no-oshi-ho-mimi-no-mikoto. The word mimi ( "ears") forms part of a large number of Ancient Japanese proper names. Motowori, who of course passes over in silence the fact that large ears are considered lucky, not only in Japan, but also in China and Korea, suggests the etymology hi hi or bi bi ( ), i.e., the word "wondrous" or "miraculous" repeated. But there are examples of such names in which the interpretation of mimi as "ears" is unavoidable. Thus Prince Umayado (commonly called Shō-to-ku Tai-shi) had also the name of Yatsu-mimi no Tai-shi bestowed upon him on account of his extraordinary intelligence. Is it not therefore simpler in all cases to allow to the word this its natural meaning? The proper names in mi do however undoubtedly offer some difficulty, and Motowori scarcely seems content with his own derivation of the troublesome syllable. Oshi, as in other cases, is taken to represent ohoshi, "great"; and after much hesitation the translator has followed Motowori in regarding ho likewise as an abbreviated form of that word.

54:19 Ame-no signifies "of Heaven" or "heavenly." The syllables hohi are incomprehensible.

54:20 Amatsu-hiko-ne-no-mikoto.

54:21 Or "hand."

55:22 Iku-tsu-hiko-ne-no-mikoto.

55:23 This god does not seem to be known by any other name: but is conjectured by Hirata to be identical with Ame-no-hohi, the second of these divine brothers. Kumanu, or less archaically Kumano, is said to be, not the well-known Kumano in the province of Kishiu, but a place in Idzumo near Suga (see Sect. XIX, Notes 1 and 2). The name is written with the characters, , "bear moor." The native commentators however interpret it as a corruption of Komori-nu, , "the moor of retirement," on account of a tradition preserved in the "Chronicles" of Izanami (the Female-Who-invites) having been interred at the Kishiu Kumano.

55:24 There is no footnote 24—JBH.

Next: Section XIV.—The August Declaration of the Division of the August Male Children and the August Female Children