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

p. 86


[The Deity Great-House-Prince spoke to him 1] saying: "Thou must set off to the Nether-Distant-Land where [72] dwells His Impetuous-Mate-Augustness. That Great Deity will certainly counsel thee." So on his obeying her command and arriving at the august place 2 of His Impetuous-Male-Augustness, the latter's daughter the Forward-Princess 3 came out and saw him, and they exchanged glances and were married, and [she] went in again, and told her father, saying: "A very beautiful Deity has come." Then the Great Deity went out and looked, and said: 'This is the Ugly-Male-Deity-of-the-Reed-Plain," 4 and at once calling him in, made him sleep in the snake-house. Hereupon his wife, Her Augustness the Forward-Princess, gave her husband a snake-scarf, 5 saying: "When the snakes are about to bite thee, drive them away by waving this scarf thrice." So, on his doing as she had instructed, the snakes became quiet, so that he came forth after calm slumbers. Again on the night of the next day [the Impetuous-Male-Deity] put him into the centipede and wasp-house; 6 but as she again gave him a centipede and wasp-scarf, and instructed him as before, he came forth calmly. Again [the Impetuous-Male-Deity] shot a whizzing barb 7 into the middle of a large moor, and sent him to fetch the arrow and, when he had entered the moor, at once set fire to the moor all round. Thereupon, while he [stood] knowing no place of exit, a mouse 8 came and said: "The inside is hollow-hollow; the outside is narrow-narrow." 9 Owing to its speaking thus, he trod on the place, where, upon he fell in and hid himself, during which time the

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fire burnt past. Then the mouse brought out in its mouth and presented to him the whizzing barb. The feathers of the arrow were brought in their mouths by all the mouse's children. Hereupon his wife the Forward-Princess came bearing mourning-implements, 10 and crying. Her father the Great Deity, thinking that [the Deity Great-Name-Possessor] was already dead and done for, went out and stood on the moor, whereupon [the Deity Great-Name-Possessor] brought the arrow and presented it to him, upon which [the Great Deity], taking him into the house and calling him into an eight-foot spaced large room, 11 made him take the lice off his head. So, on looking at the head [he saw that] there were many centipedes [there]. Thereupon, as his wife gave to her husband berries of the muku tree 12 and red earth, he chewed the berries to pieces, and spat them out with the red earth which he held in his mouth, so that the Great Deity believed him to be chewing up and spitting out the centipedes, and, feeling fond [of him] in his heart, fell asleep. Then [the Deity Great-Name-Possessor], grasping the Great Deity's hair, tied it fast to the various rafters of the house, and, blocking up the floor of the house with a five hundred draught rock, 13 and taking his wife the Forward Princess on his back, then carried off [74] the Great Deity's great life-sword 14 and life-bow-and-arrows, 15 as also his heavenly speaking-lute, 16 and ran out. But the heavenly speaking-lute brushed against a tree, and the earth resounded. So the Great Deity, who was sleeping, started at the sound, and pulled down the house. But while he was disentangling his hair which was tied to the rafters, [the Deity Great-Name-Possessor] fled a long way. So then, pursuing after him to the Even Pass

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of Hades, 17 and gazing on him from afar, he called out to the Deity Great-Name-Possessor, saying: "With the great life-sword and the life-bow-and-arrows which thou earnest, pursue thy half-brethren 18 till they crouch on the august slopes of the passes, 19 and pursue them till they are swept into the reaches of the rivers, and do thou, wretch! 20 become the Deity Master-of-the-Great-Land; 21 and moreover, becoming the Deity Spirit-of-the-Living-Land, and making my daughter the Forward-Princess thy [75] consort, 22 do thou make stout the temple-pillars at the foot of Mount Uka 23 in the nethermost rock-bottom, and make high the cross-beams to the Plain-of-High-Heaven, and dwell [there], thou villain!" 24 So when, bearing the great sword and bow, he pursued and scattered the eighty Deities, he did pursue them till they crouched on the august slope of every pass, 25 he did pursue them till they were swept into every river, and then he began to make the land. 26 Quamobrem Hera Yamaki, secundum anterius pactum, [cum eo] in thalamo coivit. So he brought her with him; but, fearing his consort the Forward Princess, she stuck into the fork of a tree the child that she had borne, and went back. 27 So the child was called by the name of the Tree-Fork-Deity, 28 and another name was the Deity-of-August-Wells. 29

p. 89 p. 90


86:1 p. 88 Literally, "to the child." The words placed in brackets, and which are not to be found in either of the early printed editions, are supplied in accordance with a suggestion of Moribe's contained in his Critique of Motowori's Commentary. Motowori himself had supplied the words "Her Augustness his august parent spoke to him," which seem less appropriate. It is true that one MS. is quoted by Motowori as favouring his view; but such authority is insufficient, and the mistake, moreover, peculiarly easy for a copyist to make (mi oya for oho-ya).

86:2 I.e., the Palace.

86:3 p. 89 This is Motowori's view of the import of the original name Suseri-bime, which he connects with susumu, "to advance," "to press forward," and explains by reference to the bold, forward conduct of the young goddess.

86:4 One of the alternative names of this Deity, who is mostly mentioned by one of his other four designations, for a list of which see sect. XX. (Notes 17 to 21).

86:5 I.e., "a scarf by waving which he might keep off the snakes." Similarly the "centipede and wasp-scarf" mentioned a little farther on must be understood to mean "a scarf to ward off centipedes and wasps with."

86:6 The word hachi, translated "wasp," is a general name including other insects of the family of Vespidæ.

86:7 I.e., "arrow." The original expression is nari-kabura ( ), which has survived in the modern language under the modified form of kabura-ya, defined in Dr. Hepburn's Dictionary as "an arrow with a head shaped like a turnip, having a hole in it, which causes it to hum as it flies." It was used in China in the time of the Han dynasty.

86:8 Or "rat."

86:9 The translator cannot think of any better English equivalents for the child-like onomatopoeias hora-hora and subu-subu of the Japanese original.

87:10 The edition of 1687 reads the two characters (here translated "mourning implements,") mo-gari no sonahe, i.e., "preparations for the funeral." Such preparations are detailed in the latter part of Sect. XXXI.

87:11 This is Mabuchi's interpretation, as quoted by Motowori, of the expression ya-ta-ma no oho-muro-ya. Motowori's own view is that ya-ta stands for ya-tzu, which give us in English "an eight-spaced large room." The character , "space" has been in later times used as a measure of length (six Japanese feet.) Altogether the precise meaning of the expression is not quite clear, but the general sense is a "large spacious room."

87:12 Aphananthe Aspera, also sometimes called Celtis Muku.

87:13 I.e., "a rock which it would require five hundred men to lift."

87:14 Iku-tachi ( ), supposed by Motowori to be "a sword having the virtue of conferring long life upon its possessor."

87:15 Iku-yumi-ya ( ).

87:16 Ame no nori-goto ( ), so called because, as will be seen Sect. XCVI, divine messages were conveyed through a person playing p. 90 on the lute. Hirata, in his "Exposition of the Ancient Histories." invents the reading ame no nu-goto ( ), "heavenly jewelled lute."

88:17 See Sect. IX. (Note 16).

88:18 They were not born of the same mother. The Chinese characters in the text ( ) imply, properly speaking, that the eighty brethren of the Great-Name-Possessor were the sons of concubines. But Motowori denies that such is the Japanese usage with regard to the characters in question.

88:19 Or "hills."

88:20 The word in the text is ore, an insulting equivalent Second Personal Pronoun. If we were translating into German, we might perhaps approximately represent its force by "er."

88:21 Thus according to this legend, "Master-of-the-Great-Land" (Oho-kuni-nushi) was not the original name of the Deity commonly designated by it, and his sovereignty over the Land of the Living (whence the appropriateness of the second name in this context) was derived by investiture from the god of the Land of the Dead.

88:22 The characters , which are here used, designate specifically the chief or legitimate wife, as opposed to the lesser wives or concubines.

88:23 Uka-no-yama. No satisfactory etymology of Uka is forthcoming.

88:24 I.e., "Firmly planting in the rock the pillars forming the foundation of thy palace, and rearing its fabric to the skies, do thou rule therefrom the Land of the Living, thou powerful wretch, who hast so successfully braved me!"

88:25 Or "hill."

88:26 This is taken to mean that he continued the act of creation which had been interrupted by the death of Izanami (the "Female-Who-Invites"). See Sect. IX, p. 35, where her husband Izanagi says to her: "The lands that I and thou made are not yet finished making." The words "Kuni tsukuri" ( ), here used for "making the land," became a title for "Ruler-of-the-Land" and finally a "gentile name" (kabane).

88:27 Q.d., to Inaba.

88:28 Ki-no-mata-no-kami.

88:29 Mi-wi-no-kami. He is supposed to have benefitted the country by digging wells in many places.

Next: Section XXIV.—The Wooing of the Deity-of-Eight-Thousand-Spears