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

p. 140


Hereupon His Augustness Heaven's-Sun-Height-Prince-Rice-ear-Ruddy-Plenty met a beautiful person at the august cape of Kasasa, and asked her whose daughter she was. She replied, saying: "I am a daughter of the Deity-Great-Mountain-Possessor, 1 and my name is the Divine-Princess-of-Ata, 2 another name by which I am called being Princess-Blossoming-Brilliantly-Like-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees." 3 Again he asked: "Hast thou

p. 141

any brethren?" 4 She replied, saying: "There is my elder sister, Princess-Long-as-the-Rocks." 5 Then he charged her, [saying]: "Ego sum cupidus coiendi tecum. Tibi quomodo videtur?" She replied, saying: "I 6 am not able to say. My father the Deity Great-Mountain-Possessor will say." So he sent a request [for her] to her father the Deity Great-Mountain-Possessor, who, greatly delighted, respectfully sent her off, joining to her her [116] elder sister Princess Long-as-the-Rocks, and causing merchandise to be carried on tables holding an hundred. 7 So then, owing to the elder sister being very hideous, [His Augustness Prince-Rice-ear-Ruddy-Plenty] was alarmed at the sight of her, and sent her back, only keeping the younger sister Princess-Blossoming-Brilliantly-Like-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees, whom he wedded for one night. Then the Deity-Great-Mountain-Possessor was covered with shame at Princess Long-as-the-Rocks being sent back, and sent a message [to His Augustness Prince-Rice-ear-Ruddy-Plenty], saying: "My reason for respectfully presenting both my daughters together was that, by sending Princess-Long-as-the-Rocks, the august offspring 8 of the Heavenly Deity, 9 though the snow 10 fall and the wind blow, might live eternally immovable like unto the enduring rocks, and again that by sending Princess-Blossoming-Brilliantly-Like-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees, [they] might live flourishingly like unto the flowering of the blossoms of the trees: to insure this, 11 I offered 12 them. But owing to thy thus sending back 13 Princess Long-as-the-Rocks, and keeping only Princess-Blossoming-Brilliantly-Like-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees, the august offspring of the Heavenly Deity shall be but as frail 14 as the flowers of the trees. So it is for this [117]

p. 142

reason that down to the present day the august lives of Their Augustnesses the Heavenly Sovereigns 15 are not long.


140:1 p. 142 See Sect. VI. Note 17.

140:2 Kamu-ata-tsu-hime. Ata is a place in Satsuma.

140:3 Or "Tree." Ka-no-hama-saku-ya-hime. Perhaps (though there is no native authority for doing so) we might rather understand saku as a Causative in intention, though not in form, and render the name thus: "Princess-Causing-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees-to-Blossom." The tree alluded to is doubtless the cherry. This deity is now worshipped as the goddess of Mount Fuzhi (Fusiyama), and in common parlance the last member of the compound forming her name does not receive the nigori,—hime instead of bime. The syllable ya has no signification in this and similar names. It will be remembered that there was another sister named "Princess-Falling-like-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees. (See Sect. XX, Note 5).

141:4 Or perhaps, so written , the original expression were here better rendered by "sisters."

141:5 I.e., as enduring as the rocks. The original name is Iha-naga-hime.

141:6 The character used here and immediately below for the First Personal Pronoun is "servant."

141:7 I.e., every kind of goods as a dowry for his daughters.

141:8 The usual word child ( )is employed in the text; but it here almost certainly has, as Motowori suggests, a more extended meaning, and signifies the posterity of the Sun-Goddess or of Prince-Rice-ear-Ruddy-Plenty generally, i.e. the Emperors of Japan. The vaguer term "offspring "is therefore nearer to the author's intention.

141:9 I.e., either of the Sun-Goddess or of Prince-Rice-ear-Ruddy-Plenty, There is no difference in the sense, whichever of these two deities we take the speaker to refer to. The Sun-Goddess was his ancestress, and he was ancestor of the Japanese Emperors.

141:10 Or "snow and rain," the reading being uncertain.

141:11 Or "having sworn this," or "pledged [myself to the accomplishment of] this."

141:12 The Chinese characters used are those properly denoting the presenting of tribute.

141:13 Motowori (proposes an emendation in this passage of to which would not materially alter the sense.

141:14 p. 143 The precise meaning of the syllables a-ma-hi-no-mi, here rendered by the words "but as frail "in accordance with Motowori's and Moribe's tentative interpretation, is extremely obscure. The parallel passage in the "Chronicles "is , i.e. "fading and falling like the flowers of the trees."

142:15 The characters rendered "Heavenly Sovereign" are , a common Japanese designation of the Emperor. It would, especially in the later volumes of this work where the expression is repeated on almost every page, be more convenient to translate by the single word "Emperor." But the commentators lay great stress on the high significance of the component portions of the title, which, they contend, was not borrowed from China, but was first used in Japan. It is first met with in Chinese history in the middle of the seventh century of our era, just early enough indeed for it to have been borrowed before the time of the compilation of these "Records." But as there was no difficulty in putting together the two component parts "Heavenly, Sovereign," it is possible that the contention of the Japanese commentators is correct. The ancient pure native term seems to have been Sumera-mikoto, for which Mr. Satow has proposed the rendering of "Sovereign Augustness."

Next: Section XXXVIII.—The August Child-Bearing of Princess-Blossoming Brilliantly-Like-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees