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

p. 147


Hereupon, as the younger brother was weeping and lamenting by the sea-shore, the Deity Salt-Possessor 1 came and asked him, saying: "What is the cause of the Sky's-Sun-Height's 2 weeping and lamentation? "He replied, saying: "I had exchanged a fish-hook with my elder brother, 3 and have lost that fish-hook; and as he asks me for it, I have given him many fish-hooks as compensation; but he will not receive them, saying, 'I [121] still want the original fish-hook.' So I weep and lament for this." Then the Deity Salt-Possessor said: "I will give good counsel to Thine Augustness;"—and there-with built a stout little boat without interstices, 4 and set him in the boat, and instructed him, saying: "When I shall have pushed the boat off, go on for some time. There will be a savoury august road; 5 and if thou goest in the boat along that road, there will appear a palace built like fishes' scales,—which is the palace of the Deity, Ocean-Possessor. 6 When thou reachest the august gate of that deity['s palace], there will be a multitudinous[-ly branching] cassia-tree 7 above the well at its side. So if thou sit on the top of that tree, the Sea-Deity's daughter will see thee, and counsel thee." So following [these] instructions, [His Augustness Fire-Subside] went a little [way], and everything happened as [the Deity Salt-Possessor] had said; and he forthwith climbed the cassia-tree, and sat [there]. Then when the hand-maidens of the Sea-Deity's daughter Luxuriant-Jewel-Princess, 8 bearing jewelled vessels, were about to draw water, there was a light in the well. 9 On looking up, there was a beautiful young man. They thought it very strange. [122]

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[paragraph continues] Then His Augustness Fire-Subside saw the handmaidens, and begged to be given some water. The handmaidens at once drew some water, put it into a jewelled vessel, and respectfully presented it to him. Then, without drinking the water, he loosened the jewel at his august neck, took it in his mouth, and spat it into the jewelled vessel. Thereupon the jewel adhered to the vessel, and the handmaidens could not separate the jewel [from the vessel]. So they took it with the jewel adhering to it, and presented it to Her Augustness Luxuriant-Jewel-Princess. Then, seeing the jewel, she asked her hand-maidens, saying: "Is there perhaps some one outside the gate?" They replied, saying: "There is some one sitting on the top of the cassia-tree above our well. It is a very beautiful young man. He is more illustrious even than our king. Lo, as he begged for water, we respectfully gave him water; but, without drinking the water, he spat this jewel into [the vessel]. As we were not able to separate this [from the other], 10 we have brought [the vessel] with [the jewel] in it to present to thee." Then Her Augustness Luxuriant-Jewel-Princess, thinking it strange, went out to look, and was forthwith delighted at the sight. They exchanged glances, after which she spoke to her father, saying: "There is a beautiful person at our gate." Then the Sea-Deity him-self went out to look, and saying: "This person is the Sky's-Sun-Height, the august child of the Heaven's-Sun-Height," 11 led him into the interior [of the palace], and spreading eight layers of rugs of sea-asses 12 skins, and spreading on the top other eight layers of silk rugs, and setting him on the top of them, arranged merchandise on tables holding an hundred, 13 made an august banquet,

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and forthwith gave him his daughter Luxuriant-Jewel-Princess in marriage. So he dwelt in that land for three years. Hereupon His Augustness Fire-Subside [123] thought of what had gone before, 14 and heaved one 15 deep sigh. So Her Augustness Luxuriant-Jewel-Princess, hearing the sigh, informed her father, saying: "Though he has dwelt three years [with us], he had never sighed; but this night he heaved one deep sigh. What may be the cause of it?" The Great Deity her father asked his son-in-law saying: "This morning I heard my daughter speak, saying: 'Though he has dwelt three years [with us], he had never sighed; but this night he heaved one deep sigh.' What may the cause be? Moreover what was the cause of thy coming here?" Then [His Augustness Fire-Subside] told the Great Deity exactly how his elder brother had pressed him for the lost fish-hook. Thereupon the Sea-Deity summoned together all the fishes of the sea, great and small, and asked them, saying: "Is there perchance any fish that has taken this fish-hook?" So all the fishes replied: "Lately the tahi 16 has complained of something sticking in its throat 17 preventing it from eating; so it doubtless has taken [the hook]." On the throat of the tahi being thereupon examined, there was the fish-hook [in it]. Being forthwith taken, it was washed and respectfully presented to His Augustness Fire-Subside, whom the Deity Great-Ocean-Possessor then instructed, saying: "What thou shalt say when thou grantest this fish-hook to thine elder brother [is as follows]: 'This fish-hook is a big hook, an eager hook, a poor hook, a silly hook.' 18 Having [thus] spoken, bestow it with thy back hand. 19 [124] Having done thus,—if thine elder brother make high

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fields, 20 do Thine Augustness make low fields; and if thine elder brother make low fields, do Thine Augustness make high fields. If thou do thus, thine elder brother will certainly be impoverished in the space of three years, owing to my ruling the water. If thine elder brother, incensed at thy doing thus, should attack thee, put forth the tide-flowing jewel 21 to drown him. If he express grief, put forth the tide-ebbing jewel to let him live. Thus shalt thou harass him." With these words, [the Sea-Deity] gave [to His Augustness Fire-Subside] the tide-flowing jewel and the tide-ebbing jewel,—two in all,—and forthwith summoned together all the crocodiles, 22 and asked them, saying: "The Sky's-Sun-Height, august child of the Heaven's-Sun-Height, is now about to proceed out to the Upper-Land. 23 Who will in how many days respectfully escort him, and bring back a report?" 24 So each according to the length of his body in fathoms spoke, fixing [a certain number of] days,—one of them, a crocodile one fathom [long], saying: "I 25 will escort him, and come back in one day." So then [the Sea-Deity] [125] said to the crocodile one fathom [long]: "If that be so, do thou respectfully escort him. While crossing the middle of the sea, do not alarm him!" 26 Forthwith he seated him upon the crocodile's head, and saw him off. So [the crocodile] respectfully escorted him home in one day, as he had promised. When the crocodile was about to return, [His Augustness Fire-Subside] untied the stiletto 27 which was girded on him, and, setting it on the crocodile's neck, 28 sent [the latter] back. So the crocodile one fathom [long] is now called the Deity Blade-Possessor. 29

p. 151 p. 152


147:1 p. 151 Shiho-tsuchi no kami. The view of the meaning of this name which has here been taken is founded on the persistent use in all documents of the character , "salt," to write the first element of the compound, and of varying characters to write the syllables tsu and chi, an indication that the latter are to be taken phonetically and may therefore be interpreted to signify tsu mochi, "possessor of," as in numerous other instances. The fact that this god is known as the god of salt-manufacturers (see Tanigaha Shinsei's "Perpetual Commentary on the Chronicles of Japan" Vol. VII, p. 3) adds another reason for rejecting both Motowori's far-fetched derivation of the name for Shiri-oho-tsu-mochi, "Great Possessor of Knowledge," and his assertion that it denotes no individual deity, but any one gifted with superior wisdom.

147:2 Sora-tsu-hi-daka. It will be remembered that Ama-tsu-hi-daka, "Heaven's-Sun-Height," was the first part of Prince Fire-Subsides's alternative name (see Sect. XXXVIII, Note 15). The distinction between these two almost identical appellations would seem to be that the former is used of the Heir Apparent, the latter of the reigning sovereign. Both were therefore equally applicable to Prince Fire-Subside; and while that which he eventually bore is mentioned where his names are first given he is naturally spoken of in this place, when his father may be supposed to have been still living, by that variation of the name properly marking the Heir Apparent. These names, Ama-tsu-hi-daka and Sora-tsu-hi-daka, will be met with again below applied to other personages.

147:3 I.e., "I had received a fish-hook from my elder brother in exchange for a bow." The text is here concise to obscurity.

147:4 I.e., as is supposed, a punt or tub made of strips of bamboo plaited so tightly that no water could find its way in between them.

147:5 I.e., simply "a pleasant road." Michi, "a road" is properly a compound,—mi-chi, "august road,"—the single syllable chi being the most archaic Japanese word for "road." It is in this place written , showing that the etymology was not yet quite forgotten at the time of the compilation of these "Records." Generally, however, throughout the work we have or alone.

147:6 See Sect. VI, Note 8, where the Adjective "Great" is prefixed to the name.

147:7 See Sect. XXXI, Note 10.

147:8 Toyo-tama-hime.

147:9 The character properly "light," "refulgence," is here taken by Motowori in the precisely opposite sense of "shadow" (the parallel p. 152 passage in the "Chronicles" having "human shadow"), and his view is absolved from unreasonableness by the fact of the confusion between light and shade which has always existed in Japanese phraseology. Thus hi-kage may signify either "sunlight" or "a shadow cast by the sun." It is safest, however, to adhere to the Chinese characters employed by the author; and in this special instance we may well suppose him to have intended to say that a celestial light shone from the body of the god in question. Such an idea is not foreign to classical Japanese ways of thought and expression. See also Sect. XLVI, Note 9-10.

148:10 Or, taking the character as an initial Particle, "So, as we were not able to separate [one from the other]."

148:11 See Note 2 to this Section.

148:12 This is a literal translation of the Chinese characters , by which the Archaic word michi, here written phonetically, is elsewhere represented. Perhaps the sea-lion (Otaria arsina) or a species of seal may be intended.

148:13 See Sect. XXXVII, Note 7.

149:14 Literally, "thought of the first things."

149:15 As the character for "one" is thrice repeated in this passage, Motowori is probably right in saying that it should be given its proper signification, and the translator therefore renders it by the Numeral "one" rather than by the Indefinite Article "a."

149:16 Pronounced tai in modern parlance. Perhaps we should rather add aka-dahi, "red tahi," as in the parallel passage of the "Chronicles." Both these fishes belong to the family Sparoidei, the former being the Pagrus cardinalis, the latter probably the P. major.

149:17 Or, "of a fish-bone in its throat."

149:18 Tanigaha Shisei, quoting from Urabe no Kaneyoshi, comments thus on the parallel passage in the "Chronicles," where the whole of this legend is given several times in slightly varying forms: "By big hook is meant one that will not serve its purpose [because too big]; eager signifies that which [endeavours to, but] cannot advance; silly means unintelligent; hence we have a hook which, not serving its purpose, will be of no use whatever, but rather a road to lead [him who possesses it] to poverty. Poor outwardly, and inwardly silly, he will be the most useless creature in the Empire." It should be noted, however, that Motowori interprets in the sense of "gloomy," and Moribe in the sense of "drowning," the phonetically written and obscure word obo, here rendered "great."

149:19 p. 153 I.e., "with thy hand behind thy back." This is supposed by the commentators to have been a sort of charm by which evil was averted from the person of him who practised it, and they point out that Izanagi (the "Male-Who-Invites") brandished his sword behind him when he was pursued by the hosts of Hades (see Sect. IX, Note 15).

150:20 By "high fields "and "low fields "are meant respective upland rice-fields where the rice is planted in the dry, and "paddy-fields" properly so called, where the rice perpetually stands in the water. Different varieties of rice are used for these different methods of culture.

150:21 Shiho mitsu tama. The "tide-ebbing jewel "mentioned in the next sentence is in the Japanese shiho hiru tama.

150:22 See Introduction, p. xxxiii, Note 41.

150:23 Uha tsu kuni, .

150:24 I.e., "Which of you will most speedily escort him home to the upper world, and bring back news of his safe arrival there?"

150:25 Written with the respectful , "servant."

150:26 There is in, this sentence a character , which is hard to explain if read moshi, "if," as usual in Japanese. Probably, however, it simply stands for "thou," and we might translate thus: "While thou art crossing," etc.

150:27 See Sect. XXXVI, Note 8.

150:28 I.e., probably, tying it round the crocodile's neck.

150:29 Saki-mochi-no-kami. "Blade "is the probable signification of sahi or sabi, though this particular proper name is written in the "Chronicles" with the Chinese character , "hoe" or "mattock." Here the syllables sa hi are written phonetically.

Next: Section XLI.—Submission of His Augustness Fire-Shine