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

p. 173


When [His Augustness Kamu-yamato-ihare-biko] made his progress, and reached the great cave of Osaka, 1 earth-spiders 2 with tails, [namely] eighty bravoes, 3 were in the cave awaiting him. So then the august son of the Heavenly Deity commanded that a banquet be bestowed on the eighty bravoes. Thereupon he set eighty butlers, one for each of the eighty bravoes, and girded each of them with a sword, and instructed the butlers, saying: [142] "When ye hear me sing, cut [them down] simultaneously." So the Song by which he made clear to them to set about smiting the earth-spiders said:

"Into the great cave of Osaka people have entered in abundance, and are p. 174 [there]. Though people have entered in abundance, and are [there], the children of the augustly powerful warriors will smite and finish them with [their] mallet-headed [swords], [their] stone-mallet [swords]: the children of the augustly powerful warriors, with [their] mallet-headed [swords], [their] stone-mallet [swords], would now do well to smite." 4

Having thus sung, they drew their swords, and simultaneously smote them to death.


173:1 p. 174 The etymology of this name is not clear, but readers will of course not confound it with that of the modern town of Ohosaka (Ozaka). The character rendered "cave," , signifies simply "apartment;" but the traditional reading is muro, which means a cave or pit dug in the earth. That the latter is the idea which the author wishes to convey becomes clear by comparison with a greater number of passages in the older literature. For a more particular discussion of this subject see Mr. Milne's paper entitled "Notes on Stone Implements from Otaru and Hakodate," published in Vol. VIII, part I of these "Transactions," p. 76 et seq., where a number of passages relative to the "earth-spiders" are likewise brought together.

173:2 Tsuchi-gumo, generally written , but here semi-phonetically . There is little doubt that by this well-known name, which has given rise to much conjecture, a race of cave-dwelling savages or a class of cave-dwelling robbers is intended. Motowori supposes that their name had its origin in a comparison of their habits with those of the spider. But it were surely more rational to regard it as a corruption of tsuchi-gomori, "earth-hiders," a designation as obvious as it is appropriate. The "Chronicles" describe one tribe of them as "being short in stature, and having long arms and legs like pigmies." For a further discussion of the subject see Motowori's Commentary, Vol. XIX, pp. 30-31, the "Perpetual Commentary on the Chronicles of Japan," Vol. VIII, p. 35, the "Tou-ya," Vol. XX, s.v. kumo and the "Examination of Difficult Words," Vol. 1I, pp. 55 et seq.

173:3 p. 175 The original term is takeru ( ), which might also be rendered "bandit," or "robber chief."

174:4 The import of this poem is too clear to stand in need of explanation. The word mitsumitsushi, here rendered "augustly powerful" in accordance with Moribe's view, is understood by Motowori to mean "perfectly full," in allusion to the fully or perfectly round eyes of the deity Kume, to whose name he supposes there to be a reference. Mabuchi, on the other hand, explains the word to signify "young and flourishing." But Moribe's view both of this and of the import of kume as "warriors "seems so greatly preferable to any other, that the translator has not hesitated to follow him (conf. Sect. XXXIV, Note 7). The "children of the warriors" are of course the warriors themselves. With regard to the signification of the two kinds of swords here mentioned it has, however, been thought best to adhere to the usual view, and Note 10 to Sect. XXXIV should be referred to.

Next: Section XLIX.—Emperor Jim-mu (Part. VI.—The Prince of Tomi and the Shiki Brethren)