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


One day 1 the Heavenly Sovereign, when he had crossed over into the land of Afumi, augustly stood on the moor of Uji, gazed on the moor of Kadzu, and sang, saying: [245]

"As I look on the Moor of Kadzu in Chiba. both the hundred thousand-fold abundant house-places are visible, and the land's acme is visible." 2b

p. 305

So when he reached the village of Kohara, 3 a beautiful maiden met him at a fork in the road, Then the Heavenly Sovereign asked the maiden, saying: "Whose child art thou?" She replied, saying: "I am the daughter of the Grandee Wani-no-Hifure, 4 and my name is Princess Miya-nushi-ya-kaha-ye." 5 The Heavenly Sovereign forthwith said to the maiden: "When I return on my progress to-morrow, I will enter into thy house." So Princess Ya-kaha-ye told her father all that [had happened]. Thereupon her father replied, saying: "Ah! it was the Heavenly Sovereign! [His commands are] to be respected. My child, respectfully serve him!"—and so saying he grandly decorated the house, and awaited [the Heaven ly Sovereign's return], whereupon he came in on the next day. 6 So when [the father] served [the Heavenly Sovereign] a great august feast, he made his daughter Her Augustness 7 Princess Ya-kaha take the great august [246] liquor-cup and present it. Thereupon, while taking the great liquor-cup, the Heavenly Sovereign augustly sang, saying:

"Oh this crab! whence this crab? [It is] a crab from far-distant Tsunuga. Whither  reaches its sideward motion? [It has] come towards Ichiji-shima and Mi-shima. It must be because, plunging and breathless like the grebe, I went without stopping along the up and down road by the wavelets, that the maiden I met on the Kohata road has a back oh! like a small shield, a row of teeth like acorns. Oh! the earth of the Wani pass at Ichihiwi! Owing to the skin of the first earth being ruddy, to the last p. 306 earth being of a reddish black, she, without exposing to the actual sun that makes one bend one's head the middle earth like three chestnuts, draws thickly down her drawn eye-brows;—the women I met, the child I saw and wanted in this way, the child I saw and wanted in that way, oh! she is opposite to me at the height of the feast! oh! she is at my side!" 8

[247] Ita auguste coivit [cum illâ], et procreavit filium Uji-no-waki-iratsuko.

p. 307


304:1 Literally, "one time."

304:2b According to Moribe, whose interpretation has been followed throughout, this Song signifies: "As I gaze across from Uji to the Moor of Toba, I see the numerous and prosperous homesteads of the people, I see the most fertile portion of the country."—On this view Chiba is identified with Toba, the name of a district; and the word ho, rendered "acme," is taken to mean the best, highest, most showy part of anything. For Motowori's opinion, which is that of the older commentators as well, that chi-ba is a Pillow-Word, there is much to be said, and if we followed it, we should have to render the first two lines thus: "As I look on the thousand-leafed pueraria-moor," etc. (kadzu signifying "pueraria.") Motowori's explanation of momo-chi-dare (here rendered by "hundred thousand-fold abundant") as referring to the soot of the peasant's roofs, and of ho as signifying "a plain surrounded by mountains "seems much less good than Moribe's interpretation of those difficult expressions.

305:3 In the district of Uji in the province of Yamashiro. The characters with which the name is written signify "tree-flag."

305:4 Wani no Hifure no omi. For Wani no omi see Sect. LXII, Note 11. The meaning of Hifure is obscure.

305:5 Miya-nushi ya-kata-hime. Miya-nushi is "priestess," or more literally "temple-guardian." For the rest of the name see Sect. XXVI, Note 14, though the personages are of course meant to be different.

305:6 I.e., that day having passed by, the Emperor came on the next day according to his promise.

305:7 Motowori supposes with apparent reason that the character , p. 307 "Augustness," has only crept into the text through the attraction of the following character , "made," which it resembles in appearance.

306:8 It must be understood that in this Song the Imperial singer commences by referring to what doubtless formed part of the feast,—a crab,—and thence passes on by an imperceptible transition to allude to his own adventure with the maiden. As the crab when alive walked sideways, so was the Emperor zigzagging up and down the road that lines the shore of Lake Biwa, pursuing his breathless course like that of the busy grebe that perpetually plunges into the water, when the maiden met him near Kohata. Beautiful indeed was she: her back straight as a shield, her teeth like a row of acorns, and the artificial eye-brows painted a dark colour on her forehead drawn low down in a perfect crescent-shape. She had been careful in selecting the clay to make the paint, rejecting the upper layer of earth, for that was of too bright a red, rejecting likewise the lower layer, for that was too dark, but taking the middle, which was of the correct blue tint, and drying it, not in the fierce, but in a mildly tempered, sun-light. And now this maiden, for whom his heart had been panting and turning this way and that ever since the previous day, is actually seated opposite to him, nay! at his very side, and he is feasting in her sweet company.—Tsunuga is the name of a place in the province of Echizen. "Far-distant" is an imperfect attempt at rendering the force of the Pillow-Word momo-dzutafu, which implies that the traveller must pass through a hundred other places before reaching his destination. "Whither reaches its sideward motion?" signifies "whither is it going with its sideward motion? "Ichiji-shima and Mishima are places of which nothing is known, so that the allusion to them is obscure. At this point Motowori's interpretation diverges from that of Moribe, which has been followed throughout. Sasanami, here rendered "wavelets," is taken by him, as by the older commentators, as the name of a place, and the description of the maiden's teeth is misunderstood to signify that she had a beak filled with a row of teeth like the water-caltrop! Motowori also would here divide the Song in two, a proceeding for which there is not sufficient warrant. On other minor points, too, his decisions do not seem so happy as Moribe's. The view of both commentators will be found at length in Motowori's Commentary, Vol. XXXII, pp. 33.51, and in Moribe's "Idzu no Kato-Waki," in loco. Three chestnuts" (mitsu-guri no) is a common Pillow-Word for naka, "middle," founded on the fact, real or supposed, that one burr always contains three nuts, whereof one of course is in the middle, between the other two.

Next: Section CVII.—Emperor Ō-jin (Part IV.—He Grants Princess Kaminaga to His Son Oho-Sazaki)