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

p. 308


The Heavenly Sovereign, hearing of the beauty of Princess Kaminaga, 1 daughter of the Duke of Muragata 2 in the land of Himuka, and thinking to employ her 3 sent down for her, 4 whereupon the Heir Apparent 5 His Augustness Oho-sazaki, having seen the maiden land at [248] the port of Naniha, and being charmed with the grace of her appearance, forthwith directed the Prince Minister the Noble Taka-uchi, to intercede for him in the august presence of the Heavenly Sovereign, and make [the latter] grant to him Princess Kami-naga, whom he had sent down for. Then on the Prime Minister the Noble Take-uchi requesting the great commands, 6 the Heavenly Sovereign forthwith granted Princess Kami-naga to his august child. The way he granted her was this:—the Heavenly Sovereign, on a day when he partook of a copious feast, 7 gave Princess Kami-naga the great august liquor oak-[leaf 8] to present to the Heir Apparent. Then he augustly sang, saying:

"Come on, children! oh! the fragrant flowering orange-tree on my way as I go to pluck the wild garlic,—to pluck the garlic,—has its uppermost branches withered by birds perching on them, and its lowest branches withered through people plucking from them. But the budding fruit on the middle branch, like three chestnuts,—the ruddy maiden, oh! if thou lead her off with thee, it will be good, oh!' 9

[249] Again he augustly sang, saying:

"Driving the dyke-piles into Lake Yosami p. 309 where the water collects, my heart (ignorant of the pricking of the stumps of the water-caltrop, ignorant of the creeping of the roots of the Brasenia peltata), being more and more laughable, is now indeed repentant." 10

Having thus sung, he bestowed [her on the Heir Apparent]. So after having been granted the maiden, the Heir Apparent sang, saying:

"Oh! the maiden of Kohada in the back of the road! though I heard of her like the thunder, we mutually intertwine [our arms] as pillows." 11

Again he sang saying":

"I think lovingly ah! of how the maiden [250] of Kohada in the back of the road sleeps [with me] without disputing" 12


p. 310


308:1 Kami-naga-hime. The name signifies "the long-haired princess."

308:2 Murakata no kami. Murakata seems to signify "many towns."

308:3 I.e., wed her.

308:4 Literally, "summoned her up." The same phrase occurs immediately below.

308:5 . Mabuchi thinks that , "august child," should be substituted for the reading in the text. But Motowori insists that the title translated Heir Apparent was anciently borne by all the sons of an Emperor, and that consequently no emendation is called for.

308:6 I.e., the Emperor's orders.

308:7 The native term translated "copious feast" is toyo no akari, variously written with the characters , , , etc., etc. It literally signifies "copious brightness," in allusion to the ruddy glow which wine gives to the faces of the revellers, and henceforward perpetually recurs in this history. In later times it specifically denoted the festival of, the tasting of the first rice, but anciently its meaning was not thus limited. Motowori's note on the subject, in Vol. XXXII, pp. 57-59 of his Commentary, may be consulted with advantage.

308:8 I.e., an oak-leaf which was used as a cup to sip out of. Leaf-platters p. 310 for food have already been mentioned. Motowori says that the word kashika (properly the name of a deciduous oak, the Quercus dentata) was employed to denote any kind of leaf thus used.

308:9 The whole gist of this Song is contained in the last three lines. "The ruddy maiden, oh if thou lead her off with thee, it will be good,"—i.e. "thou and the maiden, will form a fitting couple." All that goes before is what is technically called a "Preface," though its bearing is so clear as to admit of translation, and even in English to form an appropriate introduction to the Song:—It is not the stinking garlic, but the fragrant orange that the singer has met by the way, and it is the choicest young fruit in the very middle of the tree that forms a suitable comparison for the lovely young girl.—With the favourite allusion to upper, middle, and lower the reader is already familiar, and the Pillow-Word "three chestnuts" was explained in the note on the preceding Song (Sect. CVI, Note 8).

309:10 The gist of the Song is: "I knew not that thou, my son, hadst conceived a secret passion for the maiden; but I am now conscious of my own mistake, and my foolish old heart is ashamed of itself." With this explanation the elaborate comparison between the state of the monarch's mind and the condition of the peasant driving piles for the foundation of a dyke, and having his feet either lacerated by the stumps of the water-caltrop, or made slimy by brushing against the roots of the Brasenia peltata at the bottom of the water, becomes intelligible and appropriate.—The word kuri, rendered "roots," perplexed Motowori, who suggests that it may be but a second name of the Brasenia, appended to the first; but Moribe's suggestion that it is to be identified with kori, and taken in the signification of "roots" though not quite convincing, is at least more plausible. The text of this Song is corrupt in these "Records" and has to be corrected by a comparison with that of the "Chronicles." Moribe goes into an amusing ecstasy over the picture of ancient manners which it presents, and lauds the simplicity of days when a father and son could so peacefully woo the same maiden without mutual concealment or disastrous consequences!

309:11 The meaning of this Song is: "At first I heard of the maiden of Kohada in the furthest parts of Himuka as one hears the distant thunder; but now she is mine, and we sleep locked in each other's arms."—This Kohada in Himuka must not be confounded with the Kohata in Yamashiro mentioned in the preceding Section. The "back of the road" means the remotest portion (conf. Sect. LX, Note 20). The thunder must be understood to refer to a very faint and distant p. 311 sound: the Prince had first heard of the maiden vaguely, but now she is his and has been his for some time; for this Song must be supposed to have been composed after the occasion of the feast with the story of which it is here connected.

309:12 The meaning of this Song is: "I love this maiden of Kohada in Himuka, who disputed not my desire and my father's grant, but willingly became my wife."—It is hard to render into English the force of the string of Particles wo shi zo mo in the penultimate line.

Next: Section CVIII.—Emperor Ō-jin (Part V.—Songs of the Territorial Owners of Yeshinu)