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

p. 316


So after the decease of the Heavenly Sovereign, His Augustness Ohosazaki, in conformity with the Heavenly Sovereign's commands, ceded the Empire to Uji-no-waki-iratsuko. Thereupon His Augustness Ohoyama-mori, disobeying the Heavenly Sovereign's commands, and anxious in spite thereof to obtain the Empire, had the design to slay the Prince 1 his younger brother, secretly raised an army, and prepared to attack him. Then His Augustness Oho-sazaki, hearing that his elder brother had prepared an army, forthwith despatched a messenger to apprise Uji-no-waki-iratsuko. So, startled at the news, [the latter] set troops in ambush by the river-bank, and likewise, after having drawn a fence of curtains and raised a tent on the top of the hill, placed there publicly on a throne 2 one of his retainers to pretend that he was the King, 3 the manner in which all the officials 4 reverentially went and came being just like that [usual] in the King's presence. And moreover, preparing for the time [255] when the King his elder brother 5 should cross the river, he arranged and decorated a boat and oars, and moreover 6 ground [in a mortar] the root of the Kadzura japonica, and having taken the slime of its juice, rubbed

p. 317

therewith the grating 7 inside the boat, so as to make any who should tread on it fall down, and then himself 8 put on a cloth coat and trowsers, and having assumed the appearance of a common fellow, stood in the boat holding the oar. Hereupon, when the King his elder brother, having hid his troops in ambush and put on armour beneath his clothes, reached the river-bank and was about to get into the boat, he gazed at the grandly decorated place [on the hill], thought the King his younger brother was sitting on the throne, being altogether ignorant [of the fact] that he was standing in the boat holding the oar, and forthwith asked the fellow who was holding the oar, saying: "It has been reported to me that on this mountain there is a large and angry boar. I wish to take that boar. Shall I peradventure get that boar? "Then the fellow holding the oar replied, saying: "Thou canst not." Again he asked, saying: "For what reason?" [The boat-man] answered, saying: "He is not to be got, however often and in however many places he be chased. Wherefore I say that thou canst not [catch him either]. "When they had crossed as far as the middle of the river, [Prince Uji-no-waki-iratsuko] caused the boat to be tilted over, and [his elder brother] to fall into the water. 9 Then forthwith he rose to the surface, and floated down with the current. Forthwith, as he floated, he sang, saying:

"Whoever is swiftest among the boatmen of the Uji ferry will come to me."' 10

Thereupon the troops that had been hidden on the [256] river-bank rose up simultaneously on this side and on that side, and fixing their arrows [in their bows], let him go floating down. So he sank on reaching Kawara

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[paragraph continues] Point. 11 So on their searching with hooks 12 the place where he had sunk, [the hooks] struck on the armour inside his clothes, and made a rattling sound. 13 So the place was called by the name of Kawara Point. Then when they hooked up 14 his bones, the younger King, sang saying:

"Catalpa bow, Evonymus standing by the ferry-bank of Uji! My heart had thought to cut [you], my heart had thought to take [you]; but at the base methought of the lord, at the extremity methought of the younger sister; grievously methought of this, sorrowfully methought of, that; and I came [back] without cutting it,—the Catalpa bow, the Evonymus." 15

[257] So the bones of His Augustness Oho-yama-mori were buried on the Nara 16 mountain. His Augustness Oho-yama-mori (was the ancestor of the Dukes of Hijikata, 17 the Dukes of Heki, 18 and the Dukes of Harihara. 19)

p. 319


316:1 p. 318 . This is the only passage in the work where this expression occurs. Uji-no-waki-iratsuko is the personage thus designated.

316:2 The same expression has been in Sect. XXXI (near Note 16) rendered "couch." The characters in the original are or .

316:3 I.e., Uji-na-maki-iratsuko.

316:4 The Chinese phrase , "the hundred officials," is here used.

316:5 Q.d., his Augustness Oho-yama-mori.

316:6 The text has the character , which, in combination with the preceding words "oars" gives the sense of "oarsman," "boatman." But Motowori reasonably suggests that it is an error for , the grass hand forms of the two characters closely resembling each other, and making much better sense; for who would talk of "decorating an oarsman"?

317:7 A bamboo grating.

317:8 Literally "that king's son."

317:9 It must be understood that Uji-no-waki-iratsuko and his men. p. 319 having planned to act thus, were on their guard, and did not fall into the water as did Oho-yama-mori, who was taken unawares.

317:10 This is Motowori's view of the meaning of the Song, which he interprets as a request for help to some friendly boatman. Moribe adopts quite a different view, and thinks that the drowning prince is rather giving vent to sentiments of pride and defiance. He says (speaking in the Prince's name): "It is not that I have been capsized out of the boat into the river. but that I am swimming off after a pole which has fallen into the water. If there be any strong and willing fellows among my partizans, let them swim after me." It must be explained that the word rendered "boatmen" in the translation is literally "pole-takers" (or, according to Moribe's view, "to take a pole.") Motowori's interpretation seems to do less violence to the wording of the original, and Moribe's has not even the merit of accounting for the use of the Future komu where the Imperative kone would be what we should naturally expect.—Uji is preceded by the, in this context, untranslatable Pillow-Word chihayaburu (see "Dictionary of Pillow-Words," s.v.).

318:11 Kawara no saki. The author, in the next sentence, derives this name from the rattling sound made by the books as they struck on the armour. But there seems a great deal to be said in favour of Arawi Hakuseki's view that kawara is an old word itself signifying "armour."

318:12 The word kagi here used occurs elsewhere to denote the hooks employed for fastening doors, and in later times took the specific meaning of "key."

318:13 Literally, "sounded kawara."

318:14 The text has the characters . But Motowori says that stands for , and that we must interpret the passage to mean that they scratched [about to find] and take out [his corpse].

318:15 The signification of this Song is: "I came here meaning to kill thee as I might cut down and kill that Catalpa tree, that Evonymus, growing on the river-bank. But the thought of our father and of thy sister (or wife) touched me with pity, and I return without having drawn my bow at thee."—Uji is preceded by the untranslatable Pillow-Word chihayahito (see Dictionary of Pillow-Words" s.v.;—Motowori reads it chihaya-hito without the nigori).—The words adzusa-yumi ma-yumi, here respectively rendered "Catalpa bow "and "Evonymus," are difficult, and the doubt as to whether we should understand the prince to be speaking simply of the trees, or to intend likewise to allude to his bow which was made of the wood of one of those trees, is probably not to be settled, as the words in question have always oscillated between the two p. 320 meanings, and here evidently contain a double allusion. Motowori thinks that the first of the two forms only a sort of Pillow-Word for the second.—The word rendered "bank," in accordance with Moribe's suggestion, is literally "reach."—No special importance must be attached to the expressions "base" (or "main part") and "extremity," though they may doubtless be thought to allude to the father and sister, the recollection of whom softened the victorious younger brother's heart. The word iranakeku, rendered "grievously," is of not quite certain interpretation.—It must be understood that though, by overturning the boat, Uji-no-waki-iratsuko did constructively cause Oho-yama-mori's death, he did not actually shoot at and slay him when in the water, but followed down the river-side lamenting over what had happened.—This Song is singled out by Moribe for special praise.

318:16 See Sect. LXXII, Note 23.

318:17 Tohotafumi (Tōtōmi). In the original Hijikata no kimi.

318:18 Heki na kimi. Of Heki nothing is known,

318:19 Harihara no kimi. In Tohotafumi. Harihara signifies "alder plantation."

Next: Section CXIII.—Emperor Ō-jin (Part X.—Princes Oho-sazaki And Uji-no-waki-iratsuko Cede the Empire to Each Other)