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

p. 337


His Empress, Her Augustness Iha-no-hime, was exceedingly jealous. So the concubines employed by the Heavenly Sovereign could not even peep inside the palace; and if anything happened, 1 [the Empress] stamped with jealousy. Then the Heavenly Sovereign, hearing of the regular beauty of Princess Kuro, 2 daughter of the Suzerain of Ama in Kibi, 3 and having sent for her, employed her. But she, afraid of the Empress's jealousy, fled down to her native land, The Heavenly [271] Sovereign, gazing from an upper story upon Princess Kuro's departure by boat upon the sea, sang saying:

"In the offing there are rows of small boats. My wife Masadzuko of Kurozaki goes down towards her [native] land." 4

So the Empress was very angry on hearing this august Song, and sent people to the great strand 5 to drive Princess Kuro ashore, and chase her away on foot. 6 Thereupon the Heavenly Sovereign, for love of Princess Kuro, deceived the Empress, saying that he wanted to see the Island of Ahaji. 7 And when he made his progress

p. 338

and was in the Island of Ahaji, he, gazing afar, sang saying:

"When, having departed from the point of wave-beaten Naniha, I look at the country,—the Island of Aha, the Is-land of Onogoro, and also the Island of Ajimasa are visible. The Island of Saketsu is visible." 8

Forthwith passing on from that island, he made a progress to the land of Kibi. Then Her Augustness Princess Kuro- made him grandly reside at a place among the mountain-fields, 9 and presented to him great august food, When for this [purpose] she plucked cabbage in that place to boil into great august soup, the Heavenly Sovereign went to the place where the maiden was plucking the cabbage, and sang, saying:

"Oh! how delightful it is to pluck with a person of Kibi the cabbage sown in the mountain fields!" 10

When the Heavenly Sovereign made his progress up, 11

Princess Kuro presented an august 12 Song saying:

"Even though the west wind blow up towards Yamato, and the clouds part, and we be separated, shall I forget [thee]?" 13

[273] Again she sang, saying:

"Whose spouse is it that goes towards Yamato? Whose spouse is it that creeps from beneath like hidden water?" 14


p. 339


337:1 Motowori shows by collating various passages in other ancient works that this is the probable signification of the curious expression in p. 339 the original, kotodateba ( for ). The reference of course is to the occurrence of anything noteworthy among the concubines, such as the birth of a son, etc.

337:2 Kuro-hime, i.e., "black princess" probably meaning "black-haired princess."

337:3 Kibi no Ama no atahe. Of this family nothing is known. Ama signifies "fisherman." Kibi is the name of a province.

337:4 Thus interpreted (according to Moribe), the general sense of the Song is quite clear. The word Masadzuko, considered by Moribe to be one of the names of Princess Kuro, is however not so understood by Motowori, who is inclined to see in it rather an Honorific description of her. Kurozaki likewise (i.e., "black cape," the word kuro seemingly containing an allusion to the name of the Princess) is but the best of many emendations of the name as it stands in the text, viz., Furozaya. See Motowori's Commentary, Vol. XXXV. p. 33, for all the possible emendations proposed by him or his predecessors.

337:5 Scil, of the neighbourhood of Naniha. Or possible Oho-ura ("Great Strand") should be taken as the name of a place, though Motowori does not suggest such a view.

337:6 I.e., to make her perform the journey on foot.

337:7 See Sect. V, Note 3.

338:8 Moribe, commenting on the import of this Song, says: Though the alleged reason was a tour of inspection, it was truly out of love for Princess Kuro that the Monarch had undertaken the journey. When her vessel could no longer be descried, he could still alas! see the islands that remained behind,—the Island of Aha and the Island of Ajimasa; he could still, alas! see the Islands of Onogoro and Saketsu. Alas for him left alone, parted from his love! Though he spoke not openly, those around him understood the under-current of his "words."—"Wave-beaten "is the accepted interpretation of oshiteru ya (or oshiteru), the Pillow-Word for Naniha. For the Islands of Aha and Onogoro see respectively Sect. IV, Note 5 and Sect. iii, Note 5. Of the Islands of Ajimasa and Saketsu nothing is known. Ajimasa is the name of a species of palm, the Livistona sinensis, and Motowori supposes that one of the islands in that neighbourhood may anciently have received its name from the palm-trees growing on it. Palms of any kind are, however, not very common in Japan, and seem only to grow when specially cultivated.

338:9 Motowori thinks we should in this place understand the word yamagata (for yama-agata) as the name of a place. But in the Song p. 340 which immediately follows, it must certainly be taken in its etymological sense of "mountain-fields," and it seems therefore quite inconsistent to translate it differently here. Moreover it is allowed that no such place as Yamagata in Kibi is anywhere made mention of.

338:10 The import of this Song is perfectly clear, "the person of Kibi "being of course the Imperial poet's lady-love.

338:11 I.e., was about to start back to the capital, which was in the province of Settsu.

338:12 This Honorific seems so out of place (seeing that it is not applied to the Emperor's own Songs given in this Section), that it is supposed by the commentators to be an erroneous addition to the text.

338:13 We might also translate thus: "Even though we be separated, as the clouds that part owing to the west wind blowing up towards Yamato, etc.;"—for the initial lines of the poem which contain the allusion to the wind and to the clouds are simply a Preface, and their import may therefore at will be either considered separately, or else made continuous with that of the rest of the poem.

338:14 The meaning of this Song l is: "Whose spouse is it that returns to Yamato? Whose spouse is it that comes thus secretly to make love to me, like a stream flowing underground?"—The allusion contained in the twice repeated words "whose spouse "is of course to the Empress. The poetess, full of tenderness or the Emperor, regrets for his sake, as well as for her own, that he should be the husband of so jealous' a wife. "Hidden water is the accepted interpretation of the Pillow-Word kontoridzu no, which is with apparent reason supposed to be a contraction of komori-midzu no.

Next: Section CXXIII. Emperor Nin-toku Part V.—The Empress Retires to Yamashiro)