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

p. 19


Hereupon all the Heavenly Deities commanded the two Deities His Augustness the Male-Who-Invites and Her Augustness 1 the Female-Who-Invites, ordering them to "make, consolidate, and give birth to this drifting land." Granting to them an heavenly jewelled spear, 2 they [thus] deigned to charge them. So the two Deities, standing upon the Floating Bridge of Heaven, 3 pushed [19] down the jewelled spear and stirred with it, whereupon, when they had stiffed the brine till it went curdle-curdle, 4 and drew [the spear] up, the brine that dripped down from the end of the spear was piled up and became an island. This is the Island of Onogoro. 5


19:1 p. 19 For this rendering of the Japanese title Mikoto see Introduction, p. xvi, last paragraph.

19:2 The characters translated "jewelled spear" are , whose proper Chinese signification would be quite different. But the first of the two almost certainly stands phonetically for or ,—the syllable nu, which is its sound, having apparently been an ancient word for "jewel" or "head," the better-known Japanese term being tama. In many places the word "jewel" (or "jewelled") seems to be used simply as an adjective expressive of beauty. But Motowori and Hirata credit it in this instance with its proper signification, and the translator always renders it literally, leaving the reader to consider it to be used metaphorically if and where he pleases.

19:3 p. 20 Ama-no-uki-hashi or Ame-no-uki-hashi. The best authorities are at variance as to the nature of this bridge uniting Heaven with Earth. Hirata identifies it with the Heavenly-Rock-Boat (Ame-no-iha-fune) mentioned in some ancient writings, whereas Motowori takes it to have been a real bridge, and finds traces of it and of similar bridges in the so-called "Heavenly Stairs" (Ama-no-hashi-date) which are found on several points of the coast, forming a kind of natural breakwater just above water-level.

19:4 I.e., "till it became thick and glutinous." It is not easy to find in English a word which will aptly render the original Japanese onomatopoeia koworokoworo. The meaning may also be "till it made a curdling sound." But though the character , "to make a noise," sanctions this view, it is not the view approved by the commentators, and is probably only written phonetically for a homonymous word signifying "to become," which we find in the parallel passage of the "Chronicles."

19:5 I.e., "Self-Curdling," "Self-Condensed." It is supposed to have been one of the islets off the coast of the larger island of Ahaji.

Next: Section IV.—Courtship of the Deities The Male-Who-Invites and the Female Who-Invites