Sacred Texts  Shinto  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

p. 35


Then His Augustness the Male-Who-invites, drawing the ten-grasp sabre 1 that was augustly girded on him, [32] cut off the head of his child the Deity Shining-Elder. Hereupon the names of the Deities that were born from the blood that stuck to the point of the august sword

p. 36

and bespattered the multitudinous rock-misses were: the Deity Rock-Splitter, 2 next the Deity Root-Splitter, next the Rock-Possessing-Male-Deity. 3 The names of the Deities that were next born from the blood that stuck to the upper part 4 of the august sword and again bespattered the multitudinous rock-masses were: the Awfully-Swift-Deity, 5 next the Fire-Swift-Deity, 6 next the Brave-Awful-Possessing-Male-Deity, 7 another name for whom is the Brave-Snapping-Deity, 8 and another name is the Luxuriant-Snapping Deity. The names of the Deities that were next born from the blood that collected [33] on the hilt of the august sword and leaked out between his fingers were: the Deity Kura-okami and next the Deity Kura-mitsuha9

All the eight Deities in the above list, from the Deity Rock-Splitter to the Deity Kura-mitsuha, are Deities that were born from the august sword.

The name of the Deity that was born from the head of the Deity Shining-Elder, who had been slain was the Deity Possessor-of-the-True-Pass-Mountains. 10 The name of the Deity that was next born from his chest was the Deity Possessor-of-Descent-Mountains. 11 The name of the Deity that was next born from his belly was the Deity Possessor-of-the-Innermost-Mountains. 12 The name of the Deity that was next born from his private parts was the Deity Possessor-of-the-Dark-Mountains. The name of the Deity that was next born from his left hand 13 was the Deity Possessor-of-the-Dense[ly-Wooded]-Mountains. The name of the Deity that was next born from his right hand 13 was the Deity Possessor-of-the-Outlying, Mountains. The name of the Deity that was next born from his left foot 14 was the Deity Possessor-of-the-Moorland-Mountains.

p. 37

[paragraph continues] The name of the Deity that was next born from his right foot 14 was the Deity Possessor-of-the-Outer-Mountains. (Eight Deities in all from the Deity Possessor-of-the-True-Pass-Mountains to the Deity Possessor-of-the-Outer-Mountains). So the name of the sword with which [the Male-Who-Invites] cut off [his son's head] was Heavenly-Point-Blade-Extended, and another name was Majestic Point-Blade-Extended. 15


35:1 p. 37 One "grasp" is defined as "the breadth of four fingers when the hand is clenched," so that the meaning intended to be conveyed is of a big sabre ten hand-breadths long. The length of sabres and of beards was measured by such "grasps" or "hand-breadths."

36:2 The original names of this deity and the next are Iha-saku-no-kami and Ne-saki-no-kami.

36:3 Or the Rock-Elder, i.e., the Male Deity the Elder of the Rocks, if with Motowori we regard the second tsu of the original name Iha-tsutsu-no-wo-no-kami as being equivalent to chi or ji, supposed to be "the honorific appellation of males" elsewhere rendered "elder." The translation in the text proceeds on the assumption that this tsu represents mochi: The purport of the name remains much the same whichever of these two views be adopted.

36:4 Explained by reference to the parallel passage of the "Chronicles" through a character signifying "the knob at the end of the guard of the sword.'—(Williams' "Syllabic Dictionary.")

36:5 Mika-haya-bi-no-kami. Motowori seems to be right in regarding mika as equivalent to ika, the root of ikameshiki, "stern," "awful," and bi as the root of buru, a verbalising suffix.

36:6 Hi-haya-bi-no-kami.

36:7 Take-mika-dzu-chi-no-wo-no-kami, written with the characters . The translator has without much hesitation followed Motowori's interpretation.

36:8 Take-futsu-no-kami. The text name is Toyo-futsu-no-kami. Futsu is interpreted in the sense of "the sound of snapping" by reference to a Passage in the "Chronicles" where it occurs written both ideographically and phonetically in the name of the deity Futsu-no-mi-tama.

36:9 The etymology of both these name is obscure. Kura, the first element of each compound, signifies "dark."

36:10 p. 38 This is the explanation of the original name Ma-saka-yama-tsu-mi-no-kami which is given in the "Secret of the Chronicles of Japan," and is approved by the later commentators.

36:11 Odo-yama-tsu-mi-no-kami. The English rendering is uncertain, as it rests only on a conjecture of Motowori's, deriving odo from ori do ( ), "descending place," "way down."

36:12 The original names of this and the following five deities are: Oku-yama-tsumi-no-kami, Kura-yama-tsu-mi-no-kami, Shigi-yama-tsu-mi-no-kami, Ha-yama-tsu-mi-no-kami, Hayama-tsu-mi-no-kami and To-yama-tsumi-no-kami. Shigi, here translated "dense," seems to be almost certainly a contraction of Shigeki, which has that signification. Ha-yama is a term for which it is hard to find an exact English equivalent. It denotes the lesser hills or first visibly rising ground forming the approach to an actual mountain-range. The signification of to in the last name of the set is disputed. Mabuchi takes it in the sense of "gate." The translator prefers Motowori's view: but after all, the difference in meaning does not amount to much. A third derivation proposed by Motowori is tawa-yama, i.e. "mountains with folds."

36:13 Or "arm."

36:14 Or "leg."

37:14 Or "leg."

37:15 These two names are in the original Ame-no-wo-ha-bori and Itsu-no-wo-ha-bori. Their import is not absolutely clear, but they seem to designate a weapon broad towards the point, such as is represented in the illustrations given in Vol. I, pp. 19-20 and Vol. II, pp. 4-5 of the "Tokiha-Gusa."

Next: Section IX.—The Land of Hades