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

p. 145


So His Augustness Fire-Shine was a prince who got his luck 1 on the sea, and caught things broad of fin and things narrow of fin. His Augustness Fire-Subside was a prince who got his luck on the mountains, and caught things rough of hair and things soft of hair. Then His Augustness Fire-Subside said to his elder brother His Augustness Fire-Shine: "Let us mutually exchange,

p. 146

and use each other's luck." [Nevertheless], though he thrice made the request, [his elder brother] would not accede [to it]; but at last with difficulty the mutual exchange was obtained. Then His Augustness Fire-Subside, undertaking the sea-luck, angled for fish, but never got a single fish; and moreover he lost the fish-hook in the sea. Thereupon his elder brother His Augustness Fire-Shine asked him for the fish-hook, saying: "A mountain-luck is a luck of its own, and a sea-luck is a luck of its own. Let each of us now restore [to the other] his luck." 2 To which the younger brother His Augustness Fire-Subside replied, saying: "As for thy fish-hook, I did not get a single fish by angling with it; and at last I lost it in the sea." But the elder brother required it of him [the more] urgently. So the younger brother, breaking his ten grasp sabre 3 that was augustly girded [120] on him, made [of the fragments] five hundred fish-hooks as compensation; but he would not take them. Again he made a thousand fish-hooks as compensation; but he would not receive them, saying: "I still want the real original fish-hook."


145:1 p. 146 For the archaic Japanese work sachi, here rendered "luck," there is no satisfactory English equivalent. Its original and most usual signification is "luck," "happiness; "then that which a man is lucky in or skilful at,—his "forte; "and finally that which he procures by his luck or skill and the implements which he uses in procuring it. The exchange negotiated below was doubtless that of the bow and arrows of one deity for the other deity's fish-hook.

146:2 I.e., "Some men are naturally good hunters, and others naturally good fishermen. Let us therefore restore to each other the implements necessary to the successful following of our respective avocations."—The clause rendered "Let each of us now restore to the other his luck "is a little confused in the original; but the kana readings both old and new agree in interpreting it as has here been done.

146:3 See Sect. VIII, Note 1.

Next: Section XL.—The Palace of the Ocean-Possessor