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

p. 179


So when he dwelt in Himuka, [His Augustness Kamu-yamato-ihare-biko] wedded 1 Princess Ahira, 2 younger sister of the Duke of Wobashi 3 in Ata, 4 and begot children: [146] there were two, 5—His Augustness Tagishi-mimi, 6 next His Augustness Kisu-mimi. 7 But when he sought for a beautiful maiden to make her his Chief Empress, 8 His Augustness Oho-kume said: "There is here a beauteous maiden who is called the august child of a Deity. The reason why she is called the august child of a Deity is that the Princess Seya-datara, 9 daughter of Mizokuhi 10 of Mishima, 11 was admired on account of her beauty by the Great-Master-of-Things the Deity of Miwa, 12 qui, quum pulchra puella oletum fecit, in sagittam rubro [colore] fucatam se convertit, et ab inferiori parte cloacae [ad usum] faciendi oleti virginis privatas partes transfixit. Tunc pulchra virgo consternata est, et surrexit, et trepide fugit. Statim sagittam attulit, et juxta thalamum posuit. Subito [sagitta] formosus adolescens facta [147] est, qui cito pulchram puellam sibi in matrimonio junxit, et filiam procreavit nomine Hoto-tarara-i-susugi-hime; 13 et est nomen alternativum Hime-tatara-i-suke-yori-hime. 14 (Id est posterior mutatio nominis, quoniam abhorruit facere mentionem privatarum partium). So therefore she is called the august child of a Deity. Hereupon seven beauteous maidens were out playing on the moor of Takasazhi, 15 and I-suke-yori-hime 16 was among them. His Augustness Ohokume,

p. 180

seeing I-suke-yori-hime, spoke to the Heavenly Sovereign in a Song, saying:

"Seven maidens on the moor of Takasazhi in Yamato:—which shall be interlaced?" 17

Then I-suke-yori-hime was standing first among the beauteous maidens. Forthwith the Heavenly Sovereign, having looked at the beauteous maidens, and knowing in his august heart 18 that I-suke-yori-hime was standing in the very front, replied by a Song, saying:

"Even [after nought but] a fragment[ary glimpse], I will intertwine the lovely [one] standing in the very front. 19

Then His Augustness Ohokume informed I-suke-yori-hime [148] of the Heavenly Sovereign's decree, whereupon she, seeing the slit sharp eyes 20 of His Augustness Ohokume, sang in her astonishment, saying:







"Wherefore the slit sharp eye? 21

Then His Augustness Ohokume replied by a Song, saying:

"My slit sharp eyes [are] in order to find the maiden immediately." 22

So the maiden said that she would respectfully serve [the Heavenly Sovereign]. 23 Hereupon 24 the house of Her Augustness 25 I-suke-yori-hime was on [the back of] the River Sawi. 26 The Heavenly Sovereign made a progress to the abode of I-suke-yori-hime, and augustly slept [149] [there] one night. 27 (The reason why that river was called the River Sawi was that on the River's banks the mountain-lily-plant grew in abundance. So the name of the mountain-lily-plant was taken, and the designation

p. 181

of River Sawi [bestowed]. The name by which the mountain-lily-plant was originally called was sawi). Afterwards, when I-suke-yori-hime came and entered into the palace, the Heavenly Sovereign sang augustly saying:

"In a damp hut on the reed-moor having spread layer upon layer of sedge mats, we two slept! 28

The names of the august children thus born were: His Augustness Hiko-ya-wi, 29 next His Augustness Kamu-ya-wi-mimi, 30 next His Augustness Kamu-nuna-kaha-mimi" 31 (Three Deities.32

p. 182 p. 183


179:1 p. 181 Or, "had wedded"; for the episode here related must be supposed to have taken place before Jim-mu and his army started eastward on their career of conquest.

179:2 Ahira-hime. Ahira is supposed by Motowori to be the name of a place in Satsuma. Its etymology is quite obscure.

179:3 Wobashi no kimi. Wobashi is supposed by Motowori to be the name of a place in Satsuma. The characters with which it is generally written mean "small bridge."

179:4 Ata is a place in Satsuma.

179:5 Or, "there were two Deities." The character employed is not that which itself actually signifies "deity," but is the Auxiliary Numeral for divine beings.

179:6 I.e., perhaps "rudder-ears."

179:7 Motowori adduces good reasons for believing this name to be but a slightly altered form of the preceding one, and for holding that in the original form of the tradition there was but one child mentioned.

179:8 See Motowori's Commentary, Vol. XX, pp. 10-15, for the reasons for thus interpreting the characters in the text. Elsewhere it has generally, for the sake of convenience, been simply rendered "Empress."

179:9 Seya-dotara-hime. The signification of the name is obscure. Motowori supposes Seya to be a place and tatara (nigori’ed to datara) perhaps a plant written with the Chinese character , said by Dr. Williams in his "Syllabic Dictionary" to be possibly a species of Heteroiropa.

179:10 It is uncertain whether this name should, or should not, be p. 182 regarded as properly that of a place. The meaning is equally obscure. The Chinese characters with which it is here written signify "ditch-eater," whereas those employed in the "Chronicles" signify "ditch-stake." Perhaps both transcriptions are simply phonetic.

179:11 A district in the province of Tsu (Settsu). The name signifies "three islands."

179:12 Miwa-no-oho-mono-mushi-no-kami. This god is supposed to be identical with Oho-kuni-nushi (the "Master of the Great Land," see end of Sect. XX and following Sects). The rigidly literal rendering of the name as here given would be "the Deity Great Master of Things of Miwa "; but the more intelligible version here given represents the Japanese author's meaning. For the traditional etymology of Miwa see the story related in Sect LXV.

179:13 Hoto significat partes privatas. Verbi tatara sensum supra s.v. Seya-datara-hime pertractavimus. I est vox expletiva. Susugi sensus est "trepide fugiens." Hime indicat regiam puellam.

179:14 I.e., Princess Tatara-Startled-Good-Princess.

179:15 Etymology obscure.

179:16 An abbreviated form of the princess's alternative name.

180:17 The meaning of this Song is: "To which of the seven maidens now disporting themselves on the moor of Takasazhi shall I convey the Emperor's command to come that he may make her his consort, and sleep with his arms intertwined in hers?"—Motowori, overlooking the difference between mart, which is the word in the text, and the nigori’ed form magu met with in some other passages, misinterprets the last clause thus: "Which shall be sought?" He makes the same mistake in his explanation of the next Song.

180:18 I.e., "having a presentiment."

180:19 The translation of this Song follows Moribe's exegesis. Motowori interprets it thus; "Well, well! I will seek the lovely one standing in the very front." As here rendered, the little poem is quite clear,—simply a declaration on the Emperor's part that he will make the girl standing in front his wife.

180:20 Sakeru-to-me, the original of the phrase here rendered "slit sharp eyes," is obscure and variously understood by the commentators. Moribe supposes the god to have worn a casque with a vizor, and the slit to have been made in the latter, and not actually in, or rather near, the eyes. It should however be observed that, though the Japanese word saku means "to slit," the Chinese character in the text properly signifies p. 183 "to tattoo (or brand) with ink," and is used with that meaning at the end of Sect. CXLIX, and elsewhere in the ancient books. The present writer, after comparing various passages in which the term occurs, thinks that we may understand a tattooing of the outer corners of the eyes, which would give to the latter the appearance of being long and sharp, or, if the tattooing were very dark, of being actually slit.

180:21 The first lines of this short poem are so hopelessly unintelligible that the commentators are not even agreed as to how the syllables composing them should be divided into words. For the straits to which Motowori and his predecessors were driven in their efforts to obtain some plausible signification, see his Commentary, Vol. XX, pp. 27-29, and for Moribe's totally divergent interpretation see "Idzu no Koto-waki," Vol. II, pp. 30-31. It is not worth while to quote here more such conjectures.—For the doubt attaching to the precise signification of the words rendered by "slit sharp eyes," see the preceding Note.

180:22 The signification of his Song is as plain as that of the preceding one is obscure.

180:23 Q.d., as his wife.

180:24 This initial expression is meaningless.

180:25 Having become the Emperor's consort, this Honorific title is now prefixed for the first time to her name.

180:26 Sawi-gaha. Sawi, as we learn from the compiler's note below, was the name of a kind of lily.

180:27 Literally, "one sojourn."

181:28 The signification of this Song is: "Now indeed thou comest to share the majesty of the palace. But the beginning of our intimacy was on that night when I came to thy humble dwelling on the reed-grown moor where, when we slept together, we had to pile mat upon mat to keep out the damp."—The translator has followed Moribe's interpretation throughout. Motowori takes in the sense of "ugly" the word here rendered "damp," and all the previous commentators give a different explanation of the words iya saya shikite, here translated by "spreading layer upon layer." They take them to mean "spreading more land more cleanly."

181:29 This name may signify "prince eight-wells." But the interpretation of ya wi as "eight wells" in his and the following name is doubtful.

181:30 This name may signify "divine-eight-wells-ears." But see preceding Note.

181:31 p. 184 This name may signify "divine-lagoon-river-ears." But perhaps Nuna-kaha is the name of a place.

181:32 The character in the text is not actually "Deity," but hashira, the Auxiliary Numeral for Deities, which is constantly throughout these "Records" used in speaking of members of the Imperial family.

Next: Section LII.—Emperor Jim-mu (Part. IX—Troubles Which Followed His Decease).