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

p. 215 [175]


In the reign of this Heavenly Sovereign a great pestilence arose, and the people died as if none were to be left. 1 Then the Heavenly Sovereign grieved and lamented, and at night, while on his divine couch, 2 there appeared [to him] in an august dream the Great Deity the Great-Master-of-Things, 3 and said: "This is my august doing. 4 So if thou wilt cause me to be worshipped 5 by Oho-tata-ne-ko, 6 the divine spirit shall not arise, 7 and the land will be tranquillized." When, therefore, couriers 8 were dispatched in every direction 9 to search for the person [named] Oho-tata-ne-ko, he was discovered in the village of Minu 10 in Kafuchi, and was respectfully sent [to the Heavenly Sovereign]. 11 Then the Heavenly Sovereign deigned to ask: "Whose child art thou?" He replied, saying: "I 12 am Oho-tats-ne-ko, child of

p. 216

[paragraph continues] His Augustness Take-mika-dzu-chi 13 [who was] child of His Augustness Ihi-gata-sumi, 14 [who was] child of His Augustness Kushi-mi-gata, 15 [who was] child of the Great Deity the Great-Master-of-Things by his wife Iku-tama-yori-bime, 16 daughter of His Augustness Suwe-tsu-mimi. 17 Hereupon the Heavenly Sovereign, being greatly rejoiced, commanded that the Empire should be tranquil, and the people flourish, and forthwith made His Augustness Oho-tata-ne-ko high priest 18 to worship 19 the Great Deity of Great Miwa 20 on Mount Mimoro. 21 Again he ordered His Augustness Igaka-shiko-wo 22 to make eighty heavenly platters, and reverently to establish the shrines of the Earthly Deities; 23 likewise to worship with a red-coloured shield and spear the Deity of Sumi-saka 24 at Uda, and with a black-coloured shield and spear the Deity of Oho-sake; 25 likewise to present august offerings of cloth to all the Deities of the august declivities of the hills and to all the Deities of the reaches of the rivers, without neglecting any. 26 27 In consequence of this the pestilential vapour ceased altogether, and the country was tranquillized.

p. 217


215:1 p. 216 Literally, "about to be exhausted."

215:2 This expression, which recurs at the commencement of Sect. CXLV, is difficult to explain. See Motowori's remarks in Vol. XXIII, pp. 24-25, and again in Vol. XL, pp. 14-15, of his Commentary.

215:3 See Sect. LI, Note 12.

215:4 Literally, "my august heart."

215:5 Or, "cause my shrine to be worshipped at." The import of the god's words is that he wishes Oho-tata-ne-ko to be appointed chief priest of his temple. For the origin of this latter see the second half of Sect. XXXII (pp. 103-105).

215:6 Oho signifies "great," Tata (or Tada) is taken to be the name of a place, and the syllables ne and ko are regarded as Honorifics. The p. 217 whole name may therefore, though with some hesitation, be interpreted to mean "the Lord of the Great [Shrine of] Tata."

215:7 I.e., "the divine anger shall no longer be kindled."

215:8 Mounted couriers are almost certainly intended.

215:9 Literally, "distributed to the four sides,"—"four sides" being a Chinese phrase for every direction.

215:10 This name may signify either "three moors "or "august moor." The village of Minu must not be confounded with the province of Minu.

215:11 The characters used are those which properly denote the presenting of tribute to the Monarch.

215:12 Here and below the First Personal Pronoun is represented by the respectful character , "servant."

216:13 See Sect. VIII, Note 7, for the explanation of this name. But probably the deity here intended is another.

216:14 The etymology and signification of 'this name are alike obscure.

216:15 Motowori interprets kushi in the sense of "wondrous," and Migata as the name of a place, which also occurs under the form of Higata.

216:16 I.e., "life-jewel-good-princess."

216:17 The precise signification of this name is obscure. Motowori supposes Suwe to be the name of a place; tsu is the Genitive Particle, and mimi the Honorific of doubtful import, whose meaning has been discussed in Note 18 to Sect. XIII.

216:18 The exact meaning of the characters used to write the word kayo-nushi (modern kamushi), here rendered "high-priest," is "owner of the Deity." Though commonly used in modern parlance to denote any Shinto priest, it properly signifies only the chief priest in charge of a temple, whence the odd-sounding name.

216:19 Or, "conduct the worship at the shrine of."

216:20 Viz., the Deity Master-of-the-Great-Land. For the traditional etymology of Miwa see the legend in Sect. LXV.

216:21 See Sect. XXVIII, Notes 4 and 5.

216:22 Or, Ikaga-shiko-wo. The probable meaning of this name, pro-posed by Motowori, is (neglecting the initial letter i as expletive) "the refulgent ugly male."

216:23 See Sect. I, Note 11 .

216:24 Sumisaka probably signifies "charcoal-hill." Uda, which has already been mentioned in Sect. XLVI, is in Yamato. This passage may equally well be rendered thus: "to present a red-coloured shield and p. 218 spear to the Deity of Sumisaka," and similarly in the following clause. The meaning comes nearly to the same.

216:25 Literally, "great hill," or "great pass." It is at the boundary of the province of Yamato and Kahachi. Neither Motowori nor Tanigaha Shisei sanctions the view of the elder scholars, who fancied they saw in the distinction of red and black some mysterious import connected with the four cardinal points.

216:26 In the Old Printed Edition the text of this passage differs slightly from that adopted by Motowori; but the meaning is exactly the same.

216:27 A large lacuna here occurs in the "Old Printed Edition," in which the four hundred and forty-five Chinese characters forming the original of the following part of the translation, from the words, "In consequence of this "down to the words immediately preceding "Methinks this is a sign" on p. 180 are missing. Both the editor of 1687 and Motowori are silent as to the manner in which they supplied the deficiency; but it may be presumed from their silence that the MS. authorities furnished them with what had accidentally been omitted from the printed text.

Next: Section LXV.—Emperor Sū-jin (PART III: Story of Oho-tata-ne-ko's Birth)