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



When, forthwith crossing over from that land out into Kahi, 1 he dwelt in the palace of Sakawori, 2 he sang, saying:

"How many nights have I slept since passing Nihibari and Tsukuha?" 3

p. 266

Then the old man, who was the lighter of the august fire, 4 completed the august Song, and sang, saying:

"Oh! having put the days in a row, there are of nights nine nights, and of days ten days!" 5

Therefore [Yamato-take] praised the old man, and forthwith bestowed [on him] the Rulership of the Eastern Land[s]. 6


265:1 p. 266 This name is identified by the native etymology with an homonymous Substantive signifying "a place between mountains."

265:2 The etymology of this name is uncertain. But the most likely opinion is that it signifies "a zigzag road down a pass."

265:3 I.e., since leaving the province of Hitachi, of which Tsukuha (in modern parlance Tsukuba, with the last syllable nigori’ed) and Nihibari (modern Nihiharu) are two districts. In the later poetry Nibari no is often used as a Pillow-Word for the name of Mount Tsukuba. The etymology of both names is uncertain, but "newly tilled "seems to be the most probable etymology of the first of the two.

266:4 Not necessarily a fire kindled for the sake of obtaining warmth, but fire in general, including, as Motowori suggests, torches and fires lit to drive away mosquitoes. There are frequent mentions in the classical literature of this latter sort of fire, which may indeed still be met with in some districts where mosquito-nets are not yet in common use.

266:5 The meaning is: "On counting up, I find that we have been ten days and nine nights."—Previous to Motowori the expression ka-ga nabette, "having put in a row (i.e. counted) the days" was curiously misunderstood, and subjected to various far-fetched interpretations. There can however be no doubt but that Motowori is right.—The reason why the old man is said to have "completed "the Prince's song is that the former taken alone is of incomplete rhythm.

266:6 Or, as Motowori would prefer to consider it, "the Rulership of an Eastern Land," viz., one out of the twelve Eastern provinces.

Next: Section LXXXVII.—Emperor Kei-kō (Part XII.—Yamato-take Wooes Princess Miyazu)