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

p. 270

The title was omitted from the printed version I was working from. I have interpolated what I believe to be a plausible title—JBH


When he departed thence and reached the moor of [218] Tagi 1 he said: "Whereas my heart always felt like flying through the sky, my legs are now unable to walk. They have become rudder-shaped." 2 So that place was called by the name of Tagi. Owing to his being very weary with progressing a little further beyond that place, he leant upon an august staff to walk a little. So that place is called by the name of the Tsuwetsuki pass. 3 On arriving at the single pine-tree on Cape Wotsu, 4 an august sword, which he had forgotten at that place before when augustly eating, 5 was still [there] not lost. Then he augustly sang, saying:

p. 271

"O mine elder brother, the single pine-tree that art on Cape Wotsu which directly faces Mohari! If thou, single pine-tree! wert a person, I would gird [my] sword [upon thee], I would clothe thee with [my] garments,—O mine elder brother, the single pine-tree!" 6

When he departed thence and reached the village of Mihe, 7 he again said: "My legs are like three-fold crooks, 8 and very weary." So that place was called by [219] the name of Mihe. When he departed thence and reached the moor of Nobe, 9 he, regretting 10 [his native] land, 11 sang, saying:

"As for Yamato, the most secluded of lands—Yamato, retired behind Mount Awogaki encompassing it with its folds is delightful!" 12

Again he sang, saying:

"Let those whose life may be complete stick [in their hair] as a head-dress the leaves of the bear-oak from Mount Heguri,—those children!"

This song is a Land-Regretting Song. 13 Again he sang, saying:

"How sweet! ah! from the direction of home clouds are rising and coming!"

This is an Incomplete Song. 14 At this time, his august sickness was very urgent. Then, he sang augustly, saying:

"The sabre-sword which I placed at the maiden's bed-side, alas! that sword!" 15

As soon as he had finished singing, he died, Then a courier was despatched [to the Heavenly Sovereign.]

p. 272 p. 273


270:1 p. 272 Tagi-nu. We might, following the Chinese characters, translate thus; "and arrived on the Moor of Tagi." But the character has in this context scarcely any meaning. The real etymology of Tagi (in classical and modern parlance taki without the nigori) is "rapid "or "waterfall," the cascade formed by the river Vo-ro in Mino being alluded to. The derivation in the next sentence of the text from tagishi supposed to mean "a rudder "is a mere fancy.

270:2 The word here fended "rudder" is tagishi, which is written phonetically and does not occur elsewhere, except in a few Proper Names of doubtful import. There is however some probability in favour of the meaning assigned to it by the native commentators.

270:3 Tzuwe-tsuki-zaka, i.e., "the pass of leaning on a staff." It is in the province of Ise between Yokaichi and Ishi-yakushi.

270:4 Wotsu-no-saki, in the province of Ise. The name probably signifies "° harbour of the mountain declivity."

270:5 The former portion of the text tells us nothing either of the meal or of the sword here mentioned.

271:6 This quaintly simple and apparently very ancient poem needs no elucidation.

271:7 In Ise. Mihe signifies "three fold."

271:8 This is the literal rendering of the text. Motowori thinks, however, that we should understand that there were various swellings on his legs, such as would be produced if the limb were tightly tied round with cord in three places.

271:9 Nobo-un in the province of Ise. The name seems to signify "the moor of mounting."

271:10 The Chinese character here used signifies simply "thinking of;" but in such a context its common Japanese interpretation is "loving "or "regretting," and so Motowori means us to understand it when he reads shinukashite.

271:11 Viz., Yamato.

271:12 This Song and the two following form but one in the pages of the "Chronicles," where they appear with several verbal differences, and are attributed, not to the Prince, but to his father the Emperor. Moribe decides that in the latter particular the text of these "Records" gives the preferable account, but that the "Chronicles" are right in making the three Songs one continuous poem. The expression "this Song is a Land-Regretting Song" strongly supports this view; for, though we might also render in the Plural "these Songs are, etc.," such a translation would be less natural, as in similar cases the numeral is used, thus p. 273 "these two Songs are, etc." The expression "this is an Incomplete Song "points as decidedly to some mutilation of the original document, from which the compiler of the "Records" copied this passage. Taking then the three Songs as one, the entire drift is that of a paean on Yamato, the poet's native land, which he could not hope ever to see again:—Commencing by praising its still seclusion as it lies there behind its barrier of protecting mountains, he goes on to mention the rural pleasures enjoyed by those who, wandering over the hill-sides, deck their hair with garlands of leaves and flowers. For himself indeed these delights are no more; "but," says he, "do you, ye children full of health and happiness, pursue your innocent enjoyment!" In conclusion he. lovingly apostrophises the clouds which, rising up from the south-west, are, as it were, messengers from home. The word mahoroha, rendered "secluded," is a great crux to the commentators, and Motowori's "Examination of the Synonyms of Japan," pp. 17-18. and Moribe's "Idzu no Koto Waki," Vol. III, p. 31, should be consulted by the student desirous of forming his own opinion on the point. Another apparent difficulty is the word gomoreru, whose position in the sentence Motowori seems to have misunderstood. By following Moribe, and taking it as a compound with the word Awogaki-yama into Awogaki yama-gomoreru the difficulty vanishes, and we are likewise relieved from the necessity of supposing anything so highly improbable as that the Verb komoreru when not compounded, should have commenced with a nigori’ed syllable. "Complete "signifies "healthy." Mount Heguri is preceded in the original by tatamikomo (Moribe reads tatamigomo with the nigori) a Pillow-Word whose import is disputed. In any case, being a punning one, it cannot be translated. For the "bear-oak" see Sect. LXXII, Note 19. Moribe labours, but without success, to prove that "come," the last word of the translation, signifies "go," and imagines that the prince is expressing his envy of the clouds which are rising and going off in the direction of the home which he will never revisit.

271:13 I.e., a Song of loving regret for his native land.

271:14 "Incomplete Song" must be understood as the designation of a poem of a certain number of lines, viz, three, and was probably given by comparison with the greater length of poetical compositions in general.

271:15 This poem is an exclamation of distress at the thought of the sword which he had left with his mistress Princess Miyazu and which, if he had had it with him, would doubtless have preserved him from the evil influences of the god of Mount Ibuki, which were the beginning of p. 274 his end.—" Sabre-sword" (tsurugi no tachi) is a curious expression, which Moribe thinks means "double-edged sword."

Next: Section XC.—Emperor Kei-kō (Part XV.—Yamato-take Turns into a White Bird)