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

p. 311


Again, the Territorial Owners of Yeshinu, 1 seeing the august sword which was girded on His Augustness Oho sazaki, sang, saying:

"Sharp is the beginning, freezing is the end of the sword girded on Oho-sazaki, Oho, sazaki, the solar august child of Homuda,—[it is] chilly, chilly like the trees beneath the trunks of the winter trees." 2

Again, having made a cross-mortar 3 at Kashifu 4 in [251] Yeshinu, and having in that cross-mortar distilled 5 some great august liquor, they, when they presented the great august liquor [to the Heavenly Sovereign], sang as follows, drumming with their mouths:

"We have made a side-mortar at Kashinofu, and in the side-mortar we have distilled some great august liquor, which do thou sweetly partake of, oh our lord!" 6

This Song is one which it is the custom to chant down to the present day when, from time to time, the Territorial Owners present a great feast [to the Sovereign].


311:1 p. 312 Yeshinu is the modern Yoshino, in the province of Yamato (see Sect. XLVI, Note 3). For the title of kudzu see Sect. XLVI, Note 13, where it also occurs in connection with Yeshinu.

311:2 According to Moribe, whose interpretation seems best to the translator. the signification of this difficult poem is: "The sword worn by Prince Oho-sazaki, son of the Emperor Homuda (O-jin) is double-edged at its upper part, and like glistening ice towards its point;—oh! ’tis like the icicles on the plants that cluster about the trunks of the dead trees in winter!" Almost every line, however (excepting those giving the name and title of the Prince), is a subject of controversy, and the "Gō-Gan Shō" in loco and Motowori's Commentary, Vol. XXXIII, pp. 2-5, should be consulted for Keichiū's, Mabuchi's and Motowori's views on the disputed point.—The expression "solar august child" signifies "sun-descended prince," in allusion to the supposed descent of the Japanese monarchs from the Sun-Goddess.

311:3 Yoko-usu or yokusu ( ). It is not plain what sort of mortar the author intended to designate by this term. Motowori supposes it to mean a broad flat mortar in contradistinction to a high and narrow one. Keichiū's view, which he quotes, to the effect that it was a mortar that had been carved out of the, block against the grain of the wood, seems an equally good guess, where all is guess-work.

311:4 In the Song this same name is read Kashinofu; but the commentators tell us that the Genitive Particle no ("of") is simply inserted for the sake of rhythm, and it is not unlikely that they are right. The name seems to signify "[a place where] oak-trees grow."

311:5 See Sect. XVIII, Note 16. The character , rendered by "distil" or "brew," according to the view which one may take of the resulting liquor, would seem to be here used in the sense of "to pound."

311:6 In this simple Song the Territorial Owners of Yoshino beg the Monarch to deign to partake of the sake which they have made.

Next: Section CIX.—Emperor Ō-jin (Part VI.—Various Deeds)