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

p. 83


Thereupon the Princess of Yakami answered 1 the eighty Deities, saying: "I will not listen to your words. I mean to marry the Deity Great-Name-Possessor." So [70] the eighty Deities, being enraged, and wishing to slay the Deity Great-Name-Possessor, took counsel together, on arriving at the foot of Tema 2 in the land of Hahaki, and said [to him]: "On this mountain there is a red boar. So when we drive it down, do thou wait and catch it. If thou do not wait and catch it, we will certainly slay thee." Having [thus] spoken, they took fire, and burnt a large stone like unto a boar, and rolled it down. Then, as [they] drove it down and [he] caught it, 3 he got stuck to and burnt by the stone, and died. Thereupon Her Augustness his august parent 4 cried and lamented, and went up to Heaven, and entreated His Divine-Producing-Wondrous-Augustness, 5 who at once sent Princess Cockle-Shell 6 and Prince Clam 7 to bring him to life. Then Princess Cockle-Shell triturated and scorched 8 [her shell], and Princess Clam carried water and

p. 84

smeared [him] as with mother's 9 milk, whereupon he became a beautiful young man, and wandered off. Hereupon the eighty Deities, seeing [this], again deceived him, [71] taking him with them into the mountains, where they cut down a large tree, inserted a wedge in the tree, 10 and made him stand in the middle, whereupon they took away the wedge and tortured him to death. 11 Then on Her Augustness his august parent again seeking him with cries, she perceived him, and at once cleaving the tree, took him out and brought him to life, and said to him: 12 "If thou remain here, thou wilt at last be destroyed by the eighty Deities." Then she sent him swiftly off to the august place of the Deity Great-House-Prince 13 in the land of Ki. 14 Then when the eighty Deities searched and pursued till they came up to him, and fixed their arrows [in their bows], he escaped by clipping under the fork of a tree, and disappeared.

p. 85


83:1 p. 84 It must be understood that in the meantime they had arrived at her dwelling and begun to court her.

83:2 Etymology unknown.

83:3 The text is here concise to obscurity, but yet there ought not to be much doubt as to the author's intention.

83:4 The text has the character signifying properly "grand-parent," but frequently used in Archaic Japanese writings in the sense of "mother." It is then read oya, which the English word "parent" exactly represents.

83:5 Kami-musu-bi-no-mikoto. See Sect. I, Note 6.

83:6 Kisa-gahi-hime. The kiga-gahi here mentioned is the modern aka-gahi, a cockle, the Arca inflata.

83:7 Umugi-hime. The umugi here mentioned is the modern hamagari, a clam of the family Mactridæ, the Cytherea Mereirix.

83:8 The character used is , "collected," "gathered together." But the combined authority of Mabuchi, Motowori and Hirata obliges us either to consider it a copyist's error for , "scorched," or else to believe that in early time in Japan the two characters were used interchangeably.

84:9 p. 85 Or "nurse's." The meaning is that a paste like milk was made of the triturated and calcined shell mixed with water. There is in this passage a play upon words which it is impossible to reproduce in English, the Japanese term for "triturating," kisage (which the author has taken care to write phonetically) resembling the name of Princess Kisa-gahi (Cockle-Shell), while omo, "mother" or "nurse," similarly recalls that of Princess Umugi (Clam). Motowori traces the names of the shell-fish in question to this exploit of the two goddesses. We shall be justified in applying an inverse interpretation to the legend.

84:10 The original of this clause, or according to another reading , etc. is a great crux to the native commentators, who can make sure neither of the exact sense nor of the Japanese reading of the first two characters, which seem to be ideographic for three others occurring immediately below, , which are themselves of doubtful import. An elaborate discussion of the question will be found in Hirata's "Exposition of the Ancient Histories," Vol. XVII, pp. 25-27. The general sense at all events is that here given.

84:11 The characters , here rendered "tortured him to death," are by the modern commentators read uchi-koroshiki, which simply means killed [him]."

84:12 Literally "to her child."

84:13 Oha-ya-biko-no-kami. This Deity is identified with the Deity I-dakeru mentioned in the "Chronicle" as a son of Susa-no-wo (the "Impetuous-Male-Deity"), and as the introducer into the Island of Tsukushi in particular and into all the "Eight Great Islands" of Japan of the seeds of plants and trees. Motowori's note on this name in Vol. X, pp. 28-29, is worth consulting, though his idea of connecting the agricultural and arboricultural renown of the Deity bearing it with the name of the province of Ki is doubtless quite fanciful.

84:14 I.e., "the land of tree" ( ). Later the character was replaced by , which in Sinico-Japanese has the same sound ki, while a second one, , was added in order to conform to an edict of the Empress Gem-miyō (A. D. 713) to the effect that all names of places were to be written with two Chinese characters, as was usual in China and Korea. The second character in this case simply carried on the i sound with which the first ends, so that the name became Kii.

Next: Section XXIII.—The Nether-Distant-Land