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Thereupon the Heavenly Sovereign, alarmed at the valour and ferocity of his august child's disposition, commanded him, saying: "In the West there are two Kumaso bravoes, 1—unsubmissive and disrespectful men. So take 2b them,"—and [with this command] he sent him off. It happened that at this time his august hair was bound at the brow. 3b Then His Augustness Wo-usu was granted by his aunt Her Augustness Yamato-hime 4 her august [upper] garment and august skirt; and, with a sabre hidden in his august bosom, he went forth. 5 So, on reaching the house of the Kumaso bravoes, he saw that near the house there was a three-fold belt of warriors, who had made a cave 6 to dwell in. Hereupon they, noisily discussing a rejoicing for the august cave, 7 were getting food ready. So [Prince Wo-usu sauntered about the neighbourhood, waiting for the day of the [207] rejoicing. Then when the day of the rejoicing came, having combed down after the manner of girls his august hair which was bound up, 8 and having put on his aunt's august [upper] garment and august skirt, he looked quite

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like a young girl, and, standing amidst the women, 9 went inside the cave. Then the elder brother and the younger brother, the two Kumaso bravoes, delighted at the sight of the maiden, set her between them, and rejoiced exuberantly. So, when [the feast was] at its height, [His Augustness Wo-usu], drawing the sabre from his bosom, and catching Kumaso 10 by the collar of his garment, thrust the sabre through his chest, whereupon, alarmed at the sight, the younger bravo ran out. But pursuing after and reaching him at the bottom of the steps 11 of the cave, and catching him by the back, 12 [Prince Wo-usu] thrust the sabre through his buttock. Then the Kumaso bravo spoke, saying: "Do not move the sword; I 13 have something to say." Then [His Augustness Wo-usu], respited him for a moment, holding him down [as he lay] prostrate. Hereupon [the bravo] said: "Who is Thine Augustness?" Then he said: "I am the august child of Oho-tarashi-hiko-oshiro-wake, the Heavenly Sovereign who, dwelling in the palace of Hishiro at Makimuku, rules the Land of the Eight Great Islands; and my name is King Yamato-wo-guna. Hearing that you two [fellows 14], the Kumaso bravoes, were unsubmissive and disrespectful, [the Heavenly Sovereign] sent me with the command to take and slay you." Then the Kumaso bravo said: "That must [208] be true. There are no persons in the West so brave and strong as we two. 15 Yet in the Land of Great Yamato there is a man braver than we two,—there is. 16 Therefore will I offer thee an august name. From this time forward it is right that thou be praised as the August Child Yamato-take." 17 As soon as he had finished saying this, [the Prince] ripped him up 18 like a ripe

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melon, 19 and slew him. 20 So thenceforward he was praised by being called by the august name of 21 his Augustness Yamato-take. When he returned up [to the capital] after doing this, he subdued and pacified every one of the Deities of the mountains and of the Deities of the rivers and likewise of the Deities of Anado, 22 and then went up to [the capital].


255:1 p. 257 I.e., presumably "bravoes at Kumaso; "but it is to be remarked that in this and like compounds with takeru ("bravo") the Japanese language uses no Postposition. For Kumaso see Sect. V, Note 17.

255:2b Motowori seems right in interpreting "take" here and elsewhere in the sense of "slay." But "take "is in the text.

255:3b I.e., caught up from the brow and tied together on the crown of the head. This being the way in which the hair of boys was dressed, the author thus intimates that His Augustness was still a youth.

255:4 Who was high-priestess of the temple of the Great Deity of Ise, as mentioned in Sect. LXIX (Note 44).

255:5 The characters used for these last two words are those properly restricted to the mention of an Imperial progress, but Yamato-take is constantly spoken of as if he had actually sat on the throne.

255:6 The character used is , which simply means apartment; but see Sect. XLVIII, Note 1.

255:7 Motowori reads "New cave," but the word "August" is in the text. At the same time we see that this feast was intended as a house-warming. Conf. the commencement of Sect. CLXIV.

255:8 The parallel passage of the "Chronicles" puts the same meaning into plainer words. It says: "undid his hair, and made it appear like a girl's."

256:9 Or, according to the old reading, "mixing with the concubines."

256:10 I.e., the elder bravo of Kumaso.

256:11 The word rendered "steps" is of doubtful interpretation.

256:12 Or perhaps "the skin of his back" or "the (beast's?) skin on his back." But Motowori is probably right in supposing the character , "skin" to be an error for , "with," to be construed with the word "sabre." (In the English idiom this Particle falls away.)

256:13 Written with the humble character , "servant."

256:14 p. 258 The contemptuous Second Personal Pronoun ore is used here and in the next clause.

256:15 There is Motowori's authority for thus understanding the bravo's words. Taken still more literally, they would seem to imply that there were no brave and strong men in the West excepting himself and his brother.

256:16 The words "there is" are an attempt at rendering the termination keri of the original. See X, Note 1.

256:17 I.e., "Yamato-Brave," q.d., "the Bravest in Yamato." It is by this name that the hero is commonly spoken of. Remember that "august child "signifies prince.

256:18 , "broke," in the text is, as the commentators observe, an evident error for , "ripped."

257:19 Or specifically, the "musk melon."

257:20 The translator has followed Motowori's restoration of this passage, in which, by the transposition of the characters and , the end of this sentence and the beginning of the next were mixed together in the older editions.

257:21 Lit., "[they] praised the august name, calling him," etc.

257:22 Or, "of the Ana passage" (lit. door), the modern Strait of Shimonoseki. The word ana signifies "hole," and there is a tradition (which Motowori quotes in his note on this name in Vol. XXVII, pp. 26-29 of his Commentary) to the effect that formerly the Main bland and the island of Kiushiu were continuous at this point, there being only a sort of natural tunnel, through which junks could pass.

Next: Section LXXXI.—Emperor Kei-kō (Part VI.—Yamato-take Slays the Idzumo Bravo)