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

p. 258


Forthwith entering the Land of Idzumo, and wishing to slay the Idzumo bravo, he on arriving, forthwith bound [himself to him in] friendship. So, having secretly [209] made [the wood of] an oak [-trees 1] into a false sword and augustly girded it, he went with the bravo to bathe the River Hi. 2 Then, His Augustness Yamato-take

p. 259

getting out of the river first, and taking and girding on the sword that the Idzumo bravo had taken off and laid down, said: "Let us exchange swords!" So afterwards the Idzumo bravo, getting out of the river, girded on His Augustness Yamato-take's false sword. Hereupon His Augustness Yamato-take, suggested, saying: "Come on! let us cross 3 swords." Then on drawing his sword, the Idzumo bravo could not draw the false sword. Forthwith His Augustness Yamato-take drew his sword and slew the Idzumo bravo. Then he sang augustly, saying:

"Alas that the sword girded on the Idzumo bravo, and wound round with many a creeper, should have had no true blade!" 4

So having thus extirpated the [bravoes] and made [the land] orderly, he went up [to the capital], and made his report [to the Heavenly Sovereign].


258:1 The species mentioned (ichihi) is the Quercus gilva.

258:2 See Sect. XVIII, Note 2.

259:3 Lit., "let us join swords." The word "suggested" ( ) in this sentence is an emendation of Motowori's, the text having , "slandered." The older printed editions, while retaining the character , read it azamukite, "deceived."

259:4 In its position in the present text, this Song must be taken as an ironical lament of the Prince for the dead bravo. In the "Chronicle" the time and the heroes of the episode, and the singers of the Song are all different, and in that context the lament sounds like a genuine one. The reader will remember what was said in the Introduction as to the use of creepers for string. That mentioned in the text is supposed to be the Cocculus thunbergi.

Next: Section LXXXII.—Emperor Kei-kō (Part VII.—Yamato-take is Sent to Subdue the East, and Visits His Aunt at Ise)