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

p. 380[305]


After this, the Heavenly Sovereign, being on [his] divine couch, 1 was sleeping at midday. Then he spoke to his Empress, saying: "Is there anything on thy mind?" She replied, saying: "Being the object of the Heavenly Sovereign's generous favour, what, can there be on my mind?" 2 Hereupon the Empress's former child, 3 King Ma-yowa, who was seven years old that year, happened to be just then playing outside the apartment. 4 Then the Heavenly Sovereign, not Knowing that the young King was playing outside the apartment, spoke to the Empress, saying: "I have constantly something upon my mind, namely [the fear] that thy child King Ma-yowa, when he comes to man's estate, may, on learning that I slew the King his father, requite me with a foul heart." 5 Thereupon King Ma-yowa, who had been playing outside

p. 381

the apartment, and whose ear had caught these words, forthwith watched for the Heavenly Sovereign to be augustly asleep, and, taking the great sword [that lay] by his side, 6 forthwith struck off the Heavenly Sovereign's head, and fled into the house of the Grandee Tsubura. 7 The Heavenly Sovereign's august years were fifty-six, His august masoleum is on the mound of Fushimi at Sugahara. 8


380:1 Conf. Sect. LXIV, Note 2.

380:2 Literally, "Hast thou anything to think about? "The same construction is used in the next sentence.

380:3 I.e., her son by her former husband King Oho-kusaka.

380:4 Literally, "below the palace." The same expression recurs further on. The parallel passage in the "Chronicles" has "below the upper storey," i.e., in the court or garden of a two-storeyed house. With the small proportions assumed by Japanese architecture, conversation could well be overheard under these conditions.

380:5 I.e., "take vengeance upon me."

381:6 Scil. by the Emperor's side.

381:7 Tsubura omi. The etymology of Tsubura is obscure.

381:8 For Sugahara see Sect. LXXV, Note I. The Fushimi here mentioned, which is in Yamato, must not be confounded with the better known Fushimi in Yamashiro. The popular etymology of this name (and it is to be found in many books) traces it to Fushi mi, i.e., "lying three," in connection with the story of a man who "lay on the mound for three years." Probably fuse-midzu, "water laid on," a name perhaps given on account of an aqueduct or of water-pipes, was the original designation, which has been corrupted.

Next: Section CXLVI.—Emperor An-kō (Part III.—Prince Oho Hatsuse Slays Princes Kuro-biko and Shiro-biro)