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

p. 383 [269]


Again he raised an army and beleaguered the house of the Grandee Tsubura. Then [the other side also] raised an army to resist the attack, 1 and the arrows that were shot forth were like unto the falling down of the [ears of the] reeds. 2 Thereupon King Oho-hatsuse, using his spear as a staff, peeped in, 3 and said: "Is perchance the maiden, with whom I spoke, in this house?" 4 Then the Grandee Tsubura, hearing these commands, 5 came forth himself, and having taken off the weapons with which he was girded, did obeisance eight times, and said: "The maiden Princess Kara, whom anon thou deignedst to woo, is at thy service. Again in addition I will present to thee five granaries. (What are called the five granaries are now the gardeners of the five villages of Kadzuraki: 6) Meanwhile the reason why she does not come out to meet thee in person is that from of old down to the present time grandees and chiefs have been known to hide in the palaces of Kings, but Kings have not yet been known to hide in the houses of grandees. 7 Therefore I think that, though a vile slave of a grandees 8 exerting his utmost strength in the fight can scarcely conquer, yet must he die rather than desert a Prince who, trusting in him, has entered into his house." 9 Having thus

p. 384

spoken, he again took his weapons and went in again to fight. Then, their strength being exhausted and their arrows finished, he said to the Prince: "My 10 hands are wounded, and our arrows likewise are finished. We cannot now fight. What shall be done? "The Prince [266] replied, saying: "If that be so, there is nothing more to do. [Do thou] now slay me. "So [the Grandee Tsubura] thrust the Prince to death with his sword, and forthwith killed himself by cutting off his own head.


383:1 p. 384 Literally, "to wait and fight."

383:2 The character , "to come" (here in accordance with English idiom rendered by "down") is supposed to be an error. One conjectural emendation of it, viz., , would suggest the "plentiful" falling of the flowers of the reeds.

383:3 I.e., he lifted himself on tiptoe by leaning on his spear, so as to be able to peep in.

383:4 The maiden thus suddenly introduced into the story is Tsubura's daughter Kara, whom it must be supposed that the Prince had previously been wooing.

383:5 Or rather, "Imperial words." The application of the characters to the words of one who was not yet actually Emperor is curious.

383:6 I.e., the places where the five granaries originally were are now the five villages inhabited by the men who cultivate the Imperial gardens. For Kadzuraki see Sect. LV, Note 1.

383:7 Or we may, following Motowori's proposal, take the character in this clause in its slightly different acceptation of "subject," which better suits the sense. The partly phonetic wording of the next sentence shows how the writer was perplexed by the double use of the term.

383:8 Q.d.. in comparison with a prince of the Imperial family, even a grandee was but a vile slave.

383:9 The character in the original of this passage is corrupt. But the sense remains clear, and it is scarcely worth while looking about for a probable emendation. Motowori has no satisfactory proposal to make.

384:10 The humble character , "servant" here used for the First p. 385 Personal pronoun. The expression , here literally rendered "my hands are all wounded," is very curious. Motowori reads it ita-te ohinu, i.e., "I have received (or suffered from) hurtful hands," and compares two somewhat similar expressions found in Sect. XLIV (see Note 33 to that Sect). The translator may however point out that the similarity is much more apparent in Motowori's kana reading than it is in the Chinese text itself. May not the sense of the present passage rather be: "All our men are wounded?" for the word te ( ) "hand," is frequently used in Japanese,—in compounds at least,—in the sense of "man," somewhat as it is in English naval, mining, and other technical parlance.

Next: Section CXLVIII.—Emperor An-kō (Part V:—Prince Oho-Hatsuse Slays Prince Oshiha)