Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697/Book III

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BOOK III.

THE EMPEROR KAMI-YAMATO IHARE-BIKO.[1]

(JUMMU TENNŌ.)

The Emperor Kami Yamato Ihare-biko's personal name was Hiko-hoho-demi. He was the fourth child[2] of Hiko-nagisa-take-u-gaya-fuki-ahezu no Mikoto. His mother's name was Tama-yori-hime, daughter of the Sea-God. From his birth, this Emperor was of clear intelligence and resolute will. At the (III. 2.) age of fifteen he was made heir to the throne. When he grew up, he married Ahira-tsu-hime, of the district of Ata in the province of Hiuga, and made her his consort. By her he had Tagishi-mimi no Mikoto and Kisu-mimi no Mikoto. When he reached the age of forty-five, he addressed his elder brothers and his children, saying:—"Of old, our Heavenly Deities Taka-mi-musubi no Mikoto, and Oho-hiru-me no Mikoto, pointing to this land of fair rice-ears of the fertile reed-plain, gave it to our Heavenly ancestor, Hiko-ho no ninigi no Mikoto. Thereupon Hiko-ho no ninigi no Mikoto, throwing open the barrier of Heaven and clearing a cloud-path, urged on his superhuman course until he came to rest. At this time the world was given over to widespread desolation. It was an age of darkness and disorder. In this gloom, therefore, he fostered justice, and so governed this western border.[3] Our Imperial ancestors and Imperial parent, like gods, like sages, accumulated happiness and amassed glory. Many years elapsed. From the date when our Heavenly ancestor descended until now it is over (III. 3.) 1,792,470 years.[4] But the remote regions do not yet enjoy the blessings of Imperial rule.' Every town has always been allowed to have its lord, and every village its chief, who, each one for himself, makes division of territory and practises mutual aggression and conflict.

Now I have heard from the Ancient of the Sea,[5] that in the East there is a fair land encircled on all sides by blue mountains. Moreover, there is there one who flew down riding in a Heavenly Rock-boat. I think that this land will undoubtedly be suitable for the extension of the Heavenly task,[6] so that its glory should fill the universe. It is, doubtless, the centre of the world.[7] The person who flew down was, I believe, Nigi-haya-hi.[8] Why should we not proceed thither, and make it the capital?"

All the Imperial Princes answered, and said:—"The truth of this is manifest. This thought is constantly present to our (III. 4.) minds also. Let us go thither quickly." This was the year Kinoye Tora (51st) of the Great Year.[9]

(B.C. 667.) In that year, in winter, on the Kanoto Tori day (the 5th) of the 10th month, the new moon of which was on the day Hinoto Mi,[10] the Emperor in person led the Imperial Princes and a naval force on an expedition against the East. When he arrived at the Haya-suhi gate,[11] there was there a fisherman who came riding in a boat. The Emperor summoned him, and then inquired of him, saying:—"Who art thou?" He answered and said:—"Thy servant is a Country-God, and his name is Utsu-hiko.[12] I angle for fish in the bays of ocean. Hearing that the son of the Heavenly Deity was coming, therefore I forthwith came to receive him." Again he inquired of him, saying:—"Canst thou act as my guide?" He answered and said:—"I will do so." The Emperor ordered the end of a pole of shihi wood[13] to be given to the fisher, and caused him to be taken and pulled into the Imperial vessel, of which he was made pilot. A name was specially granted him, and he was called (III. 5.) Shihi-ne-tsu-hiko.[14] He was the first ancestor of the Yamato no Atahe.

Proceeding on their voyage, they arrived at Usa[15] in the Land of Tsukushi. At this time there appeared the ancestors of the Kuni-tsu-ko[16] of Usa, named Usa-tsu-hiko and Usa-tsu- hime. They built a palace raised on one pillar[17] on the banks of the River Usa, and offered them a banquet. Then, by Imperial command, Usa-tsu-hime was given in marriage to the Emperor's attendant minister Ama no tane[18] no Mikoto. Now Ama no tane no Mikoto was the remote ancestor of the Nakatomi Uji.[19]

11th month, 9th day. The Emperor arrived at the harbour of Oka[20] in the Land of Tsukushi.

(III. 6.) 12th month, 27th day. He arrived at the province of Aki, where he dwelt in the Palace of Ye.

(B.C. 666.) The year Kinoto U, Spring, 3rd month, 6th day. Going onwards, he entered the land of Kibi,[21] and built a temporary palace, in which he dwelt. It was called the Palace of Takashima. Three years passed, during which time he set in order the helms[22] of his ships, and prepared a store of provisions. It was his desire by a single effort to subdue the Empire.

(B.C. 663.) The year Tsuchinoye Muma, Spring, 2nd month, 11th day. The Imperial forces at length proceeded eastwards, the prow of one ship touching the stern of another. Just when they reached Cape Naniha they encountered a current of great swiftness. Whereupon that place was called Nami-haya (wave-swift) or Nami-hana (wave-flower). It is now called Naniha,[23] which is a corruption of this.

3rd month, 10th day. Proceeding upwards against the stream, they went straight on, and arrived at the port of Awo-kumo no Shira-date, in the township of Kusaka, in the province (III. 7.) of Kafuchi.[24]

Summer, 4th month, 9th day. The Imperial forces in martial array marched on to Tatsuta. The road was narrow and precipitous, and the men were unable to march abreast, so they returned and again endeavoured to go eastward, crossing over Mount Ikoma. In this way they entered the inner country.[25]

Now when Naga-sune-hiko[26] heard this, he said:—"The object of the children of the Heavenly Deity in coming hither is assuredly to rob me of my country." So he straightway levied all the forces under his dominion, and intercepted them at the Hill of Kusaka. A battle was engaged, and Itsuse no Mikoto was hit by a random arrow on the elbow. The Imperial forces were unable to advance against the enemy. The Emperor was vexed, and revolved in his inmost heart a divine plan, saying:—"I am the descendant of the Sun-Goddess, and if I proceed against the Sun to attack the enemy, I shall act contrary to the way of Heaven. Better to retreat and make a show of weakness. Then sacrificing to the Gods of Heaven and Earth, and bringing on our backs the might of the Sun-Goddess, let us (III. 8.) follow her rays and trample them down. If we do so, the enemy will assuredly be routed of themselves, and we shall not stain our swords with blood." They all said:—"It is good." Thereupon he gave orders to the army, saying:—"Wait a while, and advance no further." So he withdrew his forces and the enemy also did not dare to attack him. He then retired to the port of Kusaka, where he set up shields, and made a warlike show. Therefore the name of this port was changed to Tatetsu,[27] which is now corrupted into Tadetsu.

Before this, at the battle of Kusaka, there was a man who hid in a great tree, and by so doing escaped danger. So pointing to this tree, he said:—"I am grateful to it, as to my mother." Therefore the people of the day called that place Omo no ki no Mura.[28]

5th month, 8th day. The army arrived at the port of Yamaki in Chinu [also called Port Yama no wi]. Now Itsuse no Mikoto's arrow wound was extremely painful. He grasped his sword, and striking a martial attitude, said:—"How exasperating it is that a man should die of a wound received at the hands of slaves, and should not revenge it!" The people of that (III. 9.) day therefore called the place Wo no minato.[29]

Proceeding onwards, they reached Mount Kama in the Land of Kii, where Itsuse no Mikoto died in the army, and was therefore buried at Mount Kama.

6th month, 23rd day. The army arrived at the village of Nagusa, where they put to death the Tohe[30] of Nagusa. Finally they crossed the moor of Sano, and arrived at the village of Kami[31] in Kumano. Here he embarked in the rock-boat of Heaven, and leading his army, proceeded onwards by slow degrees. In the midst of the sea, they suddenly met with a violent wind, and the Imperial vessel was tossed about. Then Ina-ihi no Mikoto exclaimed and said:—"Alas! my ancestors were Heavenly Deities, and my mother was a Goddess of the Sea. Why do they harass me by land, and why moreover do they harass me by sea?" When he had said this, he drew his sword and plunged into the sea, where he became changed into the God Sabi-mochi.[32]

(III. 10.) Mike Irino no Mikoto, also indignant at this, said:—"My mother and my aunt are both Sea-Goddesses: why do they raise great billows to overwhelm us?" So treading upon the waves, he went to the Eternal Land.[33] The Emperor was now alone with the Imperial Prince Tagishi-mimi no Mikoto. Leading his army forward, he arrived at Port Arazaka in Kumano [also called Nishiki Bay], where he put to death the Tohe of Nishiki. At this time the Gods belched up a poisonous vapour, from which everyone suffered. For this reason the Imperial army was again unable to exert itself. Then there was there a man by name Kumano no Takakuraji, who unexpectedly had a dream, in which Ama-terasu no Oho-kami spoke to Take-mika-tsuchi no Kami,[34] saying:—"I still hear a sound of disturbance from the Central Land of Reed-Plains. Do thou again go and chastise it." Take-mika-tsuchi no Kami answered and said:—"Even if I go not, I can send down my sword, with which I subdued the land, upon which the country will of its own accord become peaceful." To this Ama-terasu no Kami assented. Thereupon Take-mika-tsuchi no Kami addressed Takakuraji, saying:—"My sword, which is called Futsu no Mitama, I will now place in thy storehouse. (III. 11.) Do thou take it and present it to the Heavenly Grandchild." Takakuraji said "Yes," and thereupon awoke. The next morning, as instructed in his dream, he opened the storehouse, and on looking in, there was indeed there a sword which had fallen down (from Heaven), and was standing upside down[35] on the plank floor of the storehouse. So he took it and offered it to the Emperor. At this time the Emperor happened to be asleep. He awoke suddenly, and said:—"What a long time I have slept!" On inquiry he found that the troops who had been affected by the poison had all recovered their senses and were afoot. The Emperor then endeavoured to advance into the interior, but among the mountains it was so precipitous that there was no road by which they could travel, and they wandered about not knowing whither to direct their march. Then Ama-terasu no Oho-kami instructed the Emperor in a dream of the night, saying:—"I will now send thee the Yata-garasu,[36] make it thy guide through the land." Then there did indeed appear the Yata-garasu flying down from the Void. The Emperor said: —"The coming of this crow is in due accordance with my auspicious dream. How grand! How splendid! My Imperial ancestor, Ama-terasu no Oho-kami, desires therewith to assist me in creating the hereditary institution."[37]

At this time Hi no Omi[38] no Mikoto, ancestor of the (III. 12.) Oho-tomo[39] House, taking with him Oho-kume[40] as commander of the main body, guided by the direction taken by the crow, looked up to it and followed after, until at length they arrived at the district of Lower Uda. Therefore they named the place which they reached the village of Ukechi[41] in Uda.

At this time, by an Imperial order, he commended Hi no Omi no Mikoto, saying:—"Thou art faithful and brave, and art moreover a successful guide. Therefore will I give thee a new name, and will call thee Michi no Omi."[42]

Autumn, 8th month, 2nd day. The Emperor sent to summon Ukeshi the Elder and Ukeshi the Younger. These two were chiefs of the district of Uda. Now Ukeshi the Elder did not come. But Ukeshi the Younger came, and making obeisance at the gate of the camp, declared as follows:—"Thy servant's elder brother, Ukeshi the Elder, shows signs of resistance. Hearing that the descendant of Heaven was about to arrive, he forthwith raised an army with which to make an attack. But having seen from afar the might of the Imperial army, he was afraid, and did not dare to oppose it. Therefore he has secretly placed his troops in ambush. and has built for the occasion a new palace, in the hall of which he has prepared engines. It is his intention to invite the Emperor to a banquet there, and then to do him a mischief. (III. 13.) I pray that his treachery be noted, and that good care be taken to make preparation against it." The Emperor straightway sent Michi no Omi no Mikoto to observe the signs of his opposition. Michi no Omi no Mikoto clearly ascertained his hostile intentions, and being greatly enraged, shouted at him in a blustering manner:—"Wretch! thou shalt thyself dwell in the house which thou hast made." So grasping his sword, and drawing his bow, he urged him and drove him within it. Ukeshi the Elder being guilty before Heaven, and the matter not admitting of excuse, of his own accord trod upon the engine and was crushed to death. His body was then brought out and decapitated, and the blood which flowed from it reached above the ankle. Therefore that place was called Uda no Chi-hara.[43] After this Ukeshi the Younger prepared a great feast of beef and sake,[44] with which he entertained the Imperial army. The Emperor distributed this flesh and sake to the common soldiers, upon which they sang the following verses:—

In the high {castle/tree} of Uda
I set a snare for woodcock,
And waited,
But no woodcock came to it;
(III. 14.) A valiant whale came to it.[45]

This is called a Kume[46] song. At the present time, when the Department of Music performs this song, there is still the[47] measurement of great and small by the hand, as well as a distinction of coarse and fine in the notes of the voice. This is by a rule handed down from antiquity.

After this the Emperor wished to inspect the Land of Yoshino, so taking personal command of the light troops, he (III. 15.) made a progress round by way of Ukechi mura in Uda.

When he came to Yoshino, there was a man who came out of a well. He shone, and had a tail. The Emperor inquired of him, saying:—"What man art thou?" He answered and said:—"Thy servant is a local Deity, and his name is Wi-hikari."[48] He it is who was the first ancestor of the Yoshino no Obito. Proceeding a little further, there was another man with a tail, who burst open a rock and came forth from it. The Emperor inquired of him, saying:—"What man art thou?" He answered and said:—"Thy servant is the child of Iha-oshi-wake."[49] It is he who was the first ancestor of the Kuzu[50] of Yoshino.

Then skirting the river, he proceeded westward, when there appeared another man, who had made a fish trap and was catching fish. On the Emperor making inquiry of him, he answered and said:—"Thy servant is the son of Nihe-motsu."[51] He it is who was the first ancestor of the U-kahi of Ata.[52]

9th month, 5th day. The Emperor ascended to the peak of (III. 16.) Mount Takakura in Uda, whence he had a prospect over all the land. On Kuni-mi[53] Hill there were descried eighty bandits. Moreover at the acclivity of Me-zaka[54] there was posted an army of women, and at the acclivity of Wo-zaka[55] there was stationed a force of men. At the acclivity of Sumi-zaka[56] was placed burning charcoal. This was the origin of the names Me-zaka, Vo-zaka and Sumi-zaka.

Again there was the army of Ye-shiki,[57] which covered all the village of Ihare. All the places occupied by the enemy[58] were strong positions, and therefore the roads were cut off and obstructed, so that there was no room for passage. The Emperor, indignant at this, made prayer on that night in person, and then fell asleep. The Heavenly Deity appeared to him in a dream, and instructed him, saying:—"Take earth from within the shrine[59] of the Heavenly Mount Kagu, and of it (III. 17.) make eighty Heavenly platters. Also make sacred jars[60] and therewith sacrifice to the Gods of Heaven and Earth. Moreover pronounce a solemn imprecation. If thou doest so, the enemy will render submission of their own accord." The Emperor received with reverence the directions given in his dream, and proceeded to carry them into execution.

Now Ukeshi the Younger again addressed the Emperor, saying:—"There are in the province of Yamato, in the village of Shiki, eighty Shiki bandits. Moreover, in the village of Taka-wohari [some say Katsuraki] there are eighty Akagane[61] bandits. All these tribes intend to give battle to the Emperor, and thy servant is anxious in his own mind on his account. It were now good to take clay from the Heavenly Mount Kagu, and therewith to make Heavenly platters with which to sacrifice to the Gods of the Heavenly shrines and of the Earthly shrines. If after doing so, thou dost attack the enemy, they may be easily driven off." The Emperor, who had already taken the words of his dream for a good omen, when he now heard the words of Ukeshi the Younger, was still more pleased in his heart. He caused Shihi-netsu-hiko[62] to put on ragged garments and a grass hat, and to disguise himself as an old man. He also caused Ukeshi the Younger to cover himself with a winnowing tray, so as to assume the appearance of an old woman, and then addressed them, saying:—"Do ye two proceed to the Heavenly Mount Kagu, and secretly take earth from its summit. Having done so, return hither. By means of you I shall then divine whether my undertaking will be sucdessful or not. Do your utmost and be watchful."

(III. 18.) Now the enemy's army filled the road, and made all passage impossible. Then Shihi-netsu-hiko prayed, and said:—"If it will be possible for our Emperor to conquer this land, let the road by which we must travel become open. But if not, let the brigands surely oppose our passage." Having thus spoken they set forth, and went straight onwards. Now the hostile band, seeing the two men, laughed loudly, and said:—"What an uncouth old man and old woman!" So with one accord they left the road, and allowed the two men to pass and proceed to the mountain, where they took the clay and returned with it. Hereupon the Emperor was greatly pleased, and with this clay he made eighty platters, eighty Heavenly small jars and sacred jars,[63] with which he went up to the upper waters of the River Nifu and sacrificed to the Gods of Heaven and of Earth. Immediately, on the Asa-hara plain by the river of Uda, it became as it were like foam on the water, the result of the curse cleaving to them.[64]

Moreover the Emperor went on to utter a vow, saying:—"I will now make ame[65] in the eighty platters without using water. If the ame is formed, then shall I assuredly without effort and without recourse to the might of arms reduce the Empire to peace." So he made ame, which forthwith became formed of itself.[66]

Again he made a vow, saying:—"I will now take the sacred jars and sink them in the River Nifu. If the fishes, whether great or small, become every one drunken and are carried down the stream, like as it were to floating maki[67] leaves, then shall I assuredly succeed in establishing this land. But if this be (III. 19.) not so, there will never be any result." Thereupon he sank the jars in the river with their mouths downward. After a while the fish all came to the surface, gaping and gasping as they floated down the stream. Then Shihi-netsu-hiko, seeing this, represented it to the Emperor, who was greatly rejoiced, and plucking up a five-hundred-branched masakaki tree of the upper waters of the River Nifu, he did worship therewith to all the Gods. It was with this that the custom began of setting sacred jars.[68]

At this time he commanded Michi no Omi no Mikoto, saying:—"We are now in person[69] about to celebrate a public[70] festival to Taka-mi-musubi no Mikoto, and I appoint thee Ruler of the festival, and grant thee the title of Idzu-hime.[71] The earthen jars which are set up shall be called the Idzube or sacred jars, the fire shall be called Idzu no Kagu-tsuchi or sacred-fire-elder, the water shall be called Idzu no Midzu-ha no me or sacred-water-female, the food shall be called Idzu-uka no me or sacred-food-female, the firewood shall be called Idzu no Yama-tsuchi or sacred-mountain-elder, and the grass shall be called Idzu no No-tsuchi or sacred-moor-elder."

(III. 20.) Winter, 10th month, 1st day. The Emperor tasted[72] the food of the Idzube, and arraying his troops set forth upon his march. He first of all attacked the eighty bandits at Mount Kunimi, routed and slew them. It was in this campaign that the Emperor, fully resolved on victory, made these verses, saying:—

Like the Shitadami
Which creep around
The great rock
Of the Sea of Ise
Where blows the divine wind -
Like the Shitadami,
My boys! my boys!
We will creep around,
And smite them utterly,
And smite them utterly.[73]

In this poem, by the great rock is intended the Hill of Kunimi.

After this the band which remained was still numerous, and their disposition could not be fathomed. So the Emperor privately commanded Michi no Omi no Mikoto, saying:—"Do thou take with thee the Oho-kume, and make a great muro at the village of Osaka.[74] Prepare a copious banquet, invite the enemy to it, and then capture them." Michi no Omi no Mikoto thereupon, in obedience to the Emperor's secret behest, dug a muro at Osaka, and having selected his bravest soldiers, stayed therein mingled with the enemy. He secretly arranged with them, saying:—"When they have got tipsy with sake, I will strike up a song. Do you, when you hear the sound of (III. 21.)my song, all at the same time stab the enemy." Having made this arrangement they took their seats, and the drinking-bout proceeded. The enemy, unaware that there was any plot, abandoned themselves to their feelings, and promptly became intoxicated. Then Michi no Omi no Mikoto struck up the following song:—

At Osaka
In the great muro-house,
Though men in plenty
Enter and stay,
We the glorious
Sons of warriors,
Wielding our mallet-heads.
Wielding our stone-mallets,
Will smite them utterly.[75]

Now when our troops heard this song, they all drew at the same time their mallet-headed swords, and simultanous]y slew the enemy, so that there were no eaters left.[76] The Imperial army were greatly-delighted; they looked up to Heaven and laughed. Therefore he made a song, saying:—

Though folk say
That one Yemishi
Is a match for one hundred men,
They do not so much as resist.[77]

The practice according to which at the present time the Kume sing this and then laugh loud, had this origin.

Again he sang, saying:—

Ho! now is the time;
Ho! now is the time;
Ha! Ha! Psha!
Even now
My boys!
Even now
My boys![78]

All these songs were sung in accordance with the secret behest of the Emperor. He had not presumed to compose (III. 22.) them of his own motion.

Then the Emperor said:— "It is the part of a good general when victorious to avoid arrogance. The chief brigands have now been destroyed, but there are ten bands of villains of a similar stamp, who are disputatious. Their disposition cannot be ascertained. Why should we remain for a long time in one place? By so doing we could not have control over emergencies." So he removed his camp to another place.

11th month, 7th day. The Imperial army proceeded in great force to attack the Hiko[79] of Shiki. First of all the Emperor sent a messenger to summon Shiki the Elder, but he refused to obey. Again the Yata-garasu was sent to bring him. When the crow reached his camp it cried to him, saying:—"The child of the Heavenly Deity sends for thee. Haste! haste!" Shiki the Elder was enraged at this, and said:—"Just when I heard that the conquering Deity of Heaven was coming and was indignant at this, why shouldst thou, a bird of the crow tribe, utter such an abominable cry?" So he drew his bow and aimed at it. The crow forthwith fled away, and next proceeded to the house of Shiki the Younger, where it cried, saying:—"The child of the Heavenly Deity summons thee. Haste! haste!" Then Shiki the Younger was afraid, and, changing countenance, said:—"Thy servant, hearing of the approach of the conquering Deity of Heaven, is full of dread morning and evening. Well hast thou cried to me, O crow." He straightway made eight leaf-platters,[80] on which he disposed food, and entertained the crow. Accordingly, in obedience to the crow, he proceeded to the Emperor and informed him, saying:—"My elder brother, Shiki the Elder, hearing of the approach of the (III. 23.) child of the Heavenly Deity, forthwith assembled eighty bandits and provided arms, with which he is about to do battle with thee. It will be well to take measures against him without delay." The Emperor accordingly assembled his generals and inquired of them, saying:—"It appears that Shiki the Elder has now rebellious intentions. I summoned him, but again he will not come. What is to be done?" The generals said:—"Shiki the Elder is a crafty knave. It will be well, first of all, to send Shiki the Younger to make matters clear to him, and at the same time to make explanations to Kuraji the Elder and Kuraji the Younger. If after that they still refuse submission, it will not be too late to take warlike measures against them." Shiki the Younger was accordingly sent to explain to them their interests. But Shiki the Elder and the others adhered to their foolish design, and would not consent to submit. Then Shihi-netsu-hiko advised as follows:—"Let us first send out our feebler troops by the Osaka road. When the enemy sees them he will assuredly proceed thither with all his best troops. We should then straightway urge forward our robust troops, and make straight for Sumi-zaka.[81] Then with the water of the River Uda we should sprinkle the burning charcoal, and suddenly take them unawares, when they cannot fail to be routed." The Emperor approved this plan, and sent out the feebier troops towards the enemy, who, thinking that a powerful force was approaching, awaited them with all their power. Now up to this time, whenever the Imperial army attacked, they invariably captured, and when they fought they were invariably victorious, so that the fighting men were all wearied (III. 24.) out. Therefore the Emperor, to comfort the hearts of his leaders and men, struck off this verse:—

As we fight,
Going forth and watching
From between the trees
Of Mount Inasa,
We are famished.
Ye keepers of cormorants
(Birds of the island),
Come now to our aid.[82]

In the end he crossed Sumi-zaka with the stronger troops, and, going round by the rear, attacked them from two sides and put them to the rout, killing their chieftains Shiki the Elder and the others.

12th month, 4th day. The Imperial army at length attacked Naga-sune-hiko and fought with him repeatedly, but was unable to gain the victory. Then suddenly the sky became overcast, and hail fell. There appeared a wondrous kite of a golden colour which came flying and perched on the end of the Emperor's bow. The lustre of this kite was of dazzling brightness, so that its appearance was like that of lightning. In consequence of this all Naga-sune-hiko's soldiers were (III. 25.) dazzled and bewildered so that they could not fight stoutly.

Nagasune was the original name of the village, whence it became the name of a man. But in consequence of the Imperial army obtaining the favourable omen of the Kite, the men of that time called it Tobi no mura.[83] It is now called Tomi, which is a corruption of this.

Ever since Itsuse no Mikoto was hit by an arrow at the battle of Kusaka and died, the Emperor bore this in mind, and constantly cherished resentment for it. On this campaign it was his desire to put all to death, and therefore he composed these verses, saying:—

My mouth tingles
With the ginger planted
At the bottom of the hedge
By the glorious
Sons of warriors—
I cannot forget it;
Let us smite them utterly.[84]

Again he sang, saying:—

In the millet-field
Is one stem of odorous garlic:—
The glorious
Sons of warriors
Binding its stem
And binding its shoots
Will smite it utterly.

Then again letting loose his army, he suddenly attacked him. In general, all these songs composed by the Emperor are termed kume uta, in allusion to the persons who took and sang them.

Now Naga-sune-hiko sent a foot-messenger, who addressed the Emperor, saying:—"There was formerly a child of the Heavenly Deity, who came down from Heaven to dwell here, riding in a Rock-boat of Heaven. His name was Kushi-dama Nigi-haya-hi no Mikoto. He took to wife my younger sister (III. 26.) Mi-kashiki-ya-bime[85] [also called Naga-sune-hime, or Tomi-ya-hime][86] of whom he at length had a child, named Umashi-ma-te[87] no Mikoto. Therefore did I take Nigi-haya-hi no Mikoto for my Lord, and did service to him. Can it be that there are two seeds of the children of the Heavenly Deity? Why should any one else take the name of Child of the Heavenly Deity and therewith rob people of their dominions? I have pondered this in my heart, but have as yet failed utterly to believe it." The Emperor said:—"There are many other children of the Heavenly Deity. If he whom thou has taken as thy Lord were truly a child of the Heavenly Deity, there would be surely some object which thou couldst show to us by way of proof." Naga-sune-hiko accordingly brought a single Heavenly-leathered-arrow of Nigi-haya-hi no Mikoto, and a foot-quiver,[88] and exhibited them respectfully to the Emperor. The Emperor examined them, and said:—"These are genuine." Then in his turn he showed to Naga-sune-hiko the single Heavenly-feathered-arrow and quiver which he wore. When Naga-sune-hiko saw the Heavenly token he became more and more embarrassed. But the murderous weapons were already prepared, and things were in such a state that he was unable to pause in his career. Therefore he adhered to his misguided scheme, and would not alter his purpose.

Nigi-haya-hi no Mikoto, knmving from the first that the Heavenly Deity had simply generously bestowed the Empire on the Heavenly Grandchild, and that in view of the perverse disposition of Naga-sune it would be useless to instruct him (III. 27.) in the relation of Heaven to Man,[89] put him to death. He then came with his army and made submission. The Emperor, who from the first had heard that Nigi-haya-hi no Mikoto had come down from Heaven, finding that he now had actually performed faithful service, accordingly praised him, and was gracious to him. He was the ancestor of the Mono no Be House.[90]

(B.C. 662.) The year Tsuchi no to Hitsuji, Spring, 2nd month, 20th day. The Emperor commanded his generals to exercise the troops. At this time there were Tsuchi-gumo[91] in three places, viz.:—The Tohe[92] of Nihiki at Tada no Oka-zaki[93] in the district of Sofu, the Kose Hofuri at Wani no Saka-moto,[94] and the Wi-Hofuri[95] at Hosomi no Naara no Oka-zaki. All of these, trusting to their valour, refused to present themselves at Court. The Emperor therefore sent detachments separately, and put them all to death. There were, moreover, Tsuchi-gumo at the village of Taka-wohari, whose appearance was as follows:—They had short bodies, and long arms and legs. They were of the same class as the pigmies. The Imperial troops wove nets of dolichos, which they flung over them and then slew (III. 28.) them. Wherefore the name of that village was changed to Katsuraki.[96] It is in the land of Ihare. Its ancient name was Kataru, or Katatachi. When our Imperial forces routed the enemy, a great army assembled and filled that country. Its name was accordingly changed to Ihare.[97]

Another account says that when the Emperor on a previous occasion tasted the food of the sacred jars, he moved forward his army on an expedition towards the West. At this time the eighty bandits of Katsuraki were encamped together there. A great battle with the Emperor followed, and they were at length destroyed by the Imperial army. Therefore that place was called the village of Ihare.[98] Again, the place where the Imperial troops made a warlike stand was called Takeda.[99] The place where he built a castle was named Kita.[100] Moreover, the place where the enemy fell in battle, their dead bodies prostrate, with their forearms for pillows, was called Tsura-maki-da.[101]

The Emperor, in Autumn, the 9th month of the previous year, secretly took clay of the Heavenly Mount Kagu, with which he made eighty platters, and thereafter performing abstinence in person, sacrificed to all the Gods. He was thereby at length enabled to establish the world[102] in peace. Therefore he called the place where the clay was taken Hani-yasu.[103]

(III. 29.) 3rd month, 7th day. The Emperor made an order,[104] saying:—"During the six years that our expedition against the East has lasted, owing to my reliance on the Majesty of Imperial Heaven, the wicked bands have met death. It is true that the frontier lands are still unpurified, and that a remnant of evil is still refractory. But in the region of the Central Land there is no more wind and dust. Truly we should make a vast and spacious capital, and plan it great and strong.[105]

At present things are in a crude and obscure condition, and the people's minds are unsophisticated. They roost in nests or dwell in caves.[106] Their manners are simply what is customary. Now if a great man were to establish laws, justice could not fail to flourish. And even if some gain should accrue to the people, in what way would this interfere with the Sage's[107] action? Moreover, it will be well to open up and clear the mountains and forests, and to construct a palace. Then I may (III. 30.) reverently assume the Precious Dignity, and so give peace to my good subjects. Above, I should then respond to the kindness of the Heavenly Powers in granting me the Kingdom, and below, I should extend the line of the Imperial descendants and foster rightmindedness. Thereafter the capital may be extended so as to embrace all the six cardinal points, and the eight cords may be covered so as to form a roof.[108] Will this not be well?

When I observe the Kashiha-bara[109] plain, which lies S.W. of Mount Unebi, it seems the Centre of the Land. I must set it in order."

Accordingly he in this month commanded officers to set about the construction of an Imperial Residence.

(B.C. 661.) Year Kanoye Saru, Autumn, 8th month, 16th day. The Emperor, intending to appoint a wife, sought afresh[110] children of noble families. Now there was a man who made representation to him, saying:—"There is a child who was (III. 31.) born to Koto-shiro-nushi no Kami by his union with Tama-kushi-hime, daughter of Mizo-kuhi-ni no Kami of Mishima. Her name is Hime-tatara-i-suzu-hime no Mikoto. She is a woman of remarkable beauty." The Emperor was rejoiced, and on the 24th day of the 9th month he received Hime-tatara-i-suzu-hime no Mikoto and made her his wife.

(B.C. 660.) Year Kanoto Tori, Spring, 1st month, 1st day. The Emperor assumed the Imperial Dignity in the Palace of Kashiha-bara. This year is reckoned the first year of his reign.[111] He honoured his wife by making her Empress. The children born to him by her were Kami-ya-wi-mimi no Mikoto and Kami-nunagaha mimi no Mikoto.

Therefore[112] there is an ancient saying in praise of this, as follows:—"In Kashiha-bara in Unebi, he mightily established his palace-pillars on the foundation of the bottom-rock, and (III. 32.) reared aloft the cross roof-timbers to the Plain of High Heaven.[113] The name of the Emperor who thus began to rule the Empire was Kami Yamato Ihare-biko Hohodemi."

On the day on which he first began the Heavenly institution, Michi no Omi no Mikoto, the ancestor of the Ohotomo House, accompanied by the Oho-kume Be, was enabled, by means of a secret device received from the Emperor, to use incantations and magic formulæ so as to dissipate evil influences. The use of magic formulæ had its origin from this.

(B.C. 659.) 2nd year, Spring, 2nd month, 2nd day. The Emperor ascertained merit and dispensed rewards. To Michi no Omi no

Shrine at Ise.

Shrine at Ise.

Mikoto he granted a site for a house in which to dwell at the village of Tsuki-zaka, thereby showing him special favour.

Moreover, he caused the Oho-kume to dwell at a place on the river-bank, west of Mount Unebi, now called Kume no mura.[114] Such was the origin of this name. Utsu-hiko was made (III. 33.) Miyakko of the land of Yamato. Moreover, he gave to Ukeshi the younger the village of Takeda, constituting him Agata-nushi[115] of Takeda. He was the ancestor of the Mohi-tori[116] of Uda. Shiki the younger, whose personal name was Kuro-haya, was made Agata-nushi of Shiki. Moreover, he appointed a man called Tsune to be Miyakko of the Land of Katsuraki. The Yata-garasu was also included in the ranks of those who received rewards. His descendants are the Agata-nushi of Katsurano and the Tonomori[117] Be.

(B.C. 657.) 4th year, Spring, 2nd month, 23rd day. The Emperor issued the following decree:—"The spirits of our Imperial ancestors reflecting their radiance down from Heaven, illuminate and (III. 34.) assist us. All our enemies have now been subdued, and there is peace within the seas. We ought to take advantage of this to perform sacrifice to the Heavenly Deities, and therewith develop filial duty."

He accordingly established spirit-terraces amongst the Tomi hills, which were called Kami-tsu-wono no Kaki-hara and Shimo-tsu-wono no Kaki-hara.[118] There he worshipped his Imperial ancestors, the Heavenly Deities.[119]

(B.C. 630.) 31st year, Summer, 4th month, 1st day. The Imperial palanquin[120] made a circuit, in the course of which the Emperor ascended the Hill Waki Kamu no Hotsuma. Here, having viewed the shape of the land on all sides, he said:—" Oh! what a beautiful country we have become possessed of! Though a blessed land of inner-tree-fibre,[121] yet it resembles a dragon-fly licking its hinder parts." From this it first received the name of Akitsu-shima.[122]

Of old, Izanagi no Miketo, in naming this country, said:—"Yamato is the Land of Ura-yasu:[123] it is the Land of Hoso-hoko no Chi-taru:[124] it is the Land of Shiwa-Kami-Ho-tsu-ma."[125]

(III. 35.)Afterwards Oho-namuchi no Oho-kami named it the Land of Tama-gaki no Uchi-tsu-kuni.[126]

Finally, when Nigi-haya-hi no Miketo soared across the Great Void in a Heaven-rock-boat, he espied this region and descended upon it. Therefore he gave it a name and called it Sora-mitsu-Yamato.[127]

(B.C. 619.) 42nd year, Spring, 1st month, 3rd day. He appointed Prince Kami-nunagaha-mimi no Miketo Prince Imperial.

(B.C. 585.) 76th year, Spring, 3rd month, 11th day. The Emperor, died in the palace of Kashiha-bara. His age was then 127.[128] The following year, Autumn, the 12th day of the 9th month, he was buried in the Misasagi[129] N.E. of Mount Unebi.

Ground plan of Misasagi.

Ground plan of Misasagi.

  1. Emperor is as near an equivalent as possible of the Chinese 天皇. Both are foreign words. The Japanese interlinear gloss is Sumera Mikoto "supreme majesty," sumera having the same root as suberu, "to unite as a whole"; hence, "to have general control of." See Satow, "Rituals," "T.A.S.J.," VII., ii., p. 113.

    Yamato, see above, note to p. 13.

    Ihare is the name of a district of Yamato; Hiko means prince.

    Jimmu (divine valour) is a posthumous name. These names for the earlier Mikados were invented in the reign of Kwammu (782-806), after the "Nihongi" was written, but it is necessary to mention them, as they are in universal use by Japanese writers.

    In this narrative we have probably a legendary echo of a real movement of population from Kiushiu eastwards to Yamato, at some time before the Christian epoch, but it is not safe to go further than this. The details are manifestly fictitious, some of them, as the quotations from Chinese books put into the mouth of Jimmu Tennō, demonstrably so.

    Granting for a moment that the narrative of the Conquest of Yamato by Jimmu Tennō is substantially true, the question arises, Of what race were the tribes whom he found there? I would suggest that they may have been the Southern Wa mentioned in the "Shan hai king'," a very ancient Chinese book, as being, along with the Northern Wa, subject to the kingdom of Yen. The Chinese in ancient times had a notion that Yamato lay to the south of Kiushiu. Yen, a kingdom of Northern China, had an independent existence from B.C. 1122 to B.C. 265. Chamberlain has pointed out that the ancient legends of Japan are connected with three distinct centres—Idzumo, Yamato, and Tsukushi, which is some indication that these places were also centres of governmental authority. The names given to the chieftains subdued by Jimmu Tennō are unmistakably Japanese, as are also those of the places which they inhabited. I cannot agree with Chamberlain in deriving Yamato, Ki, Shima, etc., from Aino words, when obvious Japanese explanations are available. There is another Yamato in Chikugo, where the Aino derivation is surely out of place. I have no desire, however, to dispute all his Aino derivations of place names in this part of Japan, and I think it very probable that the first Japanese who settled here drove out a population of Aino race.

  2. Primogeniture was evidently not recognized in Japan at the time this story was written.
  3. i.e. Kiushiu.
  4. This is in imitation of the great number of years ascribed to the reigns of the early Chinese monarchs.
  5. Shiho tsutsu no oji.
  6. i.e. for the further development of the Imperial power.
  7. The world is here the six quarters, N., S., E., W., Zenith, Nadir. This is, of course, Chinese, as indeed is this whole speech.
  8. Nigi-haya-hi means soft-swift-sun.
  9. The great year is the Chinese cycle of sixty years. This system of reckoning time is described in Legge's "Classics," Chalmers' "Essay in prolegomena to Shooking," "Japanese Chronological Tables," by E.M.S., Bramsen's "Chronological Tables," Mayers' "Chinese Manual," etc. It was not in use to record years before the Christian era even in China, and could hardly have been known in Japan before the introduction of writing in the 5th century, A.D. It is needless to add that such dates are, in this part of the "Nihongi," purely fictitious.
  10. The days of the month are throughout the "Nihongi" given in this clumsy fashion. I have not thought it necessary to follow the example, except in this one instance.
  11. The Quick-suck-gate or Bungo Channel, so called from its rapid tides.
  12. Rare-prince.
  13. Quercus cuspidata.
  14. Prince of shihi root.
  15. Usa is now a district (kōri in the province of Buzen. Tsukushi is used by old writers both for the whole island of Kiushiu and for the northern part of it.
  16. Or Kuni no miyakko, local hereditary nobles.
  17. Vide Ch. K., p. 130, and "Night of the Gods," p. 224, where a curious coincidence with an Irish legend is noted. "In Mailduin's voyage he came to an islarid called Aenchoss, that is One-foot, so called because it was supported by a single pillar in the middle." The "Kojiki" and a note to the "Nihongi" have for one pillar, "one foot." Possibly there is here a reminiscence of a nomadic tent life.
  18. Heavenly seed.
  19. i.e. house, or noble family.
  20. In Chikuzen.
  21. Including the present provinces of Bizen, Bittchiu, and Bingo.
  22. Or oars.
  23. Naniha is now a poetical name for Ohosaka. The current referred to is no doubt the tide on the bar at the river-mouth, a most dangerous place for small craft in bad weather.
  24. Pronounced Kawachi
  25. Yamato.
  26. Prince Longshanks. Naga-sune is the name of a place.
  27. Shield-port or shield-ferry.
  28. Mother-tree-village.
  29. Port Man (vir).
  30. Tohe seems to have been a word for chieftain.
  31. Or it may be of the Deity of Kumano.
  32. i.e. the blade-holder.
  33. Toko-yo no Kuni.
  34. The Thunder-God.
  35. i.e. point upwards.
  36. Yata-garasu. The Chinese characters used here mean "The crow with a head eight feet long." But this is a case where we must put aside the Chinese characters, and attend solely to the Japanese word which they are meant to represent. This is undoubtedly yata-garasu, as we know from the "Kojiki" and from the traditional Kana rendering. Much has been written about this bird by Motowori and other Shintō scholars, which is, I venture to think, wholly wide of the mark. The clue to its meaning is afforded by the "Wamiō- shō," a Chinese-Japanese vocabulary of the tenth century, which says, on the authority of the "Shiki," still more ancient commentaries on the "Nihongi," that the Yang-wu or Sun-crow is in Japanese yata-garasu.
    Sun-crow.

    Sun-crow.

    The Yang-wu is a bird with three claws, and of a red colour, which, according to Chinese myth, inhabits the sun. If we accept this identification, the meaning of the epithet yata becomes clear. It means eight hands, or, as ya in ancient Japanese meant also many or several, many hands, a sufficiently accurate description for popular myth of the Yang-wu with its three claws. The late M. Terrien de La-Couperie, in his "Western Origin of Early Chinese Civilization," says that "the first allusion to the three-legged crow supposed to roost in the sun occurs in the "Li Sao" of Kiü-yuen, the poet of Ts'u, 314 B.C. in China. A three-legged bird in various forms was figured on coins of Pamphylia and Lycia of older times. Comte Goblet d'Alviella has reproduced some of them in his interesting work on "La Migration des Symboles," 1891, p. 222. See a paper on the Hi no maru in "T.A.S.J.," Vol. XXII., p. 27, and Ch. K., p. 136. The guidance of conquerors or colonists to their destination by a supernatural bird or beast is a familiar feature of old-world story. See Lang, "Custom and Myth," II, 71.

  37. The sovereignty.
  38. Hi means sun; Omi, minister.
  39. Oho-tomo means "great companion." The Oho-tomo were the Imperial guards.
  40. Oho-kume, as Chamberlain points out, probably means simply a great force. But when the "Kojiki" and "Nihongi" were written, this meaning was forgotten, and it was supposed to be a man's name.
  41. Ugatsu means to pierce, and the name was given because they penetrated the mountains to this place. All these derivations are very fanciful.
  42. The Minister of the Road.
  43. The bloody plain of Uda.
  44. We might be inclined to infer from this (what was probably the case) that the Ancient Japanese lived more on animal food than their descendants in modern times. But there is much room for suspicion that this statement is nothing more than a reminiscence of a passage in a history of the Later Han dynasty of China, which speaks of beef and sake being presented to the Emperor Kwang Wu Ti, who came to the throne A.D. 25.
  45. Ki in the first line of this poem means probably both tree and castle. The words are put into the mouth of Ukeshi the Elder, who found a whale (the Emperor) in his springe instead of the harmless woodcock he expected. The wild boar is now called the yama-kujira or mountain-whale, and is perhaps the animal intended here.


    I confess that I can make no satisfactory sense of the remainder of this poem. The version given by Chamberlain (Ch. K., p. 140), following Moribe, is as good as any, but it seems to me very conjectural. It should be noted, however, that this part of the poem contains an indication of the polygamous customs of the Japanese at this time in the use of two words signifying respectively elder wife (konami) and younger wife (uhanari). The "Nihongi" omits the interjectional refrain given in the "Kojiki."

  46. Kume means no doubt "soldier" in this passage.
  47. Beating time is perhaps meant.
  48. Well-brightness.
  49. Rock-push-divide.
  50. Kuzu were local chiefs. They are mentioned again in Ojin's reign.
  51. Food-holder or purveyor.
  52. U-kahi means cormorant-keepers. Fishing with cormorants is still practised in Japan.
  53. Land-view.
  54. Women's acclivity.
  55. Men's acclivity. The terms Me-zaka and Wo-zaka are now applied to two roads or stairs leading up to the same place, one of which (the women's) is less precipitous than the other.
  56. Sumi-zaka means charcoal acclivity.
  57. Shiki the Elder.
  58. Lit. Robber-slaves or prisoners.
  59. A shrine, like a templum, might be merely a consecrated plot of ground. Kagu-yama is a mountain in Yamato.
  60. Idzube. The platters were for rice, the jars for sake. See Satow's "Rituals" in "J.A.S.T.,": VII, ii. p. 109.
  61. Akagane means red metal, i.e. copper, but the text is doubtful. The "Kiujiki" has a different reading.
  62. See above, p. 111.
  63. The reader who wishes to realize what the ancient pottery of Japan was like should visit the British Museum and inspect the Gowland collection. There is also a collection in the Uyeno Museum in Tokio. Ninagawa Noritane's work entitled "Kwan-ko-dzu-setsu" gives very good drawings of ancient pottery. The common Japanese name for this ware is Giōgi-yaki, Giōgi being the name of a Buddhist priest who lived 670-749, and who is credited with the invention of the potter's wheel. But the wheel was certainly known in Japan long before his time, This very passage contains an evidence of this fact. Both the Chinese characters and the Japanese word ta-kujiri given in the ancient commentary for the small jars here mentioned mean "hand-made," leading to the conclusion that this was exceptional. Indeed, nearly all the pottery of the Nihongi period which has come down to us is wheel-made.
  64. Foam on water is a favourite emblem of the transitoriness of human life.
  65. Ame (sweetness) is usually made of millet, malted, and is nearly identical in composition with what our chemists call "malt extract." It is a favourite sweetmeat in the far East.
  66. Cf. Judges vi. 36.
  67. Podocarpus macrophylla.
  68. A note says that they were set up in the courtyard.
  69. The Mikado deputed most of his priestly functions to the Nakatomi.
  70. The ancient commentary gives the Japanese word utsushi, i.e. manifest, visible. This suggests that there was a distinction between esoteric and exoteric in the Shintō rites of this time.
  71. Idzu-hime means dread or sacred princess. The "Tsūshō" commentator says that the persons entrusted with this function were usually women, as may be seen in the case of the priestesses of lse, Kamo, and Kasuga. But as no women were available at this time, Michi-no-Omi was given a feminine title for the occasion.
  72. The interlinear Kana has tatematsuri, i.e. offered. The reference is to the feast of Nihiname described above. .See p. 86.
  73. The shitadami is a small shell of the turbinidæ class. Its introduction here does not seem very appropriate. Perhaps the meaning is "in number like the turbinidæ." Cf. Ch. K., p. 143. The "Shukai" editor thinks that the shitadami represent the bandits. The great rock is, perhaps, the Miyōto-seki at Futami, so often represented in Japanese pictures. See Anderson's Catalogue, p. 320, or Satow and Hawes' Handbook, p. 150.
  74. In Yamato. To be distinguished from the city of Ohosaka.
  75. The muro-ya is a pit-dwelling (see above, p. 71. The poem speaks of mallet-heads, but the text which follows of mallet-headed swords. I have little doubt that the former is the true phrase, and that stone weapons are referred to. The stone-mallets are unmistakably the weapons figured above (p. 87). The mallet-heads and stone-mallets are perhaps the same thing under different names.
  76. That is, none were left alive.
  77. The Yemishi are the Ainos, or more correctly Ainus, of whom a remnant of some ten thousand souls now inhabit the island of Yezo. When the "Nihongi" was written they still occupied a large part of the main island of Japan, and in earlier times, as we gather from the evidence of place-names (See Chamberlain's Essay published by the Imperial University), they extended west even of Yamato. But it would not be safe to draw any conclusion from their mention in this poem. The writer of the "Nihongi" is in the habit of fitting ancient poetry into his narrative in a very arbitrary manner. The "Kojiki" omits it. Yemishi or Yebisu is also applied to barbarous tribes generally, and this is probably its primary meaning. It ought, perhaps, to be added to the group of onomatopoetic words ending in su or ski, mentioned at p. 65, the b or m having the same function as these letters in the words barbarian, babble, murmur, etc. See Index—Yemishi.
  78. Nothing could well be more primitive than this. The metre is irregular, and, like all Japanese poetry, there is no rhyme, quantity or regular recurrence of accent to distinguish it from prose.
  79. Princes.
  80. Or trays, made of the leaves of Kashiha, a kind of evergreen oak.
  81. The charcoal acclivity.
  82. The metre is nearly regular naga-uta, which consists of alternate lines of five and seven syllables, with an additional line of seven syllables at the end. The cormorant-keepers were appealed to to supply fish for the army's food.
  83. Kite-village.
  84. "As the taste of ginger remains in the mouth for a long time after it is eaten, so do my feelings of resentment for my brother's death remain present to my mind. I cannot forget it, so let us revenge it by destroying the enemy utterly."
    The word for shoots is me, which also means females. This is no doubt intentional. Naga-sune-hiko is to be destroyed with all his family.
  85. Three-cook-house-princess.
  86. Wealth-house.
  87. Sweet-true-hand.
  88. A foot soldier's quiver is meant.
  89. i.e. of Lord and Vassal.
  90. The Mononobe were soldiers. Here, however, the hereditary chiefs only are meant, the Mononobe no Muraji.
  91. The Tsuchi-gumo are mentioned in four or five passages of the "Nihongi" and one passage of the "Kojiki," all of which belong to the highly legendary period of Japanese history. We gather from them that the Tsuchi-gumo were usually, though not invariably, outlaws who defied the Imperial authority. They had Japanese names, and inhabited such long-settled parts of Japan as Yamato, Harima, and even Kiushiu. There is nothing, if we put aside the mention of Yemishi at p. 124, to suggest that they were not of Japanese race. The "short bodies," etc., of the "Nihongi" description I take to be nothing more than a product of the popular imagination working on the hint contained in the name Tsuchi-gumo, which is literally "earth spider." Some etymologists prefer the derivation which connects kumo (or gumo) with komori, to hide, thus making tsuchi-gumo the "earth-hiders." But this is probably a distinction without a difference, these two words containing the same root, and the animal which we call the spider, i.e. spinner, being in Japan termed the "hider," an epithet of which no one who has observed its habits will dispute the appropriateness. An ancient Japanese book says Tsuchi-gumo is a mere nickname, to be compared therefore with our clod-hopper or bog-trotter.

    In one of the passages above referred to, the Tsuchi-gumo are described as inhabiting a rock-cave, but in others they are said to live in muro or pit-dwellings, and this is obviously the origin of the name.

    There are several notices of Tsuchi-gumo in the ancient "Fudoki," or "County Histories," but they are probably mere echoes of the older legends related in the "Nihongi" and "Kojiki," and in any case they add nothing of importance to our information about them. It may be noted, however, that Hiuga and Higo are mentioned in them as habitats of bands of these outlaws.

    An amusing expansion by a modern writer of the spider conception of the Tsuchi-gumo will be found at p. 140 of Anderson's B. M. Catalogue. See also Ch. K., p. 141, and Index.

    A little work called "Kek-kio-kō," in a collection entitled "Haku-butsu-sō-sho," published by the Japanese Imperial Museum, has brought together all the available information respecting Muro and Tsuchi-gumo.

  92. Chiefs.
  93. Oka-zaki means hill-spur, and is perhaps to be so understood here, and not as a proper name.
  94. Saka-moto (acclivity bottom) may be also a description and not a proper name.
  95. Hofuri is a kind of Shintō priest. It is unlikely that persons not of Japanese race should be so called.
  96. Dolichos Castle.
  97. The interlinear Kana gives for "fill," ihameri, a word which I do not know.
  98. The "original commentary" says that the japanese word corresponding to the Chinese characters rendered "encamp" is ihami, a word not otherwise known to me.
  99. Brave-field.
  100. Castle-field.
  101. Face-pillow-field.
  102. "World" is not quite a merely rhetorical expression for the Empire of Japan. Hirata justifies Hideyoshi's invasion of Corea on the grounds that the sovereigns of Japan are de jure lords of the whole earth.
  103. Clay-easy or clay-peace.
  104. This whole speech is thoroughly Chinese in every respect, and it is preposterous to put it in the mouth of an Emperor who is supposed to have lived more than a thousand years before the introduction of Chinese learning into Japan. The strange thing is that it is necessary to make this remark. Yet there are still writers who regard this part of the "Nihongi" as historical.
  105. The Kana rendering is mi-araka, "an august shrine" or "an august palace." This would imply a different reading, 社 instead of 壯.
  106. The reader must not take this as any evidence of the manners and customs of the Ancient Japanese. It is simply a phrase suggested by the author's Chinese studies.
  107. Meaning the Emperor's action.
  108. The character for roof 宇 also means the universe. The eight cords, or measuring tapes, simply mean "everywhere."
  109. Kashiha is an evergreen oak, the Quercus dentara. Hara means plain. This afterwards became a proper name. Here it is perhaps simply a description.
  110. He had already a consort, but she was apparently not considered a wife.
  111. Japanese History is often said to begin with this year. The fact is that nothing which really deserves the name of history existed for nearly a thousand years more. This date is very much like that given for the foundation of Rome by Romulus, B.C. 753. The very calendar by which the reckoning was made was not invented or known in Japan until many centuries after. See Bramsen's "Chronological Tables," and "Early Japanese History" in "T.A.S.J."
  112. As above remarked, the author often introduces this word without much reason.
  113. It was a mark of Shrines or Imperial Palaces to have the rafters at each end of the roof projecting upwards for several feet beyond the roof-tree, as in the illustration. These were called Chigi. See Ch. K., p. 311. Shintō temples at the present day are thus distinguished. What would those Japanese Euhemerists who think Takama ga hara (the Plain of High Heaven) to be the name of a country, make of this passage?
  114. i.e. the village of the kume or soldiers.
  115. Ruler of district.
  116. The Mohi-tori, afterwards mondori or mondo, were originally the officials charged with the water supply of the Palace. The designation Mondo no Kami remained until quite recent times.
  117. Tonomori, guardian of a palace or shrine.
  118. These names mean respectively the Persimmon plain of Upper Little-moor and the Persimmon plain of Lower Little-moor. The "spirit terraces" (a Chinese phrase) seems meant for the plots of ground consecrated for Shintō worship. See above, p. 81.
  119. The union of the offices of priest and king is to be noted all through this narrative.
  120. It is considered respectful to speak of the Imperial car or palanquin when the Emperor himself is meant.
  121. The inner-tree-fibre is the inner bark of the paper mulberry, used for weaving into cloth. It is here an ornamental epithet.
  122. The real meaning of Aki-tsu-shima is the "region of harvests." See above, p. 13. It has nothing to do with akitsu, the dragon-fly. This insect may often be seen with its tail touching its mouth, so that its body forms a ring. The appearance of the province of Yamato, which is a plain surrounded by a ring of mountains, suggested the sitnile in the text. Later historians have converted this into a comparison of Japan to a dragon-fly with outstretched wings.
  123. Bay-easy. Explained to mean "which has peace within its coasts."
  124. Slender-spears-thousand-good. "Well supplied with weapons," say the commentators.
  125. Rock-ring-upper-pre-eminent-true (land).
  126. Jewel-fence-within-land.
  127. Sky-saw-Yamato. But Sora-mitsu really means "that fills the sky," i.e. that reaches to the farthest horizon. These names are merely poetical inventions. They were never in actual use.
  128. The "Kojiki" makes him 137.
  129. The Misasagi are still to be seen in large numbers in Japan, especially in the Gokinai or five metropolitan provinces. They are particularly numerous in Kahachi and Yamato.

    In the most ancient times, say the Japanese antiquarians, the Misasagi or tombs of the Mikados were simple mounds. At some unknown period, however, perhaps a few centuries before the Christian epoch, a highly specialized form of tumulus came into use for this purpose, and continued for several hundreds of years without much change. It consists of two mounds, one having a circular, the other a triangular base, merging into each other after the manner shown in the illustration, the whole being surrounded by a moat, or sometimes by two concentric moats with a narrow strip of land between. The interment took place on the circular mound, the other probably serving as a platform on which were performed the rites in honour of the deceased. Seen from the side the appearance is that of a saddle-hill, the circular mound being somewhat higher than the other. There are sometimes two smaller mounds at the base of the larger ones, filling up the angle where they meet. The slope of the tumulus is not regular, but is broken up by terraces, on which are placed in rows, a few inches apart, curious cylinders made of baked clay shaped in a mould, and measuring from 1 to 2 feet in height, and from 6 to 14 inches in diameter. They are buried in the earth, their upper rims being just level with the surface.

    In some, perhaps in most cases, the Misasagi contains a large vault of great unhewn stones without mortar. The walls of the vault converge gradually towards the top, which is roofed in by enormous slabs of stone weighing many tons each. The entrance was by means of a gallery roofed with similar stones.

    Sarcophagi of stone or pottery have been found in some Misasagi.

    The above description is quoted from an article by the present writer in Chamberlain's "Things Japanese." I would ask travellers in China and Corea to compare with it any ancient tumuli which they may discover in those countries.

    I learn from Mr. W. Gowland, who has visited the spot recognized officially as the Misasagi of Jimmu Tennō, that there are here two enclosures, the inner of which contains two low mounds each about 18 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height. A Chokushi or Imperial Envoy visits this Misasagi annually on the 3rd April with offerings of products of mountain, river, and sea, viz., tahi, carp, sea-weed, salt, water, sake, mochi (a preparation of rice), warabi (fern flour?), pheasants and wild ducks.

    The site of Jimmu's tomb is a question even with Japanese antiquarles, and European. scholars may be pardoned if they are somewhat sceptical about it. Vide "San-rio-shi" (山陵志), p. 9.