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

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The Emperor Mimaki-iri-biko-i-niye was the second child of the Emperor Waka-yamato-neko-hiko-oho-hi-hi. His mother's name was Ika-shiko-me, daughter of Oho-he-so-ki no Mikoto, the ancestor of the Mononobe House.[2]

The Emperor was created Prince Imperial at the age of nineteen. He was of a quick intelligence, and in his boyhood was fond of manly devices. When he grew up to manhood, he was of wide culture and circumspect in his behaviour. He honoured profoundly the Gods of Heaven and Earth. His mind was constantly directed to the management of the Celestial Institution.[3]

The Emperor Waka-yamato-neko-hiko-oho-hihi died in Summer, the 4th month of the 60th year of his reign.

B.C. 97. 1st year, Spring, 1st month, 13th day. The Prince Imperial assumed the Imperial Dignity. He honoured the Empress with the title of Grand Empress.

2nd month, 16th day. Mimaki-hime was appointed Empress. Before this she had given birth to the Emperor Iku-me-iri-hiko-i-sachi, Kuni-kata-hime no Mikoto, Chichi-tsuku Yamato-hime no Mikoto, Yamato-hiko no Mikoto, and Ika-tsuru-hiko (V. 2.) no Mikoto. By a concubine, Tohotsu Ayume ma-kuwashi-hime, daughter of Araka, the Tohe of the Land of Kiï, he had Toyo-suki-iri-hiko no Mikoto, and a subordinate concubine named Ohari no Oho-ama.

One version has:—"Ya-saka-furu-ama-irohe, daughter of Oho-umi no-Sukune."

bore to him Ya-saka-iri-hiko no Mikoto, Nunaki-iri-bime no Mikoto, and Toho-chi-ni-iri-bime no Mikoto.

This year was the year Kinoye Saru of the cycle.

B.C. 95. 3rd year, Autumn, 9th month. The capital was removed to Shiki. It was called the Palace of Midzu-gaki.

B.C. 94. 4th year, Winter, 10th month, 13th day. The Emperor issued a decree, saying:—"When our Imperial ancestors gloriously assumed the Supreme Rank, was it for the benefit of themselves alone? It was doubtless in order that they might thereby shepherd men and spirits,[4] and regulate the Empire. Therefore it was that from generation to generation they were able to extend their unfathomable merit, and in their day to spread abroad their perfect virtue.

We, having now received at their hands the mighty inheritance, lovingly nourish our good subjects. In so doing, let us follow obediently in the footsteps of our Imperial ancestors, and long preserve the unbounded felicity. And ye too, Our (V. 3.) Ministers and functionaries, should you not co-operate with all loyalty in giving peace to the Empire?"[5]

B.C. 93. 5th year. There was much pestilence throughout the country, and more than one half the people died.

B.C. 92. 6th year. The people took to vagabondage, and there was rebellion, the violence of which was such that by worth alone it could not be assuaged.[6]

Therefore, rising early in the morning and being full of awe until the evening, the Emperor requested punishment[7] of the Gods of Heaven and Earth.

Before this the two Gods Ama-terasu no Oho-kami and Yamato no Oho-kuni-dama[8] were worshipped together within the Emperor's Great Hall. He dreaded, however, the power of these Gods, and did not feel secure in their dwelling together. Therefore he entrusted Ama-terasu no Oho-kami to Toyo-suki-iri-bime no Mikoto to be worshipped at the village of Kasanuhi in Yamato, where he established the sacred enclosure (V. 4.) of Shiki. Moreover, he entrusted Yamato-oho-kuni-dama no Kami to Nunaki-iri-bime no Mikoto to be worshipped. But Nunaki-iri-bime no Mikoto was bald and lean, and therefore unfit to perform the rites of worship.

B.C. 91. 7th year, Spring, 2nd month, 15th day. The Emperor decreed as follows:—"Of old our Imperial ancestors greatly extended the vast foundation, and under the later Emperors the institution became more and more exalted. The royal influence spread and flourished. But now that it has devolved upon us, numerous calamities have unexpectedly befallen it. It is to be feared that from the absence of good Government in the Court, We have incurred the blame of the Gods of Heaven and Earth. Would it not be well to commit the matter to the Sacred Tortoise[9] and thereby ascertain the cause of the calamity?"

Accordingly, the Emperor hereupon proceeded to the plain of Kami-asachi, where he assembled the 80 myriads of Deities, and inquired of them by means of divination. At this time the Gods inspired Yamato-to-to-hi-momoso-hime no Mikoto to say as follows:—"Why is the Emperor grieved at the disordered state of the country? If he duly did us reverent worship it would assuredly become pacified of itself." The Emperor inquired, (V. 5.) saying:—"What God is it that thus instructs me?" The answer was:—"I am the God who dwells within the borders of the land of Yamato, and my name is Oho-mono-nushi no Kami."

Now, having obtained this divine message, the Emperor worshipped as he was told, but without effect. Then, having bathed and practised abstinence, and purified the interior of the Hall, he prayed, saying:—"Is Our observance of due ceremonies towards the Gods not yet complete? This non-acceptance is cruel. We pray that We may be further instructed in a dream, and the divine favour thereby consummated."

That night he had a dream. A man of noble appearance stood opposite to him in the door of the hall, and, announcing himself as Oho-mono-nushi no Kami, said:—"Let the Emperor grieve no more for the disorder of the country. This is my will. If thou wilt cause me to be worshipped by my child, Oho-tata-neko, then will there be peace at once. Moreover the lands beyond the sea will of their own accord render submission."

Autumn, 8th month, 7th day. Yamato-to-to-kami-asachi-hara-ma-guhashi-hine, Oho-mina-kuchi-no Sukune, the ancestor of the Hodzumi no Omi, and the Kimi of Wo-umi in Ise had all three the same dream, which they reported to the Emperor, saying:—"Last night we had a dream in which there appeared a man of noble aspect, who admonished us, saying:—'Let Oho-tata-neko no Mikoto be appointed master of the (V. 6.) worship of Oho-mono-nushi-no-oho-kami, and let Ichi-shi no Naga-ochi be appointed master of the worship of Yamato no Oho-kuni-dama no Kami. Then assuredly the Empire will have profound peace.' "

The Emperor, when he learned the words of the dream, was more and more delighted in his heart. By a proclamation to the Empire he sought for Oho-tata-neko, who was accordingly found in the village of Suye, in the district of Chinu,[10] and sent to the Emperor, who forthwith proceeded in person to the plain of Kami-asachi, and assembled all the Princes and Ministers, and the eighty Be. He then inquired of Oho-tata-neko, saying:—"Whose child art thou?" He answered and said:—"My father's name is Oho-mono-nushi no Oho-kami. My mother's name is Ikudama-yori-bime, daughter of Suye-tsu mimi."

Also called Kushi-hi-kata-ame-hi-kata, daughter of Take-chinu-tsumi.

The Emperor said:—"Now we shall be prosperous." So he ascertained by divination that it would be lucky to send Ika-shiko-wo to distribute offerings to the Gods. He also divined that it would be unlucky to take advantage of this opportunity to worship other Gods.[11]

11th month, 8th day.[12] The Emperor took the articles[13] for the worship of the Gods which he ordered Ika-shiko-wo to have made by the hands of the eighty Mononobe, and appointed Oho-tata-neko Master of the worship of Oho-mono-nushi no Oho-kami. Moreover he made Nagaochi Master of the worship of Yamato no Oho-kuni-dama no Kami.

After that, he divined that it would be lucky to worship the other Gods. So he took the opportunity of separately worshipping the assemblage, of eighty myriads of Deities. He also settled which were to be Heavenly shrines and which Earthly shrines, and allotted land and houses for the service of the Gods. Thereupon the pestilence first ceased; the country at length had peace, the five kinds of grain were produced, and the peasantry enjoyed abundance.

B.C. 90. 8th year, Summer, 4th month, 6th day. A man of the village of Takahashi, named Ikuhi, was appointed Brewer to the Great Deity.

Winter, 12th month, 20th day. The Emperor caused Oho-tata-neko to worship the Great Deity. On this day, Ikuhi, in person, presented to the Emperor sacred sake, with a song, as follows:—

This sacred sake
Is not my sacred sake:
'Tis sacred sake brewed
By Oho-mono-nushi,
Of Yamato,
How long ago!
How long ago![14]

Having thus sung, they feasted in the Shrine of the God. As soon as the feast was over, the various high officials sang as follows:—

(V. 8.) 

The Hall of Miwa
(Of sweet sake fame),
Even its morning door
We would go forth from—
The door of the Hall of Miwa.

Hereupon the Emperor sang as follows:—

The Hall of Miwa
(Of sweet sake fame),
Even its morning-door
I would push open—
The door of the Hall of Miwa.[15]

So the door of the Shrine of the God was thrown open, and the Emperor proceeded on his way.

He who was called Oho-tata-neko was the first ancestor of the Kimi of Miwa.

B.C. 89. 9th year, Spring, 3rd month, 15th day. The Emperor had a dream in which a divine person appeared to him and instructed him, saying:—"Take eight red shields and eight red spears and do worship to the God of Sumi-zaka. Take moreover eight black shields and eight black spears and do worship to the God of Oho-zaka."

Summer, 4th month, 16th day. In accordance with the instruction he had received in the dream, he worshipped the Gods of Sumi-zaka and Oho-zaka.[16]

B.C. 88. 10th year, Autumn, 7th month, 24th day. He proclaimed to the company of Ministers, saying:—"For the guidance of the people, the chief thing is education. Now that I have performed due rites to the Gods of Heaven and Earth, all calamity has become spent. The distant savages, however, do not receive our calendar because they are yet unaccustomed to (V. 9.) the civilizing influences of our rule. We will, therefore, select some of our company of Ministers and despatch them to the four quarters, so that they may cause our Will to be known."

9th month, 9th day. The Emperor sent Oho-hiko no Mikoto to the northern region, he sent Takenu-kaha wake to the Eastern Sea,[17] he sent Kibi[18]-tsu-hiko to the Western road, he sent Tamba no chi-nushi no Mikoto to Tamba. On this occasion he addressed them, saying:—"If there be any who do not receive our instructions, prepare war and smite them." Having said so, he granted them all alike seals and ribbons,[19] and appointed them generals.

27th day. Oho-hiko no Mikoto arrived at the top of the Wani acclivity. Now there was there a maiden who sang as follows:—

One version has:—"Oho-hiko-no Mikoto arrived at the Hira-zaka acclivity, in Yamashiro. Now there was by the road-side a young woman who sang as follows:"—

Ah! Prince Mimaki-iri!
Unaware that some are stealthily
Preparing to cut
The thread of thine own life,
Thou amusest thyself like a lady!

(V. 10.) Another version is:—

Unaware that some are preparing
To slay thee,
On the watch
At the great gate,
Thou amusest thyself like a lady![20]

Wondering at this, Oho-hiko inquired of the maiden, saying:—"What are these words that thou sayest?" She answered and said:—"I was saying nothing: I was only singing." So she sang over again the above song, and suddenly disappeared. Oho-hiko accordingly returned and reported these circumstances to the Emperor. Upon this Yamato-toto-hi momo so bime no Mikoto, the Emperor's aunt by the father's side, a shrewd and intelligent person, who could foresee the future, understood what was portended by this song, and told the Emperor that it was a sign that Take-hani-yasu-hiko[21] was about to plot treason against him. "I have heard," she said, "that Ata-bime, Take-hani-yasu-hiko's wife, came secretly and took earth from Mount Kako[22] in Yamato, which she wrapped in her (V. 11.) neckerchief and prayed, saying:—'This earth represents the Land of Yamato,' and turned it upside down. By this I know that there will be troubles. If thou dost not speedily take measures, it will assuredly be too late." Hereupon he recalled all the generals and consulted with them. No long time after, Take-hani-yasu-hiko and his wife Ata-bime conspired to revolt, and arrived suddenly with an army which they had raised. They came each by different roads, the husband by way of Yamashiro, the wife by Oho-saka. They intended to join their forces and attack the capital. Then the Emperor sent Isaseri-hiko no Mikoto to attack the force led by Ata-bime. He accordingly intercepted it at Oho-saka and put it all to a great rout. Ata-bime was killed, and her troops were all slain. Afterwards he sent Oho-hiko and Hiko-kuni-fuku, the ancestor of the Wani no Omi, towards Yamashiro to attack Take-hani-yasu. Here they took sacred jars and planted them at the top of the acclivity of Takasuki in Wani.[23] Then they advanced with their best troops and ascended Mount Nara and occupied it. Now when the Imperial forces were encamping, they trod level the herbs and trees, whence that mountain was given the (V. 12.) name of Mount Nara.[24] Then abandoning Mount Nara, they proceeded as far as the River Wakara. Hani-yasu-hiko was encamped on both sides of the river; and the two armies challenged each other. Therefore the men of that time changed the name of the river, and called it the River Idomi,[25] which is now corrupted into Idzumi.

Hani-yasu-hiko, standing on the bank of this river, inquired of Hiko-kuni-fuku, saying:—"Why hast thou raised an army and come hither?" He answered and said:—"Thou, in opposition to Heaven, and regardless of right, dost intend to overturn the Royal chamber.[26] Therefore I have raised a loyal army to punish thy revolt. This is the Emperor's command." Hereupon there was a struggle who should shoot first. Hani-yasu-hiko shot first at Hiko-kuni-fuku, but missed him. Then Hiko-kuni-fuku aimed at Hani-yasu-hiko, hit him in the breast, and killed him. His troops lost courage and retreated. They were consequently pursued and driven in rout to the north of the river. More than half had their heads cut off, and of dead bodies there was a plentiful overflow. Therefore that place was named Hafu-sono.[27]

Again the troops fled in fear and their excrements were voided on their breeches. So they took off their armour and ran. Knowing that they could not escape, they bowed their heads to the ground, and said, "Our Lord." Therefore the men of that time called the place where the armour was taken off "Ka-wara,"[28] and the place where the breeches were defiled they called Kuso-bakama[29] It is now called Kusuba, which is a corruption of this word.

(V. 13.) Moreover the place where they bowed their heads was called A-gimi.[30]

After this Yamato-toto-hi-momo-so-bime no Mikoto became the wife of Oho-mono-nushi no Kami. This God, however, was never seen in the day-time, but came at night. Yamato-toto-hime no Mikoto said to her husband:—"As my Lord is never seen in the day-time, I am unable to view his august countenance distinctly; I beseech him therefore to delay a while, that in the morning I may look upon the majesty of his beauty." The Great God answered and said:—"What thou sayest is clearly right. To-morrow morning I will enter thy toilet-case and stay there. I pray thee be not alarmed at my form." Yamato-toto-hime no Mikoto wondered secretly in her heart at this. Waiting until daybreak, she looked into her toilet-case. There was there a beautiful little snake,[31] of the length and thickness of the cord of a garment. Thereupon she was frightened, and uttered an exclamation. The Great God was ashamed, and changing suddenly into human form, spake to his wife, and said:—"Thou didst not contain thyself, but hast caused me shame: I will in my turn put thee to shame." So treading the Great Void, he ascended to Mount Mimoro. Hereupon Yamato-toto-hime no Mikoto looked up and had remorse. She flopped down on a seat and with a chopstick stabbed herself in the pudenda so that she died. She was buried at Oho-chi. Therefore the men of that time called her tomb the (V. 14.) Hashi no haka.[32] This tomb was made by men in the day-time, and by Gods at night. It was built of stones carried from Mount Oho-saka. Now the people standing close to each other passed the stones from hand to hand, and thus transported them from the mountain to the tomb. The men of that time made a song about this, saying:—

If one passed from hand to hand
The rocks
Built up
On Oho-saka,[33]
How hard 'twould be to send them![34]

Winter, 10th month, 1st day. The Emperor gave command to his Ministers, saying:—"The rebels have now all yielded themselves to execution and there is peace in the home district.[35] But the savage tribes abroad[36] continue to be tumultuous. Let the generals of the four roads now make haste to set out." On the 22nd day, the four generals set out on their journeys simultaneously.

B.C. 87. 11th year, Summer, 4th month, 28th day. The generals of the four roads reported to the Emperor the circumstances of their pacification of the savages. This year strange tribes came in great numbers and there was tranquillity throughout the land.

B.C. 86. 12th year, Spring, 3rd month, 11th day. The following decree was issued:—"Ever since we received the Celestial Dignity and undertook the guardianship of the ancestral shrines, Our light has been subject to obscuration, and Our influence has been wanting in placidity. Consequently there has been disaccord in the action of the male and female principles of nature, heat and cold have mixed their due order, epidemic disease has been rife, and calamities have befallen (V. 15.) the people. But now in order to be absolved from Our offences and to rectify Our errors, we have reverently worshipped the Gods of Heaven and Earth. We have also dispensed Our instructions and thus pacified the savage tribes, and by force of arms have chastised those who refused submission. In this way authority has been maintained, while below there are no retired people.[37] Education[38] is widespread; the multitude take delight in their industries;[39] strange tribes come employing several interpreters; the countries beyond the sea offer allegiance. At this time We think it fit to make a new recension of the people, and to acquaint them with grades of seniority, and the order of forced labour."

Autumn, 9th month, 16th day. A census of the people was begun and taxes were imposed anew. These are called the men's bow-end tax and the women's finger-end tax.[40] Therefore the Gods of Heaven and Earth were harmonious. The wind and rain came in their season, the hundred kinds of grain formed duly. Families did not become extinct, population was sufficient. Profound peace prevailed in the Empire. Therefore he received the title of "The Emperor, the august founder of the country."

B.C. 81. (V. 16.) 17th year, Autumn, 7th month, 1st day. The following decree was issued:—

"Ships are of cardinal importance to the Empire. At present the people of the coast, not having ships, suffer grievously by land-transport. Therefore, let every province be caused to have ships built."

Winter, 10th month. The building of ships was begun.

B.C. 50. 48th year, Spring, 1st month, 10th day. The Emperor gave command to Toyoki no Mikoto and Ikume no Mikoto, saying:—"Ye, my two children, are alike in Our affection, and We know not which of you to make Our successor. Do each of you dream, and We will form an augury from your dreams." Hereupon the two princes, having received this command, performed their ablutions and prayed. In their sleep each of them had a dream. The next dawn the elder brother, Toyoki no Mikoto, reported to the Emperor the story of his dream, saying:—"I myself ascended Mount Mimoro, and turning to the East, eight times I flourished a spear, and eight times dealt blows with a sword."

The younger brother, Ikume no Mikoto, reported the story of his dream, saying:—"I myself ascended to the summit of Mount Mimoro, and stretched a cord to the four quarters with which to drive away the sparrows which fed upon the grain."

The Emperor compared the dreams, and spake to his two sons, saying:—"The elder of you turned to the East only, and it is therefore meet that he should rule the Eastern Land. But the younger looked down generally over the four quarters, and he ought therefore to succeed to Our Dignity."

Summer, 4th month, 19th day. Ikume no Mikoto was appointed Prince Imperial, and Toyoki no Mikoto was made ruler of the Eastern Land. He was the first ancestor of the Kimi of Kami-tsuke[41] and of the Kimi of Shimotsuke.

B.C. 38. (V. 17.) 60th year, Autumn, 7th month, 14th day. The Emperor addressed his ministers, saying:—"Take-hi-teru no Mikoto

Another version is Take-hina-tori or Ama-no-hina-tori.

brought from Heaven the divine treasures and stored them in the Temple of the Great God at Idzumo. I wish to see them." Accordingly Take-moro-sumi, the ancestor of tile Yata-be no Miyakko, was sent for them

One writing says:—"Also called Oho-moro-sumi."

that he might lay them before the Emperor. Now at this time Idzumo Furune, the ancestor of the Idzumo no Omi, held charge of the divine treasures. He had gone to the Land of Tsukushi and did not come to meet him. His younger brother, Ihi-iri-ne, accordingly received the Imperial command and entrusted them to his younger brother, Umashi-Kara[42]-hisa and his son Uka-tsuku-nu, and so rendered them up to the Emperor. Now when Idzumo Furune returned from Tsukushi and heard that the divine treasures had been rendered up to the Court, he rebuked his younger brother Ihi-iri-ne, saying:—"Thou shouldst have waited for some days. What wert thou afraid of that thou didst so lightly part with the divine treasures?" On this account (V. 18.) he still, after years and months had passed, cherished wrath against his younger brother and had a mind to slay him. So he deceived his younger brother, saying:—"Of late the mo[43] plant grows plentifully in the Yamiya pool. Pray let us go together and see it." So he followed his elder brother and went there. Before this, the elder brother had secretly made a wooden sword, in appearance like a real sword, which at this time he himself wore. The younger brother was girt with a real sword. When they both came to the head of the pool, the elder brother said to the younger:—"The water of the pool is limpid and cool; pray let us both bathe in it." The younger brother agreed to his elder brother's proposal, and they each took off the sword which he wore and laid it on the bank of the pool. Having bathed in the water, the elder brother came first to land, and taking the younger brother's real sword, girded it on himself. Afterwards the younger brother, surprised, took up his elder brother's wooden sword, but on coming to mutual blows, the younger brother was unable to draw the wooden sword. So the elder brother smote his younger brother, Ihi-iri-ne, and killed him. Therefore the men of that day made a song, saying,—

The sword girt on
By the warrior of Idzumo
(Where many clouds arise[44])—
There is the sheath enwound with creepers,
But, alas! there is no blade.

Hereupon Umashi-Kara-hisa and Uka-tsuku-nu proceeded to Court, where they reported this affair in detail. Accordingly, Kibi-tsu-hiko and Takenu-kaha-wake were sent to put to death Idzumo Furune. Therefore the Omi of Idzumo, in dread of this, desisted for a while from the worship of the Great God.

Now a man of Higami, in Tamba, named Hika-tohe, made a representation to the Prince Imperial, Iku-me no Mikoto, (V. 19.) saying:—"One of my children is a young infant. Yet of his own accord he has said this:—'These are the Gods worshipped by the men of Idzumo—Idzumo of the gem-like water-plant[45] and the sunken stone[46]—viz. the true-kind-beautiful-august-mirror, the pinion-flapping-beautiful-august-God, the bottom-treasure-august-treasure-master; the august-spirit-plunged-in-the-water-of-the-mountain-stream, the peacefully-wearing (jewels?)-august-deity, the bottom-treasure-august-treasure-master.'[47] These do not seem like the words of a young infant. May they have been spoken by divine inspiration?"

Hereupon the Prince Imperial reported to the Emperor, who accordingly caused them to be worshipped.

B.C. 36. 62nd year, Autumn, 7th month, 2nd day. The following edict was issued:—

"Agriculture is the great foundation of the Empire. It is that upon which the people depend for their subsistence.[48] At present the water of Hanida of Sayama in Kahachi is scarce, and therefore the peasants of that province are remiss in their husbandry. Open up therefore abundance of ponds and runnels, and so develop the industry of the people."

Winter, 10th month. The Yosami pond was made.

11th month. The Karusaka pond and the Sakahori pond were made.

One version has:—"These three ponds were made when the Emperor dwelt in the Palace of Kuhama."

B.C. 33. (V. 20.) 65th year, Autumn, 7th month. The Land of Imna[49] sent Sonaka-cheulchi and offered tribute. Imna is more than 2000 ri to the north of Tsukushi, from which it is separated by the sea. It lies to the south-west of Ké-rin.

In the 68th year of his reign, Winter, the 12th month, 5th day, the Emperor died at the age of 120.[50]

In the following year, Autumn, the 8th month, 11th day, he was buried in the Misasagi above the road at Yamanobe.

  1. Sūjin means "honouring the Gods."
  2. In Japanese Uji.
  3. The sovereignty.
  4. The Kana has simply hito, men.
  5. This decree is a mere cento of Chinese phrases.
  6. i.e., by the virtues of the Sovereign commanding the respect and obedience of the people.
  7. In accordance with the Chinese notion that national calamlties are owing to the faults of the Emperor.
  8. The numen of the great land of Yamato.
  9. The ancient Japanese divination was by roasting deer's shoulder-blades and observing the cracks thus caused, not by the shell of a tortoise, which is the Chinese practice.
  10. In Idzumi.
  11. Than the two above mentioned.
  12. The original has cyclical characters which would make it the 56th day of the month. I have adopted an emendation which does not make obvious nonsense. But where the whole series of dates is fictitious, it is hardly worth while noticing minor inaccuracies of this kind.
  13. Of pottery.
  14. "How long ago" is in Japanese Ikuhisa, an obvious allution to the Brewer's name, Ikuhi, in short a pun.
  15. The sentiment of these poems seems to be the same as that of our own "We won't go home till morning."

    Metre irregular.

  16. However unhistorical all this may be, one thing clearly appears from it, viz., that in the early days of Japan the king and high priest were identical. Both the civil and religious functions, however, might be equally delegated.
  17. In the original Tō-kai, whence Tōkaidō, East-sea-road, the great highway from Kioto to the East and also the provinces lying to each side it.
  18. Kibi is the ancient name for Bizen, Bingo, and Bittchiu, which lie west of Yamato.
  19. The seals and ribbons are Chinese, and could not have been used as emblems of office in Japan at this time. The word for general is Shōgun, so familiar at a later period of Japanese History.
  20. The text of this poem is very doubtful. The "Kojiki" has a third version. Prince Mimaki-iri is the Emperor.
  21. A half-brother of the Emperor. He lived in Yamashiro.
  22. The same as Mount Kagu above referred to.
  23. i.e. they sacrificed to the Gods before entering on the campaign.
  24. Narasu means to make level.
  25. Challenge River.
  26. We would say the throne.
  27. Afureru is "to overflow," sono means garden. Hafu is more probably for hafuri, sacrifice.
  28. An old word for "armour."
  29. "Excrement-breeches."
  30. Our Lord. See above.
  31. This is one of numerous evidences of serpent-worship in Ancient Japan. The interlinear Kana for snake is worochi, where the last syllable is a honorific.
  32. The Chopstick Tomb.
  33. The great acclivity.
  34. The tombs of men of rank at this period of Japanese History consisted of a round mound of earth varying in size according to the station of the person interred, and containing a vault of megalithic stones, with an entrance gallery similar to those of the Imperial Misasagi, but of much smaller size. Many of these are still to be seen in Japan, especially in the provinces near Yamato. Of course it is utterly impossible to pass from hand to hand stones of the size used in constructing these tombs.
  35. The original is Kinai, more familiarly known as Gokinai, and comprising the provinces of Yamato, Yamashiro, Settsu, Kawachi, and Idzumi.
  36. Lit. outside the sea. This is a Chinese expression which must not be taken too literally. The Ainos may be referred to. But the whole passage seems inspired by recollections from Chinese literature, and is probably entirely fictitious.
  37. By "retired people" are probably meant those who have concealed themselves in order to escape from oppression. The phrase occurs in the "Confucian Analects" (Legge, p. 200), where, however, it is used of a voluntary retirement from the world.
  38. The "education" is not juvenile education, but the education of the people by the good example of the monarch, with, perhaps, an occasional discourse from the throne.
  39. From "authority" to "industries" is copied from a Chinese History of the Han Dynasty. The whole decree is utterly impossible as a document of Japanese History at this period. It is as Chinese as it can be.
  40. That is, a tax of animals' skins and game to be paid by the men, and of textile fabrics to be levied on women. See Ch. K., p. 182.
  41. Now Kōdzuke.
  42. Note the occurrence of Kara, the name of a Corean Kingdom, in a proper name at a time when it was not supposed that Japan had relations with Corea.
  43. Defined as "a water plant with round leaves and stems which vary in length according to the depth of the water." It is edible.
  44. See above, p. 54.
  45. The mo, above referred to.
  46. Perhaps a precious stone found at the bottom of rivers.
  47. The Shiki says that this is the description of two deities only.
  48. The above two sentences are copied word for word from a Chinese history.
  49. The traditional Japanese pronunciation of this name is Mimana. I have followed here, as elsewhere, the Corean pronunciation of Corean proper names. On any estimate of the length of the ri, the distance given is far too great.

    Imma or Mimana is also knowa as Kara. It is a small kingdom lying to the S.W. of the River Naktong.

    Kérin, in Japanese Kirin, is another name for Silla (in Japanese Shinra or Shiragi). See "Early Japanese History" in "J.A.S.T.," p. 43.

    Sonaka-cheulchi looks like a genuine Corean name.

  50. The age given here is inconsistent with other data found in the "Nihongi" itself, and with the "Kojiki," which makes him 168 at the time of his death.