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

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Pub. for the Society by K. Paul, Trench, Trübner, pages 165–187




The Emperor Iku-me-iri-hiko-i-sachi was the third child of the Emperor Mimaki-iri-hiko-iniye. The Empress his mother was called Mimaki-hime. She was the daughter of Oho-hiko no Mikoto. The Emperor was born in the Palace of Midzu-gaki in the 29th year of the Emperor Mimaki, the 50th year of the cycle, Spring, the 1st month, the 1st day. From his birth he was of a distinguished appearance; when he grew to manhood, he had superior talent and large principles. His disposition was to be guided implicitly by truth and to avoid dissimulation.

The Emperor loved him, and retained him near his own person. At the age of twenty-four,[2] in accordance with the prognostic of a dream, he made him Prince Imperial.

The Emperor Mimaki-iri-hiko-iniye died in Winter, the 12th month of the 68th year of his reign.

B.C. 29. 1st year, Spring, 2nd day. The Prince Imperial assumed the Imperial Dignity.

(VI. 2.) Winter, 10th month, 11th day.[3] The Emperor Mimaki was buried in the Misasagi over the road at Yamanobe.

11th month, 2nd day. The Empress was granted the honorary title of Grand Empress. This was the year Midzu-noye Tatsu of the cycle.

B.C. 28. 2nd year, Spring, 2nd month, 9th day. Saho-hime was appointed Empress. She gave birth to Homu-tsu-wake no Mikoto. From his birth the Emperor loved him, and kept him near his own person. When he grew to manhood, he could not speak.

Winter, 10th month. The capital was removed to Maki-muku. It was called the Palace of Tamaki. In this year the man of Imna, Sonaka cheulchi,[4] asked permission to return to his country. Therefore gifts were liberally bestowed on him, and there were entrusted to him as a present for the King of Imna 100 pieces of red silk. But the Silla people waylaid and robbed him, and at this time began the enmity between the two countries.[5]

One account says:—"In the reign of the Emperor Mimaki, there was a man with horns on his forehead[6] who came riding in a ship and anchored in the Bay of Kebi in the land of Koshi. Therefore that place was called Tsunoga.[7] He was asked what countryman he was. He replied, saying:—'I am the son of the King of Great Kara. (VI. 3.) My name is Tsunoga arashito, and I am also called Ushiki arishichi kanki.[8] It having come to my ears that there is in the Land of Japan a sage Emperor, I wished to offer him my allegiance and came to Anato.'[9] Now in that land there was a man named Itsutsu-hiko, who spoke to thy servant, saying:—'I am the King of this land, and there is no other king but me. Do not thou therefore proceed further.' But when I observed him closely and saw what manner of man he was, I knew surely that he was not a king. So I departed again from that place, and not knowing the road, anchored at one island and bay after another, going round by way of the Northern Sea and passing the Land of Idzumo until I arrived here."

It so happened that at this time the Emperor died, so he was detained and served the Emperor Ikume for three years.

Then the Emperor inquired of Arashito, saying:—"Dost thou wish to return to thy country?" He answered and said:—"I earnestly desire to do so." The Emperor then addressed Arashito, saying:—"If thou hadst not lost thy way, thou wouldst certainly have arrived here sooner—in time to serve the late Emperor. Do thou, therefore, change (VI. 4.) the name of thy country. In future take the august name of the Emperor Mimaki and make it the name of thy country. So he gave Arashito red silk stuffs and sent him back to his native land. This was the reason why the name of that country is called Mimana.[10] Hereupon Arashito took the red silk which had been given him, and stored it in the magazine of his country. The people of Silla hearing this, raised an army and proceeding thither robbed him of all the red silk. This was the beginning of the enmity between these two countries."

One writing says:—"In the beginning, when Tsunoga Arashito was still in his own land, he went into the country with an ox loaded with implements of husbandry. The ox suddenly disappeared, and seeking for it by its tracks, he found that the foot-prints ceased in a certain village. Now there was here an old man who said:—'The ox which thou art in search of entered this village, and the village chiefs said:—"With the implements which he is carrying let us fell the ox. We must surely prepare to slay and eat him. If the owner comes in search of him, we shall indemnify him with something." So they slew and ate him. If thou art asked what thing thou desirest as the price of the ox, do not ask for treasures, but say that thou wishest to have the God worshipped by the village. Tell them so.' Presently the village chiefs came and said:—'What dost thou desire as the price of thy ox?' And he replied as the old man had instructed him. Now the God whom they worshipped was a white stone. So they gave the white stone to the owner of the ox, and he accordingly brought it away with him and placed it in his bed-chamber. This divine stone became changed into (VI. 5.) a beautiful maiden, upon which Arashito was greatly rejoiced, and wished to be united to her. But while he was away in another place, the maiden suddenly disappeared. Arashito was greatly alarmed, and inquired of his wife, saying:—'Whither has the maiden gone?' She replied and said:—'She has gone towards the East.' So he went in search of her, and at length, drifting far over the sea, he thus arrived in our country. The maiden whom he sought came to Naniha, where she became the Deity of the Himegoso shrine. Then proceeding to the district of Kusaki, in the Land of Toyo, she afterwards became the Deity of the Himeoso shrine. She is worshipped in both these places."

B.C. 27. 3rd year, Spring, 3rd month. The Silla prince, Ama no hi-hoko,[11] arrived. The objects which he brought were—one Ha-buto gem, one Ashi-daka gem, one red-stone Ukaka gem, one Idzushi short sword, one Idzushi spear, one sun-mirror, one Kuma-himorogi,[12] seven things in all. These were stored in the Land of Tajima,[13] and made divine things for ever.

(VI. 6.) One version says:—"In the beginning, Ama no hi-hoko, riding in a ship, anchored at the land of Harima, where he dwelt in the village of Shisaha. Then the Emperor sent to Harima Ohotomo nushi, the ancestor of the Miwa no Kimi, and Nagaochi, the ancestor of the Yamato no Atahe, and inquired of Ama no hi-hoko, saying:—'Who art thou, and to what country dost thou belong?' Ama no hi-hoko answered and said:—'I am the son of the King of Silla. Hearing that in the Land of Japan there was a sage monarch, I gave my country to my younger brother, Chiko,[14] and have come to offer my allegiance and to bring tribute of the following objects, viz.—a Ha-boso[15] gem, an Ashi-daka gem, an Ukaka red-stone (or Akashi) gem, an Idzushi short sword, an Idzushi spear, a sun-mirror, a Kuma-himorogi, and an Isasa sword—eight objects in all.' So the Emperor gave orders to Ama no hi-hoko, saying:—'Do thou dwell in either of these two villages—Shisaha in the land of Harima, or Idesa in the island of Ahaji, at thy pleasure.' Then Ama no hi-hoko addressed the Emperor, saying:—'In regard to a dwelling-place for thy servant, if the celestial favour is bestowed on him so far as to grant thy servant the place of his desire, thy servant will himself proceed to and visit the various provinces, and he hopes that he may be granted the place which is agreeable to his mind.' This was agreed to. Thereupon Ama no hi-hoko, ascending the river Uji, went northwards, until he arrived at the village of Ana, in the province of Ohomi.

Afterwards, he proceeded onwards, from the province of Ohomi, through the province of Wakasa, and going westward arrived at the province of Tajima. So there he fixed his dwelling-place. Therefore the potters of Kagami no hasama,[16] in the province of Ohomi, are the servants of (VI. 7.) Ama no hi-hoko. Accordingly Ama no hi-hoko took to wife Matawo, the daughter of Futomimi, a man of Idzushi in Tajima, who bore to him Tajima Morosuke, who was the father of Tajima no Hinaraki, who was the father of Kiyohiko, who was the father of Tajima-mori."

B.C. 26. 4th year, Autumn, 9th month, 23rd day. The Empress's elder brother by the mother's side, Prince Sahohiko, plotted treason and tried to endanger the State. Therefore he watched for an occasion when the Empress was enjoying her leisure, and addressing her, said as follows:—"Whom dost thou love best—thy elder brother or thy husband?" Upon this, the Empress, ignorant of his object in making this inquiry, straightway answered and said:—"I love my elder brother." Then he enticed the Empress, saying:—"If one serves a man by beauty, when the beauty fades, his affection will cease.[17] There are now many beautiful women in the Empire. They will come one after another and seek affection. How, then, canst thou trust always to thy beauty? It is my wish, therefore, to ascend to the immense felicity,[18] and of a certainty to rule over the Empire along with thee. So making high our pillows,[19] we shall complete a long hundred years. Would not this be (VI. 8.) delightful? I beg thee, therefore, to slay the Emperor for me." So he took a dagger, and giving it to the Empress, said:—"Gird on this dagger among thy garments, and when the Emperor goes to sleep, do thou stab him in the neck, and thus kill him." Upon this the Empress trembled in her heart within, and knew not what she should do. But in view of the determination of the Prince, her elder brother, she felt that remonstrance would be useless. Therefore she took the dagger, and having herself nowhere to deposit it, she placed it in her garments, intending all the while to remonstrate with her elder brother.

B.C. 25. 5th year, Winter, 10th month, 1st day. The Emperor proceeded to Kume, where he dwelt in Taka-miya."[20] Now the Emperor took his noon-day sleep with the Empress's knees as his pillow. Up to this time the Empress had accomplished nothing, but thought vainly to herself:—"This would be the time to do that which the Prince, my elder brother, plotted." And she wept tears which fell on the Emperor's face. The Emperor woke up and addressed the Empress, saying:—"To-day We have had a dream. A small brocade-coloured snake coiled itself round Our neck and a great rain arose from Saho, which coming hither wet Our face. What does this portend?" The Empress thereupon, knowing that she could not conceal the plot, in fear and awe bowed herself to the earth, and informed the Emperor fully of the circumstances of the Prince, her elder brother's, treason. Accordingly she addressed him, saying:—"Thy handmaiden was unable to resist the purpose of the Prince, her elder brother, and yet could not be false to the gratitude due to the Emperor. If I confessed I destroyed the Prince, my elder brother. If I said nothing, I overturned the temples of the earth and of grain,[21] so that on the one hand there was fear, and on the other there was (VI. 9.) grief. Whether I looked up or down there was lamentation, whether I advanced or retired there was weeping and wailing. Night and day I was disturbed in mind, and could find no way to give information. Only to-day when Your Majesty went to sleep with his handmaiden's knee as a pillow, she thought—'If I were mad enough to accomplish the purpose of my elder brother, at this very time the deed could be done without difficulty.' With this thought still in my mind, the tears flowed spontaneously. So I raised my sleeve to wipe away the tears, and they overflowed from the sleeve and moistened Your Majesty's face. Therefore the dream of to-day must have been an effect of this thing. The small brocade-coloured snake is nothing else than the dagger which was given me: the great rain which arose suddenly is nothing else than thy handmaiden's tears." Then the Emperor addressed the Empress, saying:—"This is not thy crime," and raising a force from the neighbouring district, he commanded Yatsunada, the remote ancestor of the Kimi of Kōdzuke, to slay Saho-hiko. Now Saho-hiko withstood him with an army, and hastily piling up rice-stalks made thereof a castle, which was so solid that it could not be breached. This is what was called a "rice-castle."[22] A month passed, and yet it did not surrender. Hereupon the Empress, grieved at this, said:—"Even though I am Empress, with what countenance can I preside over the Empire, after bringing to ruin the Prince, my elder brother?" Accordingly, she took in her arms the Imperial Prince Homutsu wake no Mikoto, and entered the rice-castle of the Prince, her elder brother. The Emperor increased his army still more, and having surrounded the castle on all sides, proclaimed to those within it, saying:—"Send forth quickly the Empress and the Imperial Prince." But they would not send them out. So the (VI. 10.) General Yatsunada set fire to the castle. Then the Empress, taking in her bosom the Imperial child, crossed over the castle and came out from it. Therewithal she besought the Emperor, saying:—"The reason why thy handmaiden at first fled into her elder brother's castle was in the hope that her elder brother might be absolved from guilt for the sake of her and of her child. But now he has not been absolved, and I know that I am guilty. Shall I have my hands tied behind my back? There is nothing left for me but to strangle myself. But even though I, thy handmaiden, die, I cannot bear to forget the favour shown me by the Emperor. I pray, therefore, that the Empress's palace, which I had charge of, may be granted to fair mates for thee. In the land of Tamba there are five ladies, all of virtuous minds, the daughters of the Prince, who is Michi no Ushi[23] of Tamba.

Prince Michi no Ushi was a grandson of the Emperor Waka-Yamato-Neko oho-hi-hi, and son of Prince Hiko-imasu.

One version has:—"Son of Prince Hiko-yu-musubi-kuma."

Let them be placed in the side courts to complete the number of the consort chambers." To this the Emperor agreed.[24] Then the fire blazed up, and the castle was destroyed. The troops all ran away, and Saho-hiko and his younger sister died together inside the castle. Thereupon the Emperor commended the good service of General Yatsunada, and granted him the name of Yamato-hi-muke take-hi-muke-hiko[25] Yatsunada.

B.C. 23. (VI. 11.) 7th year, Autumn, 7th month, 7th day. The courtiers represented to the Emperor as follows:—"In the village of Taima[26] there is a valiant man called Kuyehaya of Taima. He is of great bodily strength, so that he can break horns and straighten out hooks. He is always saying to the people:—'You may search the four quarters, but where is there one to compare with me in strength? O that I could meet with a man of might, with whom to have a trial of strength, regardless of life or death.' "

The Emperor, hearing this, proclaimed to his ministers, saying:—"We hear that Kuyehaya of Taima is the champion of the Empire. Might there be any one to compare with him?"

One of the ministers came forward and said:—"Thy servant hears that in the Land of Idzumo there is a valiant man named Nomi no Sukune. It is desirable that thou shouldst send for him, by way of trial, and match him with Kuyehaya."

That same day the Emperor sent Nagaochi, the ancestor of the Atahe of Yamato, to summon Nomi no Sukune. Thereupon Nomi no Sukune came from Idzumo, and straightway he and Taima no Kuyehaya were made to wrestle together. The two men stood opposite to one another. Each raised his foot and kicked at the other,[27] when Nomi no Sukune broke with a kick the ribs of Kuyehaya and also kicked and broke his loins and thus killed him. Therefore the land of Taima no Kuyehaya was seized, and was all given to Nomi no Sukune. This was the cause why there is in that village a place called Koshi-ore-da, i.e. the field of the broken loins.

(VI. 12.) Nomi no Sukune remained and served the Emperor.

B.C. 15. 15th year, Spring, 2nd month, 10th day. The five women of Tamba were sent for and placed in the side-court. The name of the first was Hibasu-hime, of the second Nuba-tani-iri-hime, of the third Matonu-hime, of the fourth Azami-ni-iri-hime, and of the fifth Takano-hime.[28]

Autumn, 8th month, 1st day. Hibasu-hime no Mikoto was appointed Empress, and the Empress's three younger sisters were made concubines. Only Takano-hime, on account of the ugliness of her form, was sent back to her own country. Accordingly in her shame at being sent back, when she came to Kadono, she purposely tumbled from the carriage and was killed. Therefore that place received the name of Ochi-kuni.[29] The present name, Oto-kuni, is a corruption of this. The Empress Hibasu-hime no Mikoto had three sons and two daughters. The eldest was called Ini-shiki-iri-hiko no Mikoto, the second Oho-tarashi-hiko no Mikoto, the third Oho-nakatsu-hime no Mikoto, the fourth Yamato-hime no Mikoto, and the fifth Wakaki-ni-iri-biko no Mikoto. The concubine Nuba-tani-iri-hime gave birth to Nuteshi-wake no Mikoto and Ika-tarashi-bime no Mikoto. The next concubine Azami-ni-iri-bime gave (VI. 13.) birth to Ike-haya-wake no Mikoto and Waka-asa-tsu-hime no Mikoto.

B.C. 7. 23rd year, Autumn, 9th month, 2nd day. The Emperor addressed his ministers, saying:—"Prince Homutsu-wake is now thirty years of age.[30] His beard is eight span long, yet he weeps like an infant, and never speaks. What can be the reason of this?" So he caused Commissioners to consider the matter.

Winter, 10th month, 8th day. The Emperor stood before the Great Hall, with the Imperial Prince Homutsu-wake in attendance on him. Now there was a swan which crossed the Great Void, uttering its cry. The Imperial Prince looked up, and seeing the swan, said:—"What thing is this?" The Emperor, observing that the Imperial Prince had gained his speech on seeing the swan, was rejoiced, and commanded his courtiers, saying:—"Which of you will catch this bird and present it to me?" Thereupon, Amano Yukaha Tana, the ancestor of the Tottori[31] no Miyakko, addressed his Majesty, saying:—"Thy servant will surely catch it, and present it to thee." So the Emperor declared to Yukaha Tana, saying:—"If thou present this bird to me, I will certainly reward thee liberally." Now, Yukaha Tana, looking from afar towards the quarter whither the swan had flown, followed in search of it to Idzumo and there captured it.

(VI. 14.) Some say "To the land of Tajima."

11th month, 2nd day. Yukaha Tana presented the swan to the Emperor. Homutsu-wake no Mikoto played with this swan and at last learned to speak. Therefore, Yukaha Tana was liberally rewarded, and was granted the title of Tottori no Miyakko.[32] In consequence there was further established the Be of bird-catchers, the Be of bird-feeders,[33] and the Homu-tsu Be.

B.C. 5. 25th year, Spring, 2nd month, 8th day. The Emperor commanded the five Daibu,[34] Takenu Kaha-wake, ancestor of the Abe no Omi, Hiko-kuni-fuku,[35] ancestor of the Wani no Omi, Oho-kashima, ancestor of the Nakatomi no Muraji, Tochine, ancestor of the Mononobe no Muraji, and Take-hi, ancestor of the Ohotomo no Muraji, saying:—"The sagacity of our predecessor on the throne, the Emperor Mimaki-iri-hiko-iniye, was displayed in wisdom: he was reverential, intelligent and capable. He was profoundly unassuming, and his disposition was to cherish self-abnegation. He adjusted the machinery of (VI. 15.) Government, and did solemn worship to the Gods of Heaven and Earth. He practised self-restraint and was watchful as to his personal conduct. Every day he was heedful for that day. Thus the weal of the people was sufficient, and the Empire was at peace. And now, under Our reign, shall there be any remissness in the worship of the Gods of Heaven and Earth?"[36]

3rd month, 10th day. Ama-terasu no Oho-kami was taken from Toyo-suki-iri-hime no Mikoto,[37] and entrusted to Yamato-hime no Mikoto. Now Yamato-hime no Mikoto sought for a place where she might enshrine the Great Goddess. So she proceeded to Sasahata in Uda. Then turning back from thence, she entered the land of Ohomi, and went round eastwards to Mino, whence she arrived in the province of Ise.

(VI. 16.) Now Ama-terasu no Oho-kami instructed Yamato-hime no Mikoto, saying:—"The province of Ise, of the divine wind,[38] is the land whither repair the waves from the eternal world, the successive waves. It is a secluded and pleasant land. In this land I wish to dwell." In compliance, therefore, with the instruction of the Great Goddess, a shrine was erected to her in the province of Ise. Accordingly an Abstinence Palace[39] was built at Kaha-kami in Isuzu. This was called the palace of Iso. It was there that Ama-terasu no Oho-kami first descended from Heaven.

One story is that the Emperor made Yamato-hime no Mikoto to be his august staff,[40] and offered her to Ama-terasu no Oho-kami. Thereupon Yamato-hime no Mikoto took Ama-terasu no Oho-kami, and having enshrined her at Idzu-kashi no Moto in Shiki,[41] offered sacrifice to her. Thereafter, in compliance with the Goddess's instructions, she, in Winter, the 10th month of the year Hinoto Mi,[42] on the 18th day, removed to the Palace[43] of Watarahi (VI. 17.) in the province of Ise. At this time the Great God of Yamato inspired Ohominakuchi no Sukune, the ancestor of the Hodzumi no Omi, and admonished (the Emperor by his mouth), saying:—"At the time of the Great Beginning, it was covenanted that Ama-terasu no Oho-kami should govern all the Plain of Heaven, and that her august Imperial descendants should hold absolute rule over the eighty spiritual beings of the Central Reed-plain Land. My personal tenure of the governance of the great land is already at an end. But although the worship of the Gods in Heaven and Earth was maintained by the late Emperor Mimaki, he failed to search out the root of the matter in its details; he was wanting in thoroughness, and stopped short at the leaves and branches. Therefore that Emperor was short-lived.[44] For this reason do thou, our august descendant, now show regret for the shortcomings of the late Emperor and be watchful in regard to the ceremonies of worship. If thou dost so, the life of thine augustness will be long, and moreover the Empire will have peace."

Now when the Emperor heard these words, he caused Fukayu nushi, the ancestor of the Nakatomi no Muraji, to use divination in order to discover who should be appointed to conduct the worship of the Great God of Yamato. Thereupon Nunaki-waka-hime no Mikoto answered to the divination, and was consequently appointed. A sacred plot of ground was fixed on in the village of Anashi, and worship performed at Point[45] Naga-oka of Oho-chi. But this Nunaki-waka-hime no Mikoto's body was already all emaciated, so that she was unable to do sacrifice, and therefore Nagaochi no Sukune, ancestor of the Yamato no Atahe, was made to offer the sacrifices.

B.C. 4. 26th year, Autumn, 8th month, 3rd day. The Emperor commanded the Mononobe, Tochine no Oho-muraji,[46] saying:—"We (VI. 18.) have repeatedly despatched messengers to the Land of Idzumo to inspect the divine treasures of that Land, but we have had no clear report. Do thou go thyself to Idzumo, and having made inspection, attest them." So Tochine no Oho-muraji, having examined and attested the divine treasures, made a clear report thereof to His Majesty. He was accordingly appointed to the charge of the divine treasures.

B.C. 3. 27th year, Autumn, 8th month, 7th day. The Department of Worship was made to ascertain by divination what implements of war would be lucky as offerings to the Gods. Consequently bows, arrows, and cross-swords were deposited in the shrines of all the Gods. The land and houses consecrated to their service were fixed anew, and they were sacrificed to in due season. The practice of offering weapons in sacrifice to the Gods of Heaven and Earth probably had its origin at this time. This year granaries were erected in the village of Kume.[47]

B.C. 2. 28th year, Winter, 10th month, 5th day. Yamato-hiko no Mikoto, the Emperor's younger brother by the mother's side, died.

11th month, 2nd day. Yamato-hiko was buried at Tsuki-zaka in Musa. Thereupon his personal attendants were assembled, and were all buried alive upright in the precinct of the misasagi. For several days they died not, but wept and wailed day and night. At last they died and rotted. Dogs and crows gathered and ate them.

(VI. 19.) The Emperor, hearing the sound of their weeping and wailing, was grieved in heart, and commanded his high officers, saying:—"It is a very painful thing to force those whom one has loved in life to follow him in death. Though it be an ancient custom, why follow it, if it is bad? From this time forward, take counsel so as to put a stop to the following of the dead."[48]

A.D. 1. 30th year, Spring, 1st month, 6th day. The Emperor commanded Inishiki no Mikoto and Oho-tarashi-hiko no Mikoto, saying:—"Do ye each tell me the thing ye would dearly like to have." The elder Prince said:—"I should like to have a bow and arrows." The younger Prince said:—"I should like to have the Imperial Dignity." Thereupon the Emperor commanded, saying:—"Let the desire of each of you be complied with." So a bow and arrows were given to Inishiki no Mikoto, and a decree was addressed to Oho-tarashi hiko no Mikoto, saying:—"Thou must succeed to Our Dignity."

A.D. 3. 32nd year, Autumn, 7th month, 6th day. The Empress Hibasu-hime no Mikoto died.

One version has Hibasu ne no Mikoto.

Some time before the burial, the Emperor commanded his Ministers, saying:—"We have already recognized that the practice of following the dead is not good. What should now be done in performing this burial?" Thereupon Nomi no Sukune came forward and said:—"It is not good to bury living men upright at the tumulus of a prince. How can such a practice be handed down to posterity? I beg leave to propose an expedient which I will submit to Your Majesty." So he sent messengers to summon up from the Land of Idzumo a hundred men of the clay-workers' Be. He himself directed the men of the clay-workers' Be to take clay and form therewith (VI. 20.) shapes of men, horses, and various objects, which he presented to the Emperor, saying:—"Henceforward let it be the law for future ages to substitute things of clay for living men, and to set them up at tumuli." Then the Emperor was greatly rejoiced, and commanded Nomi no Sukune, saying:—"Thy expedient hath greatly pleased Our heart." So the things of clay were first set up at the tomb of Hibasu-hime no Mikoto. And a name was given to these clay objects. They were called Hani-wa.[49]

Another name is Tatemono.[50]

Then a decree was issued, saying:—"Henceforth these clay figures must be set up at tumuli: let not men be harmed." The Emperor bountifully rewarded Nomi no Sukune for this service, and also bestowed on him a kneading-place, and appointed him to the official charge of the clay-workers' Be. His original title was therefore changed, and he was called Hashi no Omi. This was how it came to pass that the Hashi no Muraji superintend the burials of the Emperors.[51]

(VI. 21.) The said Nomi no Sukune was the first ancestor of the Hashi no Muraji.[52]

A.D. 5. 34th year, Spring, 3rd month, 2nd day. The Emperor made a progress to Yamashiro. At this time his courtiers represented to him that there was in that country a beautiful person named Kambata no Tohe.[53] She was very handsome, and was the daughter of Fuchi of Ohokuni in Yamashiro. Hereupon the Emperor, spear in hand, made a vow, saying:—"I must be united to this beautiful person." On his way he saw an omen. When he was arriving at his lodging,[54] a large tortoise came out from the river. The Emperor raised his spear and thrust at

Tsuchi-ningiô. (Gowland Collection, British Museum.)

Tsuchi-ningiô. (Gowland Collection, British Museum.)

the tortoise, when it suddenly became changed into a white stone. Then the courtiers said:—"If one were only to think this out, it must prognosticate something." So Kambata no Tohe was sent for, and lodged in the hinder palace. She was the mother of Iha-tsuku-wake no Mikoto, who was the ancestor of the Kimi of Miho. Before this he had taken to wife Kari-hata-tohe, who bore him three sons. The first was called Oji-wake no Mikoto, the second Ika-tarashi-hiko no Mikoto, and the third I-take-wake no Mikoto.

(VI. 22.) Ika-tarashi-hiko no Mikoto was the first ancestor of the Kimi of Ishida.

A.D. 6. 35th year, Autumn, 9th month. Inishiki no Mikoto was sent to the province of Kahachi to construct the pond of Takashi, and the pond of Chinu.

Winter, 10th month. He made the pond of Saki in Yamato, and the pond of Tomi. In this year, the various provinces were commanded extensively to excavate ponds and channels,[55] to the number of eight hundred and more. Much attention was thus paid to husbandry. Therefore the people enjoyed abundance, and the Empire was at peace.

A.D. 8. 37th year, Spring, 1st month, 1st day. Oho-tarashi-hiko no Mikoto was made Prince Imperial.

A.D. 10. 39th year, Winter, 10th month. Inishiki no Mikoto, while dwelling in the palace at Kahakami of Udo in Chinu, made a thousand swords. Therefore those swords were called the Kahakami set.

Another name was the Naked[56] Companions.

(VI. 23.) They were deposited in the shrine of Iso no kami. After this the Emperor gave orders to Inishiki no Mikoto, and made him to have charge of the divine treasures of the shrine of Iso no kami.

One version is:—"Whilst the Imperial Prince Inishiki dwelt at Kahakami of Udo in Chinu, he sent for a smith by name Kahakami, and made a thousand swords. At this time, the shield-makers' Be, the Japanese-figured-cloth-workers' Be, the sacred-bow-shavers' Be, the sacred-arrow-makers' Be,[57] the Oho-anashi Be, the Hatsu-kashi[58] Be, the jewel-workers' Be, the Kami-osaka Be,[59] the Hi-oki[60] Be, and the sword-wearers' Be—the Be of ten articles altogether—were granted to the Imperial Prince Inishiki.

These thousand swords were deposited in the village of Osaka. They were afterwards removed from Osaka and deposited in the shrine of Iso no kami. At this time the God made a request, saying:—'Let the person named Ichikaha, of the family of the Omi of Kasuga, be made to attend to them.' Therefore by the Emperor's command, (VI. 24.) Ichikaha was caused to attend to them. He was the first ancestor of the Mononobe[61] no Obito."

A.D. 58. 87th year, Spring, 2nd month, 5th day. Inishiki no Mikoto spake to his younger sister, Oho-naka-tsu-hime no Mikoto, saying:—"I am old, and unable to have charge of the divine treasures. Henceforward thou must have charge of them." Oho-naka-tsu-hime refused, saying:—"I am a feeble woman. How can I ascend to the divine storehouse of Heaven?"

Inishiki no Mikoto said:—"Although the divine storehouse[62] is high, I can make for the divine storehouse a ladder. How, then, should it be hard to ascend to the storehouse?" Hence the proverbial saying, "You can ascend even to the divine storehouse of Heaven, if you only plant a ladder." This was its origin. Ultimately Oho-naka-tsu-hime no Mikoto gave them to Mononobe no Tochine no Oho-muraji, and made him to have charge of them. Therefore the Mononobe no Muraji retain charge of the divine treasures of Iso no kami up to the present time. The above was the origin of this practice.

Formerly in the Land of Tamba, in the village of Kuwada, there was a man whose name was Mikaso. Now, in Mikaso's house there was a dog, by name Ayuki. This dog bit a wild animal called the mujina,[63] and killed it. In the animal's belly there was found a magatama of Yasaka gem. This gem was accordingly offered to the Emperor, and is now in the shrine of (VI. 25.) Iso no kami.

A.D. 59. 88th year, Autumn, 7th month, 10th day. The Emperor commanded the Ministers, saying:—"We hear that the divine treasures which the Silla Prince Ama no hihoko brought with him when he first came here are now in Tajima. They were originally made divine treasures because the people of that province saw that they were admirable. We desire to see these treasures." That same day messengers were despatched with the Imperial commands to Kiyo-hiko, great-grandson of Ama no hihoko, directing him to present them to the Emperor. Thereupon, Kiyo-hiko, when he received the Imperial orders, brought the divine treasures himself, and laid them before His Majesty. There was one Ha-buto gem, one Ashi-daka gem, one Uka no Akashi (red-stone) gem, one sun-mirror, and one Kuma-himorogi.[64] But there was one short sword called Idzushi,[65] which it suddenly occurred to Kiyo-hiko not to offer to the Emperor; so he concealed it in his clothing, and wore it himself. The Emperor, unaware of the circumstance of the concealment of the short sword, and wishing to be gracious to Kiyo-hiko, sent for him and gave him sake in the palace. Then the short sword appeared from among his garments and became visible. The Emperor saw it, and himself asked Kiyo-hiko, saying:—"What short sword is that in thy clothing?" Then Kiyo-hiko, seeing that he was unable to conceal the short sword, explained that it belonged to the divine treasures which he was laying before the Emperor. So the Emperor said to Kiyo-hiko:—"How is it possible for this divine treasure to be separated from its kind?" So he took it out and presented it to the Emperor, and all were deposited in the Sacred Treasury. Afterwards, when the Sacred Treasury was opened and inspected, the short sword had spontaneously disappeared. Accordingly, a messenger was sent to Kiyo-hiko, who inquired of him, saying:—"The short sword which thou hast presented to the Emperor has suddenly disappeared. (VI. 26.) Has it perchance come to thy place?" Kiyo-hiko answered, and said:—"Last night the short sword came of its own accord to thy servant's house; but this morning it has disappeared." The Emperor was struck with awe, and made no further endeavour to find it. Afterwards the Idzushi short sword went of its own accord to the Island of Ahaji, where the people of the island considered it a God, and erected for the short sword a shrine, in which it is worshipped until this day.

Formerly there was a man, who riding in a ship, cast anchor in the land of Tajima. He was therefore asked, saying:—"Of what country art thou?" He answered and said:—"I am a son of the king of Silla, and my name is Ama no hihoko." So he dwelt in Tajima, and took to wife Mata no wo, daughter of Mahetsu mimi [One version has Mahetsu mi and another Futo-mimi] of that province, who bore to him Tajima Morosuke, the grandfather of Kiyo-hiko.

A.D. 61. 90th year, Spring, 2nd month, 1st day. The Emperor commanded Tajima Mori to go to the Eternal Land[66] and get the fragrant fruit that grows out of season, now called the Tachibana.[67]

A.D. 70. 99th year, Autumn, 7th month, 14th day. The Emperor died in the Palace of Maki-muku at the age of 140,[68] and in Winter, the 12th month, the 10th day, was buried in the misasagi of Fushimi, in Suga-hara.

(VI. 27.) The next year, Spring, the 3rd month, the 12th day, Tajima Mori arrived from the Eternal Land, bringing of the fragrant fruit that grows out of season eight sticks and eight bundles.[69]

Thereupon Tajima Mori wept and lamented, saying:—

"Receiving the Celestial Court's command,
Afar I went to a remote region:

Ten thousand ri I crossed the waves,
Distantly I passed over the weak water.[70]
This Eternal Land
Is no other than the mysterious realm of Gods and Genii
To which ordinary mortals cannot attain;
Therefore in going thither and returning
Ten years have naturally passed.
Beyond my expectation, I braved alone the towering billows,
Turning my way again towards my own land.
Thus, trusting in the spirits of the Emperors,
I hardly accomplished my return.
But now the Emperor is dead,
I am unable to report my mission.
Though I should remain alive,
What more would it avail me?"[71]

Then turning his face towards the misasagi of the Emperor, he wept aloud, and so of himself he died. When the ministers heard of it they all shed tears.

Tajima Mori was the first ancestor of the Miyake[72] no Muraji.

  1. Dispense-benevolence.
  2. This does not agree with what precedes. He was born in the 29th year of his father's reign, and made Prince Imperial in the 48th. He would therefore be only twenty, and not twenty-four. Note that the Japanese always count both the year of birth and the current year in their calculations of age.
  3. This does not agree with the date on the previous page.
  4. Corean pronunciation. The Japanese would be Sonaka shichi.
  5. There is probably some historical foundation for this. But the chronology must be wrong. According to the Tongkam, Kara (Imna) was not formed into a kingdom until A.D. 42, and hostilities between Kara and Silla are first mentioned in that work in A.D. 94. They were also at war in 97, 115, 116, and 203. See "Early Japanese History" in "J.A.S.T.," p. 44.
  6. The ancient Chinese Emperors are so depicted.
  7. Now Tsuruga in Echizen. A derivation from Tsuno-nuka (horn-forehead) seems intended.
  8. The Chinese characters in the text are probably intended to be read with their Japanese pronunciation, and I have accordingly in this instance followed the traditional Kana rendering. If the Corean pronunciation were followed, we should read Tonoka Arasǎteung and Usaki ari cheulchi kanki. The Shiki says that kanki is a Silla rank equal to the Japanese senior 3rd rank. From a passage in Keidai Tennō's reign, year 23, it would appear that Arashito, or Arasǎteung, was the name of some office or dignity.
  9. Anato, lit. hole-door, is the ancient name of Nagato (long-door) or Chōshiu. The door is the Strait of Shimonoseki.
  10. Imna, according to the Corean pronunciation of the characters.
  11. This means "The sun-spear of Heaven," and is purely Japanese. It cannot be a Corean name.
  12. Kuma-himorogi. See above, p. 82.
  13. In the district of Idzu-shi (which I take to be for Idzu-ishi, sacred stone), a name which is suggestive of stone-worship. The "Kojiki" mentions eight objects, not at all the same, however, and calls them the Eight Great Deities of Idzushi. Vide Ch. K., p. 261. Possibly the Idzushi short sword and the Idzushi spear were stone weapons. This passage is one of several evidences that Japan owes to Corea one element of the Shintō religion. The "Yengi-shiki" mentions several Corean Gods as being worshipped in Japan. The "Kojiki" mixes up this legend with that of Arashito given above. Indeed both are probably founded on the same occurrence.
  14. I can't find any king of this name in Silla History.
  15. Ha-boso means leaf-slender and Ashi-daka leg-high. They are probably names of places.
  16. Mirror-valley.
  17. A Chinese saying.
  18. i.e. to take possession of the throne.
  19. A Chinese metaphor meaning "in security."
  20. Taka-miya means high-palace or shrine.
  21. Chinese expression for the State.
  22. The Japanese word for rice-castle is inaki. It may be doubted whether there ever was any such castle as that described here. Artless attempts at derivation furnish a considerable portion of the old myths and legends of Japan. Inaki is the term used for the Imperial granaries in the provinces, and was also applied to their custodians. It therefore became a title of nobility which is frequently met with in the later history.
  23. Lit. master of the road.
  24. But did not act on it till nine years later!
  25. Yamato-sun-facing brave-sun-facing prince.
  26. In Yamato.
  27. The wrestling seems to have been of the nature of a Greek παγκράτιον, or the French savate.
  28. The "Kojiki" (vide Ch. K., p. 197) makes only four princesses, and in another passage only two.
  29. Fall-country.
  30. The "Kojiki" makes this Prince born at the time of Saho-hiko's rebellion, i.e. in the fifth year of Suinin Tennō's reign. The "Nihongi" is less precise, but it is plain from the narrative that he cannot have been thirty at this time.
  31. Tottori for tori-tori, i.e. bird-catcher, is the name of a number of places in Japan, notably of the capital of the province of Inaba.
  32. Lord of the bird-catchers. The Chinese character for title is , which means properly family name, surname. But, as this instance shows, such appellations were primarily official designations. Then they became hereditary titles, and in the last place were attenuated into mere surnames.
  33. Tori-kahi-be.
  34. Daibu, great man, is a general term for high officials.
  35. Both these men are named in Sūjin Tennō's reign, 10th year, eighty-five years before.
  36. This speech is thoroughly Chinese. It contains numerous phrases borrowed from the Chinese classics.
  37. She had been appointed B.C. 92, eighty-seven years before.
  38. This is a stock epithet (makura kotoba) of this province.
  39. Abstinence Palace or Worship Palace. "On the accession of an Emperor, an unmarried Princess of the Imperial House was selected for the service of the Shrine of Ise, or if there was no such unmarried Princess, then another Princess was fixed upon by divination and appointed worship-princess (齋王). The Worship-Palace was for her residence." Shintō miômoku ruijiushô, III. 23. See above, note to p. 41.
  40. i.e. assistant or deputy.
  41. In Yamato. Idzu means sacred; kashi is the name of a tree; moto means bottom.
  42. Corresponding to the 26th year of Suinin Tennō's reign, or B.C. 4.
  43. Or shrine.
  44. He died at the age of 120, or 168 if we take the "Kojiki" as an authority. This is one of numerous indications that the chronology of this period is worthless.
  45. The word misaki (point) is used both of a promontory and of a spur of a hill. Naga-oka is long-hill.
  46. Great-village-elder. This word is nearly equivalent to Prime Minister.
  47. As explained above, Kume is probably a variant of the Chinese word for army. There is at present a village of this name in Yamato, but it was no doubt originally the barrack quarter, and the storehouses here referred to were to contain grain for the food of the army. The original commentary gives miyake as the Japanese name for these granaries. At a later period the miyake were local government offices.
  48. The "Kojiki" (Ch. K., p. 174) says that this was the first time a hedge of men was set up round a tumulus. But the "Nihongi's" statement that it was an old custom must be correct.

    This custom is too much in accordance with what we know of other races in the barbaric stage of culture to allow us to doubt that we have here a genuine bit of history, though perhaps the details may be inaccurate, and the chronology is certainly wrong. In an ancient Chinese notice of Japan we read that "at this time (A.D. 247) Queen Himeko died. A great mound was raised over her, and more than a hundred of her male and female attendants followed her in death."

    Funeral human sacrifice for the service of the dead is described by Dr. Tylor ("Primitive Culture," i. 458) as "one of the most wide-spread, distinct, and intelligible rites of animistic religion. Arising in the lower barbaric stage, it develops itself in the higher, and thenceforth continues or dwindles in survival." He proceeds to quote numerous examples of it from all parts of the world, and from many ages of history.

    It is well known to have existed among the Manchu Tartars and other races of North-Eastern Asia until modern times. The Jesuit missionary Du Halde relates that the Emperor Shunchi, of the T'sing dynasty (died 1662), inconsolable for the loss of his wife and infant child, "signified by his will that thirty men should kill themselves to appease her manes, which ceremony the Chinese look upon with horror, and was abolished by the care of his successor"—the famous Kanghi.

    Another missionary, Alvarez Semedo, in his history of the Tartar invasion, says:—"The Tartarian King vowed to celebrate his Father's Funerals with the lives of two hundred thousand of the inhabitants of China. For it is the custome of the Tartars, when any man of quality dieth, to cast into that fire which consumes the dead corpse as many Servants, Women and Horses with Bows and Arrows as may be fit to atend and serve them in the next life."

    This custom was also practised in China in the most ancient times, though long condemned as barbarous. Confucius disapproved of it. An ode in the "Sheking" (Legge, iv. i. 198) laments the death of three brothers who were sacrificed at the funeral of Duke Muh, B.C. 621. When the Emperor She Hwang-ti died, B.C. 209, his son Urh said, "My father's palace ladies who have no children must not leave the tomb," and compelled them all to follow him in death. Their number was very great. For other cases see a paper by Mayers in the Journal of the North China Branch of the Asiatic Society, new Series, xii.

    A King of Kokuryö in Corea died A.D. 248. He was beloved for his virtues, and many of his household wished to die with him. His successor forbade them to do so, saying that it was not a proper custom. Many of them, however, committed suicide at the tomb. "Tongkam," iii. 20.

    In A.D. 502, Silla prohibited the custom of burying people alive at the funerals of the sovereigns. Before this time five men and five women were put to death at the King's tomb. "Tongkam," v. 5.

    Cases of suicide at the tomb of a beloved lord or sovereign have not been uncommon in Japan even in modern times. There was one in 1868.

    The Japanese, like the Chinese, make no distinction between voluntary deaths and human sacrifices. Both are called jun-shi, a term which means "following in death." Indeed, as we may see by the Italian Suttee, it is often hard to draw the line between these two forms of what is really the same custom.

  49. Clay-rings.
  50. Things set up.
  51. The date ascribed to this incident cannot be depended on. At least Chinese accounts speak of the custom of human sacrifices at the burial of a sovereign as in full force in Japan so late as A.D. 247. Probably all the events of this part of Japanese history are very much antedated. But of the substantial accuracy of the narrative there can be no doubt. Some of these clay figures (known as tsuchi-ningiô) are still in existence, and one may be seen in the British Museum, where it constitutes the chief treasure of the Gowland collection. The Uyeno Museum in Tokio also possesses specimens, both of men and horses. None, however, remain in situ at the tombs. The hani-wa (clay-ring) cylinders which may now be seen embedded in the earth round all the principal misasagi are so numerous that they can hardly have all been surmounted by figures. But they are of the same workmanship and of the same date, and no doubt some of them are the pedestals of images, the above-ground part of which has been long ago destroyed by the weather or by accident.

    A similar substitution of straw or wooden images for living men took place in China in ancient times, though by a curious inversion of ideas, the former practice is described as leading to the latter. See Legge's "Chinese Classics, Mencius," p. 9.

  52. Hashi (clay-worker) is also read hanishi, hashibe, or hasebe.
  53. As above stated, Tohe means chief.
  54. Literally, travelling-palace.
  55. For irrigation.
  56. So called because worn without a sheath.
  57. See above, p. 178.
  58. These are the names of villages. The "Shukai" editor suggests that they were allotted to the Prince for his support.
  59. Osaka was the place where the swords were stored.
  60. Hi-oki means "daily offerings."
  61. The Mononobe were Imperial life guards.
  62. One of these storehouses, dating from the 8th century, may still be seen at Tōdaiji, Nara. It is raised on pillars some ten feet above the ground.
  63. A kind of badger.
  64. Cf. above, p. 168.
  65. Sacred-stone.
  66. Tajima Mori was apparently selected for this mission on account of his descent from a king of Silla. But the Tokoyo no Kuni, or Eternal Land, can hardly have been Corea, where the Orange is little, if at all, grown in the present day. It was more likely China.
  67. The Orange, vide Ch. K., p. 198.
  68. The chronology, as usual, will not bear investigation.
  69. The meaning of the characters which I have thus rendered is doubtful. The corresponding passage in the "Kojiki" is corrupt and equally obscure. I do not feel sure that Motoöri has cleared it up quite satisfactorily, in spite of the amount of recondite learning he has brought to bear on it.

    Cf. Ch. K., p. 199.

  70. Said by the Chinese to be north of Fuyu (in Manchooria). It does not support ships.
  71. The sentiment and diction of this speech are thoroughly Chinese. It is not exactly poetry, but nearly so.
  72. Miyake, written with characters which mean "three storehouses." Mi, however, is more probably the honorific prefix.