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

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Pub. for the Society by K. Paul, Trench, Trübner, pages 106–120




The Emperor Tachibana no Toyohi was the fourth child of the Emperor Ame-kuni oshi-hiraki hiro-niha.[3] His mother's name was Kitashi hime. The Emperor believed in the Law of Buddha and reverenced the Way of the Gods.[4] In the fourteenth year of his reign, Autumn, the 8th month, the Emperor Nunakura futo-tama-shiki died.

9th month, 5th day. The Emperor assumed the Imperial dignity, and made his capital at Ihare, calling it the Palace of Namitsuki in Ikenobe.[5] Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune was made Oho-omi, and Mononobe no Yugehi no Moriya no Ohomuraji was made Ohomuraji, both as before.

19th day. The Emperor made command, saying:—etc., etc.[6]—appointing the Imperial Princess Nukade hime to the charge of the Shrine of Ise and to attend to the worship of the Sun-goddess.

This Imperial Princess, from the time of this Emperor until the reign of the Empress Kashikiya hime,[7] attended to the divine service of the Sun-goddess. She then retired of her own accord to Katsuraki, and there died. See the reign of the Empress Kashikiya hime. One book says:—"Having attended to the worship of the Sun-goddess for the space of thirty-seven years, she then retired of her own accord and died."

A.D. 586. (XXI. 2.) 1st year, Spring, 1st month, 1st day. The Imperial Princess Anahobe no Hashibito was appointed Empress Consort.[8] She bore four sons. The first was called the Imperial Prince Mŭmayado[9] [also called Mimito[10] Shōtoku,[11] or as some have it Toyoto-mimi, Great King of the Law, or again Master King of the Law]. This Imperial Prince at first lived at Kamitsu miya.[12] Afterwards he removed to Ikaruga in the reign of the Empress Toyomike Kashikiya hime, where he occupied the Eastern Palace,[13] and discharged the duties of Emperor, being associated with her in the management of all matters of administration, as is stated in the history of the Empress Toyomike Kashikiya hime. The second was called the Imperial Prince Kume; the third was called the Imperial Prince Yeguri; the fourth was called the Imperial Prince Mamuta.[14] Ishikina, daughter of Soga no Oho-omi, Iname no Sukune, was appointed a Consort. She bore the Imperial Prince Tame [also called the Imperial Prince Toyora]. Hiroko, daughter of Ihamura, Katsuraki no Atahe, bore one son and one daughter. The son was called the Imperial Prince Maroko; he was the ancestor of the Kimi of Tahema. The daughter was called the Imperial (XXI. 3.) Princess Nukade hime. She was during three generations in the service of the Sun-goddess.

Summer, 5th month. The Imperial Prince Anahobe tried to force his way into the Palace of temporary interment in order to ravish the Empress Consort Kashikiya hime.[15] But the favourite Minister, Sakahe, Miwa no Kimi, called out the guards, who firmly fastened the Palace Gate, and resisting his entrance, would not let him in. The Imperial Prince Anahobe demanded of them, saying:—"Who is it that is here?" The guards answered and said:—"Sakahe, Miwa no Kimi, is here." Seven times he shouted at them to open the gate, but they steadily refused to admit him. Hereupon the Imperial Prince Anahobe addressed the Oho-omi and the Ohomuraji, saying:—"Sakahe is incessantly insulting me. In the funeral eulogy delivered by him at the Court of temporary interment he said:—'Thy Court shall not be left desolate, but shall be kept pure as the surface of a mirror, and thy servant will preserve peace in dutiful service to thee.' This is an insult. At this moment there are many young men of the Emperor's family, and there are two Chief Ministers present. Who has any right wantonly to monopolize talk of dutiful service? Moreover when I wished to see the interior of the place of temporary interment, I was prevented, and not allowed to enter. Seven times I myself called out, 'Open the gate,' but there was no answer. I request that I may be allowed to put him to death." The two Chief Ministers[16] said:—"Be it as thou hast commanded." Upon this, the Imperial Prince Anahobe, while secretly planning to make himself ruler of the Empire, falsely gave out that his object was to kill Sakahe no Kimi. At length, along with Mononobe no Moriya no Ohomuraji, he led troops with which they surrounded Ikenobe in Ihare. This having come to the knowledge of Sakahe no Kimi, he concealed himself on Mount Mimoro. That day, at midnight, he came away stealthily from the mountain and hid in the hinder[17] palace, [meaning the Empress Kashikiya hime's country-house. It was called the Palace of Tsubaki ichi]. Relatives of Sakahe (XXI. 4.) named Shiratsutsumi and Yokoyama told where Sakahe no Kimi was, and the Imperial Prince Anahobe straightway sent to Moriya no Ohomuraji [one book says:—"The Imperial Princes Anahobe and Hatsusebe having consulted together, sent to Moriya no Ohomuraji"], saying to him:—"Thou must go and slay Sakahe no Kimi, and likewise his two children." The Ohomuraji at length went off in command of an armed force. Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune, having heard from an outside source of this conspiracy, went to the place where the Imperial Prince was. He accordingly arrived before the gate [the gate of the Imperial Prince's house is meant], and finding him on the point of going to the place where the Ohomuraji was, remonstrated with him, saying:—"A ruler does not approach a criminal. Thou shouldst not go thyself." The Imperial Prince would not listen to him, but went. Mŭmako no Sukune forthwith departed in his train, and arrived at Ihare. There he urgently remonstrated with him, and the Prince yielded to his remonstrances and stopped. In this place, accordingly, he remained seated on a chair and waited for the Ohomuraji. A good while later the latter arrived with his troops and reported the result of his commission, saying:—"I have executed Sakahe and the others." [One books says:—"The Imperial Prince went in person and shot them dead."] Hereupon Mŭmako no Sukune broke into bitter lamentations, saying:—"Civil disorder in the Empire is not far off." The Ohomuraji hearing this, answered and said:—"Thy position is that of a small minister;[18] thou dost not know."

This Sakahe, Miwa no Kimi, was a favourite of the Emperor Wosada,[19] and he was charged with all matters both internal and external. In consequence of this the Empress-consort Kashikiya hime and Mŭmako no Sukune both conceived enmity against the Imperial Prince Anahobe.

This year was the year Hinoye Mŭma (43rd) of the Cycle.

A.D. 587. 2nd year, Spring, 4th month, 2nd day. The Emperor performed the ceremony of tasting the new rice[20] on the river-bank of Ihare. On this day the Emperor took ill and returned to the Palace. All the Ministers were in attendance. The Emperor addressed them, saying:—"It is Our desire to give our adherence to the three precious things. Do ye Our Ministers advise upon this." All the Ministers entered the Court and consulted together. Mononobe no Moriya no Ohomuraji (XXI. 5.) and Nakatomi no Katsumi no Muraji opposed the Imperial proposal, and advised, saying:—"Why should we reverence strange deities, and turn our backs upon the gods of our country? Of course we know naught of any such thing." The Oho-omi Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune said:—"Let us render assistance in compliance with the Imperial command. Who shall offer advice to the contrary?" Hereupon the Imperial Prince the Emperor's younger brother [the Imperial Prince Anahobe is meant.[21] He was the Emperor's younger brother, born of a concubine], introduced into the interior (of the Palace) a priest of the Land of Toyo[22] [the personal name is wanting]. Mononobe no Moriya no Ohomuraji glared at them in great wrath. Then Kekuso, Oshi-sakabe no Fubito, came hastily and spoke secretly to the Ohomuraji, saying:—"All the Ministers are now plotting against thee, and moreover are about to waylay thee." When the Ohomuraji heard this, he retired to Ato [Ato is the name of a place where the Ohomuraji had a country house] and assembled a body of men. Nakatomi no Katsumi no Muraji assembled troops at his house and went with them to the assistance of the Ohomuraji. At length he prepared figures of the Imperial Prince Hikobito, the Heir Apparent, and of the Imperial Prince Takeda, and loathed them.[23] But presently finding that success was impossible, he repaired to the Palace of the Imperial Prince Hikobito at Mimata. One of the attendants[24] (of the Prince) named Ichihi, (XXI. 6.) Tomi no Obito [Tomi is the family name, and Ichihi the personal name], watched till Katsumi no Muraji was withdrawing from the place where the Imperial Prince Hikobito was, and drawing his sword, slew him. The Ohomuraji from his house at Ato sent a message to Mŭmako no Oho-omi by Wosaka, Mononobe no Yasaka no Oho-ichi no Miyakko, and Ani, Urushibe[25] no Miyakko, saying:—"Hearing that the Ministers have designs against me, I am keeping out of the way." Mŭmako no Oho-omi accordingly sent Hashi no Yajima no Muraji to the place where Ohotomo no Hirafu no Muraji was, and told him all that the Ohomuraji had said. Hirafu no Muraji, therefore, took in his hand his bow and arrows and his leathern shield and went to the house at Tsukikuma [the Oho-omi's house], where he remained guarding the Oho-omi, and did not leave him by night or by day.

The Emperor's sores became worse and worse, and when the end was approaching, Tasuna of the Kuratsukuri[26] Be [son of Shiba Tattō] came forward and addressed him, saying:—"Thy servant, on behalf of the Emperor, will renounce the world and exercise religion. Moreover, he will make an image of Buddha sixteen feet high, and a Temple." The Emperor was deeply moved. This is the 16-foot wooden image of Buddha which with its attendant Bosatsu[27] now stands in the Temple of Sakata at Minabuchi.

9th day. The Emperor died in the Great Hall.

Autumn, 7th month, 21st day. He was buried in the Misasagi above the pond of Ihare.[28]



(XXI. 7.) The Emperor Hatsusebe was the twelfth child of the Emperor Ame-kuni Oshi-hiraki hiro-niha."[31] His mother's name was Wo-ane[32] no Kimi [daughter of Iname no Sukune, as already stated].

The Emperor Tachibana no Toyohi died in the second year of his reign, Summer, the 4th month. In the 5th month the army of the Mononobe no Ohomuraji made a disturbance thrice. The Ohomuraji from the first wished to set aside the other Imperial Princes and to establish the Imperial Prince Anahobe as Emperor. He now hoped to make use of a hunting party to devise a plan for raising him to the throne instead. So he secretly sent a messenger to the Imperial Prince Anahobe, to say:—"I should like to hunt with the Imperial Prince in Ahaji." The plot leaked out.

6th month, 7th day. Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune and other Ministers, on behalf of Kashikiya hime no Mikoto, commissioned[33] Nifute, Saheki no Muraji, Ihamura, Hashi no Muraji, and Makuhi, Ikuba no Omi, saying:—"Do ye with rigorous discipline of arms proceed at once to execute the Imperial Prince Anahobe and the Imperial Prince Yakabe." On this day, at midnight, Nifute, Saheki no Muraji, and his colleagues surrounded the Palace of the Imperial Prince Anahobe. Upon this the guardsmen, having first climbed up into the upper story, smote the Imperial Prince Anahobe on the shoulder. The Imperial Prince fell down from the upper story, and ran away into an outhouse. Then the guardsmen, holding up lights, executed him.

8th day. The Imperial Prince Yakabe was executed.

The Imperial Prince Yakabe was the son of the Emperor Hinokuma[34] and father of Princess Kamutsu hime. This is not clear.

He was put to death because he approved the Imperial Prince Anahobe.

9th day. The nun Zen-shin and the others addressed the (XXI. 8.) Oho-omi, saying:—"Discipline is the basis of the method of those who renounce the world; we pray thee to let us go to Pèkché to receive instruction in the Law of Discipline." This month tribute Envoys from Pèkché arrived at Court. The Oho-omi addressed the Envoys, saying:—"Take these nuns with you, and when you are about to cross over to your country, make them learn the Law of Discipline. When they have done, send them off." The Envoys answered and said:—"When we return to our frontier State, we shall first of all inform the King of our country, and it will afterwards be not too late to send them off."[35]

Autumn, 7th month. The Oho-omi, Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune, incited the Imperial Princes and the Ministers to plot the destruction of the Ohomuraji, Mononobe no Moriya. The Imperial Prince Hatsusebe, the Imperial Prince Takeda, the Imperial Prince Mŭmayado, the Imperial Prince Naniha, the Imperial Prince Kasuga, the Oho-omi, Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune, Womaro no Sukune, Ki no Omi, Hirafu, Kose no Omi, Katafu, Kashihade no Omi, and Wonara, Katsuraki no Omi, together led an army, and advanced to attack the Ohomuraji. Kurafu, Ohotomo no Muraji, Hito, Abe no Omi, Ite, Heguri no Omi, Nukade, Sakamoto no Omi, and Kasuga no Omi [the personal name is not given], together led a force from the district of Shiki[36] as far as the house of Shibukaha.[37] The Ohomuraji, in personal command of the young men of his family and of a slave-army, built a rice-fort and gave battle. Then the Ohomuraji climbed up into the fork of an elm[38] at (XXI. 9.) Kisuri, from which he shot down arrows like rain. His troops were full of might. They filled the house and overflowed into the plain. The army of the Imperial Princes and the troops of the Ministers were timid and afraid, and fell back three times. At this time the Imperial Prince Mŭmayado, his hair being tied up on the temples[39] [the ancient custom was for boys of the age of fifteen or sixteen to tie up their hair on the temples; at the age of seventeen or eighteen it was divided, and made into tufts, as is the case even now], followed in the rear of the army. He pondered in his own mind, saying to himself:—"Are we not going to be beaten? Without prayer we cannot succeed." So he cut down a nuride tree,[40] and swiftly fashioned images of the four Heavenly Kings.[41] Placing them on his top-knot, he uttered a vow:—"If we are now made to gain the victory over the enemy, I promise faithfully to honour the four Heavenly Kings, guardians of the world, by erecting to them a temple with a pagoda." The Oho-omi Soga no Mŭmako also uttered a vow:—"Oh! all ye Heavenly Kings and great Spirit King,[42] aid and protect us, and make us to gain the advantage. If this prayer is granted, I will erect a temple with a pagoda in honour of the Heavenly Kings and the great Spirit King, and will propagate everywhere the three precious things." When they had made this vow, they urged their troops of all arms sternly forward to the attack. Now there was a man named Ichihi, Tomi no Obito, who shot down (XXI. 10.) the Ohomuraji from his branch and killed him and his children. The Ohomuraji's troops accordingly gave way suddenly. Joining their forces, they every one put on black clothes, and going hunting on the plain of Magari in Hirose, so dispersed.[43] In this war some of the children and relatives of the Ohomuraji made their escape, and concealing themselves on the plain of Ashihara, changed their personal names and altered their titles,[44] while others fled away nobody knew where. The people of that time said of them to one another:—"The wife of Soga no Oho-omi is the younger sister of the Ohomuraji Mononobe no Moriya, and the Oho-omi, injudiciously acting on his wife's advice, slew the Ohomuraji."[45]

When the civil troubles had been quieted, a Temple of the Four Heavenly Kings[46] was built in the province of Settsu. Half of the Ohomuraji's slaves, together with his house, were constituted the slaves and farm-house of the Great Temple, and ten thousand shiro[47] of rice-land were given to Ichihi, Tomi (XXI. 11.) no Obito. Moreover, Soga no Oho-omi, in fulfilment of his vow, erected the Temple of Hōkōji[48] in Asuka. A dependant of the Ohomuraji Mononobe no Moriya named Yorodzu, [the personal name], of the Tottori-be, in command of one hundred men, guarded the house[49] at Naniha, but hearing of the Ohomuraji's downfall, he urged his horse into a gallop, and made his escape by night in the direction of the village of Arimaka in the district of Chinu, where, having passed his wife's house, he at length concealed himself among the hills. The Court took counsel together, saying:—"Yorodzu cherishes traitorous feelings, and therefore has concealed himself among these hills. Let his kindred be extirpated promptly, and no remissness shown." Yorodzu, in tattered and filthy raiment, and with a wretched countenance, came forth alone, of his own accord, bow in hand and girt with a sword. The officials sent several hundred guardsmen to surround him. Yorodzu, accordingly, was afraid, and hid himself in a bamboo thicket, where he tied cords to the bamboos and pulled them so as to shake the bamboos, and thus make the people to doubt where he had gone in. The guardsmen were deceived, and pointing to the quivering bamboos, ran forward, saying:—"Yorodzu is here!" Yorodzu forthwith shot his arrows, not one of which missed its mark, so that the guardsmen were afraid, and did not dare to approach. Yorodzu then unstrung his bow, and taking it under his arm, ran off towards the hills. The guardsmen accordingly pursued him, shooting their arrows at him from both sides of a river, but none of them were able to hit (XXI. 12.) him. Hereupon one of the guardsmen ran on swiftly, and got before Yorodzu. Lying down by the river's side, he aimed at him, and hit him on the knee. Yorodzu forthwith pulled out the arrow, and stringing his bow, let fly his arrows. Then prostrating himself on the earth, he exclaimed aloud:—"A shield of the Emperor, Yorodzu would have devoted his valour to his service, but no examination was made, and, on the contrary, he has been hard pressed, and is now at an extremity. Let some one come forward and speak with me, for it is my desire to learn whether I am to be slain or to be made a prisoner." The guardsmen raced up and shot at Yorodzu, but he warded off the flying shafts, and slew more than thirty men. Then he took the sword which he wore, and cut his bow into three pieces, and bending back his sword, flung it into the midst of the water of the river. With a dagger which he had besides, he stabbed himself in the throat, and died. The Governor of Kahachi reported the circumstances of Yorodzu's death to the Court, which gave an order by a stamp[50] that his body should be cut into eight pieces and disposed for exposure among the eight provinces. The Governor[51] of Kahachi accordingly, in obedience to the purport of the stamped order, was about to dismember him for exposure, when thunder pealed, and a great rain fell. Now, there was a white dog which had been kept by Yorodzu. Looking up, and looking down, he went round, howling beside the corpse, and at last, taking up the head in his mouth, placed it on an ancient mound. He then lay down close by, and starved to death in front of it. The Governor of Kahachi, thinking that dog's conduct very strange, reported it to the Court. The Court could not bear to hear of it for pity, and issued a stamped order to this effect:—"The case of this dog is one that is rarely heard of in the world, and should be shown to after ages. Let Yorodzu's kindred be made to construct a tomb and bury their remains." The kindred of Yorodzu accordingly assembled together, and raised a tomb in the village of Arimaka, where they buried Yorodzu and his dog.

It was reported from the province of Kahachi that on the plain[52] of the River of Yega there were slain men to the number it might be of several hundreds. Their corpses had become (XXI. 13.) putrefied, so that their names could not be ascertained, but by the colour of the clothing their bodies were taken up (by their friends) for burial. Now there was a dog, kept by Inu, Sakurawi no Tanabe no Muraji, who held on by his teeth to the dead body (of his master), and lying beside it, guarded it closely, not getting up to go away until he had caused it to be taken up for burial.

8th month, 2nd day. The Emperor, upon the advice of Kashikiya hime no Mikoto and the Ministers, assumed the Imperial Dignity. Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune was made Oho-omi as before. The Ministers and Daibu were also confirmed in their previous ranks.

In this month the Palace was made at Kurahashi.[53]

A.D. 588. 1st year, Spring, 3rd month. Woteko, daughter of Ohotomo no Nukade no Muraji, was appointed Consort. She bore the Imperial Prince Hachiko and the Imperial Princess Nishikide.

This year, the Land of Pèkché sent Envoys, and along with them the Buddhist priests Hyé-song, Nyöng-Keun, and Hyé-sik,[54] with a present of Buddhist relics. The Land of Pèkché sent the Eun-sol, Syu-sin, the Tök-sol, Kè-mun, and the Na-sol, Pok-pu-mè-sin, with tribute, and also with a present of Buddhist relics, the Buddhist priest Nyöng-chyo, the ascetics Nyöng-wi, Hyé-chyung, Hyé-syuk and To-öm, the Temple carpenters Ta-nyang Mi-ta and Mun-ko-ko-chă, a man learned in the art of making braziers and chargers,[55] the Chyang-tök Pèng-mè-syun, men learned in pottery named Mana Puno, Yang Kwi-mun, Neung Kwi-mun and Syök-ma Tyé-mi, and a painter[56] named Pèk-ka.

Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune inquired of the Pèkché priests the method of receiving discipline, and handing over to the Eun-sol, Syu-sin, and the other Pèkché Envoys the nuns Zen-shin and her companions, despatched them (to Corea) for study. Having pulled down the house of Konoha, ancestor of the Asuka no Kinunuhi no Miyakko, he began to build the Temple of Hōkōji. The name of this place was Asuka no (XXI. 14.) Magami no Hara. It was also called Asuka no Tomada.

This year was the year Tsuchinoye Saru (45th) of the Cycle.

A.D. 589. 2nd year, Autumn, 7th month, 1st day. Kamafu, Afumi no Omi, was sent to the Tōsandō[57] to inspect the frontier of the territory of the Yemishi, Kari, Shishibito no Omi, to the Tōkaidō[58] to inspect the frontier of the provinces bordering on the Eastern ocean, and Abe no Omi to the Hokurikudō to inspect the frontier of the province of Koshi, etc.[59]

A.D. 590. 3rd year, Spring, 3rd month. The student nuns, Zen-shin and her companions, returned from Pèkché, and took up their abode in the Temple at Sakurawi.

Autumn, 10th month. People went to the hills to get timber for building Buddhist temples. In this year there entered religion as nuns, Zentoku, daughter of Ohotomo no Sadehiko no Muraji, and his Koma wives Shiraki hime and Kudara hime,[60] under the names of Zem-myō and Myō-kwō. Moreover men of Han[61] named Zen-sō, Zen-tsū, Hō Jō-shō, Zen Chi-sō, Zen Chi-kei, and Zen-kwō, with Tasuna, a son of Kuratsukuri be no Shiba Tattō, at the same time renounced the world, the latter taking the name of Tokusai Hōshi.[62]

A.D. 591. 4th year, Spring, 4th month, 12th day. The Emperor Wosada was buried in the Misasagi of Shinaga.[63] This is the Misasagi where the Empress-consort, his mother, was buried.

(XXI. 15.) Autumn, 8th month, 1st day. The Emperor addressed his Ministers, saying:—"It is our desire to establish Imna. What do ye think?" The Ministers said to him:—"The Miyake of Imna should be established. We are all of the same opinion as Your Majesty."

Winter, 11th month, 4th day. Ki no Womaro no Sukune, Hirafu, Kose no Omi, Kashihade no Omi, Ohotomo no Kuhi no Muraji, and Katsuraki no Wonara no Omi were appointed as Generals. Taking with them the Omi and Muraji of the various Houses as Adjutant-Generals of the divisions of the army, they marched out in command of over 20,000 men and stationed themselves in Tsukushi. Kishi no Kana was sent to Silla and Kishi[64] no Itahiko to Imna to make inquiry respecting Imna.

A.D. 592. 5th year, Winter, 10th month, 4th day. A wild boar was presented to the Emperor. Pointing to it, he said:—"When shall those to whom We have an aversion be cut off as this wild boar's throat has been cut?" An abundance of weapons was provided beyond what was customary.

10th day. Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune, having been told of the pronouncement of the Emperor, and alarmed at his detestation of himself, called together his people and conspired with them to assassinate the Emperor.

In this month, the Hall of Worship and the covered gallery of the great Hōkōji Temple were built.

11th month, 3rd day. Mŭmako no Sukune lied to the Ministers, saying:—"To-day I present the taxes of the Eastern provinces," and sent Koma, Yamato no Aya no Atahe, who killed the Emperor.

One book says:—"Koma, Yamato no Aya no Atahe, was the son of Ihawi, Yamato no Aya no Atahe."

On this day the Emperor was buried in the Misasagi on the hill of Kurahashi.

(XXI. 16.) One book says:—The Imperial concubine Ohotomo no Koteko, incensed at her declining favour, sent a man to Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune with a message, saying:—"Recently a wild boar was presented to the Emperor. He pointed to it and said:—'When shall the man We think of be cut off as this wild boar's throat has been cut?' Besides weapons are being made in abundance in the Palace." Now Mŭmako no Sukune, hearing this, was alarmed.

5th day. Mounted messengers were sent to the General's quarters in Tsukushi, saying:—"Do not let foreign matters be neglected in consequence of the internal troubles."

This month, Koma, Yamato Aya no Atahe, had a clandestine amour with the Imperial concubine Kahakami no Iratsume, daughter of Soga, and made her his wife. [Kahakami no Iratsume was the daughter of Soga no Mŭmako no Sukune.] Mŭmako no Sukune did not find out immediately that Kahakami no Iratsume had been clandestinely possessed by Koma, and supposed that she was dead. But when Koma's intrigue with the Imperial concubine became known he was killed by the Oho-omi.

  1. This name means orange abundance-sun. Tachibana is, however, here the name of a village in Yamato.
  2. Yō means to use, employ; mei, brightness.
  3. Kimmei Tennō.
  4. Shintō. 神道. The first time this phrase is found. The "Yih-king" has, "The sage frames his doctrine by the Way of the Gods, and the Empire accepts it."
  5. Province of Yamato.
  6. The author omits the words of the edict, and only gives its general purport.
  7. Suiko Tennō.
  8. She was also a daughter of Kimmei Tennō, by a different mother.
  9. See below, 1st year of Suiko's reign, for the reason of this name.
  10. Quick-ear.
  11. Sagely-virtue. This is the renowned Shōtoku Daishi, the real founder of Buddhism in Japan.
  12. The Upper Palace.
  13. i.e. the Heir Apparent's quarters.
  14. Or Mata.
  15. The Empress Dowager. The motive was probably not lust, but ambition. Compare the similar case of Jimmu Tennō's widow.
  16. 大臣 is here evidently not Oho-omi, for one of them was not an Oho-omi, but an Ohomuraji. It has the more general sense of Chief Minister.
  17. i.e. the Empress's palace.
  18. Alluding to his title of Oho-omi or Great Minister.
  19. Bidatsu Tennō.
  20. Nihi-name. See above, Vol. I. p. 86. It was unusual to celebrate this festival in spring.
  21. The "Shukai" editor thinks we should understand here the Emperor's younger brother and the Imperial Prince.
  22. Or perhaps Toyokuni was his name.
  23. i.e. practised witchcraft on them.
  24. Toneri.
  25. This name may be read either Urushibe no Miyakko or Nuribe no Miyakko. Urushi is "varnish," and nuri means "to smear," so that the difference is not very material. This is the first mention of lacquer in Japanese literature, and although it indicates that the art was already known, we may safely set aside as later inventions the statements referring it to a much earlier period which are quoted, with a reserve amply justified by the facts, in an essay on Lacquer in the "Catalogue of Japanese Lacquer and Metal Work in the Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1894."

    The Urushibe (or Nuribe) no Muraji (a higher rank than Miyakko) were promoted to be Urushibe no Sukune in 685.

    An ancient note to the "Kiujiki," III. 16, traces the descent of the Urushibe no Muraji from a deity.

  26. Saddle-makers.
  27. i.e. Boddhisattwa. The two Bosatsu here alluded to are probably Ji-zō Bosatsu (Kshidi-garbha) and Monju Bosatsu, the Sanskrit Mañdjus'rî. Vide Eitel, sub voce. Also vide "Satow's Handbook," 2nd ed. introduction, p. 87.
  28. Afterwards re-interred at Shinaga in Kahachi.
  29. The "Kojiki" calls him Hatsusebe no Waka-sazaki.
  30. Venerable-lofty.
  31. Kimmei Tennō.
  32. i.e. little-elder-sister.
  33. The character used is , generally applied to an edict or order of the Emperor.
  34. Senkwa Tennō.
  35. See below, XXI. 13.
  36. In Kahachi.
  37. i.e. the Ohomuraji's house at Shibukaha.
  38. The yenoki or Celtis sinensis.
  39. The interlinear version calls this style hisago-hana, i.e. gourd-flower; the manly style is called age-maki, or rolling up.
  40. It is doubtful what kind of tree is intended. Nuride is the interlinear gloss. The nuride or nurude resembles the lacquer tree (nuri means lacquer). Hepburn calls it Rhus semialata.
  41. Shi-ten-ō or Chatur Mahārādjas. Four demon kings who guard the world against Asuras. Vide Eitel, p. 174, 2nd ed.; also "Satow's Handbook," p. 556.
  42. Daijinnō or Mahākāla. Vide Eitel, pp. 85 and 91. Identified with the modern Daikoku Sama. Vide "Anderson's B. M. Catalogue," p. 33.
  43. It is explained here that "black" was the colour of underlings' clothes, and that the chiefs put on this colour for disguise. The "hunting" was only a pretence.
  44. Or surnames.
  45. She wished to appropriate to herself his property.
  46. At Osaka. Still known as Tennōji. Vide "Murray's Handbook of Japan," 3rd ed. p. 285.
  47. The (shiro) is equal 100 or mow, a measure which, according to present Chinese reckoning, is equal to 15.13 acres. Vide Giles.
  48. Near Nara. It is no longer in existence.
  49. Of the Ohomuraji.
  50. Oshide. A stamp of red or black ink on the palm of the hand as token of authority.
  51. 國司. The Interlinear Kana is mikoto-mochi.
  52. The dry bed of a river is frequently so called in Japan. They were often used as execution grounds.
  53. In Yamato.
  54. In Japanese Ye-sō, Ryō-kin, and Ye-shoku.
  55. Metal-founders. These artizans had a defined rank and are called Hakase, or doctor.
  56. Probably of Buddhist pictures, says the "Shukai" editor.
  57. i.e. East-mountain-circuit, including the inland provinces eastwards from Afumi (Ōmi). The Interlinear Kana has Adzuma, which is not quite the same.
  58. East-sea-circuit, including the provinces along the East Coast from Iga to Hitachi.
  59. Viz. Etchiu, Echizen, and Echigo.
  60. i.e. the Silla lady and the Pèkché lady.
  61. China. No doubt we should understand the Ayabito family of Chinese descent. The names are Chinese, but as the persons who bore them had probably never been in China, I have not given the Chinese pronunciation.
  62. Hōshi is a priestly title.
  63. In Kahachi.
  64. It seems doubtful whether Kishi is here part of the name or a title.