Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697/Book XXIII
The Emperor Okinaga tarashi-hi hiro-nuka was the grandson of the Emperor Nunakura futo-dama-shiki, and the son of the Imperial Prince Hikobito no Ohoye. His mother's name was the Imperial Princess Nukade hime.
In the 29th year of the reign of the Empress Toyo-mike Kashikiya hime the Prince Imperial Toyotomimi no Mikoto died. No successor to him had been appointed. In the 3rd month of the 36th year the Empress died. In the 9th month the funeral ceremonies were completed, but no decision as to who should succeed to the throne had yet been come to. At this time Soga no Yemishi no Omi was Oho-omi. He wished to decide the matter of the succession on his sole authority. But apprehending that the Ministers generally would not acquiesce in this, he consulted Abe no maro no Omi, and having assembled all the Ministers, they entertained them in the Oho-omi's house. When the feast was over, and they were about to disperse, the Oho-omi through Abe no Omi addressed the Ministers, saying:—"The Empress is dead, leaving no successor. If measures are not taken promptly, civil disturbances are to be feared. Which, therefore, of the Princes is to be her successor? When the Empress took ill, she commanded the Imperial Prince Tamura, saying:—'The Empire is a great charge, and, of course, not to be lightly spoken of. Do thou the Imperial Prince Tamura be watchful and observant, and not remiss.' She next sent for Prince Yamashiro no Ohoye, and said to him:—'Do thou avoid brawling speech of thine own, and fail not to follow the words of the many. Be self-restrained, and not contentious.' These were the dying injunctions of the Empress. Whom now shall we make Emperor?" The Ministers were silent, and made no answer. (XXIII. 2.) Again he asked them, but there was no reply. He persisted in questioning them, and thereupon Ohotomo no Kujira no Muraji advanced and said:—"Let us simply obey the Empress's dying injunctions. There is no need to go beyond them, and consult general opinion." Abe no Omi straightway inquired, saying:—"What does this mean? Explain thy opinion." He answered and said:—"What was the Empress's intention when she gave command to the Imperial Prince Tamura, saying:—'The Empire is a great charge; be not remiss'? Judging by this, the Imperial Dignity is already decided. And who shall gainsay this decision?" Then the four Ministers, Mareshi, Uneme no Omi, Uma, Taka-muku no Omi, Mike, Nakatomi no Omi, and Musashi, Naniha no Kishi, said:—"Let us comply with the advice of Ohotomo no Muraji; there is no more objection to be made." Ohomaro, Kose no Omi, Adzumōdo, Saheki no Muraji, and Shihote, Ki no Omi, these three, stood forward and said:—"It is Prince Yamashiro no Ohoye who should be made Emperor." But Soga no Kuramaro no Omi [also called Womasa] alone said:—"I am unable to say anything at this moment, but I will think further over the matter and declare myself later." Upon this the Oho-omi, seeing that the Ministers were inharmonious, and that the matter could not be accomplished, retired.
Before this, the Oho-omi had by himself inquired of Sakahibe no Marise no Omi, saying:—"The Empress has died, leaving no heir. Whom shall we make Emperor?" He answered and said:—"Let us raise up Yamashiro no Ohoye, and make him Emperor." At this time Yamashiro no Ohoye was living in the Palace of Ikaruga. This consultation having come to his ears, he sent Prince Mikuni and Wajiko, Sakurawi no Omi, these two, with a secret message to the Oho-omi, (XXIII. 3.) saying:—"It has come to my knowlege that (thou) my maternal uncle art desirous of making the Imperial Prince Tamura Emperor. On hearing this report, I have thought of it standing and have thought of it sitting, but without being able to see on what just grounds it rests. I beg that I may be clearly informed of my uncle's intentions." Hereupon the Oho-omi, when he received this message from Yamashiro no Ohoye, was unable of himself to give an answer. So he sent for Abe no Omi, Nakatomi no Muraji, Ki no Omi, Kahabe no Omi, Takamuku no Omi, Uneme no Omi, Ohotomo no Muraji, and Kose no Omi, to whom he communicated fully Yamashiro no Ohoye's message. He then proceeded to address these Daibu, saying:—"Go, ye Daibu, in a body to the Palace of Ikaruga, and say to Prince Yamashiro no Ohoye, 'How should his humble servant be so rash as of his own authority to decide the succession to the Dignity? All that he has done is to take up the Empress's dying commands, and communicate them to the Ministers.' The Ministers said with one voice, 'In accordance with the dying instructions of the Empress, the Imperial Prince Tamura is the natural successor to the Dignity. Who has any further objection?' Such were the words of the Ministers. They are not specially my sentiments. Although I have a private opinion of my own, out of respect I refrain from communicating it by message, and await the opportunity of an interview in order to inform thee personally." Hereupon the Daibu, having received the words of the Oho-omi, proceeded together to the Palace of Ikaruga, where Prince Mikuni and Sakurawi no Omi were made to deliver to Yamashiro no Ohoye the message of the Oho-omi. Now Prince Ohoye made them go and ask the Daibu what were the dying commands of the Empress. They answered and said:—"We do not know the depth of the matter. Only we gathered from the account given us of the circumstance by the Oho-omi that on the day in which the Empress took to her sick bed, she gave command to the Imperial Prince Tamura, and said to him, 'The future government of the country is not to be lightly spoken of. Therefore do thou the Imperial Prince Tamura speak of it with self-restraint, and be not remiss.' She next gave command to Prince Ohoye, and said to him, 'Thy heart is young; avoid brawling words, and fail not to obey the voice of general opinion.' The princesses in immediate attendance on the (XXIII. 4.) Empress, and the ladies-in-waiting all know this. Moreover, it is within the direct knowledge of the great Prince." Hereupon Prince Ohoye caused further inquiry to be made, saying:—"Is there any special person who has heard these dying injunctions of the Empress?" The answer was, "We have no knowledge of any secret particulars." After this he sent a fresh message to the Daibu, saying:—"My beloved maternal uncle has been at the pains to send me not simply a single messenger, but a number of high officials for my instruction. For this I am deeply grateful. It appears, however, that the dying commands of the Empress which the Ministers now tell me of are somewhat different from what I heard. As soon as I learnt that the Empress had taken to her sick bed, I hastened to the palace and waited at the gate. Then Mike, Nakatomi no Muraji, came out from the forbidden precinct, and said:—'I summon thee by command of the Empress.' Accordingly I proceeded to the inner gate. Moreover Kurome, Kurikuma no Uneme, met me in the courtyard, and led me to the Great Hall. Now the Empress's personal attendants, with Princess Kurimoto at their head, and eight ladies-in-waiting, Shibime among the number, several tens of persons in all, were in attendance beside the Empress. The Imperial Prince Tamura was also present. Now the Empress was very ill, and could not see me. Accordingly Princess Kurimoto informed her that Prince Yamashiro no Ohoye, whom she had sent for, had arrived. Then the Empress raised herself up and gave command, saying:—'We, with our poor abilities, have long borne the burden of the great institution. But now our destined career is drawing to a close; and this disease admits of no avoidance. Therefore, thou hast always been dear to Our heart, and Our affection for thee has no parallel. Now the great foundation of the State is not a (XXIII. 5.) thing of Our reign (alone), but from all time has demanded diligence. Do thou, though thy heart is young, be watchful over thy words.' All those who were in immediate attendance on the Empress at that time know this. Therefore when this great favour was conferred on me, I was on the one hand full of awe, and on the other full of grief. I leaped for joy, and knew not what to do. Then I bethought me:—'The Spirits of the land and of grain and the ancestral shrines are weighty matters. I am young and devoid of wisdom: how can I presume to accept this charge?' Just at this time I desired to converse with my maternal uncle and the Ministers on the subject, but there was no (fit) opportunity for me to speak, and it is for this reason only that I have been silent up to the present. On a former occasion I went to the capital in order to pay a visit of inquiry to my sick maternal uncle, and lodged in the Temple of Toyora. On this day the Empress sent Shibime, Yakuchi no Uneme, to me with an Imperial message, saying:—'Thy maternal uncle, the Oho-omi, constantly expresses anxiety on thy account. After a hundred years, is it not to thee that the succession to the Dignity will fall? Be, therefore, watchful, and spare thyself.' This matter is clear. What doubt can there be about it? But am I covetous of the Empire? I am simply declaring what I have heard, and I call to witness to its truth the Gods both of Heaven and Earth. Therefore it is my desire to ascertain accurately the dying commands of the Empress. Moreover, ye, the Ministers sent to me by the Oho-omi, are men who have always addressed the sovereign as it were holding the sacred spear by the middle. Will you be so good, therefore, as to inform my uncle?"
After this Prince Hatsuse, the second son (of Prince Ohoye), sent for Nakatomi no Muraji and Kahabe no Omi separately, and said to them:—"Both my father and I spring from the Soga family, as is well known to the world. We, therefore, rely on it as on a high mountain. I pray, therefore, that the succession to the Dignity be not lightly spoken of." So he sent Prince Mikuni and Sakurawi no Omi along with the Ministers, (XXIII. 6.) saying:—"I desire to receive an answer." Then the Oho-omi sent Ki no Omi and Ohotomo no Muraji to say to Prince Mikuni and Sakurawi no Omi:—"On a former occasion I said all I had to say: there is nothing else. However, how should I presume to despise one prince and honour another?" Several days after, Prince Yamashiro no Ohoye again sent Sakurawi no Omi to the Oho-omi to say:—" What I sented on the former day was only what I heard. Shall I oppose my maternal uncle?"
On this day the Oho-omi was ill, and unable to hold a personal conversation with Sakurawi no Omi.
The next day the Oho-omi sent for Sakurawi no Omi, and straightway despatched Abe no Omi, Nakatomi no Muraji, Kahabe no Omi, Oharida no Omi, and Ohotomo no Muraji to address Prince Yamashiro no Ohoye, saying:—"From the time of the Emperor who reigned in the Palace of Shikishima until recently, the Ministers have all been wise Men. Now I am not wise, yet having happened on a time when men are scarce, I hold rank wrongfully above all the Ministers. This being so, I have been unable to settle the great foundation." This is, however, a grave matter, and cannot well be discussed by intermediaries. Therefore, although my age makes it burdensome to me, I will speak with thee personally. This is merely that there may be no misunderstanding as to the Empress's dying injunctions, and not because I have any private views of my own."
After this the Oho-omi sent Abe no Omi and Nakatomi no Muraji with a message to Sakahibe no Omi to inquire again of him, saying:—"Which Prince shall be made Emperor?" He answered and said:—"When the Oho-omi formerly asked me in person, his slave said all that he had to say on the matter. What need is there now for any further message?" And he was greatly enraged, and got up and went out. Just at this time there was a gathering of all the kinsmen of the Soga House to construct a tumulus for Shima no Oho-omi. They lodged at the place where the tomb was. Hereupon Marire no Omi, having pulled down the sheds at the tomb, retired to the Soga farm-house, and would do no official duty. Upon this, the Oho-omi was angry, and sent Katsushi, Musa no Kimi, and (XXIII. 7.) Akawi, Nishikori no Obito, to admonish him, saying:—"I know thy evil speeches, but by reason of our relationship of elder and younger brother I cannot injure thee. But if others are wrong and thou art right, I shall oppose them and follow thee: if others are right and thou art wrong, I shall in that case oppose thee and follow them. If, therefore, thou shouldst eventually disagree with me, there will be a breach between us, and there will, moreover, be civil broils in the land. Then posterity will say that thou and I have brought the country to ruin. Such would be our ill-fame with after generations. Do thou be watchful, nor allow a rebellious spirit to arise."
But he still refused compliance, and at length went to Ikaruga, where he dwelt in the Palace of Prince Hatsuse. Hereupon the Oho-omi became more and more wrathful, and sent the Ministers to make a request of Yamashiro no Ohoye, saying:—"Marise has of late been disobedient to me, and has concealed himself in the Palace of Prince Hatsuse. I pray thee, let me have Marise, so that I may examine the reasons." Hereupon, Prince Ohoye answered and said:—"Marise was always a favourite of the wise Empress, and has only come here for a short visit. How should he set himself in opposition to the sentiments of my maternal uncle? I pray thee, do not find fault with him." Accordingly he spoke to Marise, saying:—"It is most kind of thee to come, not forgetting the gratitude which thou owest to the former prince. But the peace of the Empire is now threatened on thy sole account. Moreover, the former Prince, when near his end, addressed his children, saying:—'Avoid wickedness of every kind, practise good of every kind.' I heard this speech, and have made it my constant rule of life. On this account, although I have my private sentiments, I am patient, and not wrathful. Nor can I set myself in opposition to my uncle. I pray thee, henceforward, be not afraid to reform thy views. Yield to the many, and do not withdraw thyself."
At this time, the Daibu also admonished Marise no Omi, saying:—"Thou shouldst not disobey the commands of Prince Ohoye." Hereupon Marise no Omi, having advanced to a point where he had nowhere to turn for support, burst out (XXIII. 8.) weeping and went home again. He remained in his house for more than ten days. Prince Hatsuse suddenly took ill and died. Hereupon Marise no Omi said:—"Though I live, on whom shall I place my trust?"
The Oho-omi, wishing to put to death Sakahibe no Omi, raised troops which he sent against him. Sakahibe no Omi hearing that an armed force was coming, took with him his second son, Aya, and going outside the gate, sat down on a chair and waited. Then the troops arrived, and Ikuhi, Kume no Mononobe, was made to strangle him. Father and son died together and were buried in the same place. But the eldest son, Ketsu, fled and concealed himself in the tiled house of a nunnery, where he had intrigues with one or two of the nuns. Now one of the nuns was jealous and informed on him. The temple was surrounded and he was on the point of being caught, when he got away and went to Mount Unebi. Therefore they searched the mountain. Ketsu had no place to escape to, and committed suicide on the mountain by stabbing himself in the throat. The people of that day made a song, saying:—
On Mount Unebi
Though thin are the trees,
May there not be trust in them?
The youth Ketsu
Seems to have hidden there.
(A.D. 629.) 1st year, Spring, 1st month, 4th day. The Oho-omi together with the Ministers took the Imperial Seal and offered it to the Imperial Prince Tamura. He declined it, saying:—"The ancestral shrines are a weighty matter. I, the inept one, am wanting in wisdom; how can I presume to undertake their charge?" The Ministers humbly persisted in their request, saying:—"Thou, great Prince, wert the favourite of the late sovereign. Both the spirit realm and this visible world incline their hearts to thee. It is right that thou shouldst continue the Imperial line, and dispense thy radiance down on the people."
On the same day, he assumed the Imperial Dignity.
(XXIII. 9.) Summer, 4th month, 1st day. Tanabe no Muraji was sent to Yaku.
This year was the year Tsuchinoto Ushi (26th) of the Cycle.
(A.D. 630.) 2nd year, Spring, 1st month, 12th day. The Imperial Princess Takara was appointed Empress-consort. She had two sons and one daughter. The name of the eldest was the Imperial Prince Katsuraki [the Emperor who reigned in the Palace of Ohotsu in Afumi]; the second was called the Imperial Princess Hashibito; the third was called the Imperial Prince Oho-ama [the Emperor who reigned in the Palace of Kiyomihara]. The Lady Hōde no Iratsume, daughter of the Oho-omi Soga no Shima, bore (to him) the Imperial Prince Furubito [also called the Imperial Prince Ohoye]. He also took to him Kaya no Uneme, of the province of Kibi, who bore to him the Imperial Prince Kaya.
3rd month, 1st day. The senior ambassador from Koryö named Yön Chă-phé, and the junior ambassador Ya-tök, with the senior ambassador from Pèkché, the Eun-sol, Sochă, and the junior ambassador the Tök-sol, Mutök, offered tribute together.
8th day. The Koryö and Pèkché guests were entertained at Court.
9th month, 4th day. The Koryö and Pèkché guests returned to their own country.
In this month Tanabe no Muraji and his companions returned from Yaku.
Winter, 10th month, 12th day. The Emperor removed (the palace) to a place near the Hill of Asuka. This was called the Palace of Okamoto. In this year the official residences of the three Han in Oho-kohori at Naniha were repaired.
(A.D. 631.) 3rd year, Spring, 2nd month, 10th day. People from Yaku emigrated hither.
(XXIII. 10.) 3rd month, 1st day. Wi-chă, King of Pèkché, sent Prince Phung-chyang as hostage.
Autumn, 9th month, 19th day. The Emperor made a progress to the hot springs of Arima in the Province of Settsu.
Winter, 12th month, 13th day. The Emperor arrived from the hot springs.
(A.D. 632.) 4th year, Autumn, 8th month. Great Thang sent Kao Piao-jên to escort Mitasuki (on his way back from China to Japan). They anchored together at Tsushima. At this time the student-priests Ryöng-un and Bin, together with Suguri no Torikahi and Silla Escort Envoys, came in their train.
Winter, 10th month, 4th day. The Envoys from the Land of Thang; Kao Piao-jên and his companions, arrived in the harbour of Naniha. Accordingly Mŭmakahi no Muraji was sent to meet them at E-guchi. There were thirty-two boats, which, as well as the drums, fifes and flags, were all gaily decorated. He addressed Kao Piao-jên and his companions, saying:—"Hearing that the Envoy appointed by the Son of Heaven has arrived at the Emperor's Court, I have come to receive him." Then Kao Piao-jên answered and said:—"On a day when the wind is so chill, it gives me great pleasure that you have been good enough to come to meet me with these gaily-decked boats." Hereupon Wotsuki, Naniha no Kishi, and Yafushi, Ohoshi-kahachi no Atahe, were appointed to be (XXIII. 11.) their guides as far as the front of the official residence. Then Ittō, Iki no Fubito, and Yatsushi, Naniha no Kishi, were sent to introduce the guests into the official residence. On the same day, sacred sake was given them.
(A.D. 633.) 5th year, Spring, 1st month, 26th day. The Envoys from Great Thang, Kao Piao-jên and his companions, returned to their own country. The envoys sent to escort them, viz. the Kishi Womaro, Kuromaro and the rest, went as far as Tsushima, and then came back.
(A.D. 634.) 6th year, Autumn, 8th month. A long star was seen in the south. The people of that time called it a besom-star.
(A.D. 635.) 7th year, Spring, 1st month. The besom-star went round and was seen in the East.
Summer, 6th month, 10th day. Pèkché sent the Tal-sol, Yu and others with tribute.
Autumn, 7th month, 7th day. The Pèkché guests were entertained at Court. In this month a lotus of auspicious omen grew in the Tsurugi pond. There were two flowers on one stalk.
(A.D. 636.) (XXIII. 12.) 8th year, Spring, 1st month, 1st day. There was an eclipse of the sun.
3rd month. All those who had had illicit intercourse with the Uneme were put on their trial, and were all punished.
At this time Wosazaki, Miwa no Kimi, by reason of the pain of the examination, committed suicide by stabbing himself in the throat.
Summer, 5th month. There were great rains and floods.
6th month. The Palace of Okamoto having been destroyed by fire, the Emperor removed his residence to the Palace of Tanaka.
Autumn, 7th month, 1st day. Prince Ohomata addressed Toyora no Oho-omi, saying:—"The Ministers and functionaries are remiss in their attendance at Court. Henceforward, let them attend at the beginning of the hour of the Hare, and withdraw after the hour of the Serpent. Regulate this by means of a bell." The Oho-omi, however, did not take this advice.
This year there was a great drought, and there was famine throughout the Empire.
(A.D. 637.) 9th year, Spring, and month, 23rd day. A great star floated from East to West, and there was a noise like that of thunder. The people of that day said that it was the sound of the falling star. Others said that it was earth-thunder. Hereupon the Buddhist Priest Bin said:—"It is not the falling star, but the Celestial Dog, the sound of whose barking is like thunder."
(XXIII. 13.) 3rd month, 2nd day. There was an eclipse of the sun.
In this year the Yemishi rebelled and did not come to Court. The Dainin, Katana, Kamitsukenu no Kimi, was appointed general to smite them. But it was he, on the contrary, who was defeated by the Yemishi, and fled into a fortress, where he was eventually besieged by the enemy. His soldiers all slipped away, and the castle became empty. The general was perplexed and knew not what to do. Then at nightfall he was climbing over the palisade in order to escape, when his wife lamented, saying:—"Oh, what a shame that we should be slain by Yemishi!" And to her husband she spoke, saying:—"Thy ancestors crossed the blue ocean and travelled 10,000 ri to reduce to submission Governments beyond the water, and so hand down to future generations their dread valour. If thou dost now bring disgrace on the name of thy forefathers, thou wilt surely become a laughing-stock to posterity." So she poured out sake for her husband, and compelled him to drink it. Then she girded on herself her husband's sword, and bending ten bows, caused the women, of whom there were several tens, to twang the bow-strings. When this was done, her husband roused himself again, and seizing a weapon which was lying on the ground, advanced. The Yemishi thought that the army was still numerous, and by degrees withdrew. Hereupon the routed troops reassembled, and, re-forming their ranks, attacked the Yemishi, whom they greatly defeated, taking them every one prisoners.
(A.D. 638.) 10th year, Autumn, 7th month, 19th day. There was a great storm, which broke trees and tore up houses.
9th month. There were continuous rains, and peaches and plums blossomed.
(XXIII. 14.) Winter, 10th month. There was an Imperial progress to the Palace of the hot springs of Arima.
This year Pèkché, Silla, and Imna all sent tribute.
(A.D. 639.) 11th year, Spring, 1st month, 8th day. The Imperial carriage returned from the hot springs.
11th day. The festival of tasting the new rice was held.
12th day. There was thunder without any clouds.
22nd day. There was a storm with thunder.
26th day. A long star appeared in the north-west. Priest Bin said that it was a besom-star. When it appeared, there was famine.
(XXIII. 15.) Autumn, 7th month. The Emperor made a decree, saying:—"This year let there be a great palace and a great temple built." So the bank of the Kudara River was chosen as the site for the palace. Herewith the western population built the palace, and the eastern population built the temple. Agata, Fumi no Atahe, was made architect.
Autumn, 9th month. The priests who had studied in Great Thang, viz. Ye-on and Ye-un, entered the capital in the train of the Silla Escort Envoys.
Winter, 11th month, 1st day. The Silla Envoys were entertained at Court. Accordingly the Emperor granted them one grade of cap-rank.
12th month, 14th day. There was an Imperial progress to the Palace of the hot springs of Iyo.
In this month a pagoda of nine stories was erected on the bank of the River Kudara.
(A.D. 640.) 12th year, Spring, 2nd month, 7th day. A star entered the moon.
Summer, 4th month, 6th day. The Emperor returned from Iyo, and took up his residence in the Palace of Mŭmaya-zaka.
5th month, 5th day. A great Buddhist maigre entertainment was given, at which by request the priest Ye-on expounded the Muryō jiu kiō.
Winter, 10th month, 11th day. Shō-an, a priest who had studied in Great Thang, and the student Kuromasa, Takamuku no Ayabito arrived by way of Silla. The tribute-bearing Envoys (XXIII. 16.) of Pèkché and Silla came in their company. Each of them was granted a grade of cap-rank.
This month (the Emperor) removed to the Palace of Kudara.
(A.D. 641.) 13th year, Winter, 10th month, 9th day. The Emperor died in the Palace of Kudara.
18th day. He was temporarily interred north of the Palace. This was called the "great temporary tomb" of Kudara. At this time the Heir Apparent, the Imperial Prince Hirakasu wake, was sixteen years old, and pronounced the funeral eulogium.
- Okinaga is the name of a place; tarashi-hi, suffice-sun, a honorific; hiro-nuke, broad forehead, is no doubt descriptive of the Emperor's appearance.
- Bidatsu Tennō.
- Suiko Tennō.
- The interlinear Kana version has yakkora, making the humble servant plural, and to refer to the Daibu.
- Lit. liver (kimo). He was thirty-six.
- i.e. some day or another: after my death.
- Without bias (?).
- Prince Ohoye could, therefore, not have been very young.
- Kimmei Tennō.
- That is, the succession to the throne.
- The same as Sakahibe no Omi.
- The Japanese commentators explain this expression as referring to Shōtoku Daishi, Prince Ohoye's father.
- From duty as a public servant.
- The "Tsushō" says that at this period the only part of a temple which had a tiled roof was the Hall of Worship.
- A Regular Tanka of thirty-one syllables.
- See above, XXII. 28.
- Tenchi Tennō.
- Wife of Kōtoku Tennō.
- Viz. Temmu Tennō.
- Kaya is the name of a place. The Uneme generally were called by the names of the places they came from.
- This Embassy is mentioned in the Thang annals.
- i.e. "bottom of hill." In Yamato.
- Silla, Koryö and Pèkché.
- Wi-chă, according to the "Tongkam," came to the throne in A.D. 641. So there is something wrong here.
- Well known to residents at the Treaty Port of Kōbe.
- This sake was made under special arrangements from rice grown in certain Temple glebe-lands. Vide "Yengishiki." It was customary to offer it to foreign ambassadors.
- Hahaki-bosbi or hōki-boshi, the present name for a comet.
- No doubt capital punishment is meant.
- By torture.
- 5 to 7 a m. To be more exact, the beginning of this hour is an hour before daybreak.
- 9 to 11 a m. Such early hours are usual in Eastern Courts. The King of Cores at the present day receives his Ministers before daybreak.
- "The Classic of the Mountains and Seas" (a very ancient Chinese book) says: "At the Heaven-gate-mountain there is a red dog, called the Celestial Dog. Its lustre flies through Heaven, and as it floats along becomes a star of several tens of rods (10 feet) in length. It is swift as the wind. Its voice is like thunder, and its radiance like lightning.
The Celestial Dog 天狗 is a group of seven stars near the zodiacal constellation 鬼 (Cancer). Giles says that it is in Argo. The interlinear Kana has Ama no Kitsune, or the Celestial Fox.
The Celestial Dog, or Tengu, of modern Japanese superstition is a winged creature in human form with an exceedingly long nose, which haunts mountain-tops and other secluded places. It is a favourite subject of artists. See "Anderson's British Museum Catalogue," p. 410.
- An evil omen, according to the Chinese and Romans.
- Bin is the Priest quoted above, XXIII. 12, as an authority on astronomical matters.
- The Japanese name for Pèkché.
- The west is no doubt Kahachi, the east Yamato.
- Chinese history records that Venus entering the moon was looked upon by the diviners as portending mortality among the people.
- Florenz, quoting "Bunyu Nanjio," says this is the Amitayu Sutra or Sukhāvatī-Vyūha; Muryō jiu means "Everlasting llfe."
- i.e. of the Envoys.