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that manifold fence."

Several legends are attached to the name of this multinominal
being--legends in part romantic, in part supernatural, and in part
fabulous. His eighty brethren compel him to act as their servant when
they go to seek the hand of Princess Yakami of Inaba. But on the way
he succours a hare which they have treated brutally and the little
animal promises that he, not they, shall win the princess, though he
is only their baggage-bearer. Enraged at the favour she shows him,
they seek in various ways to destroy him: first by rolling down on
him from a mountain a heated rock; then by wedging him into the cleft
of a tree, and finally by shooting him. But he is saved by his
mother, and takes refuge in the province of Kii (the Land of Trees)
at the palace of the "Kami of the great house."* Acting on the
latter's advice, he visits his ancestor, Susanoo, who is now in
hades, and seeks counsel as to some means of overcoming his eighty
enemies. But instead of helping him, that unruly Kami endeavours to
compass his death by thrusting him into a snake-house; by putting him
into a nest of centipedes and wasps, and finally by shooting an arrow
into a moor, sending him to seek it and then setting fire to the
grass. He is saved from the first two perils through the agency of
miraculous scarves given to him by Princess Forward, Susanoo's
daughter, who has fallen in love with him; and from the last dilemma
a mouse instructs him how to emerge.

*A son of Susanoo. Under the name of Iso-Takeru he is recorded to
have brought with him a quantity of seeds of trees and shrubs, which
he planted, not in Korea, but in Tsukushi (Kyushu) and the eight
islands of Japan. These words "not in Korea" are worthy of note, as
will presently be appreciated.

A curious episode concludes this recital: Susanoo requires that the
parasites shall be removed from his head by his visitor. These
parasites are centipedes, but the Great-Name Possessor, again acting
under the instruction of Princess Forward, pretends to be removing
the centipedes, whereas he is in reality spitting out a mixture of
berries and red earth. Susanoo falls asleep during the process, and
the Great-Name Possessor binds the sleeping Kami's hair to the
rafters of the house, places a huge rock at the entrance, seizes
Susanoo's life-preserving sword and life-preserving bow and arrows as
also his sacred lute,* and taking Princess Forward on his back,
flees. The lute brushes against a tree, and its sound rouses Susanoo.
But before he can disentangle his hair from the rafters, the
fugitives reach the confines of the underworld, and the enraged Kami,
while execrating this visitor who has outwitted him, is constrained
to direct him how to overcome his brethren and to establish his rule
firmly. In all this he succeeds, and having married Princess Yakami,
to whom he was previously engaged,** he resumes the work left
unfinished by Izanagi and Izanami, the work of "making the land."

*Sacred because divine revelations were supposed to be made through a
lute-player.

**In the story of this Kami, we find the first record of conjugal
jealousy in Japan. Princess Forward strongly objects to her husband's
excursions into novel fields.

The exact import of this process, "making the land," is not
discernible. In the hands of Izanagi and Izanami it resolves itself
into begetting, first, a number of islands and, then, a number of
Kami. At the outset it seems to have no more profound significance
for the Great-Name Possessor. Several generations of Kami are
begotten by him, but their names give no indication of the parts they
are supposed to have taken in the "making of the land." They are all
born in Japan, however, and it is perhaps significant that among them
the one child--the Kami of wells--brought forth by Princess Yakami,
is not included. Princess Forward has no children, a fact which
doubtless augments her jealousy of her husband's amours; jealousy
expressed in verses that show no mean poetic skill. Thus, the
Great-Name Possessor on the eve of a journey from Izumo to Yamato,
sings as he stands with one hand on his saddle and one foot in the
stirrup:--

Though thou sayest thou willst not weep
If like the flocking birds, I flock and depart,
If like the led birds, I am led away and
Depart; thou wilt hang down thine head like
A single Eulalia upon the mountain and
Thy weeping shall indeed rise as the mist of
The morning shower.
Then the Empress, taking a wine-cup, approaches and offers it to
him, saying:
Oh! Thine Augustness, the Deity-of-Eight-Thousand-Spears!
Thou, my dear Master-of-the-Great-Land indeed,
Being a man, probably hast on the various island headlands thou
seest,
And on every beach-headland that thou lookest on,
A wife like the young herbs. But as for me, alas!
Being a woman, I have no man except thee; I have no spouse except
thee.
Beneath the fluttering of the ornamented fence,
Beneath the softness of the warm coverlet,
Beneath the rustling of the cloth coverlet,
Thine arms, white as rope of paper-mulberry bark softly patting
my breast soft as the melting snow,
And patting each other interlaced, stretching out and pillowing
ourselves on each other's arms,
True jewel arms, and with outstretched legs, will we sleep.*

*B. H. Chamberlain.

"Having thus sung, they at once pledged each other by the cup with
their hands on each other's necks." It is, nevertheless, from among
the children born on the occasion of the contest between the Sun
goddess and Susanoo that the Great-Name Possessor first seeks a
spouse--the Princess of the Torrent Mist--to lay the foundation of
fifteen generations of Kami, whose birth seems to have been essential
to the "making of the land," though their names afford no clue to the
functions discharged by them. From over sea, seated in a gourd and
wearing a robe of wren's feathers, there comes a pigmy, Sukuna
Hikona, who proves to be one of fifteen hundred children begotten by
the Kami of the original trinity. Skilled in the arts of healing
sickness and averting calamities from men or animals, this pigmy
renders invaluable aid to the Great-Name Possessor. But the useful
little Kami does not wait to witness the conclusion of the work of
"making and consolidating the country." Before its completion he
takes his departure from Cape Kumano in Izumo to the "everlasting
land"--a region commonly spoken of in ancient Japanese annals but not
yet definitely located. He is replaced by a spirit whose coming is
thus described by the Chronicles:

After this (i.e. the departure of Sukuna), wherever there was in the
land a part which was imperfect, the Great-Name Possessor visited it
by himself and succeeded in repairing it. Coming at last to the
province of Izumo, he spake and said: "This central land of reed
plains had always been waste and wild. The very rocks, trees, and
huts were all given to violence... But I have now reduced it to
submission, and there is none that is not compliant." Therefore he
said finally: "It is I, and I alone, who now govern this land. Is
there, perchance, anyone who could join with me in governing the
world?" Upon this a divine radiance illuminated the sea, and of a
sudden there was something which floated towards him and said: "Were
I not here, how couldst thou subdue this land? It is because I am
here that thou hast been enabled to accomplish this mighty
undertaking." Then the Great-Name Possessor inquired, saying, "Then
who art thou?" It replied and said: "I am thy guardian spirit, the
wonderous spirit." Then said the Great-Name Possessor: "True, I know
therefore that thou art my guardian spirit, the wonderous spirit.
Where dost thou now wish to dwell?" The spirit answered and said, "I
wish to dwell on Mount Mimoro in the province of Yamato." Accordingly
he built a shrine in that place and made the spirit go and dwell
there. This is the Kami of Omiwa.*

*Aston's Translation of the Nihongi.

After the above incident, another begetting of Kami takes place on a
large scale, but only a very few of them--such as the guardian of the
kitchen, the protector of house-entrances, the Kami of agriculture,
and so forth--have any intelligible place in the scheme of things.

ENGRAVING: CRESTS



CHAPTER III

JAPANESE MYTHOLOGY (Continued)

THE SUBJUGATION OF JAPAN

THE dividing line between mythological tradition and historical
legend is now reached. It will have been observed that, after the
descent of Susanoo, the Kami on the "plain of high heaven" took no
further part in "making" or "ruling" the "ever fruitful land of
reed-covered moors, and luxuriant rice-fields," as Japan was called.
Everything was left in the hands of Susanoo, the insubordinate Kami,
who had been expelled from heaven for his destructive violence. His
descendant in the sixth generation, the Great-Name Possessor, now
held supreme sway over the islands, in conjunction with a number of
his own relations, his seat of power being in the province of Izumo.
At this juncture the goddess of the Sun decided that a sovereign
should be sent down to govern the land of many islands, and she chose
for this purpose the son of the eldest* of the five Kami born from
her necklace during the procreation competition with Susanoo.

In the first place, however, it was considered necessary to reduce
the country to order, observation having shown it to be in a state of
tumult. For that purpose the second of the five necklace
Kami--considered "the most heroic" of all the beings on the "plain of
high heaven"--was despatched. But he "curried favour" with the
Great-Name Possessor and took up his abode in Japan. At the end of
three years,** seeing that he had not returned, it was decided by the
Kami in council to send another envoy, the Heavenly Young Prince. But
he proved even more disloyal, for he married the daughter of the
Great-Name Possessor, famous for her beauty,*** and planning to
succeed his father-in-law as sovereign of the land, remained in Izumo
for eight years.



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