B.C. 660 – The Founding of Japan’s Capital by Sir Ed Ward Reed & The “Nihongi”


B.C. 660


*Brooksy Note: the whole of this text is exactly as written. We have added only titles and boldened sentences in an effort to make the text more reader-friendly and easier to comprehend. It wouldn’t be a stretch to consider this a modestly annotated version of the Founding of Japan’s Capital; which is considered to be in the public domain along with the entirety of The Great Events By Famous Historians series.

Introduction by Charles F. Horne, Ph.D. & John Rudd, LL.D.

Prince Jimmu is the founder of the Empire of Japan, according to Japanese tradition. The whole of his history is overlaid with myth and legend. But it points to the immigration of western Asiatics by way of Corea into the Japanese islands of Izumo and Kyushu.

The historical records of the Japanese relate that Jimmu, accompanied by an elder brother, Prince Itsuse, started from their grandfather’s palace on Mount Takaclicho. They marched with a large number of followers, a horde of men, women, and children, as well as a band of armed men. On landing in Japan, after many years wandering by sea and land, they had serious conflicts with the native tribes. They eventually succeeded in overcoming all opposition and in conquering the country, so that Prince Jimmu was enabled to build a palace and set up a capital, Kashiha-bara, in Yamato. This prince is regarded by Japanese historians as the founder of the Japanese Empire. He is said to have reigned seventy-five years after his accession, and to have died at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven years, and his burial place is pointed out on the northern side of Mount Unebi, in the province of Yamato.

Prince Jimmu, or whoever was the foreign ruler who conquered and founded an empire in Japan, must have been a bold, enterprising, and sagacious man. The islands he subdued were barbarous, and he civilized them; the inhabitants were warlike and cruel, and he kept them in peace. He founded a dynasty which extended its dominion over Nagato, Izumo, and Owari, and still has representatives in rulers whose people are by far the most progressive dwellers in the East.

That part of the following historical matter, which is translated from the old Japanese chronicle, the Nehongi, is marked by local color and by Oriental characteristics, whereby it curiously contrasts with the plain recitals of modern and Western history.

Sir Ed Ward Reed

There are endless varying legends about this god-period of Japan. All that we need now say in the way of reciting the legends of the gods has relation to the descent of the mikados of Japan from the deities.

It was the misconduct of Susanoo that drove the sun-goddess into the cave and for this misconduct he was banished. Some say that, instead of proceeding to his place of banishment, he descended, with his son Idakiso no Mikoto, upon Shiraga (in Corea), but not liking the place went back by a vessel to the bank of the Hinokawa River, in Idzumo, Japan.

At the time of their descent, Idakiso had many plants or seeds of trees with him, but he planted none in Shiraga, but took them across with him, and scattered them from Kuishiu all over Japan, so that the whole country became green with trees. It is said that Idakiso is respected as the god of merit, and is worshipped in Kinokuni. His two sisters also took care of the plantation. One of the gods who reigned over the country in the prehistoric period was Ohonamuchi, who is said by some to be the son of Susanoo, and by others to be one of his later descendants; “And which is right, it is more than we can say,” remarked one of my scholarly friends.

However, during his reign he was anxious about the people, and, consulting with Sukuna no Mikoto, applied “his whole heart,” we are told, to their good government, and they all became loyal to him. One time he said to his friend just named, “Do you think we are governing the people well?” And his friend answered: “In some respects well, and in some not,” so that they were frank and honest with each other in those days.

When Sukunahikona went away, Ohonamuchi said: “It is I who should govern this country. Is there any who will assist me?” Then there appeared over the sea a divine light, and there came a god floating and floating, and said: “You cannot govern the country without me.” And this proved to be the god Ohomiwa no Kami, who built a palace at Mimuro, in Yamato, and dwelt therein. He affords a direct link with the Mikado family, for his daughter became the empress of the first historic emperor Jimmu. Her name was Humetatara Izudsuhime.

All the descendants of her father are named, like him, Ohomiwa no Kami, and it is said that the present empress of Japan is probably a descendant of this god. As regards the descent of the Emperor Jimmu himself we already know that Ninigi no Mikoto, “the sovran grandchild” of the sun-goddess, was sent down with the sacred symbols of empire given to him in the sun by the sun-goddess herself before he started for the earth. Now Ninigi married (reader, forgive me for quoting the lady’s name and her father’s) Konohaneno-sakuyahime, the daughter of Ohoyamazumino-Kami, and the pair had three sons, of whom the last named Howori no Mikoto succeeded to the throne. He is sometimes called by the following simple—and possibly endearing—name: Amatsuhitakahi Kohoho-demi no Mikoto.

He married Toyatama-hime, the daughter of the sea-god, and they had a son, Ugaya-fuki-ayedsu no Mikoto, born, it is said, under an unfinished roof of cormorants’ wings, who succeeded the father, and who married Tamayori-hime, also a daughter of the sea-god. This illustrious couple had four sons, of whom the last succeeded to the throne in the year B.C. 660. He was named Kamuyamatoi warehiko no Mikoto, but posterity has fortunately simplified his designation to the now familiar Jimmu-Tenno, the first historic Emperor of Japan, and the ancestor of the present emperor.

The histories of Japan, prepared under the sanction of the present Japanese government, date the commencement of the historic period from the first year of the reign of the first emperor, Jimmu-Tenno, who is said to have ruled for seventy-six years, viz., from B.C. 660 to 585. Some persons consider that this reign, and a few reigns that succeeded it, probably or possibly belong to the legendary period, because while, on the one hand, the Emperor Jimmu is described as the founder of the present empire and the ancestor of the present emperor, on the other, he is described as the fourth son of Ukay Fukiaezu no Mikoto, who was fifth in direct descent from the beautiful sun-goddess, Tensho-Daijin. But as no such thing as writing existed in Japan in those days, or for many centuries afterward, it would not be surprising if a real monarch should have a mythical origin assigned to him; and as I have quite lately heard the guns firing at Nagasaki an imperial salute in honor of his coronation, and have seen the flags waving over the capital city, Tokio, in honor of the birthday, the Emperor Jimmu is quite historical enough for my present purpose.

The commencement of his reign shall fix for us, as it does for others, the Japanese year 1, which was 660 years prior to our year 1, so that any date of the Christian era can be converted into one of the Japanese era by the addition of 660 years, and vice-versa. Some of the emperors will be found to have lived very long lives, no doubt; but as I have said elsewhere, none of them lived nearly so long as our Adam, Methuselah, and others, in whose longevity so many of us profess to believe; and besides, it is impossible for me to attempt to correct a chronology which Japanese scholars, and Englishmen versed in the Japanese language, have thus far left without specific correction. Deferring for after consideration the incidents of the successive imperial reigns, except in so far as they bear directly upon the descent of the crown, let us, then, first glance at the succession of emperors and empresses who have ruled in the Morning Land.

After the death of the Emperor Jimmu there appears to have been an interregnum for three years—although it is seldom taken account of—the second Emperor Suisei, who was the fifth son of the first emperor, having ascended the throne B.C. 581 and reigned till 549. The cause of the interregnum appears to have been the extreme grief which Suisei felt at the death of his father, in consequence of which he committed the administration of the empire, for a time, to one of his relatives—an unworthy fellow, as he proved, named Tagishi Mimi no Mikoto, who tried to assassinate his master and seize the throne for himself, and who was put to death by Suisei for his pains. The fifth son of the Emperor Jimmu was nominated by him as the successor, and it is probable that older sons were living and passed over, and that the throne was inherited in part by nomination even in this its first transfer.

Some writers on Japanese history profess to see in the pantheon of Japan, pictured in the Kojiki and Nihonki, nothing more than a collection of distinguished personages who lived and labored and contended in the country before the historic period, thus bringing deified men and women down to earth again. Such persons accept the records of Jimmu-Tenno’s origin as essentially accurate in so far as they state what is human and reasonable, rejecting them only when they set forth what is supernatural, and, to them, unbelievable.

Others, on the contrary, consider, or profess to consider, the supernatural portions of those narratives as perfectly trustworthy, and discredit only those statements concerning the first of the sacred emperors which would seem in any way to detract from his divinity. I should be sorry to have to argue the case with either of these parties, but I must take the liberty of accepting as sufficiently accurate as much of the recorded lives of Jimmu and his successors as the modern prosaic histories in Japan are content to put forth, and no more.

Proceeding upon this basis, there is not much to be said of the reigns of the mikados who ruled before the Christian era, beyond what has been already stated. As regards the first emperor, his ancestor Ninigi no Mikoto—whether a god or not, or whether he came down from the sun by means of “the bridge of heaven” or not—appears to have established his residence at the ancient Himuka, now Hiuga; there it was that Jimmu-Tenno first resided, and thence it was that he started on his historic and memorable career. The central parts of Japan were militarily occupied by rebels (whose names are preserved), and it was to subdue them that he proceeded eastward. He stopped for three years at Taka Shima, constructing the necessary vessels for crossing the waters, and then, in the course of years, making his way victoriously as far as Nanieva, the modern Osaka, encountered his foes at Kawachi, and defeated them, the chief general being left dead on the battle-field.

Jimmu was now sole master of Japan, as then known, and in the following year he mounted the throne. The eastern and northern parts of the country were, however, still, and long afterwards, peopled by the Aino race, who were at a later period treated as troublesome savages, and conquered by a famous prince, Yamato-Dake, by help of the sacred sword. The spot selected by the Emperor Jimmu for his capital was Kashiwabara, in the province of Yamato, not far from the present western capital of Kioto. He there did honor to the gods, married, built himself a palace, and deposited in the throne-room the sacred mirror, sword, and ball, the insignia of the imperial power handed down from the sun-goddess. He organized two imperial guards, one as a body-guard to protect the interior of the palace, and the other to act as sentinels around the palace.

The “Nihongi”

The Emperor Kami Yamato Iharebiko’s personal name was Hikohoho-demi. He was the fourth child of Hiko-nagisa-take-ugaya-fuki-ahezu no Mikoto. His mother’s name was Tama-yori-hime, daughter of the sea-god. From his birth this emperor was of clear intelligence and resolute will. At the age of fifteen he was made heir to the throne. When he grew up he married Ahira-tsu-hime, of the district of Ata in the province of Hiuga, and made her his consort. By her he had Tagishi-mimi no Mikoto and Kisu-mimi no Mikoto.

When he reached the age of forty-five, he addressed his elder brothers and his children, saying: “Of old, our heavenly deities Taka-mi-Musubi no Mikoto, and Oho-hiru-me no Mikoto, pointing to this land of fair rice-ears of the fertile reed-plain, gave it to our heavenly ancestor, Hiko-ho no Ninigi no Mikoto. Thereupon Hiko-ho no Ninigi no Mikoto, throwing open the barrier of heaven and clearing a cloud-path, urged on his superhuman course until he came to rest. At this time the world was given over to widespread desolation. It was an age of darkness and disorder. In this gloom, therefore, he fostered justice, and so governed this western border.

“Our imperial ancestors and imperial parent, like gods, like sages, accumulated happiness and amassed glory. Many years elapsed from the date when our heavenly ancestor descended until now it is over 1,792,470 years. But the remote regions do not yet enjoy the blessings of imperial rule. Every town has always been allowed to have its lord, and every village its chief, who, each one for himself, makes division of territory and practises mutual aggression and conflict.

“Now I have heard from the Ancient of the Sea, that in the East there is a fair land encircled on all sides by blue mountains. Moreover, there is there one who flew down riding in a heavenly rock-boat. I think that this land will undoubtedly be suitable for the extension of the heavenly task, so that its glory should fill the universe. It is doubtless the centre of the world. The person who flew clown was, I believe, Nigihaya-hi. Why should we not proceed thither, and make it the capital?”

All the imperial princes answered, and said: “The truth of this is manifest. This thought is constantly present to our minds also. Let us go thither quickly.” This was the year Kinoye Tora (51st) of the Great Year.

In that year, in winter, on the Kanoto Tori day (the 5th) of the 10th month, the new moon of which was on the day Hinoto Mi, the emperor in person led the imperial princes and a naval force on an expedition against the East. When he arrived at the Haya-suhi gate, there was there a fisherman who came riding in a boat. The emperor summoned him and then inquired of him, saying: “Who art thou?” He answered and said: “Thy servant is a country-god, and his name is Utsuhiko. I angle for fish in the bays of ocean. Hearing that the son of the heavenly deity was coming, therefore I forthwith came to receive him.” Again he inquired of him, saying: “Canst thou act as my guide?” He answered and said: “I will do so.” The emperor ordered the end of a pole of Shihi wood to be given to the fisher, and caused him to be taken and pulled into the imperial vessel, of which he was made pilot.

A name was especially granted him, and he was called Shihi-ne-tsu-hiko. He was the first ancestor of the Yamato no Atahe.

Proceeding on their voyage, they arrived at Usa in the land of Tsukushi. At this time there appeared the ancestors of the Kuni-tsu-ko of Usa, named Usa-tsu-hiko and Usa-tsu-hime. They built a palace raised on one pillar on the banks of the River Usa, and offered them a banquet. Then, by imperial command, Usa-tsu-hime was given in marriage to the emperor’s attendant minister Ama notane no Mikoto. Now, Ama notane no Mikoto was the remote ancestor of the Nakatomi Uji.

Eleventh month, 9th day. The emperor arrived at the harbor of Oka in the Land of Tsukushi.

Twelfth month, 27th day. He arrived at the province of Aki, where he dwelt in the palace of Ye.

The year Kinoto U, Spring, 3rd month, 6th day. Going onward, he entered the land of Kibi, and built a temporary palace in which he dwelt. It was called the palace of Takashima. Three years passed, during which time he set in order the helms of his ships, and prepared a store of provisions. It was his desire by a single effort to subdue the empire.

The year Tsuchinoye Muma, Spring, 2d month, 11th day. The imperial forces at length proceeded eastward, the prow of one ship touching the stern of another. Just when they reached Cape Naniho they encountered a current of great swiftness. Whereupon that place was called Nami-haya (wave-swift) or Nami-hana (wave-flower). It is now called Naniha, which is a corruption of this.

Third month, 10th day. Proceeding upwards against the stream, they went straight on, and arrived at the port of Awo-Kumo no Shira-date, in the township of Kusaka, in the province of Kafuchi.

Summer, 4th month, 9th day. The imperial forces in martial array marched on to Tatsuta. The road was narrow and precipitous, and the men were unable to march abreast, so they returned and again endeavored to go eastward, crossing over Mount Ikoma. In this way they entered the inner country.

Now when Naga-sune-hiko heard this, he said: “The object of the children of the heavenly deity in coming hither is assuredly to rob me of my country.” So he straightway levied all the forces under his dominion, and intercepted them at the Hill of Kusaka. A battle was engaged, and Itsuse no Mikoto was hit by a random arrow on the elbow. The imperial forces were unable to advance against the enemy. The emperor was vexed, and revolved in his inmost heart a divine plan, saying: “I am the descendant of the sun-goddess, and if I proceed against the sun to attack the enemy, I shall act contrary to the way of heaven. Better to retreat and make a show of weakness. Then, sacrificing to the gods of heaven and earth, and bringing on our backs the might of the sun goddess, let us follow her rays and trample them down. If we do so, the enemy will assuredly be routed of themselves, and we shall not stain our swords with blood.”

They all said: “It is good.” Thereupon he gave orders to the army, saying: “Wait a while and advance no further.” So he withdrew his forces, and the enemy also did not dare to attack him. He then retired to the port of Kusaka, where he set up shields, and made a warlike show. Therefore the name of this port was changed to Tatetsu, which is now corrupted into Tadetsu.

Before this, at the battle of Kusaka, there was a man who hid in a great tree, and by so doing escaped danger. So pointing to this tree, he said: “I am grateful to it, as to my mother.” Therefore the people of the day called that place Omo no ki no Mura.

Fifth month, 8th day. The army arrived at the port of Yamaki in Chinu (also called Port Yama no wi). Now Itsuse no Mikoto’s arrow wound was extremely painful. He grasped his sword, and striking a martial attitude, said: “How exasperating it is that a man should die of a wound received at the hands of slaves, and should not avenge it!” The people of that day therefore called the place Wo no Minoto.

Proceeding onward, they reached Mount Kama in the Land of Kii, where Itsuse no Mikoto died in the army, and was therefore buried at Mount Kama.

Sixth month, 23d day. The army arrived at the village of Nagusa, where they put to death the Tohe of Nagusa. Finally they crossed the moor of Sano, and arrived at the village of Kami in Kumano. Here he embarked in the rock-boat of heaven, and leading his army, proceeded onward by slow degrees. In the midst of the sea, they suddenly met with a violent wind, and the imperial vessel was tossed about. Then Ina-ihi no Mikoto exclaimed and said: “Alas! my ancestors were heavenly deities, and my mother was a goddess of the sea. Why do they harass me by land, and why, moreover, do they harass me by sea?” When he had said this, he drew his sword and plunged into the sea, where he became changed into the god Sabi-Mochi.

Miki In no no Mikoto, also indignant at this, said: “My mother and my aunt are both sea-goddesses; why do they raise great billows to overwhelm us?” So, treading upon the waves, he went to the Eternal Land. The emperor was now alone with the imperial prince, Tagishi-Mimi no Mikoto. Leading his army forward, he arrived at Port Arazaka in Kumano (also called Nishiki Bay), where he put to death the Tohe of Nishiki. At this time the gods belched up a poisonous vapor, from which every one suffered. For this reason the imperial army was again unable to exert itself. Then there was there a man by name Kumano no Takakuraji, who unexpectedly had a dream, in which Ama-terasu no Ohokami spoke to Take-mika-tsuchi no Kami, saying: “I still hear a sound of disturbance from the central land of reed-plains. Do thou again go and chastise it.”

Take-mika-tsuchi no Kami answered and said: “Even if I go not I can send down my sword, with which I subdued the land, upon which the country will of its own accord become peaceful.” To this Ama-terasu no Kami assented. Thereupon Take-mika-tsuchi no Kami addressed Taka Kuraji, saying: “My sword, which is called Futsu no Mitama, I will now place in the storehouse. Do thou take it and present it to the heavenly grandchild.” Taka Kuraji said, “Yes,” and thereupon awoke. The next morning, as instructed in his dream, he opened the storehouse, and on looking in, there was indeed there a sword which had fallen down (from heaven) and was standing upside down on the plank floor of the storehouse. So he took it and offered it to the emperor. At this time the emperor happened to be asleep. He awoke suddenly, and said: “What a long time I have slept.”

On inquiry he found that the troops who had been affected by the poison had all recovered their senses and were afoot. The emperor then endeavored to advance into the interior, but among the mountains it was so precipitous that there was no road by which they could travel. And they wandered about not knowing whither to direct their march.

Then Ama-terasu no Oho-Kami instructed the emperor in a dream of the night saying: “I will now send the Yata-garasu, make it thy guide through the land.” Then there did indeed appear the Yata-garasu flying down from the void.

The emperor said: “The coming of this crow is in due accordance with my auspicious dream. How grand! How splendid! My imperial ancestor Ama-terasu no Oho-Kami, desires therewith to assist me in creating the hereditary institution.”

At this time Hi no Omi no Mikoto, ancestor of the Ohotomo House, taking with him Oho-kume as commander of the main body, guided by the direction taken by the crow, looked up to it and followed after, until at length they arrived at the district of Lower Uda. Therefore they named the place which they reached the village of Ukechi in Uda. At this time by an imperial order he commended Hi no Omi no Mikoto, saying: “Thou art faithful and brave, and art moreover a successful guide. Therefore will I give thee a new name, and will call thee Michi no Omi!”

Autumn, 8th month, 2d day. The emperor sent to summon Ukeshi the elder and Ukeshi the younger. These two were chiefs of the district of Uda. Now Ukeshi the elder did not come. But Ukeshi the younger came, and making obeisance at the gate of the camp, declared as follows: “Thy servant’s elder brother, Ukeshi the elder, shows signs of resistance. Hearing that the descendant of heaven was about to arrive, he forthwith raised an army with which to make an attack. But having seen from afar the might of the imperial army, he was afraid, and did not dare to oppose it. Therefore he has secretly placed his troops in ambush, and has built for the occasion a new palace, in the hall of which he has prepared engines. It is his intention to invite the emperor to a banquet there, and then to do him a mischief. I pray that this treachery be noted, and that good care be taken to make preparation against it.”

The emperor straightway sent Michi no Omi no Mikoto to observe the signs of his opposition. Michi no Omi no Mikoto clearly ascertained his hostile intentions, and being greatly enraged, shouted at him in a blustering manner: “Wretch! thou shalt thyself dwell in the house which thou hast: made.” So grasping his sword and drawing his bow, he urged him and drove him within it. Ukeshi the elder being guilty before heaven, and the matter not admitting of excuse, of his own accord trod upon the engine and was crushed to death, His body was then brought out and decapitated, and the blood which flowed from it reached above the ankle. Therefore that place was called Udan no chi-hara. After this Ukeshi the younger prepared a great feast of beef and sake, with which he entertained the imperial army. The emperor distributed this flesh and sake to the common soldiers, upon which they sang the following verses:

“In the high {castle tree} of Uda
I set a snare for woodcock,
And waited,
But no woodcock came to it;
A valiant whale came to it.”

This is called a Kume song. At the present time, when the department of music performs this song, there is still the measurement of great and small by the hand, as well as a distinction of coarse and fine in the notes of the voice. This is by a rule handed down from antiquity. After this the emperor wished to respect the Land of Yoshino, so, taking personal command of the light troops, he made a progress round by way of Ukechi Mura in Uda. When he came to Yoshino, there was a man who came out of a well. He shone and had a tail. The emperor inquired of him, saying: “What man art thou?” He answered and said: “Thy servant is a local deity, and his name is Wihikari.” He it is who was the first ancestor of the Yoshino no Obito.

Proceeding a little further, there was another man with a tail, who burst open a rock and came forth from it. The emperor inquired of him, saying: “What man art thou?” He answered and said: “Thy servant is the child of Iha-oshiwake.” It is he who was the first ancestor of the Kuzu of Yoshino. Then, skirting the river, he proceeded westward, when there appeared another man, who had made a fishtrap and was catching fish. On the emperor making inquiry of him, he answered and said: “Thy servant is the son of Nihe-molsu.” He it is who was the first ancestor of the U-kahi of Ata.

Ninth month, 5th day. The emperor ascended to the peak of Mount Takakura in Uda, whence he had a prospect over all the land. On Kuni-mi Hill there were descried eighty bandits.

Moreover at the acclivity of the Me-Zaka there was posted an army of women, and at the acclivity of Wo-Zaka there was stationed a force of men. At the acclivity of Sumi-Zaka was placed burning charcoal. This was the origin of the names Me-Zaka, Wo-Zaka and Sumi-Zaka.

Again there was the army of Ye-Shiki, which covered all the village of Ihare. All the places occupied by the enemy were strong positions, and therefore the roads were cut off and obstructed, so that there was no room for passage. The emperor, indignant at this, made prayer on that night in person, and then fell asleep. The heavenly deity appeared to him in a dream, and instructed him, saying: “Take earth from within the shrine of the heavenly mount Kagu, and of it make eighty heavenly platters. Also make sacred jars and therewith sacrifice to the gods of heaven and earth. Moreover pronounce a solemn imprecation. If thou doest so, the enemy will render submission of their own accord.”

The emperor received with reverence the directions given in his dream, and proceeded to carry them into execution. Now Ukeshi the younger again addressed the emperor, saying: “There are in the province of Yamato, in the village of Shiki, eighty Shiki bandits. Moreover in the village of Taka-wohari (some say Katsuraki) there are eighty Akagane bandits.

“All these tribes intend to give battle to the emperor, and thy servant is anxious in his own mind on his account. It were now good to take clay from the heavenly mount Kagu and therewith to make heavenly platters with which to sacrifice to the gods of the heavenly shrines and of the earthly shrines. If after doing so thou dost attack the enemy, they may be easily driven off.”

The emperor, who had already taken the words of his dream for a good omen, when he now heard the words of Ukeshi the younger, was still more pleased in his heart. He caused Shihi netsu-hiko to put on ragged garments and a grass hat and to disguise himself as an old man. He also caused Ukeshi the younger to cover himself with a winnowing tray, so as to assume the appearance of an old woman, and then addressed them, saying: “Do ye two proceed to the heavenly mount Kagu, and secretly take earth from its summit. Having done so, return hither. By means of you I shall then divine whether my undertaking will be successful or not. Do your utmost and be watchful.” Now the enemy’s army filled the road, and made all passage impossible. Then Shihi-netsu-hiko prayed, and said: “If it will be possible for our emperor to conquer this land, let the road by which we must travel become open. But if not, let the brigands surely oppose our passage.”

Having thus spoken they set forth and went straight onward. Now the hostile band, seeing the two men, laughed loudly, and said: “What an uncouth old man and old woman!” So with one accord they left the road, and allowed the two men to pass and proceed to the mountain, where they took the clay and returned with it. Hereupon the emperor was greatly pleased, and with this clay he made eighty platters, eighty heavenly small jars and sacred jars, with which he went to the upper waters of the River Nifu and sacrificed to the gods of heaven and earth. Immediately, on the Asahara plain by the river of Uda, it became as it were like foam on the water, the result of the curse cleaving to them. Moreover the emperor went on to utter a vow, saying: “I will now make Ame in the eighty platters without using water. If the Ame is formed, then shall I assuredly without effort and without recourse to the might of arms reduce the empire to peace.” So he made Ame, which forthwith became formed of itself. Again he made a vow, saying: “I will now take the sacred jars and sink them in the River Nifu. If the fishes, whether great or small, become every one drunken and are carried down the stream, like as it were to floating maki leaves, then shall I assuredly succeed in establishing this land. But if this be not so, there will never be any results.”

Thereupon he sank the jars in the river with their mouths downward. After a while the fish all came to the surface gaping, gasping as they floated down the stream. Then Shihi-netsu-hiko, seeing this, represented it to the emperor, who was greatly rejoiced, and plucking up a five-hundred-branched masakaki tree of the upper waters of the River Nifu, he did worship therewith to all the gods. It was with this that the custom began of selling sacred jars.

At this time he commanded Michi no Omi no Mikoto, saying: “We are now in person about to celebrate a public festival to Taka-mi-Musubi no Mikoto, and I appoint thee ruler of the festival, and I grant thee the title of Idzu-hime. The earthen jars which are set up shall be called the Idzube or sacred jars, the fire shall be called Idzu no Kagu-tsuchi or sacred-fire-elder, the water shall be called Idzu no Midzu-ha no me or sacred-water-female, the food shall be called Idzuuka no me, or sacred-food-female, the firewood shall be called Idzu no Yama-tsuchi or sacred-mountain-elder, and the grass shall be called Idzu no no-tsuchi or sacred-moor-elder.”

Winter, 10th month, 1st day. The emperor tasted the food of the Idzube, and arraying his troops set forth upon his march. He first of all attacked the eighty bandits at Mount Kunimi, routed and slew them. It was in this campaign that the emperor, fully resolved on victory, made these verses, saying:

“Like the Shitadami
Which creep round
The great rock
Of the Sea of Ise,
Where blows the divine wind—
Like the Shitadami,
My boys! My boys!
We will creep around
And smite them utterly,
And smite them utterly.”

In this poem, by the “great rock” is intended the Hill of Kunimi.

After this the band which remained was still numerous, and their disposition could not be fathomed. So the emperor privately commanded Michi no Omi no Mikoto, saying: “Do thou take with thee the Oho Kume, and make a great muro at the village of Osaka. Prepare a copious banquet, invite the enemy to it, and then capture them.” Michi no Omi no Mikoto thereupon, in obedience to the emperor’s sacred behest, dug a muro at Osaka, and having selected his bravest soldiers, stayed therein mingled with the enemy. He secretly arranged with them, saying: “When they have got tipsy with sake, I will strike up a song. Do you when you hear the sound of my song, all at the same time stab the enemy.”

Having made this arrangement they took their seats, and the drinking bout proceeded. The enemy, unaware that there was any plot, abandoned themselves to their feelings, and promptly became intoxicated. Then Michi no Omi no Mikoto struck up the following song:

“At Osaka
In the great Muro-house,
Though men in plenty
Enter and stay,
We the glorious
Sons of warriors,
Wielding our mallet-heads,
Wielding our stone-mallets,
Will smite them utterly.”

Now when our troops heard this song, they all drew at the same time their mallet-headed swords, and simultaneously slew the enemy, so that there were no eaters left. The imperial army were greatly delighted; they looked up to heaven and laughed. Therefore he made a song saying:

“Though folk say
That one Yemishi
Is a match for one hundred men,
They do not so much as resist.”

The practice according to which, at the present time, the Kume sing this and then laugh loud, had this origin. Again he sang, saying:

“Ho! now is the time!
Ho! now is the time!
Ha! Ha! Psha!
Even now
My boys!
Even now,
My boys!”

All these songs were sung in accordance with the secret behest of the emperor. He had not presumed to compose them with his own motion.

Then the emperor said: “It is the part of a good general when victorious to avoid arrogance. The chief brigands have now been destroyed, but there are ten bands of villains of a similar stamp, who are disputatious.

“Their disposition cannot be ascertained. Why should we remain for a long time in one place? By so doing we could not have control over emergencies!” So he removed his camp to another place.

Eleventh month, 7th day. The imperial army proceeded in great force to attack the Hiko of Shiki. First of all the emperor sent a messenger to summon Shiki the elder, but he refused to obey. Again the Yata-garasu was sent to bring him. When the crow reached his camp it cried to him, saying: “The child of the heavenly deity sends for thee. Haste! haste!” Shiki the elder was enraged at this and said: “Just when I heard that the conquering deity of heaven was coming I was indignant at this; why shouldst thou, a bird of the crow tribe, utter such an abominable cry?” So he drew his bow and aimed at it. The crow forthwith fled away, and next proceeded to the house of Shiki the younger, where it cried, saying: “The child of the heavenly deity summons thee. Haste! haste!” Then Shiki the younger was afraid, and changing countenance, said: “Thy servant, hearing of the approach of the conquering deity of heaven, is full of dread morning and evening. Well hast thou cried to me, O crow!”

He straightway made eight leaf-platters, on which he disposed food, and entertained the crow. Accordingly, in obedience to the crow, he proceeded to the emperor and informed him, saying: “My elder brother, Shiki the elder, hearing of the approach of the child of the heavenly deity, forthwith assembled eighty bandits and provided arms, with which he is about to do battle with thee. It will be well to take measures against him without delay.” The emperor accordingly assembled his generals and inquired of them, saying: “It appears that Shiki the elder has now rebellious intentions. I summoned him, but again he will not come. What is to be done?” The generals said: “Shiki the elder is a crafty knave. It will be well, first of all, to send Shiki the younger to make matters clear to him, and at the same time to make explanations to Kuraji the elder and Kuraji the younger. If after that they still refuse submission, it will not be too late to take warlike measures against them.”

Shiki the younger was accordingly sent to explain to them their interests. But Shiki the elder and the others adhered to their foolish design, and would not consent to submit. Then Shiki-netsu-hiko advised as follows: “Let us first send out our feebler troops by the Osaka road. When the enemy sees them he will assuredly proceed thither with all his best troops. We should then straightway urge forward our robust troops, and make straight for Sumi-Zaka.

“Then with the water of the River Uda we should sprinkle the burning charcoal, and suddenly take them unawares; when they cannot fail to be routed.” The emperor approved this plan, and sent out the feebler troops toward the enemy, who, thinking that a powerful force was approaching, awaited them with all their power. Now up to this time, whenever the imperial army attacked, they invariably captured, and when they fought they were invariably victorious, so that the fighting men were all wearied out. Therefore the emperor, to comfort the hearts of his leaders and men, struck off this verse:

“As we fight
Going forth and watching
From between the trees
Of Mount Inasa,
We are famished.
Ye keepers of cormorants
(Birds of the island)
Come now to our aid.”

In the end he crossed Sumi-Zaka with the stronger troops, and, going round by the rear, attacked them from two sides and put them to the rout, killing their chieftains, Shiki the elder, and the others.

Third month, 7th day. The emperor made an order, saying: “During the six years that our expedition against the East has lasted, owing to my reliance on the majesty of Imperial Heaven, the wicked bands have met death. It is true that the frontier lands are still unpurified, and that a remnant of evil is still refractory. But in the region of the Central Land there is no more wind and dust. Truly we should make a vast and spacious capital and plan it great and strong.

“At present things are in a crude and obscure condition, and the people’s minds are unsophisticated. They roost in nests or dwell in caves. Their manners are simply what is customary. Now if a great man were to establish laws, justice could not fail to flourish. And even if some gain should accrue to the people, in what way would this interfere with the sage’s action? Moreover it will be well to open up and clear the mountains and forests, and to construct a palace. Then I may reverently assume the precious dignity, and so give peace to my good subjects. Above, I should then respond to the kindness of the heavenly powers in granting me the kingdom; and below, I should extend the line of the imperial descendants and foster rightmindedness. Thereafter the capital may be extended so as to embrace all the six cardinal points (sic), and the eight cords may be covered so as to form a roof. Will this not be well? When I observe the Kashiha-bara plain, which lies southwest of Mount Unebi, it seems the centre of the land. I must set it in order.” Accordingly, he, in this month, commanded officers to set about the construction of an imperial residence.

Year Kanoye Saru, Autumn, 8th month, 16th day. The emperor, intending to appoint a wife, sought afresh children of noble families. Now there was a man who made representation to him, saying: “There is a child, who was born to Koto-Shiro-Nushi no Kami by his union with Tama-Kushi-hime, daughter of Mizo-kuhi-ni no Kami of Mishima. Her name is Hime-tatara-i-suzu-hime no Mikoto. She is a woman of remarkable beauty.” The emperor was rejoiced. And on the 24th day of the 9th month he received Hime-tatara-i-suzu-hime no Mikoto and made her his wife.

Year Kanoto Tori, Spring, 1st month, 1st day. The emperor assumed the imperial dignity in the palace of Kashiha-bara. This year is reckoned the first year of his reign. He honored his wife by making her empress. The children born to him by her were Kami-ya-wi-Mimi no Mikoto and Kami-Nunagaha-Mimi no Mikoto. Therefore there is an ancient saying in praise of this, as follows: “In Kashiha-bara in Unebi, he mightily established his palace-pillars on the foundation of the bottom rock, and reared aloft the cross roof-timbers to the plain of high heaven. The name of the emperor who thus began to rule the empire was Kami Yamato Ihare-biko Hohodemi.”

Fourth year, Spring, 2d month, 23d day. The emperor issued the following decree: “The spirits of our imperial ancestors, reflecting their radiance down from heaven, illuminate and assist us. All our enemies have now been subdued, and there is peace within the seas. We ought to take advantage of this to perform sacrifice to the heavenly deities, and therewith develop filial duty.”

He accordingly established spirit-terraces among the Tomi hills, which were called Kami-tsu-wono no Kaki-hara and Shimo tsu-wono no Kaki-hara. There he worshipped his imperial ancestors, the heavenly deities.

Seventy-sixth year, Spring, 3d month, 11th day. The emperor died in the palace of Kashiha-bara. His age was then 127. The following year, Autumn, the 12th day of the 9th month, he was buried in the Misasigi, northeast of Mount Unebi.