Kojiki Book I ex. (JATJ 24.1)

Kojiki Book I ex. (JATJ 24.1) - KOJIKI ("RECORDS OF...

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Unformatted text preview: KOJIKI ("RECORDS OF ANCIENT TIMES”) FROM BOOK I THE AGE OF THE GODS The names of the deities that were born in the Plain of High Heaven when Heaven and Earth began were the deity Master of the Center of Heaven, next the High Producing Wondrous Deity, next the Divine Producing Wondrous Deity. These three deities were all deities born alone, and they hid their persons [i.e., died]. The earth was young and like floating oil, and as it drifted about like a jellyfish something sprouted up like a reed shoot. The namesrof the deities that were born~ from it were the Pleasant Reed Shoot Deity, followed by the Heavenly Eternally Standing Deity. These two deities were likewise born alone, and they hid their persons. The five deities in the above list are sepa— rate heavenly deities. The names of the deities that were born next were the Earthly Eternally Standing Deity, and then theLuxuriant Integrating Master Deity. These two deities were likewise deities born alone, and they hid their persons. The names of the deities that were born next were the Mud Earth Lord, next his younger sister the Mud Earth Lady; next the Seed Deity, next-his younger sister the Life Integrating Deity, next the deity Elder of the Great Place, next his younger sister the deity Elder Lady of the Great Place, next the deity Perfect Exterior, next his younger sister the deity Venerable Lady; next the deity lzanagi ("Male . Who Invites”), next his younger sister Izanami ("Female Who Invites”). From the Earthly Eternally Standing Deity down to the deity Izanami in the preceding list are what is termed the Seven Divine Generations. Hereupon all the heavenly deities. commanded the two deities Izanami and lzanagi to form and consolidate this drifting land and- gave them a heavenly jewelled spear. So the two deities, standing upon 56 Volume 24, Number 1 the Floating Bridge of Heaven, pushed down the jewelled spear and stirred with it. They stirred the brine until it curdled, and. then they drew the spear up. The brine that dripped down from the end of the spear piled up and became an island. This is the Island of Onogoro ("Self—Curdling”). ' The two deities descended from Heaven onto this island, set up a pillar, and erected a great hall. lzanagi asked Izanami, "How is your body formed?" Izanami replied: "My body is perfectly formed,~except for one place where it does not come together.” Thereupon lzanagi said, "My body is perfectly formed, except for one place where there is an ex- cess. I would like to fill up the part of your body which does not come together with the part of my body which is excessive and thereby cause the lands to be born. Are you willing?" "Yes, I am,” replied Izanami. "Then let you and me go around this sacred pillar and meet, and thus be married," said lzanagi. She agreed, and so he said, "YOu go around from the right, and I will go around from the left." When they had plighted their troth and gone around the pillar, Izanami spoke first: "Oh, what a fine man!” Then lzanagi said, "Oh, what a fine woman!” lzanagi said to Izanami, "It was not right for a woman to have spo— ken first." Izanami repaired to her bedchamber and gave birth to a leech-child [a child without bones]. This child they placed in a boat of reeds and let float away. Next they gave birth to the Island of Awa; ’ this likewise is not reckoned among their children. The two deities now consulted together: "The children to whom we have thus far given birth are defective. We must announce this to the heavenly deities." They went up to Heaven. together and enquired of the heavenly deities. The heavenly deities had a divination carried out, and said to them: "The children were defective because the woman spoke first. Descend again and amend your words.” So they went back down, and they went round the pillar as they had before. This time lzanagi spoke first: "Oh, what a fine woman!" Afterwards his younger sister Izanami spoke: "Oh, what a fine man!" When they were done speaking they coupled and gave birth to a child, the Island of Awaji. Next they gave birth to the Island of Futana ("Two Names") in lyo. . . . Then they gave birth to the Islands of Mitsugo ("Three Children”). . . . Then they gave birth to the Island of Tsukushi. . . . Then they gave birth to the Island of Iki ("One Pillar”). . . . Then they gave birth to the Island of Tsu. . . . Then they gave birth to the Island of Sado. Next they gave birth to Great Yamato the Islands of Rich Harvests. . . . The name "Land of the Eight Great Islands" originated in the fact that these eight islands were born first. [Yamato, Akitsushima ("Islands of Rich Harvests") and "Country of the Eight Islands” are poetic names journal U} nu: {iswomuvu a, “mum.” v, Inn-“hm for Japan. Yamato can also refer specifically to the region of modern Nara] , the had finished 'ving birth to countries, theybegan giv- ing grillinto ddities anew. . . .gFlirst they gave birth to the deity Princess of Great Food. Next they gave birth to the swift Burning Fire Deity. Through giving birth to this child, lzanarni 5 private parts were burned, and she sickened and la); down and died. . . . [Eight more deities her deca ' bod . are l'jl'ol‘i’ctz‘nfr(1):;nagi sai2n§0hi ymy lovely younger sister! Oh! that I should have exchanged you for this single Chlldll [And yet another d:- ' ity is born from his tears] Then he buried Izanami on Mount Hiba at t e boundary of the Land of Izumo and the Land of Hahaki. . p t Then Izanagi drew the great sword that was girded on. him and cu off the head of his child, the Fire God. [Hereupon more deities are born from the blood that stuck to the point of his sword and spattered the rOCklszlmagi wanted to see his younger sister Izanami again, and he fol- lowed after her to the Land of Yomi [the.Iapanese land of the dead]. And when she opened the palace door and came out to meet him,- lzanagi said, "My lovely younger sister! 'I'helands that we have made are not yet finished; therefore you must come back! Then Izanami an- swered: "Alas that you did not come sooner! I have eaten food fromthe ovens of Yomi. My lovely elder brother, you sh0uld not have come here. But I wish to return to the land of the living; let me briefly go talk with the deities who govern Yomi. Do not look at me!" and she went backin- side the palace. She stayed away a very long time, and he became im— patient. He took one of the end-teeth of the close-toothed comb stuck in the left bunch of his hair, lit one light, and went in. He saw maggots swarming all over her body. In her head was the Great Thunder, in her breast was the Fire Thunder, in her belly was the Black Thunder, in her private parts was the Cleaving Thunder, in her left hand was the Young Thunder, in her right hand was the Earth Thunder, in her left foot was the Rumbling Thunder, in her right foot was the Couchant ’ Thunder; altogether eight Thunder deities had been hem and dwelled there. lzanagi was terrified, and he started to flee back to earth. Izanami said, "You have shamed me,” and at once sent the deity She Who De- files to pursue him. Izanagi took his black headdress [kazurn] and cast it down, and it instantly turned into grapes [ebikazura]. While the der-g ty picked them up and ate them he fled on; but when she still pursued him, he took the comb from the right bunch of his hair, broke it and Plain of High Heaven.” With t Next he said to Tsukuyomi, "Rule the Land of the Night.” Next he said to Susanowo, "Rule the Sea Plain." cast it down, and it instantly turned into bamboo sprouts, While she pulled them up and ate them, he fled on. Again, Izanami sent the eight thunder deities with a thousand five hundred warriors of Yomj to pm»- sue him. He drew the great sword that was girded on him, and bran- dished it behind him as he fled forwards; and since they still pursued him, when he reached the foot of the rocky slope that leads from earth down to Yomi, he took three peaches that were growing there, and am- bushed his pursuers with them, so that they all ran away. Then lzanagi announced to the peaches:."5ince you have helped me, you must help all living people in the Land of Reed Plains [another poetic name for Japan] whenever they fall into trouble,” and he bestowed on the peaches the designation of Great Fruit Divinity. Last of all, lzanami herself came out in pursuit. So he drew a thou— sand—draught rock [i.e., a rock that would take a thousand men to move], and with it he blocked the road up the slope from Yomi; and they stood opposite one another with the rock in the middle and ex- changed words of farewell. lzanami said, "My lovely elder brother! If you do things like this, I will in one day strangle to death a thousand of the folk of your land.” Then Izanagi replied: "My lovely younger sister! if you do that, i will in one day set up a thousand five hundred huts in which women can give birth. In this manner each day a thousand peo- ple will surely die, but each day a thousand five hundred people will surely be born.” This is the reason why, indeed, for the thousand people who inevitably die in a day, another th0usand five hundred inevitably are b0rn. And this explains why Izanami is called the Great Deity of Yomi. Again it is said that she is called the Great Deity Who Extends the Path because she pursued and caught up with her brother, and the rock with which he blocked up the pass of Yomi is called the Great Deity Who Turns Back the Path of Evil, and again it is called the Great Deity Who Blocks the Door of Yomi. . . . lzanagi said, "I went to a hideous and polluted land, and so I will purify my body,” and he went to the river-mouth near Tachibana in Himuka in the island of Tsukushi [modern Kyushu] and cleansed him- self. [Various deities are born from his discarded garments and from the waters with which he washes himself. Finally, the deity Amaterasu (“Heaven Shining Deity,” i.e. the sun goddess) is born from washing his right eye; Tsukuyomi (a moon god) is born from washing his left eye; and Susanowo, a turbulent deity of wind and storms, is born, appropri- ately, from washing his nose] And now, Izanagi rejoiced. He said, “I have begotten child after child, and at the end I have begotten three illustrious children." With these words he took off and sho necklace and bestowed it on Amaterasu, commanding her: "Rule the his charge he bestowed it on her. . . . ...
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This note was uploaded on 12/09/2008 for the course ANS 302J taught by Professor Kahn during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Kojiki Book I ex. (JATJ 24.1) - KOJIKI ("RECORDS OF...

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