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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Several generations of Kami are begotten by him


*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:


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