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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Everything was left in the hands of Susanoo


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.





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. A third conclave of the Kami was now convened by the Sun goddess and her coadjutor, the Great-Producing Kami,* and they decided to despatch a pheasant to make observations.

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