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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Princess Rich Gem arrived from the castle of the ocean Kami


*Pagrus

major.

Finally the Kami of the ocean instructed a crocodile to carry Hohodemi to his home. This was accomplished, and in token of his safe arrival, Hohodemi placed his stiletto on the crocodile's neck for conveyance to the ocean Kami.

The programme prescribed by the latter was now faithfully pursued, so that Hosuseri grew constantly poorer, and finally organized a fierce attack upon his younger brother, who, using the tide-flowing jewel, overwhelmed his assailants until they begged for mercy, whereupon the power of the tide-ebbing jewel was invoked to save them. The result was that Hosuseri, on behalf of himself and his descendants for all time, promised to guard and respectfully serve his brother by day and by night. In this episode the hayabito had their origin. They were palace guards, who to their military functions added the duty of occasionally performing a dance which represented the struggles of their ancestor, Hosuseri, when he was in danger of drowning.

BIRTH OF THE EMPEROR JIMMU

After the composition of the quarrel described above, Princess Rich Gem arrived from the castle of the ocean Kami, and built a parturition hut on the seashore, she being about to bring forth a child. Before the thatch of cormorants' feathers could be completed, the pains of labour overtook her, and she entered the hut, conjuring her husband not to spy upon

her privacy, since, in order to be safely delivered, she must assume a shape appropriate to her native land. He, however, suffered his curiosity to overcome him, and peeping in, saw her in the form of an eight-fathom crocodile. It resulted that having been thus put to shame, she left her child and returned to the ocean Kami's palace, declaring that there should be no longer any free passage between the dominions of the ocean Kami and the world of men. "Nevertheless afterwards, although angry at her husband's having wished to peep, she could not restrain her loving heart," and she sent her younger sister, Good Jewel, to nurse the baby and to be the bearer of a farewell song to Hohodemi.

The Records state that the latter lived to the age of 580 years and that his mausoleum was built to the west of Mount Takachiho, on which his palace stood. Thus for the first time the duration of a life is stated in the antique annals of Japan. His son, called Fuki-ayezu (Unfinished Thatch), in memory of the strange incident attending his birth, married Princess Good Jewel, his own aunt, and by her had four sons. The first was named Itsuse (Five Reaches) and the youngest, Iware (a village in Yamato province). This latter ultimately became Emperor of Japan, and is known in history as Jimmu (Divine Valour), a posthumous name given to him many centuries after his death.* From the time of this sovereign dates and events are recorded with full semblance of accuracy in the Chronicles, but the compilers of the Records do not attempt to give more than a bald statement of the number of years each sovereign lived or reigned.


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