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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

Who governed the adjacent province of Yamato


The

reign of this sovereign (97-30 B.C.) is the first eventful period since the death of Jimmu. It is memorable for the reorganization of religious rites; for the extension of the effective sway of the Throne, and for the encouragement of agriculture. When the first Emperor installed the sacred insignia in the palace where he himself dwelt, the instinct of filial piety and the principle of ancestor worship were scarcely distinguishable. But as time passed and as the age of the Kami became more remote, a feeling of awe began to pervade the rites more strongly than a sense of family affection, and the idea of residing and worshipping in the same place assumed a character of sacrilege. This may have been directly suggested by a pestilence which, decimating the nation, was interpreted as implying the need of greater purity. A replica of the sacred mirror was manufactured, and the grandson of the great worker in metal Mahitotsu, the "One-eyed" was ordered to forge an imitation of the sacred sword. These imitations, together with the sacred jewel, were kept in the palace, but the originals were transferred to Kasanui in Yamato, where a shrine for the worship of the Sun goddess had been built. But though the pestilence was stayed, it brought an aftermath of lawlessness and produced much unrest in the regions remote from Yamato. Sujin therefore organized a great military movement, the campaign of the Shido shogun, or "Generalissimo of the four Circuits."*

*The

term "do" indicates a group of provinces.

The leaders chosen for this task were all members of the Imperial family--a great-uncle, an uncle, a younger brother, and a first cousin of the Emperor--and the fields of operation assigned to them were: first, to the west along the northern shore of the Inland Sea; secondly, to the northwest into Tamba, Tango, and Tajima; thirdly, to the north along the sea of Japan, and finally to the east along the route now known as the Tokaido. No attempt is made by the writers of either the Records or the Chronicles to describe the preparations for this extensive campaign. Tradition seems to have preserved the bare fact only.

One interesting interlude is described, however. Before the first body of troops had passed beyond range of easy communication with Mizugaki in Yamato, where the Court resided, the prince in command heard a girl singing by the wayside, and the burden of her song seemed to imply that, while foes at home menaced the capital, foes abroad should not be attacked. The prince, halting his forces, returned to Mizugaki to take counsel, and the Emperor's aunt interpreted the song to signify that his Majesty's half-brother, Haniyasu, who governed the adjacent province of Yamato, was plotting treason. Then all the troops having been recalled, preparations to guard the capital were made, and soon afterwards, news came that Haniyasu, at the head of an army, was advancing from the direction of Yamashiro, while his wife, Ata, was leading another force from Osaka, the plan being to unite the two armies for the attack on Yamato. The Emperor's generals at once assumed the offensive. They moved first against Princess Ata, killed her and exterminated her forces; after which they dealt similarly with Haniyasu. This chapter of history illustrates the important part taken by women in affairs of State at that epoch, and incidentally confirms the fact that armour was worn by men in battle.

The four Imperial generals were now able to resume their temporarily interrupted campaigns. According to the Chronicles they completed


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