The Kojiki: An Account of Ancient Matters (Translations from the Asian Classics)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Japan's oldest surviving narrative, the eighth-century Kojiki, chronicles the mythical origins of its islands and their ruling dynasty through a diverse array of genealogies, tales, and songs that have helped to shape the modern nation's views of its ancient past. Gustav Heldt's engaging new translation of this revered classic aims to make the Kojiki accessible to contemporary readers while staying true to the distinctively dramatic and evocative appeal of the original's language. It conveys the rhythms that structure the Kojiki's animated style of storytelling and translates the names of its many people and places to clarify their significance within the narrative. An introduction, glossaries, maps, and bibliographies offer a wealth of additional information about Japan's earliest extant record of its history, literature, and religion.
Located in Plowed Plots, it is now the Kako-gawa river running through Hyōgo prefecture. My rendering is derived from the characters its name is written with. 77 IFUYA PASS (Ifuya-zaka). A mountain pass entering the underworld in Billowing Clouds, it is now a part of the city of Matsue in Shimane prefecture. Both the Engi Rites and the Gazetteers mention a shrine named after it. 16. See also GENTLE DECLINE IMMORTALS PASSAGE (Waka-sa). An ancient land of central Honshu on the coast facing the
Man, then the spirit named Wave Foam Woman. Next was the spirit named Calm Surface Man, then the spirit named Wave Surface Woman. Next was the spirit named Heaven’s Watershed, then the spirit named Land’s Watershed. Next was the spirit named Heaven’s Dipper Holder, then the spirit named Land’s Dipper-Holder. (From Calm Foam Man to Land’s Dipper Holder are eight spirits all told.) Next He and She Who Beckoned made the spirit of the winds, named Long Blowing Lad. Next they made the spirit of
sixty-eight (he passed away during the Twelfth Month in the fifth Year of the Tiger). His mighty barrow lies atop Curving Hillock by the road at Mountainside. SOVEREIGN SUININ The mighty one Keen-Eyed Inner Lad Howler dwelt in the mighty halls of Jeweled Fence in Stonehold and ruled over all under heaven from there. This sovereign of heaven took to wife the mighty one Lady Fine Plumes Way, younger sister of the mighty one mighty prince Fine Plumes Lad. She bore him the mighty one mighty
a song. That song said: Our great lord ruling all eight corners of the world, each and every morning draws it close to lean upon; each and every evening draws it close to lean upon. Beneath that armrest would I gladly be a board for this man of mine! This is a verse that sinks softly in pitch. The years of this sovereign of heaven were one hundred and twenty-four (he passed away on the ninth of the Eighth Month in the sixth Year of the Snake). His mighty barrow lies on Lofty Eagle at
17 ROAD GRANDEE (Michi-no-omi). According to the Chronicles of Japan, this captain of Jinmu’s army was named after his position in the vanguard of the first sovereign’s force. 65 ROAD MASTER (Michi-no-ushi). This half-brother of Lady Fine Plumes is also given the lengthier title of Road-Raising Master Lad of Valley Edge (Taniwa-no-hiko-tatasu-michi-no-ushi) in the Kojiki. 81, 95 ROADSIDE MAN OF SUN-SHINING RUNOFF PADDIES (Hi-na-teri-nuka-ta-bi-chi-o-iko-chini). The translation of this spirit’s