Ancient Japan

Shinto Creation Stories

The Coming of the August Grandchild to Japan

   Then Taka-mi-musubi no Mikoto took the coverlet which was on his true couch and, casting it over his August Grandchild, Amatsu-hiko-hiko-ho-ninigi no Mikoto, made him to descend. So the August Grandchild left his Heavenly Rock-seat, and with a sacred path-cleaving, drove his way through the eight-fold clouds of Heaven, and descended on the Peak of Takachiho of So 1 in Hiuga.

   After this the manner of the progress of the August Grandchild was as follows: From the Floating Bridge of Heaven on the twin summits of Kushibi, he took his stand on a level part of the floating sand-bank. Then he traversed the desert land of Sojishi from the Hill of Hitawo in his search for a country, until he came to Cape Kasasa, in Ata-no-nagaya. A certain man of that land appeared and gave his name as Koto-katsu-kuni-katsu Nagasa. 2 The August Grandchild inquired of him, saying, "Is there a country here or not?"

   He answered, and said, "There is a country here. I pray you, roam through it at your pleasure."

   The August Grandchild therefore went there and settled down.

   Now there was a fair maid in that land whose name was Ka-ashi-tsu-hime. 3 The August Grandchild inquired of this beautiful girl, saying, "Whose daughter are you?"

   She answered and said, "Your servant is the child of a Heavenly Deity by his marriage with Oho-yama-tsu-mi Kami."

   The August Grandchild accordingly favored her, whereupon in one night she became pregnant. But the August Grandchild was slow to believe this, and said, "Heavenly Deity though I am, how could I cause any one to become pregnant in the space of one night ? That which you have in your womb is certainly not my child."

   Therefore Ka-ashi-tsu-hime was angry. She prepared a doorless muro, 4 and entering, began to live in it. Then she made a solemn declaration, saying, "If that which is in my womb is not the offspring of the Heavenly Grandchild, it will certainly be destroyed by fire, but if it is really the offspring of the Heavenly Grandchild, fire cannot harm it."

   So she set fire to the muro. The child which was born from the extremity of the smoke which first arose was called Ho no Susori no Mikoto; next the child which was born when she drew back and remained away from the heat was called Hiko-ho-ho demi no Mikoto; the child which was next born was called Ho no akari no Mikoto. 5 In all, there were three children.

   A long time after, Ama-tsu-hiko hiko-ho-no-ninigi no Mikoto died, and was buried in the Misasagi 6 of Hiuga no ye in Tsukushi.

Translated by W.G. Aston, Nihongi (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1896),70-73

Edited by Richard Hooker



Next
Contents


World Cultures

World Cultures Home Page


1997, Richard Hooker
Updated 9-20-97