The emperor ordered the end of a pole of Shihi wood to be given to the fisher, and caused him to be taken and pulled into the imperial vessel, of which he was made pilot.
Continuing Japan’s First Emperor,
our selection from from Japan: its History, Traditions, and Religions by Sir Edward Reed published in 1880. The selection is presented in seven easy 5 minute installments
Previously in Japan’s First Emperor.
Time: 660 BC
In that year, in winter, on the Kanoto Tori day (the 5th.) of the 10th. month, the new moon of which was on the day Hinoto Mi, the emperor in person led the imperial princes and a naval force on an expedition against the East. When he arrived at the Haya-suhi gate, there was there a fisherman who came riding in a boat. The emperor summoned him and then inquired of him, saying: “Who art thou?” He answered and said: “Thy servant is a country-god, and his name is Utsuhiko. I angle for fish in the bays of ocean. Hearing that the son of the heavenly deity was coming, therefore I forthwith came to receive him.” Again he inquired of him, saying: “Canst thou act as my guide?” He answered and said: “I will do so.” The emperor ordered the end of a pole of Shihi wood to be given to the fisher, and caused him to be taken and pulled into the imperial vessel, of which he was made pilot.
A name was especially granted him, and he was called Shihi-ne-tsu-hiko. He was the first ancestor of the Yamato no Atahe.
Proceeding on their voyage, they arrived at Usa in the land of Tsukushi. At this time there appeared the ancestors of the Kuni-tsu-ko of Usa, named Usa-tsu-hiko and Usa-tsu-hime. They built a palace raised on one pillar on the banks of the River Usa, and offered them a banquet. Then, by imperial command, Usa-tsu-hime was given in marriage to the emperor’s attendant minister Ama notane no Mikoto. Now, Ama notane no Mikoto was the remote ancestor of the Nakatomi Uji.
Eleventh month, 9th. day. The emperor arrived at the harbor of Oka in the Land of Tsukushi.
Twelfth month, 27th. day. He arrived at the province of Aki, where he dwelt in the palace of Ye.
The year Kinoto U, Spring, 3rd. month, 6th. day. Going onward, he entered the land of Kibi, and built a temporary palace in which he dwelt. It was called the palace of Takashima. Three years passed, during which time he set in order the helms of his ships, and prepared a store of provisions. It was his desire by a single effort to subdue the empire.
The year Tsuchinoye Muma, Spring, 2nd. month, 11th. day. The imperial forces at length proceeded eastward, the prow of one ship touching the stern of another. Just when they reached Cape Naniho they encountered a current of great swiftness. Whereupon that place was called Nami-haya (wave-swift) or Nami-hana (wave-flower). It is now called Naniha, which is a corruption of this.
Third month, 10th. day. Proceeding upwards against the stream, they went straight on, and arrived at the port of Awo-Kumo no Shira-date, in the township of Kusaka, in the province of Kafuchi.
Summer, 4th. month, 9th. day. The imperial forces in martial array marched on to Tatsuta. The road was narrow and precipitous, and the men were unable to march abreast, so they returned and again endeavored to go eastward, crossing over Mount Ikoma. In this way they entered the inner country.
Now when Naga-sune-hiko heard this, he said: “The object of the children of the heavenly deity in coming hither is assuredly to rob me of my country.” So he straightway levied all the forces under his dominion, and intercepted them at the Hill of Kusaka. A battle was engaged, and Itsuse no Mikoto was hit by a random arrow on the elbow. The imperial forces were unable to advance against the enemy. The emperor was vexed, and revolved in his inmost heart a divine plan, saying: “I am the descendant of the sun-goddess, and if I proceed against the sun to attack the enemy, I shall act contrary to the way of heaven. Better to retreat and make a show of weakness. Then, sacrificing to the gods of heaven and earth, and bringing on our backs the might of the sun goddess, let us follow her rays and trample them down. If we do so, the enemy will assuredly be routed of themselves, and we shall not stain our swords with blood.”
They all said: “It is good.” Thereupon he gave orders to the army, saying: “Wait a while and advance no further.” So he withdrew his forces, and the enemy also did not dare to attack him. He then retired to the port of Kusaka, where he set up shields, and made a warlike show. Therefore the name of this port was changed to Tatetsu, which is now corrupted into Tadetsu.
Before this, at the battle of Kusaka, there was a man who hid in a great tree, and by so doing escaped danger. So pointing to this tree, he said: “I am grateful to it, as to my mother.” Therefore the people of the day called that place Omo no ki no Mura.
Fifth month, 8th. day. The army arrived at the port of Yamaki in Chinu (also called Port Yama no wi). Now Itsuse no Mikoto’s arrow wound was extremely painful. He grasped his sword, and striking a martial attitude, said: “How exasperating it is that a man should die of a wound received at the hands of slaves, and should not avenge it!” The people of that day therefore called the place Wo no Minoto.
Proceeding onward, they reached Mount Kama in the Land of Kii, where Itsuse no Mikoto died in the army, and was therefore buried at Mount Kama.
Sixth month, 23d. day. The army arrived at the village of Nagusa, where they put to death the Tohe of Nagusa. Finally they crossed the moor of Sano, and arrived at the village of Kami in Kumano. Here he embarked in the rock-boat of heaven, and leading his army, proceeded onward by slow degrees. In the midst of the sea, they suddenly met with a violent wind, and the imperial vessel was tossed about. Then Ina-ihi no Mikoto exclaimed and said: “Alas! my ancestors were heavenly deities, and my mother was a goddess of the sea. Why do they harass me by land, and why, moreover, do they harass me by sea?” When he had said this, he drew his sword and plunged into the sea, where he became changed into the god Sabi-Mochi.