July 1998


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Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
UVM Japan Program News and Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 14 Jul 1998 09:41:04 -0400
TEXT/PLAIN (88 lines)
The other day, I ran into an interesting work - Kojiki - "Record of
Ancient Matters" - one of the earliest pieces of Japanese literature.
While trying to locate the kanji for kojiki, I found the following
excerpt, apparently from an album by Kitaro. ... Steve



This story is adapted from the original Kojiki, the ancient chronicle of
the creation of Japan

Chapter 1 Hajimari In the beginning

In the beginning, the heavens and the earth were one. The sky was a mass
of angry black clouds and the sea was nothing more then a seething, murky
swamp.  Life as we know it know did not exist. Then one day the clouds
began to swirl and grow, thunder crashed and a terrible rain began to
fall. it rained night and day for weeks and months, as if it had done so
forever. At last the rain stopped, and the heavens and the earth had
separated. From the waters and the mud the gods began to appear, like
young shoots of grass springing forth from the earth. This is how the
world began.

Chapter 2 Sozo The birth of a Land

The last of the gods to rise up from the chaos were Izanagi and the
goddess Izanami. From the Bridge of Rainbow in Takamagahara, far above
where the other gods live, they stirred the sea with a spear. When they
withdrew the spear, the drops of the mud that fell from it created a most
beautiful group of islands. Izagani and Izanami went to live in the land,
and were married.  There, Izanami gave birth to many gods including those
of the wind, the sea, the mountains and the earth.

Chapter 3 Koi Love and The Death of Izanami

The last god to be born was the God of fire, after which Izanami died. Her
death caused her son Mikoto, the god of the night, terrible pain and
grief. At least his father, Izagani, disturbed at his son's weakness,
expelled him from the land of the gods. after much wandering, Mikoto found
himself in a village terrorized but the Eight-Headed Dragon and where the
beautiful maiden Kushinadahime lived. It is there that Mikoto first
discovered love.

Chapter 4 Orochi The Eight-Headed Dragon

The Dragon was a terrible creature with eyes as red as Chinese lanterns.
It had eight giant heads and tails long enough to span eight mountains and
valleys. The monster dragon had already destroyed the village and devoured
Kushinadahime's seven sisters, and it was feared he would soon return to
claim the fair maiden. Using all of his cunning and strength Mikoto
defeated the monster in a long and brutal battle.

Chapter 5 Nageki Sorrow in a World of Darkness

After Mikoto was thrown out of the land of the gods, his sister Hikaru,
goddess of the sun, took pity on him and invited him to come live with her
in Takamagahara. Mikoto was happy to do so, but his mischief soon caused
Hikaru much grief. Hikaru fell into great despair and went to hide in the
Celestial Rock Cave, plunging the world into total darkness. For this,
Mikoto was thrown out of Takamagahara.

Chapter 6 Matsuri The Festival

Mikoto prayed and prayed to his father Izanagi to get Hikaru come out from
the cave. Meanwhile, some of the other gods gathered around the cave to
sing and dance in a happy and joyous festival. Hikaru, thinking it strange
that people were holding a festival in a dark and cold world, opened the
stone gate before the cave to see hat was happening. Just the Tajikarao,
the god of strength, pushed away the stone and pulled Hikaru from the
cave. The festival had been nothing but a trick.

Chapter 7 Reimei The New Dawn

As Hikaru came out from the cave, her light shown brilliantly in
Takamagahara and throughout all the lands. Flowers began to bloom, birds
to sing and peace returned. With Hikaru's blessing, Mikoto and
Kushinadahime were married and lived happily ever after. It was the
beginning of the new dawn in Yamato (Japan).