The elder brother Ho-no-susori no Mikoto had by nature a sea-gift; the
younger brother Hiko-ho-ho-demi no Mikoto had by nature a mountain-gift. In
the beginning the two brothers, the elder and the younger, conversed
together, saying, "Let us for a trial exchange our gifts."
They eventually exchanged them, but neither of them gained anything by
doing so. The elder brother regretted his bargain and returned to the
younger brother his bow and arrows, asking for his fish-hook to be given
back to him. But the younger brother had already lost the elder brother's
fish-hook, and there was no means of finding it. He then made another new
hook which he offered to his elder brother. But his elder brother refused
to accept it, and demanded the old hook. The younger brother, grieved at
this, took his cross-sword and forged from it new fish hooks, which he
heaped up in a winnowing tray and offered to his brother. But his elder
brother was very angry and said, "These are not my old fish-hook! Even
though they are many, I will not take them!"
And he continued repeatedly and passionately to demand his old hook.
Therefore, Hiko-hoho-demi no Mikoto's grief was exceedingly profound and he
went and moaned by the shore of the sea. There he met Shiho-tsutsu no Oji.
The old man inquired of him saying, "Why do you grieve here?"
He answered and told him the matter from first to last.
The old man said, "Grieve no more. I will arrange this matter for you."
So he made a basket without interstices,and placing Hoho-demi no Mikoto in
it, sank it in the sea. Right away, he found himself at a pleasant strand
where he abandoned the basket and, proceeding on his way, suddenly arrived
at the palace of the Sea-God.
This palace was provided with battlements and turrets, and had stately
towers. Before the gate there was a well, and over the well there grew a
many-branched cassia-tree, with wide-spreading boughs and leaves.
Now Hiko-hoho-demi no Mikoto went up to the foot of this tree and loitered
about. After some time a beautiful woman appeared, and, pushing open the
door, came forth. She at length took a jewel-vessel and approached. She was
about to draw water when, raising her eyes, she saw him, and was alarmed.
Returning within, she spoke to her father and mother, saying, "There is a
rare stranger at the foot of the tree before the gate."
The God of the Sea thereupon prepared an eight-fold cushion and led him in.
When they had taken their seats, he inquired of him why he had come. Then
Hiko-hoho-demi no Mikoto explained to him all the circumstances about the
lost hook. The Sea-God accordingly assembled the fishes, both great and
small, and required of them an answer concerning the lost hook. They all
said, "We know not. Only the Red-woman has had a sore mouth for some time
past and has not come."
She was therefore peremptorily summoned to appear, and on her mouth being
examined the lost hook was actually found.
After this, Hiko-hoho-demi no Mikoto took to wife the Sea God's daughter,
Toyo-tama-hime, and dwelt in the sea-palace. For three years he enjoyed
peace and pleasure, but still had a longing for his own country, and
therefore sighed deeply from time to time. Toyo-tama-hime heard this and
told her father, saying, "The Heavenly Grandchild often sighs as if in
grief. It may be that it is the sorrow of longing for his country."
The God of the Sea thereupon drew to him Hiko-hoho-demi no Mikoto, and
addressing him in an easy, familiar way, said, "If the Heavenly Grandchild
desires to return to his country, I will send him back."
So he gave him the fish-hook which he had found, and in doing so instructed
him, saying, "When you give this fish-hook to your elder brother, before
giving to him call to it secretly, and say, 'A poor hook.'"
He further presented to him the jewel of the flowing tide and the jewel of
the ebbing tide, and instructed him, saying, "If you dip the tide-flowing
jewel, the tide will suddenly flow, and twith this you will drown your
elder brother. But in case your elder brother should repent and beg
forgiveness, if, on the contrary, you dip the tide-ebbing jewel, the tide
will spontaneously ebb, and with this you will save him. If you harass him
in this way, your elder brother will of his oun accord render submission."
When the Heavenly Grandchild was about to set out on his return journey,
Toyo-tama-hime addressed him, saying, "Your servant is already pregnant,
and the time of her delivery is not far off. On a day when the winds and
waves are raging, I will surely come forth to the sea-shore, and I pray
that you will make for me a birthing house, and wait for me there."
When Hiko-hoho-demi no Mikoto returned to his palace, he complied
implicitly with the instructions of the Sea-God, and the elder brother, Ho-
no-susori no Mikoto, finding himself m the utmost straits, of his own
accord admitted his offense, and said, "Henceforward I will be your subject
to perform mimic dances for you. I beseech you mercifully to spare my
Thereupon he at length gave in to his petition and spared him This Ho-no-
susori no Mikoto was the first ancestor of the Kimi of Wobashi in Ata.
After this Toyo-tama-hime fulfilled her promise, and, bringing with her her
younger sister, Tama-yori-hime, bravely confronted the winds and waves, and
came to the sea-shore. When the time of her delivery was at hand, she
besought Hiko-hoho-demi no Mikoto, saying, "When your servant is in labor,
I pray do not look upon her."
However, the Heavenly Grandchild could not restrain himself, but went
secretly and peeped in. Now Toyo-tama-hime was just in childbirth, and had
changed into a dragon. She was greatly ashamed, and said, "Have you not
disgraced me, I would have made the sea and land communicate with each
other, and for ever prevented them from being sundered. But now that you
have disgraced me, how shall friendly feelings be knit together?"
So she wrapped the infant in rushes, and abandoned it on the sea-shore.
Then she barred the sea-path and passed away. Accordingly the child was
called Hiko-nagisa-take-u gaya-fuki-ahezu no Mikoto. A long time after,
Hiko-hoho-demi no Mikoto died, and was buried in the Misasagi on the summit
of Mount Takaya in Hiuga.