Now is the days before Emperor Jimmu, there existed among his ancestral records the history of the Tide Jewels. There arose two brothers, the elder brother, named Honosusori-no-Mikoto, had by nature the skill of fishing and the younger brother, named Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto, had by nature the gift of hunting. In the beginning the two brothers, the elder and the younger, began to bargain, saying: “Let us for a trial exchange gifts.” They eventually exchanged them, but neither of them gained anything by doing so. The elder brother repented from the bargain he made with his younger brother, and returned to the younger brother his bow and arrows. Honosusori-no-Mikoto asked for his fish-hook to be given back to him. But the younger brother, Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto, had already lost the elder brother’s fish-book, and had no means of finding it.
Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto made a new fish-hook, which he offered to his elder brother. But Honosusori-no-Mikoto refused to accept it and demanded the old hook back. The younger brother was grieved by the dispute and took his cross-sword and forged from it new fish-hooks, which he heaped up in a winnowing tray, and offered these to his brother. But his elder brother, Honosusori-no-Mikoto, was angry and said: “This is not my old fish-hook! You have offered many fish-hooks, but I will not accept any of these!” Honosusori-no-Mikoto repeatedly demanded that his fish-hook be returned.
Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto was overwhelmed with grief and be went to the shore to practice the Opening of the Sea ceremony. During this time he met one of the Ninzuwu in the person of an elderly man named Shihotsutsu-no-Oji. The old man inquired about his condition, saying: “Why dost thou grieve here?” Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto answered the elder and told him all that occurred between him and his eldest brother Honosusori-no-Mikoto. The old man said: “Grieve no more. I will straighten this matter out.” Shihotsutsu-no-Oji made a basket and placed Hohohodemi-no-Mikoto in it.
Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto journeyed into the ocean depths in the basket made for him by the Ninzuwu. He found himself at a beautiful garden beneath the Seas, where he abandoned the basket and proceeding on his way, suddenly arriving at the palace of the Sea-lord Watatsumi.
This Palace of Watatsumi was a sight to behold, as it was nothing like anything that Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto had ever witnessed. Before the gate of the palace was a well, and over the well there grew a many branched cassia-tree with wide-spreading boughs and leaves. Now Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto went up to the foot of this tree and to observe the beauty of all that was around him. After some time a beautiful woman appeared, and, pushing open the door, came forth. She at length took a jewel-vessel and approached the well. She was about to draw water when noticed Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto. The woman was quite frighten by the presence of this stranger and ran back into the palace. She spoke to her father and mother, saying: “There is a stranger at the foot of the tree before the gate.” Watatsumi, the Lord of the Sea, thereupon prepared an eightfold-cushion and let Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto in. When they had taken their seats, Watasumi had inquired about his purpose in visiting their palace. Then Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto explained to the Sea-lord all that transpired between him and his eldest brother.
The Sea-lord gathered the fishes, both great and small and required an answer from them all. The fishes replied, saying: “We know not. Only the Red-woman has had a sore mouth for some time and is not present here with us.” She was therefore summoned by the Sea-lord to appear and upon examination of her mouth the lost hook was found.
After this, Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto married the Sea-lord’s daughter, Toyotamahime, and dwelt in the sea-palace. For three years he enjoyed peace and pleasure, but still had a longing for his own country and sighed deeply because of such. Toyotamahime saw her husband’s grief and told her father, saying: “The Heavenly Grand-child often sighs as if in grief. It may be that it is the sorrow of abscence from his country.” Watatsumi, the Lord of the Sea, spoke to Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto, addressing him in an easy and familiar way, saying: “If the Heavenly Grand-child desires to return to his country I will send him back.” So he gave Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto the fish-hook which he had found, and in doing so instructed him, saying: “When thou givest this fish-hook to thy elder brother, before giving it to him call to it secretly, and say, ‘A poor hook.'” Watatsumi, the Lord of the Waters, gave Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto the jewel of the flowing tide and the jewel of the ebbing tide, and instructed him, saying: “If thou dost dip the tide-flowing jewel, the tide will suddenly flow, and thou shalt drown thine elder brother. But in case thy elder brother should repent and beg for forgiveness, on the contrary, thou dip the tide-ebbing jewel, the tide will spontaneously ebb, and thou shalt save him. If thou harass him in this way, thy elder brother will of his own accord render submission.
When the Heavenly Grand-child was about to set out to return to his country, Toyotamahime addressed him, saying: “I am 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 thou wilt make for me a parturition-house, and await me there.”
When Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto returned to his palace, he complied implicitly with the instructions of the Watatsumi, and the elder brother, Honosusori-no-Mikoto, finding himself in the utmost straits, of his own accord admitted his offense, and said: “Henceforward I will be thy subject to perform mimic dances for thee. I beseech thee mercifully to spare my life.” Thereupon Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto listened to his petition and spared his elder brother. This Honosusori-no-Mikoto was the first ancestor of the Kimi of Wobashi in Ata.
After this, Toyotamahime fulfilled her promise, also bringing with her younger sister, Tamayorihime with her, bravely they confronted the winds and waves and came to the sea-shore. When the time of her delivery was at hand, she besought Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto, saying: “When thy handmaiden is in travail, I pray thee do not look upon her.” However, the Heavenly Grand-child could not restrain himself, but went secretly and peeped in. Now Toyotamahime was just in childbirth,and had changed into a dragon. She was greatly ashamed and said: “Hadst thou not disgraced me, I would have made the sea and land communicate with each other and forever prevented them from being sundered. But now that thou hast disgraced me, wherewithal shall friendly feelings be knit together?”
When the child was born, the Heavenly Grand-child approached Toyotamahime and made inquiry saying: “By what name ought the child to be called?” She answered and said: ” Let him be called Hikonagisatakeugayafukiahezu-no-Mikoto.” Having said so, she took her departure straight across the sea. Then Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto made a song, saying:
Whatever befalls me,
Ne’er shall I forget my love
With whom I slept
In the islands of wild-ducks —
The birds of the offing.”