3-1.根の国訪問 “Visiting Ne-no-kata-su-kuni”
The eighty deities, finding their plot had failed, played another trick on him. They led O-namuji into the woods, where they cut down a big tree and from the end drove a wedge and made a split. They took out the wedge when he got into the split. Stuck in the split, O-namuji was crushed to death. His mother desperately looked for her son and found his body in the split of the tree. She cut the tree and stretched the split. Then, she took him out and revived him. She told her son, “If you stay here any longer, you will be completely destroyed by the eighty deities,” and secretly sent him to the province of Ki1,where O-ya-biko-no-kami lived. But the eighty deities, finding he had escaped, relentlessly pursued and overtook him. Putting arrows in their bows, they demanded that O-ya-biko-no-kami, who harbored O-namuji, turn him over. O-ya-biko-no-kami, however, managed to let him slip away through the fork of a tree, saying, “You should escape to Ne-no-kata-su-kuni,where Susa-no-o-no-mikoto lives. The great deity will surely protect you.” O-namuji did as he was told, and went to Ne-no-kata-su-kuni2.
Notes | 注釈
#1 the Province of Ki
Supposedly it corresponds to the present Wakayama prefecture.
“Ne” means “underworld.” “Katasu” means “rock bed.” This region may well be located at the bottom of the underworld.