Thereafter on their "return," say the Records, and the expression is apposite they explored several small islands not identifiable by their names but said to have been in Kibi, which was the term then applied to the provinces of Bingo, Bitchu, and Bizen, lying along the south coast of the Inland Sea and thus facing the sun, so that the descriptive epithet "sun-direction" applied to the region was manifestly appropriate.
Kibi no Makibi and Sugawara no Michizane were the only two Japanese subjects that attained to be ministers of State solely in recognition of their learning, but several littérateurs reached high office, as chief chamberlain, councillor of State, minister of Education, and so forth. Miyoshi Kiyotsura ranks next to Michizane among the scholars of that age.
This theory is based on the words of the address he made to his elder brothers and his sons when inviting them to accompany him on the expedition "Why should we not proceed to Yamato and make it the capital?" and on the fact that, on arriving in the Kibi district, namely, the region now divided into the three provinces of Bizen, Bitchu, and Bingo, he made a stay of three years for the purpose of amassing an army and provisioning it, the perception that he would have to fight having been realized for the first time.
If at one moment they tell us of slanders and cruelty, at another they describe how a favourite consort of Ojin, gazing with him at a fair landscape from a high tower, was moved to tears by the memory of her parents whom she had not seen for years, and how the Emperor, sympathizing with her filial affection, made provision for her return home and took leave of her in verse: "Thou Island of Awaji "With thy double ranges; "Thou Island of Azuki "With thy double ranges "Ye good islands, "Ye have seen face to face "My spouse of Kibi."
Fujiwara Momokawa warmly espoused his cause, but for unrecorded reason Kibi no Makibi offered opposition. Makibi being then minister of the Right and Momokawa only a councillor, the former's views must have prevailed had not Momokawa enlisted the aid of his brother, Yoshitsugu, and of his cousin, Fujiwara Nagate, minister of the Left.
They specially blame Kibi no Makibi, the great scholar. He had recovered from his temporary eclipse in connexion with the revolt of Fujiwara Hirotsugu, and he held the office of minister of the Right during a great part of Koken's reign. Yet it is not on record that he offered any remonstrance.
In Japan he was raised to the high rank of asomi, and ultimately became minister of the Right during the reign of Shotoku. *Generally spoken of as "Kibi no Mabi," and credited by tradition with the invention of the katakana syllabary. Such incidents speak eloquently of the respect paid in Japan to mental attainments and of the enlightened hospitality of China.