I did not see a single bit of wood in Japan like anything that we have. The veining, color, texture and adaptiveness to polish suggest marble of every variety. At Yokohama I engaged a guide, Takenouchi. I found him to be a faithful attendant; his devotion and energy in satisfying my various requests was unwearied; I shall ever feel grateful to him.
He had moustaches, and a long beard fell over his breast like a foaming waterfall, as white as the snows on the branches of the pine trees of Ibuki mountain. Now the empress, as well as Takénouchi, wished the imperial infant Ojin to live long, be wise and powerful, become a mighty warrior, be invulnerable in battle, and to have control over the tides and the ocean as his mother once had.
The rescript justified Asuka's elevation by reference to the case of Iwa, a daughter of the Takenouchi, whom the Emperor Nintoku had made his Empress. But the Takenouchi family belonged to the Kwobetsu class, and the publication of a special edict in justification could be read as self-condemnation only. Nevertheless, the Fujiwara had compassed their purpose.
At first there was no sign on the waves that Kai Riu O heard. The green sea lay glassy in the sunlight, and the waves laughed and curled above the sides of the boat. Still Takénouchi listened intently and waited reverently. He was not long in suspense. Looking down far under the sparkling waves, he saw the head and fiery eyes of a dragon mounting upward.
To do this it was necessary to get back the Tide Jewels. So Takénouchi took the infant Ojin on his shoulders, mounted the imperial war-barge, whose sails were of gold-embroidered silk, and bade his rowers put out to sea. Then standing upright on the deck, he called on Kai Riu O to come up out of the deep and give back the Tide Jewels to Ojin.
Takénouchi, his minister, kept his death a secret from the soldiers, while the valiant Jingu continued the war and soon brought the rebellion to an end. The death of the mikado had left the power of the state and the command of the army in the hands of his wife, who had shown her valor and ability in the conquest of Kumaso.
The booty was loaded on eighty ships, and the Japanese army returned in triumph to their native country. Soon after her arrival at home, the empress Jingu gave birth to a son, whom she named Ojin. He was one of the fairest children ever born of an imperial mother, and was very wise and wonderful even when an infant. He was a great favorite of Takénouchi, the prime minister of the empress.
Then one of the Rônins, named Takénouchi Gentan, a very brave man, leaving his companions to do battle with Matayémon, came to the rescue of Matagorô, who was being hotly pressed by Kazuma, and, in attempting to prevent this, Busuké fell covered with wounds.
But they were far surpassed in longevity by a statesman named Takénouchi, who served five mikados as prime minister and dwelt upon the earth for more than three hundred and fifty years. There was not much "rotation in office" in those venerable times. We must come down for six hundred years from the days of Jimmu to find an emperor who made any history worth the telling.
Kazuma meanwhile was still fighting with Matagorô, and the issue of the conflict was doubtful; and Takénouchi Gentan, in his attempt to rescue Matagorô, was being kept at bay by Magohachi, who, weakened by his wounds, and blinded by the blood which was streaming into his eyes from a cut in the forehead, had given himself up for lost when Matayémon came and cried