Tajima Mori

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Tajima Mori
Illustration by Kikuchi Yōsai, from the Zenken Kojitsu.
    • Period: Legendary Period
    • Occupation: –
    • Family: –
    • Birth: –
    • Death: –

Tajima Mori

Tajima Mori (田道間守) is a man seen during the reign of Emperor Suinin, and is said to be the ancestor of the Miyake no muraji.2

In the 90th year of his reign, he sends Tajima Mori to the island of Tokoyo to collect the Tachibana fruit, however before he returns the Emperor passes away.

Tajima Mori returned the following year with the fruit and makes a speech lamenting the Emperors death.

‘Ten thousand ri I crossed the waves,
Distantly I passed over the weak water.
This Eternal Land.
Is no other than the mysterious realm of Gods and Genji
To which ordinary mortals cannot attain;
Therefore in going thither and returning
Ten years have naturally passed.
Beyond my expectation, I braved alone the towering billows,
Turning my way again towards my own land.
Thus, thrusting in the spirits of the Emperors,
I hardly accomplished my return.
But now the Emperor is dead,
I am unable to report my mission.
Though I should remain alive,
What more would it avail me?’

He then dies weeping, facing the Emperors tomb.1

The kojiki also says he brought back with him 80 leafy branches and 80 bare branches. He placed 40 of each of Hibasuhime’s mausoleum and the rest on the Emperors mausoleum as well as the Tachibana.2


1. Aston. W.G. (1896) “Nihongi Volume 1: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD697”. Tuttle Publishing.
2. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.

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Tajima Mori