The Stone of the Five Colours and the Empress Jokwa

The Stone of the Five Colours and the Empress Jokwa

The Stone of the Five Colours and the Empress Jokwa is one of Japanese many folktales.


The Empress Jokwa.

Empress Jokwa suceeds her brother Emperor Fuki, and stories about her said she once fixed the broken sky and the pillars which hold up the sky after one of her brothers subjects rebelled.

He was called Kotai and when Jokwa ascended the throne he wanted it for himself. First he used the Water Devil and flooded the land and in retalitation the Empress declared war on him.

She amassed a huge army led by her two generals Hako and Eiko and went to where the rebel lived.

Kotai launches himself at the two generals and there is a fierce battle between them, Kotai eventually fleeing trying to shoot them with an arrow. The first failed and he had no time to draw another and so he summoned a flood which washed them and all the Empress’ armies away.

Hako looked back and saw Eiko unsheathing a large Sword.

The two generals found themselves saved by a man with white hair who stood atop an island in the flood waters. Kotai also reaches the island and attacks the man with white hair in anger for helping the generals. This man does not turn away from the fight until the last minute when he transforms into a crane and flies away.

That night the generals tell the Emprress they need help and so call on Shikuyu, the Fire King to help; who dwelt in the South Pole.

He agrees to help and also reveals it was him who saved them both from the flood. Shikuyu, knowing the secret of Kotai’s power tells the army to burn a certain shrub and to put its ashes into a bag.

He summons a flood again but the ashes serve to turn the waters into mud saving the army from the waters.

Eiko visits the Fire King.

Kotai then fights against the generals and later Shukuyu until his is injured in the shoulder and so flees again. He tries to summon the Water Devil to help but Shukuyu knew the counter spell. And so Kotai, in great pain, and losing the fight,  bashes his head against rocks on mount Shu dying instantly.

Such was the force of his head against the rock the mountain erupted causing one corner of the sky to fall until it touched the earth.

Empress Jokwa ventures to where heaven and earth touched and seeing both damaged ordered stones of blue, yellow, red, white an black to be brought which she then boiled into a paste which she could use to mend the sky.

Riding a cloud she fly to the part of the sky whihc is broken and applied the paste. Then proceeding to a broken pillar she fixes it with the legs of a large tortoise.

The Ambassadors set out in the Magic Chariots.

Though the Empress found after this the are remained dark and the sun and moon did not come out. Asking for advise she was told that the sun and moon did not yet know the sky had been fixed and so some wise men said they would go let them know.

She gave the wise men chariots which could fly through the sky and after an audience with he sun and moon they returned to the sky and day and night began once more.1


1. Ozaki, Y.T. (2015) “Japanese Fairy Tales” USA: Cavalier Classics.

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