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Main > Japanese folktales > Fairy tale "The Sea King and the Magic Jewels"

The Sea King and the Magic Jewels

And he said, “Farewell, good sword.” And he broke it into many fragments, and made five hundred fish-hooks to give to his brother, Prince Fire Flash. But Prince Fire Flash would have none of them.

And again Prince Fire Fade toiled at a great furnace, and made one thousand fish-hooks; and upon his knees he humbly offered them to his brother, Prince Fire Flash. For he loved his brother. Nevertheless Prince Fire Flash would not so much as look at them, but sat moody, his head on his hand, saying, “Mine own lost fish-hook will I have, that and no other.”

So Prince Fire Fade went grieving from the palace gates, and wandered lamenting by the seashore; and his tears fell and mingled with the foam. And, when night came, he had no heart to return homewards, but sat down, weary, upon a rock amid the salt pools. And he cried, “Alas, my brother, I am all to blame, and through my foolishness has this come upon me. But oh, my brother, together were we nursed upon the sweet breast of our mother, Princess Blossoming-Brightly-as-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees, for almost hand in hand did we come into the world.”

And the moon rose so that the sea and the Central Land of Reed Plains was light. But Prince Fire Fade ceased not to lament.

Then Shiko-Tsuchi-no-Kami, the Lord of Sea Salt, came with the rising tide, and spoke, “Wherefore weeps the Heaven’s Sky Height?”

And Prince Fire Fade made answer: “I have taken my brother’s fish-hook, and I have lost it in the sea. And though I have given him many other fish-hooks for compensation, he will have none of them, but desires only the original fish-hook. Truly, the gods know, I would give my life to find it; but how should that serve?”

And Shiko-Tsuchi-no-Kami took him by the sleeve to where a boat moved upon the water, and set him in the boat and pushed it from the shore, saying, “My son, pursue the pleasant path that Tsuki-Yomi-no-Kami, His Augustness, the Moon Night Possessor, has made for thee upon the waters. And, at the end, thou shalt come to a palace made of fishes’ scales, which is the palace of the great King of the Sea.

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