Grasscutter II
Grasscutter Prologue 4 <-- --> Grasscutter II Chapter 1

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Characters

The following characters are mentioned in the story:

Story Synopsis

During the reign of Keiko-Tenno - 71-130AD (some fifteen-hundred years before Usagi is born) All-conquering Prince Yamato-dake returns to the province of Omi many years after he first passed through, now returning to claim Princess Miyazu for his bride.

During the wedding festivities, he presents to her his fabled blade 'Kusanagi-no-tsurugi' - the grass-cutting sword. A gift from the sun-goddess to her grandson, it has become an heirloom of his family.

The celebrations are interrupted by an old man who tells of a kami in serpent form who terrorizes the area of his home, not far away. The prince pledges to leave at first light in search of the creature. The following morning, he sets out farewelled by his new bride, who warns him of a dream she had the night before. Despite this, he refuses to take Grasscutter with him and rides to the mountain village where the monster was last seen.

Climbing mount Ibuki, he is assailed by a massive boar who fells trees with his blows. Leaping atop the beast, Yamato-dake pummels it into submission, leaving it an unconscious, bleeding heap. The prince continues on, resolving to kill the boar on his return journey.

Further and further up the mountain treks the prince, until his strength begins to fail him. He is suddenly confronted with the serpent kami who explains that the boar he faced earlier was no emissary, but the kami itself in boar form. Resolving to defeat the beast a second time, Yamato-dake draws his spear and the battle commences. The surrounding forest shakes with the force of the duel and eventually, Yamato-dake takes a grip around the huge neck of the snake and breaks it. The serpent dies and Yamato makes his way back to the village, the serpent's poison at work in his veins. He makes it to the village with enough strength to tell them that the beast is dead before he dies, wishing he had brought Grasscutter with him.

Yamato-dake's concubines and children arrive at the village and build for him a tomb. As they sing around it, Yamato-dake's spirit is transformed into a bird. The bird led his family toward the beach, then from Ise to Shiki in Kafuchi where 'The Mausoleum of the White Bird' was built. The sword that Princess Miyazu carried began to glow white-hot and ignited a cedar which toppled into a field which was thence known as Atsuta (hot field).

More than one-hundred years later, Atsuta-daijingu (Atsuta shrine) was built and dedicated to Yamato-dake. There also was housed the Kusanagi-no-tsurugi. In the seventh century, Emperor Temmu replaced the Grasscutter with a replica forged eight-hundred years previously. Grasscutter was transferred to the imperial court. In 1185, Grasscutter was lost at Dan no ura straits (Shimonoseki) during the final battle of the Gempei war.

 

Grasscutter Prologue 4 <-- --> Grasscutter II Chapter 1
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Grasscutter II
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