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I came across this while reading 「狼と香辛料」and was confused by the usage of を in the sentence below:

少女は狼の耳と尻尾を有した美しい娘で、自ら豊作司る神ホロと名乗った。

In particular I'm interested in 「自らを豊作を司る」which I would normally expect to be written 「自ら豊作を司る」without the first「を」.

What is the meaning of the above sentence fragment vs. simply「自ら豊作を司る」?

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自ら「豊作を司る神、ホロ」と名乗った。

豊作を司る modifies 神 as a relative clause ("God who presides over fertility"). 豊作を司る神 is in apposition to ホロ.

自ら~と名乗る sounds natural to my ears, and according to BCCWJ, it's roughly as common as 自ら~と名乗る (without を).

table

The difference between the two is small, but 自ら (without を) may have the feeling of "voluntarily" or "on one's own initiative" in some cases. 自らを●●と名乗る only means "call/name oneself ●●".

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