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Symposium of Post-mysticism/Kyouko Kasodani

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Pages 82-84
< Part 3: Minamitsu Murasa   Symposium of Post-mysticism   Part 3: Ichirin Kumoi & Unzan >

読経するヤマビコ Sutra Chanting Yamabiko
幽谷 響子 Kasodani Kyouko Kyouko Kasodani
能力        音を反射させる程度の能力 Ability: The ability to reflect sound
危険度      低 Threat level: Low
人間友好度   極高 Human friendship level: Extremely High
主な活動場所  妖怪の山、命蓮寺等 Main place of activity: Youkai Mountain, Myouren Temple
山に向かって大声を上げると、律儀に返事をしてくれる妖怪山彦である。古来から何処の山にもいる有り触れた妖怪である。 Youkai yamabiko dutifully reply whenever someone shouts at the mountains. They are your everyday youkai that have been around since olden times and can be found in any mountain.
 楽しげな声には楽しく返事をし、怒りの叫びには逆ギレで返す明るく楽しい妖怪だが、近年では個体数が減少しつつあるようだ。 They are bright and cheerful youkai that will respond to happy voices with a cheerful reply and return an equally furious retort at shouts of anger, but in recent years it seems their population has been declining.
 その理由は、里の人間に山彦の声の正体が音の反射だと噂され始めた事で、山で大声を上げて話しかけてくる人間の数が減ってきたからだ。多くの山彦が存在意義を失い、自然消滅していったようだ。 This is due to the rumor that the truth behind the voices of the yamabiko are just the reflections of sound starting to spread among the humans of the village, so the number of humans who shout to them in the mountains has decreased. With many yamabiko losing their purpose in life, it seems they naturally became extinct.
 彼女はそんな世を虚しく思い出家した。今は命蓮寺で修行しているようである。修行の内容は、毎日の門前の掃除だという。お寺から聞こえて来るお経の声で、殆どのお経を暗記してしまったようだ(*1)。もちろん意味は理解していない。 Thinking she had no other purpose in this world, she entered the priesthood. She is now apparently training at the Myouren Temple. She says that her training is to sweep up the main gate every day. She has apparently memorized most of the sutras from hearing them from inside the temple(*1). Of course, she doesn't understand what they mean.
 大きな耳と小さな尻尾を持っている事から判る様に、元は獣の妖怪である。しかし、肉食獣のような凶暴さは持ち合わせていない。大声を上げる癖に比較的臆病で、登山客と鉢合わせするとすぐに姿を消す。そうして離れた所から、大声で「どうだ、驚いたか!」と呼びかけるのである。遠くから大声を上げる者は、基本臆病なのだろう。 As can be surmised by looking at her big ears and short tail, she was originally an animal youkai. However, she does not possess any of the savage habits a carnivore does. Despite her speaking in a loud voice, she is comparatively timid, and when she encounters mountain climbers, she flees quickly. After that, she'll yell out from a distance "How's that! Did I spook ya!?". It is believed that ones who shout from far away are basically timid.
 ちなみに、一人の時は割と大人しい妖怪の筈だったのだが、最近はお経の独り言を始めたようだ。少しストレスが溜まっているのかも知れない。 Incidentally, she is supposedly a well-behaved youkai when she's alone, but lately it appears that she has started to mumble sutras to herself. Perhaps she might be under a bit of stress.
山彦返答集 A Collection of Yamabiko Replies
 山で大声で呼ぶと返事をしてくれる山彦。基本は同じ言葉を繰り返すおうむ返しだが、ある特定のかけ声からは変わった返答が帰ってくる事があるので、私の知っている限り記録した。 Yamabiko reply when you give a shout in the mountains. While the standard is to reply with the same words, there are special cases in which they reply differently. I've documented those I know.
"Ya-ho!" -> "Yahoo!"
The basic form, replies in the pronunciation that they're used to.
"You idiot!" -> "What did you just call me?!"
The adolescent form, also called the delinquent form.
"My apologies!" -> "No, it was my fault!"
Adults have proper manners.
Yama!" -> "Kawa!"
This is limited to Mr. Yamakawa. [1]
"What time is it?" -> "Well, it's about...!"
The wristwatch form, they know the approximate time.[2]
"One plus one is...?" -> "..."
The bad-at-math form.
対処法 Approach
 自分から攻撃を仕掛けない限り、特に危険は無いだろう。非常に温和な性格の妖怪である。晴れた日は、山に向かって大声を上げて楽しむのも良いだろう。 Unless you initiate the attack, there's no particular danger. She's a youkai with an especially gentle personality. It should be fine to enjoy shouting at the mountains on a nice day.
 最近は命蓮寺に居る事が多いが、お寺での大声は迷惑なので避けよう。 Recently, she is often seen at the Myouren Temple, but avoid raising your voice there as it will cause a disturbance.
 しかし、余りうるさくしていると、山にいる別の妖怪が出てきてしまうかも知れないので、程々に。 On the other hand, if you're too noisy you may end up attracting other youkai in the mountains, so use moderation.
*1 門前の妖怪、習わぬ経を読む。 1: A youkai before the gate, reads an unknown sutra.[3]
< Part 3: Minamitsu Murasa   Symposium of Post-mysticism   Part 3: Ichirin Kumoi & Unzan >


  1. This is a kind of password originally used in ninja communities, but too common to be useful nowadays. When a ninja came back to his base, a gatekeeper would say "mountain" ( yama). If he replies "river" ( kawa), he is allowed in. If not, he will be seen as an interloper and be chased away or killed.
  2. This is from the Southern All Stars's debut song, "Katte ni Sinbad".
  3. A parody of the Japanese proverb "A young acolyte before the gate, reads an unknown sutra." (門前の小僧習わぬ経を読む monzen no kozou narawanu kyou o yomu). It means that one will pick up certain things when they're exposed to it daily, implying the idea of "the environment has a huge influence on people". Akin to "a saint's maid quotes Latin." or "a good candleholder proves a good gamester." in English.