Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia/Article and Interview/Sumireko Usami

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Article[edit]

Page 7-9
< Foreword   Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia   Article: Prismriver Sisters 1 >

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独占スクープ!
結界を越える女学生がいた!
EXCLUSIVE SCOOP!
A female student who can cross over the barrier!
女学生 (宇佐見菫子) は結界を壊すのか?
Can this student ((Sumireko Usami)) destroy our barrier?
この写真こそ、これまで新聞記事ばかり作り続けてきた私、射命丸文が雑誌に挑戦するきっかけとなった一枚だ! 香霖堂の前で、山の仙人と名高い茨木華扇氏と、最近巷を騒がせている、結界を越える女学生・宇佐見菫子氏による密談の現場である。閉鎖を尊ぶ幻想郷において、他への関心を捨てて自己研さんへの道を歩む仙人が、あろうことか外来人と手を組んだ動かぬ証拠だ。 This very photo is what prompted me, Aya Shameimaru, to step away from my newspaper reporter history and venture forth into the world of magazines! In front of Kourindou, we bear witness to a secret conversation between famous mountain hermit, Ms. Kasen Ibaraki, and Ms. Sumireko Usami, the barrier-crossing student who's been causing quite the sensation as of late. Here in Gensokyo where we value our isolation, this hermit-- one who should be walking the road of self-improvement while forgoing concern for others-- is clearly conspiring with an outsider of all things, and this photo is unshakable proof!
わざわざ人間の里から距離のある、香霖堂で会うのも幻想郷への叛意があったからと考えれば納得がいくというもの。しかも店主の森近氏は博麗神社との繋がりも強いと噂されており、どこまでも疑惑は深まるばかり。真実を白日の下に晒す正義の週刊誌「文々春新報」が追求すべき由々しき事態である。引き続き取材を続けるので続報にご期待いただきたい。 The fact that this meeting was deliberately held at Kourindou, away from the Human Village, can be thought of as yet another indicator of their rebellious intent toward Gensokyo. But that's not all, the fact that the shopkeeper, Mr. Morichika, is rumored to have strong connections to the Hakurei Shrine merely makes it all the more suspicious. This grave situation must be brought to light, and by none other than the weekly magazine of justice, the Bunbunharu Weekly. We'll be following this story closely, so please stay tuned for our follow-up report.

Interview[edit]

Page 108-111
< Article: Kogasa Tatara, Yoshika Miyako, and Seiga Kaku   Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia   Interview: Hecatia Lapislazuli >

AFiEUSumireko2.jpg
AFiEUSumireko3.jpg
外来人、是か非か

度々目撃される外来人。渦中の人に突撃インタビュー!

宇佐見菫子
Whose Side Is The Outsider On?

This foreign visitor has been frequently sighted. Here's an on-the-spot interview with the central figure of this turmoil!

Sumireko Usami

Aya

注目の外来人、宇佐見菫子さんにお話をお聞きしたいと思います。まず、菫子さんはいつ頃から幻想郷に来るようになったのでしょうか?

Ms. Sumireko Usami, as the outsider who is the recent focus of public attention, I'd like to ask you some questions. To begin with: when was it that you first started visiting Gensokyo?

Sumireko

よく来るようになったのは最近だけど、実は小さいときに来たことがあったのかも知れないの。

Well, it was only recently that I've been able to come here so often... but now that I think about it, I might've crossed over once when I was little, too.

Aya

かも知れないとは?

You "might have"?

Sumireko

昔ね、不思議な体験をした事があるのよ。小さいときから無人の神社とか祠とか好きで、一人で軒下や縁の下とかに隠れて遊んでいたのよ。記憶が曖昧なんだけど、途中で寝ちゃってたみたいで、人の声がしたから慌てて目を覚ましたら、警察やら何やらいろんな人が集まってきて、みんな大丈夫か、って……。親にもしこたま怒られたわ。どうやら眠っていた間に、三日も経っていたのよねぇ。街の小さな新聞に記事にもなっていたわ。

I had this mysterious experience a long time ago, you see. I've really liked abandoned shrines, altars, and so on ever since I was little, so I would play by myself a lot, hiding under eaves and porches and the like. I don't remember it all that clearly, but I must have fallen asleep while hiding one day. And when I woke up in a panic on hearing people shouting, I was surrounded by policemen and lots of other people, all asking if I was okay... My parents got really upset with me, too. Apparently, three whole days had passed while I was asleep! There was even an article about it in my town's local newspaper.

Aya

三日間ですか、よく眠るんですね。

My, three days? You're quite the sound sleeper.

Sumireko

私もその時は、うっかり寝過ぎちゃった、なんて笑っていたんだけど……。最近になって、その間にみた夢を思い出すようになって来たの。その夢に出てきた世界が、今の幻想郷とそっくりなのよ。

I laughed it off at the time, too, like "haha, wow, I sure overslept," but... lately, I've started to remember the dreams I had back then. The world in my dream was exactly like the Gensokyo I see now.

Aya

それはどういう意味なんでしょうか。

And what do you suppose that means?

Reimu

それはきっと神隠しに遭ったのよ。(*注 インタビュー会場は博麗神社。博麗霊夢氏もその場に居合わせて話を聞いていた)

She obviously got spirited away.[1] (*Note: this interview was conducted at the Hakurei Shrine. Ms. Reimu Hakurei happened to be there as well, and was listening to the conversation.)

Aya

神隠しとは。

"Spirited away" meaning?

Reimu

小さいときに霊験あらたかな聖域とかに一人でいると、幻想郷に紛れ込んだりしてしまうことが稀にあるのよ。外の世界ではそれを神隠し、と呼んでいるの。ってあんたがそれを知らないわけないでしょうに。

When someone young is alone in a sacred site or other such location, sometimes they end up wandering into Gensokyo. The outside world calls it "being spirited away". I mean like, come on, there's no way you don't know that.

Aya

いや、一応、ね。

Well, just for clarity's sake.

Sumireko

そう、霊夢さんに教えて貰った神隠し、まさにそれだったと思うんです。外の世界に戻ってきた時の警察や親の反応のショックで、その間の記憶が抜けていたのが、再び幻想郷に来るようになってから思い出して来たというか。

Yes, that. I think this "spiriting away" thing that Ms. Reimu told me about is exactly what happened. I was shocked by the reactions of the police and my parents when I returned, so I more of less forgot about it, but I suppose that being able to visit Gensokyo again must have jump-started my memories?

Aya

なるほど、それでは最近幻想郷に来るようになったのは何故ですか。また、どうやって来ているのですか?

I see. So, why are you coming to Gensokyo recently? Also, how do you get here?

Sumireko

最近は、幻想郷の夢を見る様になったんです。

Recently, I've started seeing dreams of Gensokyo.

Aya

夢?

Dreams?

Sumireko

幻想郷に行こうと思って眠りにつくと、この夢を見るんです。

Whenever I think about visiting Gensokyo as I'm falling asleep, this is what I dream about.

Aya

ちょっと言っていることがよく判らないのですが。

I'm not sure I follow you.

Sumireko

今、私は夢の中にいるの。身体は外の世界に置きっぱなしなのよ。目が覚めたら元の世界に戻ってしまうわ。私にとって、夢の世界が幻想郷の現実なのよ。

I mean, I'm dreaming right now. My body is still lying asleep over in the outside world. And when I wake up, I'll find myself back outside. From my perspective, my dream world is Gensokyo's reality.

Aya

華胥、邯鄲、胡蝶の夢。確かに夢の世界と現実の区別が付かなくなる話はよくありますが、私達にとっては幻想郷は現実の世界です。俄には信じられません。現に、貴方はここに存在しているじゃないですか(菫子を触る)。

Hmm. The Yellow Emperor's dream of paradise, the dream of Handan, the dream of the butterfly. There certainly are many stories in which the distinction between dream and reality is blurred, but to us, Gensokyo is unmistakably the real world. As such, I find this somewhat hard to believe. I mean, you're sitting right here with us, aren't you? (touches Sumireko)

Sumireko

キャハハ、くすぐったいです。私にもよく判りませんが、事実は事実として受け入れるしかないんじゃないですか? それが新聞記者のモットーなんですよね?

Kyahaha! That tickles. I don't totally understand it myself, but you've just got to accept facts as facts, right? Isn't that a news reporter's motto?

Aya

むー。

Hrmm.

「生きてるだけで幸せだって」
"Just being alive is something to be happy about"

Aya

さて、本題です。今、夢を見ると幻想郷に来ると聞きました。でもそれは手段であって、目的ではありません。先ほど、幻想郷に行こうと思って眠りにつくと、幻想郷に行けると言ってました。つまり、幻想郷に来るか来ないかは貴方の意思という事ですよね。それでは改めて質問します。貴方が幻想郷に来る理由は何でしょうか?

Now, on to our main topic. You've just told us that you come to Gensokyo while you're dreaming. But that's just your method, not your motive. You said a moment ago that you're able to visit Gensokyo by thinking about it as you fall asleep; that is to say, whether you come here or not is up to you. So I'd like to ask you once again: what is your reason for visiting Gensokyo?

Sumireko

え、そんなのただの好奇心よ。逆にこんな面白いところに来ない理由なんてあるの?

Huh? I'm just curious, is all. C'mon, why wouldn't I want to visit such an interesting place?[2]

Aya

好奇心って言ったってただの人間には危険なはず。妖怪にとって、人間は食料、ですよ。

You may be curious, but Gensokyo should be dangerous for a mere human. Youkai see you as food, you know.

Sumireko

食料! そのゲームみたいな感じ、スリルがあって良いじゃん。

Food! Awesome! That makes it feel like a video game or something. Isn't that kind of thrill great?

Aya

スリル……。

Thrill...?

Sumireko

今の社会に退屈なのよ。大手企業に押しつけられる流行と大ヒット、アニメやゲームの名作はおっさん相手のノスタルジーばっか、大学も就職も安定志向で、若者にとって平穏さこそがこの世の全て。この状況の中なのに学生達が使っているSNSは、飛び抜けて感性を総叩きするための監視ツール。この世界で退屈しないなんて信じられないわ。でも、幻想郷に来られるようになって本当に良かったの。今までの鬱々とした閉鎖空間から抜け出した感じ! 生きているだけで幸せだって気付けたもの。

I'm just so bored with modern society. All the latest trends and big hits are forced on us by corporations, the TV shows and games people call "masterpieces" are just designed to pander to the nostalgia of middle-aged men, universities and workplaces are all about maintaining the status quo, and the only thing that matters to today's youth is peace and quiet. And yet on top of all of that, the social networks that all the students use are a bunch of surveillance tools used for bashing other people's sensibilities. It's unbelievable to me that someone would find this world exciting. I'm so glad I started coming to Gensokyo, though. I feel like I've finally escaped from that gloomy, closed-off place! I've realized that just being alive is something to be happy about.

Aya

よく判らないですが、外の世界は大変なんですねぇ。

I don't entirely follow, but I take it that things are tough in the outside world too.

Sumireko

まあ、幻想郷で体験した内容や写真をアップしたらブロックされまくったけど(笑)。

Well, when I put up a bunch of posts and photos of my experiences in Gensokyo everyone just blocked me though. (laugh)

「マミさんには街で会って遊んだ」
"I hang out with Ms. Mami in my city, too"

Aya

貴方が幻想郷の事をどのくらい知っているのか判らないですが、幻想郷は外の世界と隔絶することで成り立っている世界なのです。外の世界から自由に行き来することは勿論、存在すら知られないように潜んでいるのですが、それを貴方は壊そうとしています。それについてはどうお考えですか?

I don't know how familiar you are with things here, but Gensokyo is a world founded upon isolation from the world outside. You may be hiding yourself so that nobody even knows of your presence, but simply by freely travelling back and forth from outside, you are in danger of destroying that foundation. What are your thoughts on this matter?

Sumireko

壊そうだなんて……まあ、一人くらい行き来したって何も変わらないでしょ?

Destroying it? ...Well, one person visiting the place isn't going to change anything, right?

Aya

貴方は外の世界の物を持ち込んだり、幻想郷から持ち出したりしている様ですね。これは不測の事態を生みかねません。この事態を幻想郷のみんなは良しと思っていませんが。

It seems that you are bringing objects from the outside world into Gensokyo, and vice versa. This could easily lead to unforeseen consequences. We residents of Gensokyo are hardly pleased with this, either.

Sumireko

そうなんですか? それにしてはカセンちゃんにも香霖堂のお兄さんにも、霊夢さんにだって歓迎して貰えますけど。

Oh, really? It seems like Kassie,[3] the guy at Kourindou, and even Ms. Reimu have been giving me quite the warm welcome.[4]

Aya

ふむふむふむ。その辺の面子が、手引きしていると。

Hm hm hmm. So those people are the ones assisting you?

Reimu

ちょっと待って。

Hang on, hold it right there.

Aya

待ちません。今、真実を追い求める記者として大切なところなんですから。おっと失礼、霊夢に歓迎されるってどんな感じにですか?

I will not! This is a crucial moment for a reporter pursuing the truth, after all! --Goodness, do excuse me. What exactly is this welcome you receive from Reimu like?

Sumireko

霊夢さんには常に護衛して貰えます。何処に行っても、優しく見守ってくれますね。そうはいっても、幻想郷は危険らしいので。

She's always escorting me around for my protection. Wherever I go, she watches over me quite kindly. Since despite everything, I'm told Gensokyo is still a dangerous place.

Aya

危険らしい……、ですか。

You're told it's dangerous... you say?

Sumireko

カセンちゃんは私の友達ですし、一緒に遊んだりお互い言う事を聞いたりして貰っているわ。香霖堂のお兄さんは私の持ってきたガラクタを高く評価してくれるので面白いし……。他にもマミさんには私達の世界の街で会って遊んだり。

Kassie's my friend, too, so we play together and talk to each other about stuff. And the guy at Kourindou buys the garbage I brought over for super-high prices, which is funny... and besides that, sometimes I meet up with Ms. Mami in the city on my end, and we hang out there.

Reimu

何それ最後の話。聞いてないわ。

Woah wait what was that last part? First I've heard of this.

Aya

おかしいですねぇ。特に霊夢は、幻想郷と外の世界を隔絶するために見張っている人物の筈なんですが……、何でこの外来人を手厚く扱っているんでしょうねぇ。

How very strange. Especially for Reimu, who's supposed to be standing watch to preserve our isolation from the Outside Word... so I wonder why she's acting so friendly to an outsider like you?

Sumireko

そうなんですか? 隔絶って。

Really? "Isolation"?

Reimu

語弊を生むような言い方しないで。私がやっているのは、偶然紛れ込んだ外来人を無事に外に送り返すこと。隔絶って言うと、外来人の敵みたいじゃないの。

Don't say things that'll just confuse her. My job here is to make sure that outsiders who accidentally wander in make it back out safe and sound. This whole "isolation" thing of yours makes me sound like I'm their enemy.

Sumireko

ですよねー。霊夢さんが私の敵だとは思えないですから。だって、幻想郷の妖怪と闘いになったときも霊夢さんは率先して……。

See? I don't think of Ms. Reimu as my enemy, either. I mean, even back when I got into a fight with Gensokyo's youkai, she was the one to step forward and...

Reimu

いやいやちょっと待って。貴方に、余り私が味方過ぎることをアピールされるとややこしくなっちゃう。こうなったら、あんたを匿っている理由を全部話すから、ちょっと黙ってて?
都市伝説異変って知っているよね。都市伝説と事実がごっちゃになる奴。

No, no, okay, hang on. Stop trying to help me. If you start making me sound too buddy-buddy with you, things are gonna get even more complicated for me. At this point, I'd better just explain the whole reason I'm sheltering you, so pipe down for a bit, okay?
You've heard of the Urban Legend Incident, of course. The thing where urban legends started blending into reality.

Aya

確かに、それに関する記事もいくつか書きました。今のところ、大枠が判っていない異変ですね。

I've certainly written several articles about that, yes. We still don't know about the big picture of that incident, do we?

Reimu

彼女はそれに巻き込まれて、自由に幻想郷を行き来出来る身になってしまったの。本当のところを言うと、夢の中の世界で幻想郷に来る、という現象が誰にも理解できていない。無論、誰かの陰謀かも知れないし、彼女自身の隠された能力かも知れないし、何らかの事故かも知れない。ただ言える事は、彼女は本当に好奇心だけで幻想郷に来ていて、私や知っている奴らには彼女をこうする能力を持っている奴はいない……あ、夢の世界に住むあの妖怪ならもしかしたら……。

This girl here got caught up in that, and became capable of freely traveling to Gensokyo. If I'm being completely honest, nobody understands what's up with the "visiting Gensokyo in her dreams" phenomenon. It could be part of a somebody's plot, of course, or it could be her own dormant ability, or it could be some freak accident. What I can say for sure is that she really is coming to Gensokyo out of pure curiosity, and neither I nor anyone I know has an ability that could've put her in this state... hm. Wait. There's that one youkai living in the dream world, maybe...

Aya

話が逸れています。

We're getting somewhat off-topic.

Reimu

つ、つまり、身体は外の世界に残っている外来人というのは初めてのケースなの。しかも自由に何回も行き来出来るなんて。そんな特殊な外来人が幻想郷で死なれたりすると、外の世界に幻想郷の存在が知られる恐れがある。そう考えていて、その事情を知っている私が手厚く保護するしかないのよ。保護は逃げの一手なの。

I-In short, this is the first case we've ever had of a visitor whose physical body remains outside. And of one who can travel back and forth all they want, to boot. If a unique outsider like that wound up dying in Gensokyo, there's a chance that the outside world could discover Gensokyo. Taking that into consideration, the only option is for someone well-acquainted with the situation-- namely, me-- to gently keep her under protection. That protection is for our own benefit.

Aya

なるほど、確かに納得のいく理由です。私は少し勘違いしていたかも知れませんね。霊夢の行動は、あくまでも幻想郷を隔離するための行動、って訳ですか。

I see. That explanation does indeed make sense. It seems I may have misunderstood things somewhat. So your actions are merely in the name of keeping Gensokyo isolated, then?

Reimu

そうね。あ、菫子は気を悪くしないでね。貴方のことは確かにイレギュラーだけど、こっちは迷惑は被ってないし、内心楽しんでいるから。

Pretty much. Ah, don't take all that the wrong way, Sumireko. You're an irregularity, sure, but you're not bothering us or anything. Deep down, it's kind of fun for me, even.

Sumireko

へへー、ありがとうございます。これからも遠慮無く幻想郷ライフを楽しませて貰います。ところで、私はSNSで幻想郷の素晴らしさを投稿しまくってますけど、アレって良くなかったんです? まあ、オカルト宗教クソヤロウ、とか、二次元なりきりキメェ、って煽りリプライが稀に飛んでくるレベルで、炎上すらしてくれませんでしたが(笑)。

Heh heh~, thank you ever so much. I'm gonna enjoy my Gensokyo life as much as I can from here on out, too. By the way, I kind of posted all over my social network accounts about how wonderful Gensokyo is, but uh, I'm guessing that wasn't a great idea? Although, I mean, nothing really came of it besides the occasional troll message like "oh god get this creepy cultist shit off my TL" or "lmao look @ this girl's RP account, TOTAL cringe". They didn't even let me have a flame war or anything! (laugh)

Aya

……良いのか良くないのか全く判りませんが、なんとなく同じ情報発信者として同情出来る気がします(笑)。

...I'm not sure if those are good things or not, but as a fellow information specialist, I feel like I can relate (laugh).

Notes[edit]

  1. "Being spirited away" (lit. being hidden by a deity) is a typical explanation of a missing child. A child gained a tengu's favor, the tengu kidnapped the child, and finally s/he sudden came back to the village so long later as a few days or several years. In most cases, the tengu took tender care of the child or made him/her a special practice in order to endow mysterious power to the child.
  2. Sumireko drops all formality at around this point. Earlier she had been a little stiffer around Aya than she normally is.
  3. Sumireko calls Kasen "Kasen-chan" which is a casual way of referring to her that might be used between friends, but also implies no respect for her as an elder at all.
  4. See also Chapter 2 of the restarted part of Curiosities of Lotus Asia.