Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red/Alice

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< Article and Interview: Eirin 
Music Column: Forest of Dolls 
 Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red   Article and Interview: Letty >

Article[edit]

Illustration by Genji Asai.
第百十九季 水無月の三
Season 119, Minazuki issue #3 (est. 2004/07/17 ~ 2004/08/16)
神社の裏の木に大量の藁人形
Large Number of Straw Effigies Found in Forest Behind Shrine
今に生きる伝統と職人技術
The still-living tradition and the artisan
○月○日、神社の裏の木々に大量の藁で出来た人形が打ち付けられていたことが判明した。藁で人の形を作り、人に見つからない様に木に釘で打ち付けるという、古来より伝えられてきた儀式。今なお行われているとは驚きである。また、藁で出来た人形も出来は丁寧で、まさに職人技術の結晶の様な物だった。 On X the Xth, a great quantity of human-shaped dolls made from straw were found nailed to trees behind the shrine. The act of affixing human-shaped dolls to trees where others can't see them is an ancient ritual. It was a surprise to see this still being practiced in modern times. However, calling them mere dolls is not an accurate depiction of their craftsmanship. They were practically works of art.
今回はその伝統を今に伝える職人に密着取材したいと思う。それにはまず職人を捜さないといけないので、神社の裏で張り込みを開始した。三日目にしてようやく姿を現したのは人形職人、アリス・マーガトロイドさん(魔法使い)だった。突然の取材を快く引き受けて頂けた。 I wanted to learn more about the craftsman bringing this ancient tradition into the present. Since I first had to ascertain their identity, I conducted a stakeout over the area behind the shrine. After three days, the doll maker Alice Margatroid (magician) finally appeared. Margatroid was happy to give me a brief statement despite her surprise.

「藁人形だって人形の一つ。手を抜いて作るわけにはいかないわ。それに藁人形が一番輝くときって何だと思います?それは言うまでもなく木に打ち付けられた時。だからこうやってこっそりと打ち付けに来るの」

"These straw effigies are a type of doll. You can't cut any corners while making them. So, when do you think their finest moment is? It goes without saying that it's when they're nailed to a tree. That's why I secretly come here to put them up."

藁人形は木に打ち付けられて初めて藁人形という職人。今度は、何故藁人形というマイナーな伝統工芸品を創ろうと考えたのかを聞いてみた。 The artisan began affixing the figures to the trees using nails. This time, I tried to ask why she decided to use such relatively minor traditional art form such as straw figures.

「藁人形は、一定のルールの上で完成させれば呪術対象の魂に作用させることが出来るって言うじゃない。これって人形の原点だと思うのよ。人形が何故人の形をしているかって言うと、そこには呪術的な概念である類似が存在するからなの。藁人形が釘で打たれれば、類似の元も痛みを感じる。この事実をもっと良く調べれば、私の目標である自立して動く人形の作成に一歩近づけると思うの。だから、藁人形を作っている訳です。あ、決して誰かに恨みがある訳じゃないのよ、いやほんと」

"Obviously, because they say if you make one according to certain rules, you can place a curse on someone's soul. I believe that led to the creation of the doll. People ask why dolls are in the form of humans. I believe it's because it allows for a mystical connection to a subject. If you pierce the effigy with a nail, the subject will feel pain as well. If I can understand this dynamic better, I believe I can come a step closer to my goal of creating an independently moving doll. That's why I'm creating these straw figures. Oh, it's not like I hold a grudge against anyone, honestly."

そういうと職人は再び釘を打ち始めた。研究のためとはいえ熱のこもった演技と鬼気迫る表情に、これ以上話しかけるのは止めてここで取財を終了した。 And so the artist began hammering the dolls again. Though she said it was only for research, she returned to her performance so vigorously and with such a terrifying expression that I decided not to bother her any further and ended my questioning.
この様な伝統技術は時代の流れと共にどんどんと失われていく。それを保守できるのは、何を隠そう人間ではなく妖怪だけなのだ。それはあっという間に代を変える人間より、一人で長く生き続ける妖怪が習得した方が昔をそのまま残しやすいからだ。今に生きる妖怪の皆さん、未来を見て歩き続けるだけではなく、たまに立ち止まって後ろを振り返ってみてはいかがだろうか。 Traditional crafts such as this are lost as the ages pass. The only ones who can preserve them are not the humans, who try to hide them, but youkai. This is because it's easier for youkai, who often live alone for long periods of time, to leave remnants of the past as they were in olden days than it is for the humans, whose society can change in the blink of an eye. To all youkai living today, perhaps it would be best not only to keep an eye on the future, but to occasionally stop and turn to examine the past.
(射命丸 文) (Aya Shameimaru)

Interview[edit]

Illustration by Touya.

Alice

あらやだ。見てたの?

Oh, no. You saw me?

Aya

見てました、というか取材もしましたが

I did, and I even interviewed you.

Alice

本当は、藁人形を打ち付けている間、誰にも見られちゃいけないの。だからせっかく人気のない場所と時間を選んでやったのに

It really won't work if I'm seen nailing the dolls to the trees. And I went to all that work picking just the right place and time.

Aya

三日間張り込みました

I had been hiding for three days.

Alice

だから効果がいまいちだったのね......

So that's why the effects were so weak...

Aya

効果、ですか?

The... effects?

Alice

あ、いや何でもない。それで今日は何の用事かしら?

Oh, nothing. So, what did you come for today?

Aya

先日取財で聞けなかった事も含めて、職人の仕事場拝見という記事を書こうと思いまして。もう少しつっこんだ取財も一緒にお願いできればありがたいのですが

There were some things I didn't have the chance to ask you, so I thought I'd come and write an article about your workshop while I was at it. I'd really appreciate it.

Alice

仕事場? まぁ良いけどね。整理してるつもりだけど、物が多いから入る時は気をつけて

My workshop? Well, I suppose. I've been meaning to do some cleaning, so be careful on your way in.

Aya

......凄い人形の量ですね。全部自分で作ったんでしょうか?

...You certainly have a lot of dolls. Did you make them all yourself?

Alice

全部じゃ無いと思うけど、ほぼ全部は私の作品ね

Well, not all of them, I think, but most of them are my work.

Aya

先日の取財では類似の話をしていましたが、藁人形よりここに飾ってあるような人形のほうが対象に類似していると思うのですが?

I think I asked you something similar the other day, but the dolls you have here look much more like your subjects than the straw ones, don't they?

Alice

類似ってのは見た目が近づければ良いって物じゃないの。例えば私が貴方の人形を作ってその人形を指さしても、それは人形を指さした事に過ぎないでしょう? でも、貴方の名前を書いた紙を指さして、この人って言った場合はどうかしら? これは間接的にではあるけれど貴方のことを指すことになるでしょう?

Well, it's not just about how close the likeness is to the original. For example, if I made a doll of you and did something to it, then I've just done something to a doll, right? But what if it was to a piece of paper with your name on it? It's indirect, but doesn't that signify you, instead?

Aya

なるほど、つまり藁人形の場合は藁人形本体に釘を打つのでは無く、藁人形が意味している人物に釘を打つ、って事になるのですね

I see, so in other words, when you use straw dolls, it's like you're not pounding nails into the dolls, but into the person the dolls represent.

Alice

ま、名前を書いた紙は髪の毛のような体の一部でも使えなくもないんだけど。それから、決して誰かに恨みがある訳じゃないのよ

Well, a piece of paper with somebody's name on it isn't as useful as if you've got a bit of their hair, or something like that. But you know, it's really not like I'm holding a grudge against anyone.

Aya

あの藁人形は誰を意味していたんですか?

Just who were those dolls of?

Alice

さ、次の質問に行きましょう

Let's move onto the next question.

Aya

判りました、判りましたからその釘とカナヅチをしまってください

Okay, okay, I understand, so please put down that hammer and those nails.

Alice

それで何処まで話したかしら?

So, where were we?

Aya

そ、そうですね。ではアリスさんの目標とおっしゃっていた自立して動く人形についてですが、それは一体どういう物ですか?

W-Well, let's see... Can you please tell us about your stated goal about an independently moving doll?

Alice

昔、何度か見かけたことがあるんだけどねぇ。一人で物を考え一人で動く人形。いざ作ろうと思ってもどうしても上手いかないのよ。定期的に私が命令してあげればそれなりに動くんだけど、それ以上にはなかなか……まだまだ修行が足りないわ

I'm sure I've seen something like that, a long time ago. An independently moving and thinking doll. I've poured my soul into making one, but I've never been successful. I mean, it's easy enough to make a doll that will do something if I command it to, but beyond that... there's just so much more I need to learn.

Aya

本当にそんな人形見たことがあるのですか? 一人でものを考え一人で動く人形だなんて

Have you really seen such a thing as a doll that thinks and moves on its own?

Alice

誰が作ったのか、どうやって作ったのか。確かに自分の意思で動いていた様だったわ。取りあえず今はそういった人形が出来るまで研究を繰り返しているのよ。道は遠そうだけど

Who made it, and how? It certainly appeared to be moving by its own devices. In any case, I'll have to continue my research until I succeed. It looks like it'll be a long road.

Aya

本日は取材にご協力ありがとうございました

Thank you for your time and cooperation.

Profile[edit]

アリス・マーガトロイド Alice Margatroid
見た目は人間と変わらないが、魔法使いという種族であって人間ではない。魔理沙と同様に蒐集家で、家には大量の人形やマジックアイテムが置かれている。 Though she doesn't look any different from a human, since she is a member of the race of magicians, she is not human. As she is an avid collector like Marisa, a large number of dolls and other magic items are scattered throughout her house.
出演作:『東方妖々夢』、『東方萃夢想』、『東方永夜抄』 Appearances: Perfect Cherry Blossom, Immaterial and Missing Power, Imperishable Night

Notes[edit]

< Article and Interview: Eirin 
Music Column: Forest of Dolls 
 Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red   Article and Interview: Letty >