Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 15

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森近霖之助は物につけられた〈名前〉を視ることができる。彼は、その一風変わった力のために道具屋 (香霖堂) となったのか。
それとも物たちを愛するがために、それらの〈名前〉を視られるようになったのか。
そんな霖之助のところへ霊夢が奇妙な石を手にやってきた。
〈名前〉を視る能力すら及ばない不思議な石くれ、その正体とは――?
絶好調の東方シリーズ連載、真夏の気怠い昼下がりを、香霖堂の饒舌と見立てが吹き抜けていく。
Rinnosuke Morichika can see the names of things. Maybe it was for the sake of this unconventional ability that he opened Kourindou, an antique store. Or maybe it is because he loves objects so much that he became able to perceive their names? And it was to him that Reimu brought a strange stone. This mysterious stone whose name not even his ability could perceive, what is its true nature…? In this chapter of the popular Touhou Project serialization, the glib and image of Kourindou blow through a languid midsummer afternoon.
名前の無い石 A Nameless Stone
元来この世のあらゆる物には名前は付いていない。この世は様々な物すべてが混ざった混沌の世界だった。だが、太古の神々がこの世の物一つ一つに名前を付けて回り、今の世の様に秩序の取れた世界が生まれた。物に名前が付くとそこに境界が生まれ初めて一つの物として認識される。 () わばその命名の力は無から物体を生み出す創造の力であり、まさしく神の力に等しい。そして、その強い力 (ゆえ) 、物は名前を付けられた事を覚えている。だから僕はその名前を視る事が出来るのである。 In the beginning, nothing in this world had a name. It was a world in which all things were mixed together in chaos. However, the gods in those ancient times gave a name to every last thing, and so the orderly world we see today was born. When naming something, a new border is created that makes it recognizable as one thing. You could say that the power to name is the creation to produce the object from nothingness, clearly the same power as a god’s. And because of the strength of this power, the things themselves remember their names. And that’s why I can see those names in them.
僕は窓を開け、店内に夏の風を取り入れていた。外は人が出歩くには厳しい夏の日差しだった。店内はそれ程でもないが、それなら少し風でも楽しもうと、僕は窓に風鈴を釣り下げた。 I left the window open, so as to let the summer breeze blow throughout the store. The sunlight in summer was so strong it made even walking outside a trial. It wasn’t so bad inside the shop, and just to enjoy the breeze a little more, I hung a wind chime by the window.
―――カランカラン Knock, knock.
「居るよな」 “You’re here, right?”
「居るけど……何か嬉しそうだね。魔理沙にしては珍しくもなく」 “I am, but... Why do you sound so happy? Not that this is unusual for you, Marisa.”
「珍しいのか何なのか判らないぜ」と言いながら魔理沙は帽子を取り、売り物の壺の上に腰掛けた。冷やかしに来た割には随分 (ずいぶん) 暑そうだ。 “I dunno if it’s unusual or not.” she said as she took off her hat and sat atop a pot for sale. Even if she wants to play cool, it’s way too hot today.
外はすっかり夏である。大きなスカートとふわふわの服。大きな黒い帽子と魔理沙の重装備では、暑くないのかと心配だが大きな帽子は日光を避けられるので案外快適なのかも知れない。 It was full-blown summer outside. And she had that big skirt and frilly dress. I worried if that big black hat and heavy clothing was too hot for her. But the big hat should block most of the sun rays, so perhaps she was unexpectedly comfortable.
「あー暑すぎて頭が煮えるぜ。それでこんな物拾ったんだが、これって外の世界の石だろう?」 “Ahh, it’s so hot my brain's boilin'! Oh, and I picked up this thing here. Maybe it's a stone from the outside world or somethin'?”
「あー?」 “Hm?”
魔理沙が四角い小さな石を取り出した。驚くべき事に金属の足が何本も生えている不思議な石だ。 Marisa took out a small square stone. Surprisingly, it had some metal legs growing from it. Quite a mysterious stone.
「これは……確かに外の石だが」 “This is... certainly a stone from the outside world.”
「そうだろうそうだろう。こんな変な石が幻想郷にある訳無いもんな。それで、何か面白い物なのか?」魔理沙は嬉しそうだ。 “'Swhat I thought. There's no way a weird stone like this could be from Gensokyo. So, anything interestin' about it?” Marisa seemed very happy.
「これは半導体 (はんどうたい) と言って、外の世界ではよく使われている人工の石だ。基本的には式神を扱う時に使う物だが……残念ながらこれ単体では何の役にも立たないよ」 “This is called a semiconductor chip. It’s a manmade stone used in the outside world. Basically, it’s something they use when controlling shikigami… but unfortunately, it doesn’t have any use by itself.”
「あーそうなのか? 何が足りないんだ?」 “Oh, is that so? Whatzit missin'?”
「そこまでは判らないが、これはもっと大きな道具のほんの一部でしかないよ。本来こういった石は (いく) つか組み合わせて使うんだ。そうすると式にありとあらゆる事を命令出来るらしい」 “That much I don’t know, only that it is a part of a bigger tool. Stones like this are meant to be used by putting a number of them together. By doing that, you can apparently give all kinds of commands to a shikigami.”
「そうか、これ一つだと足りないんだな。ま、取り敢えずお守りにでも使わせて (もら) うよ」そういうと魔理沙は半導体 (はんどうたい) を帽子のリボンに付けた。 “So I guess one isn't enough, huh? Well, I’ll just use it as a charm fer now.” With that, Marisa stuck the chip to the ribbon in her hat.
魔理沙は自分が持ってきた石の正体が判り、満足した感じで本を読んでいた。半導体はちゃんと使う人が使えば、ありとあらゆる事が出来ると言われている。具体的な使い方は判らないが、それでもありとあらゆる事が出来るとのだからお守り程度には使えるのだろう。大きさ的にも親指大程度で邪魔にならないし丁度良いのかも知れない。 Having understood the identity of the stone she had brought, Marisa looked satisfied and was now reading a book. When used by people who know how to use them, semiconductor chips are said to be capable of almost anything. So even if she doesn’t know a specific way of using it, maybe something capable of doing all kinds of things would be well-suited for an amulet. In terms of size, it’s no bigger than a thumb and it doesn’t really get in the way, so it might be perfect for that.
魔理沙にとって、名前が判るまではこの半導体もただの石である。ちょっとばかし黒くて足が生えているだけの石だ。名前が付いていなかった魔理沙の世界では物の区別をする事が出来ない。でも僕に名前を聞く事で、たちまち石は単独で動き出し、晴れてお守りになったのだ。 As far as Marisa is concerned, until she knows its name, a semiconductor is just another stone. A silly little black stone with legs sprouting from it. In Marisa’s world, something that doesn’t have a name cannot be distinguished from other things. But upon her hearing its name from me, the stone suddenly took on individuality, and clearly became an amulet.
しかし、別に僕が名前を付けた訳ではない。名前は既に付いていたのだ。僕と魔理沙の違いは、ただその名前が見えたか見えないかだけに過ぎない。道具になった気持ちで見つめ、道具が視てきた記憶を共有する。それが道具に対する愛であり、その愛さえあれば名前を知る事ぐらい朝飯前である。 I didn't just make up that name, however. It had already been named. The difference between Marisa and I is simply being able to see this name or not. Perceiving an object's feelings and perceiving its memories are one and the same. It’s a matter of having love for them, just by having this love, something like knowing a name becomes trivial.
―――カランカラッ Knock, knock.
「居るかしら?」 “Are you here?”
「おう居るぜ」 “Yup, sure am.”
「あ、居た居た魔理沙、ってあんたじゃないわよ! 霖之助さんの方は居る?」 “Ah, there you are, Marisa… Wait, not you! I was asking if Mr. Rinnosuke was here.”
「ああ霊夢か、居るよ。今日は何の用かな?」 “Ah, Reimu? I am. What is it today?”
「霖之助さんに見て貰いたい物があるの」と言いながら、霊夢は勝手に店の奥へ上がって行った。 “I have something I want you to take a look at.”, she said while entering the store as if she owned it.
「何だい? お茶ならこっちに出してあるよ」 “What is it? If you want some tea, there is some over here.”
「ああそう。準備が良いじゃないの」戻ってくると手には煎餅 (せんべい) を持っていた。ちゃっかりし過ぎだ。 “Oh, really? You’re awfully well prepared.” She came back with a rice cookie in her hand. She was far too cheeky.
「で、見て貰いたい物ってなんだ?」何故か僕の代わりに魔理沙が () いている。 “So, what didja wanna show us?” For some reason, Marisa was asking instead of me.
「そうそう、この石を見て貰いたいんだけど……」 “Oh, yes... I wanted you to take a look at this stone.”
また石である。やはり霊夢も外の石か何かを持って来たのだろうか。別に石なんて大喜びで拾ってくる様な物ではないと思うが。石がそのまま道具になるなんて、漬け物石か火打ち石ぐらいな物だし。 Another stone. So Reimu brought some stone from the outside world or something? Not that I think that finding a stone is such great joy though. If you were to make a tool out of a stone, it could only be something like a paperweight or a flint stone.
「結構大きいな。でも普通の石じゃないのか?」と魔理沙。 “It’s pretty big. But isn’t it just a normal stone?” said Marisa.
「よく見てよ!」 “Look closely!”
「ちょっと見せてごらん。……ほう。これは」 “Let me see it. Oh, this is...”
手渡された石は、動物の背骨の一部分の様な形をしていた。つまりこれは石ではなく骨だ。それ自体は珍しい物ではないが、ただ、大きさが異常だった。背骨の一部だとすると手のひら程もあるのは、かなり大き過ぎる。 The stone she handed me had the shape of part of an animal’s backbone. So this wasn’t a stone, but a bone. That in itself wasn’t strange, but its huge size was. It was a piece of backbone as big as one’s hand, almost too big.
「これって何かの骨でしょう? 所謂 (いわゆる) 化石よねぇ。霖之助さんなら何の化石か判ると思って来たの」 “This is some kind of bone, isn’t it? They call it a fossil, right? I came because I though you would know what kind of fossil it is, Mr. Rinnosuke.”
ふむ。この石は確かに『化石』に見える。 Hmm. This stone indeed looks like a “fossil”.
「骨の化石か。もしこんな大きな骨の動物が居たら生きていたら相当でかいぜ? きっと香霖堂よりもでかい。昔はそんな大きな動物も居たんだな。これは何て言う動物の骨なんだ?」 “A fossilized bone, huh? But an animal big enough for that bone wudda been huge, right? Like, bigger than Kourindou. But there were animals big as that long ago. So what kinda animal did this bone come from?”
魔理沙も死んだ動物の骨の化石だと思っている様だが……本来化石という物が地面に理まっている筈は無い。化石というのは骨を掘り出した人が後日化石にした物だ。それに昔はこんな大きな動物が居たと言うなんて勘違いも甚だしい。僕は二人に、この骨が何の骨なのか、化石と呼ばれる骨には現代では考えられない程極端に大きい物が有るのは何故か、を教えてやらねばなるまい。 So Marisa also thinks this is a fossil from a dead animal… but originally fossils were not things buried in the ground. A fossil is what the people who dug them called them afterwards. So to think that there were animals this big long ago is a huge misunderstanding. I can’t just let that pass without teaching them why fossilized bones look like they belong to animals impossibly big by today’s standard.
「ああ霊夢、魔理沙。君達は大きな勘違いをしている様だね」 “Ahh, Reimu, Marisa. It seems like you both have a great misunderstanding.”
―――夏の日差しが強ければ強い程店の中は暗くなる。店には所狭 (ところせま) しと品が置いてあるが風通しは悪くない。幻想郷は山であるため基本的に風は絶えず、夏の店の中は快適である。 No matter the strength of the summer sun, it is dark inside the store. And even though the store is cramped with merchandise, the ventilation isn’t bad. Gensokyo is a mountainous region, so the wind basically never stops blowing. That way, even in summer, it feels comfortable inside the shop.
夏の風が窓に釣り下げた風鈴を鳴らす。だが香霖堂の謎の商品がカタカタと風に揺れ、風鈴の音をかき消していた。こんなに商品を風に当てていたら、すぐに (いた) んでしまうだろうと思っていたが、どうせ大して売れないし新しい品もどんどんと入荷するので気にしていなかった。勿論、本当に貴重な品は全て別の所に保管してあるのだが。 The summer wind rang the chime hung on the window, but it was also making some of Kourindou’s mysterious merchandise rattle, so the wind chime’s sound was drowned out. I thought that if the wind continued disturbing my wares like this, some of them might soon end up damaged. But since they weren’t likely to be sold, and since I get a steady arrival of new goods, I didn’t mind it too much. Of course, the really valuable items are all kept safe elsewhere.
「勘違いって何かしら? 誰がどう見てもこれは骨の様な気がするんだけど」 “What kind of misunderstanding? Anyone would think this is a bone no matter how they looked at it.”
「ああ確かにこれは骨だよ。でもね、化石ではないんだ」 “Oh, this is indeed a bone. But it is not a fossil, you see.”
「どう見ても石になっている様な……」 “But it seems to have turned to stone...”
「化石というのは、『石となった骨の元の動物に名前を付けた石』の事なんだ。生きていた時の動物に名前が付いて初めて化石となるんだよ。それまでは名前が無いので石と区別が無いに等しい」 “A fossil is a ‘stone of petrified bone named after the animal it originally belonged to.’ It only becomes a fossil after the name of its animal is known. Until then, it has no name, and is not particularly distinct from any other stone.”
「だったら、この石の元の動物の名前を霖之助さんに聞けば、これは化石になるんでしょう?」 “In that case, if I asked you the name of the animal it belonged to, it will become a fossil?”
「確かにそう言う事になるが……実際にはそれも無理な話だ。この動物はまだ神々が名前を付ける以前の生き物だから、名前の無い動物なんだよ。こればっかりは僕の能力でも知ることの出来ない物なんだ」 “That would indeed be the case, but... actually, that's impossible. This animal was from before the time the gods named everything; a nameless animal. This is the only kind of thing that even my ability can’t identify.”
「そう、じゃ、発見者である私が名前を付けて良いのね?」 “Well, in that case, since I discovered it, I can name it, right?”
名前を付ける力が神の力であるのと同時に、神々には元々名前は付いていなかった。建御雷命 (タケミカヅチノミコト) 八幡 (はちまん) 様の様に、今現在馴染 (なじ) みのある名前の付いている神は、その神の一側面を切り出した物に過ぎないのだ。建御雷は元々甕霊 (ミカツチ) であり、名前の通りカメに宿る神だったのだ。それが名前を建御雷命に変えられた事で、呪術(=甕)の神が剣(=雷)の神になった。名前が付いた事でその神の性質が変化するのは、名前は神の一側面を切り出したものであるという証拠だ。元々の神はもっと姿形も曖昧 (あいまい) で、名も無きものと区別も付かなかったと言う事である。 At the same time that the power to name is a god’s power, the gods themselves didn’t have names in the beginning. Like with Takemikazuchi no Mikoto or Hachiman, the names of the gods we are familiar with nowadays only represent but one aspect of these gods. Takemikazuchi no Mikoto was originally Mikatsuchi (Pot Spirit), and just as the name implies, he was a god lodged in a jar. When his name changed to Takemikazuchi, he changed from a god of sorcery (as implied by the ‘pot’ character) to a god of swordsmanship (implied by the ‘thunder’ character). By changing its name, a god changes its nature, which is evidence that a god’s name is only one aspect of their selves. In the beginning, the gods had a much more ambiguous shape, so they were nameless entities with no particular distinctions.
逆に言えば、本来の姿のままの神は、名前を付ける以前の物にしか宿る事は無い。名前が付いている物に神が宿っても、その神の一側面のみを表す事になってしまうからである。 Conversely, the gods who still retain their original form can only possess things from before everything was named. Because if a god were lodged in something with a name, then it could only display one of its aspects.
「君はこれを骨じゃなくて化石にしたいのかい?」 “Are you saying that you want to make this a fossil instead of a bone?”
「そういう訳じゃないけど……名前が判らないと気持ち悪いじゃないの。それにこんなに大きな動物がどういう生き物だったのかも気になるし」 “That’s not what I meant... It’s just that not knowing its name gives me a bad feeling, you see. And I’m curious as to what kind of creature an animal this big could be.”
「この骨の持ち主が大きかったって? それが一番の勘違いなんだ」 “You say that the owner of this bone was big? That’s your biggest misunderstanding.”
「だってぇ……」 “But...”
「こんな大きな骨を持った動物を想像してごらん。高さはこの店を (はる) かに超える、長さも神社の境内くらいあるだろう。そんな生き物が生きていける訳がないじゃないか。まず十分な食料を集めるのにどのくらいの量が必要か、それに体を支えるだけで精一杯で速く動く事も出来ないだろう。どうやって子供を守りながら大量の餌を集めるというのか? 動物にそんなに体を大きくする必要なんて、何一つ無いんだよ」 “Try to imagine an animal large enough for this bone. Its height would surpass this shop by far, and its length would be as big as the shrine grounds. There’s no way an animal this big could have lived. First, think of how much food it would have to gather; and it wouldn't be able to move its body quickly. And how would it be able to take care of its offspring and bring them enough food? There couldn’t possibly have been an animal that needed a body so big.”
「え?でも、ここに骨があるじゃないの。それにこういう化石、というか化石みたいな物って余所 (よそ) でも一杯見つかってるし……これとかあれって何なの?」 “Huh? But this is a bone, isn’t it? And where I found this fossil – or fossil-like stone – was full of them… What are all those then?”
珍しく魔理沙は興味無さそうに本を読んでいる。そんな大昔の動物の話などどうでも良いのだろう。だが、これは大昔の動物の話ではないのだ。現在進行形の話である。 Strangely, Marisa didn’t seem interested and was reading a book. I guess she doesn’t care about things like ancient animals. Except that this isn’t a story about an ancient animal. It’s a progressive topic.
「この骨の持ち主は元々普通の大きさだった。今僕たちが知っている大きさの骨だったんだ。その動物が死んだ後、肉は土に (かえ) り、残された骨は次第に大きく成り続けた。その証拠に、こういった大型の化石が発見され、騒がれ始めたのはつい最近の話だ。その昔はもう少し小さくて、発見されても騒ぎにはならなかったんだよ」 “The animal this bone belonged to was originally normal-sized. And this bone used to be the same size as those we are familiar with. But after it died and its flesh went back to earth, its bones continued to grow. The proof of that is that only recently have these huge fossils been discovered and everyone making a fuss over them. Some time ago, they were still too small, and nobody could have found or made a fuss over them.”
「死んだ後に骨が勝手に大きくなるって言うの? そんな事有る訳が無いじゃないの」 “Are you telling me that after it died, the bone continued growing by itself? There’s no way that could happen.”
「勿論、普通はそんな事は起こらない。では何故 (なぜ) この骨は大きくなったのか……そう、その理由はこれが化石じゃなかったから。この動物は、まだ名前が付けられるより前の動物だからなんだ」 “Of course, normally something like that wouldn’t happen. But then why did this bone get so big…? Ah, yes. The reason is that this isn’t actually a fossil. Because it’s actually from an animal from before everything was named, you see.”
僕はお茶を手に取った。既にお茶はぬるくなっていたが勿論わざとである。暑い夏に平気な顔で熱いお茶を飲むのは霊夢くらいだ。 I picked up my cup of tea. The tea had already cooled, but I let that happen on purpose, of course. Only people like Reimu can drink hot tea with a straight face during the summer.
「名前が無い事で、この動物は認識レベルでは他の物と区別が付かず、世界と同化していた。石とも骨とも土とも動物とも言えず、ただそこに在っただけなんだ。それは神の本来の姿に近く、それ故神はこういった名も無い物にしか宿らない。そして神の宿った骨は、 (はる) か未来に肉を得て地上に君臨する為に、自らを成長させているんだ」 “Not having a name means that this animal wasn’t distincted from others; it just blended in with the world. You couldn’t say it was stone, bone, soil or animal; it just was. It was something close to a god’s original form. Therefore, it was the only kind of thing a god could take residence in. And so that in the distant future it could gain corpus and reign above the ground, these god-bearing bones are enlarging to a size fit for itself.”
「ちょっとちょっと待ってよ。話が飛躍し過ぎてよく判らないわ」 “Wait, wait… wait a moment! You're going too fast; I can't keep up.”
「そう? 簡単な話だよ。霊夢の持っている骨は何らかの神の化身になろうとしている者の一部なんだ」 “Really? But it’s simple. The bone you have is part of an individual that will turn into the incarnation of a god.”
「そうなのかなぁ」 “I somehow doubt that...”
「大きくなり続けるのもその証拠の一つ。でも、もっと確かな証拠が有る。それは、僕の能力で視ても名前が判らない、というか名前が無いという事だ」 “The fact that it continues to grow is one evidence. But there’s an even more definite proof. The fact that even with my ability, I can't see its name. Which is to say that it doesn’t have a name.”
「そう……そこまでは私では判断付かないけどね。それで、この骨は何の神の化身になろうって言うのかしら?」 “Well… I don't think I could make the same conclusion. So then, what kind of god this bone will become?”
「そんなのすぐに想像出来るじゃないか。その大きさの背骨を持つ神の化身。幻想郷でもたまに見かける神だけど……霊夢には何だか判るよね?」 “Can’t you imagine it right away? An incarnation of a god with such a huge backbone. Even in Gensokyo, you rarely see one… but I’m sure you know about them.”
「あー、なるほどね。そういう事……判ったわ」 “Ahh, of course. So that was it... Now I get it.”
日も沈み始め、空はほんのりと赤く染まっていた。すっかり昼間の暑さは引き、風鈴の音だけが昼間の暑さを思い出させようとしていた。二人とも満足した様子で帰って行った。 The sun was beginning to set; the sky was slightly tinged in red. The midday heat had all but subsided, and only the sound of the wind chime was left as reminder of the day’s heat. The two of them seemed satisfied and went back.
流石に僕でも、神々が名前を付ける時代以前の物の名前を視る事は出来ない。だが人間はその時代の骨を見つけ、勝手に名前を付けてしまう。その時点で名も無い神の一部からただの石へと固定させてしまう。それが化石と呼ばれる物だ。 Of course, not even I can see the names of things that come from before the age when the gods named everything. But when humans find a bone from that age, they just name them as they please. And when they do that, a nameless piece of a god becomes established as just another stone. This is what they call a fossil.
化石と化した神の一部は、その時点で成長を止めもう大きくならなくなる。その中途半端に巨大化した骨を見て「昔はこんなに大きな動物が居たんだよ」等と言う人間は、想像力が足りな過ぎて少し哀れでもある。 When a piece of a god turns into a fossil, it then stops growing. And when a human sees this bone stopped halfway in its huge transformation and says something like “Long ago, there were animals this big.” it's slightly pathetic how lacking their imaginations are.
―――カランカラッ Knock, knock.
「あ、もう一つ聞き忘れた事が有ったわ」 “Ah, there was one more thing I forgot to ask.”
風鈴を仕舞 (しま) い窓を閉めていると、また霊夢が戻って来た。 Reimu came back, just as I was removing the wind chime and closing the window.
「何だい? また骨の話かい?」 “What is it? Still something about the bone?”
「霖之助さんの話で、この骨が『 (りゅう) の一部』で有る事は判ったわ。でも、この骨が落ちていた場所に古い貝の化石も見つかったのよ。これって海の生き物よね? これは何故なのか判るかしら? もしかして、幻想郷も昔海の中だったのかしら。こんな山奥なのに……」 “From your story, I understood that this bone was ‘a part of a dragon’. But, in the place where I found it, I also found a lot of old shellfish fossils. And those are sea creatures, right? Do you know why they were there? Could it be that Gensokyo was underwater long ago? Even though it’s so deep in the mountains…”
想像力に (とぼ) し過ぎる人間は、 (はた) からは哀れに見えるものだ。『海の生き物が地中に埋まっていたから、ここは昔は海だった』と思うなんて哀れ過ぎる。 Humans with such scarce imagination are seen pitiful by other people. To think that “Because there are sea creatures buried in the soil, this place was underwater long ago.” is simply too pitiful.
「そうか、龍の骨と一緒に海の貝も理まっていたか……。それでどうして幻想郷が昔海の中だったなんて思うんだい?」 “Really? So there were shells buried along with the dragon bone… And why does that make you think that Gensokyo was underwater long ago?”
「え? だって、そういうもんじゃないの? 海だった場所が陸地になれば、貝だって取り残されるし」 “What? Well, isn’t it true? If a place that was sea becomes dry land, the shellfish would get left behind.”
「そういうもんじゃないさ。徐々に陸になったとすれば海の生き物は全て海に逃げる。反対に一瞬で陸になる程の異変が起これば、貝なんて原形を留めていないだろう。どっちにしたって、石になるまでじっとしているなんて事あり得ないだろう?」 “Not at all. If the sea slowly becomes land, all the sea creatures would have fled deeper into the sea. On the other hand, if there was an incident severe enough to turn sea into land instantly, the shells most likely wouldn’t have remained in their original shape. In any case, there’s no way they would remain in one place and turn to stone.”
「そうだけど……じゃあこの貝は何なのよ」 “If you say so... So what are those shells, then?”
「龍にとってはね、自分の生まれる場所が海である必要があるんだよ。骨の場所が海でないと復活が出来ないんだ。この貝はその見立て」 “Dragons, you see, have to be born in the sea. And for them to be reborn, where their bones lie must be like the sea. So the shellfish are there for this image.”
「そんな話聞いた事無いわ? 龍が海でないと復活が出来ないなんて」 “I’ve never heard about dragons not being able to revive away from the sea.”
神の話は、僕より巫女である霊夢の方が詳しくあってほしいと思ったが、霊夢はまだ子供だ。ここは僕がもっと教えてやる必要がある。 I had really hoped that Reimu, who is a shrine maiden, would have more knowledge about gods than me. But then again, she’s just a child, so I guess I’ll have to teach her some more.
「龍は、海の中で復活し雷雨の中、空へ昇り、そして天を (かけ) る。その証拠に、海も雨も天も全て龍が名前を付けた物である事が挙げられる」 “Dragons are reborn in a thunderstorm at sea, rise to the skies, and soar through the heavens. Proof of that is given by the fact that the sea, the rain and the heaven were all named by the dragons.”
「詳しいのね。本当かどうか判らないけど」 “You seem to know a lot. Though I can’t be sure if this is all true.”
「その理由は、海、雨、天は全て同じ言葉で、三つとも『あま』と読む事からも判る。海人は単体でも『あま』と読むが、正確には『あまびと』だ。雨傘 (あまがさ) 天の河 (あまのがわ) などは普通に使う言葉だ。龍は雷雨を呼びながら天を飛び、竜宮が海の中に在るように水と深い繋がりが有る事は霊夢でも判るだろう?」 “The reason is that sea, rain and heaven are all essentially the same word. Because the characters for the three of them can be read as ‘ama’. The word for ‘fishermen’ is often read as ‘ama’, which proves it actually means amabito, ‘people of the sea’. Rain umbrella is read as ‘amagasa’ and the River of Heaven (Milky Way) as ‘ama no gawa’. Dragons call up thunderstorms while soaring through the heavens, and the Dragon Palace is said to be in the middle of the sea. So even you can see that they have a profound connection with water, can’t you Reimu?”
霊夢は少し疑っている様子だったが、僕は霊夢の想像力をもっと豊かにする為にそのまま続けた。 I saw that Reimu was still a little doubtful, but I wanted to improve her imaginative capacities, so I continued.
「もう一つ、龍が三つの『あま』を駆け抜ける証拠として挙げられるのが、天に掛かる『虹』だ。あの虹が雷雨の後に現れるのは、龍が現れたという痕跡なんだ」 “One more thing, as proof that dragons run through the three ‘ama’ there are the rainbows that cross the sky. Why those appear after a storm is because they are the traces of a dragon’s appearance.”
「あー、なるほど。それは何となく判ったわ。」 “Ahh, now I see. I think I understand what you mean.”
「そう、龍が生まれるには三つの『あま』が必要となる。雨と天は在るが、幻想郷には海が無いんだ。だから龍は幻の海を創ろうとした。その幻の海の見立てが、一緒に眠っていた貝の石なんだ」 “That’s right. For a dragon to be born, the three ‘ama’ must be present. The rain and the heaven are here, but Gensokyo doesn’t have a sea. That’s why the dragon creates a illusionary sea. And, as an image of this illusionary sea, there are the clam-shaped stones that sleep alongside him.”
霊夢は得心がいった様子で、暗くなる前に神社に帰って行った。 Reimu seemed convinced, and went back to the shrine just before it became dark.
今日、僕が霊夢と魔理沙に教えた龍の石の話は、何も僕の創作ではない。これは僕しか知らない事だが、実は化石と呼ばれる石は外の世界でも竜と呼ばれているのだ。恐竜、翼竜、海竜、様々な呼ばれ方をしている。今の様な話は幻想郷の外では常識なのだと思う。 I did not make up a single word of what I told Reimu and Marisa today about the dragon’s stone. Only I know about that, but the truth is that fossils are also called “dragons” in the outside world. Dire Dragon, Winged Dragon, Sea Dragon... they have many names for them. I believe what I know is considered common knowledge outside of Gensokyo. [1]
ところが、幻想郷では竜(=動物)は龍(=神)へと変化し、化石ではなく生きた骨となっている。何故その様な事が起こるのかと言うと、それは幻想郷では元の動物に名前を付けていないからだ。名前を付けない事で、骨は化石になる事を (こば) み成長を続けるのだ。 By the way, in Gensokyo, when an animal dragon turns into a dragon god, those bones are not fossils, but living bones. The reason why that happens is because the ancient animals in Gensokyo are not named. And in not being named, it means that their bones refuse to turn into fossils and keep growing.
僕は、名前の無い時代の物には名前を付ける事はしない。自分の能力で名前が視えない物に関しては、深く記憶を探らない。それは神の力を無断で借りる行為であり、己の (おご) りでしかないと考えている。 I could not give a name to something from before the age when everything was named. As for the things that even my ability can’t see the names of, I don’t delve too deep in their memory about them. This would be the same as borrowing the power of the gods without permission, and I can’t see that as anything but haughtiness.


Notes[edit]

^ Wang Yirong (Chinese: 王懿榮; pinyin: Wáng Yìróng, an Chinese archaeologist in the late Qing Dynasty discovered the prototype of kanji used in ancient China, Oracle Bone Script (甲骨文); he had an opportunity to find the characters imprinted in a kind of medicine adopted in the traditional Chinese medicine, dragon bone (竜骨). This was broadly traded in China, but it was in fact fossils of beast or shells of turtle.


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