Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 16

From Touhou Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Page 107-115


< Chapter 15   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 17 >


Curiosities of lotus asia 15 01.jpg
Curiosities of lotus asia 15 02.jpg
Curiosities of lotus asia 15 03.jpg
Curiosities of lotus asia 15 04.jpg
「外の世界」の道具をも扱う香霖堂。そこには、コンピューターという名前の式神が舞い込むこともある。
けれども幻想郷の住人たちがその式神を使いこなすには、どうしようもないくらい「何か」が欠けていて――。
絶好調の東方シリーズ連載。いつになく悩ましげな霖之助が語ってみせる、ある秘めた決意とは……?
Kourindo, the shop that deals in items from “the outside world." And it was there that a type of shikigami called "a computer" happened to appear. But in order for the inhabitants of Gensokyo to be able to use these shikigami, an indispensable “something” was lacking… In this chapter of the popular Touhou Project serialization, an unusually troubled Rinnosuke tries to speak... but what is he keeping to himself?
働かない式神 Non-Functional Shikigami
 これといって何か反応するという訳ではないが、僕は売り物のキーボードを叩いていた。キーボードとは、コンピューターという道具の一部であり、これでもかといわんばかりに無数のボタンが付いている道具だ。売りものだから常に綺麗にしておきたい所だが、このキーボードの掃除のし (にく) さは群を抜いており、すぐに (ほこり) が詰まる。非常に人間味のない形をしていると言わざるを得ない。 Not that I was expecting any kind of response from it, but I was dusting the keyboard I had for sale. The keyboard was part of an item called a computer, and the most I could say about it was that it was a tool with almost too many buttons. I always like to keep my merchandise clean, but these keyboards were particularly difficult to maintain, as they would soon become covered in dust. They definitely weren’t made in a shape that is convenient for people.
 コンピューターは、うちの商品の中でも入荷率、つまり幻想郷で拾得する数が高く、それでいて欲しがる人は少ない厄介な代物である。しかもそこそこの大きさで場所を取る。最近は、コンピューターを見つけても余程 (よほど) 興味を () かれる形をしていない限り拾わない事にしている。 Amongst my merchandise, the rate of arrival of computers, which is to say the number of them that were recovered in Gensokyo, was quite high. And as there were few who wanted one, they are quite problematic. On top of that, they are big, so they take up great deal of space. As of late, I’m not even picking up the ones I find unless their shape attracts my eye.
 コンピューターとは使役者の命令通りに動く道具、所謂 (いわゆる) 外の世界における式神の事だが、その異常なまでに複雑な構造と面白みのない外見は、外の世界の文化の在り方を物語っている様だった。 Computers are tools that behave according to orders from their masters; you could say they are the outside world’s shikigami. But their strange and complicated construction, as well as their uninteresting appearance speak volumes about the culture of the outside world.
 幻想郷では式神とはいえ体面を気にしていて、狐なり猫なりと多種多様な姿をしていて面白いものが多い。それもその筈、本来の式神とは、元々式神となる前の姿が存在し、そこに必要な機能を与えてやる事で形成されるものだ。式神の道具としての部分が一番重要な事は当たり前だが、式神そのものの体面が無くなれば本末転倒である。外の世界では、外面より内面ばかりを気にする様になってしまったのだろうか。それは (いささ) か心に余裕が無さ過ぎるのではないか。 In Gensokyo, a shikigami’s appearance is an important matter. They could be a fox, or a cat, or many other kinds of interesting forms. Which is only to be expected, since the shikigami already had their original forms before becoming shikigami, and became one after being given the necessary abilities. Of course, the tool facet of a shikigami is its most important part, but for a shikigami to look like a mere tool would simply be missing the point. I guess that in the outside world they only care about the contents, and not the appearance. But isn't that a little too impersonal?
――カランカラン Knock, knock
「おう、少し肌寒くなってきたな。半袖の季節ももう終わりかな」 “Hey, it's gettin' pretty chilly, huh? Looks like the season of short sleeves is almost over.”
「ああ、君はまだ半袖だったのか。いつまで夏のつもりで居るんだい? もうそろそろ暖房でも出さないと寒いくらいだよ」 “Ah, are you still wearing short sleeves? How long did you think summer was going to last? Soon it’ll get cold enough for me to have to bring out the heater.”
「あーいや、私も寒がりな方だが暖房はまだ早い、って何だ? その珈琲 (コーヒー) は。そんな口の細い (びん) に入っている珈琲なんて珍しいな」 “Nah, even though I’m weak to cold, I don't think ya need that yet... But hey! Isn't it strange to put coffee in a bottle with a small mouth like that?”
 魔理沙が珈琲と指摘した飲み物は、名前は似ているが珈琲ではなくコーラという飲み物である。外の世界の飲み物だ。飲み物ぐらい使用方法が判らなくても、用途さえ判れば飲む事は出来る。 The drink Marisa had just identified as coffee, while having a somewhat similar name, wasn’t actually coffee, but a drink called cola, a drink from the outside world. At least for drinks you don’t have to know how to use it, just what its use is, in order to drink it.
「なんだ? コーラって……ってあんまり拾いもんは飲むなよ?」 “What? Cola, you say... But hey, ya shouldn't just drink things you find lyin' around, yeah?”
「大丈夫だよ。これは売りものだし、香霖堂は拾い物を売る店だから」 “Don’t worry, this is for sale. Because here at Kourindou we sell the items we pick up.”
 我ながら何が大丈夫なのかよく判らなかったが、魔理沙は納得した様で机の上に腰掛けた。 While she didn’t entirely understand my logic herself, Marisa seemed to agree as she sat atop a desk.
 日が (かたむ) くのが早くなる一方である。既に空は赤く、有無を言わさず家に帰りたくなる色をしている。秋の日は釣瓶落 (つるべお) としとはよく言ったものだ。だが、釣瓶落としの速さはスピードの速さであり、秋の日が沈むのは時間の早さだから釣り合いが取れていないと僕は思う。もしかしたら今の解釈は間違っていて、もっと深い意味が有るのかも知れない。今度 (ひま) な時に考えてみる事にしよう。 The days were starting to get shorter. The sky was already turning red, the kind of color that prompts one to head back home. It’s often said that in autumn the days fall as fast as a bucket. But since that means the speed in which the bucket falls, it doesn’t quite go match the idea of the sun setting earlier. Maybe this explanation is wrong, and there’s a more profound meaning to it. I’ll think about it next time I have time.
「そうそう。そこにあるコンピューター。一台 (もら) えないか?」 “Oh yeah. Can ya give me one of those computers over there?”
「おおそうか。買ってくれるんだね? このお買い得商品を」 “Oh, really? You saying you want to buy one? I’ll give you a bargain...”
「いや、金は無いけど、ちょっと式神っていうのも面白そうだからな」 “Nope, don't got any money. I just thought havin' a shikigami would be fun.”
「金はないって、まあツケでもいいけど……」 “No money, you say... Well, I guess I can just put it on your tab...”
 買う気が無いのに商品を物色する事をひやかしと言うが、代金を払う気が無いのに商品を持って行こうとする事は何と呼べばいいのか。魔理沙買いとでも言うか。 If people who come to look at stuff they don’t intend to buy are called “window shoppers”, then what do you call people who come to get things they don’t intend to pay for? Maybe “Marisa shoppers” would be suitable?
「ああツケでもいいぜ」 “Yeah, sure. That works.”
「ツケでも、って他にどんな選択肢が有るのか判らないが、とにかくちゃんと払ってもらうからな。さて、コンピューターも (いく) つか種類が有るが、大きなコンピューター、小さなコンピューター、君ならどちらを選ぶかい?」 “All right, I don’t even know what other choice I would have anyway... But make sure you pay it off later. Now then, I have many different kinds of computers, big ones, small ones... What kind do you want?”
「そりゃ大きいのだな。大きい方が強いんだろ?」 “Gimme a big'un. Bigger's stronger, right?”
 魔理沙は大きいコンピューターをどうにか抱え、既に薄暗くなった外へ帰っていった。小さな彼女には不相応な大きさの道具だが、それを力強く持っている姿を見ると非常に魔理沙らしいと思ってしまうから不思議である。道具は通常、大きい物 (ほど) 仕組みは単純なものである。魔理沙が持って行った大きなコンピューターも見た目はシンプルなものである。しかし、驚く事にその中身は複雑怪奇であり、幻想郷の者の手に負えない代物 (しろもの) である。 Marisa had already hefted a big computer in her arms and walked out into the evening with it. It was an unsuitably large item for such a small girl, but when watching her emboldened figure carrying it, it felt extremely Marisa-like. It was kind of mysterious. Tools were usually simpler the bigger they were. And Marisa’s big computer looked quite simple at first glance. However, its insides were surprisingly bizarre and complex, more than anything else in Gensokyo.
 このコンピューターのように複雑な式神は、外の技術無くしては創れない。コンピューターに限らず、食器から新聞に使う様な紙切れまで、 (ほとん) どの道具は外の世界の技術の賜物だ。妖怪が日常食べる人間も人間の心も、その餌食 (えじき) となる物は外の世界の人間である。閉鎖空間である幻想郷は、外の恩恵により保っている様なものである。よく「長い物には巻かれよ」と言うが、長い物に巻かれる方がいいというのは、決して楽だからとか安全だからとかではない。すぐ小さな所へ逃げてしまう長いもの堕落 (だらく) した己を鍛え直す為の教訓である。己をより大きな所に置き、視野を広くする方が学べる事は多いからだ。 Shikigami as complex as computers could only be created by the skills of the outside world. And not only computers, but from tableware to the sheets of paper used for newspaper, most of my items are the results of the technology in the outside world. And the humans that the youkai usually prey upon are humans from the outside world. As a closed space, Gensokyo seems to have warded itself against the benefits from the outside. They say that “If you can’t beat them, join them.[1], but you shouldn’t join something stronger just because it’s easier or safer. It’s a moral in to train those that have become weakened by cowardice, scurrying into tiny spaces like mice. When you put yourself with something bigger than you are, your outlook widens and you have many more opportunities for learning.
 閉鎖空間である幻想郷に閉じこもっていると、次第に外の世界の恩恵に (あずか) っている事を忘れてしまう。幻想郷に限らず、己の置かれた場所が小さければ小さい程別の大きなものの恩恵に気が付かない。そんな状態なのに、外の世界より幻想郷の方が優れていると思うようになったら、それは驕りである。人は小さい所に居る者 (ほど) 、よく驕り、向上心を失う。今の幻想郷を見てみれば判るように、人間も妖怪も堕落した生活を送っているのだ。 By shutting itself into a closed space, Gensokyo gradually forgets about the benefits it gets from the outside world. And this is not limited to Gensokyo, the smaller the place you put yourself in, the more you don’t notice the benefits from the bigger things. In this kind of situation, thinking that Gensokyo is somehow better than the outside world is but arrogance. When living in a small place, people get arrogant and lose the drive to improve themselves. By looking at Gensokyo today, one can understand how both humans and youkai are just carrying on with their degenerate lifestyles.
 僕は、いつかは自分の修行のために外の世界に行きたいと思っている。つまり長い物に巻かれたいという事だ。そこで自分を磨き、今の僕の知識をさらに () かす事を夢見ているのだ。 Me, I think that, for the sake of my search for knowledge, I would like to go to the outside world someday. In other words, I want to join those I can’t beat. I dream of improving myself and putting my knowledge to good use there.
 最近拾うコンピューターは、さまざまな用途の中でも特に情報伝達の機能に特化していると僕の能力がいう。こんな四角い箱で自ら動くとは思えない様な式神が、一度動き出せばもの凄いスピードで情報を集めてきてくれるというのだが……僕にはその姿が想像しがたい。 The computers I've been collecting lately, amongst their various functions, seem to specialize in transmission of information – or so my ability tells. You wouldn’t think that this square box is a shikigami capable of moving on its own, but once it moves, it is said to be able to gather information at an incredible speed. However... this is something I find difficult to imagine.
 情報を集める式神を創りたければ、嘘でも天狗 (てんぐ) のような姿にすれば良いのである。そうすれば最初に魅力的なコンピューターが生まれ、後に本当に情報を集める機能が生まれる筈である。その考え方が幻想郷の普遍的な真理なのだ。 If one were to make a shikigami that collected information, it should be in the shape of a tengu, even if were just a fake. That way it would not only be a fascinating computer, but one that would certainly possess the ability to gather information. That was the universal way of thinking in Gensokyo.
 寝る前にコーラの空き瓶を見た。コーラは少し口が酸っぱくなるが瓶の形がどこか楽しげで見て楽しめるという点では、これは幻想郷向きな飲み物なのかも知れない。外の世界の式神もこのくらい面白みの有る外見なら、もっとうちの店でも売り上げが伸びた事だろう。そんな事を思いつつ夜を過ごした。 Before going to sleep, I took a look at the empty cola bottle. This ‘cola’ leaves a bit of an acrid taste in your mouth, but its bottle’s shape is certainly pleasant to look at. Maybe it's a drink very suited to Gensokyo. If the outside world shikigami had interesting appearances like this, they would sell a lot more at my shop. And so I spent the evening, thinking of these things.
――カランカラッ Knock, knock.
「霖之助さん。居るわよね?」 “Mr. Rinnosuke, are you there?”
「ああ居るよ」 “Yes, I am.”
「魔理沙から聞いたわよ。何か拾い物で食い繋いでいるありさまだって?」 “I just heard from Marisa... So you've been reduced to surviving by eating what you pick up now?”
 コンピューターが無くても幻想郷の情報伝達は異常に早い。昨日の事だというのに既に霊夢にまで情報が伝わっている。だが、その情報は既に変化し別の者になっているのだが、コンピューターが集める情報もやはり変化するものだろうか。 Even without computers, news travels surprisingly fast in Gensokyo. It was just yesterday, but it had already reached Reimu. However, this information had already changed into something different. I wonder if information gathered by computers also gets changed like this.
「拾いもので食いつないでいるって、僕はただコーラを飲んでいただけだよ」 “Eating what I pick up? All I did was drink some cola.”
「コーラ? なんだか判らないけど拾い物でしょう? 余り得体の知れない物は飲まない方が……」 “Cola? I don’t really know what that is, but it’s something you picked up, right? You shouldn’t just drink things you're not familiar with...”
 霊夢はコーラの空き瓶を手に持ち (いぶか) しんでいた。コーラの内面は黒い飲み物である。だが、外面である瓶に面白みのある形を用意し、外面を軽視していない。この辺には高い智慧 (ちえ) を感じる。コーラを創った人間とコンピューターを創った人間は本当に同じ人間なのだろうか。 Reimu was holding the empty cola bottle with a suspicious look on her face. On the inside, it was just a dark liquid, but on the outside, its bottle was made in such an interesting shape that you couldn’t ignore it. I could sense a great wisdom in this. I wonder if the people who created computers and the people who created cola were the same.
「それから昨日、魔理沙がコンピューターを手に入れたって喜んでいたけど、あれってこの店の売り物でしょ? 勝手に持って行っているとしたら一応報告だけでもしておかないと……」 “So yesterday, Marisa was really happy about getting a computer. She got it from this store, right? If she just took one, you should have at least told me too...”
「ああ、それは売ったんだよ。別に持って行かれた訳じゃないさ。ただ、アレを手に入れた所で何も起きないだろうね。最近判ってきた事だが、あの式神は我々のよく知る式神とは少し違う所が有るんだ」 “Actually, I sold her that. She didn’t just take it away. But I don’t think anything will happen just because she has one. I just recently realized, but these shikigami are a little different from the kind of shikigami we know”.
「見た目でしょ?」 “Can’t you tell just by looking?”
「見た目も……まぁ確かにそうだが、それより概念が異なる。通常我々のいう式神とは、『パターンを創る事で心を道具に変えるもの』だ。つまり幻想が実体を生む物なんだ」 “Well... I suppose you certainly can. But rather than just that, they are different in concept. What we usually call a shikigami is a ‘spirit made into tool by creating a pattern’. In other words, they are created by turning fantasy into reality.”
「式神にワンパターンな奴が多いのはその所為 (せい) ね」 “That’s why you see so many with one-pattern minds.”
「だが、このコンピューターは自ら動く心を持っている様には見えない。最初から道具なんだよ。僕はこれを、『パターンを創る事で道具を心に変えるもの』だと想像する。つまり実体が幻想を生む物という事だ」 “However, I can’t really see these computers as having a spirit of their own. They were tools from the beginning. I imagine them more as a ‘tool made into spirit by creating a pattern’. In other words, they are created by turning reality into fantasy.”
「ピンと来ないわねぇ。自分で動く人形のような物かしら?」 “I don’t get it. Like dolls that move on their own, you mean?”
「外の世界では幻想というものは実在しない。いや、実在しないものを幻想と呼んでいるんだ。だからこそ人間は幻想を生む道具を生み出したのだろう」 “In the outside world, things of fantasy don’t exist. Or rather, things that don’t exist are called fantasy. That’s why humans invented tools that can create fantasies.”
「ふーん。そんな式神を魔理沙が持って行ってどうしようっていうのかしら?」 “Hmm. And what do you think Marisa is going to do now that she has one of these shikigami?”
「どうせ鉄くずとなって放置する事になるだろうね」 “She will likely just neglect it like her metal scraps.”
――カランカラン Knock, knock.
「聞いたぜ。まだ鉄くずにはなっていない」 “I heard that. I didn't scrap it just yet.”
「ああ、居たのか。魔理沙」 “Ah, so you were here, Marisa?”
「コンピューターがうんともすんとも言ってくれないから、ちょっと休憩に来たんだ。コーラは無いのか?」 “I wasn’t gettin' anywhere with the computer, so I took a break and came on over. Don’t you have any more cola?”
「コーラは薬みたいな物だった。余り美味しい物じゃなかったよ」 “Cola tastes like medicine. It’s really not that good.”
「人形くらいに便利な道具になるかと思ったんだがなー」 “I thought it'd at least be as useful as a doll or somethin'...”
 魔理沙は扉の前に立ち、まるで悪戯 (いたずら) 好きの妖精を取り逃したかの様に、露骨に残念そうな顔をしていた。 Marisa was standing in front of the door, looking just like she had let a prankster fairy escape. She had a clearly disappointed look on her face.
「人形? 人形が便利な道具だって?」 “A doll? And since when are dolls useful tools?”
「ほら、人形に家事手伝いをさせている奴も居るじゃないか。アレだって式神の様なもんだろう?」 “Hey, there are people that use dolls t'help around the house, right? Isn’t that kinda like using a shikigami?”
「何を言ってるんだい? 人形に式なんか覚えさせられる筈が無いじゃないか」 “What are you saying? You couldn’t possibly make a doll realize what they're doing.”
 また魔理沙が勘違いをしている様である。魔理沙は怪訝 (けげん) な顔をしながら売り物に腰掛けた。霊夢は霊夢で勝手に小さなコンピューターを弄っている。霊夢が弄ると動き出しそうだから少し怖い。 Seems like Marisa once again has a misconception. She made a dubious face as she sat on some of my merchandise. Reimu was very Reimu-like, fiddling with one of the small computers without asking. She seemed a little afraid that it would start moving when she touched it.
「動く人形を式神みたいなものだと言ったね? そういう事もあり得るかも知れないが、今の幻想郷では人形は式神たり得ない」 “So you say that moving dolls are similar to shikigami, right? That might be possible, but the dolls in Gensokyo right now are not shikigami-worthy.”
「そもそも式神と言われてもよく判らないけど、使い魔の様なもんだろう?」 “I don't even know what shikigami are s'pposed to be in the first place. Ain’t they like familiars or something?”
「使い魔と人形は近い部分も有る。使い魔と式神も近い部分はある。だが、式神は人形とは異なるものだよ」 “Familiars and dolls have their similarities. And familiars and shikigami also have their similarities. But dolls and shikigami are very different things.”
「じゃあ何だよ。命令通り動いていたり、働いてたりするの見た事があるぜ?」 “Okay, so what? I’ve seen them move and work just like they've been told, y'know?”
「人形は……操られているだけだ」 “But dolls, you see... are only being manipulated.”
 いつの間にか魔理沙の顔が紅く染まっていた。夕日が沈んできたのだ。これから昼の時間が短くなっていくので、いよいよ妖怪の力が強くなる一方である。 Marisa’s face was tinted red. the evening sun was already setting. From now on the days would get shorter; and the power of the youkai would only continue to become stronger.
 昨日、釣瓶落としの事を少し考えたのだが、秋の日は釣瓶落としの『釣瓶落とし』とは、『井戸に落とす釣瓶』の事ではなく『妖怪の名前』だという事ではないか。釣瓶落としは、闇夜に木の上から襲いかかる妖怪である。つまり、秋が深まると釣瓶落としが出やすくなるという事ではないだろうか。これなら、速度と時間の問題は生じない。 Yesterday, I spent some time thinking about the autumn days falling like a bucket. What if the “falling like a bucket” is not referring to “a bucket down a well”, but rather to the “youkai’s name[2]”, the tsurube-otoshi, who attacks people from the top of the trees during dark nights. In other words, maybe it means that as autumn advances, the tsurube-otoshi become more active. In this case, there’s no problem regarding speed or time.
「そりゃ人形は操られてるだろうけど、式神は違うのか? 式神もみんな操られている様に見えるんだが……」 “So if dolls are bein' manipulated, what's so different about shikigami? It looks like they're always bein' manipulated too...”
「人形は手を動かすのに、手に繋がれた (ひも) を引っ張る。歩いている様に見せるには、手足の紐を交互に動かす。生きている様に見せるには、そこら中の紐を引っ張る」 “To make a doll move its hands, you have to pull a string attached to them. To make it look like it's walking, you have to pull the strings on its arms and legs. To make it appear alive, you pull all of them.”
「紐なんて有ったかなー」 “But did those dolls have strings...?”
「別に紐でなくてもいいんだよ。魔法でも何でも、何らかの力で操っている事は間違いないんだ。人形が右手を動かす為には、誰かが右手を操らなければいけない。人形に家事手伝いをさせるには、家事手伝いをさせる様に操らなければいけない」 “They don’t have to be physical strings. It could be magic or something else, but it’s certainly some kind of manipulating power. For a doll to move its right hand, someone must manipulate it into moving it. For a doll to help with housework, you have to manipulate it into doing housework.”
「器用だな。自分で家事をやった方が楽なんじゃないか?」 “That sounds pretty handy. That should make doin' chores by yourself a snap, right?”
「楽だろうね。でも、同時に操るほど器用ならば、楽ではないが一人では出来ない事が可能になるじゃないか」 “I suppose it would. If you can manipulate many at the same time, then not only would it become easier, but it would also let you do things you couldn't normally do by yourself.”
「そうか。って事は、人形と会話するのも、人形と会話していると見える様に操っている訳か。何ともさもしい一人芝居だ」 “I get it. So that means if a doll is talkin', then it's just bein' manipulated to look like it's talkin'? Just a lame one-person act.”
「そして、式神は使役者の命令通りに動くものなんだ」 “And as for the shikigami, they are like servants who move according to orders.”
「って、何だよ人形と同じじゃないか」 “Hey, isn’t that the same as the dolls?”
 霊夢はコンピューターを前にして、動かない事に (あきら) めてお茶を飲んでいた。コンピューターには余り興味が無いらしい。 Reimu was in front of a computer, no longer trying to make it move and now drinking tea. She no longer seemed interested in it.
「まったく違う。式神は命令通り動く事で、別の力を得るものなんだ。さっきの人形の例と比較して言うと、たとえば式神の右手を動かす為には右手を引っ張ったりはしない。手を挙げろ、と言うだけでいい」 “They're completely different. Shikigami move according to orders, and they can have other abilities. If we were to compare it to the dolls example from earlier, you could say that if you want the shikigami to move their hand you don’t have to pull it. Just saying ‘Raise your hand.’ would be enough.”
「式神は生きているからな」 “Because shikigami are alive, after all.”
「生きているだけじゃ命令を聞いてくれないだろう? 僕が君に手を挙げろと言った所で挙げるかどうか」 “Just because they are alive doesn’t mean they have to follow orders. If I told you to raise your hand, would you do it?”
「挙げるぜ。ほれほれ」 “Yeah, sure. Look!”
「本当にひねくれた奴だ」 “You really are a hopeless case...”
「じゃあ何か? 私がコンピューターを使役するには何が必要なんだ?」 “So then what? What do I have to do if I want to use the computer?”
 ちょっと話している内に店内は、一段と暗さを増していた。もうすぐ、釣瓶落としが跋扈 (ばっこ) する時間になってしまうだろう。もっとも、この子たちなら喜んで釣瓶落としを探し出してちょっかいをかけるに違いないが。 While we were talking, it had become just a little bit darker. Soon enough it would be the time for the tsurube-otoshi to go on a rampage. But in these girls’ case, it’s more like they would gladly go searching for the tsurube-otoshi even if they had no business doing so.
「それはそうだな……。コンピューターが言う事を聞くくらいの力を持つ事。つまり、『長い物に巻かれる』事だ」 “Well, in that case... You’d have to at least possess enough power to make the computer listen to what you say. In other words, ‘If you can’t beat them, join them.’ ”
 幻想郷で、このコンピューターが使える時が来るのだろうか。現状を見る限り、幻想郷にいる者が外の世界の恩恵無しで生活出来る様になる事はあり得ないだろう。だとしたら、コンピューターを使役するには外の世界に行くしかない。 Will there come a time when these computers could be used in Gensokyo? As far as I can see, it's not likely that the ones in Gensokyo could become used in daily life without the benefits from the outside world. In that case, the only way to employ computers would be to go to the outside world.
 幻想郷の情報の伝達は速い。それは好奇心旺盛 (おうせい) な者が多い所為 (せい) であろう。外の世界の式神が自分の代わりに情報を収集する程度のものならば、今の幻想郷には必要無いのかも知れない。 Transmission of information in Gensokyo is fast. That’s because there’s a lot of curious people. If the people here are able to gather information themselves instead of using these outside world shikigami, then computers might not be needed in Gensokyo at all.
 僕は働かないコンピューターを見て思う。己の修行の為にも、いつかは『長い物』である外の世界に巻かれる必要が有る。幻想郷は外の世界の恩恵に身を (ゆだ) ねているから自由気ままに暮らせているのだ。その事は、外の世界の品を扱っている僕だからこそよく判る。 While looking at the non-functional computers, I thought that for the sake of learning, I too would have to someday “join them.” “Them” being the outside world. Gensokyo takes the benefits of the outside world for granted, and that’s why everyone leads a freewheeling life here. I understand this only too well, since I deal in items from the outside world.
 自分たちは幻想郷に閉じこもりながら、外の世界から都合の良い物だけを受け取り、自立している振りをしている。それは、もし外の世界が滅べば幻想郷は道連れとなってしまうという事を意味している。その上、幻想郷にいては外の世界に影響を与える事も出来ない。幻想郷に住む者たちが外に出て行かず小さな場所で生活しているのは、それが一番楽である事が判っているからだ。 Even though we shut ourselves inside Gensokyo, we take from the outside world only the things we deem convenient and pretend to be independent. But the truth is that if the outside world were to crumble, Gensokyo would soon follow. And on top of that, while being in Gensokyo you can’t affect the outside world in any way. The people living in Gensokyo are leading a life in a small place from which they can’t get out, and I understand that to be simply the easiest choice.
 どうせ魔理沙は、コンピューターに家事手伝いでもさせて楽しようと考えていたのだろうが、その狭い空間ならではの堕落した考えでは外の道具は真の姿を見せないだろう。 Marisa was probably thinking of having the computer do her housework for her, but a tool from the outside world wouldn’t show its true nature to the indolent mindset typical of a small place.
 僕が式神を扱うようになるとしたらコンピューター以外は考えられない。いつかはコンピューターに命令し、今の何倍もの力を身に付ける時が来るまで、外の世界の事を勉強するとしよう。 If I were to use a shikigami, I wouldn’t think of any other than a computer. But until the time I can give orders to computers and attain greater strength than what I have now, I’ll just continue studying about the outside world.
「どうした? 暗くなってきたしそろそろ帰るぜ? コンピューターの動かし方は判らなかったし」 “What happened? It’s already dark, so I guess we better get goin', right? Too bad I couldn’t figure out how to get my computer to work…”
「そうそう、拾い物は余り口に入れないようにね」 “Oh yes, and remember not to put things you find lying around in your mouth.”
「おお、もう結構な時間だな。ってそうだ、二人ともちょっと待って。帰る前に一つサービスしてあげるよ」 “Yes, it is quite late. Oh, yes… Wait a moment, you two. Before you go back I have a gift for you. Think of it as a sample.”
 僕はそう言いながらお勝手の方である物を探していた。そう、僕を含む幻想郷の者たちがこの式神を働かせる為に足りない物は、もっと積極的に長い物に巻かれる事なのだ。 I said that with my gift already in mind. Yes, something I could give to these people of Gensokyo who are lacking whatever makes these shikigami move, me included. Something that would convince them to proactively join something bigger.
 僕はコーラを魔理沙と霊夢に差し出した。 I gave a cola to both Marisa and Reimu.

Notes[edit]

^ The original was a Japanese proverb that literally means “Be coiled around by a big thing.” The meaning is basically the same as the Western proverb – that is, that one should rather join the stronger side and take advantage of its strength instead of fighting it.
^ Tsurube-otoshi, meaning something like “falling like a bucket”, is Japanese expression referring to something that falls suddenly and fast. It’s also the name given to a type of youkai that lurks in the treetops to either fall upon an unsuspecting passerby or drop fire or buckets on him. They are represented in the Touhou cast by Kisume.


< Chapter 15   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 17 >