Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 19

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Curiosities of lotus asia 18 01
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The novelization of the Touhou series, the doujin shooting games that have attracted a fanatic following, now begins its publication here!

Written by the series creator ZUN himself, and illustrated by the promising artist Genji Asai, it invites the reader to Gensokyo... See what everyone has been raving about!!

龍の写真機 Dragon’s Camera
春告鳥の鳴く声が店内に響き渡る。 The call of a spring-heralding bird reaches all the way into the shop.
長かった冬は終わり、幻想郷に色が戻ってきた。深い雪によって白く染まっていた幻想郷は、春の訪れと共に色鮮やかな景観となり、同時に陽気な妖精や人間たちが騒ぎ始めた。まるでんでいた世界が突然、空気が清らかになり視界が明瞭になった様に感じる。昔から清新明瞭のこの時期に清明の日と言う日があるのはその為だ。今年の清明の日はいつだっただろうか。 Winter had ended at last, and colour returned to Gensokyo. At the same time, in the land formerly dyed white by the deep snow, bursting into a vivid scenario with spring’s arrival, the cheerful fairies and humans started their noise-making. It felt like a sudden rush of pure air had come to a stagnated world, clarifying all you see. It’s the reason we have Fresh and Clear Day these clear days in this season. How long since there's been such a clear day this year?
日記を書いていたのだが、唐突に今の季節の美しさを紙に写したいと思った。絵に描いても良いが、幻想郷にはそれよりももっと最適な物が有る。 I was writing my diary when I suddenly thought of transcribing onto paper the beauty of this day. A drawing would be fine, but in Gensokyo there is something even more suited for it.
それは写真である。 The photograph.
「――何やっているんだ? こんなに良い天気なのに品物をひっくり返して」 “...Whaddya doin’? Ya really want to reorganize on such a nice day?”
店の入り口付近から声が聞こえた。改めて店内を見渡すと、泥棒に入られたかのように商品が散乱していた。使い方が判らなくて仕舞っていたある道具を探していたのだ。 I heard a voice coming from near the entrance. I took another look around inside of the shop and saw that everything was scattered all around as if a thief had entered. I was looking for a certain item, even though I didn’t know how to use it.
「ああ魔理沙。いつから居たのかい。今は散らかっているが、その辺の物に触らないでいてくれよ。売り物だから」 “Ah, Marisa. How long have you been here? I know the place’s a bit disheveled right now, but don’t touch anything. Those are articles for sale.”
「触るなって言っても、触らないと歩けやしないぜ」 “If ya tell me not to touch anythin', how'm I s'pposed to get in?”
「……ああ、やっと見つけたよ。これを探していたんだ」 “...Ahh, I finally found it! This is what I’ve been looking for.”
「ん? それは天狗が良く持っている奴だな」 “Huh? Aren't the tengu always carryin' those around?”
探していた道具とは『写真機』である。写真機とは文字通り写真を撮る道具だ。 The object I was looking for is a “photographic camera”. Just as its name says, it’s a tool for taking photographs.
僕は、道具を見ただけでその名前と用途が判る能力を持っている。香霖堂を始めたのもその能力を生かす為である。生憎、正確な使用方法までは判らないのだが。 I have the ability of knowing the name and the utility of an item just by looking at it. The reason I opened Kourindou was so that I could make the most of this ability. Unfortunately, I can’t find out exactly how to use an item.
「日記に写真を貼り付けようと思ってね。ただ、写真機自体はずっと前に手に入れた物なんだけど、どうやったらこの道具で写真が撮れるのかさっぱり判らなくて放置していたんだ」 “I was thinking of placing some pictures into my diary. However, even though I’ve had the camera itself since long ago, I put it away because I didn’t have the slightest idea of how to use it to take photographs.”
「天狗は簡単そうに撮っていたぜ? なんかこう構えて……いてボタンを押す感じで。もっとも、その機械から写真が出てくるのを見た事が無いからどういう仕組みになっているのか判らないけど」 “Aren't the tengu always takin' 'em like it was nothin'? They do it kinda like... you look into it, and press a button. But I’ve never actually seen a photo come out 'em, so I dunno what kinda trick they use.”
「それはきっとこのボタンの事だと思うけど、何度押したって、何の反応も無いんだよ」 “I’m sure it must be this button here, but I can’t get any reaction no matter how much I press it.”
 そういって押してみるが、やっぱりウンともスンとも言わない。僕の能力が確かならば、この写真機で写真が撮れる事は間違いない筈なのだが。 I pressed it as I said this, but indeed it didn’t even make a sound. Even though my ability definitely says that this is a photographic camera used for taking photographs.
「私はてっきり、写真を撮る事が天狗の特殊能力だとばかり思っていたぜ。まさか、道具が写真を撮っていたとはな」 “I always thought it was just some special ability the tengu had. Never thought there was something that did that.”
天狗は不思議で秘密の多い種族である。人間や余所者の妖怪が足を踏み入れる事の無い山の中にんでいる為、天狗独自の社会と優れた技術をしている。天狗が発行する新聞を読む限り、写真を現像する技術も謎だが、さらに驚かされるのは印刷の技術だ。まるで外の世界の物の様な新聞を大量にる技術は、天狗以外の何者も手にしていないのだから。 The tengu are a mysterious race, full of secrets. Because they live on a mountain where humans and other youkai cannot set foot, their peculiar society and their amazing technology are kept mostly hidden. All that one can do is read their newspapers. Even though their techniques for developing photographs are a mystery, their printing techniques are even more surprising. No one but the tengu possess the technology to roll off a mass of newpapers like those from outer world.
ちなみに、山には河童も棲んでいるが、こちらも同様にかなり高度な技術を持っていると言われている。河童の技術とは、精密で優れた道具を創り出す技術である。もしかしたら天狗の使う写真機も河童が創り出した物なのかも知れない。河童が創る道具は不思議な物ばかりで、道具屋として実に興味深い。 Incidentally, the kappa also live on the mountain, and you could say they have the same degree of advanced technology. Theirs allows them to craft amazingly precise tools. It might even be that the kappa are the ones who make the tengus' cameras. The items crafted by the kappa are truly curious, and as a curio shop owner, I am greatly interested in them.
河童の道具に関しては、また後日思いをせるとして、今は写真機の事を考えよう。 But let’s leave the thoughts about kappa items for the future and concern ourselves with the photographic camera right now.
「うーん、やっぱり駄目か。そもそもこの写真機の何処から写真が出てくるのか、さっぱり判らないからな」 “Hm, I guess it's no use, after all. I can’t even tell where the photos are supposed to come out.”
「ところで、どうして急に写真を撮ろうと思ったんだ? 天狗に倣って香霖も新聞を始めようと思ったのか?」 “By the way, why do ya wanna take pictures? Ya wanna be like the tengu and start a newspaper?”
「新聞か……」 “A newspaper, huh?”
新聞を書く事にも興味が有る。他人が読むような記事を書けるのならば、世の中の道具に対しての間違った知識を正す事も出来るだろう。 I do have interest in writing one. If I can write articles that will be read by other people, I could correct society’s misinformation about many objects.
もっとも、それには大きな問題がある。写真機を調べて写真は撮れたとしても、印刷と活字の扱いについては見当も付かないのだ。 But there’s an even bigger problem in that. Even if I could figure out how to take pictures with a camera, I still wouldn’t know how to handle typesetting and printing.
「いや、そんな簡単に新聞を始められる訳が無い。写真が撮りたい理由は、春になって外が美しくなってきたから、それを手元に残しておきたかった、という事だよ」 “No, I couldn’t possibly start a newspaper that easily. The reason I wanted to take photos is that, since the spring days outside are so beautiful, I wanted to be able to have a piece of that on hand.”
「そんなん、来年になればまた見られるじゃないか」 “Don't we have 'em every year?”
「誤解しないで欲しいんだけど、写真を撮りたいのは見られなくなるからでも、いつでも見たいからでもない。当たり前の景色を多面的に見たいからなんだ。」 “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want photos of things I couldn't see, or of things I want to see all the time. What I want to do is to see ordinary scenery from a different viewpoint.”
写真を撮れるようになれば、普段から写真を撮る事を前提に物を見るようになる。すると、いつも見ている景色が大きく違って見えるだろう。角度を変えて物を見る事は、充実した道具屋ライフには欠かせない。 If I could take pictures, then I would be able to use them as a basis in how I view things from the usual. That way, I could see everyday scenery in a very different way. Looking at things from different angles is an essential part of a shopkeeper’s life.
「だったらお酒でも飲めばいい。同じ景色でも違った見方が出来るからな。それにしても写真がどういう仕組みで撮れるのか気になるぜ」 “Then just drink some booze. That'll letcha see the same things in a new way. But still, I still wanna know the trick to takin' pictures.”
「そんなこと、不思議でも何でもない。見た物を写真にする概念は簡単な事だ」 “There’s nothing mysterious about that. The basic concept of creating a picture out of something you see is easy to grasp.”
「そうか? 実際の景色を写真に写したら、景色が二つになる様なもんじゃないか。もの凄く巨大な写真を作れば、遠くの景色と区別が付かないだろ? でも、遠くの山は一つしか存在しない筈だ。一体、何が減って写真の絵が増えているんだ?」 “Oh, really? If ya get a real scene in a photo, that's like makin' a second one, right? But if ya make a really big photo, ya can’t tell it apart if you're far away, right? But there can only be one far-off mountain. If makin' a picture is like adding, just what's bein' subtracted?”
「景色が減る訳ではないが、減っている物は有るよ。例えば鏡を山の反対方向に置いたとして、その間に自分が立ち鏡を見ている所を想像してごらん?」 “The scenery isn’t being subtracted, but something else is. For example, if you put up a mirror facing a mountain and stand in between the two, imagine when looking at the mirror.”
「自分が見えるな」 “Me.”
「いや、自分はどうでも良いから後ろの山が映るのを見て……。そこには写真の様に景色が映し出されるだろう。つまり、景色というのは生き物の目が無くても鏡に映っている訳だ。後は映っている瞬間を保存出来れば良い。写真機はその瞬間を保存する能力を持っているんだ。実際の景色は減るのでも二つになるのでもなく、映った鏡と瞬間が切り取られて減ると言う訳さ」 “No, forget about you, look at the reflection of the mountain behind you... The scenery there will be projected just as if in a photograph. In other words, an image can be reflected off a mirror even if there isn’t a living eye to see it. It’s possible to save that reflected instant, and a photographic camera has the ability to do so. You could say that the actual image isn't diminished or duplicated, but it’s that reflected instant that gets cut out.”
「ふーん、ちょっと理解しがたいが……まぁ実際に写真が有るからにはそうなんだろうな。だとすると、鏡は平面だから平面の写真以外は撮れないって事だな」 “Hmm, that’s a little hard to understand… But I guess that's how it works since there really are photographs. So, since a mirror has a flat surface, we can only take flat pictures.”
「いや僕は、ちょっと工夫すれば立体写真も撮る事が出来ると思っている」 “No, I think that, with a little devising, it is possible to create even solid photographs.”
改めて店内を見渡したが、やはり散らかっている。だが、魔理沙に立体の写真の可能性を示す為に、ある道具を探す事になり、再度ひっくり返す事になった。 I surveyed the store’s interior once again and saw that it was truly was disheveled. But I wanted to find something to show Marisa the possibility of solid photographs, so I shuffled through it again.
「有った有った。これだ、この道具だ」 “Ah, here it is. It's this right here.”
探し出したのは、龍の剌繍の入った小さな小箱だ。これを開けると、親指大で三角柱の小さなガラスが入っていた。僕はそのガラスを取り出して魔理沙に見せた。 What I pulled out was a small dragon-embroidered box. Opening it, there was a triangular piece of glass inside as large as a thumb. I took it out and showed it to Marisa.
「これを見てごらん」 “Have a look.”
「何だ? このガラスは」 “What’s with this glass?”
「このガラスの柱は三稜鏡、またはプリズムと呼ばれる道具。風に色をる道具だ」 “This glass piece is an item called ‘triangle mirror’, or ‘prism’. It’s a tool for coloring the air.”
「風に色を塗るだと? これはまたおかしな事を言い始めたな」 “A tool for colorin' the air, you say? There you go sayin' weird stuff again…”
 僕は三稜鏡を窓の近く、陽の当たる所に持っていた。三稜鏡が陽の光を吸い、光の筋が七色に染まった。 I brought the triangle mirror closer to the window and held it under a sunlit spot. The triangle mirror absorbed the light and dyed its rays in seven colors.
「おお、小さな虹が見える」 “Ohh, it's like a tiny rainbow.”
「この小さな三稜鏡だけで、風を七色に塗る事が出来るんだ。何故、三稜鏡から七色の虹が生まれるのかというと、それには完全な三と不完全な七の神掛かった関係が有って……」 “With just this small triangle mirror, it’s possible to color the air. And why do the seven colors of the rainbow come out of the triangle mirror, you ask? Because all the three perfect colors and the seven imperfect ones are related to the gods…”
「そんな話はどうでも良いよ。で、これでどうやって立体の写真を撮ると言うんだ?」 “Who cares about that? What about makin' solid photographs?”
「……三つの三稜鏡で、三方向から同時に色を着ければ立体の絵が描けるだろう。後は、その時の風を保存する道具を作ればよい。風をにする道具だ。」 “...If you set three triangle mirrors so that they are reflecting their colors from three different positions at the same time, you can draw a solid picture. Afterwards, it’s just a matter of making a tool for preserving the air as it was in that instant. A tool that calms the air.” [1]
「ちょっと待って、いつもの事だが話が飛躍し過ぎだ。何で三方向から色を着ければ立体の絵が描けるんだ?」 “Hold on there, you keep changin' the subject as always. How come you can draw a solid picture by reflectin' colors from three directions?”
魔理沙は僕から三稜鏡を取り上げると、色んな方向から眺め回してみた。 Marisa took the triangle mirror from me and looked at it from various angles.
「赤と緑を混ぜると黄色になる、赤と青を混ぜれば紫だ。他にも組み合わせればどんな色にでもなる筈だ。だとしたら虹を上手く交差させれば自由に色を塗れるだろう。立体に色を塗るためには横幅と奥行きと高ささえあれば良いんだから、最低三方向から虹を当てればすべての点を空中で表現出来るじゃないか」 “If you mix red and green, it becomes yellow. If you mix red and blue, you have violet. With other combinations, you can obtain just about any color. That way, if you cross the rainbows well, you can paint any color. In order to make a solid picture, you’ll only need it to have width, depth and height. So, with a minimum of three rainbows from different directions you can account for all the points in the air.”
「何だかよく判らんが、風に絵を描く、そんな道具が有れば楽しそうだな。でも平面の写真すら撮れない奴には夢のまた夢だがな」 “I don't really get it... But drawin' pictures in the air? That sure sounds interestin'. But that seems like a far-fetched dream compared to the ones that take flat pictures.”
まぁその通りである。たとえ理屈が判っても、技術が追っつかないのであれば実現しない。まだ空中に絵も描けなければ、風を凪にする道具も作れないのだから。 Yes, that’s more or less right. Even if you understand the theory, it won’t come true if the technology is too far behind. No one has made any tools for either drawing pictures on the air or for immobilizing it.
でも、常に新しい事を考えていないと、幻想郷の最先端を行く技術はすべて、天狗か河童の物になってしまうだろう。だから僕は新しい事を考え続けるのだ。これは道具屋としてだけではなく、僕個人の信念だ。 But if we don’t come up with new things, all of Gensokyo’s leading technology will end up belonging to the tengu or kappa. That’s why I’ll keep thinking of new things. This is not only my belief as a storekeeper, but to myself personally.
―――カランカラッ Knock, knock.
「あ、居た居た。そろそろ花見の時間よ?」 “Ah, there you are. It’s almost time for the flower-viewing party, you know?”
「お、霊夢か。良くここが判ったな」 “Ah, Reimu? Nice work findin' me.”
「魔理沙の居る場所に選択肢なんてど無いじゃないの」 “There aren't many other places where you'd be, Marisa.”
「それにしても散らかっているわね。泥棒にでも入れらたの……って既に入られているわね。泥棒に」 “But anyway, it’s really messy here. Looks like a thief entered… or maybe there’s a thief inside already.”
ちなみに泥棒とは魔理沙の事だろう。もう本人も否定せず、猫の様に小さく笑った。三稜鏡を盗んでいくつもりなのか? By thief she was referring to Marisa. She didn’t even bother to deny it, just grinned like a cat. Was she thinking of stealing the triangle mirror?
「あら、小さな虹が出ているわね。それは何?」 “Oh my, there’s a tiny rainbow coming out of that. What is it?”
霊夢は入るなり散らかった店内を物色し、魔理沙がっていた三稜鏡に眼を留めたようだ。 Reimu was looking around the disheveled shop as she entered, but stopped her gaze on the triangle mirror Marisa was holding.
「これは三稜鏡と言う、風に色を塗る道具だそうだ。食べられないぜ」 “It's a triangle mirror, somethin' they use for colorin' the air[2]. You can’t eat it.”
霊夢は「硬そうだからね」と言い、魔理沙がけて虹を床に落としたり、僕の顔に落としたりしているのを眺めていた。 “It does look hard,” said Reimu. Marisa tilted it and projected the rainbow over the floor, then over my face.
「霖之助さん、これってどういう仕組みなのかしら? 見た感じ、中には何も入っていないみたいだけど……」 “What’s the trick behind it, Mr. Rinnosuke? It doesn’t look like there’s anything inside of it…”
霊夢も魔理沙も疑問に思った事を自分で考えもせずいてくる。まず自分で熟考し、その自分の論を述べてから他人に訊く事が一番望ましいのだが……まだ子供だから良しとしよう。それに、疑問にすら思わないよりはずっとマシである。 Reimu and Marisa just asked whatever questions that came to mind without thinking about them. The best thing to do would be to carefully think it over on your own, then compare your conclusions with others… But they are still kids, so I let it be. And besides, it was much better than them not even thinking of questions.
「三稜鏡は、中に何かが入っている訳ではない。この三角形と言う所が重要なんだ」 “It’s not anything inside the triangle mirror. What is important is its triangular shape.”
三という数字は、完全と調和を意味する。三脚は平らではない場所でも安定して立つが、これが脚が増えて四脚以上になっても、当然脚が減って二脚になってもぐらついてしまう。蛇と蛙と蛞蝓の様に、三すくみならばお互い制し合い喧嘩が始まらないが、二人や四人以上だとすぐに喧嘩が始まってしまうだろう。 The number three represents perfection and harmony. With three legs you can have stability even on an irregular surface, but that wobbles when it has four or more legs, of course when two or less legs. However, just like in the case of the snake, the frog and the slug[3]; in a three-way deadlock everyone is kept in check, and fighting cannot break out. But if it’s two, four or more people, they’ll soon start quarreling.
「三人寄れば文殊の知恵。の三拍子。三種の神器。三日天下。三ほど安定した数字はない」 “Three heads think better than one. The three beats of a drum. The Three Sacred Treasures. A Three-Day Emperor. No other number suggests stability as much as three.”
「最後のは安定してないと思うぜ」 “That last one didn't sound so stable at all.”
三稜鏡が意味する三が何かというと、この透明さを見ればすぐに予想できる。透明は見えざる者、つまり神の象徴なのだ。そもそも神社の御簾の向こうには何が存在しているかというと、実はただ透明な空間だけが存在しているだけだ。その透明な空間に神を感じ、っている場所が神社である。そして神の御座す場所と言えば、『アマ』の事だ。 To understand the significance of the number three in the triangle mirror, one needs only to look at its transparence. Transparence represents an entity which cannot be seen, in other words, a god. It's just like the presence beyond the bamboo screens in a shrine. The presence of a god is felt in that transparent space and the shrine is but a place to worship it. And talking about the shrine’s sacred chamber brings us to the ‘ama.’
「結論から言うと、三稜鏡の三つとは神の御座す場所の三つ、天と海と雨との事なんだ。この三つのアマと言えば、何の神を指しているのか霊夢なら判るよね」 “Skipping to the conclusion, the number three in the triangle mirror is the same as the three in a sacred chamber: the sky, the sea, and the rain. And by mentioning these three ‘ama’, you should be able to tell what god they point to, Reimu.”
「あー、えーっと。虹ね」 “Hmm... erm... The rainbow?”
「……虹に辿り着くのはまだ早いよ。本当に話について来ているかい?」 “...The rainbow comes later. Are you really following the conversation?”
「いつもの事だけど話が飛躍しすぎるのよ。もっとゆっくり判りやすく説明できないの?」 “You keep changing the subject like you always do. Can’t you explain it a little more slowly?”
好奇心で質問してきたのは霊夢なんだから、自分で深く考えれば良いのだ。僕に霊夢のペースに合わせて教えてあげる義務は無い。霊夢が理解出来ようが出来まいが、僕は説明を続けた。 Reimu was the one who asked about it out of curiosity, she should have pondered about it herself. I have no obligation to slow down my explanation to her pace. Whether she understood or not, I went on explaining.
「ほら、前に大きな動物の骨を持ってきた事があったじゃないか、その時も同じ説明で『龍』の骨だと説明しただろう?」 “All right, didn’t you bring that big animal bone that other time? Didn’t I say the same then that it was a ‘Dragon’ bone?” [4]
三稜鏡とは、透明と三角形だけで龍の住む所を表現しているのである。 Just by being transparent and triangular, a triangle mirror represents a dragon’s living place.
「虹とは、龍の通った跡だと言う事は言うまでも無い。だから、三稜鏡に何か――この場合は光を通すと、虹が作り出される訳だ」 “I don’t think I need to explain that rainbows are traces of a dragon’s passage. So, when something passes through the triangle mirror, in this case, light, a rainbow is created.
「ちょっ、ちょっと、待ってよ。そういえばずっと当たり前の事だと思っていたけど、何で龍が虹を残すの?」 “Wai... wait, wait a moment! I took it for granted last time, but how come the dragon leaves rainbows in its trail?”
やれやれ、質問されっぱなしで自分の作業が進まない。今日は少しでも写真機の使い方を調べようと思っていたのだが……って霊夢は魔理沙をしに来ていたんじゃないのか? 随分と悠長である。 Oh, geez... If I keep being questioned nonstop, I'm not going to get anywhere with my task at hand. All I wanted today was to investigate a little about how to use the photographic camera… Hey, didn’t Reimu come over to look for Marisa? She certainly isn't in any hurry.
二人を見ると、今は質問の答えを待っているだけで、自分達の本来の目的を忘れているようだ。 Just by looking at them, waiting for the answer to their question, you can see that they completely forgot about their original objective.
「そうか。龍が何故虹を残すか……か。それは少し難しい話になるね。め言っておくと、霊夢にはまだ理解出来ないかも知れないよ」 “I see. Why does the dragon leave a rainbows on its trails, you ask? That might be a little complicated to explain. I’ll just let you know that you might not be able to understand it now.”
「そんなに馬鹿にする事は無いじゃないの。霖之助さんの説明がもっと丁寧なら、きっと理解出来るんだけどね」 “You don't need to make a fool out of me, Mr. Rinnosuke. If you explain it thoroughly, I’m sure I can understand.”
「まぁ結論を先に言うと、龍は完全な三の世界から、森羅万象を創造する為に虹の七色を残すんだ」 “Well, starting from the conclusion, since the dragon is made from the three perfect elements of the world, it leaves in its path the seven colors of the rainbow, which can create everything in existence.
「随分と大きく出たのね」 “That’s pretty grandiose.”
「そりゃ、龍は幻想郷の最高神で創造と破壊を行う神様だからね。その辺の妖怪とは一回りも二回りも規模が違うよ」 “But you see, the Dragon is the highest god of Gensokyo, it can bring creation or destruction. It's on a different level from the youkai around here by one or two orders of magnitude.”
完全に調和が取れた世界からは、新しい物が生み出される隙間はない。天からは雨が降り、海に注ぎ込まれて天の力によって、海から水が蒸発し雲を創る。完全なアマの世界とは、三つのアマだけで完結しているのである。 In a world in perfect harmony, there are no gaps where new things can be born. The rain falls from the sky and imbues the seas with the strength of the heavens, then the water evaporates from the sea and becomes clouds. From the three ‘ama’ elements, you only obtain their own cycle.
龍は、その世界に不調和を持ち込み、その不調和から森羅万象を生む様に世界を変えた。その完全の『三』に足された虹の『七』色によって、世界は『十の力』で構成される様になったのだ。 The dragon brought dissonance into this world, and from that dissonance everything was created, and the world was changed. To the perfect “three” they added the rainbow’s “seven”, and the world was organized in the “ten powers”. [5]
「それにより、幻想郷のあらゆる物質が十の相互作用で創造と破壊が行われる様になったんだ」 “Because of that, all substances in Gensokyo are created and destroyed by the interaction of these 'ten'.”
「おお、それなら何となく判るぜ。私の専門だ」 “Ohh, when you put it like that, I kinda understand. 'Cause that's my specialty.”
「魔理沙の専門って……何だったっけ?」霊夢の質問は本気なのか冗談なのか判らない。 “Just what was your specialty again, Marisa?” I couldn’t tell if Reimu’s question was serious or a joke.
「ああ、こう見えても魔法使いだったんだぜ。驚きだろう? それより霊夢の方が巫女っぽくないがな」 “Well, I'm obviously a magician. Big surprise there, right? You're the one who doesn’t seem very shrine maiden-ish.”
「うん。物質とその相互作用は魔法を扱う者にとっては欠かせない知識の一つだからね。君が実は勉強家だと言う事は判っているよ」 “Yes, knowledge of substances and their interactions is indispensable for magicians. I know that you are actually quite studious in that respect.”
「勉強ではないぜ。本を読み、魔法をく、それが日課だから知識を増やす事は勉強にしない」 “That ain't studyin'. Readin' books, polishin' spells, I do that every day. Learnin' like that really can't be called 'studyin'.'”
「へぇ、魔理沙ってこう見えても勤勉だったのねぇ。その成果が出ているのかしら?」 “Wow, you really seem quite diligent, Marisa. But are you getting any results?”
物質は木、火、土、金、水で成り立っている。この五つの要素が十の力で相互に作用する事で、安定する事無く絶えず変化し続けるのだ。十の力とは、木は火を生み、火は土を創り、土は金を育て、金は水を浄化し、水は木を育て、木は土を痩せさせ、土は水を吸い、水は火を消し、火は金を溶かし、金は木を折る、この十個である。 The substances are composed of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These elements interact with each other through the force of the “ten”, and instead of stability, they are in constant transformation. By “the force of the ten” it’s meant that: wood fuels fire, fire builds earth, earth brings metal, metal purifies water, water raises wood, wood impoverishes earth, earth absorbs water, water quenches fire, fire melts metal and metal cuts wood.
複雑に絡み合った力は二つの物質間で決着が付く訳では無い。金の力が弱まれば木は強まる事になる。だが、木が強まれば火が強まり、土も強まり、金もまた強まる。そして、金が強まれば木が弱まってしまう。決して安定する事無く力が動き続ける事で、様々な物質が生まれたり消えたりするのだ。 There is a complex relationship between the forces, not being limited to only the interaction between two substances. If the strength of metal weakens, wood gets stronger, but if wood gets stronger, then fire gets stronger as well, and the earth gets stronger, which leads to metal getting stronger again. And if metal gets stronger, wood gets weaker. As these forces are never stable and are always moving, many new substances are created and destroyed.
「要約すると、私が霊夢に負けがちなのはこの力の所為だという訳だぜ」 “So basically, it’s 'cause of these forces that I usually lose to Reimu.”
「そんな要約し過ぎた負け惜しみはどうでも良いわ。でもどうして?」 “It's not like I care about a loser's poor excuses, but why do you say so?”
「それは、魔理沙は水で、霊夢は木だからだよ。水は木を育てるから……これでは水の方が少々分が悪い。でも、決闘じゃなければ相性が悪い訳じゃなくて、むしろ相性は良い方だね」 “It’s because Marisa is water, and you are wood. And since water raises wood, it means water will usually lose in a fight between the two. But, outside of duels, it doesn’t mean you are incompatible. It actually means good affinity.”
「私が木で、魔理沙が水……じゃ、霖之助さんは何なのかしら?」 “I am wood, and Marisa is water... so what are you, Mr. Rinnosuke?”
霊夢は見るからに春であり、最も東にある神社に住む。これは木の象徴だ。魔理沙はと言うと、黒い服を好み陽の射さない森に住む、これは水である。僕はと言うと……名前が示すとおり僕もまた、水なのだ。 Just by looking at Reimu you could see she was a spring person, and she lives in a shrine at the very east. This symbolized wood. As for Marisa, she liked to dress in black and lived in a dark forest, away from the sun, that means water. As for me… just as implied by my name, I’m also water.
「写真機の話から随分と外れてしまったね。君たちが質問ばかりするからだよ」 “We're quite aways from the subject about the camera. It’s because you girls just kept asking questions.”
「うーん。龍神様の事はまだまだ判らない事でいっぱいね」 “But there’s still a lot I don’t understand about the Dragon God.”
「龍はその姿を見せる事はど無いからね。今日聞いた事は今すぐに理解出来なくても、後でじっくり思い出して考えると良いよ。そうすれば、世の中の仕組みが少しずつ見えてくる筈さ。ところで、花見は良いのかい? 店に来てから随分と時間が経ってしまっている様だけど」 “You can never actually see the Dragon. And even if you don’t understand everything we discussed right now, as long as you think about it later, it will be all right. This way, all the world’s underpinnings will slowly come clear to you. And by the way, what about your flower-viewing party? It’s been some time since you arrived.”
「ああ、忘れてたわ! 今日は珍しい客も呼んであったのに」 “Ahh, I forgot about it! Even though we have some unusual guests today…”
「珍しい客?」 “Unusual guests?”
「今日は清明の日だから天狗たちも花見をするんだって。私たちも今日は……っていつもしてるけど花実をするんで、たまには一緒にやろうって事になったの。どう? 霖之助さんも来ない?」 “Since the weather is so clear today, we’re having some tengu over. And today we’re… but wait, we are always doing it, but didn’t you say you would join us sometime? What do you say, Mr. Rinnosuke, you want to come?”
「天狗から写真機の仕組みを教えてもらえるかも知れないぜ」 “Maybe ya can even have the tengu explain to ya the trick behind the cameras.”
そうだな、写真機の仕組みを知りたいのならば天狗にけば良いんじゃないか。何でそんな単純な事に気付かなかったんだろう……って天狗!? That’s right, if I wanted to know the workings of a photographic camera, the best thing to do would be to ask the tengu about it. Why didn’t I realize such a simple thing before… wait, tengu!?
「天狗だって!? とんでもない。とてもじゃないけどそんな花見に参加したくないよ」 “Tengu, you say!? Out of the question! Sorry, but I’m not taking part in this flower-viewing party.”
「ま、そう言うと思ってたわよ。天狗が居ると記念撮影が出来て面白いんだけどね」 “Well, I thought you’d say that. But since there’ll be tengu there, we can even take some commemorative pictures.”
「この三稜鏡は貰っていくよ。天狗たちに立体写真はどうか、って提案してみるぜ。立体新聞とか出来るかもな」そう言い残して、二人は帰っていった。 “I’m takin' this triangle mirror with me and I’ll ask 'em about solid pictures. The tengu might make it or somethin'.” With that, the two of them left.
やはり三稜鏡を持ってかれたか。ずっとっていたし、気に入ったのだろう。だが大した貴重な物ではないが、商品は商品なんだからお金を払って欲しいものだ。 So she did indeed take the triangle mirror. She kept fiddling with it all the time, so I guess she liked it. It wasn’t that valuable, but merchandise is merchandise, and I would've liked to be paid for it.
それにしても天狗と宴会とは……いささか心配である。天狗は無類の酒豪で、その飲む量と来たら人間の酒豪とは比べものにならないのだ。その量たるや鬼と比べてもひけを取らないと言われている。天狗一人ならまだしも、天狗達の宴会と一緒にやるとは……。 But even so, going to a party with tengu... That is slightly worrying. Tengu are unparalleled drinkers; the amounts of liquor they can imbibe can’t be compared even to the heaviest human drinkers. You can even say they are in the same league as the oni on that. To go partying with even one tengu... or worse, with more than one...
僕が今日の花見に参加したくないと言った理由は、騒がしいのが嫌いだからではない。天狗に訊いた所で、からかわれるだけだからだ。「知りたければ酒を呑め。呑まねば教えぬ」とか言って、記憶が無くなるまで呑まされるのがオチである。天狗とはそういう生き物だ。取り敢えず散らかった店内を片付け、それからもう一度写真機を弄ってみよう。自分で調べるしかない。 The reason I didn’t want to take part in today’s flower viewing is not because I don’t like noisiness. If I asked the tengu about the camera, they would, just for fun, say something like “If you want to know, drink. If you don’t, we won't tell.” And then they would make me drink so much I wouldn’t remember a thing later. That’s the kind of creatures tengu are. And anyway, I have to tidy up my disheveled store. And after that I’ll try fiddling with the photographic camera again. I guess I’ll just have to find out by myself.
明日の二人の報告が楽しみである。記憶が残っていれば、の話だが。 I’m looking forward to hearing from those two tomorrow. If they can remember anything, that is.


  1. This sentence (lit. "make into ") needs an inspiration of kanji. Above one note, the "" (lit. "wind") should be interpreted as "air". And when the character "" is replaced with "" ("stop"), it is "" (calm/silent situation of wind/sea). The change of "to stop" is closely related to "to be fixed". Probably you could associate "stop motion" or "photograpy" to see the words "preserve the air as it was in that instant" or "make a 3D photo with holographic technology, in order to fix the situation of colored space in beams of light in the very moment" in the story.
  2. Original text "風に色を塗る" (lit. to paint/dye wind with a color): Normally the translation of is "wind", and "air" is "空気, 大気. However in this context, this word doesn't mean "movement of gas" or "gas of liquidity". As a basical idea of consisting the world, ancient Greek thinkers chose "air" (ἀήρ) for one of the four elements of their metaphysical concept, which has been long kept as the custom of European spiritual culture. The translation of this word is translated currently into Japanese as the equivalence of "air" (空気), but Japanese academy traditionally selected the word "" for it, probably because kanji cultures once preferred one-letter word (to two- or three-letter word) for the word of academically basical concept. If we know this background of Japanese culture, Marisa must talk about the "air", not the wind. This should be also noted that the ancient concept "air" vaguely includes "space" and "light"; "space" is "monstrously huge case which holds air", and "light" is "a very thin piece of space with a color".
  3. A three-way deadlock similar to the one in rock-paper-scissors. The snake defeats the frog, the frog defeats the slug and the slug (somehow) defeats the snake.
  4. If you can't remember the topic Rinnosuke mentions, read the chapter 15.
  5. It might be related that there is a Japanese (or Chinese) word "十全 (totally completed), which is literally a compound of "ten" and "all/entirety". Perhaps its derivation is related to one of strongest Chinese emperor Emperor Qianlong; He made ten great wars "Ten Great Campaigns" (十全武功, lit. "Ten Completed Armed Expeditions"). The "ten" at first meant "how many wars he made greatly" (ten expecitions), but was somehow later altered to show "how excellently his expecitions were completed" (10-score completion). It might be also useful information that "十全" is "logical adequacy" in Japanese.
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