Curiosities of Lotus Asia/Chapter 22

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Page 158-166

< Chapter 21   Curiosities of Lotus Asia   Chapter 23 >

What do the residents of Gensokyo think of the brilliance raining down from far away…?
最新単行本『東方求聞史記 ~Perfect Mement in Strict Sence
While awaiting the release of the new book “Touhou Guumonshiki ~Perfect Memento in Strict Sense” (Isshinsha), here is a story where Marisa and Reimu view a meteor shower at Kourindo. To all the fans that can’t wait for the book as well, why don’t we all read this issue’s “Kourindo” and think about the mysteries of space?
妖怪の見た宇宙 The Universe the Youkai Saw
「あ、二つ連続で落ちたぜ!」 "Ah! There goes two in a row!"
「うん。後もう一つで十ね」 "Yeah, just one more to make ten."
()を消した店内に二人の興奮した声が響き渡った。そろそろ(うし)三つ時――もう泣く子は黙る時間であるが、霊夢と魔理沙の二人は黙らなかった。 The excited voices of the two rang out inside the darkened shop. Soon it’ll be midnight, a time when crying children had long quieted down,[1] but neither Reimu nor Marisa had done so.
店内は二人に占拠され、すべての灯を消されていた。僕は本を読む事も日記を書く事も出来ずに、窓から差し込む(わず)かな月明かりを頼りに二人の元へ移動した。 The two of them had taken up occupancy in my store and turned off all the lights. I, unable to read a book or write in my journal, moved over to where they were, relying on the little bit of moonlight coming in from the window.
「本当に二人は仕様が無いな、もう十分だろう。こういった『流星群』も珍しい物じゃないし……」 “Really, I don’t know what to do with you two. Haven’t you had enough? These so-called ‘meteor showers’ aren’t exactly rare, you know…”
「何を言うんだよ。香霖が言ったんだろう? 今夜の流星は凄いって、きっと百以上は落ちるって」 “What are you talking about? You said it yourself, didn’t you? ‘Tonight the shooting stars will be amazing’, ‘I’m sure more than a hundred will fall.’ "
「確かに百くらいは落ちると思うが……まさか全部見るつもりか?」 “I really do think about a hundred will fall, but you don’t intend to watch all of them do you?”
「ああ勿論(もちろん)だ。願い事を百以上用意してきたからな」 “You bet. I even got over a hundred wishes ready to go.”
――昼間の香霖堂店内。 --Noon inside Kourindou.
霊夢と魔理沙の二人の流星鑑賞に付き合うきっかけになった日の事である。 The day when both Reimu and Marisa came to appreciate meteor showers.
僕は新しく入荷した不思議な品物を、机の上に置いて眺めていた。新しく入荷したと言ってもその品物自体は古く、全体的に薄汚れていた。金属で出来ている部分はあちこち()びている所も有る。 I had placed a mysterious, newly acquired item on top of my desk, gazing at it. I say it was a newly acquired item, but the item itself was old and a bit dirty. The parts made of metal had spots of rust here and there as well.
その品物は、大きめな西瓜(すいか)程度の球と、それを支える四本の足で構成されていた。球は金属で出来ているのだが、かなり異様な形をしている。定規の様な細い金属を曲げて繋げた輪が幾つか組み合わさり、まるで竹で出来た(まり)彷彿(ほうふつ)させるような、すかすかの球体だった。さらにそれらの金属の輪は、一つ一つ自由に回転出来る物と、足に固定されて動かない物がある。 That item was made up of a ball the size of a large, round watermelon and four legs supporting it. The ball was made of metal, but it had a very odd form. There were a number of thin rings fashioned from metal connected together that looked like they were used for measurement; they formed a sphere that air could easily pass through, like a throwing ball made out of bamboo. Furthermore each of the metal rings could rotate freely while the legs kept everything else in place.
残念ながら幾つかの金属の輪は錆びついている所もあり、(なめ)らかに回転出来なかった。このままでは商品にはならないので、何とか自分の手で再生しようと考えていた。 Unfortunately, a few of the metal rings had rusted, and didn’t turn very smoothly. It wouldn’t make for suitable merchandise in this condition, so I had thought I’d somehow try to fix it myself.
「何だ? このスカスカの変な()()()は」 “What’s with this weird hollow globe?”
「これは地球儀ではないよ、魔理沙。で、何時の間に店に来てたんだい?」 “This isn’t a globe, Marisa. And when did you come in?”
「地球に穴が()いたのかと思ったぜ」 “I thought maybe a hole had opened up in the Earth.”
魔理沙は、地球儀じゃなけりゃ一体何だい? と()いてきた。 Marisa asked if it wasn’t a globe then just what was it?
地球儀とは、文字通り地球の模型である。幻想郷に居る人間は自分の住む星の事を(ほとん)ど知らない。何故なら幻想郷は、地球の中の(ごく)一部である日本の、さらに極一部の山奥に存在し、そこから出る事は出来ないのである。 A globe is a model of the Earth. The humans living in Gensokyo don’t know much about the planet they live on. That is because Gensokyo is in a small area of the mountains in a small part of Japan, which is itself a small part of the world, and it’s not a place one can easily leave.
だが、外の情報や道具が入ってこない訳ではない。地球儀も外の世界から流れ込んできた道具の一つで、これにより我々は自分の住む地球を知る事が出来る。知識としてかなり細かい所まで知っているが、幻想郷の人間にとって自分の住んでいる大地と、知識の地球がいまいち結び付いていない。たとえ地球に穴が空いたと言っても、容易に信じてしまうだろう。 That said, it’s not like outside information or tools aren't able to find their way in. A globe is one of the various tools that have washed in from the outside world, and so we’ve been able to learn about the Earth we live on. Speaking strictly, while they understand “knowledge” down to the smallest places here, the human residents of Gensokyo and the land they live in isn’t quite connected with the knowledge of the Earth. For example, if you were to say here that a hole opened up in the Earth, they would easily believe you.
だが、地球儀に見えるこの道具は決して地球儀ではない。地球と同じく、幻想郷にも常に近くに在るのに、詳しく判っていない物を測る道具である。 Still, though this tool looks like a globe it is certainly not. It is a tool to measure objects that though are always close to Gensokyo, we still don’t know much about, the same as the Earth.
「これは、『渾天儀(こんてんぎ)』と言う道具だ。地球儀が地球を知る道具なら、渾天儀は宇宙を知る道具だよ」 “This is a tool called an ‘armillary sphere’[2]. If a globe is a tool used to provide information about the Earth, an armillary sphere is used to provide information about space.”
渾天儀とは、非常に複雑な道具でありながら、ただ星の位置を測定するだけの物である。 While an armillary sphere is an unusually complicated tool, all it is used for is to measure the position of the stars.
しかしその複雑さには訳がある。星はただ浮かんでいるだけに見えるが、その位置を正確に測定するのは難しい。定規を当てる事も出来ないし、遠くに見える地面だって山が在ったり森が在ったりと高さがまちまちである。夜空に方眼紙の様に線が引かれていたり、動かなくて基準となる星が沢山在れば簡単なのだが、当然そんな訳も無い。手の届かない位置に在り、近くに基準となる物も存在しない星々の位置の観測は、昔から多くの天文学者を悩ましてきたのだ。それを解決させる為に、渾天儀は複雑な道具に成らざるを得なかったのだ。 However, there’s a reason for this complexity. Though it appears that the stars are just floating in the sky, correctly measuring their position is difficult. It’s not something you can measure absolutely, like how the ground you see from far away has mountains and forests giving varying degrees of height. While lines can be drawn between stars, and there are many fundamental stars that don’t move and are simpler to calculate, that is still mere speculation. Their positions are unreachable, and observing stars that exist apart from the fundamental ones has long troubled many astronomers. In order to resolve that problem, the armillary sphere couldn’t have been made without being complicated.
「どうやって使うんだよ。これは」 “So how d'ya use this thing?”
「うーん……それは、これから調べるよ」 “Well… that’s what I’m investigating now.”
「あ、香霖も判らないのか。そりゃそうだろうな、いつもの事だし」 “Ah, so ya don't know either? Well yeah, that’s how it always is.”
微妙に馬鹿にされた気分だが、事実だから仕方がない。 I felt she was making a fool of me, but it was true, so I couldn't deny it.
「いや、使い方は想像付くんだ。真ん中の(つつ)で星を見つつ、この回転する球を星に合わせてここに書いてある目盛(めも)りか何かを読み取るんだろう……おや?」 “Well, I imagine this is how you’d use it. While looking at a star through this tube in the middle, you match up the rotating sphere with the star, and take a reading from the scale or something written here … Hmm?”
僕は、この道具に()()()()()が書かれている事に気付いた。目盛りか何かだと思ったのだが、単純な数値とかではない。この奇妙な文字は、この渾天儀の用途を大きく変化させる可能性がある物だ。 I just realized that there were strange characters written on this object. What I thought was ‘a scale or something’ wasn’t a simple numbered system. There’s a possibility that these strange characters broaden the usefulness of the armillary sphere.
「どうした? その輪っかに何か書いてあるのか?」 “What? Is somethin' on that ring?”
「ふむ、書いてあるな。僕はこの道具はてっきり外の世界の物だと思い込んでいたが……ここに書かれている文字はそれを(くつがえ)す物かも知れない」 “Mm-hmm, there certainly is. I thought for sure that this was a tool from the outside world but… the characters written here could overturn that theory.
「どれどれ、見せてみ? ふむふむ、読めないぜ」 “Where, where? Can I see? Hmm… Can’t read it.”
「早いね」 “Well, that was fast.”
渾天儀に書かれた奇妙な文字とは、星座の名前だったのだ。 The strange characters written on the armillary sphere were the names of the constellations.
「ここに書かれているのは……雪入道(ゆきにょうどう)座、火炎婆(かえんば)座、芭蕉精(ばしょうせい)座……。どうやら星座の名前だと思う」 “Written here is… Yuki-nyuudou constellation, Kaenba constellation, Bashou-no-sei[3] constellation... They appear to be the names of constellations to me.”
「なんだいその星座は、えらくマニアックな星座ばかりだな」 “What’s with that? They must be some crazy constellations, aren't they?”
「そんな単純な問題ではない。そんな星座は聞いた事も無いよ。まぁ、確かに極端にマニアックな名前の星座を書き(つら)ねただけに過ぎないのかも知れない。それもおかしな話だし、たとえそうだとしてもこれらの星座の名前……」 “There's more to the problem than that. I haven’t heard of these constellations either. Well, it might just be nothing more than a list of ridiculous constellation names. That would be strange in and of itself, but even if that were the case, these constellation names…”
()()座、釣瓶落(つるべお)とし座、大天狗座……。 Te-no-me constellation, Tsurube-otoshi constellation, Great Tengu[4] constellation …
「どれもこれも全て、日本の()()の名前じゃないか」 “But aren't these all the names of youkai?”
我々――幻想郷の人間に限らず恐らく外の人間も同じだと思うが、知っている星座とは(ほとん)ど大陸から来た星座である。これは幻想郷が外の世界と隔絶(かくぜ)する前から使っていた歴史の有る代物だ。 The constellations we know, and this probably applies not only to the humans of Gensokyo, but the humans from the outside world too, mostly came from the continent. They have a long history, being made before Gensokyo became separated from the outside world.
それ(ゆえ)に、日本古来の星座と言う物も有る事は有るのだが、今でも残っている物は少ない。日本はどちらかというと、星の結びつきより星単体に名前を付け、それを(あが)めたからである……と、ずっと思っていたのだが、この渾天儀を見てからその考えも改めないといけないかも知れない。何故(なぜ)なら、日本の妖怪の名前の付いた星座が大陸からやってくる事は考え(にく)い。日本で名付けられた星座がこんなに大量に存在するとすれば、日本独自の天文技術もかなり進化していてもおかしくない……のだが。 Furthermore, there are still some constellations originally from ancient Japan, but few remain now. The Japanese ones were simply stars themselves rather than the interconnecting lines between them, and were given names and worshipped. Well, at least that’s what I’ve always thought, but after looking at this armillary sphere I’ll probably have to rethink my assessment. It’s hard to think that constellations with the names of youkai would have come over from the continent. If Japan named this many constellations, it wouldn’t be strange to think that Japanese astronomy has advanced considerably…
「しかし……妖怪の名前しか無いな。日本独自の天文技術だとしたら、もっと神様の名前や、英雄の名前を付けても良い筈なのに。だとすると、日本独自と言うよりは……。この天球儀はひょっとして外の世界の道具ではなくて――」 “However, all of them are youkai names. If this was the work of Japanese astronomy they should have used more names from gods or heroes. If you think of it that way, rather than Japanese astronomy, it is possible that this armillary sphere is not a tool of the outside world but instead...”
妖怪の渾天儀かもしれない。何千年も生き続けて来た妖怪たちだ、自分たち独自の天文知識を持っていてもおかしくない。妖怪たちは人間が作った技術を馬鹿にする事が多い。天文学も人間の天文学を使わずに自分達で構築したのだろうか。もしくは、人間が使っている天文学は実は妖怪が考えた学問、という事すら考えられる。 This is probably a youkai armillary sphere. Youkai have been living for thousands of years, so it wouldn’t be strange if they had their own astronomical knowledge. The youkai have many things that can put human technology to shame. They must have created their own system of astronomy as well instead of using the humans'. It’s possible to think that the astronomy used by humans is in fact a field of study thought up by youkai.
というのも、妖怪は千年以上も昔に月に行った事もあると言い伝えられている。その頃の人間と言えば、まだ星の意味も月の意味も判らなかった筈だ。それだけ妖怪の天文技術は優れていたのである。 Additionally, it is said that over a thousand years in the past youkai travelled to the moon. At that time humans wouldn’t have yet known the meaning of the moon or stars. For that reason alone youkai astronomy must be excellent.
満月の日には妖怪達の(うたげ)が行われたり、新月になると妖怪が大人しくなったり、妖怪にとって月は重要な天体の一つである。妖怪が月の研究を進めていた事は容易に想像できる。 The moon is an important heavenly body for youkai, holding festivals on days when the moon is full and calming down during the new moon. It’s easy to imagine that youkai study of the moon has greatly advanced.
しかし、この渾天儀に書かれた妖怪の星座の名前は、妖怪の研究が月だけでは無く、数多(あまた)の星々まで幅広い物であった事を示唆(しさ)している。 However, the youkai names of constellations on this armillary sphere suggest that not only is their study of the moon very extensive, but of the stars as well.
例えば、天の川は鬼神の河であり、そこから鬼の酒が地上に流れ込むとされている。河の近くで力強く輝くオリオン座の三つ星は、妖怪の伊吹童子(いぶきどうじ)座と呼ばれ、伊吹童子の三つの力――(すなわ)ち、調和と有限、そして無限を示しているらしい。 For example, the Milky Way is called the Sake Way, and there the sake of oni flows to Earth. Close to that, the extremely bright Orion’s Belt is called by youkai the Ibuki-douji constellation and indicates the Ibuki-douji’s three powers of harmony, finite, and infinite.[5]
惑星はその明るさと不定な動きから、天狗の星と呼ばれる。あっちこっちをふらふらと動き、妖怪の輪を乱す存在とも読み取れる。 Because of the planets’ brightness and inconsistent movement, they are called tengu stars. They move here and there and can be read as an existence that disrupts the orbits of other youkai.[6]
妖怪の星座には、なんと彗星(すいせい)の記述もある。しかも彗星の周期まで調べられているのだ。妖怪は(なが)く生きられる為、人間より調査が容易(たやす)いと言う事も有るだろう。彗星は、妖怪の星座では忌星(いみぼし)と呼ばれ、妖怪の社会を(おびや)かす縁起(えんぎ)の悪い物らしい。 Comets are also recorded within the youkai constellations. Even the comets' cycles have been researched. Since youkai can live for a long time, you can say it’s easier for them to observe than humans. Comets are called detested or condemned stars because they are apparently bad omens that threaten youkai society.
また、一際(ひときわ)大きな文字で書かれているのは天龍(てんりゅう)座である。これは所謂(いわゆる)北斗七星の事だ。天龍は常にある一点を見つめており、いつか飛び出そうとしていると言う。その一点に在る星、それが北極星である。 The one written with the largest characters is the Tenryuu constellation. This is the so-called Big Dipper. Tenryuu always stares at one point, and looks as if it might take flight at any time. The star at the point is Polaris, the north star.
妖怪の星座では北極星は不動の星、つまり不動尊(ふどうそん)の夜の顔であり、不動尊――大日如来(だいにちにょらい)の化身だそうだ。大日如来は、言う(まで)も無く妖怪の力を無力化する太陽の権現(ごんげん)であるが、夜の世界でも妖怪の百鬼夜行を暴走しないように、北極星となって食い止めていると言うのだ。天龍はいつかその不動尊――北極星を食べて、昼の天も夜の天も支配してしまおうと(たくら)んでいるらしい。記述によると、数千年の後に天龍は動き出し、その時妖怪の社会も大きく変化する、と予言されている。数千年後の話とはいえ、妖怪の先見性は人間のそれとは比べ物にならないから、気になる記述であるが……。 In youkai constellations, Polaris is the unmoving star. Basically, it is the face of the unmoving lord of night, Fudou Myouou[7], an embodiment of Dainichi Nyorai. Though it goes without saying, Dainichi Nyorai[8] is an avatar of the sun that renders youkai powers ineffective. In the night world he is said to become Polaris and consume youkai power in order to prevent their festivals from getting out of hand. It is said that Tenryuu is plotting to eat Acala to control the sky day and night. According to the records, it is prophesied that after a few thousand years Tenryuu will move, and then youkai society will also undergo a great metamorphosis. Though it's said not to happen for thousands of years, youkai foresight is incomparable to humans’, so this may be troubling.
「ところで、そんなに詳しく説明して(いただ)いて無駄な時間な事この上無いが、一つ聞きたい事が有る。この道具で星の位置と妖怪の星座を知る事が出来るのは判ったが、()()はどうなんだ? 夜空の主役の……」 “Anyway, givin' me a complete run-down of how it works is just going to be a waste of time, but I got somethin' I wanna ask ya. I know ya can find the position of the stars and the youkai constellations with this thing, but what's that? ‘Master of the night sky’...?”
「夜空の主役? 月の事か? そりゃ月の位置も同様に測れるだろう」 “The master of the night sky? Isn’t that the moon? I guess that lets you measure the position of the moon, too.”
月は妖怪にとっても重要な天体である。夜空の主役は月に間違いないだろう。 The moon is the heavenly body important to the youkai, too. So the master of the night sky would have to be the moon.
「違うぜ。月じゃなくて……」 “Nah, it's not the moon…”
「月の他に主役を()れる天体が在るのかい?」 “Is there some other heavenly body worthy of being called ‘Master?’ ”
「アレだ、一瞬で流れて消える一番目立つ星だ」 Those, the stars that stand out the most, the ones that fall down and disappear in a flash.”
「一瞬で……もしかして流れ星の事かい?」 “In an flash… Do you mean shooting stars?”
「ああ、そうだ。星の中では流れ星が一番好きだな。ついでに願い事も(かな)うし」 “Yeah, that's it. They're my favorite out of all the stars. They grant yer wishes, too.”
なるほど流れ星か……派手な物が好きな魔理沙らしい。だがアレは違う、アレは天体ではない。 Ah, I see. Shooting stars… Liking flashy things is very Marisa-like. But that is different, those aren’t celestial bodies.
「流れ星は星ではないよ」 “Shooting stars aren’t stars, you know.”
「流れ星だろ? 星じゃないか」 “It’s a shooting star, right? Ain't it a star?”
「流れ星とは……天を(かけ)る龍、天龍の(うろこ)がはがれ落ち、光り輝いた物だ。だからこの道具では位置を調べる事は出来ないよ」 “Shooting stars are… scales from Tenryuu, the dragon who flies through the heavens, that sparkle when they fall off. So this tool can’t find their position.”
「ふーん、まぁ動くからな。測れないと思ったが、残念だ」 “Hmm... Well, I guess it’s because they move, huh? I didn't think it'd be able to measure that, but it's still a shame.”
「どうして残念なんだい?」 “Why is it a shame?”
何時(いつ)流れるか判れば願い事も叶い放題だからな。他の星の研究する暇があるのなら、流れ星の研究をした方が良い」 “If ya knew what time they fell ya could have as many wishes granted as ya wanted. If ya got enough free time to study other stars, you should study shootin' stars instead.”
「暇だから研究している訳じゃないと思うけど……。まぁ確かに、流れ星はいつ落ちるか判らない。だが確実に見る方法は知っているよ」 “It’s not like they were studying them because they had free time… But it's true you can’t tell when shooting stars will fall. However, I know a way to see them for sure.”
「何だって? それは本当か? なら教えてくれ」 “What was that? Really? If ya know, tell me!”
「一年に何度か、流れ星が大量に降り注ぐ日が有るんだ、その日に見れば一日で十……いや、百の流れ星を見る事が出来るだろう」 “A few times a year on certain days, a large amount of shooting stars pour from the sky. If you look then, during a single night you can probably see ten… no, a hundred shooting stars.”
――そうして、僕は魔理沙に流星群が見られる日を教えると、早速その日に魔理沙は霊夢を連れてうちで流星群の鑑賞会を行う事になったのだ。 ––So, I told Marisa one of the days that one could see a meteor shower, and on that day Marisa showed up early, brought along Reimu and we had a sort of meteor shower viewing party.
どれぐらい()っただろうか。二人は十五個目の流れ星を数えていた。 I wonder how much time had passed. They counted the fifteenth shooting star.
「凄いぜ! 本当に百個くらい降りそうだな」 “This is amazin'! I really think we'll see a hundred of 'em tonight!”
「そろそろ疲れてきたわね」 “I’m starting to feel a bit tired.”
そんな事は無い、と言って、魔理沙はさらに窓の外の天体ショーに食いついた。 After saying Reimu shouldn’t be, Marisa leaned further outside the window to take in the astronomical show.
「あ、十六個目。えーと、呪い呪い呪い」霊夢は(つぶや)いた。 “Ah, the sixteenth one. Um, can-can-can,” Reimu whispered.
「なんだそれは」 “What’s with that?”
「流れ星が落ちてくる間に願い事を三回なんて、(ほとん)ど無理じゃない。だから願い事を出来るだけ圧縮してみたの」 “Saying a wish three times while a shooting star is visible is almost impossible isn’t it? So I tried shortening my wish as much as possible.”
「圧縮し過ぎだぜ。つーか、どういう願い事なんだか……」 “Ya cut off to much. What kind of wish was that anyway?”
「呪術系の願い事よ。魔理沙はどういう事をお願いしているの?」 “A wish about my incantation skill. What are you wishing for?”
「ああ、もっと力強い魔法が使いたいぜって」 “Ah, I wanna use stronger magic.”
百の流れ星を見ると意気込んでいた二人だったが、流れ星が落ちない空きの時間がちょっとだけ長く続いた後、流れ星の数がよく判らなくなってしまい、その内疲れて二人は寝てしまった。そうして、第一回流星祈願会は幕を閉じたのである。 Both of them were excited about seeing a hundred shooting stars, but as the time between them continued to increase, they ended up losing count, becoming tired and falling asleep. And thus, the curtain had closed on the first shooting star wishing party.
――それから四、五年後の現代。 ––Present day, four or five years later.
僕は思い出の渾天儀(こんてんぎ)を眺めていた。あれから流星祈願会も毎年恒例となり、もう数回行われている。 I stared at the memorable armillary sphere. From then on the shooting star wishing party became a yearly tradition, and we’ve already had quite a few of them.
思えば、第一回の流星祈願会から、魔理沙は星に(ちな)んだ魔法を使う様になった気がする。今では魔法の流星と言えば、魔理沙の一番のお得意技だ。さらに、毎年の様に流星群の日付を()きに来ては、一人でも流星を見ているらしい。 When I think about it, I get the feeling that ever since the first shooting star wishing party, Marisa started to use star-related magic. Now when it comes to magic shooting stars, it’s Marisa’s number one specialty. Plus, every year she comes asking for the dates of the meteor showers and I hear she’ll watch them by herself.
魔理沙は天龍に魅入(みい)られたのだろうか。それとも、願い事が叶ったのだろうか。 I wonder if Marisa was enchanted by Tenryuu, and I wonder if her wishes were granted.
同じ動きをする星々に逆らい、大きく強く光ってはすぐに消える。時には隕石となって地上まで届き、甚大(じんだい)な被害をもたらす力強さも持つ。そんな流星に何を見ているのだろうか。 The polar opposite of the static movements of the stars, shining brightly and immediately disappearing. Every now and then they’ll become meteorites that reach the earth, and hold a power capable of dealing incredible damage. I wonder what people see in those kind of shooting stars.
「おー、妖怪の渾天儀か。懐かしいな、まだ持っていたのか」 “Oh, the youkai armillary sphere? That sure brings back memories. You're still holdin' on to it?”
「ああ、久々に取り出して眺めていた……って、何時の間に店に来てたんだい?」 “Yeah, I took it out for the first time in a while and was looking at it. But when did you come in?”
「香霖が夢中になっていて、私が入ってきたのに気付かなかっただけだぜ」 “You were just daydreamin' and didn’t notice me.”
「ちょっと昔を思い出してね……ん!? “I was just reminiscing a bit about the past for... Huh!?”
「どうした?」 “Whatizit?”
僕は渾天儀に書かれた妖怪の星座を読み取っていた。ここには様々な妖怪が書かれていたが、気になる妖怪の名前を見つけた。それは星座の名前ではなかったが、一際(ひときわ)目立って見えた。 I was reading the names of the youkai constellations written on the armillary sphere. There are various youkai written down, but I found one that particularly caught my attention. It wasn’t the name of a constellation, but it stood out the most.
「……いや何でもない」 “……Never mind, it’s nothing.”
「何でも有りそうだな」 “It looked like it was.”
そうだった。千年以上も昔に月に行ったという言い伝えは、実は言い伝えでも何でもなく、()()()()()()から聞いた物だ。つまり、その妖怪はまだ幻想郷にいる。幻想郷にいて、(いま)だに幻想郷を裏から牛耳(ぎゅうじ)っているのである。 And it was. The legend about youkai going to the moon over a thousand years ago isn’t really a legend, I heard it from the mouth of one of the youkai herself. In other words that youkai is still living in Gensokyo. Still in Gensokyo and still controlling things from behind the scenes.
この渾天儀に、その妖怪の名前が書いてあったのだ。しかも、()()()()()()として書かれていたのだ。 On this armillary sphere, that youkai’s name was written. Furthermore, it was written as the creator’s name.
「どれどれ? おおそこの文字なら何となく読めるぜ。『著作 八雲……紫』? げげ、渾天儀って、もしかしてあいつが作った道具だったのか?」 “Let me see, let me see. Oh, I think I should be able to read this. ‘Author, Yakumo... Yukari’? Ugh, really? She made this?”
魔理沙は露骨に嫌な顔をしていたが、僕は妙に納得していた。何故(なぜ)なら、この文字が書かれていた所は星座の名前が書かれていた所である。それに、『制作』ではなく『著作』である。 Marisa was clearly annoyed, and strangely I agreed with her. The reason is that the place where those characters were written was in a place where a constellation name should be. Furthermore, it wasn’t “maker” but “author”.
「なぁんだ。この道具ってあの厄介(やっかい)な妖怪が作った物じゃん。何だか面白くないな」 “So that’s it. This was made by that annoyin' youkai. Lame.”
「それだけ彼女は頭が良く、知識も豊富なんだよ。魔理沙も真摯(しんし)な気持ちで、彼女から学んでみても良いかもね」 “At any rate she’s smart and has a wealth of knowledge. If you were honest about it you probably would do well to learn from her.”
「やなこったい。それにこの道具を作った程度なら、大して頭が良いとは言えないじゃん」 “I don’t wanna. Anyway, just because she made this doesn't really mean she's smart.”
「君は謙虚さと推察力が足りないな」 “You don't have nearly enough humility nor the ability to conjecture.”
八雲紫はこの渾天儀を作った妖怪、という意味ではない。恐らく渾天儀に書かれた妖怪の星座の著者、つまり、星座を作った者と言う意味だと思う。 This doesn’t mean that Yukari Yakumo is the youkai that made this armillary sphere. Most likely, she's the one who came with the names of the constellations written on the armillary sphere. In other words, I think she’s the one that made the constellations.
そんな人物が(いま)だに活動している幻想郷。今まで(はる)かに長い寿命を持つ妖怪の力を軽んじてみていたが、そう考えると薄ら寒い気持ちになった。 Gensokyo, a place where these sorts of characters are still active. Until now I’ve underestimated the power youkai have to live very long lives, but thinking about how that relates to the sphere, I feel a slight chill.


  1. A Japanese customary expression "It's the time of Ox of Twelve Branches, Plants also Sleeping" (草木も眠る丑三つ時 kusa-ki mo nemuru ushi-mitsu-doki). Ushimitsudoki is from two A.M. to two thirty A.M., everything and everyone seem to stop action, to make us feel that something moving, staying up late in such a midnight is a criminal or a ghost. In the original text, ZUN makes a mistake as quite many people might also do; 泣く子も黙る (Crying Children also Shutting Up naku ko mo damaru) is a customary phrase of very scary/dreadful person.
  2. Armillary sphere, also called a spherical astrolabe, a celestial globe.
  3. The names of the constellations are all based on names of youkai. “yuki-nyuudou” is a youkai from Okayama prefecture with one eye and a large foot. “kaenba” literally means flaming old woman, and "bashou-no-sei" the spirit of the bashou plant, which is of the banana family.
  4. Again all of these are youkai, Te-no-me means "hands with eyes", a tsurube-otoshi is a falling well bucket spirit, and a tengu is a youkai often depicted with a red face and long nose.
  5. Ibuki-douji literally means "Ibuki child" and is based on songs from Ooeyama, and refers to an oni-child. Suika is based on the Ibuki-douji, and wears a belt. Her holding chains have three weights of geometrical objects: yellow sphere, red tetrahedron, and blue hexahedron. These three symbols are related to Gibon Sengai's Picture "Circle, Triangle, Square" (or Three Dimensions of Somatic Attunement). This picture is so esoteric that there are several interpretations on it, and one of them is what Rinnosuke speaks in the main text.
  6. There is a hypothesis that the original source of tengu is the ancient Taoist idea of shooting star; they saw shooting stars were dogs running in the sky, as you find the spelling of tengu in kanji "天狗" (lit. celestial dog).
  7. Also known as Fudouson or Acala, an important figure in Japanese Buddhism and Shugendo.
  8. or "Mahavairocana", an important figure in Japanese Buddhism.


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