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Perfect Memento in Strict Sense/Yama

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< Komachi Onozuka   Encyclopedia: Shinigami 

 Encyclopedia: Yama   Eiki Shiki, Yamaxanadu >

地獄の王 Rulers of Hell
閻魔 Yama
主な危険度:  極高 Usual threat level: Very high
遭遇頻度:   低 Frequency of encounters: Low
多様性:    低 Variety: Low
主な遭遇場所: 彼岸 Places likely to be encountered: Higan
主な遭遇時間: 不明 Times likely to be encountered: Unknown
特徴 Characteristics
閻魔は何れも幻想郷に住む妖怪ではないが、稀に幻想郷にも現れるのでここで紹介する。 Even though the yama are not youkai who reside in Gensokyo, they do appear in Gensokyo on rare occasions, so they will be given an introduction here.
その昔、今の様に人間が多くなかった頃は転生は確実に行われており、七(追加で三)回(*1)に渡る十王(*2)審判で一回でも合格すれば転生と非常に甘い物だった。 In times past, when there were comparatively fewer humans, the cycle of spiritual transmigration operated with great reliability. The policy of crossing over seven times (plus 3 additional times)(*1) was carried out by the Ten Kings (*2). By passing even one judgment successfully, you could enjoy a sweet next life.
だが、徐々に人間の数も増え、裁判官の人手が足りなくなると、十王全てが当時最も力のあった閻魔王を名乗り、審判を一回だけに減らす事で。深刻だった人手不足を解消した。 However, as the number of humans increased little by little, the number of judges proved unable to keep up. Then, the Ten Kings called upon the most powerful of yama to reduce the number of pending trials as much as possible. And thus the shortage in personnel was resolved.
また、全国のお地蔵さんから閻魔様の仕事をしたい者を集い、お地蔵さんがあった場所の死者の審判を任せた。 Additionally, jizo[1] from all over the country interested in serving as yama were gathered and entrusted with judgment of the deceased at each jizo's location of origin.
殆どの閻魔様は、古いお地蔵さんである。 Nearly all of the yama are former jizo.
今では、閻魔の人数が非常に多くなった為、死神、地獄の鬼と共に地獄の公的組織「是非曲直庁」を作り統制を取っている。 In present times, to address the issue of humans outnumbering judges, they formed "The Ministry of Right and Wrong" along with the shinigami and oni in Hell to take up the business of operations and oversight.
是非曲直庁 The Ministry of Right and Wrong
この組織のトップが、十人の閻魔王である(*3)。 At the top of this organization, there preside 10 yama. (*3)
その下には裁判官と鬼神長が居て、各裁判官には数人の死神が付き、鬼神長は数名の鬼が付く。 Below them are lesser judges and kishin chiefs. Each and every judge also commands several shinigami, while each of the kishin chiefs similarly commands a number of lesser oni.
このうち、裁判官までが閻魔と呼ばれるのである。 Within the organization, all those up to and including the lesser judges carry the "Yama"-title.
まず、死神によって彼岸に連れてこられた幽霊は、自分の住んでいた場所を担当している裁判官の所まで連れて行かれる。 First, for the spirits who have been brought by shinigami via Higan, they will be taken to the court of the lesser judge who has jurisdiction over where the spirit formerly lived.
審判は裁判官一人で行われ、死者の意見を聞く事無く(*4)独自の判断で判決を下し、冥界か天界か地獄に振り分けられる。 Each trial is presided by a single judge, who will pass judgement without heeding the testimony of the deceased (*4), and thus divide the souls towards Heaven, Hell or the Netherworld as the outcome dictates.
鬼神長は、地獄に堕ちた幽霊を虐める鬼の長である。 The kishin chiefs will take charge as the souls fall down to Hell and will command the lesser oni in their torment of the deceased.
様々な拷問設備が作られているが、現在、財政難により整備は不十分である。 A wide array of torture devices could be used, but current economic conditions mean that many of these contraptions are in serious need of maintenance and repair.
組織の主な収入源は、三途の河の渡し賃、及び中有の道の屋台である。 The organization's primary sources of income are fares from those crossing the Sanzu River, as well as concession stands and food carts operating on the Road of Liminality.
閻魔の審判 A Yama's Trial
生前の悪行が読み上げられ、内容や量によって判決が言い渡される。 Misdeeds committed while still living will be read loudly and clearly, the details and the severity will be considered, and the verdict will then be announced.
一度判決が下されると、覆される事は無い。 Once the verdict has been passed down, there is no chance of revoking or appealing the decision.
判決は、その後の幽霊の行き先が決まるだけであって、よく言われる「嘘を吐くと閻魔様に舌を抜かれる」というのはデマであるが、閻魔様側もそのデマを脅しのネタに使う事が多い。 This judgement will determine the final destination of the spirit. "If you lie, the Yama will have your tongue pulled out." This may just be a common adage, but the Yama does say this as well to threaten liars.
死者の数が多過ぎる為、審判は流れ作業で行い、非常に簡潔に終わる。 To address the issue of an excess of deceased subjects, the judging proceeds in an assembly-line fashion, executed with extraordinary speed.
二交代制で絶え間なく審判が行われ、休みの時間はのんびり彼岸ライフを楽しむのである。 Two alternating shifts unceasingly pass down judgements, but in their free time, they enjoy a leisurely life in Higan.
*1 元々は七回だったが、七回全てで問題有りと判断されても、三回の追加審判があった。 1: The number was originally seven times, but all of these "seven times" cases had problems, and so three additional judgements were implemented.
*2 秦広王・初江王・栄帝王・五官王・閻魔王・変成王・泰山王・等王・都市王・五道転輪王の十王。 2: King Shinkou the Immovable, King Shoukou the Enlightened One, King Soutei the Wisest, King Gokan of Virtuous Conduct, King Enma the Merciful Savior, King Henjyou of the Future, King Taizan of Medicine and Healing, King Byoudou of Mercy and Compassion, King Toshi of Strength and Wisdom, and King Gotoutenrin of Limitless Light and Life make up the Ten Kings.
*3 トップが沢山いる時点で、組織としてどうなのか。 3: When the number of those holding the top position start to become too numerous, what will the Ministry do then?
*4 死人に口なし。 4: Dead men tell no tales. [2]


  1. The bodhisvattas for children, travellers, and the underworld.
  2. Translators' Note: Possibly meaning that the deceased can say nothing that the judges don't already know of.

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