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Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 15

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Return to Curiosities of Lotus Asia.


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、香霖堂の饒舌の目立てが抜けていく。 Rinnosuke Morichika can see the names of things. Maybe it was for the sake of this unconventional ability that he built an antique store, the Kourindou? 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…? The Touhou serialization at its best, the outstanding loquacity of Kourindou 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まわり、今の世の様に秩序の取ら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。謂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、その強い力故、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ことができるのである。 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 from those ancient times gave a name for each thing there was in it. And so the orderly world we see today was born. When naming a thing, a new border is created that gives this one thing its own recognition. You could say that the power of naming is the power to bring forth something from nothingness, surely the same power of a god’s. And, given the strength of this power, the things themselves remember those 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。店内はそれほどでもないが、それなら少し風でも楽しもと、僕は窓に風鈴を釣り上げた。 I left the window open, so as to take into the store the summer breeze. Outside there was a summer shine too strong for people to go walking. It wasn’t so bad inside the shop, but just so as to enjoy a little more the breeze, I hanged a wind chime at the window.
  
―――カランかラン Knock, knock.
「居るよな」 “You’re there, 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 are you so happy? Not that this is rare 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暑そうだ。 “I don’t know if it’s rare or not.”, she was saying as she took off her hat and sat atop a pile of merchandise. 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 kind of worried if that big black hat and heavy clothing of Marisa’s wasn’t too hot for her. But the big hat should block most of the sun rays, so maybe 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 head could cook! Oh, and I picked up this thing. Could it it be a stone from the outside world?”
「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... Yes, definitely an outside world stone.”
「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。 “Makes sense, makes sense. A weird stone like this couldn’t possibly be from Gensokyo. So, is there something interesting about it?” Marisa seemed very happy.
「これは半導体と言って、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? What is it lacking?”
「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幾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ことを命令できるらしい」 “That much I don’t know, only that it is a part from a bigger tool. Stones like this are originally 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、取りあえずお守りにでも使わせて貰うよ」そういうと魔理沙は半導体を帽子のリボンに付けた。 “I see... so it really is of no use alone. Well, anyway, I’ll just use it as an amulet.” Saying 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できると言われている。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でき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 what really was the stone she had brought, Marisa looked satisfied enough 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 concrete way of using it, maybe a thing 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 as well be good 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 little dumb black stone with legs sprouting from it. In Marisa’s world, something that doesn’t have a name cannot be distinguished from others. 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、ただその名前を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ことぐらい朝飯前である。 I didn’t make up that name, however. It had already been named. The difference between me and Marisa is just one of being able or not to see this name. Perceiving an objects feelings and perceiving its memories are things that come together. 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 there?”
「おう居るぜ」 “Yup, I 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 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いった。 “I have something I want you to take a look at.” She was saying as she went inside the store on her own.
「何だい?お茶ならこっちに出してあるよ」 “What is it? If it’s tea you want, 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 too damn shrewd.
「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訊いている。 “So, what was the thing you wanted to show?” for some reason, Marisa was asking it instead of me.
「そうそう、この石を見て貰いたいんだけど……」 “Yes, 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きたのだろうか。別に石なんて大喜びで拾ってくるような物では無いと思うが。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. To make a tool out of a stone, it would have to be something like a paper weight 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 really 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, but 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ほどもあるのは、かなり大きすぎる。 The stone she handed me had the shape of part of an animal’s backbone. So basically, 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, quite big indeed.
「これってな何かの骨でしょう?所謂化石よねぇ。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? The kind they call fossil, right? I came because I though you would know what kind of fossil it is, Rinnosuke.”
  
ふむ。この石は確かに『化石』に見える。 Hum. This stone indeed looks like a “fossil”.
「骨の化石か。もしこんな大きさ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。これはなんて言う動物の骨なんだ?」 “A fossil bone, huh? But if there was an animal big enough for this bone, it would’ve been pretty damn big, right? Like, bigger than the Kourindou. But there were some animals big as this long ago. From what animal was this bone?”
魔理沙も死んだ動物の骨の化石だっと思っているようだが……本来化石という物が地面に理まっているはずはない。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、この骨がなんの骨なのか、化石と呼ばれる骨には現代では考えられないほど極端に大きい物があるのは何故か、を教えてやらねばなるまい。 So Marisa also thought this fossil was from a dead animal… but originally fossils were not things buried in the ground. 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 the belong to animals impossibly big for today’s standard.
「ああ霊夢、魔理沙。君達は大きいな勘違いをしている様だね。」 “Ahh, Reimu, Marisa. It seems like you both have a great misconception.”
  
―――夏の日差し強ければ強いほど店の中は暗くなる。店には所狭しと品が置いてあるが風通しは悪くない。幻想郷が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 how strong is the summer sun, the store’s interior is dark. And even though the store is cramped full of merchandise, the ventilation isn’t bad. Gensokyo is a mountainous region, so the wind basically never stops. That way, even in summer, it feels comfortable inside the shop.
夏の風が窓に釣り上げた風鈴を鳴らす。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たてていたら、すぐに傷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入荷するので気にしていなっかた。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 wind blowing through the window made the chime resound. Bu it was also making some of Kourindou’s mysterious merchandise rattle, so the wind chime’s sound was half-drowned. I thought that if they keep getting hit by the wind like this, some of the items might soon end up broken. 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 misconception? Anyone would think this is a bone no matter how they looked.”
「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ような……」 “It does seem 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の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 this case, if I ask 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も知ることの出来無い物なんだ」 “That would indeed be the case, but... it is actually impossible. This animal was from before the time the gods gave names to everything, it’s 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(タケミカジチノミコト)や八幡様の様に、今現在馴染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。建御雷命は元々甕霊(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物であるという証拠だ。元々の神はもっと姿形も曖昧で、名も無き者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 god names 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, 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ことはない。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ことになってしまうからである。 Conversely, the gods who still retain their original form can only lodge in things from before the naming. Because if a god were lodged in something with a name, then it could only express 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 be 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わるいじゃないの。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 could be an animal this big.”
「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 misconception.”
「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。高さはこの店を遥かに超える、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。まず十分な食料集めるのにどの位量が必要か、それに体を支えるだけで精一杯で速く動くことも出来ないだろう。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 by far surpass this shop, 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 there is no way it could move his body around quickly. And how would it be able to take care of its children 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でも一杯見つかってるし……これとかあれって何なの?」 “Eh? But here is its bone, isn’t it? And were I found this fossil – or fossil-like thing – it was full of them… What are all those then?”
  
珍しく魔理沙は興味な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 to take an interest and was reading a book. I guess she didn’t care about things like ancient animals. Except that this isn’t a story about an ancient animal. It’s about how things come to be like they are today.
「この骨の持ち主は元々普通の大きさだった。今僕達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、肉は土に還り、残された骨は次第大きく成り続けた。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。」 “This bone’s proprietor was originally normal-sized. And this bone used to be just large enough as those we know nowadays. But after it died and its flesh went back to earth, its bones continued to grow. Proof of that is only recently that those huge fossils started to attract attention and made fuss of. Some time ago, they were still too small, and nobody would find or make fuss about 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 went on growing by itself? There’s no way this could happen.”
「勿論、普通はそんな事は起こらない。では何故この骨が大きくなったのか……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 this 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 the names were made, 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 warmed down, but of course I let that happen on purpose. Only people like Reimu can drink hot tea with a straight face in such a summer day.
「名前が無いことで、この動物は認識レベルでは他の物と特別が付かず、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、遥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 didn’t have any particular individuality; it just blended 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 lodge in. And so that in the distant future it could gain flesh and reign above the ground, this god-bearing bones are enlarging to a size fit for itself.”
「ちょっとちょっと待てよ。話が飛躍しすぎてよく分からないわ」 “Wait, wait… wait a moment! Your talk is going all over and I’m not following.”
「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 easy. 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、もっとな確かな証拠がある。それは、僕の能力で視ても名前が判らない、と言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 know its name just by looking. 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と言うのかしら?」 “Well… I can’t really judge about that myself. And then, what kind of god this bone will become?”
「そんなのすぐに想像できるじゃないか。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 just imagine at once? 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。そういうこと……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 day was starting to end; the sky was slightly tinged in red. The midday heat had pretty much subsided, only the sound of the wind chime was left there to remind of the day’s heat. The two of them seemed satisfied enough and went back.
さすがに僕でも、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ものだ。 Of course, not even I can see the names of things that come from before the age when the gods gave names to things. But when the humans find a bone from this age, they just go and give those names 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、想像力が足りなすぎて少し哀れでもある。 When a piece of a god turns into a fossil, it then stops to grow. And when a human sees this bone stopped halfway in its huge transformation and says something like “Long ago, there were animals this big.” you can only feel a little pity for their lack of imagination.
  
―――カランカラッ Knock, knock.
「ああ、もう一つ聞き忘れたことがあったわ」 “Ah, there was one more thing I forgot to ask.”
風鈴を仕舞い窓を閉めていると、また霊夢が戻ってきた。 Reimu came back, just as I was taking off the wind chime and closing the window.
「なんだい?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『龍の一部』で有ることは判ったわ。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 were I found it, I also found a lot of old shellfish fossils. And those are sea animals, right? Do you know why they were there? Could it be that Gensokyo was underwater long ago? Even though it’s so deep into the mountains…”
想像力に乏し過ぎる人間は、端から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 a scarce imagination are indeed pitiful. 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で思うんだい?」 “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?うみ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, then? 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、貝なんて原形をとどめていないだろう。どっちにしたって、石になるまでじっとしているなんてことあり得ないだろう?」 “Not at all. If the change to land is slow, all the sea creatures would have fled to the open sea. On the other hand, if there was an accident big 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 keep still 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... but 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。この貝はその目立て」 “Because dragons, you see, have to be born in the sea. And for them to be reborn, the place of their bones must be like the sea. So the shellfish are there for this image.”
「そんな話聞いたこと無いわ?龍が海でないと復活が出来ないなんて」 "I’ve never heard of such story. About dragons not being able to revive away from the sea, that is.”
神の話は、僕より巫女である霊夢の方が詳しくあって欲しいと思ったが、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 really wished 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 again.
「龍は海の中で復活し雷雨の中、空へ昇り、そして天を翔る。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 in the 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、竜宮が海の中にあるように水と深い繋がりがあ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 Heaven River (Milky Way) as “ama no gawa”. Dragons call up thunderstorms while soaring through the heavens, and the Dragon Palace is said to be at 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ためにそのまま続けた。 I saw that Reimu was still a little doubtful, but I wanted to improve her imagination 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、天に掛ける『虹』だ。あの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. The ones that appear after a storm 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, of course. I guess I understand now.”
「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。その幻の海の目立てが、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, 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 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いた。 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ことだが、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。 Of the story about the dragon’s stone that I taught Reimu and Marisa today, nothing of it was made up by me. Only I know about that, but the truth is that fossils stones are also called a dragon’s in the outside world. Dire Dragon, Winged Dragon, Sea Dragon… they have lots of names for referring to them. I believe that story I told just now is considered common knowledge outside of Gensokyo.
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、骨は化石になることを拒み成長を続けるのだ。 By the way, in Gensokyo, when a dragon (the animal) 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 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ことはしない。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、己の驕りでしかないと考えている。 There is no way I would give a name to something from before the age of naming. As for the things that even my ability can’t see the names of, I don’t delve too deep in my 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 egotistic haughtiness.



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