A Japanese Thoreau of the Twelfth Century (9)


英訳方丈記

  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
  • Chapter 13
  • Chapter 14
  • Chapter 15
  • Chapter 16

  • CHAPTER 9

     

    In the great temple of Ninwa [Benevolence and Peace] was a chief priest of the Jison [Compassion and Respect] temple named Okurakyo Ryugyo, who, moved by commiseration for the countless numbers who died, made arrangements, with the help of other saintly men, to write on the foreheads of the dead the holy character a [Sanskrit ] as a seal to Buddha. He kept count of the bodies marked during the fourth and fifth months, and found in the portion of the capital bound by Ichijo on the north and Kujo on the south, Kyogoku on the east and Sujaku on the west, altogether about 42,300 corpses. To these must be added many others in different quarters of the city and in the suburbs to give a correct idea of the vast numbers of deaths that took place at this time. Lastly, must be counted in the numbers of those who perished in the provinces. Not very long before, under the Mikado Sutoku, in the period Chosho [A.D. 1132-4], a like catastrophe occurred, but the details are unknown to me — what I saw with my own eyes was strange and terrible enough.

    Again, in 2 Genryaku [A.D. 1185] a great earthquake occurred. It was not an ordinary one. Hills were shattered and dammed up the rivers, the sea toppled over and flooded the shore-lands, the earth gaped and water roared up through the rents, cliffs were cleft and the fragments rolled. down into the valleys, boats sculled along the beach were tossed upon the bore, horses on the roads lost the ground beneath their hoofs; all round the capital, it is hardly necessary to add, in various places not a single building was left entire; house or temple, tower or chapel, some were rent and cracked, others were thrown down; the dust rose into the air like volumes of smoke. The roar of the quaking earth mingled with the crash of falling buildings was like thunder. To remain within doors was to run the risk of being crushed; to rush out of doors was to be swallowed up in some gaping fissure, unless you had wings to ily up into the air, or could ride on the clouds like a dragon. In the midst of all these horrors one felt that of all dreadful things an earthquake is the most dreadful. Amid all this ruin I will mention a piteous case. The son of a samurai, six or seven years of age only, had built himself a little play-hut under a shed against a wall, in which he was amusing himself, when suddenly the wall collapsed and buried him flat and shapeless under its ruins, his eyes protruding an inch from their orbits. It was sad beyond words to see his parents embracing his dead body and hear their unrestrained cries of distress. Piteous indeed it was to see even a samurai, stricken down with grief for his son thus miserably perished, forgetting his dignity in the extremity of his grief.

    Such violent shocks did not last long, but the aftershocks continued and twenty or thirty times a day were repeated with a force that under ordinary circumstances would have been felt as most alarming. This went on for some weeks, the shocks diminishing in frequency from four or five to two or three in a day, or even one only, with intervals of quiet days, but for three months the disturbance continued. The other three of the four great calamities, flood, iire, and storm, leave the great earth almost unchanged —not so earthquakes.

    Long ago in the period Seiko [A.D. 854-6] it is said there was a great earthquake which did vast damage, and amongst other calamities threw down the august head of the great Buddha of the temple of Todai. But that earthquake was far from being as disastrous as the one described, and people accordingly for some time talked of nothing but the misery of this world and the foulness and frivolity of the human heart. Days and months, however, summed up and years passed, and after a time no one so much as spoke a word about the great earthquake of Genryaku.

     

    仁和寺に、慈尊院の大藏卿隆曉法印といふ人、かくしつゝ、かずしらず死ぬることをかなしみて、ひじりをあまたかたらひつゝ、その死首の見ゆるごとに、額に阿字を書きて、縁をむすばしむるわざをなむせられける。その人數を知らむとて、四五兩月がほどかぞへたりければ、京の中、一條より南、九條より北、京極より西、朱雀より東、道のほとりにある頭、すべて四萬二千三百あまりなむありける。いはむやその前後に死ぬるもの多く、河原、白河、にしの京、もろもろの邊地などをくはへていはゞ際限もあるべからず。いかにいはむや、諸國七道をや。近くは崇徳院の御位のとき、長承のころかとよ、かゝるためしはありけると聞けど、その世のありさまは知らず。まのあたりいとめづらかに、かなしかりしことなり。

    また元暦二年のころ、おほなゐふること侍りき。そのさまよのつねならず。山くづれて川を埋み、海かたぶきて陸をひたせり。土さけて水わきあがり、いはほわれて谷にまろび入り、なぎさこぐふねは浪にたゞよひ、道ゆく駒は足のたちどをまどはせり。いはむや都のほとりには、在々所々堂舍廟塔、一つとして全からず。或はくづれ、或はたふれた(ぬイ)る間、塵灰立ちあがりて盛なる煙のごとし。地のふるひ家のやぶるゝ音、いかづちにことならず。家の中に居れば忽にうちひしげなむとす。はしり出づればまた地われさく。羽なければ空へもあがるべからず。龍ならねば雲にのぼらむこと難し。おそれの中におそるべかりけるは、たゞ地震なりけるとぞ覺え侍りし。その中に、あるものゝふのひとり子の、六つ七つばかりに侍りしが、ついぢのおほひの下に小家をつくり、はかなげなるあとなしごとをして遊び侍りしが、俄にくづれうめられて、あとかたなくひらにうちひさがれて、二つの目など一寸ばかりうち出されたるを、父母かゝへて、聲もをしまずかなしみあひて侍りしこそあはれにかなしく見はべりしか。子のかなしみにはたけきものも耻を忘れけりと覺えて、いとほしくことわりかなとぞ見はべりし。

    かくおびたゞしくふることはしばしにて止みにしかども、そのなごりしばしば絶えず。よのつねにおどろくほどの地震、二三十度ふらぬ日はなし。十日廿日過ぎにしかば、やうやうまどほになりて、或は四五度、二三度、もしは一日まぜ、二三日に一度など、大かたそのなごり、三月ばかりや侍りけむ。四大種の中に、水火風はつねに害をなせど、大地に至りては殊なる變をなさず。

    むかし齊衡のころかとよ。おほなゐふりて、東大寺の佛のみぐし落ちなどして、いみじきことゞも侍りけれど、猶このたびにはしかずとぞ。すなはち人皆あぢきなきことを述べて、いさゝか心のにごりもうすらぐと見えしほどに、月日かさなり年越えしかば、後は言の葉にかけて、いひ出づる人だになし。

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    「A Japanese Thoreau of the Twelfth Century」は『南方熊楠全集 第10巻 』に所収。
    『方丈記』原文は青空文庫より。




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