伊耶那美の逝去【The Passing of Izanami】

In their efforts to build their empire, Izanami and Izanagi had many offspring. The last child to be born was the God of Fire, and as you may well imagine, this caused a great deal of pain and damage to poor Izanami, who died. In the process of dying, many more gods were born, but finally, she passed away.

自分たちの王国を築いていく中で二人はたくさんの子宝に恵まれ、最後に火の神を授かりました。ご想像のとおり、このことは伊耶那美に多くの苦痛と傷をもたらし、哀れな伊那耶美は亡くなってしまいます。死にいくさなかにも伊耶那美はさらに多くの子供を産み落としますが、最後には力尽きてしまいます。

Her husband, Izanagi, was extremely saddened by her demise, and crawled around her body crying loudly. Other gods were created from his tears. Then he roused himself, and took revenge on his last child, the Fire God. He cut the god into three parts with his ten-span (One span is the breadth of four fingers in a clenched fist) sword, and many other gods were created from the dead god’s blood. (This Fire God is supposed to have been Mt. Daisen of the Sanin Area. Mt. Daisen was active 20,000 years ago. The story is very old , but there may be a relationship.)

伊耶那美を亡くした伊耶那岐は大きな悲しみに暮れ妻の亡骸の回りを号泣しながら這うようにして回りました。伊耶那岐の涙からは神々が生まれ出ました。伊耶那岐は自分自身を奮い立たせ自らの最後の子・火の神の体を、拳を十並べたのと同じ長さの剣で三つに裂き復讐を果たします。火の神の血からも神々が誕生しました(この火の神は山陰地方にある2万年前までは活火山だった大山ではないかといわれています。この物語はたいへん古いものですが、何か関連があるのかもしれません)

Izanagi buried Izanami at the border of the Izumo and Hoki countries, in the Land of Shadows. It is now called, Higashi Izumo. Soon, however, Izanagi became very lonely, and also felt that his work was not done, so he went to Hades to try to get his wife to come back to him. Upon his arrival there, he called his wife and she answered him.

伊耶那岐は、伊耶那美の亡骸を出雲の国と伯耆の国の境にある黄泉の国に埋葬します。この地は現在の東出雲です。 しかし、間もなくとても孤独になり、また自らの仕事をまだ終えていないとも感じた伊耶那岐は、伊耶那美を連れ戻すべく黄泉の国へと向かいます。たどり着くや否や伊耶那岐は妻の名を呼びます。すると、伊耶那美から応えが帰ってくるではありませんか。

He said to her, “My dear wife, we have a lot of work to do to finish the great land we have begun. It is not proper that I should do it alone. Won’t you come back with me so we can complete our job?” His wife answered him, “My dear husband. I sincerely want to come with you, but I have eaten of the food of this land, and therefore am not able to leave it. However, since you are so eager for me to come back, I will see if the gods of this place will release me. Please wait for a while and I will discuss it with them. In the meantime, do not look upon me!”

伊耶那岐は伊耶那美に言いました。「おおわが愛しい妻よ、わしたちが始めた国造りが完成するまでにはまだやらねばならぬことが山ほどある、しかしそれはわしとそなたの二人でやらねばならぬことなのじゃ。わしと一緒に戻って国作りを成し遂げてはくれぬか?」。これに対し伊耶那美は次のように応えます。「おおわが愛しい夫よ、私とて戻りとうて仕方ないのです。しかし、私は黄泉の国の食べ物を口にしてしまい、ここを離れるわけにはまいりません。ですが、どうしてもとおっしゃるのなら、黄泉の国の神々が私をここから出してくれるかどうか見てみましょう。しばらくの間待っていてはくださらぬか。神々と合議いたしとうございます。その間は私を見てはなりませぬぞ」

This type of situation is repeated in many legends of other countries. In this case, however, we can see a bright spirit and hopeful heart. This is the character of the people who made the legends, and is still the character of the people who live in Japan today.

こうした場面は、外国の伝説の中にも数多く見受けられます。しかし、この物語からは、躍動的な精神と希望に満ちた心を見て取ることができます。そして、これこそこうした伝説を生み出した人々、そして、今日この国に生きる人々が有する資質なのです。

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