弁慶【Benkei】

Musashibo Benkei, the faithful follower of Yoshitsune, the younger brother of Yoritomo, was also famous in the Sanin Area. One of his feats involved a huge bell called the Juei Bell, which had been taken from Gaknenji by the monks of the Dainichi Temple in Tottori, and which they refused to return.

頼朝の弟、義経の忠実な家来として知られる武蔵坊弁慶は、山陰地方でも例外ではありません。彼の手柄の一つに、鳥取の大日寺の僧によって鰐淵寺から持ち去られた巨大な寿永の鐘の返還を巡る逸話があります。

This bell had a date stamp of May 19, 1182. It was very troublesome to be without the bell that rightfully belonged to them, so Benkei, a monk trainee, was asked to go and get it.

この鐘には一一八二年五月十九日の刻印があります。 鰐淵寺に取り、本来自分達に帰属するはずの鐘を欠いた状態が続くことは望ましいことではありませんでした。そこで、修行僧であった弁慶が鐘を取り戻す任を命じられたのです。

Even at the age of 18, he was famous for his great strength. He went and got the bell, then carried it back to the temple that owned it. In Hirata, this event is celebrated by a festival every year, on the 5th of May. During this festival, a man in the costume of Benkei carries a model of the Juei Bell through the woods, and to the temple.

弁慶は当時弱冠十八歳でしたが、怪力の持ち主としてその名は広く知れ渡っていました。彼は大日寺に出向き鐘を取り戻し、鰐淵寺へ担いで持ち帰ったのです。 平田では、毎年五月五日、この出来事を偲んで祭りが開かれます。弁慶の衣装をまとった男性が、森の中を通って寿永の鐘を復元したものを寺まで運ぶのです。

Monks in those days were not peaceful, but warlike, and Benkei became one of the most valiant, brave, and loyal of these monks. One day, after he had become a full-fledged monk, Benkei was walking on the bridge, and found a young man in his way. This was Yoritomo’s younger brother, Yoshitsune. Benkei told the young man to move, but he just smiled, and refused to budge.

当時の僧侶は天下泰平を祈願するよりも、むしろ好戦的で、弁慶はその中でも最も勇壮で忠実な僧の一人へと成長しました。 一人前の僧侶となった弁慶がある時、橋の上を歩いていると、行く手を一人の若い男が塞いでいます。実はこの男こそ頼朝の弟、義経だったのです。弁慶は男に道を開けるよう言いましたが、男はただ笑みを浮かるばかりで全く動こうとしません。

So Benkei tried to fight him. This was not possible, since the young man was very agile and brave. In fact, he treated the whole fight as a kind of joke. Benkei told the young man that he surrendered, and because he respected him, he would be his loyal man forever. Benkei kept his word, and when Yoshitsune was finally forced to commit suicide, Benkei protected him until he had done his deed. Benkei was found dead, too. He had been shot with many arrows, but even though dead, he still stood firm. He was a real man!

弁慶は若者を力ずくで退かせようと試みます。しかし、若者はとても俊敏で勇猛で、弁慶は全く歯が立ちません。男は終始まるで何かと戯れているかの様でした。若者に降参した弁慶は、一生男を敬い忠実な家来として仕えることを申し出ます。 弁慶はこの約束を守り、義経が切腹を命じられた時、武勲を全うすべく彼を守り抜きました。弁慶は無数の矢を体中に浴び、仁王立ちのまま死んでいました。彼は真の男だったのです!。

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