Posts Tagged ‘ ZUN ’

旧約酒場 ~ Dateless Bar “Old Adam” // Kyuuyaku Sakaba // Old Testament Bar

I needed to complete this a year ago, but better late than never, right?

Enjoy.

Notes:
燕石 “Enseki” (literally “Sparrow Stones) is a really rare word, but is a perfect fit for this CD. The word refers to the false jewels that can be found at 燕山 “Mt. Sparrow”. They look like precious stones but they are worthless, sort of like fool’s gold. So the word refers both to the fakes, and also the act of treasuring something as if it were rare, when it is really commonplace and worthless. In addition to this there was a series of rare books/journals written in the Edo period named 燕石十種 or “Ten Types of Enseki”, filled with strange tales and curiosities and customs. There were six series with ten parts each. I would say there’s a direct connection.

博物誌 “Hakubutsushi” is literally translated as “Document(/Magazine) of Broad Knowledge” (what it means is clearer if you understand that 博物館 Hakubutsukan is “museum”, and not limited to a museum that deals with history) but it is also the Japanese translated title of Pliny the Elder’s “Naturalis Historiæ” (Natural History), which was the first sort of encyclopedia ever compiled. A good modern corollary is a scientific journal, and I have translated it as such, but this is why the subtitle is called “Our Supernatural History”. Incidentally this “Natural History” included descriptions of things that were pretty much Western Youkai.

Maribel Hearn (マエリベリー・ハーン) is an approximation, where Merry’s first name has been posited as being closer in pronunciation to “my reverie” or a corruption of “mulberry”. Either way, it’s a play on words off of Yukari Yakumo. (紫八雲)

Chuunibyou (中二病) translates literally to “8th Grade Sickness”, and refers to delusions a kid of that age has about themselves and the world around them, and about how special they are. It is described better by ZUN in the afterward.

旧約酒場 ~ Dateless Bar “Old Adam”
 Kyuuyaku Sakaba
 Old Testament Bar

――幻視する者達が集う場所があるという。
そこは、旧型酒特有の眠くなるような甘い匂いのする酒場だった。
上海アリス幻樂団が奏でる、奇妙で癖の強い音楽集第九弾

-They say there is a place where those who can see the other side gather.
A bar from which wafts that sleep inducing, particular smell of old-style liquor.
The Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra brings you its ninth album, full of music with strong and peculiar tones.

01.
バー・オールドアダム
“Bar “Old Adam””

 「――いらっしゃいませ」

“-Welcome,”

 バーの愛想の無いマスターがこちらも見ずに言う。

said the bartender, without any feeling and without looking towards the door.

 「貴方がDr.レイテンシーですね。
  お待ちしておりました」

“You must be Dr. Latency. We’ve been waiting for you.”

 そう聞かれた髭を蓄えた初老の男性が、無言で手を上げる。
 否定とも肯定とも取れる仕草だが、こういう曖昧な態度を取る人間は肯定だと思われたいだけの人間である

A man with a beard in his forties or fifties raised his hand in response, without saying a word.
It was a response that could be taken either as an affirmation or negation, but the only kind of people who make those kind of vague gestures are ones who want others to take it as an affirmation.

 男はカウンターに座ると聞いた事も無い名前のお酒を頼んだ。

The man sat at the bar and ordered a drink I had never heard of.

 「あれ、誰?」
 「さあねぇ、いわゆる匿名希望って奴でしょう」
 と宇佐見蓮子は答えた。

“Huh, who is that?”
“Who knows? Bet he’s one of those people that wants to stay anonymous,” Usami Renko answered.

 マエリベリー・ハーン(メリー)の疑問は当然だ。
 Dr.レイテンシーとはメリーのペンネームなのだから。

Maribel Hearn (Merry)’s confusion was certainly justified.
After all, “Dr. Latency” is Merry’s pen name.

02.
燕石博物誌が連れてきた闇
“Dark Side of Japan”
 Enseki Hakubutsushi ga Tsuretekita Yami
 The Darkness Brought on by “Dr. Latency’s Freak Report”

 「こんな不気味なお店に連れてきてまで、
  蓮子は見せたかったのはあのお爺さん?」
 「それは偶然ね。
  でも、秘封倶楽部の課外活動としては最高だわ」

“Renko, did you really bring me all the way to this creepy place just to show me that old man? You said you wanted to show me something, right?”

“Oh, his coming is just a coincidence. But really, this place is perfect for our Sealing Club’s extracurricular activities.”

 蓮子の話によるとこのお店では、夜な夜な 特殊・・な人間達が集まっては独自の経験談を語ったり、意見交換をしたりしているのだという。

According to Renko, some rather… strange people gather here every night to talk about their personal experiences and exchange opinions.

 蓮子は二人が作った同人誌、「燕石博物誌」を売っている時にその情報を仕入れたらしいが・・・。

Renko apparently heard about this place when she was selling the doujinshi they made, “Dr. Latency’s Freak Report”…

 あくまでもこのお店の客に限っての話だが、燕石博物誌は有名で、殆どの客が読んでいて、内容も信じているのだという。
 それもそのはず、このお店に来ている客は皆、燕石博物誌に書かれているような体験と、同じような体験をした事があると言っているらしい。

She said that among the patrons of the bar, their report was famous. Most everyone here had read it, and believed its contents were true. Which made sense, given the fact that everyone who came to this bar claimed they too had experienced the same sort of happenings described in the report.

03.
リバースイデオロギー
Reverse Ideology

 今の時代、お酒を出すお店は大きく二つに分かれている。
 ”新型酒”を出す普通の店と、”旧型酒”を出す店だ。

In this day and age, the kind of establishments that serve alcoholic beverages are split into two types: the normal sort of places which serve “modern” liqour, and those which serve “traditional” liqour.

 新型酒は、一般的に広く呑まれているお酒で、酔いつぶれないような工夫がされている。依存も低く、比較的身体に害は無い。
 旧型酒は古くから呑まれてきたお酒であり、自然の酵母が作り上げたお酒である。多分にアルコールを含んでいるが、アルコールの分解を促進する酵素などは一切含まれていない。呑めば酔う。

Modern liquor refers to the kind which is most popularly consumed, and it is manufactured in such a way as to prevent drunkenness and hangovers. It is not particularly addictive, and it has relatively few side effects. Traditional liqour refers the kind that has been consumed historically, and is made using natural yeast. Despite containing a significant alcoholic content, it has no enzymes in it to help process the alcohol. If you drink it you will get drunk.

 このバー・オールドアダムは、旧型酒を専門に取り扱っているお店だ。

This place, “Bar Old Adam”, specializes exclusively in traditional liquor.

 新酒を取り扱うお店は、酔っ払いすぎる人がいないので、常に綺麗である。衛生的で健康的だ。
 一方、一般的に旧型酒を取り扱う店の方が、その古典的居酒屋の習わしからか建物も古く、汚いお店が多い。それに客も何だか質が悪いようだ。

As the establishments which serve modern liquor don’t have any patrons who get drunk, they tend to be clean and hygenic. On the other hand, the establishments which serve primarily traditional liquor tend to be in old buildings, like classical bars, and there are more dirty ones than clean ones. The kind of patrons that frequent those places don’t seem to be the best sort either.

 しかし、旧型酒の方が高く、貴重品なのだ。
 ここで価値観の逆転が起こっている。つまり、お金に余裕が有る者が、選んで汚いお店で酔いつぶれるという事態が起こっているのだ

Yet at the same time, traditional liquor is more prized and more expensive than modern liquor.
In other words, in this instance, the values system has been turned on its head. Those that have money to spare are going out of their way to get drunk in dirty bars.

04.
アウトサイダーカクテル
Outsider Cocktail

 「結構高いのね」
 「旧型酒だからねぇ。
  でも、いつもの安酒より本格的に酔えるわよ」
 「お酒に酔っても健康的にいられるのかしら」
 「健康的? よーく考えてみてよ。
  お酒、油、塩分、糖質、カフェイン、グルテン……、食の健康に
  関しては過度に注意するくせに、医療が進化すぎてなかなか人が
  死なないもんだから、計画的に寿命を決めようとしているでしょ?
  社会は人を生かしたいんだか、殺したいんだか判んないよね。
  高い金を払って旧型酒を呑んでいる人達はリアリストだわ」

“This is pretty expensive.”
“Well it’s traditional liquor after all. But with this we can get a lot more drunk than with the cheap stuff we always drink.”
“I wonder if you can get drunk and still be healthy.”
“Healthy? Think about it for a minute. Be it alcohol content, fat, sodium, sugar, caffeine, gluten… Despite the fact that we take so much care to balance these things in our food for our health, the advancements in our medicine have gone so far people don’t really die anymore. It’s gotten to the point where people plan out how long they want to live, right? I can’t tell anymore whether our society is trying to keep people alive or kill them. The people who pay lots of money to drink traditional liquor are far more realistic, I say.”

 お酒は人を饒舌にさせる。
 お酒を呑むと人は必ず自己肯定をする。これがアルコールの一つの効能だ。お酒はこの効能で、人間社会を裏から動かしてきたのである。

Alcohol makes people talkative.
When people drink alcohol they always end up affirming themselves. This is one of alcohol’s side effects. It is because of this effect that alcohol has always pushed human society along behind the scenes.

 マスターが二人のテーブルに黄色いカクテルを置いた。
 これは?と聞くと、「フォービドゥンサイダー」と答えた。他の客にも同じお酒を配っている。

The bartender brought two yellow cocktails to the pair’s table.
When they asked what it was, he replied that the drink was called “The Forbidden Cider”. He served the same drink to several other customers.

 「サイダー? ジュースなの?」
 「サイダーは林檎のお酒よ。
  このお酒が配られたと言う事は、どうやら始まりそうね」

“Cider? Is this some kind of juice?”
“Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from apples. Given that this is being passed around, it looks like it’s about to begin.”

05.
大神神話伝
“Story of Mythomiwa”
 Oomiwa Shinwaden
 The Myth of Oomiwa

 ――あれは数年前。奈良に行った時の話です。
 パワースポットで大変有名な三輪山に入山したんですね。
 ほら、私もオカルト好きの身として有名なところは大抵足を運んでいたんですが、そういえば三輪山には登ったことが無かったな、と思いまして。

-It happened a few years ago, when I went to Nara.
I was climbing Mt. Miwa, which is famous for being a spiritual power spot.
You see, as a lover of the occult, I had been to most of the famous spots before, when I realized one day that I hadn’t yet gone to Mt. Miwa.

 ええ、最近は県が入山を制限している事は知っています。その理由が公表されないので、逆に興味を惹いていますよね。

Yes, I know that in recent years the prefecture has put restrictions on who can climb the mountain and when, but when they never make clear the reasons why, it only grabs your interest more, doesn’t it?

 規制中なのに、どうやって入ったのかって?
 丁度その時、仕事も家庭も上手くいってなくて……。神頼みというか自暴自棄になっていまして。それで真夜中にこっそりと忍び込みまして……。

How did I get into the area when it was restricted?
Well you see, at the time I was having trouble at my job and with my family… I was kind of at the end of the rope so to speak and was willing to do anything, so I snuck in in the middle of the night.

 そうしたら嫌と言うほど判りましたよ。入山規制の理由が。

When I did it was painfully clear why they were keeping people away from the mountain.

 蛇ですよ。蛇。それはもう大量の蛇がウヨウヨしてまして……。
 三輪山では蛇は神様だから手が出せないんでしょうな。
 あれだけ蛇が増えて餌は何を食べているんでしょうねぇ……。
 奈良県の寿命統制がピカイチ進んでいるのは関係無いですよねぇ……。

There were snakes, tons and tons of snakes, slithering all about….
They probably couldn’t do anything about it, because at Mt. Miwa snakes are treated as dieties.
With that many snakes I wonder what they’re all eating….
It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Nara is leading the country in life span control, now would it?

06.
パンデモニックプラネット
“Pandemoniac Planet”

 ――人口が減って、人村自然分離の原則が支配している現在、山村の多くが廃村になった事は当然知っていると思う。

-As the population declines and the remaining population centers in cities, I’m sure you know that many rural villages in the mountains have been abandoned.

 しかし、僅かながら今も山奥に村を維持している地域がある事を知っているかい?
 俺はこういう村を探して訪ねるのが日課となっているんだが、つい

However, did you know that while few in number, there are still some areas deep in the mountains that still have been able to maintain their villages? I make it my daily routine to go out and search for those villages.

 数ヶ月前の事だ。山の多いあの県、奇妙な村を見つけてな。

This happened a few months ago, in that prefecture full of mountains. I found this really peculiar village.

 どうも村民も昔から住んでいたのでは無く、廃村を見つけてアウトロー達が住み着いたようだったんだが、とにかく変なんだよ。
 見た事も無い宗教が広まっていて、一日中空いでいる時間があれば必ず祠に向かって祈っていたんだ。

Now the people that lived there hadn’t been living there for generations, you see. Apparently a group of outlaws had found this abandoned village and made it their home, but it really was very strange. They had this religion unlike any I had ever seen before. Throughout the day, whenever anyone had any free time, they would always turn towards one of many little shrines and pray.

 それの何処がおかしいのかって?
 それがさ、祈っている対象が神か仏じゃなくて、あちこちの祠に納められていたのは、何やら黒い物体だったんだ……。

What’s so strange about that, you ask?
Well you see, they weren’t praying to any sort of god or the Buddha, but this black thing that was housed in all of the little shrines…

 それは誰かの髪の毛だったんだよ。
 髪の毛を拝んでいたんだよ、髪の毛教だよ。気持ち悪いだろ?
 恐らく、開祖は髪が薄かったんだろうな(笑)

It was hair. It was someone’s hair.
They were praying to hair. It was a hair cult. Gross, don’t you think?
I bet the founder of the religion had a balding problem, haha.

07.
旧世界の冒険酒場
“Fantasy Guild”
 Kyuusekai no Bouken’ Sakaba
 Old World Adventurer’s Bar

 「うーん。
  これって怪談大会?」
 「どうやら、それに近いわねぇ。
  真偽はわからないけど、一応本人の不思議な体験談って形をとっているね」
 「こういっちゃあ何だけど、秘密倶楽部みたいなバーで、いい大人達が……」
 「あら、後でメリーも体験を語るのよ」
 「うえー、やっぱり、そうなるよねー」

“Hmm… So is this some sort of scary story tournament?”
“I guess you could call it that. I don’t know whether these stories are made up or not, but it seems like they all follow a format of them being ‘strange personal experiences’.”
“I suppose I shouldn’t be talking, but for all these adults to be coming to this bar like it’s there version of our Sealing Club is a little…”
“Hm? Your turn to talk about your experiences is going to come around too you know?”
“Come on, really? I guess I should have known…”

 メリーは自らの不思議な体験は、紛れもない真実だと判っている。
 しかし、他人の不思議体験は何故か信じられなかった。人を誑かそうとしているとしか思えなかった。

Merry knew that her own strange experiences were all real. However, she wasn’t able to believe any of the strange experiences described by the other people in the bar. She couldn’t imagine any of those stories were anything but lies made to deceive others.

 ふと、何故蓮子は私の体験談を信じるのだろう、と思った。
 やっぱり、私の話が上手いからかな、とメリーは照れた。

At that point, Merry paused and wondered why Renko ever believed any of her stories.
“Maybe it’s because I’m just really good at telling stories,” she thought, blushing.

 「――蛇と同じで髪の毛の信仰は原始からあるね。
  再生性が何か人間の信仰プロセスに関わっているんだわ」

“-Well belief systems centered around both hair and snakes have been around since the beginning of time. Their resurgence must be connected to humans’ belief processes.”

 蓮子は殆どみんなの話を信じているようだった。

It seemed that Renko believed almost everyones’ stories.

08.
魔界地方都市エソテリア
“E.S.O.T.E.R.I.A.”
 Makai Chihou Toshi Esoteria
 Rural Makai City Esoteria

 「では、本日は初めて参加するお嬢さん。
  何か不思議で、他に類を見ない体験談はあるかな?」

“Well then, let us have the newcomer share. Miss, do you have a strange experience to share, one like no one has ever heard before?”

 「あ、はい。
  マエリベリーと申します。
  今からお話する内容は、全て私が体験した
  不思議で特異な体験談です」

“Um, yes. My name is Maribel. The story I am about to tell is something I have personally experienced, a unique and strange tale.”

 辺りが少しざわついた。
 メリーの放つ異世界のオーラなのか、
 それとも若い女の子が話すので驚いただけなのか。

The other people in the bar murmured to themselves. Was it because of the otherworldly aura that Merry gave off, or was it simply because they were surprised to see that the next person to tell their story was a young girl?

 メリーは色んな体験談を話した。

Merry talked about a number of her experiences.

 墓場から異世界を覗き見た事。
 異世界の竹林を彷徨った事。
 緑に侵食された衛星から宇宙を見た事。

She talked about how she peeked at another world from a graveyard.
She talked about how she got lost in the bamboo forest of another world.
She talked about how she saw space from a satellite overrun with plants

 異世界ではいつも異形の怪物に襲われた事。
 そして、誰かに助けられた瞬間、目が覚めて元の世界に戻る事。

She talked about how she had been attacked by monsters in other worlds.
She talked about how the moment she was saved by someone she always woke up back in this world.

 この場にふさわしい、異世界の冒険談だ。
 しかし何故か微妙に場の空気が重かった。

These tales, these adventures in other worlds were truly fitting for the occasion.
However, for some reason they did not seem to go over very well.

 その理由はDr.レイテンシーと名乗った男のひと言で判った。

That reason was made clear by the man who had passed himself off as Dr. Latency.

 「それはすべて、燕石博物誌に書いてある話だな。
  ここでは、自身の体験を語って貰う約束だ。」

“All of those stories are ones already published in ‘Dr. Latency’s Freak Report’. The rule here among us is that you only tell stories from your own experiences.”

09.
亡失のエモーション
“Lost Emotion”
 Boushitsu no Emotion

 メリーは蓮子の顔を見る。
 蓮子は軽く頷いた。

Merry looked at Renko.
Renko nodded.

 「申し訳ないです。彼女は皆さんの知識を試しただけです。
  これから起こる出来事を体験するには、あの本の内容を知っている事が前提ですので。
  実は、本に書かれていた異世界の一部を体験できるマジックアイテムを入手したのです」

“My apologies. She was just testing your knowledge. In order to participate in what is about to happen, we needed to make sure that you all knew the contents of that book. You see, we have come into the posesssion of a magic item that allows one to experience a part of that other world described in ‘Dr. Latency’s Freak Report’.”

 蓮子は手鏡を取り出してメリーに渡し、順番に見せてまわった。
 その鏡はメリーの能力により、異世界の風景を写し出していた。

Renko took out a hand mirror and passed it to Merry, who then showed it to everyone in the bar. Because of Merry’s power, that mirror reflected scenes from the other world.

 狂おしい緑。
 煙を上げる山。
 永らく侘びた神社。

There was maddening overgrowth.
There was a smoking mountain.
There was a long dilapidated shrine.

 誰もが燕石博物誌で読んだ情景に思いを馳せた。
 お酒が感情を増幅させるのか、涙を流す者もいた。

Everyone thought back to the scenes described in the “Dr. Latency’s Freak Report”.
Perhaps because the alcohol had magnified their emotions, tears ran down some of their faces.

10.
二日酔いの同床異夢
“The horse thinks one thing, and he that saddles him another.”
 Futsukayoi no Doushouimu
 Strange Hungover Bedfellows

 バーでの体験を終え、次の日。
 お酒のあった時はあんなに盛り上がっていたのに、何だか疲れて元気が無い。これが二日酔いという奴だろうか。

It was the day after that experience at the bar.
Despite being so worked up while I was drinking, for some reason I feel tired and a bit sick now. Is this what you call a hangover?

 結局、メリーが見せた異世界の姿が一番盛り上がりを見せた。

In the end, the climax of the evening was when Merry went around showing scenes from the other world.

 しかし、メリーはただ能力を使って自慢したわけでは無い。
 あんな物は殆どの人は手品か、そういう機能のある手鏡か何かだと思っただろう。

However, it wasn’t as if Merry had gone around bragging about her abilities.
Most of the people at the bar thought the whole thing was some sort of trick, or that it was some kind of special mirror.

 メリーのした事、それは、他人の体験談を自分達の物にする事だった。

To everyone, what Merry was doing was taking other people’s experiences and using them as her own.

 「どうだった?」
 「うーん、半分くらいはつくり話だったわね」
 「でも、上手くいったわね。
  メリーが鏡で結界の向こう側を見せると同時に、
  相手に触れて本当に異世界を見たのか探る作戦」

“So how did it go?”
“Well… about half of the stories were made up.”
“But still, I’m glad it went so well, that plan to touch everyone while you were showing them the mirror to see if they had really seen the other world before.”

 メリーは、よくとっさにそんなこと思いつくなぁ、と感心した。
 そう、蓮子はとても聡明で頭の回転が速いのだ。

Merry was impressed that Renko thought all of that up on the spot.
Renko really was very intelligent and could think on her toes.

 「ちなみに蛇の話と髪の毛教は本物だったわ」
 「やっぱり?
  あの二つの話は何か嘘にしては話が整っていなかったからねぇ。
  じゃあ、決まりね!」
 「何が?」
 「何が、ってそりゃあ、これから行くのよ三輪山に!」

“That story about the snakes and the one about the hair religion were real by the way.”
“Really? I did think those two stories were a bit too disorganized to be lies. It’s settled then!”
“What’s settled?”
“Isn’t it obvious? We’re going to go to Mt. Miwa! Get ready to go!”

 旧型酒の二日酔いが残るメリーは、キッパリと断った。

Merry, who was still hungover from all of the traditional liquor the previous night, flatly refused.

あとがき
Afterword

 どうも、ZUNです。連続してCDを作ってみました。

Hello, it’s ZUN. I decided to continue the previous CD with another.

 ストーリー的には燕石博物誌から繋がっています。
 前作、燕石博物誌を表にすると、今作は裏です。
 裏と言う事で、音楽的にも楽しむのが難しい曲を多めにしましたが、如何でしょうか。

Storywise it continues where I left off in Dr. Latency’s Freak Report.
If you consider “Dr. Latency’s Freak Report” the outer surface, this one describes what lies beneath.
With that in mind, I decided to fill this CD with music that is hard to enjoy. What did you think?

 今作のテーマは大人の中二病です。
 中二病とは使いやすい言葉ですが、そのモチーフを知るのは容易ではありません。恐らくは、純粋な自分から大人になる過程で、子供時代を恥ずかしく思う事が源流にあると思います。

The theme for this CD is “chuunibyou”.
“Chuunibyou” is a really convenient word to use, but it is not easy to really pin it down as a motif. I would say that in the process of transitioning from your pure self into an adult, you start to feel embarrassed of how you acted as a child, and this feeling is closely related to the drive behind “chuunibyou”.

 大人になることで、過去の自分とは異なり、その流れで周りの人間とも異なる、結果、理由も無く自分は特別な人間だと思うという流れです。
 だとすると、別に「封印された右手が~」とか「脳内に囁く~」とかそんなのは中二病の本質では無いという事になります。

When you start to mature, you differ from your past self, and in that process you also become different from others around you. The result is that for no real reason you start to think of yourself as special. If you consider that to be the case, then phrases such as “My sealed right hand~!” or “It whispers in my brain~!” don’t really have much to do with the true essense of “chuunibyou”.

 中二病の本体は生きる熱量である。
 想像力の爆発である。
 純粋さと創作性を合わせもつ、冷めた社会への対抗手段である。

“Chuunibyou”, at its core is the heat of life. It’s an explosion of imagination. It is a form of resistance by purity and creativity against the cold society we live in.

 最近思うんですよね。如何にして死ぬまで中二病を保てるのかと。
 それが出来れば、一生お酒を楽しめる筈です。

I’ve been wondering to myself lately, about how I’ll be able to hold on to my “chuunibyou” until I die. If I can manage that, then I’ll be able to enjoy alcohol for the rest of my life.

 上海アリス幻樂団 ZUN (ポケモンGOが_____)

Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra ZUN (Pokémon GO is…)


燕石博物誌 ~ Dr. Latency’s Freak Report // Enseki Hakubutsushi // Journal of Fool’s Curiosities

So we have another Hifuu CD on our hands. It’s been four years since the last time I got to translate one of these. As usual with these stories, there are a lot of translation notes, but I’ve strove to make this translation an accessible and enjoyable one, so you can ignore the notes if you want to. I doubt that this is your first time reading one of these if you are here, but in the impossible case that that is true, please read all of the Hifuu stories, starting with Dolls in Psuedo Paradise (which isn’t really Hifuu, but should always be included as such). [link]

Enjoy.

Notes:

燕石 “Enseki” (literally “Sparrow Stones) is a really rare word, but is a perfect fit for this CD. The word refers to the false jewels that can be found at 燕山 “Mt. Sparrow”. They look like precious stones but they are worthless, sort of like fool’s gold. So the word refers both to the fakes, and also the act of treasuring something as if it were rare, when it is really commonplace and worthless. In addition to this there was a series of rare books/journals written in the Edo period named 燕石十種 or “Ten Types of Enseki”, filled with strange tales and curiosities and customs. There were six series with ten parts each. I would say there’s a direct connection.

博物誌 “Hakubutsushi” is literally translated as “Document(/Magazine) of Broad Knowledge” (what it means is clearer if you understand that 博物館 Hakubutsukan is “museum”, and not limited to a museum that deals with history) but it is also the Japanese translated title of Pliny the Elder’s “Naturalis Historiæ” (Natural History), which was the first sort of encyclopedia ever compiled. A good modern corollary is a scientific journal, and I have translated it as such, but this is why the subtitle is called “Our Supernatural History”. Incidentally this “Natural History” included descriptions of things that were pretty much Western Youkai.

(I think) 他愛も無い “Tawai mo Nai” is a phrase that is best understood as “of no concern to others”. Like you can get all excited about this silly thing, but those who aren’t involved could care less. So there’s a little more meaning than just “silly” in the title of the first track.

Maribel Hearn (マエリベリー・ハーン) is an approximation, where Merry’s first name has been posited as being closer in pronunciation to “my reverie” or a corruption of “mulberry”. Either way, it’s a play on words off of Yukari Yakumo. (紫八雲)

While most cases of “seeing the other world” are done only by Merry, Renko has shared in this experience on occasion, which is why in the translation of track 2 we have phrases like “they had seen”.

“Itako” are (usually blind) fortune tellers native to Tohoku (North Eastern Japan). There’s one in my town. “Necromancer” and “shaman” have been used as translations, but I thought it best to leave it.

In track 4, the “world where common sense does not apply” is reality on the quantum scale, where physics begins to unravel, the behavior of gravity becomes unclear, and interactions have to be explained with a different set of rules. Renko’s university major is (super) unified physics, which concerns the reconciliation of physics across the boundary where quantum effects overrule physics on a larger scale. So when Merry is poking fun at physicists, she’s also poking fun at Renko. Incidentally, Merry’s field of study is relative psychiatry.

As for “An Instant Transcends a Planck”, the word for “instant” used carries the meaning of 10^-15, equivalent to a “femto” in SI Metric Units. The word used is also associated with time, and so if we take one “instant” to be 10^-15 seconds, or a femto second, it is longer, or in otherwords transcends the Planck unit, a Planck second, which is 5.3 * 10^-44 seconds.

“Youkai” in track 5 remains untranslated because there is no all encompassing word in English that properly expresses it.

“Unstained See”[sic] is not a typo, even if it is probably supposed to be “Unstained Sea”.

永遠の三日天下 “King for a Day, Forever” can also be easily translated as “Eternal Short-Lived Reign”, literally, it is “Eternal Reign of Three Days”

Thoughts:

I see track 1 as a reference to WWII, where both Germany and Japan produced better quality weaponry, (esp. in the beginning) but were both ultimately crushed by the powers that outstripped them in volume and speed of production.

I’m glad to see that e-books don’t make it into the future.

In the afterword, ZUN is criticizing the loud minority. In the past if people rose up with a voice of opposition, it meant there had to be a lot of people behind it. Now, because it’s so easy to be loud, people mistake a loud voice today as having the same amount of people behind it when that may not be true. In Merry and Renko’s world, things have progressed to the point where that has all balanced out, and “quality” is important above all else.

燕石博物誌 ~ Dr. Latency’s Freak Report
 Enseki Hakubutsushi
 Journal of Fool’s Curiosities

 1.他愛も無い二人の博物誌 (The Two’s Silly Journal of the (Super)Natural)
    [Tawai mo Nai Futari no Hakubutsushi]
    Our Supernatural History

 「――よーし、大分出来上がってるねぇ」
 「残りは、体験談とエッセイだけね。
  というか、進んでないのはメリーの担当のところだけじゃない」
 「ばれた?」
 「誰が言い出しっぺだっけ?」

“Alright! The journal is really coming along isn’t it?”

“All that’s left are the essays and narrative sections… Come to think of it, the only parts that aren’t making any progress are the parts that you’re in charge of, Merry.”

“So you found me out, huh?”

“Don’t look at me, you’re the one who brought it up.”

 供給過多となった商品は価値が下がるように、人類全てが裕福になる
という事は、この世から金持ちがいなくなる事と同義である。

In the same way that prices fall when supply of a product outpaces demand, when all of humanity is prosperous, the upper class ceases to exist.

 情報が電子に記録されるようになってから、膨大な情報が瞬時に手に
入るようになった。それと同時に原始より絶対的な権力を持っていた、
速度や量は価値を失った。

Ever since it became common for information to be recorded electronically, it has become possible to access enormous amounts of information instantly. At the same time, the value of both speed and volume, properties which had from the beginning of time had been symbols of absolute authority, fell drastically.

 代わりに絶大な価値を手に入れたのが、質だ。
 中でも個人しか持たない特殊な情報は、世の質的セレブ達を熱狂させ
るのだった。

What instead obtained an enormous increase in value, was the property of quality.

Especially affected by this change was unique information available only to particular individuals. It was this sort of information that was the subject of intense enthusiasm among the world’s connoisseurs of quality.

 2.凍り付いた永遠の都 (The Frozen Eternal Capital)
    [Kooritsuita Eien no Miyako]
    Unstained Dystopia

 「二人の本を作りたいって言ってきたのはメリーでしょ?」
 「そうでした。
  でも、文章を書くのって、結構疲れるからねぇ」
 「疲れない作業に楽しい事なんて無いのよ。
  誰もが思い通りになる便利な世界程、退屈なディストピアは無いわ」

“Merry, aren’t you the one who said you wanted to publish a book together?”

“You’re right. But you know, writing is just really tiring.”

“There’s nothing fun about work that doesn’t require any effort, Merry. I can’t think of a dystopia more boring than a convenient world where everything goes your way.”

 情報の電子化が進みきった世界では、電子書籍という物は存在しない。
電子書籍はあくまでも元の本ありきで生まれた物である。だから、本と
言えば、紙の本を指していた。

In this world, where the digitization of information has reached its peak, e-books do not exist. After all, the e-book was a product that was developed on the basis of, and at its core depends on its paper counterpart. Therefore, the book they are referring to is in fact a paper book.

 マエリベリー・ハーン(メリー)の思いつきで、二人が見てきた不思
議な世界を本にする事になった。どうやら、自分の見ている世界がタダ
の夢ではない事が判ってきたからだ。

At Maribel Hearn (Merry)’s suggestion, the two had decided to compile a record of the strange worlds they had seen into a book. This was because they both had realized that the worlds they had been witnessing were more than the product of dreams.

 3.Dr.レイテンシーの眠れなくなる瞳 (Dr. Latency’s Sleepless Eyes)
    [Dr. Latency no Nemurenakunaru Me]
    Dr. Latency’s Freak Report

 巫女、イタコ、霊能者、超能力者、経済学者……。

Shrine maidens, itako, mediums, espers, economists….

 見えない筈の物を見る瞳の持ち主は昔から居た。それらは全てインチ
キ扱いされる対象となっていた。メリーの瞳も、ウイルスに依る譫妄と
診断されることもあった。

Since times long past, there have been those who claim to be gifted with eyes that see what normally should be impossible to see. All of them have eventually come to be treated as frauds. The visions that Merry has seen have been even diagnosed as a delirium brought on by a viral infection.

 だが、お酒を呑み冷静になったときにふと思うのだ。
 目に見えない物が否定されるのならば、観測不可能な物理学も、遠す
ぎて手の届かない天文学も、もう妄想の域じゃないかと。
 それらが事実としてこの世に君臨するのなら、メリーの瞳は事実を超
えた真実と言っても良いのではないか。

However, after taking a moment to drink some alcohol and calm down, it makes you think.

If you were to deny the existence of things unseen, then what of the physics that deal with unobservable phenomenon? What of the astronomy that concerns objects out of our reach? Would not those too enter into the realm of delusion?

If you accept that those things listed above do in fact have an enormous influence on the workings of this world, then could you not suppose that what Merry sees is a truth that transcends fact?

 宇佐見蓮子にはメリーが、妄言を吐く物理学者の目を覚まさせる真実
学者に見えていた。

In Usami Renko’s eyes, Merry was a steward of truth who would wake up the physicists who had resigned themselves to making wild and unfounded conclusions.

 「書くのが面倒なら、今ここで語ってくれても良いのよ?
  後で文章に起こすから」
 「あら、蓮子はそんなことも出来るのね、助かるわー。
  じゃあ早速、この間ねぇ……」

“If you can’t be bothered to write it yourself, why don’t you just dictate it to me? I’ll write everything down for you later.”

“You really are talented, aren’t you Renko?. That would be such a big help. Let’s get started then. So, the other day…”

 4.9月のパンプキン (September Pumpkin)
    [Kugatsu no Pumpkin]
    Parallel Communication

 同じ場所に居て違う物を見る事なんてあるのだろうか。

Is it possible for two people in the same place and time to have completely different observations?

 最近、メリーはいくつもの世界を同時に見る事があるのだという。
メリーによると、人はそれぞれ僅かに異なる世界を見ているのだという。
興味深い事に、違う世界を見ていてもコミュニケーションは成り立つら
しい。

Lately, Merry says she has been able to see several different worlds concurrently. According to her, everyone observes a slightly different world. and what is most interesting about this is that despite everyone observing a different world, communication between seperate people is still possible.

 メリーは不思議な話をし始めた。
 一部の人間だけが見ている変わった世界の話だった。

Merry began a strange tale.

It was about a strange world that was only observed by a select few.

 そこには極めて小さい世界で起こる、この世の常識が成立しない奇妙
な世界の話だった。素粒子が空間も時空も飛び越える、奇妙な世界だ。

It was about the strange happenings of a world of the infintesimally small, where the common sense of this world did not hold water. It was a strange world where particles flew across both space and spacetime.

 「……一部の人間って、物理学者の事?」
 「ご名答。流石ね。
  でもね、その常識が通用しない世界に、不思議な生命体が潜んでい
  る事は知らないでしょう?」

“…When you say ‘a select few’, are you talking about physicists?”

“Correct! That’s the answer! I knew you could figure it out. However, I bet you didn’t know that within that world where common sense does not apply, there are strange life forms lurking about.”

 5.須臾はプランクを越えて (An Instant Transcends a Planck)
    [Syuyu wa Planck wo Koete]
    Very Very Short Time

 メリーによると、フォトンが支配する人間が見ている世界を『この世』
とすると、別の量子が支配する『あの世』に相当する世界も無数に存在
するそうだ。そして『あの世』にはまた、生命体が棲んでいるというのだ。

According to Merry, if you define “this world” that we humans see as one that is delivered by and subject to the actions of photons, then there exists a countless amount of “other worlds”, which are in the same way controlled by the actions of other particles. Apparently, there are lifeforms that live in those “other worlds” as well.

 「その、目に見えないけど身近に存在して、ゆらぎによって現れる事
  もある生命体って、妖怪の事だと思うの」
 「妖怪……。
  そういうと突然ファニーに聞こえるけど」
 「まあ、天使でも悪魔でも幽霊でもUMAでもなんでも良いんだけど、
  姿は見えないけど事象がたしかに存在する、という物だと考えると
  妖怪が一番しっくりくるかなぁ」

“So these lifeforms, which cannot be seen but otherwise exist close by, which due to certain ‘disturbances’ can sometimes appear, well I think that they are youkai.”

“Youkai…. Well when you put it that way, this whole story starts to sound a bit funny.”

“Well, you could call them angels or demons or ghosts or unidentified mysterious animals or anything else really, but I think the word ‘youkai’ which describes things that cannot be seen, things that also have certainly existing phenomena associated with them, is the best fit for this sort of thing.”

 確かに昔から妖怪の存在は肯定されていた。
 しかし、世界が反証可能性を問われる科学哲学に支配されると、妖怪
の話題は消えていったのだ。

It is a fact that the existence of youkai has been acknowledged by various sources since times long past.

However, as this world has come under the reign of science and philosophy which demand any theory posited leave open the possibility that it may be disproven, the subject of youkai eventually faded away.

 6.シュレディンガーの化猫 (Schrödinger’s Phantom Cat)
    [Schrödinger no Bakeneko]
    Schrödinger’s Black Cat

 「妖怪はどこに消えたのかなぁ、と考えていたらね、見えて来たの。
  今も妖怪の棲む世界が」
 「それってもしかして、別のブレーンワールド……」
 「何それ」
 「物理学者にしか見えない世界の一つよ」

“Just when I was thinking to myself, ‘I wonder where all the youkai have disappeared to…’ I saw it, the world where youkai still reside.”

“Is what you’re referring to possibly a parallel brane-world…?”

“What the heck is that?”

“It’s one of the worlds that only physicists can see.”

 地理的、地学的か、それとも偶然か判らないが、昔から別の世界が
見えやすい場所の事を聖地と呼んでいた。神社なんかはまさに聖地だ。

There are several places in the world that whether for geographical reasons, geological reasons or pure coincidence – I don’t really know, but for whatever reason there are places that since times long past have been called holy sites, where it is supposedly easier to see other worlds. For example, shrines and the like certainly fall under that category of holy site.

 神社で猫を見たというメリー。
 しかしその猫は、決して誰の目にも留まること無く、障害物に当た
ることも無く自由に動き回っていたらしい。
 メリーにはすぐに判った。あれは量子の隙間に潜む、妖怪猫だと。

Merry said she saw a cat at a shrine.

However, apparently this cat went unnoticed by all others present, and it seemed to move freely through any barrier that stood in its way.

Merry immediately realized that this was not a normal cat but a phantom cat, one that lurked in the gaps between quantum particles.

 「へぇ、量子的に観測不可能な猫……。
  観測するまで生きてもいるし死んでもいる。
  まるでシュレディンガーの猫のようね」
 「私が観測したので、生きている事で確定したけどね」

“That’s interesting. A cat that is impossible to observe through the actions of quantum particles…. Until it is observed you could say that it is both living and dead, just like Schrödinger’s cat.”

“Well you could say that, but I observed it, confirming that it was alive.”

 7.空中に沈む輝針城 (The Shining Needle Castle Sinking in Midair)
    [Kuuchuu ni Shizumu Kishinjou]
    Gravitino World

 メリーの言う、『あの世』とは生き物が居るだけで無く、常識の通用
しない奇妙な世界らしい。

The “other world” that Merry referred to, was a strange world that not only contained lifeforms but also contained things that overthrew the preconceptions of this world.

 「お城が浮いているのも見た事があるわ。
  しかも逆さになって」
 「グラビトンの構成が異なれば性質も異なる。
  メリーが見たのはそういう別のブレーンなのかもね」
 「不思議と懐かしい感じがしたのよねぇ。
  良いわよねぇ、木造の天守閣って」
 「え、そっち?
  お城ってシンデレラ城の様な物を想像してたんだけど」
 「どっちかって言うと松本の方」

“I also saw a castle floating in midair, and to top it all off, it was upside down.”

“If the structure of gravitons are different then their properties should be different as well. It is possible that what you saw lay on a parallel brane.”

“I got this strange sense of nostalgia when I saw it, you know? There’s just something wonderful about wooden castle keeps.”

“What? You mean that kind of castle? I imagined something more along the lines of Cinderella’s castle.”

“If I had to compare it to something, it was much more like the castle at Matsumoto.”

 不思議な世界の話を何処か楽しげに話すメリーだったが、ふと何かを
思い出して身を震わせた。
 どうやら楽しい思い出だけでは無いようだ。

Merry seemed to be enjoying herself as she described what she had seen in this strange other world, but suddenly she shivered as if she had just remembered something.

Apparently, it wasn’t a very pleasant memory.

 8.禁忌の膜壁 (The Taboo Membrane)
    [Kinki no Makuheki]
    Another Membrane

 幻視が出来る物理学者によると、この世は薄い膜(メンブレーン)の
ような物で出来ているらしい。そしてそのブレーンがいくつも存在する
のだとか。

According to the physicists that capable of seeing the unseen, this world is apparently constructed of and upon a thin membrane. There has also been talk that there are multiple such “branes” that exist alongside ours.

 メリーが見ているのはそのブレーンワールドなのだろうか。

Is what Merry is seeing one of those other brane-worlds?

 彼女曰く「この世とあの世の間には、ちょっとした境目があって、
そこには往来を強く拒む、何ががある。ちょっとしたコツを掴めば簡単
に渡れるようになる」そうだ。

According to her, there is something that forms a boundary with very strongly rejects passage between this world and others. However, once you get the hang of it, it apparently really isn’t that difficult to pass through if you know what you’re doing.

 「その往来を拒む何かって、三途の河じゃないの?」
 「多分、昔の見える人はそう名付けたんでしょうねぇ」

“Is this thing that rejects passage as you say, the Sanzu River?”

“That’s probably what people who saw it in the past named it.”

ブレーンは河の流れに晒された染め物の様なものなのだろうか。

I wonder if a brane is like a dyed cloth floating in the flow of a river.

 染め物に書かれた模様が、上手に河を渡り、別の染め物に移る。
簡単に言うと、メリーの行動はそんな事なのかも知れない。もちろん、
簡単には出来ないけど。

Perhaps a pattern from one cloth could cross through the flow of the river and move to another cloth. If you were to put it simply, maybe that’s basically what Merry has been doing. Of course, it’s not as if what she is doing is really all that simple.

 だけど、別の染め物に模様が移ってしまったらどうなる?
 それは模様では無く、汚れとして認識されてしまうだろう。

But what happens when the pattern from one piece of cloth transfers to another? Usually when that happens, it is not thought of as a pattern, but a stain.

 「――異物が混入したら排除しないと」
 「え? どうしたのメリー。
  何か上の空だけど」
 「あ、え?
  私、何処まで話したっけ?」
 「『あの世』で見た物の話よ。
  メリーが見てきた物を纏めて博物誌を作るというのが、
  この本のテーマなんだから」

“…if a foreign substance adulterates our world, we must exterminate it…”

“Huh? What’s wrong, Merry? You seem to be a bit out of it.”

“Oh, umm… What was I talking about again?”

“You were talking about what you saw in ‘that world’. The theme that we’re running with is that this journal is a compilation of all of the things that you’ve seen.”

 9.故郷の星が映る海 (The Sea in Which Our Home Planet is Reflected)
    [Kokyou no Hoshi ga Utsuru Umi]
    Unstained See

 ダイバーシティに富んだ森を見た。
 低地を好む生物を寄せ付けない誇り高き霊山を見た。
 神秘的な霧で奥の深い湖を見た。

I saw a forest rich in diversity.

I saw a spiritual mountain standing proud and tall, which kept away those living things that like to lurk in lower grounds.

I saw a deep lake immersed in an occult mist.

 そこには美しいだけでは無い、自然があった。
 これらが目に見えない量子の世界の隙間に、潜り込んでいた。

There was a nature that was more than just beautiful.

All of these lay in unseen world, which hid within the gaps between quanta.

 ところで、性質の異なる量子が支配するブレーンに行くと、一体
どうなるのだろうか。

As for what happens when one goes to another brane-world, dominated by these particles with different properties, well…

 メリーは思い出して、恐怖に顔を歪めた。

…as Merry remembered, her face contorted in fear.

10.ピュアヒューリーズ ~ 心の在り処 (Pure Furies ~ Where the Heart is)
    [Pure Furies ~ Kokoro no Arika]
    Pure Furies

 「私を見つけると、そこに棲む妖怪達が襲ってくるのよ」
 「ええ?
  って、何かメリーって化け物に襲われる癖があるね」
 「まあもう慣れたわよ。
  やっぱり、異物だって判るんでしょうね。
  私から見たら、妖怪達はゆらいで見えるように、相手からも
  私が幽霊のように見えるのかもしれないわ」

“So when they found me, the youkai that lived in that other world attacked me.”

“What, really? …Well actually I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. You do have a knack for getting attacked by creatures of all kinds.”

“I’m already used to it. I suppose they really can tell right away that I don’t belong. From my perspective the youkai appear unclear and wavering, so perhaps from their perspective I look something like a ghost.”

 形の無い量子達が縦横無尽に真空を駆け回る様に、妖怪も空を飛ん
で襲いかかって来たという。

In the same way that shapeless quantum particles endlessly race to and fro across the vacuum of space, the youkai in that world flew through the sky and swarmed to attack her, Merry said.

 「で、どんな妖怪だったの?
  河童? 天狗?」
 「人型だったわ。
  でもね、『あの世』の世界では姿は意味を持たないのよ」

“What kind of youkai were there? Kappa? Tengu?”

“They were human shaped. But you know? In ‘that world’ form really has no meaning.”

 せめて意思疎通が出来れば、と思う間もなく、メリーは夢から
覚めていた。

Before Merry even had the time to wish that she and the youkai might be able to come to some sort of understanding, she woke from her dream.

11.永遠の三日天下 (King for a Day, Forever)
    [Eien no Mikkatenka]
    Everyday Affairs

 「折角だから、最後バトル物ぼっくしちゃおうか」
 「博物誌じゃなかったの?」
 「冒険譚みたいな博物誌も受けると思うの。
  ほら、大航海時代の博物学だって、いわば冒険譚でしょう?」

“We don’t get this opportunity very often, so why don’t we turn the end of the story into an exciting battle or something?”

“Wasn’t this supposed to be more along the lines of a scientific journal?”

“I think a journal that reads like an adventure epic would be pretty well received. I mean, all of the literature we get out of the age of exploration is really just a bunch of adventure tales, right?”

 「ま、文章に起こすのは蓮子だから良いんだけどね」
 「じゃ、そんな感じで改めて取材、始めましょ。
  メリー改め、“Dr.レイテンシー”」
 「……本当にそのペンネームで行くの?
  何か恥ずかしいなぁ」

“Well you’re the one writing it, so you can do what you want.”

“Alright, well with that direction in mind, let’s continue our little interview shall we, Merry? Or should I say, ‘Dr. Latency’?”

“Are you really going to stick with that pen name? It’s kind of embarrassing…”

 「量子の隙間に潜む世界を見る博士だもの。
  ぴったりじゃない。
  男女も判らない、西洋っぽくも東洋っぽくも感じるし」

“You’re an expert who sees worlds that lurk within the gaps of quantum particles. It’s a perfect fit! The name doesn’t suggest male or female, and it has both a western and eastern sort of ring to it.”

 内容が内容だけに、著者の詳細は伏せる事にした。
 誰の目で見ても奇異な内容の本だったが、一部のトンデモ本マニア
には受けるのかも知れない。

As the subject matter was what it was, they decided to keep the details of their authorship undisclosed. From any reader’s perspective the journal was sure to be perceived as having very strange content, but perhaps it would find a following among maniacs obsessed with outrageous books.

 しかし、これは本当にあった話なのだ。

However, this story is one that really happened.

あとがき
 Afterword

 どうもZUNです。4年ぶりの音楽CDです。

Hello, there. It’s ZUN. This is my first music CD in 4 years.

 最近、AIの進化が目覚ましいですよね?
 AIが囲碁チャンピオンに勝ち、人間が描いたとしか思えない絵を描き、
小説で賞をかっさらっていく。

Lately advancements in artificial intelligence have been quite remarkable, don’t you think?

You have an AI that has won against a champion in the game of go, AI that have made art you would not have thought possible to have been made by anything other than human hands, and AI that have swept up awards in literature.

 それらは技術的な情報の価値が下がっていく過程に現れる現象です。

These are phenomena that have come to be as the value of technical knowledge and information has been on an ever continuing decline.

 ちょっと前に、絵の描き方、曲の作り方、ゲームの作り方を講義するのが
流行ったかと思いますが、人に教える事の出来る物は、AIにも習得できる
ということです。

Not long ago, if I remember correctly, courses on how to paint or draw, how to write music or how to create a game were very popular, but now the skills which can be had by teaching these techniques to humans can just as easily be learned by artificial intelligence.

 最近は、(本当にそう思っているわけでは無いのですが)つい二言目には
息苦しい世界になった、と言ってしまいます。

Lately, (and I don’t honestly believe this, just to say), I find myself talking about how this world has gotten ever more anxiety inducing.

 その理由は、芸能人、一般人関わらず一回のミスも許されない状況と、
怯えて必要以上に謝罪をする企業ばかり見ているからです。

One of those reasons for me bringing that up is that we live in a world where artists, actors and even ordinary people are just not allowed to make mistakes anymore. You look at the news or turn on the television and again and again you see businesses and corporations apologizing far more than is necessary.

 何故そうなったのでしょうか。
 それは情報の発信が誰でも出来る様になったから……と言うのが第一の理由。

How did it come to this point?

I think first part of the reason for this is that now absolutely anyone can stand up and disseminate information.

 第二の理由は、情報過多なのに今だ情報の価値が高いまま、だからでしょう。

The second part of the reason is that while we live in a world overloaded with information, we still ascribe to all information an inordinate amount of value.

 思い切って情報信仰を捨ててみると、蓮子とメリーの書いた同人誌(?)を
楽しんだり出来るかも知れませんね。

Once you take the plunge and throw away your faith in information, it may be possible for you to enjoy the doujinshi (?) that Renko and Merry have written together.

      上海アリス幻樂団 ZUN(楽しい事はGoogleで見つからない)
       Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra ZUN
          (You cannot find truly enjoyable things with Google)

伊弉諾物質~Neo-Traditionalism of Japan. // Izanagi Busshitsu / Izanagi Object

I was beside myself when I heard ZUN was going to continue Renko and Merry’s story at Comic 1☆6, and here we are, not four months later with yet another ZUN CD!

This translation goes through varying levels of strictness and has not undergone a final edit. I might run through it again in the next few days, but if there are any typos or really confusing parts mention them in the comments please so I can fix them (^o^;)

If anything, I’m sorry I couldn’t get this out sooner. Enjoy!

Notes:
 (I will attempt to cut as many of these down as possible with edits)

I ignored the line breaks in the dialogue in my translation. The cost is a slight loss of dramatic effect, but it’s easier to manage.

You would normally read 伊弉諾物質 as Izanagi Busshitsu, however throughout the text it has “イザナギオブジェクト” as its reading, i.e. “Izanagi Object”.

“Cell phone coverage” – is more generalized as “electromagnetic waves”. Radio/Television/Satellite/Cellphone etc.

I translate 療養 as “treatment”, but it specifically refers to a sort of “going out into the country until you feel better” kind of treatment for those of a weak or sickly constitution. Given that it takes you away from the polluted air of the cities, it’s not a completely mindless sort of way to get better.

“Zen’kou-ji Temple” is redundant as the “ji” means temple, but I figured it would be less confusing this way.

“…in front of a statue of Yama” – Yama is the Sanskrit and Pali name for “En’ma” I have leaned towards Sanskrit and Pali terms over Japanese equivalents throughout the rest of the translation as well.

“the god that created the Japanese archipelago” – literally it is written as “birth”, but Izanagi is male, and created the islands with Izanami (female), so I used “created” instead of “birthed” to avoid confusion. Although I’ve read the myth before, I forget the details (it’s quite complicated and graphic).

I will not translate youkai. If you don’t know what they are yet, head on over to wikipedia.

“Ame-no-Sakahoko” literally means “Inverted Spear of the Heavens”. (Inverted just to sound cooler – more like “upside down”)

I chose to keep “Izanagi Object” capitalized as a single unit, rather than “Izanagi object”, mainly to keep it emphasized.

Now without further ado, I give you the 6th narrative addition to the Hifuu Club, Izanagi Object, Neo-Traditionalism of Japan!!

伊弉諾物質~Neo-Traditionalism of Japan.
 Izanagi Busshitsu
 Izanagi Object

01. 緑のサナトリウム (Green Sanatorium)
   [Midori no Sanatorium]
   Sanatorium in Mountain

 「退屈しなかった?」
 「退屈しない訳が無いわ。こんな電波すら入らない山奥に隔離だなんて」
 「隔離って……、療養よ、療養。一応」

 ”Was it boring?”

 ”Of course it was boring! I can’t believe they thought they had to quarantine me, and all the way out here in the mountains! You can’t even get cell phone coverage out here!”

 ”Quarantine…? I’m sure it wasn’t anything like… It was treatment, for your health you know…? Supposedly.”

 行き過ぎた環境保護主義は都会を見かけだけの森林に飾り立てた。天然の植物
の無い、まさに絵に描いたジャングルだ。
 人間は自然を創造し、全てを管理したつもりでいた。管理外の物の存在を否定
するようになるのも時間の問題だった。病気も大抵治療法が確率していた。絶対
に直せない先天性の物等は病気では無く個性として認められ、社会が適合できる
ように変化していった。
 直せない病気は、事実上“存在しない“のだ。

 The cityscape was lined with a forest put up just for show, a result of environmentalism gone too far. There was no natural plantlife, just a jungle that looked like it came right out of a picture book.
 These days humans would create “nature”, and imagined they had complete control over it. It was only a matter of time before anything outside of this control would be denied outright. Now, there was a highly probable way to cure almost any illness. Things such as some hereditary disorders that just could not be cured were now considered not diseases but rather “traits”, and society had adjusted to this view.
 And thus, there was no sickness that could not be cured.

 マエリベリー・ハーン(メリー)は鳥船遺跡で怪我を負ってから、原因不明の
病に冒されていた。どうやら地球上には存在しないウイルス性に依る譫妄だと診
断された。
 管理外の物を恐れる社会の性質により、メリーは信州のサナトリウムで療養と
いう名の隔離治療をさせられていた。この度、完全に治癒したとの連絡があって、
宇佐美蓮子が迎えに来ていたのだ。

 Ever since Maribel Hearn (Merry) was wounded at the Torifune Ruins, she was affected by an unknown illness. At any rate it was determined that she was suffering delusions due to the effects of an extraterrestrial virus.
 Given that society tends to fear things it has no control over, Merry was quarantined in the name of “treatment” at the Shin’shuu Sanatorium. Now Usami Renko, having been notified that Merry had completely recovered, had come to pick her up.

 「誰とも会わせて貰えないし、そもそも日本に身寄りがいないし」
 「まあまあ、ところでどんな病気だったの?」
 「何か、熱に浮かされて寝ながら歩いたり別世界の幻覚を見たりしたわ」
 「ん? それってメリーにとってはいつもの事じゃあ……」

 ”They wouldn’t let anyone see me, and I don’t have any relatives in Japan to begin with.”
 ”At least it’s over now… But, what kind of sickness did you have anyway?”
 ”Well… I would get feverish and sleepwalk and have visions of other worlds and such.”
 ”Huh? But isn’t that just what’s normal for you?”

02. 牛に引かれて善光寺参り (Visit to the Zenkou Shrine, Led by Cattle)
   [Ushi ni Hikarete Zenkouji Mairi]
   Goslings Lead the Geese to Water.

 「ほら、本堂の柱が土台から随分とずれているでしょ?」
 「これが地震柱?」

 ”See how that pillar at the main temple is way out of alignment from the rest of the foundation?”
 ”So this is that ‘Earthquake Pillar’?”

 退院ついでに信州観光を行う事にした二人は、まず日本最古の仏像を祀るとい
う善光寺に立ち寄った。
 観光客がごった返す仲見世通りには目新しさは無い。お土産屋は伝統に縛られ
たまま、百年以上は時が止まっているようだ。

 After Merry was discharged and while they were in the area, Renko and Merry decided to go sightseeing through Shin’shuu. Their first stop was at the Zen’kou-ji temple, where they planned on visiting Japan’s oldest image of the Buddha.
 There was nothing new about the main shopping street that ran through the shrine, packed as it was with visitors. As the world of souvenirs was bound by tradition, it was like time had been stopped there for over a hundred years.

 「これが善光寺地震の爪痕と言う事になっているわ」

 ”It’s supposedly one of the remaining after effects of the Zen’kou-ji Earthquake.”

 ーー善光寺地震。弘化四年、信州北部を襲った地震である。
 善光寺は七年に一度だけ秘仏を公開する事で有名で、その時は全国から人が集
まり非常に混雑する。善光寺地震は、その御開帳の真っ最中に起きたため、死者
数千人とも言われる甚大な被害をもたらした。

 –The Zen’kou-ji Earthquake struck the northern districts of Shin’shuu in the fourth year of Kouka’s reign (1847).
 The Zen’kou-ji temple was famous for showing it’s hidden image of the Buddha only once every seven years, and during that time the temple would be flooded with people from all over the country. Since the Zen’kou-ji earthquake struck right in the middle of the ceremonial unveiling, the damages dealt by that powerful earthquake were catastrophic, and it is said that the dead numbered in the thousands.

 「地震で柱だけがずれたって言うの? そんな事あるのかしら」
 「本当はね、これは柱が時間が経って乾燥して捻れた物だって判ったの。
  でも、それより地震柱と呼んだ方が地震の恐ろしさを後生に伝えられるって
  みんな判断して、正式名称になったのよ」

 ”Are they trying to say that just this one pillar shifted in the earthquake? Is that even possible?”
 ”Well, the truth is that the pillar dried out and twisted that way over time. However, everyone decided that in order to convey the frightening power of earthquakes to later generations, they should call it the ‘Earthquake Pillar’, and now that has become its proper name.”

 メリーには見えていた。柱が歪むような恐ろしい地震の光景が。

 But Merry had seen it, the landscape wrought by a frightening earthquake that would easily have twisted that pillar.

03. ハートフェルトファンシー
   Heartfelt Fancy

 「どうしたの? 何か顔色が良くないみたいだけど、
  まだ病み上がりで調子が悪いの?」
 「あ、ああ、そんな事ないわ。むしろ絶好調みたいで……」
 「?」

 ”Is anything wrong? You look a little pale.. are you still not feeling that well?”
 ”Ah? Oh.. No, it’s nothing like that at all. Actually, I feel spectacular…”
 ”Hm?”

 メリーは最近、結界の切れ目だけで無く、異世界の風景を見ているようだ。
さらに夢の中だけで無く、実際に移動したりする事があるようで気になっている。

 Lately, Merry was not just seeing gaps in the boundaries of worlds, but seeing beyond them into the worlds themselves. And it wasn’t just in dreams anymore, there were cases where she actually went to the places she saw, and that was making her a little worried.

 先日の鳥船遺跡の時もそうだ。蓮子にとってはただの夢かも知れないが、彼女
にとっては現実と変わらない。だから、彼女だけが怪我をしたのだ。
 サナトリウムに行った理由も、精神異常と判断された、と言うのが正しいのだ
ろう。無論そんな事はないが、社会は不思議な者を受け入れないのだ。
 だから、彼女の能力はオカルトな物として秘密にしなければならない。

 Then there was that time at the Torifune Ruins, just a few days before. It might have been just a dream to Renko, but it was real for Merry. After all, she was the only one who was wounded.
 The real reason she was put in the sanatorium was probably because it was determined she had some kind of psychological anamoly. Of course that wasn’t the case, but society just isn’t receptive to strange persons.
 Therefore, Merry must keep her ability secret, as some element of the occult.

 「私は、メリーが不思議な力を持っているのは判っているわ。
  でも、その力っていつも神社仏閣が関係しているのよね」
 「そうだっけ?」
 「ええ、だからここに来てみたんだけど、まだ体調が優れないのかしら?」
 「だから、平気だって。
  ただ、少し調子が良すぎてねぇ、なんか余計な物まで見えて」
 「余計な物?」
 「地獄とかね」

 ”Merry, I know that you have some kind of mysterious power, but I also know that that power is somehow related to shrines and temples.”
 ”Really?”
 ”Yeah, that’s one of the reasons we came here, but are you sure you’re feeling alright?”
 ”I already told you, I’m fine. It’s just… maybe I feel -too- fine. Like I’m able to see more than I should.”
 ”More than you should? Like what?”
 ”Like Hell.”

04. 六十年目の東方裁判 (Judgement of the East on the Sixtieth Year)
   [Rokujuunenme no Touhou Saiban]
   Fate of Sixty Years

 「うわー、これはちょっと」
 「随分とファンニーな顔をしているわね」

 ”Uwah… This really is just a little…”
 ”It’s got a really ‘funny’ face doesn’t it?”

 二人は善光寺の閻魔像の前にいた。閻魔像は顔を真っ赤にして怒りを
表しているようだが、二人にはただの酔っ払いオヤジにしか見えていない。

 Renko and Merry were standing in front of a statue of Yama. Its face was depicted bright red and in anger, but to them the statue just looked like a random old drunk.

 「ねえ、メリー。さっきの話だけど、地獄って本当にあるの?」
 「うーんと地獄はね、
  地下4万由旬に存在すると言われているの」

 ”Hey Merry. Back to what we were talking about before. Does Hell really exist?”
 ”Well… It’s said that Hell exists forty thousand ‘yojana’ underground.”

 「由旬って長さの単位?」
 「そう、古代インドの長さの単位で1由旬はおよそ7キロ。
  つまり、4万由旬はおよそ28万キロくらいね。
  地球の直径が1万2千キロちょっとだから、地球も通り過ぎちゃうわ」

 ”And ‘yojana’ is a measure of distance?”
 ”Yes, It’s a unit of length used in ancient India where one yojana is about seven kilometers. So forty thousand yojana would be about two hundred eighty thousand kilometers. The diameter of the earth is just a little over twelve thousand kilometers so the distance goes through the earth.”

 「28万キロじゃ、地球を通り越して月の方が近いくらいね。
  つまりは存在しないのかな」
 「んー、そうとも言えないんだけど」

 ”At two hundred eighty thousand kilometers, that puts the moon closer than Hell, even if you start by going through the earth. In other words, I guess that means it doens’t exist.”
 ”Well… I wouldn’t be quite so sure about that…”

 地下4万由旬に存在するのは地獄の底である。
 実際には地獄はそこから3万9千由旬の高さがある。つまり地獄の
天井はずっと近く、地上からそこまでの距離は1千由旬しかない。キロに換算
すると地下7千キロ。これは地球の中心近くに地獄がある事を意味している。

 What lies forty thousand yojana underground is the bottom of Hell. Actually, Hell is about thirty nine thousand yojana high. That means that Hell’s ceiling is far closer, just a thousand yojana from the surface. Converting to metric puts that at about seven thousand kilometers underground. In other words, close to the center of the earth.

 メリーには地球内部の事まではよく判らない。もし自分が地獄が存在すると
信じたら、いつか必ず行く事になるのでは無いか、そんな不安が頭をよぎる。
彼女は今、そう感じさせる物を持っているのだ。
不安を誤魔化すべく話を続ける。

 Merry didn’t know that much about the inside of the earth, but if she were to believe that Hell really exists, the anxiety that surely one day she would find herself there crossed her mind. After all, Merry was carrying with her something that made her feel that way. Merry continued the conversation, trying to conceal her anxiety.

 「それでも極楽よりはずっと近いのよ?」
 「え? 極楽は雲の上にあるんじゃなくて?」

 ”Still, that puts it a lot closer than paradise.”
 ”Huh? Wasn’t paradise supposed to be somewhere above the clouds?”

 「極楽にすむ阿弥陀如来の身長は6×10^125由旬もあるのよ?
  雲の上どころかーー」
 「ーーえーと、阿弥陀如来の身長だけでビッグバン宇宙より遥かに大きいわね。
  何そのインフレ」

 ”Amitabha, who lives in paradise,’s height is 6×10^125 yojana you know? Saying just above the clouds isn’t even…”
 ”Umm… If that’s the case, Amitabha’s height is far greater than the scope of the universe, at least according to the Big Bang Theory. That’s some ridiculous inflation.”

05. アガルタの風
   [Agharta no Kaze]
   Agharta Wind

 「地獄に比べて極楽は遥かに大きくて遠いのね」
 「同時に、地獄は極楽に比べるともの凄く身近で、現実的という事なのよ」

 ”So I guess compared to Hell, paradise is a lot larger, and a lot farther away.”
 ”At the same time, Hell is a lot closer, and a lot more realistic.”

 遥か昔から、人間がいる限り地上にも地獄は存在した。その地獄よりも遥かに
大きい極楽を想像して恐怖を和らげていたのかも知れない。
 しかし、地底にある本物の地獄は未だに沈黙を続けている。

 ”Since ancient times, as long as there have been humans, there have existed ‘hells on earth’. It may be that people imagined paradise to be far greater than their hells as a way to quell their fears.
 Yet, the real hell lurking under the earth still remains in silence.

 蓮子には黙っていたが、メリーはサナトリウムで療養中。地底奥深くの不思議
な世界を体験していた。
 恐ろしい死の匂いが充満した洞窟の入り口。何処か古事記に出てくる黄泉比良
坂を彷彿させた。彼女はそこで手に入れた不思議な石片を現在も持っている。何
故かこの石片を持っていると、いくつかの風景が頭に浮かんでは消えるのだ。
 メリーは予感した。地底には何か秘密がある。それもこの国の創世に関わる、
何かとてつもない秘密だ。

 Merry didn’t tell Renko, but when she was undergoing “treatment” in the sanatorium, she experienced a strange world that lay far beneath the surface, in the depths of the earth.
 There was that entrance to a cave, filled with the frightening stench of death. It reminded her of Yomotsu-Hirasaka as it was described in the Kojiki. Merry was still carrying the strange rock fragment that she found while she was there. For some reason when she held it, several landscapes crossed her mind, appearing and then vanishing just as quickly.
 Merry intuition told her that some secret lay beneath the earth, and that it was somehow connected with with origins of this country – some incredible secret.

 「メリー、どうしたの?
  また考え込んじゃって」
 「ねえ蓮子。私がサナトリウムにいたとき、何か起きてなかった?」

 ”Merry, what’s wrong? You’re drifting off again.”
 ”Hey Renko, did anything happen while I was in the sanatorium?”

06. イザナギオブジェクト
   Izanagi Object

 「え? 何か、ねぇ」
 「特に、地底に関わる事で」
 「う、うーん。そういえば、完全に情報は遮断されてたのね。
  OK,OK。一ヶ月くらいのニュースなら大抵覚えているわ。
  地底に関わる事なら……、そうねえ眉唾のニュースで良ければ」
 「お願い」
 「日本海のメタンハイドレートの採掘場から、何やら不可思議な成分の鉱物
  が出たって……。
  2500万年前に完全に消えたイザナギプレートの名残だって、一時大騒
  ぎになったんだけど、どうもその情報が眉唾物でね。見つかった石片が、
  どう見ても人の手が加わった形をしていたのよ。
  それで学者もみんな冷めちゃってさ」

 ”Huh? Anything? Uh…”
 ”In particular, anything that has to do with the depths of the earth.”
 ”Um… Oh yeah, now that I think of it you were completely cut off from all outside information weren’t you? Ok, Ok. Iremember pretty much everything that went on in the news in the last month. Something that has to do with the depths of the earth… Well there was that. If you’re alright with some false news…”
 ”Let’s hear it.”
 ”At one of the methane hydrate drilling sites in the Sea of Japan, some ore of a strange composition was found… Those involved said that it was a relic of the Izanagi Plate that was thought to have completely disappeared some twenty five million years ago, and there was an uproar about it for a while, but it seems that some of the information was fabricated. The rock fragment they found had to be man-made, no matter how you looked at it. Once that appeared to be the case, the entire scientific community lost interest.”

 イザナギプレートとは、太平洋側からユーラシアプレートにぶつかり日本列
島を生んだ太古のプレートである。2500万年前に大陸の下に潜り込んで、
完全に消えた。その名前は日本列島を生んだ神にちなんだ物である。

 The Izanagi Plate was the ancient tectonic plate which gave rise to the Japanese archipelago when it ran into the Pacific side of the Eurasian Plate. Twenty five million years ago it was completely submerged under the Eurasian continent and disappeared. Its name comes from the god that was said to have created the Japanese archipelago.

 「遥か地底から人工物? それって本当?」
 「いやー、どうだかねぇ。過去にはこれは70万年前の石器だ、って捏造し
  た学者もいたみたいだけど、2500万年以前、じゃあねぇ」
 「つまり逆説的に、捏造では無いと」

 ”Something man-made, deep under the earth’s surface? Is that true?”
 ”Well… I’m not so sure about that. There was that one case of that scientist who claimed that some manufactured stone “artifact” was a relic from seven hundred thousand years ago, but twenty five million years ago? That seems like a tough argument to make.”
 ”In other words, it’s actually almost certain that it’s -not- a fake.”

 メリーが何か確信を持ったような表情を見せた。

 Merry looked as if she had made up her mind.

07. 妖怪裏参道 (The Youkai’s Backroad to the Shrine)
   [Youkai Urasandou]
   Enigma Street

 「良いニュースだわ。
  その人工物は、本物よ!」
 「へ?
  今日のメリー、何か変よ? 急に不安がったり、急に自信持ったり」
 「実はね、私、そのイザナギプレートの名残という石を持っているのよ」
 「へ?
  な、何言ってるの? やっぱりおかしくなちゃった?」

 ”That’s great news! That man-made object is real!!”
 ”Huh? Merry, aren’t you a little off today? Before, you suddenly you look worried, and then now suddenly you’re full of confidence…”
 ”The truth is, I’ve got one of those fragments of the Izanagi Plate!”
 ”Huh? W-What are you talking about? Are you sure you’re alright? There isn’t something wrong?”

 蓮子は何やら興奮しているメリーを観察した。
 何か、伊弉諾が実在……等、ぶつぶつと呟いてる。何かちょっと遠くに
行ってしまったようで寂しく思った。

 Renko looked on as Merry was getting all excited about something.
 She kept on muttering things like “Izanagi was real…” on and on. It was as if Merry was going off somewhere all by herself and Renko started to feel lonely.

 そう言えば最近、メリーの能力が高まっている様に感じていた。最初の頃は
ただ不思議な世界が見られると言う事で遊んでいただけなのに、今ではその世
界から物を持ってくる事も自在という。

 Come to think of it, recently it felt as if Merry’s abilities were getting stronger. At first, they had enough fun just with the chance at a glimpse of strange new worlds, but now they were bringing things back from those worlds, as if it were nothing.

 不思議な世界では妖怪のような者に出くわす事もある。蓮子にとってはそれ
はただの幻像であるが、メリーには現実なのだ。

 In those strange worlds they had sometimes encountered beings like youkai. To Renko those were just figments of her imagination, but to Merry, they were real.

 蓮子にはメリーがその妖怪と同じレベルにいると思えてならなかった。

 Renko couldn’t help thinking that Merry was on the same level as those youkai.

08. アンノウンX
   [Unknown X]
   Unfound Adventure

 「ねえねえ、メリーが持っているっていう石って……」
 「はいこれ」

 ”Hey Merry, that rock you said you had with you…”
 ”Here you go.”

 メリーは小さな石を差し出した。その形、は釣り針とも鍵とも言いがたい
形容しがたい形をしていた。明らかに人工物である。

 Merry held out a small rock. Its shape was something like a fishing hook and something like a key. It was hard to describe, but it was clearly man-made.

 「これがイザナギプレートから見つかった人工物、伊弉諾物質よ」
 「んー、なんでそう言い切れるの?」

 ”This is what I found at the Izanagi Plate. It’s an Izanagi Object.”
 ”Hmm… How can you say for sure?”

 「私には見えるもん。
  2500万年前に伊弉諾が創った日本の姿が」
 「今日のメリーは、いつもにも増して電波ね」
 「何とでも言って、今は新しい映像が次々と入ってきて絶好調なんだから」

 ”I can see it. The shape of Japan as it was made by Izanagi, twenty five million years ago.”
 ”You really are acting a lot weirder than usual today, Merry.”
 ”Say what ever you want, right now I feel amazing. I keep on seeing these new images, again and again.”

 サナトリウムから戻ってきて、メリーは一段と感覚が鋭くなった様に見える。
 蓮子は羨ましく思うと同時に、何とかして自分もその映像を見なければと思った。

 Since Merry came back from the sanitorium, it looked as if her senses had sharpened to a whole new level.
 While Renko felt a bit jealous, she hoped that somehow she too could see what Merry saw.

 「ねえ、私にも見せてよー。その映像」

 ”Come on, show them to me too!”

09. 日本中の不思議を集めて (Collect All the Curiosities of Japan)
   [Nihonjuu no Fushigi wo Atsumete]
   Mysterious Island

 人はいつから不思議を受け入れなくなったのだろう。

 When was it that people stopped accepting mysterious things?

 暗闇に火の玉が浮かんでいれば、昔は死者の無念の魂とか、狐が人を騙す時
の火だとか言ったものだった。

 When will o’ wisps appeared, people once thought they were the regretful spirits of the dead, or fires which foxes used to deceive humans.

 そこには深い想像力があった。

 In those thoughts was a deep sense of imagination.

 科学が進んでも、想像力が重要なのは変わらなかった。科学の大半は想像力で
出来ているからだ。火の玉は燐の自然発火だとか、プラズマだとか、脳の仕組み
で起こる錯覚だとか想像した。

 Even as science advances, the power of imagination does not grow any less important. The better half of science is still based on imagination. In order to explain those will o’ wisps, we imagined that perhaps those they were natural combustions of phosphorus gas, perhaps they were plasma, perhaps they were some sort of hallucination caused by the inner workings of the brain.

 しかし、情報化社会が進むと想像力は死滅した。
 情報が誰にでも平等に与えられる物になった時代に想像の余地は無かったのだ。
 火の玉の正体は与えられた情報の海の中に必ず答えがある。無ければ、何かの
間違いで片付ければ良い、と。

 However, as this society built on information advances, the power of imagination has been all but extinguished.
 In this age where information is equally available to anyone, there is no room left for imagination.
 ”On the true nature of will o’ wisps, in the vast sea of information given to us, there surely will be an answer. If there isn’t, then the whole thing must be some kind of mistake we should disregard.”

 人は答えのある不思議を娯楽として楽しみ、答えの無い不思議を否定した。
 それが、この国から神様が消えた理由である。
 今はもう、日本中が神様の墓場なのだ。

 People have taken great pleasure in finding the answers to great mysteries, and have denied the mysteries that have no answer.
 That is why they all have vanished from this country.
 Now, all of Japan is but a graveyard for the gods.

 「メリー! この場所、見た事があるよ!」

 ”Merry! I’ve seen this place before!!”

10. 素敵な墓場で暮らしましょ
   [Suteki na Hakaba de Kurashimasho]
   Neo-Traditionalism of Japan

 「この逆さに刺さった鉾は、高千穂の天逆鉾ね。
  伊弉諾命と伊弉冉命が大地をかき回したという鉾よ」

 ”That spear that’s stuck in the ground, that’s the Ame-no-Sakahoko of Takachiho! That’s the spear that Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto were said to have wrought the ground with!”

 メリーは蓮子の目に手を当てていた。こうする事で、不安定だかメリーの
ビジョンを共有する事が出来るのだ。

 Merry had put her hand over Renko’s eyes. By doing so, although it was a bit unstable, Merry was able to share her vision with Renko.

 「え? この世界に実在するの?」
 「高千穂峰の山頂に刺さっているのよ。もの凄く不思議なのに、誰もまともに
  研究しようとしないの」

 ”Huh? That exists in our world?”
 ”It’s sticking of out the peak of a mountain in Takachiho. Even though it’s really strange, no one’s properly researched it.”

 メリーからもう不安は消えていた。自分が見た地底の光景は地獄なんかじゃ無い。
 これは現実にある、神々の世界の映像なんだ、と。

 All of Merry’s anxiety was gone. The land under the earth that she had seen wasn’t Hell. What she had seen were images of the world of the gods, a place that actually existed.

 「じゃあ、きっとその天逆鉾も本物ね。
  この伊弉諾物質と同じ石で出来て居ると思うわ。確かめなくちゃ」
 「良いわね。今度、メリーの快気祝いに行こう。
  天逆鉾が本物だとすると……、もしかしたらここの近くにも伊弉諾物質が
  あるかも知れないわ!」

 ”Then that must mean that Ame-no-Sakahoko is real too. I think it’ll made out of the same rock as this Izanagi Object. We’ll have to check it out!”
 ”That sounds wonderful. Let’s go in celebration of your fantastic recovery. If the Ame-no-Sakahoko is real, then… there might be another Izanagi Object close by!”

 二人の想像力はとどまるところを知らない。

 Their imagination knew no bounds.

 「休憩したら次は戸隠に行ってみようよ。
  あそこには天手力男命がぶん投げたという天の岩戸があるんだって」

 ”After we rest a bit we should go to Togakure. Supposedly that’s where Tedjikaraono-Mikoto burst through the gate of the celestial cave, Ama-no-Iwato!”

 「天の岩戸といえば高千穂の……」

 ”Isn’t Ama-no-Iwato part of Takachiho’s…”

 「そう、きっと天の岩戸も伊弉諾物質だわ!
  そうと決まれば行こう、戸隠へ」

 ”Exactly! I’m sure that Ama-no-Iwato’s an Izanagi Object! Now that that’s that, let’s go to Togakure!”

 「ワクワクするね。
  きっと誰も気にかけないだけで日本中に伊弉諾物質が眠ってるんだわ。
  それに気が付いた者だけが、神の時代の風景が見られるの。
  素敵だわ、私達で見つけ出しましょう!」

 ”This is really exciting isn’t it! I think that Izanagi Objects are sleeping all throughout Japan, it’s just that no one’s paid them any attention. Only people that have realized them for what they are can see the landscape as it appeared in the time of the gods. This is wonderful! Let’s go out and find them all!”

 神様の墓場が史実として動き始めていた。
 それは秘封倶楽部、不思議を受け入れた者だけが見える、別の日本の姿だった。

 So they started off, taking in the graveyard of the gods as factual history.
 It was what the members of the Sealing Club, those who accepted inexplicable mysteries, could see… a different Japan.

あとがき
 Afterword

 どうもZUNです。久しぶりではありませんね。
 私は信州の出ですので、長野の善光寺には何度か行った事があります。

 How do you do, it’s ZUN. It hasn’t been that long has it?
 I’m actually from Shin’shuu, and have been to the Zen’kou-ji temple in Nagano several times.

 あそこには戒壇巡りという、真っ暗な通路を手探りで歩く施設があります。

 There is a pitch black passageway inside of the temple where it’s so dark you must find your way through hand and foot, and it is used in a certain set of monks’ trials.

「真っ暗、って言っても、観光客が多いんだから安全性を考慮して非常口の
 灯りくらいはあるんでしょ?」

 ”Pitch black? But if there are many people that come as tourists aren’t there emergency exit lights there for safety reasons?”

 いえいえ、本当に真っ暗です。あの中で事件が起きたら目撃者ゼロです。
 その真っ暗な通路の中で、極楽の錠前を握る事が出来ればミッションクリアです。

 No, no. It really is pitch black in there. If an incident happened in that passageway there would be absolutely no eyewitnesses.
 The whole point is that if in the middle of the dark passage you can grip the lock of paradise, it’s “mission clear”.

 そんな戒壇巡りですが、一度だけ中にライトが入っている時がありました。
 確か七年に一度の御開帳の時だったと思います。大変な混雑だったので恐らく
安全性を考慮しての事でしょう。子供心にはガッカリした物です。

 That’s the way it usually is, but there was one time when there were lights on inside of it.
 I think it was during one of those once in seven years ceremonial unveilings. It was terribly crowded, so they must have done it out of safety concerns. It was really disappointing to me at the time, like I’d lost some of my innocence.

 でも今になってみれば貴重な経験。
 普段見る事の出来ない極楽の錠前の形をしっかりと覚えています。

 But looking back now it really was a valuable experience to me.
 After all, I still remember clearly what the lock to paradise looks like, and that’s not something you see everyday.

 あ、音楽CDとは関係無いですね。
 秘封倶楽部の二人は、普段こういう活動をしていますという話でした。

 Ah, that really has nothing to do with the music CD does it?
 This story was just one of those adventures the two members of the Sealing Club often have.

              上海アリス幻樂団 ZUN(戸隠そばを食べたい)
     Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra ZUN (Wants to Eat Togakure Soba)

^I was tempted to make this first image, but I figured I’d continue with tradition – it’d be weird to have a non Merry and Renko image at the top.

鳥船遺跡 〜 Trojan Green Asteroid

宇宙に捨てられた衛星トリフネ
ーー隔離された楽園に秘封倶楽部の二人が望む

Satellite “Torifune”, Abandoned in Space
–The Two Members of the Sealing Club look upon an Isolated Paradise.

Sorry for the wait! I happened to have surgery the day this came out >.>

This is a wonderful addition to ZUN’s music collection and I am very happy I got to listen to, read, and translate it. I hope you enjoy it too and form a stronger bond with two of Touhou’s best characters.

Notes:

Trojan Asteroid: [wikipedia]

Lagrange Point: [wikipedia]

The narrative switches between calling the space station “Torifune”, “Satellite Torifune”, and “Torifune Ruins”, even it it might seem a little awkward, I’ve tried to match the original text’s naming scheme.

‘true scientists’ – she’s supposed to sound sort of like Okabe Rintarou here.

The “English” title for track 7 was originally printed “Lonely Monstar”.

鳥船遺跡〜Trojan Green Asteroid.
 Torifune Iseki
 Torifune Ruins

01. 衛星トリフネ
   [Eisei Torifune]
   Satellite TORIFUNE

 「ねえ。トリフネ、って有ったでしょ?」
 「トリフネ? ああ、あの事故起こした宇宙ステーションの?」

“Hey, you know about ‘Torifune’ right?”

“‘Torifune’? Ah, you mean that space station that broke down?”

 トリフネは数年前に原因不明の機械トラブルを起こし、宇宙の藻屑
と消えた不遇の宇宙ステーションだ。

“Torifune” is the name of a space station that was lost, unfortunately, a few years ago due to an unexplained mechanical failure.

 「アレって、宇宙に適応出来るかどうかの実験で、色んな動植物を
  乗っけてたんだよね」
 「あ、あーそうねぇ。でもそれがどうしたって言うの?」

“Didn’t they load several plants and animals onto it as part of an experiment to test whether they could adapt to life in space?”

“Yeah, that’s right… But why are you bringing this up now?”

 トリフネには最適化された生態系を乗せていた。限られたエリアだ
けで完結する生態系の実験の為である。その目標はテラフォーミング
の実現だ。
 それも火星や金星などではない。そんな物はSFの世界の話だ。
 テラフォーミングの対象として目されていたのは、地球である。

A highly specialized ecosystem was placed inside the Torifune. It was a test to see whether or not one could construct a complete ecosystem given a strictly confined area. The goal of the experiment was to implement “terraforming”.

However, it wasn’t planned for use on Mars or Venus, that’s the stuff of science fiction.

Ideally, this sort of terraforming would have been used on Earth.

 「もしかしたら、まだ生きているかも知れないの」

“I think they might still be alive.”

02. トロヤ群の密林 (The Trojan Asteroid’s Deep Forest)
   [Toroyagun no Mitsurin]
   Trojan Green Asteroid

 「メリー、何言ってるの? いくらミニ生態系が用意されていたと
  しても人間の手を離れた宇宙ステーションで維持なんて……」

“Merry, what are you talking about? Even if it’s supposed to be a mini-ecosystem, there’s no way it could have maintained itself on a completely abandoned…”

 宇佐見蓮子は苦い笑顔を見せた。

Renko broke into a bitter smile.

 「……メリーがそういうって事は、何かあるんでしょ?」

“…Well if you’re the one saying it, there’s got to be a reason for it right?”

 「うん、最近見えるの。”中”の様子が」

“Well, lately I’ve been able to see inside of it.”

 トリフネは人類の制御を離れ宇宙の藻屑となったと言われていたが、
実は地球ー月系のラグランジュポイントに留まっている事が判っている。

The Torifune is said to have been lost to space, out of humanity’s reach, but the truth is that we know it has stopped at a Lagrange point in respect to the Earth and the Moon.

 万が一を考え、何らかの事故が起きて制御不能になった場合でも
推進装置に影響がない場合、地球への落下防止と未来の回収を考えて、
ラグランジュポイントに自動移動して留まる機構を備えていたのだ。

In case of an emergency and control of the station was lost or the thrusters were malfunctioning, the Torifune was equipped with a system that would automatically maneuver the station towards a Lagrange point in order to prevent it from falling to Earth and make it possible to recover.

03. デザイアドライブ
   Desire Drive

ーー美しくも無秩序な緑の森。

–A green forest, as chaotic as it is beautiful.

 むせ返るような蒸気。異常な熱気はコンピュータの暴走か。

Stifling humidity… is this heat due to the computer malfunctioning?

 人工的な重力空間を幻想的に舞うツノゼミの一種。
 構造色なのか鮮やかな、そして毒々しい色をしたモルフォチョウの一種。

A species of treehopper dances dream-like in this space of artificial gravity.

Is it natural for that morpho butterfly to have such a dazzling and venomous color?

 絶えず水の流れる音はするが、川は見えない。
 縦横無尽に張り巡らされた植物の根が川を覆ってしまったのだろう。

I hear the sound of water flowing, but I can’t see a stream anywhere.

I wonder if the roots of all these plants, strewn all over the place, have completely covered it?

 ジャングルとはこういう物だったのだろうか。

This is what you would call a “jungle” isn’t it?

 マエリベリー・ハーンの探検心をくすぐる。

Maribel Hearn’s adventurous heart was drawn in.

04. フェアリー冒険譚 (Fairytale Adventure)
   [Fairy Boukentan]
   Childlike Adventure

 目に映る光景は、余りに幻想的だった。

What she saw before her was like something out of a fairytale.

 生命力の高い個体ばかり積んだからだろうか、人類の管理から
放たれた動植物は枯れること無く成長を続けていた。

Maybe it was because of all the strong plants selected for the ecosystem, but even out of human’s care and control, nothing withered but only continued to grow.

 窓の外は有害な太陽風吹き荒れる無の世界。
 そこに漂う宇宙船の中は、緑の閉鎖楽園。

Outside the window was a world of nothingness, buffeted by harmful solar winds.

But through it this spaceship was floating, an isolated green paradise.

 余りの異様な光景にマエリベリーは熱病にかかったかの様に
辺りを探索した。
 地上とは異なる安定しない重力感覚がそうさせたのかも知れない。

It was as if Merry had caught a fever from all the strangeness around her, and she excitedly explored the area.

Maybe it was the unstable gravity, unlike Earth’s, that turned her head.

 暫く探索すると蔦が密集した所に、一際違和感のある意匠を発見した。

After exploring a bit she came to a place with thick ivy, and discovered something there that didn’t seem to belong.

 二本の柱に木を渡したものーー鳥居である。

Two pillars with a piece of wood over the top, a Shinto shrine gate.

05. 天鳥船神社 (Ame-no-Torifune Shrine)
   [Amenotorifunejinja]
   Space Shrine

 「……という所で目が覚めるの」
 「え? 夢の話なの?
  ……って言ってもメリーの夢は怖いからなぁ」
 「ところで、何で宇宙ステーションに鳥居があるのかしら」

“…And that’s where I wake up.”

“Huh? You mean to tell me that was a dream?
Well in any case, your dreams really are frightening, Merry.”

“By the way, why would there be a Shinto shrine gate in a space station?”

 衛星トリフネには天鳥船神社が建てられていた。
 一応、宙の交通安全の為に祀られているとされる。もしかしたら
大洪水の際につがいの動物を乗せたとするノアの方舟のイメージも
あるのかも知れない。
 人間はいくら科学が進もうとも、最後は神頼みなのだ。

There was a shrine to Ame-no-Torifune built inside the satellite Torifune.

At any rate, Ame-no-Torifune was worshipped for safe travel through space. It might have been put in place partially due to the fact that the Satellite Torifune resembled Noah’s Arc, which took pairs of animals onboard at the time of a great flood.

No matter how much science advances, in the end we still rely on gods.

 「へー。詳しいわね」
 「その事を知らなかったのにメリーの夢にも鳥居が出てくるのなら、
  もう間違い無いわね」
 蓮子は頷く。
 「この近くにも天鳥船神社、あったよね」
 「しょうが無いわねぇ。
  今夜はそこから”見に行きましょう”」

“You really know a lot don’t you?”

“If you didn’t know that but it still came up in your dream, then there’s no mistake.”

Renko nodded.

“There was a shrine to Ame-no-Torifune close by here wasn’t there?”

“I guess there’s no helping it…
Tonight we’ll go off to “see it” from there.”

06. 夜空のユーフォーロマンス (Night Sky UFO Romance)
   [Yozora no UFO Romance]
   UFO Romance

 「ーーわあ、これが衛星トリフネの内部なの?」
 「素敵でしょ?
  地上じゃこんな世界、中々見られないわ」
 「幻想的ね。隔離された楽園、かー」

“Wow! This is the inside of the satellite Torifune?”

“Wonderful, isn’t it?
It’s not often that you can see a world like this on Earth.”

“It really is dreamlike. An isolated paradise, huh.”

 蓮子とメリーは地上から38万km離れた衛星トリフネの中にいた、
 ……と言っても勿論夢の中である。

Renko and Merry were 380,000 km away from the Earth’s surface, inside the satellite Torifune.

Well, that is, in a dream.

 二人は結界の向こう側を見つけては遊んでいるのだ。

Every time they find a way to the other side of the boundary, they can’t help but go adventuring.

 「ここにある動植物は恐らく殆ど亜種ね。
  このぐらい適応力が高いと、逆に地上には持って行けないかも
  知れないわねぇ……」
 「何、研究者みたいな目で見ているのよ」
 「理系の人間はみんなこうよ……ん? 何の音?」

“Most of the plants and animals here are probably derivative sub-species. With a resistance and vitality like this it’d probably be a bad idea to take them back to Earth…”

“Why are you analyzing all of this like a some sort of researcher?”

“All ‘true scientists’ are like this… huh? What was that?”

 何処からか低いうなり声が聞こえていた。

From somewhere a low growling sound was heard.

07. ハルトマンの妖怪少女 (Hartmann’s Youkai Girl)
   [Hartmann no Youkai Shoujo]
   Lonely Monster

 目の前に立ちはだかる未知の生物。
 羽の生えた獰猛な獣が姿を現した。
 地球に存在する物に例えるのなら、キマイラだろうか。

An unknown beast stood before them.

A ferocious animal with wings on its back.

If you were to describe it in terms of “Earthly” creatures, it would be a chimera.

 「ちょっと、アレって!?」

“Wh…What is that!?”

 「うーん、合成獣かしら。
  でも身体の大きさに比べて翼が小さすぎて、アレでは飛べない。
  ここは閉鎖空間だから遺伝子異常が起きやすいし、
  ウィングキャットみたいな物かもね」

“Hmm, a composite beast?
But its wings are too small compared to its size… it wouldn’t be able to fly.
Since this is a closed environment, genetic abnormalities are more likely to occur…
So this is sort of like a “wing-cat”, hmm…”

 「じゃ、なくて! 何でそんなに冷静なのよ!
  明らかにアレは危険でしょ?」

“Wait what? How can you be so calm?
That thing is clearly dangerous!!”

 「だって、これは夢でしょ? メリーが見せた」

“Well, this is a dream right? One you’re showing me.”

キマイラは二人目掛けて飛びかかってきた。

The chimera leapt towards the two.

08. 天鳥船神社の結界 (The Ame-no-Torifune Shrine’s Barrier)
   [Amenotorifunejinja no Kekkai]
   Space Shrine in Dream

 「ふう、危ない危ない」

“Phew… That was close.”

 「あれ?
  もう終わり?」

“Huh? That’s it?”

 気が付くと地上の天鳥船神社に居た。

When they came to, Merry and Renko were back on Earth at the Ame-no-Torifune shrine.

 「私一人の時は動物は昆虫くらいしか見かけなかったのに。
  あんなの居るなんて聞いてない!
  ……って、蓮子は怖くないの?」

“When I went by myself I only saw insects!
I didn’t know there was going to be something like that there!
Wait… Renko, aren’t you scared?”

 「だって、夢の中だし……それに未知の生物に興奮して
  怖いとか勿体ない」

“Well… it was in a dream, and isn’t it a waste to be scared when you discover a new lifeform?”

 「夢の中……って言ったって怖い物は怖いわよ」

“Even if you saw it’s all a dream, scary things are scary!!”

 「ねえ、もう一回行かない?」

“Hey, can we go again?”

 「え?」

“What?”

 メリーはこの夢がただの夢でない事を知っている。
 あの光景は紛れもない、衛星トリフネの真実なのだ。
 それを見ている自分は真実では無いのだろうか。

Merry knew that this dream wasn’t just a dream.

What they saw was without a doubt the true inside of the satellite Torifune.

If what they were looking at was true, wouldn’t there be some truth to them being there?

 リアルとヴァーチャル、どちらの方が人間に与える影響が大きいのか
判らぬ訳も無いのに。

Real and virtual, it’s clear which has a greater effect on humans…

 「……辞めようよ。
  危ないってば」

“…Let’s stop.
It’s too dangerous.”

 「だってさ、いつでも逃げられるんでしょ? 今みたいに。
  それに知っている?
  夢の中なら人間は何にでもなれるんだわ」

“Well, we can run away whenever we want right? Just like we did now.
Also, don’t you know?
Humans can be whatever they want to be in dreams.”

09. 感情の摩天楼 (Emotional Skyscraper)
   [Kanjou no Matenrou]
   Cosmic Mind

ーー不安定な重力を乗りこなし、ひょうひょうと跳ねる蓮子。

–Renko had overcome the unstable gravity and was leaping lightly all over the place.

 「おもしろーい!
  これだけ身軽ならさっきの怪物が出てきてもきっと余裕だよ!」

“This is so awesome!
With this kind of agility, I’d be fine even if that monster came back again!”

 「不吉なことを言わないの」

“Don’t joke about things like that!”

 「大丈夫だって。
  今の私はさながらシューティングゲームの主人公よ!」

“We’ll be fine!
Right now I’m like the protagonist of a shooting game!”

 蓮子は銃を構えたポーズで撃つ真似をした。

Renko took a pose as if she were shooting a gun.

 「いくら夢でも、光弾が撃てたりはしないと思う。
  これは”私の夢”なんだからね」

“Even if this is a dream, I don’t think you’d be able to shoot anything.
This is -my- dream after all.”

 「判ってるって。
  ここが本当の衛星トリフネ、”鳥船遺跡”だって事もね」

“I know, I know.
But I also know that this is the real satellite Torifune, the ‘Torifune Ruins’.”

 衛星トリフネの事故の原因は一般には「コンピュータのバグ」
だと言われている。しかしバックアップからは原因を特定する
事は出来なかった。
 勝手にラグランジュポイントに移動し始めた衛星トリフネを
止める手段が無く、専門家が
 「日本の技術者は多額の金をかけて宇宙に遺跡を作った」
と揶揄した事を切っ掛けに、この衛星は「鳥船遺跡」と呼ばれる
ようになった。

It is said that the reason the satellite Torifune malfunctioned was because of a computer bug. But there was no way to tell what actually went wrong from the backups of the system.

After the incident, with no way to keep the satellite Torifune from moving to a Lagrange point, an expert said, “Japan’s engineers have spent a large sum of money just to make a ruin in space,” in criticism of the project. Ever since then, the satellite has been called the “Torifune Ruins”.

 「とすると、怪物は鳥船遺跡に実在するのよ。
  ワクワクするわねぇ」

“Which means, that monster really does exist in the Torifune Ruins.
Makes you excited doesn’t it?”

 「んもー。
  いくらこれが夢だとしても、怪我でもしたらどうなるか
  判らないわよ?」

“Cut it out already.
No matter how many times you say it’s just a dream, what happens if you get hurt?”

怪物が二人を襲ったのはその時だった。

At that moment, the monster attacked.

10. 宇宙に浮かぶ幻想郷 (The Gensoukyou Floating in Space)
   [Uchuu ni Ukabu Gensoukyou]
   Paradise Torifune

 衛星トリフネの回収の予算は下りそうに無い。
 何故なら人間の制御の手を離れた時から、もう中の生物は
全滅し、わざわざ回収する程の価値は無いと思われているからだ。

There are no plans to retrieve the satellite Torifune.

After all, it is thought that after humans lost control of the ship, all life inside it ceased, and that there would be no real merit to retrieving the remains.

 まさか地球ー月系のトロヤ群に、断絶された生命の楽園が
存在している等と、誰が考えただろう。

Who would have thought that on an Earth/Moon bound Trojan asteroid, there was an isolated paradise brimming with life?

 蓮子は病院の前で待っていた。

Renko waited in front of the hospital.

 「大丈夫だった?」

“Did everything go alright?”

 「何て事も無いかすり傷よ。
 綺麗な傷で、別にバイ菌も毒も心配ないって」

“It was just a graze. It was a clean cut too, so there’s no risk of infection.”

 「良かったぁ。
  心配したわ、夢から覚めたら腕を怪我しているんだもん」

“Well that’s good.
I was so worried after we woke up and your arm was hurt!”

 「不公平な話ね。蓮子は無傷だったのに……」

“It’s not fair, you made it out perfectly fine…”

あとがき
 Afterword

 どうもZUNです。久しぶりの音楽CDですね。

Hello, it’s ZUN. It’s been a while since I’ve done a music CD like this huh?

 ここ1、2年、宇宙ブームが来ています。ハヤブサや皆既日食が
切っ掛けでしょう。また来月には金環日食が見られます。
 普段は宇宙の事なんか話題にも出さない人が、日常会話に流星群
だとか、国際宇宙ステーションとかの単語を使っているのを見ます。

In the past year or two there’s been a space boom. The Hayabusa space missions and that total solar eclipse are probably to blame. Next month we’ll be having an annular solar eclipse too.

The kind of people who usually don’t talk about space at all with talk about meteor showers in daily conversation and and they’ll be throwing around words like “international space station”.

 こういった全国な宇宙ブームは、子供の頃にもありました。
 その切っ掛けは、間違い無くハレー彗星だったと思います。

This sort of national space boom happened when I was a kid too.
That time it was definitely because of Haley’s Comet.

 みんな安い望遠鏡を買ったり、ゴムのチューブを買ったり(嘘ですよ?)
して、寒い夜に防寒着を着込んで見た記憶があります。

I remember everyone bought cheap telescopes or rubber tubes (*I’m joking*) and bundled up that cold night to watch.

 噂では空を大きく横切る様子が肉眼でも確認出来る物だと言われ
てワクワクしてましたが、実際には非常に小さくお粗末な物でした。

I heard that you could see it cross the sky with the naked eye, and was really excited, but in reality the comet was really small and uninteresting.

 それが原因か判りませんが、その時の宇宙熱は急に冷めていった
ように思えます。
 さあ、今の宇宙ブームはどの位続くでしょうか?

Maybe that’s why, but since then I haven’t been all that interested in space.

Well then, I wonder how long this boom will last?

           上海アリス幻楽団 ZUN (日食見たい)
     Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra ZUN (Wants to see a Solar Eclipse)

大空魔術 ~ Magical Astronomy


^Shinta is the Renko and Merry artist. You can search his tag in most places with “shinta (artist)” but here is his pixiv for good measure: [pixiv-link]

This is the first real large translation project that I’ve overtaken and finished in less than 24 hours. I’m a bit proud of myself ^_^. Also a bit tired, but oh well; ┐( ̄ー ̄)┌ it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately this is the last installment of Renko and Merry’s adventures. Feel absolutely free to develop theories connecting Merry Hearn and Yukari Yakumo while trying to decide the fate of Usami Renko… I know I will.

Anyway about the music, this is one of my favorite disks; I do love them all absolutely, but Magical Astronomy, Retrospective 53 Minutes and Hourai Dolls come out on top. After all, Magical Astronomy contains 天空のグリニッジ (Greenwich of the Sky) possibly my favorite Touhou original track, 車椅子の未来宇宙 (The Future Cosmos in a Wheelchair), and of course 大空魔術, Magical Astronomy. If you like the music on this disk, I also recommend giving “Metallical Astronomy” by SOUND HOLIC a listen. If you like 天空のグリニッジ even a fraction of the amount I love it, I seriously recommend giving this [local-link] track by Buta-Otome a listen.

If you want to read more about Renko and Merry, look to my [translations-side-projects page] and you’ll find all of the works there translated ^_^.

As always, but especially with posts like these, I appreciate comments; Thank you for reading – if you want to skip the notes, just scroll down to the next picture and start from there. As always this story is best read while listening to the music it accompanies.

Notes:
“Magic of the Skyward Heavens” might be making it a little too poetic, but I want to embrace the astronomy meaning with the image of a starry sky. You call them “celestial bodies” after all right? I didn’t use the commonly accepted translations of the titles of the tracks but translated them myself; especially because titles are short and thus more applicable to ambiguity, I’m not going to say anything like those translations are wrong or anything, I just wanted to pick/piece together the titles myself. I tried to fit them best based on the contents of the read-along below.

I tried to keep who’s saying what obvious enough so I didn’t have to throw in each of their names all the time, but if you need it, I can indent or color the dialogue.

I interchanged space, outer space, universe, and cosmos depending on the mood, but they’re all from the same word 宇宙.

I used “moon tour” throughout for brevity’s sake, but it really is moon’s surface tour, not to be confused with just circling the moon in a spaceship and riding back home.

I would also like to note that the individual notes for each section aren’t really that necessary to read, they’re mostly just notes on some terms, science, and a few of my comments. If I were skilled enough to make some sort of collapsing annotations system I would, but I’m not that skilled.

2.
UTC stands for “Universal Coordinated Time” don’t ask me why, but some official abbreviations like this tend to be out of order. I researched this out of curiosity, and UTC is in fact less correct than GMT=Greenwich Mean Time (otherwise known as UT1=Universal Time 1 for the specific calculation formula etc.). UTC is based on the TAI=International Atomic Time, that has “leap seconds” added to it whenever UTC and GMT are more than .9 seconds apart. Solar time via the Royal Observatory at Greenwich is recalculated because the rotation of the Earth is gradually slowing down, tidal gravity waves from other planets and seasonal and weather changes and … (゚Д゚ノ)ノ time should not be this complicated. So that’s what Renko means by outside her ability.

3.
A dango is a certain Japanese sweet, rice cakes skewered and roasted then dipped in sauce. They’ve very tasty and very autumn.

4.
Stephen Hawking is probably greatest theoretical physicist and cosmologist of all time; due to a motor disease that he contracted early on, at this point in time he can’t really move much more than his cheek, which means he sits in a wheelchair and uses a voice synthesizer to talk. I actually have attended one of his lectures, and met (meaning really, say “hello” to and not that much more; I might have asked a question) him when I was younger. Hence, the “a wheelchair futuristic cosmos”.

Max Planck was a German physicist around Einstein’s time who founded quantum theory/quantum physics.

Hermeneutics is the study of explanations.

5.
[Planck Length]

6.
I want to try coffee that’s been exploded and frozen in an instant! (*´▽`*)ノ旦
I’d really like to see that experiment happen, I should send this to NASA and… oh wait (;ω;`)

7.
The siphon system is similar (or equivalent) to the perlocated method (also now obsolete), which does technically use gravity to get the coffee back to the original chamber, but uses water vapor pressure to send the liquid through the grounds multiple times. I suppose if you made it more circular it would work just fine, however, personally, for coffee in the absence of gravity, I recommend the French press.

The four fundamental physical forces/interactions are: gravity, weak, strong, and electromagnetic.

9.
I used necrofantasia and necrophantasia seperately. I figure there’s a nuance. Necrofantasia is the original title, but the subtitle is necrophantasia, what Renko describes.

10.
“pond, lake” That’s just what was written. I’ll take it as poetic license. If it’s something with a fountain I’m assuming it’s rather small, but I could be mistaken.

Afterword.
It would help my finances if the dollar to yen rate were still 120 yen to a dollar.. it’s around 85 at the time of this writing (for your reference).

大空魔術 ~ Magical Astronomy.
 Oozora Majutsu ~ Magical Astronomy
 Magic of the Skyward Heavens ~ Magical Astronomy

 1.月面ツアーへようこそ (Welcome to Our Tour of the Moon’s Surface)
    Welcome to Lunatic City.

 「人類の夢の一つ、月面旅行がついに一般人も可能に!」
 「来月には日本の旅行会社各社からツアー開始」

“One of mankind’s dreams, a journey to the moon, is now finally within anyone’s reach!”
“Next month, travel companies all across Japan will start tours!”

 行き交う人の足取りも重い、地上の私鉄の駅前に号外が飛び交った。

In front of a crowded private railway station a newspaper extra was flying this way and that.

 スポーツニュース以外では珍しい明るいニュースに、いつもならすぐ捨
てられてしまう号外も、今回ばかりは皆鞄の中に仕舞っている。号外の記
事の内容に興味があってと言う事もあるが、それ以上に記事の写真に惹か
れた人も少なくないだろう。

It was rare for there to be an extra not sports related, and such bright news as this; normally people would just throw extras like this away, but just this time everyone was putting them away in their bags. While certainly some were interested in the contents of the article, I’m sure there were just a few taken in by the picture on the front.

 宇宙の写真は人の心を癒す。何故なら、宇宙の写真を見ると否応無しに
人間の小ささに気付かされるからだ。その時直面している苦難が、広大な
宇宙に比べると如何にちっぽけな物だと感じ、癒される。こんなに宇宙が
広いんだから、自分一人の努力なんて大して重要ではない。上司だって政
治家だって今は無き独裁者だって小さな人間だ。自分は自分の納得のいく
まで努力すればいい。宇宙の写真だけで直感的にそう感じるのだ。

Photographs of the universe have a healing effect on people’s hearts. If I had to say why, it’s because just seeing it forces people to realize the smallness of what it means to be human. Facing that directly is difficult, but when you feel how incredibly small you are compared to the rest of the great, expansive universe, it calms you. Because the universe is just so wide, each person’s individual efforts aren’t that important. Whether it be a superior, a politician, or a dictator (though now there are none left), all of them are human. So it’s fine for you to just put out as much effort as you can. You an feel all of that intuitively just from a picture of space.

 宇佐見蓮子とマエリベリー・ハーン(メリー)の二人は、大学構内のカ
フェテラスで興奮した様子で会話をしていた。

Usami Renko and Maribel Hearn were having an excited conversation on a cafe terrace within the university grounds.

 2.天空のグリニッジ (Greenwich of the Sky)
    Royal Greenwich Observatory

「『なお、今回もまた有人火星探査は見送れた』だってさ」

“It says, ‘Furthermore, we’ve just sent another manned mission to Mars.'”

「ふーん。ま、火星探査なんてどうでも良いわ。
 メリー、まずは号外の記事の『月旅行』の話よ」

“Really? Well, I don’t really care about the missions to Mars. Merry, first I want to talk about that “Trip to the Moon” from the newspaper extra article.”

「うん、月と星を見るだけで時間と場所が判る蓮子の目に、
 月面がどう映るのか知りたいしね」

“Well, with you being able to tell the time and place by just looking at the moon and stars, I’d really like to know what you’d see on the surface of the moon.”

「そりゃ『ここは月面です』って判るんじゃないかな」

“Well I’d probably just know, ‘This is the surface of the moon.'”

「時間はどうなのよ?」

“What about the time?”

「私の目はJSTしか見られないのよ。UTCは能力外。
 そもそも、月面でも地球と同じ時間を使うのって変よね」

“The only time I can see is Japan Standard Time (JST), Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) is outside my ability range. In the first place I think it’s strange to use the same time on the earth and on the moon.”

「ちょっとちょっと、能力外って……ただの引き算じゃないの?」

“Wait a minute, “outside your ability range”…. it’s it just a matter of subtraction?”

 宇宙では今のところ協定世界時(UTC)を使っているが、この協定世界時は
グリニッジ標準時(GMT)と基本的に同じ物である。
 グリニッジ天文台が建てられたのは17世紀である。宇宙を観る為の時間が、
宇宙でも用いられると考えると、些か滑稽である。

In outer space we now use UTC, but this “universal coordinated time” is basically the same as Greenwich Mean Time. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich was established in the 17th century; but when I think that the time originally used for viewing the universe is now being used throughout it, it feels just a little ridiculous.

 3.東の国の眠れない夜 (A Sleepless Night in the Eastern Country)
    Vampirish Nightlife

 「で、いつ行くの? 月面旅行」

“So, when should we go on this moon tour?”

 「メリーは気が早いわね。
  まぁきっと混むだろうし、早い内に予約だけは済ましておきたいわね」

“Merry, you really are hasty aren’t you? Well it’ll probably be crowded so I’d like to get reservations before long.”

 「夏休みとかは滅茶苦茶混みそうだし、暑そうだから少しずらして
  秋にしない?」

“Since during summer vacation it’ll probably be ridiculously crowded, and it’ll be hot and all, so… shouldn’t we wait a little longer and go in the fall?”

 「月や宇宙が暑いって事は無いと思うけど、同感ね。
  秋の方が良いわ。日本的で。
  どうせなら今年の中秋の名月に行きましょうよ」

“I’m pretty sure it’s not “hot” on the moon or in space, but I agree – going in the fall would be better, very Japanese. Anyway, why don’t we go during this year’s harvest moon?”

 「お団子持ってね。
  そうしましょう、そうしましょう」

“Yeah, and take along dangos! Let’s do it, let’s do it!”

 あらゆる情報が手に入る今でも、宇宙だけは永遠のロマンであった。
 そのロマンの一つにして、最も魅力的な月に降り立つ事が出来れば、
誰だって行ってみたいと思うだろう。

Even with all the information we have now, space has and will always be something of a romance for us. If it were possible to fulfill a part of that romance, to land upon our utmost captivating moon, I think anyone would want to take the opportunity and go at least once.

 だがこの時、二人がまだツアーに掛かる費用を知らなかったのだ。

That said, those two still didn’t know how much the tour would cost.

 4.車椅子の未来宇宙 (The Future Cosmos in a Wheelchair)
    History of Time

 「でも、未だに有人火星探査は上手く行かないのねぇ。
  ホーキングの頭の中にあった宇宙が、この目で確かめられる日なんて
  本当に来るのかしら?」

“But really, we haven’t had a manned mission to Mars go well yet have we? I wonder if a day will ever come when we can confirm with our own eyes the cosmos inside Hawking’s head.”

 「結局、ホーキングを超える物理学者が出てこないのも問題よね」

“It really is a problem that no other physicist has been able to surpass Hawking.”

 「あら、蓮子が頑張れば良いんじゃない?
  稀有な能力の持ち主なんだから」

“Well, you should be able to do it if you try you know? You have a pretty rare ability after all.”

 「私は専門が違うわよ。ま、プランク並に頭が良いかも知れないけどね。
  それにね、ホーキングの言っていたブラックホールの蒸発とかが実際に
  観測される事も無いと思う。
  さらに言うと、もう人類が火星に行く事すらないと思うよ」

“My major is different you know? But well, I guess at least intelligence-wise you could say I’m on level with Planck. And anyway, that black hole evaporation thing that Hawking talked about, I don’t think we’ll ever be able to actually observe it. To tell you the truth, I don’t even think mankind will ever make it to Mars.”

 「あら、悲観的ね。でも蓮子が言うと信憑性があるわ」

“Well that’s pretty pessimistic. But if you’re the one saying it, it must be true.”

 「観測する為に必要なエネルギーが膨大に成り過ぎたのよ。
  理論上はともかく、事実上、観測物理学は終焉を迎えているわ。
  ついでに言うと、月面ツアーは高額過ぎるわね」

“The amount of energy required to make observations is just way too costly. Theory aside, realistically speaking, observational physics is coming to an end. And, by the way, this moon tour is too expensive isn’t it?”

 物理学は事実上終焉を迎えている。既に物理学は、解釈と哲学の時代に
突入していた。

Physics from a realistic standpoint is facing its end. Physics is already giving way to hermeneutics and philosophy.

 5.Demystify Feast
    神秘性のベールの向こう側 (Beyond the Occult Bell)

 「うん。ここのカフェは構内でも割りとオシャレで美味しいわね。
  で、蓮子、なんで物理学は終焉を迎えているの?」

“Yeah, even though this cafe’s within the university grounds it’s relatively stylish and the food’s delicious. So, as you were saying, Renko, why is physics coming to an end?”

 「うん。一言で言うと観測するコストが大き過ぎるからよ」

“Well, in a word it’s because the cost of observation is too great.”

 「私達が月面ツアーに行けない理由と一緒ね」

“The same reason we can’t go on a tour of the moon, huh.”

 「小さい物体を分離させるのに掛かるエネルギーは、小さければ小さい
  ほど大きいの。分子より原子、原子より核子、核子よりクオーク……。
  こうしてどんどんと小さくしていくと、無尽蔵にエネルギーが必要に
  なっていくでしょ? すると究極まで行き着くと、宇宙最大のエネル
  ギーを使っても分離できない小さい物体に当たってしまう。この物体
  がこの世界の最小構成物質だって言えるじゃない。
  もう物理学はとっくに最小の世界まで辿り着いて、次を目指している
  の。ここから先は観測出来ないから、殆ど哲学の世界ね」

“When splitting small particles apart, the smaller the particle is, the more energy is required to split it. From a molecule to an atom, from an atom to a nucleus, from a nucleus to a quark… the smaller you get, the more you’ll need an endless supply of energy – right? – Eventually you’ll come to a point where you have a particle that even if you were to use the largest amount of energy that could possibly exist in the universe, you couldn’t split it. Even so, you couldn’t say that that particle is the smallest component in the world. Physics has already reached that world of the smallest minimums long ago and set its eyes on the next. But since it’s impossible to observe anything past this point, you’re just reaching into the realm of philosophy.”

 「あ、新作のケーキ、美味しそう!
  このケーキの最小単位は合成卵と合成苺ね」

“Ah, that new cake looks delicious! I guess the smallest components of this cake would be synthesized egg and synthesized strawberry.”

 エネルギーの限界量は10^19 GeVと言われている。このエネルギー量を
超えると時空に存在し得なくなるからである。ちなみにこの10^19 GeVは
プランクエネルギーと呼ばれ、原子力の持つエネルギーの約10^21倍である。

It is said that the upper limit of energy is 10^19 GeV (10 quintillion giga-electron volts), because when you surpass this amount the energy is unable to exist dimensionally. This energy is called Planck energy, and is about 10^21 (1 septillion) times more than the energy generated from atomic energy.

 6.衛星カフェテラス (Satellite Cafe Terrace)
    Satellite Cafe

 「もう。蓮子に物理の話なんて振るんじゃなかったわよ。
  一人で話し続けるんだから」

“You know, I wasn’t really asking for a physics discussion, and you just kept on talking on and on…”

 「ごめんごめん。私の専門だからね。
  でもこのケーキ美味しいね」

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It’s my major after all. But really, this cake is delicious.”

 「月面ツアー行きたかったなぁ……。
  流石にこのツアー、値段が高過ぎよ」

“I so wanted to go on a moon tour too… I guess I should have known, it’s way too expensive.”

 「そう言えば宇宙旅行客用に人工衛星にカフェが出来たらしいわよ?
  なんでも無重力で淹れた珈琲は格別だとか」

“Now that you mention it, apparently they’ve made a satellite cafe for customers journeying into space, apparently the coffee there in zero gravity is really something else.”

 「でもどうせ室内のカフェでしょ?
  私はオープンなカフェテラスが好きなのよ」

“Yeah, but it’s probably an indoor cafe right? I prefer open cafe terraces.”

 珈琲を一瞬だけ真空状態に晒すと、気圧の低さにより一瞬沸騰するが、
気化熱を奪われた水沸騰した瞬間に凍り付く。
 この沸騰しながら凍った珈琲を入れた、サテライトアイスコーヒーが
目玉メニューである。

When you expose coffee to a vacuum – just for an moment, due to the low pressure, it instantaneously boils, but as it does, it loses the heat to boil, so in the instant it boils, it freezes. This using this frozen-while-boiling coffee, “Satellite Ice Coffee” is one of the specials on their menu.

 7.G Free
    Zero Gravity

 「そう言えば、珈琲を抽出って重力に頼ってるじゃない。
  重力がなかったらドリップ出来ないでしょ?
  無重力でどうやって珈琲を入れるの?」

“Now that I think of it, doesn’t filtering coffee rely on gravity? Without gravity the whole drip method doesn’t work right? So how do they make coffee in zero gravity?”

 「そこで今はほぼ死滅したサイフォン式が浮上してきたのよ。
  サイフォン式は蒸気圧でお湯が行き来するからね」

“They’ve brought back the obsolete siphon system, since it uses water vapor pressure to draw the water back and forth through the filtering system instead of gravity.”

 「サイフォンかー。
  そう言えばもうカフェのインテリアでしか見た事がなかったけど、
  一応アレも珈琲の抽出道具だったね。
  でもドリップより味が落ちるって聞いたけど……」

“Siphon huh..
Now that you mention it, I haven’t seen them except in the interior of some cafes, but I suppose that’s a filtering device that would work.. Though I heard that it lacks in flavor compared to drip coffee…”

 「無重力用に改良されたサイフォンだと、対流が起こらないから
  濃厚な珈琲が作れるんだってさ」

“I heard they’re remaking them in zero gravity versions – after all convection won’t work without gravity – and apparently the coffee they make is rich in flavor.”

 「ふーん。そんなの飲まなくても宇宙は目が覚めそうだけどね。
  興奮して」

“Hmm.. Even if I don’t drink its coffee, it feels like I’m just opening my eyes to the idea of space. It’s making me excited.”

 重力から解き放たれた人間は、新しい文化を築き上げつつある。だが、
それと同時に、様々な道具が重力に頼って動いていたと気付かされる。
 早い階段から存在は実証されていて、物理学者の頭を最後まで悩ませ
つづけた重力が他の力と完全に統一されたのは、つい最近の事だった。

Humans released from gravity are building a new culture. But at the same time, it makes you realize how many various tools we use rely on gravity. From when its existence was proven at an early stage, gravity has troubled physicists to the very end; it only was just recently that gravity was finally grouped together with the other fundamental interactions.

 8.大空魔術 (Magic of the Skyward Heavens)
    Magical Astronomy

 「はぁ、宇宙には魅力があるわねぇ……」

“Ah, space really is fascinating…”

 「どうしたの?溜息なんて吐いちゃって。
  地上にはもう魅力が無いとでも言うの?」

“What are you doing sighing like that? Are you saying there’s nothing left that’s fascinating for you here on the ground?”

 「16時31分。宵の明星が見えたわ。
  地上にはもう不思議が殆ど無いからね」

“It’s 16:31, I just saw the evening star… Well there really aren’t that many wonders left for me on the surface.”

 「蓮子ぐらいこの世界の仕掛けが全て見えていると、
  もう心に虚無主義が顔を出し始めてくるのね」

“Well I guess when it’s someone like you, who can see all the workings of the world, it’s only natural for the nihilism in your heart to start showing on your face.”

 「だからこそ、メリーの眼が羨ましいのよ。
  不思議な世界がいっぱい見えて。
  ついでに言うと月面の結界の切れ目も見て貰いたかったわ」

“Like I was saying though, I’m really envious of your eyes. You’re always able to see strange worlds.. I really did want to see through the gaps in the barriers on the surface of the moon too..”

 「ツアーが安かったらね」

“If the tour were cheaper…”

 結果は地上の産物ではなく、ただの境界だから当然月面にも存在する。
 月面の結界は、煌びやかな月の都と、荒涼とした無生物の星を分けた結
界である。この結果が存在している限り、月面に行ったとしても月の兎が
搗いている餅も薬も手に入らないだろう。せいぜい、月の石位である。

Boundaries aren’t specific to the earth, so of course they would exist on the surface of the moon as well. The boundary on the moon’s surface separates a shining capital from the rest of the barren, lifeless satellite. As long as this barrier exists, even if you went to the moon, you wouldn’t be able to lay your hands on any of the rice cakes or medicine the moon rabbits were preparing. A moon rock is the most you could ever get.

 「月にも忘れられた世界が隠されているはずよ。
  高度な文明を持ち、高貴な人が住む月の都。
  兎が不老不死の薬を搗き、太陽に棲む三本足の鳥を眺めながら、
  月面ツアーで騒ぐ人間を憂えているのよ。
  その世界を見られるのはメリー、貴方しか居ないわ」

“There must be a forgotten world hidden on the moon. One with a advanced culture, with a capital where the high classes live. Rabbits prepare the elixir of immortality, staring towards the three legged bird that nests in the sun, lamenting their bustling human visitors on their moon tour. But there’s no one other than you who can see that world.”

 「確かにね。
  人間が集まって開拓進みきる前に行ってみたいわ」

“You’re right. I’d like to go before we start seriously colonizing.”

 「そうと決まれば、準備しないとね」

“Well if it’s decided then we’ve got to make preparations, haven’t we?”

 「月の都を見たければ、まず月の都についてもっと勉強すれば
  いいのかなぁ。
  大昔から忘れ去られている太古の月を
  物語の中の煌びやかな月の都を。
  狂気の象徴である月を。
  そう、知識が境界の切れ目を明確にするからね」

“If we want to see the capital of the moon, first we should probably study more on the subject… about the ancient moon forgotten from history long ago, about the shining capital of the moon from the stories, about the moon, the symbol of insanity… after all knowledge will help define the gaps in the boundary.”

 「いやどちらかというと、まずはバイトから始めないと。
  ツアー代を稼ぐ為に」

“Well I was thinking more that first we should get part time jobs.. to save up money for the tour and all…”

 9.ネクロファンタジア (Necrofantasia)
    Necrophantasia

 日も暮れて夕食の時間も近いというのに、新作のケーキを平らげた二人
はようやくカフェテリアを後にした。
 この大学では、構内の店なら全て学生カードで清算が出来る。毎月纏め
て学費として払うのである。
 お金を管理するコストも減り、レジも混雑せず、さらに学生も手軽に買
い物が出来て(親が学費を払うから)売り上げも伸びている。そのお陰で、
予想以上に出費が嵩むことも少なくないが。

The sun had set, and although it was already about time to eat dinner, the two finished their cake and finally left the cafeteria. At this university you could pay with your student ID card for all the shops within the grounds. Then you would pay your expenses every month along with your tuition. That lowered the cost of managing money and uncrowded the registers, so the students could shop more easily (because their parents were paying), and sales rose. Though thanks to that, there weren’t a few who found they accumulated more costs than they had bargained for.

 「月には不老不死の薬があるらしいのよ」

“Apparently there’s an elixir on the moon that makes you ageless and immortal you know?”

 「不老不死ねぇ。
  物理の終焉を迎えて虚無に支配されている蓮子には不要でしょ?」

“Ageless and immortal huh. Doesn’t seem like someone like you would need it Renko, right? Facing the end of physics and headed towards nothingness and all.”

 「誰が虚無主義よ。
  私は生きる力でいっぱいよ。
  今は宇宙の事で興奮して夜もグッスリなんだから」

“Who’s this nihilist you keep going on about? I’m full of life, excited about going into space, relaxing with the night..”

 「じゃ、不老不死の薬が手に入ったら、蓮子は使うの?」

“So, if you were able to get the that elixir, would you use it?”

 世界は急激に発展して、何処の国もある程度豊かになったが、人類は次
のステージへと進んでいた。紀元前の頃から右肩上がりで増え続けた人口
が緩やかに減少に転化したのだ。
 資本主義は、ノアの方舟の如く経済による格差社会を増進させた。それ
により何処の国も軒並み出生率が低下したが、これは全て資本主義の最終
ステップである『人口調整』階段に入っただけである。
 いち早く少子化が進み人口が減少に転じた日本は、人口減少によるデメ
リットを上手く回避し、選ばれた人間による勤勉で精神的に豊かな国民性
を取り戻すことに成功した。

As world rapidly developed, every country gained some level of prosperity, but mankind just continued on to the next stage. The human population that had increased steadily since before the common era, now gently began to decrease. Capitalism, like Noah’s ark, economically expanded stratified society, and due to that all countries across the board showed a decrease in birthrates, but this was just the world moving on to capitalism’s last step, “population control”. Japan with its rapidly declining birthrates and therefore population, was able to successfully avoid the demerits of its population decrease, and with the efforts of the time’s chosen people, its national psychological state was able to return to prosperity.

 「不老不死の薬?
  勿論、使うわよ。
  物語なんかでは不老不死は辛い物だとされているのは何故だか判る?
  アレはみんな欲深さへの戒めと権力者への反抗を謳っているだけよ。
  でもそれが反対に、不老不死の薬の実在性を裏付けの憑拠になってい
  るわ。
  不老不死は、死が無くなるんじゃなくて、生と死の境界が無くなって
  生きても死んでも居ない状態になるだけよ。
  まさに「顕界でも冥界でもある世界」の実現だわ」
      (ネクロファンタジア)

“The elixir of life? Of course I’d use it. Do you know why in stories and such ageless immortality is portrayed as an emotionally painful thing? It was just a warning against everyone’s greed and rebellion against authority. But on the other hand, its mere existence has become a curse. Ageless immortality doesn’t mean that you don’t die, but rather that the boundary between life and death ceases to exist; it’s a state of neither living nor dying. Really, it’s just a realization of “necrophantasia”, a world that exists in the apparent world and in the world of the dead.”

10.向こう側の月 (The Dark Side of the Moon)
    Megalopolis of Moon

二人は大学の設備である噴水のある池の辺りに腰掛けた。

The two sat down on the edge of a pond with a water fountain set up by the university.

既に月が顔を出しており、湖にはクレーターの無い平らな月が浮かんでいる。

The moon had already shown its face, and in the lake another crater-less flat moon was floating.

魔術師メリーには見えていた。

The magician Merry saw it there.

兎が薬を搗き

The rabbit preparing medicine,

煌びやかな衣装を身に纏い

and a celestial maiden, clothed in shining robes

優雅に空を舞う天女

dancing elegantly in the sky.

水に映った月には結界の向こう側の姿が見えていた。
その月を見てメリーに名案が浮かんだ。

In the moon reflected on the water, she saw behind the barrier.
Looking at that moon an idea popped into Merry’s head.

「ねえ蓮子。
 月面ツアーが高くて無理ならば、
 何か別の方法で月に行けないか考えてみない?」

“Hey, Renko. If the moon tour is too expensive, then why don’t we think up another way to get to the moon?”

 あとがき
  Afterword

 例えば、初めましてねZUNです。

Just in case we haven’t met before, nice to meet you, this is ZUN.

 いやぁ、宇宙の大きさに比べたら自分なんて小さいものですね。どんな
失敗をしようと些細な事。数年ぐらい進級や進学、就職できなかったとし
ても、宇宙の大きさに比べればへっちゃらへっちゃら。締め切りぎりぎり
で胃が痛くなろうとも鼻歌歌いながら作業できるって……

Well really, compared to the greatness of the universe, I’m pretty small. No matter what failure I make it’s all trivial. Even in for a few years I can’t advance, continue education, get a job, compared to the greatness of the universe it’s all good and stuff. Even with the deadline coming up really soon and my stomach aching, all just keep working, humming along and…

 んなわけない。人間は必死だ。締め切りは死線。胃が……。

No. Humans are desperate and frantic, deadline means “dead” “line”. My stomach…

 で、宇宙旅行、行きたいですよねぇ。行きたくない? いやいやそんな
嘘つかなくても良いですよ。宇宙に行きたくなかったら、他にどこに行き
たい場所があるって言うんですか。

So, I’d love to go on a journey into space. Wouldn’t you? Oh come on, you don’t need to lie like that. If you don’t want to head out into space, where else are you saying you want to go?

 実はもう民人間の月面ツアー(ただ、着陸はないらしいが)は実現寸前
なんですよね。何でも予算は1億ドル(約120億円)。蓮子じゃないけど、

Actually it won’t be long till we have a moon tour for civilians (except apparently you don’t get to land). At any rate the estimated cost is a hundred million dollars (about 12 billion yen). Now I’m not Renko but,

 「月面ツアーは高過ぎるよね」

“This moon tour is really too expensive isn’t it?”

 いやこの値段、どこが一般人向けなのか。これが資本主義が見せるノア
の方舟なのか。残った地上人は情報の洪水に沈めるつもりか。
 一切の休暇無しで必死に働く地上の幻想人が、気軽に月に行ける時代は
来るのだろうか。

Anyway with that price, I don’t see how it’s supposed to be “for the public”. Is this a Noah’s ark shown to us by capitalism? Are they planning on letting those left behind here on the ground drown in a flood of information? I wonder if an age will ever come when the vacation-less frantically hardworking illusionary people of the surface may easily travel to the moon.

             上海アリス幻楽団 ZUN(P◯3も方舟?)
             Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra
                      ZUN (is the P◯3 an ark too?)

卯酉東海道 ~ Retrospective 53 minutes

The long-awaited! Ok, I really shouldn’t be kidding myself, I’m probably the only one that was looking forward to this wonderful work’s completion. *cries in a corner*

Notes:
If the English subtitle is almost exactly the same as a translation of the above, I’ll leave it alone, but otherwise I’ll put a translation of the Japanese in parentheses on the right.

(Track 2):
For brevity, and because they really are names, after introducing the “Eastern Seaboard” and “East-To-West Eastern Seaboard” rails, they are written as Toukaidou and Bouyuu-Toukaidou respectively.
The Jinki Era is (724.2.4-729.8.5 CE) however, because this takes place in a slightly alternate reality/alternate future the exact dates aren’t important.

(Track 3):
As for “places like Shinjuku and Shibuya” which have nothing at all to do with a historical feel (trust me, I’ve been there) I think it’s safe to say that in Renko’s Japan the capital was moved from Tokyo to Kyoto rather than Kyoto to Tokyo and that you can view the cities as switched. Kyoto is the place with all the historical buildings. (Or from a futuristic perspective it moved from Kyoto to Tokyo and then back to Kyoto).

Higan-mairi, generally speaking, is visiting a temple during the vernal/autumnal equinox – related to Buddhism.

(Track 4):
Higan is again a period during the vernal/autumnal equinox where events are held related to Buddhism, usually you visit a temple.

(Track 5):
Aokigahara is the forest around Mount Fuji, a popular suicide spot, and strangely, eerily quiet – it gave me chills just looking down at it from above… So I can understand Merry here.

(Track 6):
Hachiman/Yawata-no-kami is a Shinto/Buddhist diety, with the second largest number of shrines dedicated to him (after Inari), the largest of which is the Usa Shrine, in Usa located in Kyushu (the song title uses Usa as a name, so it probably refers to Hachiman). Usa/Hachiman is somehow related to Tewi (this could be due to the fact that Usa starts “usagi” which is “rabbit” and the second symbol in “Hachiman” (幡) is part of Tewi’s surname (Inaba 因幡)), who lies a lot. Also, Usami Renko’s surname (宇佐見) uses the same characters used to write Usa (宇佐). “Most Famous Hero” would refer to Hachiman because he is the primary deity of the Minamoto Warrior Clan (who ruled from Kamakura), and because he was said to give guidance to warriors, etc.

Somehow the saying for “shelved” is almost identical in Japanese and English, so the pun stays mostly intact – however there’s another pun linking to it. Rather than “shelf” Japan uses “shed” and the name Kamakura means “shed of sickles/scythes”.

It probably doesn’t need much more of an explanation, but Hokusai and Hiroshige were both print makers famous for views of Mount Fuji among other things.

(Track 8):
“townies, militants, and firefighters” == merchants, samurai, lower-class-samurai. Though firefighter may seem strange and irrelevant, it was a common post for lower-class samurai, including Hiroshige for instance.

(Track 9):
“So the city still has those sorts of unrefined plebeian amusements?” Yeah, I wanted to punch Merry too – but I’ve always been on Renko’s side from page 1, so this only reinforces my opinion.

You don’t believe me, but they exist: [food-theme-parks-wiki-page (jpn)]

“long ago”←→”nowadays” disparity: I attribute it to a subtle narrator shift, on one hand addressing the time of Merry and Renko (in the alternate future) and another addressing the audience. Part of me felt like correcting it, but I decided to leave it.

If you have any questions about specific terms used just ask and I’ll add an explanation to the notes.

卯酉東海道 ~ Retrospective 53 minutes
 Bouyuu-Toukaidou ~ Retrospective 53 minutes
 East to West Eastern Seaboard Route ~ Retrospective 53 minutes

 1.ヒロシゲ36号 (Hiroshige, Rail-car #36)
    Neo Super-Express

 ヒロシゲは二人を乗せて東へ走る。音もなく、揺れもなく、ただひたすら東に走る。

The Hiroshige, carrying both girls, raced towards the east. It went forward without a sound, without swaying or shifting, directly east.

 四人まで座れるボックス型の席には空きも多く見られ、二人で座っていたとしても相席
を求められる事は無かった。朝の反対方向は芋洗いの様に通勤の人でごった返すが、東京
行きは空いている。二人にとっては好都合だった。

Looking down the aisle, you could see that a lot of the four seat boxes were empty, so no one would have minded if two took one to themselves. The morning train in the opposite direction was packed, but this one headed for Tokyo was nearly empty. They couldn’t have asked for better.

 車窓から春の陽気が入ってくる。最新型のこの新幹線は全車両、半パノラマビューが一
つの売りである。半パノラマビューとは上下を除いた全てが窓、つまり新幹線の壁は殆ど
窓で、まるで大きなガラスの試験管が線路の上を走っている様な物だ。
 進行方向と反対に座っている金髪の少女の左手には、見渡す限りの美しい青の海岸、
右手には建物一つ無い美しい平原と松林が広がっていた。

Sunlight was starting to creep in through the window. One of the selling points of this new model bullet train was that every car had a “half-panoramic view”. With the exception of the roof and floor, everything was window. In other words, most of the wall of the train was window, and it seemed like a giant glass test tube was racing along the track.

From the perspective of one blonde haired girl sitting in a seat facing the rear end of the train, there was a beautiful blue coastline extending as far as the eye could see on her left, with beautiful level plains and a pine forest spreading out on her right – not a building in sight.

 出発から25分ほど経っただろうか、遠くに雲の傘を破った富士の山が見えた。
 まるで仙人でも住んでいそうな厳かな姿をしている。

It had been about twenty five minutes since their departure, and they could already see Mount Fuji breaking through the clouds far off in the distance. It had such a sublime, majestic shape that one couldn’t help but think it was inhabited by mystics.

 富士山復興会の努力により、近年になって漸く世界遺産に認定された富士だが、ヒロシ
ゲから見えているこの富士の方が何倍も荘厳に見える。
 というのも、ヒロシゲのパノラマビューから見ると、高層ビルも送電線も高架橋も何一
つ見つけられないのも一つの理由だろう。

Due to the efforts of the Mount Fuji Restoration Project, Mount Fuji had finally in recent years been designated as a “global heritage location”, but this view from the Hiroshige made it look many times more magnificent.
Perhaps one reason was that when you looked out from the Hiroshige’s panoramic view, you couldn’t find a single skyscraper, structured bridge, or even power line in the distance.

 富士どころか、左手に見える海岸だって、世界遺産に一ダースほど認定されてもまだ足
りないくらい美しい。東海道はこんなにも美しいのだ。

Even setting aside Mount Fuji, the coastline on the left was so beautiful, if it were specified for global heritage a dozen times it wouldn’t be enough. I didn’t imagine the eastern seaboard could be this beautiful.

 だが、この卯酉新幹線『ヒロシゲ』から見えている極めて日本的な美しい情景も、金髪
の少女、メリーにとっては退屈な映像刺激でしかなかった。

However, to the blonde haired girl Merry, even this extremely beautiful Japanese landscape in view from the East-West “Hiroshige” Bullet train, was nothing more than a tiring picture show.

 2.53ミニッツの青い海
    Blue Sea for 53 minutes

「ヒロシゲは席は広いし、早く着くし便利なんだけど……
 カレイドスクリーンの『偽物の』景色しか見られないのは退屈ねぇ」

“The Hiroshige has wide seats and it’s really fast and convenient, but… it’s boring that all you can see is this ‘fake’ kaleido-screen view.”

  「これでもトンネルに映像が流れるようになって、昔の地下鉄よりは明るくなったのよ。
   まるで地上みたいでしょ?」

“Still, because of the tunnel projection it’s a lot brighter than the older subway systems you know. This way it’s like we’re riding above ground.”

「地上の富士はここまで綺麗じゃないかも知れないけど、それでも本物の方が見たかったわ。
 これなら旧東海道新幹線の方が良かったなぁ」

“Even if the real Mount Fuji up above the ground isn’t as beautiful as this one, I’d still rather see the real thing. It would have been better if we had just taken the old eastern-seaboard bullet train.”

  「何を贅沢言ってるのよ。旧東海道なんて、
   もう東北人とインド人とセレブくらいしか利用していないわよ。
   ま、メリーは東北人にのんびりしているかも知れないけどね」

“Really! The old Toukaidou? What are you acting all extravagant for? The only people that use that nowadays are North-easterners, Indians, and celebrities you know? Well, I guess you do laze about like those North-easterners do.”

「セレブですわ」

“No, I’m a celebrity.”

――卯酉東海道が出来たのは、二人が生まれる前の事である。

–The East-to-West Eastern-Seaboard Rail, the Bouyuu-Toukaidou, was completed before either of us were born.

 神亀の遷都が行われてから、大量の人間が東京と京都を行き来する必要が生まれた。旧東
海道だけではすぐに交通インフラに限界が来て、政府は急ピッチに新しい新幹線の開発に取
りかかったのだ。

Ever since the relocation of the capital during the Jinki Era, it became necessary for a large amount of people to travel between Tokyo and Kyoto. Very soon the older Toukaidou rail reached the limits of its original design and so the government pitched plans for a new bullet train.

 そして完成したのが、東京―東京間を53分で繋ぐ卯酉新幹線『ヒロシゲ』である。この
新幹線は、京都―東京を通勤圏内にし、あっという間に日本の大動脈となった。

The end result was this Bouyuu-Toukaidou “Hiroshige” that ran between Tokyo and Kyoto in just 53 minutes. With this new bullet train, Kyoto and Tokyo were within each others’ commuting range and the rail became an instant lifeline of Japan.

 驚くべき事に、卯酉新幹線の全てが地下に、そして直線的に作られている。始点から終点
まで、空も海も、山も森も、太陽も月も、何も見ることは出来ないのだ。

Surprisingly, all of the Bouyuu-Toukaidou line runs underground, forming a straight line from start to finish. There’s no place at all where you can see the sky or sea, mountains or forests, the sun or moon, or anything at all.

 3.竹取飛翔 (Bamboo Cutter’s Flight)
    Lunatic Princess

「あっという間に着くのは良いけど、
 こんな偽物の景色を見てるだけじゃ蓮子は退屈じゃないの?
 夜は夜で空に浮かぶのは偽物の満月、ってのもなんかねぇ。
 東海道も昔は53も宿場町があったというのに、
 今は53分で着いちゃうのよ?昔よりも道のりも長いのに。
 こうなっちゃうと、もう旅とは呼べないわよねぇ」

It’s fine that we’ll get there in no time, but don’t you find looking at this fake landscape boring Renko? If we were riding at night, there would have been a fake full moon floating up in the sky. That doesn’t bother you? There used to be fifty three inn towns along the old eastern seaboard for travelers and now it only takes fifty three minutes? Even though the actual route now from Kyoto, distance-wise, is longer than before. You can’t really call it a trip anymore.”

 「道中が短くなっただけで、旅行は旅行よ。東京観光巡りは面白いわよ?
  京都と違って新宿とか渋谷とかには歴史を感じる建物も多いしね。
  そういう観光の時間が増えたと思えば良いじゃない」

“Even if the way is short, a trip is still a trip you know. Sightseeing in Tokyo is fun you know? Unlike Kyoto, there are places like Shinjuku and Shibuya where there are a lot of buildings that have a real historical feel to them. If you think of it as having more time to sightsee then there’s no problem right?”

「はいはいそうですね。
 あーあ、偽物の満月には、太古の兎が薬を搗いている姿が見えるのかなぁ」

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Ah, but I wonder if you’d be able to see the same ancient rabbit grinding medicine up on the fake moon as well…”

 「そうそう、こんな話してる?
  実は、ヒロシゲは最高速を出せば53分も掛からないらしいんだけど、
  わざわざ53分になる様に調整したらしいよ?」

“Oh, did you know that if the Hiroshige were to go at full speed it would reach the end of the line in less than 53 minutes? It’s just set that way on purpose.”

「一分一泊ね。その調子なら三週間で老衰だわ。短い旅ねぇ」

“Oh right, one minute per night’s stay. Ugh, if it went that slow I wouldn’t have lasted more than three weeks. I guess it really is a short trip.”

 宇佐見蓮子とマエリベリー・ハーン(メリー)の二人は、大学の休みを利用して、蓮子の
実家である東京へ旅行する事になった。
 旅行と言っても蓮子の彼岸参りに便乗するだけだが、まだ東京に行った事が無いメリーは、
今回の東京旅行を非常に楽しみにしていた。

Both Usami Renko and Maribel Hearn (Merry) took time out of one of their university breaks to go visit Renko’s parents’ house in Tokyo. That said, Merry, who had never been to Tokyo before, was really just tagging along with Renko who was going for Higan-mairi. Still, she was really looking forward the the trip.

 道中の景色も楽しみだったのだが、あいにく卯酉東海道は全線完全地下の新幹線である。

She was also looking forward to the journey itself, but unfortunately the whole length of the Bouyuu-Tokaidou rail ran underground.

 それでも、昼間の外と同じくらいの光が窓から射し、そして外には美しい富士と太平洋が
映し出されていた。

Still, It was bright as if it were noon, with light streaming through the windows, and you could see a beautiful Mount Fuji and Pacific Ocean.

 それが、卯酉東海道最大の売りと予算を使った装置『カレイドスクリーン』だった。

That “kaleido-screen” was the number one selling point of the Bouyuu-Tokaido line.

 4.彼岸帰航 (Higan Retour – Return from the Further Shore)
    Riverside View

 「メリー。
  東京のお彼岸には変わった風習があるのよ。知ってた?」

“Merry. You know there’s a strange custom we have for Higan in Tokyo – have you heard of it?”

「ええ?どういうの?」

“Huh? No I haven’t – what sort of custom?”

 「お墓参りと一緒にね。
  お墓の周りの結界のほつれを見つけて、冥界参りもするのよ。
  お盆が冥界からご先祖様が帰ってくるでしょう?
  だからお返しに彼岸には、こっちから挨拶に行くの」

“Well it’s the same as a grave visit. You find frayed portions of barriers around grave sites and visit the world of the dead. You know how during the Bon festival your ancestors come back to visit? So in return, during Higan we go and visit them.”

「そうなの?
 あらいやだ、何の準備もしていないわよ。何で言ってくれなかったのよ」

“Really? Ahh… I’m not ready for something like that! Why didn’t you say so earlier?”

 「嘘だからよ。
  でも、折角だから、するよ?」

“Well, because I was just lying. But I mean, since we’re going all this way we might as well do it right?”

 卯酉東海道は、最も効率よく東京の人間を京都に運ぶ為だけに作られた。
 だから、駅は二つしか作られていない。

Since the Bouyuu-Tokaidou line was created for the sole purpose of being the most effective means to move people from Tokyo to Kyoto, there were only two stations built.

 卯東京駅(ぼうとうきょう)と酉京都(ゆうきょうと)駅の二箇所だけである。
 つまり、始点と終点意外は駅が無い。
 二人が酉京都駅を出発して、すでに36分ほど経っている。

There were just the East-Tokyo Station and the West-Kyoto Station. In other words there were only stations at the start and end of the line. Since they had departed at the West-Kyoto Station, 36 minutes had already passed.

 外の景色は、歌川広重が見て歩いただろう東海道、その物だった。
どこまでもどこまでも美しい。空と海と、富士の山。五十三の宿場町。

The landscape outside was that of the Utagawa Hiroshige once saw as he walked from Tokyo to Kyoto along the eastern seaboard. Everywhere you looked everything was beautiful. The sky and the sea, Mount Fuji, and each of the fifty three stops along the way.

 5.青木ヶ原の伝説 (The Legend of Aokigahara)
    Forbidden Forest

「あ、今……」

“Ah, Just now…”

 「どうしたの?メリー、急に怖い顔をして……」

“What’s wrong Merry? You looked frightened all of a sudden…”

「急に顔が重くなった気がしたの。
 蓮子は感じない?ここら辺の空間は少し他と感じが違うわよ。
 それに結界の裂け目も見える……スクリーン制御プログラムのバグかしら」

“It’s just that I felt heavy all of a sudden… Don’t you feel it too Renko? Space here seems a bit different from everywhere else. I can also see breaks in the barrier… You don’t think it’s a bug in the screen control program?”

 「ああ、それはきっとここが霊峰の下だからよ。
  少しは空気も違う、いや時空すらも異なるかも知れないわね。
  過敏なメリーにはちょっと緊張が走るかも知れないわ」

“Ah, that’s probably because we’re under Mount Fuji, a sacred mountain. The air here, no, even the time-space here is probably a bit different than in other places. You’re overly sensitive to things like that so I wouldn’t be surprised if it made you a bit nervous.”

「なるほど、富士山の地下ね。
 なら判らないでもないわ。昔から富士の地下には冥界の入り口があるって言うもんね。
 でも、富士山って火山でしょう?そんな地下にトンネルなんて掘って大丈夫なのかなぁ」

“Under Mount Fuji huh.. Well I guess that makes sense. It’s been said that there’s an entrance to the world of the dead under Mount Fuji. But isn’t Mount Fuji a volcano? Is it safe to run a tunnel under something like that?”

 「心配性ね。そういう時はお酒でも飲んで考えるのをやめましょう?
  富士が世界遺産に認定された時に休火山から死火山になったと判定されたでしょう?」

“You really do get worried easily don’t you. Why don’t you just drink some sake or something and stop thinking about it? When Mount Fuji was designated as a global heritage location they determined it wasn’t a dormant volcano anymore, but an extinct one you know?”

 とにかく東京と京都を結ぶ事だけを考えて設計した卯酉東海道だったが、政府は霊峰富士の真下に穴を開けるという、恐れ多き事態だけは避けた。

At any rate, the Bouyuu-Toukaidou was constructed only with tying Tokyo and Kyoto together in mind, but even the government wasn’t about to do something as reckless as opening a hole under a spiritual mountain like Mount Fuji.

 卯酉東海道は、富士を避け、樹海の地下を走っている。

The Bouyuu-Toukaidou avoids Fuji, but runs right under the sea of trees that encircles it.

 ただ、樹海には古くから良くない言い伝えが多く、樹海の真下を走るというだけで新幹線
の運行や乗客数に影響が出てしまうかも知れない。

However, since ancient times there have been a lot of ill legends about the forest, so running right under it probably would have affected fares and the number of customers willing to ride.

 そう考え、樹海の真下を走っているという事は一般には明かされなかった。

So of course, the fact that the line runs right under such a forbidden forest was not released to the public.

 6.お宇佐さまの素い幡 (The White Flag of Usa)
    Most Famous Hero

 「あはは。朝からお酒が美味しいわね。
  そういえばこの新幹線、最初は京都と東京だけじゃなくて、
  鎌倉にも駅を作る予定だったらしいよ?」

“Ahaha, morning sake really is great! Anyway, did you know? Apparently this line originally wasn’t only planned to connect Kyoto and Tokyo but was going to have a station in Kamakura as well!”

「蓮子は物知りねぇ」

“You sure do know a lot Renko.”

 「そりゃ、物知りだもの。
  なんでも、三つの都を繋いで名前も繋都(けいと)新幹線にしたかったんだって」

“Well I guess so. I heard they really wanted to name the line Keito, ‘connecting all three capitals’.”

「暖かそうな新幹線ね。って、鎌倉は都じゃないでしょ?
 それに鎌倉って、京都と東京の間にしては東京寄り過ぎじゃないの」

“That has a nice ring to it doesn’t it.. wait, but Kamakura was never the capital was it? And besides, compared to the distance between Kyoto and Tokyo isn’t Kamakura really close to Tokyo?”

 「ま、そういう理由でお蔵入りになったらしいんだけどね」

“Yeah, apparently that’s the reason that plan was shelved.”

「そんなこと、最初から判りそうなものなのに……。
 蓮子は誰かに嘘情報吹き込まれたんじゃないの?八幡様が好きな誰かに」

“You’d think that’s something that would be obvious from the start…. Are you sure someone hasn’t been giving you false information? Someone who’s a big fan of Hachiouji?”

 「そういえば、『お蔵入り』の蔵って、何の蔵なのか知ってる?」

“You know, thinking about it – we say “shelved” but I wonder what sort of shelf those things are put away on…?”

 富士と言えば北斎の『富嶽三十六景』が有名であるが、北斎は富士を幾ら描こうとも満足
することはなかった。富嶽三十六景は実際には四十六枚ある事からも判る。

When Fuji comes to mind, Hokusai’s “36 Views of Mount Fuji” is famous, but Hokusai was never satisfied when it came to drawing pictures of Fuji. In fact, 36 Views of Mount Fuji was originally supposed to have 46.

 自分の半分くらいの年齢しか無い、若い広重が『東海道五十三次』を出版し、それが人気
を博すと、過去に三十六景を出したというのに、負けじと北斎は『富嶽百景』を出版した。
その位、富士に魅入られていたのだ。

Then Hiroshige, someone less than half his age published “53 Stops Along The Eastern Seaboard” and gained fame. Even though Hokusai had already published 36, not wanting to lose to Hiroshige, he published “100 views of Mount Fuji”. To devote that much time to it, he really must have been taken with that mountain.

 しかし、広重もまた、富士に魅入られた者だった。

But then again, so was Hiroshige.

 7.月まで届け不死の煙 (Reach to the Moon, Immortal Smoke)
    Elixir of Life

何にしても現代の日本は広重を選んだのだ。
卯酉新幹線ヒロシゲは、地下を東に走り続ける。今はちょうど鎌倉辺りだろうか。

At any rate, today’s Japan picked Hiroshige. The Hiroshige rushed underground along the Bouyuu-Toukaidou line. Now, they were probably somewhere near Kamakura.

「ねぇ蓮子。トンネルスクリーンに映ってる富士山って、
 ちょっとダイナミック過ぎないかしら?」

“You know Renko, this Mount Fuji projected on the tunnel screen, don’t you think it’s a little too dynamic?”

 「うーん。余りまじまじと実物を見た事がないから何とも言えないけど、
  こんな感じだと思うわよ?
  きっと、周りに人工物が殆ど映っていないと、こんな感じに見えるんじゃないかな」

“I don’t think so – I haven’t had much of a chance to take a serious look at the real thing so I can’t say for sure, but isn’t Fuji something like this? Well, since it’s not projecting anything man-made anywhere I guess the view isn’t quite the same…”

「この富士は、広重と言うよりは北斎かなぁ。
 スケールだって、オートマチックビデオリターゲッティングの
 処理された様な感じがするわ。
 リアリティよりインパクトを重視した様な気がする」

“This Fuji seems more like one of Hokusai’s rather than Hiroshige’s. With the scale and everything, it feels like there’s some sort of automatic video re-targeting process going on. Rather than reality I think they’re focusing more on impact.”

 「メリー、広重も北斎に対抗して、富士の三十六景を描いていたってのは知っている?」

“Merry, did you know that Hiroshige, opposing Hokusai, published 36 views of Mount Fuji as well?”

「あら、パクリ?インスパイア?」

“Really? was it plagiarism? inspiration?”

 「その名も、『富士(不二)三十六景』というの。しかも北斎の没後に出版したのよ」

“Even the name was “36 Views of Mount Fuji”, just spelled differently, and it was published right after Hokusai’s death.”

「あらあら」

“Oh wow…”

 建物の少ないカレイドスクリーンの景色では、富士山は霊験あらたかで、迫力のある姿を
見せていた。

Within this kaleido-screen landscape with few buildings in sight, Mount Fuji showed itself as great, magnificent, miraculous, and intense.

 本物の富士山も、富士山復興会の努力により今は綺麗である。本来の富士の姿の余りの迫
力に圧倒されたか、復興会の厳しい掟に嫌気がさしたか、山を登る人の姿も少なくなり、観
光協会が大打撃を受けたというのは皮肉だが。

The real Mount Fuji, due to the efforts of the Mount Fuji Restoration Project, is now beautiful as well. Naturally Fuji commands a great amount of intensity, but perhaps because of the stringent rules put forth by the restoration committee, you don’t see as many people climbing it, and ironically the sightseeing association has taken a big hit.

 日本が広重を選択したのは北斎の奇才を認める事が出来なかったからである。日本は狂気
を徹底的に嫌ったのだ。

Japan selected Hiroshige because it couldn’t recognize Hokusai’s genius. After all, Japan has a fundamental problem with insanity.

 だがしかし、もしこの新幹線がヒロシゲではなく、ホクサイだったとしたら、カレイドス
クリーンにはどういう情景を映し出されていただろうか。

However, if this bullet train was not called Hiroshige, but instead Hokusai, I wonder what sort of landscape the kaleido-screen would show?

 きっと、今よりも目的地に早く着く、36分間の狂気の幻想を楽しめたに違いない。

Well there’s no question about it is there? Surely you would be rushing along toward the final destination even faster, enjoying a thirty six minute fantasy of insanity.

 8.レトロスペクティブ京都
    Retrospective Kyoto

「もうすぐ東京かしら。
 やっぱり物足りないわね」

“I guess we’ll be reaching Tokyo soon. Still, this trip really feels like it’s missing something.”

 「確かにね。でも着く前に疲れなくて良いじゃない」

“Yeah, but at least we won’t be tired out before we arrive.”

「ま、東京見物できる時間が増えたから良いか。
 今日はどんなところを案内してくれるの?」

“Well, like you said, this way we’ll have more time to go sightseeing. So do you have planned for today?”

 「そう焦らないの。
  まずは実家に着いてから彼岸の墓参りを済ませて、
  荷物を置いてから見学に行きましょう?」

“Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. After we arrive at my parent’s house, first we’ll have to do a Higan grave visit. Once we’ve dropped off our luggage, why don’t we go and look around?”

「あれ?冥界参りに行くんだっけ?」

“So, you mean we’re going to visit the world of the dead?”

 「東京は、京都に負けず劣らずの霊都だから、きっと楽しいわ。
  メリーと一緒なら」

“Tokyo is no less a spiritual capital than Kyoto is, so I’m sure it’ll be fun. Well, as long as we’re together, right?”

アスファルトで固められた地霊の罪も時効を迎え、東京の道のそこら中にひびが入っていた。

The ground spirits locked in the hardened asphalt had paid the due time for their sins, and so the streets of Tokyo were filled with cracks.

 環状線も一部が草原と化し、葉っぱもなく、茎と赤い花弁だけの奇妙な花が道を覆いつつあ
る。人口の減少と共に、自動車という前時代的な乗り物も減っていた。道がどうなろうと不便
な事は無かったのだ。

Part of the city’s encircling rail had become grassland, and mysterious leafless red petaled flowers were covering the roads. As the population had dwindled the number of outdated transportation devices called “automobiles” that used them had as well, so no one seemed to care about what happened to the roads anymore.

 派手な格好の若者達が、独自のルールを形成している事が特徴的な東京。
 町奴や旗本奴、火消しが暴れる町の様に……。

Tokyo had become a city where young flashy people lived according to their own rules. It has become a city of townies, militants, and firefighters running all over the place…

 東京は昔の姿を取り戻しつつある。

Tokyo was returning to the way it was long long ago.

 9.ラクトガール ~ 少女密室
    Locked Girl

 「京都と違って東京は田舎だから、懐かしい物が沢山あるのよ」

“Tokyo is really rural, unlike Kyoto, so there are tons of nostalgic things about.”

「例えば?」

“Like?”

 「閉塞感ある狭くて高いビルの中で遊ぶテーマパークとか、
   超大型ショッピングモールとか」

“Like the theme parks and huge shopping malls squeezed between all the clustered tall buildings..”

「良いわねぇ。その洗練されていない庶民的な娯楽がまだ残っているのね」

“That sounds fun – So the city still has those sorts of unrefined plebeian amusements?”

 「その辺、京都は厳しいからねぇ。
  娯楽と言えば新茶道とかしかないし」

“Well lately Kyoto’s been pretty uptight.
As for “amusements” all I can think of is that ‘new tea ceremony’.”

「あら、お茶は好きよ?
 あの茶室の密室さ加減が」

“Well I like tea you know?
And that locked up feel of the tea room is just right.”

 東京にはその昔、食のテーマパークが流行った時代があった。
 全国各地から美味しいと評判の店を持ってきて、一箇所に集めただけという何とも風情
の無いテーマパークだったが、それでも東京の人間には大好評だった。

Long ago in Tokyo there was a time when food theme parks were popular. There were shops boasting delicious food from all over the country, gathered all in one place. Maybe it lacked elegance, but it was really popular among the people living there.

 東京には、江戸時代の頃から、闘食会と呼ばれた死をも恐れない食の大会があった。そ
れを考えると、現代の東京で食のテーマパークが流行るのも当然の事である。

Even as far back as the Edo period, there were great eating competitions with fearless participants undaunted even by death. If you think about it that way, food theme parks being popular in Tokyo nowadays just makes sense.

 江戸の血を確実に引く東京の街。

The blood of Edo surely runs through the streets of Tokyo.

 本でしか見た事の無い、時代を超えた街、東京に近づくにつれて、メリーの気持ちがま
すます高揚した。

Drawing closer to a city that had passed age upon age, one she hadn’t seen except for in pictures in books, Merry’s excitement rose.

10.千年幻想郷 (Gensoukyou of a Thousand Years)
    History of the Moon

 「富士が小さくなっていくわ。もう東京は目の前ね」

“Fuji is getting smaller. You can already see Tokyo ahead.”

「蓮子の話を聞いていたら、なんだか楽しみになってきたわ。東京が」

“After listening to you talk, I’ve really started to look forward to Tokyo.”

 「そりゃ私の話だもの。
  でもね、京都に比べるとやっぱり、精神的に未熟な都市って感じは否めないわ」

“Well, it’s coming from me after all. Even so, I can’t deny that looking at it from a psychological-emotional standpoint, compared to Kyoto, Tokyo’s still immature as a city.”

「たまには馬鹿になるのも良いじゃない」

“Well it’s fine to be that way every once and a while.”

 「結界の切れ目もほったらかしだしね。
  千年以上も霊的研究を続けてきた京都とは大違いだから」

“The gaps in the boundary are all left as is around here. It’s a huge difference compared to Kyoto, which has been conducting spiritual research for over a thousand years.”

「あ、スタッフロールよ。
 こんな風景まで作者の権利を主張しようとするのねぇ」

“Ah, here comes the staff roll.
So they’re claiming their rights even over a landscape like this.”

 窓の外の景色に文字が浮かび上がっている。
 53分のカレイドスクリーンの映像が、終わりを迎えようとしていた。

Outside the window letters started to appear. The 53 minute kaleido-screen was reaching its end.

 本来、景色には誰の著作物である、という考え方は無い。さらに言うと、この映像は広
重が見たであろう東海道を基にしているのだ。

Naturally, you wouldn’t think a landscape as someone’s work of art, and this was supposedly based off of what Hiroshige saw on his journey along the Toukaidou.

 それでも、人間は自分の物だと主張する。乗客は皆、本物の景色ではないかと思って見て
いた立体的に、映像の制作者の名前が浮かんでは消え、消えては浮かんでいる。

Even so, humans were trying to put their name on it. All of the passengers, looking out at the landscape they might have taken for the real thing, saw creators names appear and disappear, disappear and appear.

 風景の真ん中に「Designed by Utagawa Hiroshige」と言う文章が浮かんだのを最後に、
世界は闇に閉ざされた。

At the very end, right in the middle of the scene the sentence “Designed by Utagawa Hiroshige” appeared, and then the world closed unto darkness.

11.最も澄みわたる空と海 (A Perfectly Clear Sky and Sea)

ハイダイナミックレンジの映像も
 極めて日本的な情景も、
  本物の空の色には敵わない。

Neither the high dynamic lens projection,
 Nor the penultimate Japanese landscape,
  Can match the true color of the sky.

という前時代的な認識を持つ人間は、もはや居ないだろう。
 ヴァーチャルの感覚は、リアルより人間の感覚を刺激する。
  夢と現は区別できない様に、人間と胡蝶と区別できない様に、
   ヴァーチャルとリアルは決して区別出来ない、と言うのが今の常識である。

There probably isn’t any one human left who holds such an outdated view.
 After all, virtual reality is more stimulating than actual reality.
  Just as dreams and reality cannot be differentiated,
   How humans and butterflies cannot be differentiated,
    It’s common sense that virtual reality and actual reality cannot be either.

言うまでもなく、ヴァーチャルが人間の本質なのだ。

And it goes with out saying, Humanity’s true nature is virtual.

  身は華と与に落ちぬれども
  心は香と将に飛ぶ

  Though the body may flutter to the ground like a flower petal
  The soul floats up into the sky like an incense.

                         –Kukai

53分間の他愛の無い会話の続きを地上でする為に、二人は東京駅を後にした。

Continuing their trivial 53 minute conversation above ground, the two girls put Tokyo Station behind them.

あとがき / Afterword

 初めまして、みたいなZUNです。

Nice to meet you, (or something along those lines) this is ZUN.

 この卯酉東海道は、展開無しでオチも無しですね。秘封倶楽部の二人が普段どういう会話を
しているのかを盗み聴いたという内容です。ある意味ハッピーエンド。

This Retrospective 53 Minutes has no development, and no plot points. It’s basically a narration by someone eavesdropping on an ordinary conversation between the two members of the Sealing Club, wondering what they’re talking about. Still, it’s a “Happy Ending” of sorts.

 隣の席に座っていた人が、二人の会話を聞いて心のなかで突っ込みを入れていただけです
ね。その突っ込みがナレーションです、ほんとか?
 二人は平均的な若者より、少しだけ頭が切れるみたいです。頭の良い女の子は格好良い。

The person sitting in the seat next to the girls listens and sort of acts the straight man to the girls based on what he’s thinking. That’s the narration. Yeah… really.
But those two really are sharp for their age. Smart girls are cool.

この話のテーマは、前回の夢違科学世紀と同じです。夢と現、ヴァーチャルとリアルのお話。
今のヴァーチャルをもっと頭の中で進めて想像してくださいまし。夢違より安心して聴ける
(読める)CDになってる、よね?

The theme of this story is the same as in Changeability of a Strange Dream: dreams and reality, virtual reality and actual reality. I would like you to imagine a more advanced form of virtual reality than is available today. This CD is one you can more comfortably listen to (or read) isn’t it?

 良く、アニメやゲームは猟奇的な犯罪が起こる度にやり玉に挙げられます、その都度、リア
ルとヴァーチャルの区別を付けろ、なんてお偉いさんが言ったり、誰だって区別してるに決ま
ってるだろ、なーんて言う訳ですが、そんなん無理です。と言うか付く筈が無い。

Often, in anime or games whenever a bizarre crime occurs, there’s a victim. In this case someone high and mighty would probably say “Properly distinguish between actual reality and virtual reality!”, or “This is something that everyone can do!” etc. etc. But that’s pointless. You shouldn’t be able to in the first place.

 天才は、夢で閃くという。心は体を捨て、現実の外に呼び出す事が出来ます。そこで得た知
識や経験は決して無駄ではない。ヴァーチャルとリアルの違いは、ソフトとハードの違いみた
いなもんです。分けて使う事は出来ません。

It is said that geniuses excel in dreams. The soul abandons the body and you can call upon things outside the realm of reality. The knowledge and experiences gained in the process aren’t meaningless. The difference between virtual reality and actual reality is really like the difference between soft and hard. You can’t properly divide things between the two.

 だってそうでしょう?

Don’t you think so too?

 そうでないと、音楽では人に影響を与えない事になってしまう。
 音楽におけるヴァーチャルとは、存在するであろう音楽を再現する事だから……。

If that weren’t the case, music wouldn’t have any effect on people.
The virtual reality you experience when listening to music is the result of replaying something that didn’t necessarily exist in the first place.

 音楽活動する以上、リアルとヴァーチャルを区別するなんて言わないで、
 区別出来ない事を意識した上で行動したい。

Once you’ve experienced music, don’t say anything about differentiating between actual and virtual reality, but instead act with the knowledge that it can’t be done.

                     上海アリス幻樂団 ZUN(旅に出たい)
        Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra ZUN (I want to go on a journey)

夢違科学世紀 ~ Changeability of Strange Dream.

Renko and that other girl. You do learn about Merry quite a bit more in this episode though. ^_^

Notes:
A circle is a club. I didn’t feel like changing it. o.o

Added a short paragraph that was missing to the end of part five. (2012/10/13)

夢違科学世紀 ~ Changeability of Strange Dream.
 Yume-tagae Kagaku Seiki ~ Changeability of Strange Dream.
 The Century of Science Mistaking Dreams ~ Changeability of a Strange Dream.

1.童祭 (Children’s Festival)
  Innocent Treasures

夢違え、幻の朝靄の世界の記憶を
現し世は、崩れ行く砂の上に
空夢の、古の幽玄の世界の歴史を
白日は、沈みゆく街に

In order to counter dreams, the memories of a world in phantom morning mist,
The waking world sets upon a crumbling foundation of sand.
Histories of an ancient mystic world sprung from imagined dreams,
The waking light thrusts into sinking alleys.

(夜が明ける。幻の朝靄の中で夜が明ける。
 私は幻想の世界で子供達と一緒に遊んでいたわ。
 子供達はみんな楽しそうだった。みんな笑っていた)

(Day is breaking. In the middle of this phantom morning mist, day is breaking.
I was playing together with children in a land of fantasy.
All of the children were so happy. Everyone was laughing.)

幻か、砂上の楼閣なのか
夜明け迄、この夢、胡蝶の夢

Is it an illusion, or a tower built upon the sand?
Until day breaks, this dream – a butterfly’s dream.

(……こんなに笑っている子供を最後に見たのは一体いつだろう。
 聴いた事もない不思議な唄、不思議な踊り。どうやら今日は祭りらしい。
 私も、いつかはこんな子供達の笑顔がある国に住みたいと思ったわ)

(… I wonder when was the last time I saw a child laughing this much?
Then I listened to a strange song before, and there was a strange dance. Today must be a festival.
I thought that one day I too wanted to live in a country that had such children’s smiles.)

夢違え、幻の紅の屋敷の異彩を
現し世は、血の気無い石の上に
空夢の、古の美しき都のお伽を
白日は、穢れゆく街に

In order to counter dreams, the stark colors of a phantom scarlet mansion,
The waking world sets upon a bloodless foundation of stone.
Fairy tales of an ancient beautiful capitol, sprung from imagined dreams,
The waking light thrusts down degrading alleys.

2.華胥の夢 (Paradisiacal Dream)
  Paradisiacal Daydream

「――そうそう、それでね。昨日はこんな夢を見たのよ」
「……って、また夢の話なのぉ?」
「だって、今日は夢の話をする為に貴方を呼んだのよ」

“So as I was saying, last night I had this sort of dream..”
“…Wait, you mean you want to talk about your dreams again?”
“Well, I called you over today to talk about dreams actually..”

 私の名前はマエリベリー・ハーン。この冥い街でオカルトサークルをや
っているわ。普通のオカルトサークルとは違って、私達のサークルはまと
もな霊能活動を行っていない、所謂不良サークルなんだけど……。それに
サークルって言っても、サークルメンバーは二人だけだけどね。

 My name is Maribel Hearn. Here, in the middle of this dark street, I’m participating in an occult circle. It’s different from your ordinary occult circle; our circle doesn’t really do any “spiritual” activities, so we’re sort of considered a delinquent group, but… Well I call it a circle, but we are the only two members.

「ねぇ、他人の夢の話ほど、話されて迷惑な物はないわよ?」

“Don’t you think telling other people your dreams is a bit inconveniencing?”

 そんな事はどうでも良いけど、実は私には凄い能力があるのよ。うちの
家系は昔から霊感はある方だったみたいだけど……。
 私は、世界中の結界、つまり境目が見えてしまうの。サークルは結界の
切れ目を探しては、別の世界に飛び込んでみるのよ。神隠しって奴かしら?

 That aside, the truth is that I have an amazing power. I’ve heard that since long ago people in my family have had spiritual perception, but well…
 I can see magical barriers, and all their boundaries all throughout the world. Our circle searches for gaps in those boundaries and tries leaping into other worlds. I guess you’d call it being spirited away?

 ……禁止されてるんだけどね。
 ただ最近私は、色んな世界の夢を見るようになってきて……

 … It is prohibited though.
 But lately, I’ve been having dreams of various other worlds…

「お願い、貴方に夢の事を話してカウンセリングして貰わないと、
 どれが現の私なのか判らなくなってしまうそうなのよ」

 ”Please!If I don’t tell you my dreams and get counseling from you, I feel that I’ll lose sight of which one of us is the real me!”

3.上海紅茶館 (Shanghai Black Tea House)
  Chinese Tea

深い緑の向こうにあった物、それは真っ赤なお屋敷だったわ。
お屋敷の周りは、深い緑色と白く輝く湖……
なんて素敵な景観なのかしら?
こんなに赤いのに、何故か自然にとけ込んでいるわね。
この思い切った色彩は、どこか子供っぽい感じがして……私は大好きよ。

Beyond a deep thicket of green, there was a bright red mansion.
All around the mansion was that same deep green, and the shining white of a lake……
What a wonderful view…
Even though it was that red, somehow it seemed to melt into the nature around it.
Somehow I felt the coloring had a sort of childish feel to it…… I loved it.

ちょっと寄っていってみようかしら?
突然訪れても失礼じゃないかしら?
それに目の前のお屋敷は私を受け入れてくれるかしら?
って、何、夢の中で怖じ気付いているのよ。私ったら。

Should I go visit for a little while?
Would it be rude to just appear all of a sudden?
Even before that, would this mansion before me take me in?
… Wait? What am I flustering about? This is a dream.

……あら、お手伝いさんが出てきたわ。
あの人に訊いてみようかしら?
こんな素敵なお屋敷のご主人様に、挨拶がしたいって。

…… Ah, it looks like they have some hired help.
I wonder if I should go ask her?
Something like, “I would like to see the master of this lovely mansion..”

4.ヴォヤージュ 1969 (Voyage 1969)
  1969, from Cape Canaveral

どこまで行っても同じ風景だったわ。
陽も落ちてしまって、足下もよく見えない……

No matter where I go it all looks the same.
The sun’s already set and now I can’t hardly see my feet……

夜の竹林ってこんなに迷う物だったのね。
時折遠くで聞こえる不思議な鳴き声。獣なのか、それとも……。
どうしましょう?困ったわ。
このまま竹林で彷徨い続けて飢え死にしちゃうのかしら?
それとも、妖怪に喰べられちゃうのかしら?まだやり残した事色々あったんだけどなぁ。

I had gotten that lost at night in a bamboo forest.
Every now and then far away I could hear a strange calling voice. Was it some animal, or…?
What should I do? This is bad.
If I stay lost in the bamboo forest like this, I wonder if I’ll end up starving to death?
Or maybe I’ll be eaten by a youkai? I have so many things left that I want to do though…

私は、当てもなく彷徨っていたわ。
お腹がすいたら筍でも食べれば良いかなーなんて軽く思っていたし。
――そもそも夢の中だけどね。
でもね私、その時気が付いたの。天然の筍って、どういう物なのか知らなかったのよ。
合成の物しか見た事ないもの。筍は味しか知らなかったの……

I wandered aimlessly, lost.
When I get hungry I’ll probably be alright if I eat bamboo shoots or something – I figured I’d be fine with a simple solution like that.
–After all, this is a dream.
But still, I realized then that I had no idea what a natural bamboo shoot was.
I had only seen those synthesized ones – I only knew what it tasted like.

途方に暮れて空を見上げたわ。
満天の星空だった。
初めて貴方の眼が羨ましく思えたわ
貴方だったら、ここがどこだかすぐに判ったでしょうね。迷わなかったでしょうね。

At wits end I stared up at the sky.
It was filled with stars.
For the first time I grew envious of your eyes.
If it were you, you’d know immediately exactly where you were. You wouldn’t have gotten lost.

そう想った直後だったのよ、すぐ後ろで不気味な笑い声がしたのは!

As soon as I’d thought that, I heard an creepy laugh right behind me!!

5.科学世紀の少年少女 (Boy and Girl of the Century of Science)
  21th Century Boy and Girl

「これが紅いお屋敷で頂いたクッキーと、竹林で拾ってきた天然の筍よ」
「うん?夢の話じゃなかったの?メリー」
 さっきから私の夢の話を聴いて貰っているのは、宇佐見蓮子。二人しか
いないサークルメンバーのもう一人よ。サークル活動の殆どは彼女の行動
力から生み出されるわ。蓮子は、空を見るといま立っている場所と時間が
判るんだってさ。気持ち悪い。

“This is a biscuit I received at that scarlet mansion, and here’s a natural bamboo shoot I picked up in the bamboo forest.”
“Huh? I thought you said this was a dream? Merry?”
 The one that was listening to me tell my dreams is named Usami Renko. She’s the other member of our circle of only two. Most of our circle’s activities come from her ideas. When Renko looks at the sky she can tell where she is and what time it is at the moment. It’s creepy.

 ちなみに蓮子は私の事をメリーと呼ぶの。この国の人には私の名前は発
音しにくいらしいわ。もう私の本名も忘れてるんじゃないかしら?

By the way, Renko calls me Merry. Apparently for the people of this country my name is fairly difficult to pronounce. I wonder if I’m going to end up forgetting my real name?

「夢の話よ。さっきからそういってるじゃないの」
「……夢の話なのに、何でその夢の中の物が現実に出てくるの?」
「だから、貴方に相談してるのよ」

“It was a dream. Haven’t you been listening to me?”
“……So if it was a dream, why did those things in your dream materialize here in reality?”
“Like I was saying, that’s why I’ve come to talk to you.”

 私には、何が現で何が夢なのか判らなくなってきたの。いつも見る夢は
大抵妖怪に追われたりして終わるわ。悪夢の言えば悪夢なんだけど……。
でも夢の中の物をいつの間にか持っていたりして、もしかしたら今こうや
って話している事が夢なのかもしれない……。

 I’ve started to lose sight of what is real and what is a dream. When I dream, it almost always ends with me being chased by youkai. I guess you would call it a nightmare… but well, you know…
Still, before I know it I’m holding the things that I’d found in my dream, so I started to wonder if what I’m doing right now isn’t a dream……

「教えてあげるよメリー。それはすでに筍じゃないわ。そこまで成長
したらもう堅くて食べられやしない」
でも、悪夢を吉夢に変えられるとしたら、今の現実より――。
「天然の筍はね、美味しい時は土の下に隠れて身を守っているのよ」

“You know Merry, That’s not a bamboo ‘shoot’ anymore. It’s already grown so much that it’s too hard to be edible.”
But, if I could somehow change this nightmare into a good dream, it would be far better than this reality…
“You see, when natural bamboo shoots are most delicious, they hide under the ground to protect themselves.”

6.永夜の報い (Retribution for an Endless Night)
  Imperishable Night

私は本気で走ったわ。夢のなかなのにね。
何だか判らないけど、さっきの笑い声が明らかに人間じゃない気配だったんだもん。
本能が『逃げろ!』って言っていたわ。

I ran as hard as I could. Even though it was in a dream.
I couldn’t really figure out why, but I knew that that laughing voice I had just heard wasn’t human.
Instinct told me, “Run!”

でも、竹林は微妙に傾斜が付いていて、私の平衡感覚を狂わせるの。
まっすぐ走っているつもりだったけど、本当はどうだったのかしら?

But the bamboo forest was strangely inclined and it threw off my sense of balance.
I tried to running straight ahead, but where did I really go?

結構走っている気がするけど、何だか見たことのある景色しか出てこない。
この竹林が無限に続いてるのか、それとも私がぐるぐると回っているのか
……どっちでも同じ事ね。

I felt that I had run a long way, but all I saw again and again were places I’d already been to.
Does this bamboo forest continue on forever? Or am I just running around in circles?
…… Whichever the case it’s still the same.

蓮子みたいな『客観的に見て明確な真実が存在する』という考え方は
いかにも前時代的だわ。

Renko’s sort of “from an objective point of view the truth can be found” way of thinking is antiquated you know.

真実は主観の中にある。
見たことのある景色しか出てこないならば――ここはそういう所なのよ。

The truth is found in a subjective view.
If all I see are the places I’ve already been to, then within these the true place lies.

だから、私は走っているの。
だって、夢というのは現の反意語なんかじゃない。
最近の常識では同意語なのよ。
夢の中だろうと、得体の知れない物からは逃げなきゃいけないの。それが真実だから。

So, that’s why I’m running.
After all, a dream isn’t an antonym of reality.
According to common sense nowadays it’s a synonym.
Even if I am in a dream, I should run away from things that could be dangerous. That is truth.

そんな私の専攻は相対性精神学。
蓮子は超統一物理学だったわよね。最近はひもの研究、順調かしら?

Going along with that line of thought, I’m majoring in relative psychiatry.
By the way, Renko’s majoring in super unified physics. Lately there’s been that string theory research… I wonder if that’s going along well?

7.夜が降りてくる (The Night Comes Falling)
  Evening Star

でも……不思議ね。
貴方みたいな全時代的な人は、夢と現を正反対な物として考える人が多いけど、
もっともっと果てしなく昔の人は、夢と現を区別していなかったと言うわ。

But it’s strange…
There are many people like you with an antiquated way of thinking that consider dreams and reality to be exact opposites, but if you look a lot farther into the past, people didn’t distinguish any difference between dreams and reality.

そして今は、夢と現は区別はするけど同じ物。
現の現実と夢の現実、現の私と夢の私、それぞれが存在するわ。

Nowadays, we do differentiate between them, but consider them both the same.
The reality of reality and the reality of dreams, the real me and the dream me, both exist.

夜の胡蝶が自分か、昼間の人間が自分か……。
今の常識では、両方自分なのよ。

Is the nighttime butterfly me? Is the daytime human me?
Common sense today says both are.

随分と逃げてきた気がしたけど、全く疲れは無かったわ。
まるで空を飛んでいる様に移動していたから?私は胡蝶になっていたのかしら?

I felt like I had run far far away, but I didn’t feel tired at all.
Was it because I had moved as if I were flying in the sky? Did I become a butterfly or something?

でも、そんな夜のとびっくらもついにゴールのテープが見えて……

But I had found the goal line of my sprint….

――私は走るのをやめた。
だって、少し先の方の竹林が、紅く光っていたんだもん。
その光は禍々しい色で、現実的な光では無かったわ。
そう貴方に判りやすく言えば……
ルビジウムの炎色反応の色が一番近いかしら?

–I stopped running.
Just ahead in the bamboo, there was something giving off a deep red light.
The light was an ominous color, not something you’d find in reality.
Putting it into words you’d understand…
Perhaps it was closest to the glow given off by a rubidium flame?

とてもじゃないけど、光る竹、なんていう代物じゃなかったわ。
私は後ろを気にしながら、そうっと光っている方を覗き見たの。

I know it doesn’t exist, but it wasn’t the shining bamboo from that one story.
Still being cautious about what might be behind me, I looked over in the direction of that light.

8.人形裁判 ~ 人の形弄びし少女
   (Dolls’ Judgement ~ The Girl Who Played With People’s Shapes)
  Doll Master

ああ、私はなんていう物を見てしまったのかしら!
今では絶滅した山犬だって河童だって、3DCGで見られる時代のに……
それでも目の前にいるあんな生き物は見た事がない。

Ah, what had I set my eyes upon!
Even though we live in an age where you can see extinct mountain wolves and kappa in 3DCG…
I hadn’t seen any creature like it before.

山犬より大きいのに、鼠のような黒い生き物。眼だけが赤く光っている
……いや、兎だったのかな? 眼が赤かったし。
でも、その眼の付き方がおかしいの。
こう……正面に二つ付いているのよ。そう貴方の眼の様にね。
人間は大抵みんなそうだけど。

It was bigger than a mountain wolf, and was black like a rat. Only its eyes were red.
…Wait, was it a rabbit? Its eyes were red after all…
But it’s look was strange…
There were two eyes on it’s face like this… just like your eyes are.
Well like all humans’ are…

顔の大きいさは人間のそれと同じくらいだったわ。
というか人間の顔だったかしら?そう言えば人間の顔だったわね。顔だったのよきっと。
人間の顔を持った大きな鼠、貴方、そんな獣知らない?

The size of its face was about the same as a humans too.
So it had a human’s face? Well now that I think of it did. It had a human face – definitely
A large rat with a human face… Do you know any sort of creature like that?

――その時、大鼠は聞き覚えのある不気味な声を発したわ。
やっぱり私を追いかけていたのはこの大鼠だったのね。
でも、今は私の方を見ていない。紅い光の方を向いている。

–At that time the large rat let out a creepy voice that I recognized.
So this rat was the one who was chasing after me!
But this time it wasn’t looking at me. It was looking in the direction of that deep red light.

そう……周りを紅く染めていたのはその大鼠の眼じゃ無かったのよ!
なんと、不気味な大鼠は紅い光に怯えていたわ。
私はその紅く光っている方に顔を向け……

It wasn’t that big rat’s eyes that was making everything glow red!
The creepy rat was actually afraid of the reddish light.
I then turned towards the light…

9.夢と現の境界 (The Boundary Between Dreams and Reality)
  Wake up Mysterious Girl

「でね、これがその大鼠と女の子が去った後に落ちていた髪切れよ」
「ねぇ、本当に夢の話なの~?」

“So anyway, This is a piece of paper that fell after the big rat and that girl disappeared.”
“Hey, are you sure this was a dream?”

 大鼠と対峙していた紅い光の正体は、なんと女の子だったわ。その女の子が
紅く光っていたの。何で紅く光っていたかと言うと、それは一目瞭然で、女の
子はね……全身が火に包まれていたの。

 The true form of the red light the big rat was facing was this incredible girl. She was glowing scarlet. Why? Well at first glance it looked as if she was entirely engulfed in flame.

 いや、それは正確な表現じゃあないわね。全身から火を出していた、という
方が的確かなぁ。女の子の体から深い紅色の炎が斜め上に広がって、まるで羽
を開いた鳥のように……。

 Well that’s not really the correct way to describe her. Rather, the fire was coming from within, and furthermore two blazes of deep crimson slanted upward out of her body, as if she were a bird with its wings outspread….

 それはね。人の顔の付いた大鼠など比べものにならないほど、禍々しかった
わ。大鼠は、その女の子が手を挙げただけで恐れをなしてか逃げていったの。

 Anyway, compared to the big rat with a face, this girl was on a completely different level of ominous. This girl had only to raise her hand for the big rat to run away in fear.

「だぁからぁ、夢と現なんて同じ物なのよ。いっつもいっつも言ってるじゃない。
 私にしてみれば、貴方と会っている今が夢の現実かもしれないし……」
「まぁまぁ、夢の世界の話でも聴いてあげるから落ち着いて、メリー。
 結局、その女の子は何者だったの? その後どうなったの?」
「知らない。その後は、大鼠が逃げていって……女の子も去っていったわ。
 私はね、ずっと大鼠にも女の子見つからないように隠れていたの。
 大鼠を追っ払って貰ったのにどうして隠れてたの、だって? まぁ……」

 ”Like-I-was-saying! Dreams and reality are the same! Haven’t you been listening at all?!
  From my perspective meeting here with you now might really be a dream…”
 ”Ok, Ok, I’m here to listen to your dreams, you know? Calm down, already – Merry.”
  So in the end, just what was that girl? What happened next?”
 ”I don’t know. After that, the big rat ran away… and the girl disappeared too.
  Then I hid myself from both the big rat and the girl for a long, long time.
  She did chase away the rat for me, so why did I hide from her too? Well…”

 その女の子の眼をまともに見てしまったわ。大鼠にも勝るとも劣らない紅い眼――
「――あれは人間じゃあ、ないから」

 I saw her eyes perfectly, they were a deep red, never failing, far surpassing that of the rat’s–
 ”She wasn’t human…”

10.幻想機械 (Illusionary Factory)
   Phantom Factory

 結局、メリーは夢の世界の話をするだけして、一人で満足して帰って行った。
 私はメリーから手渡された幾つかの品を見つつ、頭の中を整理していた。メリーは夢と現は
同じ物だと言っていたが、そんな筈がない。例え昨今の相対性精神学の常識がそうだと言って
も、それはあくまでも精神の中での話であって、夢の中の物体が現実に現れてしまっては困る。
質量保存の法則が成り立たない。エントロピーはどうなるのだろう。
 私は確信していた。メリーは気が付かないうちに、実際に結界の向こうに飛んでいる。それ
を夢だと思いこんでいる。今、結界の向こうに非常に近い位置に居るのだろう。まさかメリー
が見える能力から操る能力に……なんて事は無いと思うけど。最近、真面目にサークル活動し
過ぎたかな。
 このままでは、夢の中で妖怪に喰われてしまうかも知れない。もしくは神隠しに遭うかも知
れない。メリーの想いが色んな世界に揺らいでいる。別の世界に居るときに、本人が夢ではな
いと気が付いてしまえば、もうこっちの世界に戻れなくなるかもしれない。こっちの世界を夢
だと思いこんでしまうかも知れない。本人は気が付いていないけど、非常に危うい状態にある。

 In the end, just telling me all her dreams, Merry left satisfied.
 Looking down at the few things Merry had given me, I organized my thoughts. Merry said that dreams and reality are the same, but there’s no way that could be true. Even if that’s what the current relative psychiatric school of thought states, at its worst it only concerns dreams versus reality within the field of psychiatry. When things from dreams start materializing in reality, we’ve got a problem. It breaks the law of conservation of mass – and what about entropy?
 I was certain that while Merry didn’t realize it, she had flown beyond a world boundary. But she believed that it was only a dream. Now, that world beyond must be extremely close to her… Merry’s ability to see boundaries couldn’t have transformed into an ability to control…? No, that’s impossible – that can’t be it. I wonder if it’s because she’s been too engaged in our circle’s activities recently…
 At this rate, she could be eaten by one of the youkai in her dreams – or spirited away. Merry’s thoughts have been wandering across various worlds, so if she’s in another world and realizes that it’s not a dream, she might not be able to come back. She’ll probably end up thinking that this world is the dream. She doesn’t know, but she’s actually in an incredibly dangerous situation.

  私のカウンセリングとして考えられる手段は二つ。

  As for counseling measures, I can think of two things I can do.

  これらの品を捨てて、完全に夢、幻だった思いこませる方法。
  そうすれば二度と現実には夢の世界にいけなくなるだろう。夢と現は別物なのだ。

  I could throw away these things she’s given me and force her to believe completely that her dreams were just that – dreams, or illusions.
  If I did that, she would probably lose the ability to realistically travel to the dream world. Dreams and reality are, and should be, separate things after all.

  もう一つの方法は……

  The other thing I could do…

  夢ではなく、実際に別の世界にいる事を強く意識させて、夢から眼を覚ませる方法。
  そうすれば、夢の世界で訳も判らないうちに死んだりしない。
  ただ……この世界に帰れなくなる可能性もある。

  I could, rather than convincing her it was a dream, force her to understand that she actually was in another world, and wake her from her dreams.
  If I did that, she wouldn’t die in that dream world without knowing the truth…
  But… if I did that, she might not be able to return to this world.

  メリーにはどっちが良い?私にとってはどちらが一般解?
  ……そんなの決まってるじゃない。

  Which is better for her? Which is the right answer from my perspective?
  …It has to be that one.

11.幽玄の槭樹 (Mystic Maple Tree)
   Eternal Dream

「もう、いつも蓮子は呼び出しておいて時間に遅れるんだから」
「メリー、たったの3分15秒の遅刻じゃない、惜しいわね」
「惜しいって何? というか、今日は何の用かしら?」
「勿論サークル活動よ。せっかくサークルメンバー全員揃ったんだから」
「二人しか居ないけどね……ってまた何か入り口らしき所を見つけたの?」

“God Renko, you’re always late!”
“Merry, I’m only three minutes and fifteen seconds late – just barely missed it.”
“Huh? Well whatever – What’s it for today?”
“Circle activities of course. We’ve got the whole team together after all!”
“That’s only the two of us you know – So have you found another entrance?”

結論は一つしかなかった。メリーが言っていた夢の世界。
美しき自然とほんのチョッピリのミステリアス。

There was only one answer. Merry’s dream world.
Beautiful, natural, an just a bit mysterious.

人里離れた山奥の神社、
楽しそうにはしゃぐ子供達、
深い緑、白く輝く湖、
紅いお屋敷、木漏れ日の下でのティータイム、
迷わせるほどの広さの竹林、天然の筍、
人を狂わす満月、
人の顔を持った人ではない生き物、
そして禍々しい火の鳥――

A Shinto shrine far from civilization,
Children frolicking,
Deep green and white sparkling lakes,
A scarlet mansion and tea time under the shade of trees,
A bamboo so wide as to make you lost and natural bamboo shoots,
A creature with a human face, and
That ominous bird of flame――

……メリーだけが見ているなんてずるい!

It’s unfair for only Merry to get to see all that!!!

「勿論、別の世界の入り口だったら見つけられるわよ。
 ほらこんなに手掛かりだってあるんだからね」
「手掛かりって……これは私の夢の世界の品じゃないの、蓮子」
「だから、メリーの夢の世界を探しにいくのよ。
 ねぇ、何でこの国の子供達が楽しくなさそうに見えるのか……
 メリーに判るかしら?」

“Of course – If there’s an entrance to that other world, we’ll be able to find it.
After all, I’ve got a lead.”
“Lead? Aren’t those just the things from my dream? Renko?”
“Like I was saying, we’re going to search for your dream world.
Merry, do you know why the children of this country don’t look happy?”

「?」

“Huh?”

「貴方みたいな考えの学者の所為で、
 夢と現を同じ物として見るようになったからよ。
 夢をただの脳が見せる虚像として、現実の一生理現象に組み込んだからよ。
 主観の外に信じられる客観がある。絶対的な真実がある。
 主観が真実だって?貴方の言っている事は矛盾している。その学説は間違っている。
 その証拠に貴方は主観を認めないで夢にしちゃっているじゃない。
 夢と現実は違う。だから夢を現実に変えようと努力出来る。
 だから――子供達は笑う事が出来たの。
  さぁ、目を覚ますのよ。
  夢は現実に変わるもの。
  夢の世界を現実に変えるのよ!」

“It’s because of academics like you,
that they’ve come to see dreams and reality as the same thing.
They fall into the trap of thinking dreams are simply images shown at the back of your brain, nothing more than a scientific phenomenon.
You know, other than that subjective view, there’s an objective view that you can believe in. An absolute truth.
A subjective view holds the truth? What you’re saying is a contradiction. That theory is wrong.
Proof of that is that you, giving up your subjective view, dream.
Dreams and reality are different. Because of that, you can work to make dreams into reality.
That’s how those children could smile.
 Come on, wake up.
 We’re changing your dream into reality.
 We’re going to bring that dream world into reality!”

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あとがき
Afterword

 初めましてかもしれない、ZUNです。神主だけで結成されたバンドやってます。勿
論嘘です。博麗神社で細々とやってます。

 Nice to meet you (probably), this is ZUN. I’ve formed a band of only a Shinto priests! Of course that’s a lie. I’m just scraping by, working at the Hakurei Shrine.

 今回ひょんな事からこの様な音楽CDを出す事となりました、って既に3枚目ですね。
いやはや、色々と気持ちの悪いCDです。さあ指をクロスさせてえんがちょを。

 This time around I’ve made a CD of music with a sort of strange basis… Wait this is the third one. Wow, I’ve made a lot of creepy CDs haven’t I? Alright everyone, let’s cross our fingers and say “go away!”

 さてさて今回も、幅広く色んな過去作品から選曲してみました。でも基本的にSTGの
曲が多いので、疲れるくらいに激しいです。単体で聞くもんじゃないねって曲ばっか……
聴くもんじゃないですよ?だから別のストーリー(意味)を与えてあるわけですし。
ゲーム中はゲームのストーリーを与えられていますからね。世の中はバランスですよ。

 Anyway, this time I’ve selected from quite a broad range of previous works, though they are mostly shooting game themes at heart – enough to tire you out. The CD’s full of songs that you can’t just listen to one at a time… By the way, you shouldn’t listen to these one at a time you know? Anyway I’ve assigned a different sort of meaning/story to them here. In the games they have the stories from the games… it’s a sort of world balance.

 一曲目の『童祭』は先日行われたトークイベントでの、私の入場テーマだったんです
よね。色んなキャラのテーマを書いてきましたが、自分がテーマだともの凄くやりにく
いですね。こっぱずかしくて。
 実はこの曲は歌詞付きだったりします、って曲コメントが歌詞になっていますが。
交互に夢と現を行き来する歌、果たして何が真実なのやら。

 The first song “Children’s Festival” was my entrance theme from a talk event a few days ago. I’ve written a lot of various character themes, but making a theme for myself was really difficult – and embarrassing.
 I actually made lyrics for it, but the comments for it sort of are lyrical. It’s a song of travelling back and forth through dreams and reality, and which in the end was the truth.

 で、秘封倶楽部の二人はどこに行ってしまうのか不安でなりませんが……
 そうそう文中のメリーと蓮子の二人は、秘封倶楽部という謎のサークルを結成して、
あれやこれ等、オカルトな活動を行っています。詳しい事は一切語られていないのです
が、科学が進化すると天然の筍が食べられなくなるのでしょうか? 可哀想に。

 Anyway, I’m a bit worried about where those two from the Sealing Club ended up…
 Yes, yes, Merry and Renko from in this work made a mysterious circle called the Sealing Club, and do this and that sort of occult activities. I haven’t written anything specific about it, but as science advances, will we become unable to eat natural bamboo shoots? How depressing…

 でも、鴇の味噌汁は飲めるのかもしれない。合成で。

 But then you might be able to have crested ibis miso soup. Synthetically.

 そう考えるとなんて未来は夢で溢れているんだろう。

 Thinking of that, I’m filled with dreams of what the future might bring.

 外は何かと物騒で満足に遊べない、家の中ではネットの向こうの他人の感情を想像
しないといけない(これは大人でも難しい)し、間違ったことを正してくれる大人も
居ない、たまに叱るとすぐにキレる。今のネットでは子供には激しすぎてとてもまと
もな人と付き合う能力を育めないのかも知れない。

 Since the outside is somewhat dangerous and you can’t really play to your heart’s content, you have to imagine the emotions of other people beyond the internet (this is difficult even for adults), and there aren’t any adults who will correct your mistakes, but will sometimes scold you or worse. The net nowadays is too harsh for children, and I don’t think they’re raised to be able to hang out with adults.

 ですが、子供達の心がどんどんと狭くなる一方のこの国でも、もしかしたら街に子
供達の笑顔が溢れる日も来るのかもしれないですね。合成で。

Still, while the hearts of children are growing narrower and narrower in this country, perhaps there will come a day when children play out in the streets filled with smiles. Synthetically.

上海アリス幻樂団 ZUN(筍好き)

Shanghai Alice Illusionary Orchestra ZUN (A lover of bamboo shoots)