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HOME > all > Library013 稲亭物怪図説

稲亭物怪図説
江戸時代後期写

 寛延2(1749)年、備後国三次(みよし)の少年・稲生平太郎が一ヶ月間にわたって体験した怪奇現象の物語です。手を変え品を変え襲ってくる怪異が人気を博し、多くの絵本や絵巻、講談本がつくられました。
 友人らと百物語の肝試しをした平太郎は、7月1日の夜から、毎晩様々な怪奇現象に出くわすようになります。最初の夜は、鬼のようなものが蚊帳のまわりをうろつき、一つ目の大入道につかみかかられました。平太郎が刀で切り捨てんとすると、物の怪はさっと姿を消しました。
 2日目は行灯の火がいきなり天井まで燃え上がったり、居間の中に水が湧き出て窒息しそうになったり。3日目は壁の小さな穴から女の生首がさかさまになって近寄ってきたかと思うと平太郎の膝に上がって首をべろりと嘗め回したり。こんな調子で夜毎に怪奇現象は続きます。
 6日目は巨大な老婆の顔が現れ、戸口をふさぎました。平太郎は小柄を投げて婆の額を射抜きますが、婆は痛がる風もみせずに平然としているので、馬鹿馬鹿しくなった平太郎はそのまま放置して部屋へ帰りました。あくる朝見てみると婆の姿はなく、婆の額があったあたりに小柄が突き立っているばかりでした。
 10日目は、尋ねてきた友達と語らっていたら、友達の頭が真っ二つに割れて中から赤子がぞろぞろ這い出してきたり、13日目はつづらが巨大なガマガエルに変じたり。
17日目は勤めていた女性をたらいがひとりでに追まわし、平太郎がたらいを投げつけたのだと誤解され、夜中過ぎには串刺しになった子どもの首が布団の回りをとびまわり、うっとうしことこの上ありませんでした。
 21日目には、壁に人影がうつり、わけのわからないことをぶつぶつとつぶやき続けるのでした。25日目には庭へ下りようとしたところ死体を踏みつけ、腐った肉が足にまとわりついて冷たくてなりませんでした。
 こんな調子で迎えた7月30日の夜、立派な裃を着た40がらみの男が現れ、自分は魔王の山本(さんもと)五郎左衛門であると名乗ります。そして様々な怪異を一向に恐れぬ平太郎の勇気をほめ、今宵限りでもう現れないと告げて庭へ降り立ちました。平太郎が見送ると、魔王は異形のものたちが担ぎ上げるかごに載り、雲のかなたへと消えて行ったのでした。


An Illustrated Book of Apparitions at Inou’s House
Copied in the late Edo era

 This is the story of strange phenomena experienced over the course of one month by a boy, Heitaro Inou, who lived in Miyoshi in the Bingo area. The various ways the apparitions attacked became popular and many picture books, picture scrolls and storybooks were made.
 Heitaro and his friends tried to test their courage with many ghost stories and as a result, every night from the night of July 1st, various mysterious phenomena occurred. On the first night, something like an ogre wandered around the mosquito net and the one-eyed giant grabbed Heitaro. When Heitaro cut off the hand with his sword, the evil spirit disappeared at once.
 On the second night, the fire of the lamp suddenly flared up to the ceiling and water sprang up in the living room and nearly suffocated him. On the third night, the upside-down and severed head of a woman came out from a small hole in the wall, rested on Heitaro’s knees and licked his neck. This kind of strange phenomena continues every night.
 The face of a huge old woman appeared and blocked the doorway on the sixth night. Heitaro threw a small knife that passed through the forehead of the woman but she seemed uninjured and unchanged, so he gave up this absurdity, left her alone and went back to his room. The next morning when he checked, she was gone and the small knife was stuck in the place where her head had been.
 On the tenth day, while Heitaro talked with a friend who visited, the friend’s head split open and many babies crawled out. And on the thirteenth day, a clothes box made of bamboo transformed into a huge toad.
 On the seventeenth day, a wooden tub was chasing a female servant, who misunderstood and thought Heitaro had thrown it at her. After midnight, many skewers with the heads of children stuck on them jumped all around his futon and were very troublesome.
 The shadow of a person appeared on the wall and kept murmuring incomprehensible things on the twenty-first day. When Heitaro went to the garden on the twenty-fifth day he stepped on a corpse and the rotten flesh stuck to his foot and was unbearably cold.
 At last, on the night of July 30th, a man in his forties dressed in excellent formal wear appeared and claimed to be the demon king Sanmoto Gorozaemon. Then the demon king praised Heitaro’s courage to overcome all the various apparitions and declared this night to be the end of the appearances and returned through the garden. Heitaro watched as the demon king was carried in a palanquin by the apparitions and disappeared far off into the clouds.