Thursday, February 28, 2013

Onmyōza Hyakumonogatari Story V "Rokurokubi"

(Rokurokubi begins at 8:00)
Well sure, I may have gone a little overboard with the drinking and gambling. But my wife is the one to blame. How come, you ask? Well, she's just too damn sexy. When I walk around town with her, everyone turns their heads with envious looks on their faces. Sure, I fell for her looks. Yes I did, guilty as charged. But you know, when she seriously uses her sex appeal on other men, I'm not just going keep quiet.

Like a while ago, when the fishmonger came by, she goes: "Isn't it hot?" and invites him inside and treats him to some cold noodles. I was going to eat those for lunch. And then, that fishmonger shamelessly helps himself to some sake, and is getting along really good with my wife. Goes without saying that that was my sake. That's when I told him to his face that if he was done trading he should just get out. And guess what? Without even a glance in my direction, he just tells my wife to take care and that he'd come by again. Does that sound like something a fishmonger would say!?

And my wife too, she didn't look altogether displeased! Gimme a break! What? [unclear] What do I care! Like, isn't that the proper duty of a husband? I let her have it. I told her that I'd be better off without such a bitch. Then she went and handed me a notice of divorce! The nerve on that woman! What? You're telling me it's ass backwards for a wife to give the husband a notice of divorce? Shut up! I can't help it! That's just what she did.

But you know, I'm a man after all; I wouldn't accept such a thing. That's why, uh, I threw it into the privy without even reading it. Serves her right. Huh? You're saying that my hand slipped and I dropped it when I was trying to read it in secret? D- Don't be silly! Like I'd do something that pathetic... I used that thing as toilet paper then threw it away. For real.

Anyways, I told her that it was her fault and she's the one who should apologize, otherwise she could just take a hike! And guess what, she really did! Even if that bitch comes back I won't even let her cross the threshold! I'm a man of my word. Right, buddy boy?
Ah... Mommy...

陰陽座百物語 第伍話「飛頭蛮」




でもな、俺は男だ。そんなもん受け取れねーよ。だからあれだ、読まずに厠にどぼんだよ。ざま見ろってんだ。何?厠でこっそり読もうとして手滑らして落としたんだろって?ば・馬鹿言っちゃいけねーよ!誰がおめえ、そんなみっともねえ… あんなもん便所紙にして捨ててやったんだよ。いや本当だって。


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Onmyōza Hyakumonogatari Story IV "Ninja Scroll of Wilderness"

(Kegai ninpōchō begins at 1:20) 

"Well then, I'm off. I won't be back until that man's head is mine."
As soon as the young man had said so, he started walking away. Following closely behind him was the heartrending voice of a girl.
"I beg you! Please don't go! What meaning is there to revenge? We could just return to our old life and live here quietly like before!"
The tearful appeal of the girl did not have the power to change the young man's will, and he said: "Indeed, we have been branded as insubordinate barbarians and have lived here secretly. I do not consider that to be pitiful. However, the pride of our clan is not something so cheap that we are just going to submit meekly when it has been trampled underfoot!"
Having said so, he left without slowing his pace. Only the figure of a girl breaking down in tears was left behind.

"Forgive me. Those who were mocked and then murdered were close friends of mine since childhood. Unless I avenge their deaths, there is no way I can face them in the afterlife!"
While glaring at his destination, the enemy's fastness located between the mountains, the young man proudly walked onward. The hard rock surface crunched under his step and the gusty wind blew away his footprints, as if foreboding the young man's fate.

Before long the girl hears rumors of the young man's demise. No one in the clan doubted his inevitable, vain death. Ironically, his righteous indignation that resulted in his death in battle ended up causing trouble for the whole clan. As a warning to others, the Imperial army was ordered to extirpate all members of the clan, including women and children, for having revolted against the Imperial Court, not once but twice.
Absolutely nothing has been heard of the clan since then.
Only the wind that blows through the valley carries their laments.

陰陽座百物語 第肆話「化外忍法帖」

「後生です。行かないでください!仇討ちなど何の意味がありましょう?このまま、元の暮らしに戻って ひっそりと生きて行けばよいではありませぬか!」
涙混じりの娘の訴えにも若者の意志を覆す力は無いと見え、若者は「確かに我らはまつろわぬ化外の土蜘蛛の烙印を押され、人目を隠れて暮らして来た。それを惨めだとも思わぬ。だが、一族の誇りを踏み躙られても尚、黙って泣き寝入りする程我らの誇りは安いものでは無い!」と言い放った儘 歩みを緩める事も無くその場を立ち去った。後には泣き崩れる娘の姿が残された。



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Onmyōza Hyakumonogatari Story III "Yoshitsune"

(Yoshitsune begins at 16:14)

Having suffered a crushing defeat due to Yoshitsune's surprise attack at Ichinotani, the Tairas retreated to Yashima, an island on the Sanuki sea, in hopes of reorganizing their troops. Unwilling to let them get away, soldiers of the Minamoto clan would have rushed after them, but due to problems such as procuring ships, precious time was fruitlessly running short. That night, accompanied by rain, the wind changed direction from south to north, which drove Yoshitsune into madness. For Yoshitsune himself however, it might have been confidence rather than madness. Still, he sets sail into the raging sea with a hopelessly scanty number of ships and little more than hundred soldiers with him, and heads for the Tairas' position at Yashima.

"Do not fear the storm! Anchors aweigh! Those who hesitate shall be put to the sword right here!"

Helped by a furious tailwind, as if by a miracle, Yoshitsune's troops arrive at enemy territory in an extraordinarily short time. The Tairas are caught off guard and put to rout, just like at Ichinotani. The downfall of the Tairas was drawing ever nigher. Yoshitsune, whose great services in war should have been praised, however serendipitous they might have been, instead ends up, due to the intrigues and falsehoods of various generals and due to his own naivety and imprudence, being slighted by his elder brother Yoritomo. Even in the middle of all this, he only wishes for one thing.

"My brother! If you so wish, I shall give you that all! In return, I want to have your love."

陰陽座百物語 第参話「義経」

一谷で義経の奇襲により大敗を喫した平氏は讃岐の海に浮かぶ屋島に逃れ、軍の再建を計っていた。逃さじとばかりに殺到した源氏は船の入手などに手間取り、いたずらに時が貪られていた。その夜、雨を伴って南から北へと転じた風は義経を狂気へと駆り立てた。義経自身にしてみれば狂気などでは無く寧ろ確信であったかも知れない。しかし、手勢僅か百騎余り、荒ぶる海の中では木の葉にも等しい程の船を出し、平氏の拠点 屋島を目指した。




Sunday, February 24, 2013

Onmyōza Hyakumonogatari Story II "Kurotsuka"

(Kurotsuka begins at 8:20)

I cannot fathom why a travelling monk such as yourself would like to hear the life story of an old crone like myself, but since you insist so much, I shall tell you. Long ago, I served in a castle as a wet nurse for a certain princess. The princess was the sweetest girl you ever laid eyes upon, and I looked after her as if she were my very own child. As a matter of fact, I once had a daughter I had to let go as soon as she was born. I wholeheartedly devoted my love to the princess; I felt that serving her was my atonement for what had happened to my own child, and my love for her only grew with time.

At any hand, the young princess suffered from an illness. No matter how many great doctors we consulted, the verdict was always that she didn't have much longer to live. I intended to do anything I could to save the life of the princess. Therefore I visited a popular soothsayer to ask if there was a way the princess could be saved. The result of the divination was this: if she ate the liver of an unborn baby she would live. Yes, I am aware of what a horrendous thing that is.

However, I did not care if I myself should land in hell, if only the princess would be saved. I left the castle alone and headed for Ōshū. I set up a crude shack by the river Abukumagawa and waited for travelers lost on their journey. And finally one day, a pregnant woman arrived. She said that she had to find a certain person before her child was born, but that was none of my concern. There was not a chance that I would let this opportunity slip, so I waited until she fell asleep, cut open her stomach and took the liver of the child.

Still euphoric now that the princess would be saved, I looked through her things in order to get rid of them, but for some reason, each of them seemed familiar to me. There were amulets and nightwear I had given my child when I had to let go of her, and a boxwood hairpin I had hidden on her, hoping she would one day wear it. Why was this woman cherishing these things so dearly? Yes, indeed. This woman was my very own child. She was travelling, even though she was pregnant, in hopes of finding her mother — me — before her child was born, so that she could show me the face of my grandchild. I cried and screamed for days on end, until my tears ran dry.

I no longer know how much time has passed since then. I just carry this dreadful burden, not even allowed to follow my daughter, I am still living here as you can see. I am sure that even a priest like you is unaware of what the punishment is for a parent who kills her own child. Yes, I suppose you have heard the poem that people recite around this region?
"Is it true what they say, that Kurotsuka in Michinoku, on the plains of Adachigahara, is the abode of a demon?"
That demon is me.

陰陽座百物語 第弐話「黒塚」






Onmyōza Hyakumonogatari Story I "Footfall"

This was a section on Onmyōza's radio show HOT ROCKIN' back in 2004-2006 where Matatabi and Kuroneko read stories related to the lyrics or to the things that inspired the lyrics in the first place.
Hyakumonogatari means a round of ghost stories.  (Wikipedia)

I've made the transcripts myself, so they may contain errors.

Onmyōza Hyakumonogatari Story I "Footfall"

(Ashioto begins at 1:45)

The man walked cautiously, yet at a quick pace, along the sheer mountain cliff. His job was to get the goods he carried on his back delivered by the time the cock first crowed in the morning. His greatest concern should have indeed been whether he could deliver the goods on time, but for a while now, there was something else that occupied his mind.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump...

Something kept making such a strange noise behind him. It sounded like something rolling; at any rate, it was a queer sound. He had turned around many times, but was unable to determine what the sound was. The reason for that was because, although the sound came from right behind him, he could not discern anything at all there. Albeit the night was dark, the fact that he could not see what was making that sound right behind him made the man grow more and more afraid. He quickened his pace, and getting the goods delivered on time was not the reason he did so.

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump...

Then finally, the strange noise was coming from somewhere right next to his ears. The man could not take it anymore, which did not mean that he was going to turn around and witness what was making the sound; he was too afraid to do that. Instead, he ran like mad, trying to shake it off, whatever it was. He rushed as fast as he could along a cliff barely wide enough for one adult. However, the sound adjusted its speed to match that of his, and the man could hear it coming from exactly the same distance as before.

"Give me a break." The moment he prayed so in his mind, having lost his composure, he now lost his footing too, and wretchedly plunged from the precipitous slope into the abyss that spread before his eyes. It was a fall one possibly could not survive. After his plunge, only a few small rocks that had chipped off from the edge of the road came tumbling down after him.
What had made that mysterious sound remains in the dark...

陰陽座百物語 第壱話「跫音」


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