HOMEJapanese Fairy Tale Series (「日本昔噺」シリーズ) > 『猿蟹合戦』(Saru-kani kassen)
 
Battle of the Monkey and the Crab
HASEGAWA’S JAPANESE FAIRY TALE SERIES No. 3

 
 
 
 
English ed. 1886(Meiji 19) Catalogue No. 7

   資料ID:212331(書誌詳細画面へ接続)

 
 
French ed. 1885(Meiji 18) Catalogue No. 107

   資料ID:517041(書誌詳細画面へ接続)

 
 
German ed. 1885(Meiji 18) Catalogue No. 129

   資料ID:517052(書誌詳細画面へ接続)

 
 
Portuguese ed. 1912(Meiji 45) Catalogue No. 143

   資料ID:489898(書誌詳細画面へ接続)

 
 
Spanish ed. 1914(Taisho 3) Catalogue No. 151

   資料ID:510713(書誌詳細画面へ接続)

 

MATSUMURO’S
The Story of the Battle between a Monky and a Crab
『昔噺猿蟹合戦』
 
 
Catalogue No. 184
Matsumuro Yachizo Version 1900(Meiji 33)

『猿蟹合戦』(Saru-kani kassen
訳者:デビッド・タムソン(Translator : David Thompson)
絵師:小林永濯(Illustrator : Eitaku Kobayashi)
 
■ あらすじ 
 蟹のおむすびを猿が柿の種と交換させた。蟹が柿の種を植えると、
柿はすぐに生長して沢山の実をつけたが、熟した柿を猿が全て自分
の物にし、蟹には青い柿を投げつけ怪我を負わせた。重傷の蟹の
眷属<けんぞく>は憤り宣戦布告して猿の眷属に挑んだが、戦力が
かなわず、臼たちと一計を案じた。まず停戦を申し入れて猿の王を
招き、炉端に座らせた猿に火の中から玉子が爆<は>ぜ、蜂が刺し 、
棚から杵<きね>が、屋根から臼が体当たりし、最後に蟹の集団が
鋏で猿を切り刻んだ。
 
注釈
 日本五大昔噺の一つで、動物葛藤譚と言われるもの。江戸時代の
赤本・黒本・青本など所謂「草双紙」によって全国的に親しまれるよう
になった。長谷川の他言語版はD.タムソンによる英語版と同じ筋、
体裁、絵師(小林永濯<えいたく>)をとっており、訳では本来の日本
の伝承を超える表現がなされているが、松室八千三(まつむろやちぞ
う)刊の英語版では本来の伝承に近い話となっている。なお、松室八
千三版は挿絵が殆どなく白黒で絵師の名も記載されていない。

 
 
Outline of this story
 A monkey had a crab exchange toasted rice-cake for the persimmon-seed he had. The crab planted the seed and it soon grew into a tree which bore a lot of persimmons. The monkey plucked all the ripe persimmons for himself, and threw the hard unripe persimmons at the crab. The badly injured crab's relatives swarmed and then declared war against the monkey. The crabs launched an attack on the monkeys, but were not able to prevail. Next, they instead hatched a plot with a rice mortar and others. They first proposed a truce and then invited the monkey king to sit at their hearth. But when the king took his place, an egg burned in the fire, and he was also stung by a bee and struck by a pounder that fell from the shelf and the mortar that fell from the roof. The crabs delivered the final blow by pinching the monkey to pieces.
 
Note
 This is supposed to be one of the five best-loved Japanese fairy tales, and belongs in the genre of tales of fights between animals. It found nationwide popularity in the Edo era thanks to spread of "Kusa-zoshi" (illustrated storybooks) commonly referred to by their color (e.g., red, black, or blue books). The plot, format, and illustrations (by Eitaku Kobayashi) in the editions in different languages published by Hasegawa are the same as in the English translation by D. Thompson. In expression, these translations go beyond the story as originally transmitted in Japan, but the English version published by Yachizo Matsumuro is closer to the original. This version has few illustrations (in black and white) and does not credit any illustrator.