HOMEWorks of Lafcadio Hearn (ラフカディオ・ハーンの作品) > 『ちんちん小袴』(Chin-chin kobakama)
 
Chin Chin Kobakama
HASEGAWA'S JAPANESE FAIRY TALE SERIES ENLARGED ENGLISH EDITION No. 25
 
 
 
 
English ed. 1903(Meiji 36) Catalogue No. 50
 
『ちんちん小袴』(Chin-chin kobakama
著者:ラフカディオ・ハーン(Author : Lafcadio Hearn)
絵師:不明(Illustrator : anonymous)

 
■ あらすじ 
  怠け者の娘が嫁に行き、戦で留守がちの夫がいない或る夜に物音で目覚めると、裃<かみしも>を着て髷<まげ>を結い、刀を差した何百人という小人が「ちんちん小袴、夜も更け候。お静まれ姫君、やあとんとん。」と彼女を小馬鹿にしながら歌い踊っていた。それから連夜小人たちは現れ、妻は病気になった。戻った夫が話を聞いて夜中に見張り、畳から現れた小人に斬りかかると、小人たちは爪楊枝<つまようじ>に変身し畳の上に散らばった。妻は怠け癖から使った爪楊枝を捨てず、畳の縁に差し込んでいたのである。夫が妻を叱り、爪楊枝を家人に焼かせると、その後、小人が現れることはなかった。
 
注釈
 著者であるハーンは、本文の前に日本人の畳や玩具の扱い方を紹介し、畳を汚す子どもを懲らしめる妖精の話がある、との前置きを付けている。本書の最後には短くもう一つ、物ぐさな少女が梅の種を畳に挟んだことから、夜中に振袖姿の小さな女たちが現れる話が加えられている。
 
 
Outline of this story
 A lazy maiden was married to a warrior, whose duties on the battlefield kept him away from home. One such night, the bride was awakened by a clatter, and saw hundreds of little men, dressed just like Japanese warriors but only about an inch high, making merry at her. "We are the Chin-chin Kobakama; the hour is late; sleep honorabe noble darling!" they chanted, teasing her as they sang and danced. They appeared every night thereafter, and the warrior's wife gradually fell ill. When her husband came back, she told him of the men, and he waited for their appearance that night. When they began to pop out of the soft "tatami" mats of woven straw, he cut them down with his sword, and they all changed into toothpicks, scattering on the mats. Because of her slothful ways, his wife was in the habit of sticking used toothpicks between mats instead of properly discarding them. The husband scolded her and had a retainer burn the toothpicks. The little men never again appeared.
 
Note
 By way of preface, the author, Lafcadio Hearn describes the "tatami" mats, thick soft mats of woven reeds, and toys used in Japan, and mentions the existence of stories about fairies that punish children who soil the mats. At the end is a short tale about little girls in long-sleeved kimonos who appeared at night to a lazy girl who had jammed plumstones into the mats.