芥川龍之介の童話『蜘蛛の糸』 : ヨーロッパ人の仏教説話を翻案する試み(松永俊男教授退任記念号) Kumo-no-ito, a Reputed Tale of Ryunosuke Akutagawa : An Attempt to Adapt a European Buddhist Narrative (Special Issue Dedicated to Professor Toshio MATSUNAGA)

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Paul Carus (1852-1919) wrote a short Buddhist narrative called "The Spider-web" in 1894 and Teitaro Suzuki (鈴木貞太郎 1870-1966) translated it into Japanese in 1898. Ryunosuke Akutagawa (芥川龍之介 1892-1927) adapted it for children in 1918. Entitled "Kumo-no-ito" (蜘蛛の糸 a spider's thread), this adaptation was evaluated highly among Japanese critics and adopted in many schoolbooks. In spite of its high reputation among critics, however, Akutagawa's Kumo-no-ito is not a success as an adapted story. Ignorant of the Buddhist tradition, Akutagawa missed Carus's points and failed to construct a coherent story. Modern philological study of Buddhist texts was established in Europe in the nineteenth century and excellent research results were produced there. Having taken advantage of them, Carus knew much about ancient Buddhist literature. His tale is faithful to the Buddhist tradition and coherent as a whole. Carus had diligently studied Buddhism, read almost all translations of Buddhist scriptures then available in Europe, and written many books on Buddhism. So he was following the Buddhist tradition when he wrote "The Spider-web," which runs as follows: A sinner called Kandata has been suffering tortures in Hell. Having appeared on earth, Buddha sheds rays. Spreading everywhere, they reach even Hell. And he sends a spider as his proxy to Kandata, who takes hold of the web and begins to climb up. Soon he feels the thread trembling, for many sinners are climbing after him. Kandata becomes frightened and shouts, "Let go the cobweb. It is mine." At that moment, the spiderweb breaks, and all fall back into Hell. (Here the rays are a symbol of Buddha's teaching.) The meaning of this story is that it is essential to follow Buddha's teaching, according to which there exists no such thing as atman (self). The Hindus believe that an entity called "atman" subists in every human or animal body. In contrast, the Buddhists deny the existence of atman. Kandata falls back into Hell, because he proves that the illusion of atman is still upon him, saying that the cob-web is his alone. In translating "the illusion of atman (self)," the ancient Chinese used the expression "wozhi-wangnian" 我執-妄念, which means "the mistaken idea approving the existence of atman," "wo" 我 (I) being equivalent to the Sanskrit "atman." The ancient Japanese borrowed the word "wo-zhi

収録刊行物

  • 桃山学院大学人間科学 = HUMAN SCIENCES REVIEW, St. Andrew's University

    桃山学院大学人間科学 = HUMAN SCIENCES REVIEW, St. Andrew's University (36), 81-196, 2009-03-10

    桃山学院大学総合研究所

各種コード

  • NII論文ID(NAID)
    110007044529
  • NII書誌ID(NCID)
    AN1020805X
  • 本文言語コード
    JPN
  • 資料種別
    Departmental Bulletin Paper
  • 雑誌種別
    大学紀要
  • ISSN
    09170227
  • NDL 記事登録ID
    10261202
  • NDL 雑誌分類
    ZV1(一般学術誌--一般学術誌・大学紀要)
  • NDL 請求記号
    Z22-1580
  • データ提供元
    NDL  NII-ELS  IR 
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