Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1: 9. Texts and Sources
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Text (Hirata Atsutane)
This is a story of the experience of the young boy, Torakichi (Takayama Katsuma), who was lured into the mountains by a long-nosed goblin (a type of being known in Japanese as Tengu) and lived eight years in a village of the sages, and then returned to his own village to relate the tale. This work was written by Hirata Atsutane, and is also known as Katsuma tōmon (Questions to Katsuma and His Answers) and Shindō hyōdan (The Possession Tale of the Genius Boy) and other titles. The work comes in two parts, with part one consisting of three volumes, and part two called Sendō Torakichi monogatari (The Tale of the Sagely Child Torakichi) is comprised of two volumes titled Shindō hyōdan ryakki (The Abbreviated Record of the Possession Tale of the Genius Boy) and Shichishō no mai no ki (The Record of the Dance of Seven Lives). This work was completed in 1822. In 1820 Atsutane heard the rumor of Torakichi (who was then fifteen) from Yashiro Hirokata, and immediately tried to write down the questions he asked along with the answers. Part one is a record of these events in 1820, and one volume of this is a detailed account of the time between the reappearance of the boy and their interview, Torakichi's life history, an outline of his interactions with Tengu, and the boy's appearance. He also includes the reactions of friends such as Yashiro and Ban Nobutomo. The second and third volumes of part one comprises a record of a question and answer session between Atsutane and Torakichi centered on life in the village of the sages. Because the story told by Torakichi matched Atsutane's own view on things, Atsutane took custody of the boy and as they lived together, he was able to interview and watch the boy to his own heart's content. Part two consists of a continuation of various questions and answers between Torakichi and Atsutane, and of the two volumes, the one title Shindō hyōdan ryakki is an account of a psychic encounter in 1821 using one of Atsutane's students, Takeuchi Magoichi, as a spirit medium for Torakichi. The other volume, Shichishō no mai no ki is an explanation by Torakichi of the dances performed in the village of the sages that was recorded in 1822. Torakichi lived with Atsutane for about seven years, and one day when Torakichi was twenty-two years old, he suddenly took the tonsure and left Atsutane. There are various works composed by Atsutane during the time Torakichi was with him, and Kokon yōmi (Research on Spirits Throughout the Ages) was written as an analysis of Tengu. Even after Torakichi had left him, Atsutane continued to have interest in the village of the sages and supernatural phenomena, and he wrote Katsugorō saisei kibun (A Record of Things Heard About the Reincarnation of Katsugorō), Yūkyō shingo (True Words Regarding the Village of Spirits), and Inō mononoke roku (A Record of the Ghosts of Inō). Senkyō ibun is contained in volume nine of Shinshū Hirata Atsutane zenshū (Meicho Shuppan, 1976). There is also a modern Japanese translation in the Moto'ori Norinaga-Hirata Atsutane volume of Nihon no meicho (Chūō Kōronsha, 1984).
— Mori Mizue

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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