Conference Paper 招待発表(2) 百合草若の物語の由来

Araki, James T

Tsubouchi Shōyō in 1906 suggested that the medieval Japanese story Yuriwaka Daijin was an adaptation of the story of Ulysses. Although his thesis became well known, it has been discredited and dropped from standard references, particularly since its refutation by such preeminent scholars as Tsuda Sōkichi (history), Yanagida Kunio (folklore), Takano Tatsuyuki (theater), and Watsuji Tetsurō (philosophy). Tsubouchi's essay was not convincing because he relied only on an English translation of the Odyssey for purposes of comparison.The story of Ulysses which became well known in Western Europe in the sixteenth century consisted of elements from the Iliad and Odyssey as well as pōems of the Epic Cycle. A close comparison of the stories of Yuriwaka and Ulysses will show the presence of at least twenty-three parallels in approximately the same order of occurrence. It would be difficult indeed to insist that the two stories share coincidental similarities.Because yuliseez is a recent English pronunciation of Ulysses, its similarity with Yuriwaka may be considered coincidental; for the name Yuriwaka was known in Japan in the 1550s. However, Europeans who had studied Latin in the sixteenth century would have pronounced Ulysses as either ulikses or üliks ―those who had studied in Paris, as St. Francis Xavier had, would probably have preferred üliks, which would have registered as yurikusu in the Japanese ear. The similarity between yurikusu and yurikusa, the probable original reading of the Japanese hero's name, is striking.If we may assume that the story of Yurikusa-waka is basically an adaptation of the story of Ulysses, with additional motifs taken from the Buddhist story about Prince Zenyū (Tripitaka) and other Japanese folk tales, we may then proceed to attempt to answer the question posed by Tsubouchi: "When and by whom was the story of Ulysses transmitted to our country?" The only likely transmitter known to us is a certain member of Xavier 's party, which arrived in Yamaguchi in November of 1550 (solar calendar). A story title "Yuriwaka" was narrated in Kyoto on February 10, 1551.One means of determining when and where the story was transmitted to Japan would be to ascertain when and in what ways the long-forgotten story of Ulysses was revived in Western Europe. This paper will focus on the status of the Homeric epics, the story of Ulysses in particular, in Western Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

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