Departmental Bulletin Paper 武家の妖怪退治譚 ――中近世における土蜘蛛退治説話の変容――

本多, 康子

源頼光とその家来である四天王が土蜘蛛を退治する説話は、様々な文芸作品として享受され展開していった。土蜘蛛は、古くは記紀神話において朝廷に服属しない一地方勢力としてその存在が語られていたが、中世になり、お伽草子の武家物というジャンルの中で新たに妖怪退治譚として再構築された。この中世における物語文脈の転換を契機として、妖怪としての土蜘蛛退治の「語り」は、テクストの枠を超えて絵画や芸能へと裾野を広げて展開したのである。本稿では、特に中近世にかけての土蜘蛛退治譚の変遷と、それを題材に制作された絵画作品がどのように受容されたかを考察する。清和源氏を出自とする源頼光とその家来である四天王らの妖怪退治譚が、軍記物語に付随する伝承として生成されやがて独立した物語として発展した背景には、中近世にかけて軍記物語の古典化と周辺説話の再編成がなされたことが密接に関連する。とりわけそれらの最たる受容者であった「武家の棟梁」将軍家周辺による「語り」の管理と継承が及ぼした影響について着目し、「武家による妖怪退治譚」に仮託された政治性を読み解きたい。The tale of how Minamoto no Yorimitsu (948-1021) and his four faithful vassals vanquished the tsuchigumo, a proud band of warriors unwilling to submit to central authority, has been adapted into various genres of both art and literature. The Kojiki (Records of ancient matters, 712) and the Nihon shoki (Chronicles of Japan, 720) preserve tales of these recalcitrant warriors, describing them as dwelling on the periphery and spurning the authority of a growing court. During the medieval period, these accounts were adopted into a new genre of warrior tales (buke mono), where the tsuchigumo warriors took on the appearance of demonic rebels. Having once entered the realm of demonic villains, these same recalcitrant warriors became, as it were, too large for the confines of mere text. These fantastic tsuchigumo were promptly appropriated into the visual and performative arts, where they took on a number of interesting guises. This paper explores some ways in which tales of the tsuchigumo warriors were transformed throughout the early modern period, and how illustrated works based on these same tales were received in contemporary literature and art. While Minamoto no Yorimitsu’s subjugation of the tsuchigumo began as but one short episode within a larger military tale, it was later elevated to the status of an independent narrative in its own right. This elevation was motivated by the canonization of military fiction, as well as the re-adaptation of related tales, which took place during the early modern period. The control and transmission of these tales was dominated, of course, by the shogunal family, the very people who most enjoyed these tales. This paper aims at probing the political significance of such tales insofar as they were simultaneously produced and consumed by the warrior class.

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