生成AIを利用した「日本語テキストの英語化」(その5)ーMicrosoft Bing AIによる芥川龍之介『羅生門』の英訳

Microsoft Bing AIを利用して芥川龍之介『羅生門』を英訳させた結果は下記の通りである。

Microsoft Bingによる英訳

Ryunosuke Akutagawa

It happened one evening. A servant was waiting for the rain to stop under the gate of Rashomon. He was alone; no one else was there except for a cricket perched on one of the large, partially red-painted pillars. Given that Rashomon was located on the Suzaku Avenue, one would expect to see a few more people seeking shelter from the rain, such as women with market baskets or men with umbrellas. But there was no one else.

The reason was that in the past few years, Kyoto had suffered a series of disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, fires, and famines. As a result, the city had become desolate. According to old records, people had even resorted to selling wood from destroyed Buddha statues and religious ornaments, which were piled up by the roadside. With the city in such a state, no one bothered to repair Rashomon. Consequently, it became a den for foxes and thieves, and eventually, it even became a dumping ground for unclaimed corpses. Thus, as soon as it got dark, everyone avoided the area near the gate.

Instead, crows had started to gather there. During the day, one could see them flying around the high finials of the gate, cawing and circling. Especially at sunset, when the sky above the gate turned red, the crows were clearly visible, like sesame seeds scattered across the sky. Naturally, they came to peck at the flesh of the dead bodies on the gate. However, today, perhaps because it was late, not a single crow was in sight. Only their droppings could be seen, dotted white on the overgrown, crumbling stone steps. The servant sat on the top step, his washed-out indigo trousers under him, absent-mindedly watching the rain fall while he fidgeted with a large boil on his right cheek.

Earlier, I wrote that the servant was waiting for the rain to stop. However, even if the rain stopped, he had no particular place to go. Normally, he would return to his master’s house, but he had been dismissed a few days ago. As mentioned before, the city of Kyoto was in decline, and the servant’s dismissal was a small repercussion of this downturn. Therefore, it would be more accurate to say that the servant, caught in the rain, had nowhere to go and was at a loss. Moreover, today’s weather had significantly affected the servant’s sentimentalism. The rain that started falling around the hour of the Monkey (3-5 PM) showed no sign of stopping. So, the servant, needing to figure out how to survive the next day, aimlessly followed his thoughts while listening to the sound of the rain falling on Suzaku Avenue.

The rain enveloped Rashomon, gathering a rustling sound from afar. The evening darkness lowered the sky, and looking up, one could see the gate’s roof supporting heavy, dark clouds on its diagonally protruding tiles.

To find a way out of an impossible situation, one cannot be choosy about the means. If one is selective, they will end up starving to death on the roadside or under a mound of earth and eventually be discarded like a dog on top of the gate. If one is not selective—The servant’s thoughts circled back to the same conclusion after much deliberation. However, this “if” remained an “if” indefinitely. While affirming the idea of not being selective about the means, the servant lacked the courage to positively affirm the inevitable conclusion that followed: “There is no other choice but to become a thief.”

Here is the continuation of the translation in clear English:

The servant sneezed loudly and then, with some effort, stood up. The evening chill in Kyoto was such that one would desire a brazier to ward off the cold. The wind blew unreservedly between the pillars of the gate, accompanied by the twilight. The cricket that had been perched on the red-painted pillar had also gone somewhere else.

Hunching his neck and raising the shoulders of his indigo blue work coat over his yellow sweatshirt, the servant looked around the gate. He was looking for a place where he could spend the night comfortably, without fear of the rain or being seen by others. Fortunately, his eyes caught a wide, red-painted ladder leading up to the tower above the gate. If there were people above, they would only be corpses. With this in mind, the servant stepped onto the first rung of the ladder, careful not to let the sword at his waist slip from its sheath.

A few minutes later, a man was crouched halfway up the wide ladder leading to the tower of Rashomon, holding his breath and peering up. The light of a fire from above faintly illuminated his right cheek, which bore a boil amidst his short beard. The servant had assumed that the only ones above were the dead. But as he climbed a few steps, he saw that someone was tending a fire above, moving it around. The murky, yellowish light flickered on the cobweb-covered ceiling, making it immediately apparent.

The servant, silent as a gecko, finally climbed to the top of the steep ladder. He flattened his body as much as possible and stretched his neck forward, peering fearfully into the tower.

Inside, he saw several corpses thrown carelessly about, just as the rumors had described. However, the range of the firelight was narrower than he had expected, and he could not tell how many there were. All he could make out were some naked corpses and others clothed. It seemed there were both men and women among them. The corpses lay scattered on the floor, their mouths agape and hands outstretched, resembling clay figures so much that one might doubt they had ever been living humans. The dim firelight cast shadows on the lower parts of their bodies, making them appear even darker, while they lay in eternal silence.

The servant involuntarily covered his nose from the stench of decay, but almost immediately, he forgot to do so. A strong emotion had nearly robbed him of his sense of smell.

For the first time, the servant noticed a human figure crouching among the corpses. It was a short, thin, white-haired old woman, dressed in a cypress-bark colored kimono, resembling a monkey. She held a pine torch in her right hand and seemed to be peering into the face of one of the corpses. Judging by the length of the hair, it was probably a woman’s corpse.

The servant, driven by six parts fear and four parts curiosity, had momentarily forgotten to breathe. To borrow the words of an ancient chronicler, he felt as if “the hairs on his body were thickening.” Then the old woman, inserting the pine torch between the floorboards, began to pluck the long hairs from the corpse’s head, one by one, as a monkey might pick lice from its young. The hair seemed to come out easily.

As each hair was plucked, the servant’s fear gradually dissipated, replaced by a growing intense hatred—not necessarily towards the old woman, but rather a general revulsion towards all evil, which grew stronger by the minute. If someone had presented the servant with the choice he had pondered earlier under the gate—whether to die of starvation or become a thief—he would have chosen starvation without hesitation. His hatred for evil burned as fiercely as the pine torch the old woman had stuck in the floor.

Of course, the servant did not understand why the old woman was plucking the hair from the corpses. Therefore, he could not rationally decide whether it was good or evil. However, for the servant, the mere act of plucking hair from the dead on this rainy night atop Rashomon was an unforgivable evil. Naturally, he had long forgotten that he had been contemplating becoming a thief himself just a short while ago.

Then, with a surge of energy in his legs, the servant leaped up from the ladder. Striding boldly with his hand on the hilt of his sword, he approached the old woman, who was understandably startled.

The old woman, upon seeing the servant, leaped up as if shot from a crossbow.
“Where do you think you’re going?” the servant shouted, blocking the old woman’s path as she stumbled over the corpses in a panic, trying to flee. The old woman tried to push past the servant, but he pushed back, refusing to let her go. The two grappled silently among the corpses for a while, but the outcome was clear from the start. The servant finally grabbed the old woman’s arm and forced her down. It was an arm of skin and bone, like a chicken’s leg.

Here is the final part of the story translated into clear and understandable English:

“What were you doing? Speak, or else this is what awaits you.” The servant, having pushed the old woman away, suddenly drew his sword, flashing the white steel before her eyes. But the old woman remained silent. Her hands trembled, and she gasped for breath, her eyes wide open as if they might pop out, stubbornly silent as if mute. Seeing this, the servant realized for the first time that the old woman’s life and death were entirely at his mercy. This awareness gradually extinguished the fierce hatred that had been burning within him. All that remained was a tranquil sense of accomplishment, as if a task had been successfully completed. Softening his voice, the servant looked down at the old woman and said, “I am not an officer of the Keibi-eisei (police). I am just a traveler who happened to pass by this gate. There’s no need for me to tie you up or anything like that. All you need to do is tell me what you were doing up here at this hour.”

The old woman then looked up at the servant with even wider eyes, observing him with the sharp gaze of a carnivorous bird. She moved her wrinkled lips, which were almost merged with her nose, as if chewing on something. Her thin throat and the pointed Adam’s apple moved visibly. Then, from her throat, a voice as hoarse as a crow’s caw reached the servant’s ears, gasping, “I was pulling out this hair, this hair, to make a wig.”

The servant was disappointed by the old woman’s answer, which was unexpectedly mundane. And with the disappointment, the previous hatred returned, accompanied by a cold disdain. Perhaps sensing his mood, the old woman, still holding the long hair she had plucked from the corpse, spoke in a croaking voice, stuttering, “Indeed, pulling hair from the dead may be a terrible thing. But all the dead here are people who deserve no better. The woman whose hair I was pulling sold dried snake pieces, claiming they were dried fish, to the samurai camps. If she hadn’t died of the epidemic, she would still be selling them now. And her ‘dried fish’ was said to taste so good that the samurai always bought it for their meals. I don’t think what she did was wrong; she had no choice but to avoid starvation. So, I don’t think what I was doing was wrong either. I also have no choice but to avoid starvation. And this woman, who knew all too well about having no choice, would probably forgive me for what I’m doing.”

The old woman said something to that effect.

The servant sheathed his sword and listened to her story with a detached air, holding the hilt with his left hand. Of course, he was still concerned about the large boil on his right cheek. But as he listened, a certain courage began to grow within him—a courage that had been lacking when he was under the gate and which was now moving in a completely different direction from the courage he had felt when he first climbed up to the gate and captured the old woman. The servant was no longer torn between starving to death or becoming a thief. At that moment, the thought of starvation was so far from his mind that it was almost inconceivable.

“Is that so?” he said mockingly after the old woman finished her story. Then, stepping forward, he suddenly released his hand from the boil and, grabbing the old woman by the collar, said fiercely, “Then you won’t blame me for stripping you. I, too, must do this to avoid starving to death.”

The servant quickly stripped the old woman of her clothes. Then, as she clung to his legs, he roughly kicked her down onto the corpses. It was only five steps to the ladder’s entrance. Clutching the cypress-bark colored kimono he had taken, the servant swiftly descended the steep ladder into the depths of the night.

After lying motionless as if dead for a while, the old woman soon rose from among the corpses, her naked body illuminated by the still-burning fire. Groaning, she crawled to the mouth of the ladder and looked down from the gate. Outside, there was nothing but the pitch-black night.

The whereabouts of the servant remain unknown.

This concludes the translation of the excerpt from Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s “Rashomon.” If you have any more requests or need further assistance, please let me know.
I hope this translation helps you understand the continuation of the story. If you need further assistance or have more text to translate, please let me know.

I hope this translation conveys the essence and subtleties of the original text. If you need further assistance or another section translated, feel free to ask.

カテゴリー: 生成AIの利用法 パーマリンク