カテゴリー別アーカイブ: 「木星人のはなし」

… a story of Jupitarians …

Ⅰ.Encounter
He was there
in a tree which had just been cut down for road construction. The Man found Him in the tree, took the tree home, and carved Him out of the tree.

He had three short legs with no arms and no head. He tried to walk with His legs, but one of the legs prevented Him from walking well.

The Man asked Him, “Where are you going?”
He answered, “I stayed long in the tree and could not walk.
Now I’m glad to walk with my legs.”
And He stood firm to show off His legs.

The Man had been aware that something alive had been there in the tree.
The Man found Him before his eyes, and felt as if he had met with an old friend.

Since then the Man began to find trees in which His friends stayed, took the trees home, and carved His friends out of the trees.

One day the Man asked them, “Since when have you been there in the trees?”
Out of them [a anjerica tree] answered as follows.
“Long, long ago before you ‘human beings’ appeared on the earth, our ancestors came from Jupiter. [In Japanese, Jupiter is called ‘Mokusei’, which means ‘star of trees’.] Back then it was cold on the earth, with much water. Our ancestors began to live on small lands.
Accordingly, as it became warmer and warmer the ancestors of trees became successful on the earth. After you ‘human beings’ appeared on the earth, the conditions of the earth became worse and worse.”

“‘Trees’ gave shelter and fruit to you ‘human beings’ who had just appeared on the earth.
As it became colder and colder, many ‘trees’ disappeared. Then you began to walk with two legs and went out of ‘forest’. You began to cut down trees to use fire, subject other creatures to your rules, and increase in population. ‘Trees’ could not talk or run away, and continued to be cut down.
Do you know the facts as follows?
Once upon a time when a large meteorite nearly ran into the earth, Jupiter drew the meteorite toward itself. As a result, the earth escaped from being damaged.
On the contrary, the amino acids which compose all creatures on the earth took place because that one of the satellites of Jupiter ran into the earth.”

”We had been there in the trees.
   You ‘human beings’ had not found us.
       You had no will to find us.
Now you become aware that ‘trees’ bring the real powers and favors to the earth and they are your partners to bring up creatures.
We, descendants of the ‘race of trees’ who have come from ‘Jupiter’, have just appeared. You ‘human beings’ will know more about us. You will cut down ‘trees’ to get us. When ‘trees’ run short, you will bring up more ‘trees’.”[the anjerica tree] finished answering the Man, and became bowlegged as he had always been.
Since then the Man called them “JupitArians”.

Ⅱ.Multiplication
The Man, who found the “Jupitarians”, searched for a workshop at the foot of the holy mountain named Mt. Daisen. At last the Man arrived at a small hill after he entered the depth of a small valley.
At the hill the Man found “ruins” which were scattered with some buildings. - No time went by on the hill. ―
The Man settled into the place, and named the hill “JUPITARIAN HILL”.

The Man had searched for “ruins” before, when he had once lived in a large crowded city. The Man had not been good at associating with others, so he wandered around open spaces in the city like sites where factories had once been located, (as if he had been obliged to run into a vacuum).
-These had also been “abandoned places”.

The Man collected many kinds of the “race of trees”;
garden trees and fruit trees which were cut down, lumber out of dismantled houses, bogwoods, drift woods, sacred big trees and so on.
All of them were the kinds of the “race of trees” which human beings had abandoned. The Man devoted himself to carving “Jupitarians” out of such kinds of the “race of trees”.

Some “Jupitarians” stood with two legs. Some were much bigger than others and could be called glorious queens.
The Man also collected several “beasts of Jupiter”, with many legs, on to the hill. Every night they longed for “Jupiter” glittering in the southern sky.

Eventually some “human beings” came to visit the hill to hear about “Jupitarians”.
A gatekeeper, carved out of a stump found in a gingko forest near the hill, received them.
Some of them were astonished when they saw “Jupitarians”. Others liked “Jupitarians” and took “Jupitarians” home.
They were captured by “Jupitarians”.

After the human beings took “Jupitarians” home, the “Jupitarians” stayed at the house pretending to be pets which were arrogant and sometimes amiable to guests. Seeing “Jupitarians”, the guests said, “Cute!” or “Awful!”, and unconsciously patted and stroked “Jupitarians”. Some guests smiled to see “Jupitarians”. Finally the guests asked the host, “Where on earth were they?” and wanted to get “Jupitarians” of their own.

“JUPITARIAN HILL” was located in an area with gentle hills. Several coppices remained among well kept farms. Time went by moderately. The Man admired the expressions of trees and the colors of flowers on the roadsides. The Man liked the ponds that dotted in the area best of all and the Man called the hill “strawberry field”, where a variety of berries bore fruit in all seasons.

After the Man settled into “JUPITARIAN HILL”, birds and winds brought seeds of new kinds of the “race of trees” to the hill, which had little soil on the surface before.
- Poplars, silk trees, chesnut trees, konara orks, mulberries and zelkova trees, which grew through the crevices of concrete roads, hackberry and cherry trees, which grew immediately next to the support of concrete telephone poles; the Man was surprised by the vital energies of the trees.
Trees were essential to the hill, which was exposed to strong winds and summer sunlights, which became stronger year by year. The Man and his acquaintances dug up a twenty year old Tabunoki which had nearly been cut down in the woods nearby, and brought it to the courtyard of the hill. The Tabunoki became the symbol tree(himorogi) of the hill, which had been a ruin with no large trees, and showed its own large figure under the glittering starry night sky. The Man planted and raised acorn that he had brought home from the forests nearby. (The Man wanted to fill the hill with the “race of trees”)
. Unknown to him, the Man’s acquaintances called him “Man of Trees”.

One day winds carried a scream to this calm hill. “Gyaaah!”
Trees began to be cut down for the investigation of constructing an expressway nearby. The Man heard the sounds of chain saws as the cries of trees. After the sounds stopped, the Man took home a sack of seeds from chinquapins and konara orks that had been cut down, and raised their seedlings.
The Man built a shed on the hill. He made the frame using branches that had been thinned from the forests nearby ,and the walls were made of scrap wood that he found abandoned at warehouses. He thatched the roof with thin bamboo, Japanese pampas grass and cogons that he cut near the hill. He collected branches and dead trees to use for fuel.
Ancient ruins of houses were dug up at a hill nearby.
The Man thought of the lives of ancient people who could use only the things they found around them.

… when the ancient people came to the hill covered with trees for the first time, they dug holes on the south side of large trees, gathered and built with trees cut down using stone tools, and made thatched roofs with bark and grasses. They collected acorns, chestnuts and chinquapins and soaked them to remove the harsh taste. Then they built a fire of branches and dead trees and boiled the nuts to eat. (Chestnut Trees were highly valued for lumber because the wood was waterproof and did not decay easily.)
There were no rivers in the area, but clean, fresh water gushed out from many places on the slopes of the hills. After Mt. Daisen erupted ten thousand years ago, an abundance of water that had been kept under the forest floor melted and began to flow just under the new volcanic soil. The soil in this area was also made of good clay, so the ancient people baked the soil and made [sue ware] out of it.

The Man recalled what the “Jupitarians” had told him about the close relationship between “trees” and “human beings.”

Around the hill were many bamboo groves and forests that people did not enter. Hares, pheasants, weasels and tanuki lived there. When the road construction started on the hills nearby, many wild birds came to escape from the construction. They had dates with each other at the hill with fine views, and when they liked each other, flew away to the bushes nearby. In summer fireflies flew up from the valleys and also had dates on the hill.

The road construction intensified.
The sounds and tremors of heavy machines shook the hill. Trees were cut down and hills were broken down at the construction fields.
It seemed as if bugs named “human beings” were eating away the nature. The road construction cut apart many creature’s connection from the mountains to the sea.
Many animals came to the hill more often than ever before.

One day the Man could not bear the echoing sounds of chain saws, so he went to the construction fields. There he found a big stump left in the center of a coppice that had been cut down.
The stump had been a pair of Japanese Cedars with the bottom of trunks united. The Man was allowed to cut down the stump. The cut end of the stump was a beautiful clear red colour, which is only found in cedars over one hundred years old.
All of the people there were surprised.
…The cedar had been the master of the woods.

Ⅲ.Evolution
Eventually after a few years the expressway was opened to traffic. Before that the hill had been calm and the glitter of the hill had reflected in the night sky. Since then the hill continued to be exposed to the noises and vibrations caused by cars.
—The clamor the Man had escaped from came to him.

A lot of people came to visit “JUPITARIAN HILL” near an interchange of the expressway.
The “Jupiterians” became popular.
The Man who had found “Jupiterians” began to look for trees to carve more “Jupiterians” from.
As soon as he heard trees were going to be cut down, he went and got them. When he heard of straight trees easy to carve or trees which had “Jupiterians” in them that could sell with high price, he got them at random.
It was difficult for the Man to meet orders alone, so he employed some other people. They began to carve out “Jupiterians” efficiently by the assembly line. They carved “Jupiterians” one after another of the same kind, size and shape, and sold them.
“Jupiterians” entered houses where people no longer used trees, and were accepted as mascots which symbolized the warmth and tenderness of genuine trees. But some of the “Jupitarians” carved out by the assembly line were of poor workmanship.
One day the Man was called back by a [Japanese Camellia Jupitarian]who had been thrown away in the corner of the workshop because of being cracked heavily.
“I was cracked so heavily because you have cut me down in summer when I have grown up most of all seasons,” the Camellia Jupitarian blamed the Man.
Next, a [tabuniki Jupitarian] with broken legs blamed, “I lost the strength to stand firm because I was shocked to be cut down during a full moon.”
Then a [Jupitarian of an unknown tree ]who had been rejected because his legs were ill-shaped, also blamed the man loudly, “My legs are ill-shaped because you carved me out without watching my shape carefully. Our shapes differ from one another. But you carve us ALL out WITH the same shape. We ‘race of trees’ did not move from where we were born, so we lived our lives adapting ourselves to our surroundings. You don’t understand how w lived. Don’t carve us out with the same shape.” He continued, “That is our king in the pair of Japanese cedars you brought home from the construction fields.” When he had finished speaking,he stepped back and became still.

The next day the Man brought the couple of Japanese Cedars which had been long out of his mind, to the workshop and became absorbed in carving it. The King that he carved out of the cedars, stood with two legs and had a “symbol” like the Man had never seen. After he finished carving, the Man fell to the ground with excitement and exhaustion.
On the night of the next full moon, the King of Big Cedars was in the center of the workshop. He opened his eyes, which were left from the cut ends of the branches, and made some words…

“Yggdorasil…Yggdorasil…”
“Thorn…Yr…Eolh…”
He walked by himself, saw those kinds of “the race of trees” that had been brought into the workshop and said, “Come in to my sight.” Then the kinds of “the race of trees” came to show their original figures. Amongst them there were pointed, uneven, round and even sexy kinds and many more as well.
All night long they turned upside down and XXXed their sap with one another.
The next morning the Man got up and was surprised to see “the Jupitarians” gathered around the King of Big Cedars. They were moving.
Raising his parts like arms, [a “Beech Tree Jupiterian]said to the Man, “We will carve ourselves by ourselves in our own way. We no longer need your help,” and stood on his hands.
Then “Jupitarians” around him also stood on their hands. They shouted with joy, “POWER TO THE JUPITARIAN!” “POWER TO THE JUPITARIAN!”

Instead of allowing the Man to carve “Jupitarians”, they made him build the “Residence of Jupitarians” on a sunny corner of the southern side of the hill.
The round-shaped residence was built with scrap wood, dead trees and bamboo. A hole was dug deeply in the center of the residence. Part of the roof was cut off so that the hole faced the sky.

Wood shavings, which were made when the “Jupitarians” carved themselves, were piled in the hole. Electromagnetic waves from “Jupiter”, which were gathered through the funnel-shaped roof, poured down on the wood shavings every night.
There they began to raise seeds that were generated from DNA of all kinds of “the race of trees” on Earth. Those seeds grew at a surprising speed.
They were “Super Trees” regarded as the elite of all trees.

Ⅳ.Symbiosis
The “Super Trees” had vital energies which could bear the environments wasted by human beings. However sterile the land was, they rooted themselves there. They could bear aridness. They absorbed CO2 more than any other trees. They were even vital in cities because they had antibodies against nitrogen oxides.
Above all ,they grew up very rapidly and became big in an instant. They produced lumber of good quality. The lumber was waterproof and rot resistant, so it was used for many purposes. Furthermore, their fruits were very nutritious and delicious.
“Jupitarians” produced many cloned seeds of the “Super Trees” and sold them on the Internet.
The “Super Trees” quickly spread all over the world, and were accepted as symbol trees in areas where people wanted to revive the lost forests. They became representatives of divine spirits. Many kinds of “the race of trees” got together around them and grew up.
At last “Forests of Super Trees” appeared everywhere. Inside supertrees at the center of the woods, “Jupitarians” were stationed all the time as “spirits of trees”, and watched human beings approaching to the woods.
“Jupitarians” hid in the seeds that were sold.
When fierce people approached the trees used caution. They discharged phytoncides with their twigs shaking, and put the fierce people at ease. When familiar people approached, they discharged camphor and gave the people energy.
Children climbed the trees, smiled like monkeys and said, “I feel at ease.”

People found their own special trees which they were fascinated with out of a variety of trees, and regarded these as their guardian trees, as the Celts had once done… .
When the people felt lost they only had to touch the trees and were calmed to feel the connection between both their lives and the lives of the trees.
– end of chapter I –

”残された三本のクスノキ”・・・ツリーハウス讃/『the last three remaining camphor trees.』・・・A treehouse to honor

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その三本のクスは、古来より才の神が祀られている古道の脇の民家の庭に立っていた。
往時は行き交う人々で賑わっていたというその古道は、
今は空き家も目立つ静謐な露路筋で、時折ひと通りがあるだけだった。
昨年夏、その庭の手入れに来た友人の庭師が、ほぼ正三角形の位置に立っている三本のクスノキをみて家主にツリーハウスをつくらないかと進言した。
・・・彼の脳裏に眠っていたツリーハウスの種が大きく芽吹いていた。
冬、彼は家主夫妻を、親しくしている木工房「JUPITARIAN HILL」へ案内し、新しく出来た竹とカヤのドームや作品のあるギャラリーを見せた。
夫妻に<三角形のデッキの上に六角形のカヤ葺きの小屋>というツリーハウスのラフスケッチを見てもらう、二人は気に入ったようだった。どんなものが出来るのかこの時はまだイメージが掴めてなかったと思う。友人達と酒を酌み交わしたいという要望を受ける。
ー生きている樹の上に建物をつくるー
それはかつて人類が樹上生活をしていた過去の記憶を呼び覚ますものだ。多分.
地面を離れた風は樹の中でたおやかに舞い、涼やかさを生む.
春になってクスノキの葉が落ち、新緑がまぶしくなった頃に、庭師の父上でもある神主に祝詞をあげてもらい工事の安全を祈願する。
工事を始める前から、人々の中にうずいていたツリーハウスは始まると見学者が後をたたなかった。
デッキを設置した地上4.5mの高さに吹き抜ける風の心地よさと、樹間の景色に工事の仲間たち皆が魅了された。
この樹上の解放された空間をより味わうために、デッキを拡張することを提案すると、上に登った家主氏も感得して頷いてくれた。
大きくうねった枝ぶりのクスノキの元に通い始めて湧いてきた、天に昇る竜をイメージした階段をつくる。(上がるのではなく、登る階段、あたかも山に登る様に、始めと終わりがゆるく途中がキツイ)
階段を登るとすぐ大きな枝が目の前にあり、お辞儀してデッキに出る。
樹間に合わせてダウンサイジングした六角形の小屋は手前が低く、奥を高くした変則的な造りで頭を下げて入る。
外の解放感を中にもと、窓を大きくとり、屋根ドームの頂点に小さな天窓も設けた。
マダケで屋根ドームを組み、家主の友人たちが集まって、カヤ葺きをした。
ようやく現われたその全景は、森のような大きな樹形によくなじんでいた。
「秘密基地」にふさわしい佇まいだった。
デッキに上がった多くの人が「こんな世界があったなんて・・」と笑顔で驚きを隠さなかった。
経験豊富な高齢者ほどその驚きは大きいようだ。
そして女性たちは『大きな木』への憧憬に火をつけられて、眼を輝かした、
「こんな家に住みたい」と。
かつてこの庭の木で木登りして遊んだという近所の女性がやってきて、この空間をとても喜んだ。
そしてこの樹は伐られかかっていたと教えられた、落ち葉が大変でと。家主の父上に尋ねるとやはりそう言われた。
これまで多くの伐られたクスノキを加工して椅子やテーブルを作って来た、
大きな庭木はやっかい者で伐られるばかりだったが、
今回は色々な運と人の想いが重なって、このクスノキは生き延びた。
ながく人々の集う場として愛され続けることを想う。
<ツリーハウス>は様々な知見と技術、そして人の想いを集めて成り立つプロジェクトだと知る.
*工事に関わった仲間と、K家の方々のお力添えに御礼申し上げます。
                                                   二〇一六年 長月

  
The three camphor trees have stood in the garden of a house that sat alongside an ancient road protected by the god of travelers since ancient times

In the past it was a busy, prosperous route, but now it’s mostly lined with empty houses and a solitary traveler only occasionally passes by.

In the summer of last year, a gardener friend went to that garden to do some maintenance and noticed that the three camphor trees stood in a perfect triangle. He suggested to the landlord building a treehouse on that site.

. . . In his mind the seed of the idea was planted and it grew quietly and blossomed.

In winter, he showed the couple that owned the place around his woodworking friend’s retreat, Jupitarian Hill, and showed them the woodworking art gallery and a recently constructed dome of bamboo and yew.
The couple was shown a rough sketch of a tree house consisting of a hexagonal roof made of yew above a triangular wood deck. They liked it very much, but it was probably heard to grasp the reality of how it would look in the end. and the couple requested him they can drink sake together with friends in the tree house.

・・・Building among living trees・・・

It awakens memories of the past when humans lived in the trees.

Off the ground, among the branches, the wind dances gracefully and gives one a sweet coolness.

In spring, when the camphor leaves were falling to the ground and the new, green growth was bright, the father of the gardener, a Shinto priest, was asked to say a prayer for the safety of all involved in the building of the tree house. Before construction had even started people were tingling with excitement and there was a never ending stream of visitors coming to watch the construction.

The deck, established at a height of 4.5 meters allowed the wind to pass through giving a pleasant feeling to all, and the scenery from among the branches enchanted everyone involved.

In order to make the most of the open air feeling it was proposed that the deck length be extended, the owner, having climbed up, gave his approval with a nod of the head.
After coming to these trees with twisted, swaying branches everyday,I conceived of the staircase as the shape of a dragon ascending into heaven. (It was the climbing staircase, like climbing a mountain, the beginning and ending are easy, but the middle part is hard.) Climbing the staircase you find your way blocked by a large bough, ducking under it you naturally enter the deck with a bow.

The house needed to be downsized to suit the available space. It’s irregular in shape. You must duck down for the low entrance and then it opens up and is taller in the rear. To ensure the feeling of the openness of the outside space continues on the inside a large window was installed and a small skylight in the apex of the ceiling.

The roof was constructed of bamboo, then all the owner’s friends came over and we thatched it with yew.
Gradually, we became accustomed to the scene; sitting among the forest branches.
It is a proper ‘secret clubhouse’.

Many people, when they climb up to the deck, smile in wonder and say “It’s amazing such a world exists”.

The elderly, with all their experience, seem the most surprised.

And in the ladies, a longing is ignited by the big trees. With shining eyes they say “I want to live in this house.”

A certain lady, who as neighborhood children had climbed the trees and played in their branches, came and were happy to sit in the trees again and relive old memories.

I heard that, because the fallen leaves were such a nuisance, the trees were once almost cut down. The owner’s father confirmed this.
In the past, I made out of camphor trees a lots of tables and chairs . Large garden trees were thought of as bothersome and were simply cut down, but in this case, due to luck and human love for trees, these ones are able to keep living.

I think the tree house will continue to be loved as a gathering place for people for many years to come.

The treehouse was a product of knowledge and technique and sincere human emotion all gathered together.

*I would like to deeply thank all those involved in the construction, especially the K family for their much valued assistance.
                                                   
September 2016

― 木 星 人 の は な し ―

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– I. 遭遇

カレハソコニイタ

ドウロコウジノタメニ イマキラレタバカリノ樹ノナカニ

ソコニイタカレヲミツケタオトコハキラレタネカブヲイエニモツカエッテ

樹ノナカニイタカレヲホリダシタ

カレニハウデモアタマモナッタガ  サンボンノアシガアッタ

スルトカレハソノミジカイアシデ アルキダソウトシタ

ケレドモサンボンメノアシガジャマヲシテ、ウマクアルケナカッタ

オトコハカレニ「ドコニイクンダ?」トキイタ

カレハ「イママデ樹ノナカデウゴクコトガデキナカッタ・・

アシガデキテウレシインダ」トコタエタ.

ソシテアシヲジマンスルヨウニフンバッテミセタ.

キノナカニナニカイルト オトコハズットオモッテイタ

ソノイキモモノスガタガイマアラワレテ

ナツカシイトモダチニアエタヨウナキモチニナッタ.

ソレカラオトコハカレノナカマノイル樹ヲミツケテハ

イエニモチカエリ ナカマヲフヤシテイッタ.

アルヒオトコハカレラニキイタ

「イツカラ樹ノナカニイタンダ?」ト

カレラノナカノ[タラノキ]ガコタエタ

「ズットマエ、コノホシニマダキミタチジンルイガイナカッタコロ

〈木星〉カラボクタチノソセンガヤッテキタ

ソノコロ コノホシハマダツメタクミズニオオワレテイテ

スクナイリクチニソセンガスミツイテイタ

ソシテダンダンアタタカクナリ<樹>ノセンゾタチハ

コノホシデナガラクハンエイヲハジメタ.

トコロガ〈ジンルイ〉トイウキミタチノソセンガコノホシニ

アラワレテ コノホシガオカシクナリハジメタノダ

〈樹〉タチハハジメ、シェルタートシテ

ウマレテマモナイ〈ジンルイ〉ヲマモリ

ソノユタカナカジツヲアタエテイタガ

コノホシガサムクナリハジメ、〈樹〉ガヘルト

ニホンノアシデアルキハジメ 〈森〉カラデテイッタ

ソシテ〈樹〉ヲキッテ〈火〉ヲツカイ

ホカノイキモノタチヲセイフクスルヨウニナッタ

キミタチハソノカズヲフヤシツヅケタ

モノイワズ ニゲルコトノデキヌ〈樹〉タチハ、ズットキラレツヅケタ・・

シッテイルカイ?

カツテコノホシニブツカロウトシテイタオオキナインセキガアッタコトヲ

ソシテソノインセキヲ〈木星〉ガヒキヨセタコトデ

コノホシガスクワレタコトヲ…

ソレドコロカ コノホシノスベテノイノチノモトニナッタ〈アミノサン〉ハ

〈木星〉カラノショウワクセイノショウトツデウマレタンダ

ボクタチハズット〈樹〉ノナカニイタ

キミタチニハ ミエナカッタダケダ

ミヨウトシナカッタカラ・・・

イマキミタチハ シリハジメタ

〈樹〉ガコノホシニモタラスホントウノチカラトメグミヲ

イノチヲハグクムパートナートシテ.

ボクタチ〈木星〉カラヤッテキタ〈木族〉ノシソンハ

イマスガタヲアラワシタバカリダ

ボクタチハコレカラ〈ニンゲン〉タチニ モットヒロガルダロウ

ボクタチヲテニイレルタメニ〈樹〉ガキラレ

ソシテタリナクナルト〈樹〉ヲウエ ソダテルダロウ

[タラノキ]ハコウツヅケルト  イツモノガニマタスタイルニモドッタ

オトコハソレカラカレラヲ《木星人》トヨンダ.

―Ⅱ.増殖

《木星人》を見つけたおとこは 大神の山、大山のふもとに作業場をさがし歩いた. 

そしてある小さな谷の奥に分け入ったとき小高い丘にたどりついた.

そこは幾つかの建物が点在する<廃墟>だった.

-時が止まっていたー

おとこはその丘に住みつき《JUPITARIAN HILL》(木星人の丘)と名付けた.

そのおとこはかつて都会に住んでいたとき<廃墟>を探して彷徨っていた. 

人づきあいが苦手で、過密な都会のなかの空地や工場跡を歩き回った.

(真空に吸い寄せられるように)

-ここも捨てられた場所だった.

おとこはいろんな〈木族〉を集めてきた.

伐られた庭木や果樹、家屋を解体した古材、地中に埋もれていた土埋木、

波に洗われた流木、神社の御神木だった巨木達、

皆 人間に不用とされた〈木族〉だった. 

おとこはそんな〈木族〉達なかに《木星人》をみつけては彫り出すことに没頭した.

その中には2本足で立つものや ほかの木星人より

ずっと大きく風格のある女王級のものも現れた.

そして敷地内には多足の〈木星獣〉も数頭、男の手で集められた.

彼らは夜毎 南方の空に現われる《木星》に想いを馳せていた.

やがて《木星人》の噂を聞きつけた〈ニンゲン〉達がこの丘にやってくるようになった.

近くのイチョウ林で見つけた根株の門番が来訪者を出迎えた

彼等のなかには《木星人》を見たとたんギョッとして、

ひいてしまうものもいたが、連れて帰りたいと引き取るものも多くいた .

– 《木星人》につかまってしまうのだった

引き取り先で彼らは出会うひとたちに どうだいとイバッテいたり 

愛嬌をふりまいて ペットのふりをして居ついていた.

彼らを見た人は口々に「カワイイ!」とか「ヤバイ!」といっては

思わず近づいてなでまわしたりさすったりしていた.

笑い出すひともいた. そして「いったいどこにいたのか?」と聞いてまた彼らを欲しがるのだった.

《木星人の丘》の一帯はなだらかな丘陵地帯で 手入れの

行き届いた田畑のあいだに雑木林が所々に残り、穏やかな時間がながれていた.

樹々の見せる折々の表情や道端の草花の多彩さに おとこは目を見張り

なかでも四方に点在する池はお気に入りの場所だった

そして四季を通じてさまざまな野イチゴが実るこの丘を

<ストロベリーフィールズ>とも呼んでいた.

表土が削られた《木星人の丘》にはオトコがきた後に、

鳥や風が新しい木族の種を運んできた.

―ポプラ、ネムノキ、クリ、コナラや、コンクリの隙間から育つクワ

ケヤキ、コンクリートの電柱を依代にしてあっという間に伸びるエノミやサクラ・・ 

彼らの生命力にオトコは驚嘆した.

強い風と年々強くなる夏の日差しに晒されるこの丘に、樹はなくてはならなかった.

中庭に近くの森から伐られる寸前だった樹齢20年のタブの樹を仲間の手で掘り起こし運んできた.

それは大きな木がなく廃墟だったこの丘のシンボルトゥリー(ヒモロギ)

となり、星の輝く中空の夜空におおきくそのすがたをおとしていた.

そして近くの森から持ち帰ったドングリを育て 植え付けた.

(オトコはこの丘を木族で埋め尽くしたかった)

男はいつしか周囲の人たちから<木人>とよばれていた.

ある日 この静かな丘に「ギャ― 」という物音が風にのってとどろいた.

すぐちかくに建設される高速道路の事前調査のために樹が伐られ始めたのだ..

オトコにはそのチェーンソーの音が樹の悲鳴にきこえた.

そして音がやんだあとに 伐り倒されたシイやコナラのどんぐりを

拾い集めて袋いっぱい持ち帰り、苗をそだてた.

そして伐られた枝や壊された倉庫の廃材を集めて新しく建てる小屋の骨組みを作り

 辺りにある竹やススキやカヤで屋根を葺いた.

集めた枝や枯れ木は燃料にもつかった.

周囲の丘からは古代の住居跡が発掘されていた、この丘もそうだった.

オトコは近くにあるものを使うしかなかった先住の人々の暮らしに想いをはせた.

―樹に覆われたこの丘にはじめて来たとき 大きな樹の南側に

穴を掘り 石器で伐り倒した樹を寄せ集めて組み上げ木の皮や草で屋根をふいた.

そしてクリやシイの木の実を集めアクをぬき 枝や枯れ木で火をたいて食べていた.  

(クリは水に強く 腐れにくく また燃えにくいため木材として重宝された)

ちかくに川はなかったが丘の斜面にはそこかしこに水が湧いていた.

(1万年前の大山の噴火後 樹木林が貯えた雨雪の融水が北側の

火山灰土のすぐしたを豊富に流れていた)

またこのあたりの土も良質な粘土質で 焼き締めて須恵器をつくっていた.

おとこは《木星人》の告げたことを思い出していた

―〈樹〉と〈ジンルイ〉のキッテモキレナイ仲を―

丘の周囲はヒトがはいらぬ竹藪や林も多くウサギや、キジ、イタチ、タヌキが生息していた.

近くの山で工事が始まった時には 難をのがれるように多くの野鳥がこの丘に姿をあらわした.

彼らは見晴らしのいいこの丘で 互いに鳴き交わし

意気投合するとまたちかくの藪に飛び去った.

初夏には 谷からホタルが飛んできて逢引きしていた.

本格的な道路工事が始まった.

重機の音と振動がこの丘をゆさぶった.

予定地の樹がすべて伐られ 山が削られた―

それは  ニンゲンという虫が自然を食いあらす光景だった.

そして山から海へとつづくいきものたちの生態系を分断した.

この丘には前にもまして動物たちが頻繁にやってくるようになった.

ある日鳴り響くチェーンソーの音にいたたまれなくなって その伐採現場にいくと

 伐り払われた雑木林のおくにおおきな杉の根株が残されていた.

それは2本の幹の根元が合体している夫婦杉だった.

おとこは了解を得て 自らの手でその根株を伐りまわした.

見事な紅色をしたその木口は樹齢100年をゆうに超えていて

そこにいた皆も驚いた.  ーこの森の主だった.

― Ⅲ. 進化

数年後 ついに高速道路が開通した.

それまで静穏で、星空に輝いた丘が車の放つ騒音と振動と光に一日中晒され続けた.

-オトコが逃れた都会の喧騒がすぐそこにきた

インターチェンジに程近い《木星人の丘》にも多くの人間たちが訪れるようになった.

《木星人》は人気を集めた.

《木星人》を見つけた オトコは

《木星人》を作る ための木を探し始めた.

どこかで伐られる樹があるときけばすぐにかけつけ もらいうけた

そして つくりやすい真直ぐな樹や高く売れる《木星人》がいそうな

木があると 手当たり次第手にいれるようになった.

注文に応える為 オトコひとりでは手が足りず、ひとを雇い入れた.

そして、流れ作業で効率よく作り出す様になった.

同じ種類、大きさ、かたちの《木星人》が次々と製造され、売られていった.

彼らは 木を使わなくなった人間の住居のなかに入り込み、

本物の木のぬくもりや優しさを示すマスコットとして受け取られた

―相変わらずひとの顔をほころばせながら・・

しかしそうして作られた《木星人》のなかには

[不良品}のレッテルを張られた《木星人》 も生まれていた.

.

あるとき 大きく割れてしまったため 工房のすみに投げ置かれた

〈ヤブツバキ星人〉がオトコを呼び止めた.

「オレガコンナニワレテシマッタノハ イチバンセイチョウシテイル

ナツニキッタオマエタチノムチノセイダ」とオトコを非難した

すると足の折れた〈タブノキ星人〉が続けた

「マンゲツノトキニキラレタショックガオオキスギテフンバルチカラガナクナッタ」と.

そして足の格好が悪いと、逆さにされた〈名の知れぬ雑木星人〉も

「オレノアシガブカッコウナノハ オレノスガタヲヨクミナイデ

ホリダシタカラダ・・ . オレタチハソレゾレミナチガッテイル

ソレナノニオマエタチハ オナジカタチニツクロウトスル

オレタチ<木族>ハウマレオチタトコロカラウゴケナイカラ

マワリニアワセテ ソレゾレケンメイニイキテキタンダ、

オレタチノスジョウモシラナイデ カッテニカタニハメナイデクレ」とまくし立てた.

そして彼は「オマエガコウジゲンバカラモチカエッタメオトスギニハワレワレノ王ガイル」と告げた.

翌朝おとこはずっと忘れていた夫婦杉を工房に運び入れ 無我夢中で彫り始めた―

彼は長い2本の足で立ち いままで見たことのないシンボルを持っていた.

出来上がった興奮と脱力感でおとこはその場に倒れこんだ.

満月のその夜 工房の中央に置かれたその大杉の王は

その伐られた<枝眼>を開けた. そして言葉を発した.

[yggdorasil……. Y g g d o r a s i l ………]

[T h o r n………. Y r……….. E o l h……….]

―彼は自ら歩いていた そして工房内に運び込まれた

<木族>達を眼にすると [イデヨ]と告げた

すると<木族>達はその本当の姿を現し始めた―

そのなかには トンガリ系や凸凹系、まん丸系やセクシー系ほかいろんな奴がいた.

―彼らは夜通し上になったり、下になったりして互いの樹液をⅹⅹⅹⅹⅹⅹⅹ・・・・

翌朝目覚めたオトコは大杉の王のまわりに集まっている《木星人》達を見て驚いた.

・・・( カレラハウゴイテイタ )・・・

腕らしきものを振り上げて〈シイノキ星人〉がオトコに告げた

「オレタチハ オレタチノヤリカタデ オレタチヲツクル

モウキミタチノチカラハイラナイ」 といって逆立ちした

するとまわりにいた《木星人》達もまねをした.

歓声がわき起こった.

「パワー・トゥ―・ザ・ジュピタリアン!」 「パワー・トゥ―・ザ・ジュピタリアン!」

彼らはオトコに《木星人の館》を建てさせた.

そこは陽あたりのいい南側の一角で、その円形の建物は、廃材や竹で建てられ、中央に深く穴が穿たれていた.

それは空に向かって開けられていた.

その穴には、不要とされた《木星人》たちが 自ら身を削り落した木くず

が積まれ、ロート状の屋根で集められた《木星》からの電磁波が夜毎降り注いでいた.

そこで彼らは、地球上のすべての<木族>のDNAから生成した種子を育てはじめた.

その種子はおどろくべき速さで成長した.

それは樹の中の樹ともいえる[スーパートゥリー]だった.

―Ⅳ. 共生

[スーパートゥリー]はニンゲン達によって荒廃した環境に耐える生命力を持っていた.

どんな痩せた土地でも根を張り、乾燥にも強く、CO2の吸収率は群を抜いていた.

さらに窒素酸化物への抗体をもっていたため都市の中でも強かった.

そしてなによりその成長速度が速く、またたく間に大きくなった.

また木材としても優れていて、水に強く、腐れにくかったためさまざまな用途に使われた.

そのうえ その実は栄養価が高く美味だった.

彼らはこの樹の[クローン種子]を大量に増やし インターネットを通じて販売した.

あっという間にこの[スーパートゥりー]は 世界に広がり、失われた

森を求める地域のシンボルトゥリーとして迎えられた.

そして依代としてその周りには多くの〈木族〉が集まり育っていった.

やがて至るところに[スーパートゥリーの森]ができたが

その中心のスーパートゥリーには、《木星人》が [木精]として

常駐していて森にちかづくニンゲン達を監視していた.

(彼らは売られた種子のなかにひそんでいた)

気を荒げたニンゲンが近づくと、森の樹々は警戒して

互いに梢をふるわせ フィトンチッドを放出し その気を鎮めた.

気の知れたニンゲンたちには カンファーを放出し、元気をあたえた.

こどもたちは樹にのぼると「ホッとして安らぐ・・・」と、サルの笑みをみせた.

またニンゲン達は、さまざまな樹々のなかにそれぞれ

惹かれる樹を見つけ 守護樹とした.

かつてのケルト人がそうしたように―

自分を失いそうなときに手を当て 互いの生命を確かめた.

-第 1 部  了