天邪鬼な皇子と唐の黒猫(読みもの)

The Contrary Prince and the Black Cat from Tang

渡辺仙州 作/丹治陽子 装画 text: Watanabe, Senshu | illus. Tanji, Yoko

カテゴリー: Japanese Children's Booksおすすめ!日本の子どもの本読みもの/chapter books and novels

『天邪鬼な皇子と 唐の黒猫』(Amanojaku na oji to To no kuroneko)

9世紀、唐で捕らえられ、日本に連れてこられた黒猫が、天皇に献上される。この猫は、戦場で人間として戦っている夢を何度も見、人の言葉を理解し、話すことができる。

天皇は、猫を息子の定省(さだみ)に譲る。黒猫は、最初定省に籠に閉じ込められていたが、定省に人間の言葉で話しかけ、家と外を自由に行き来できるように交渉する。定省は、猫をクロと名づける。

その頃、人間の世界では、藤原家が政治の実権を握っていた。定省も、義子という妻がいるにもかかわらず、父の命令で藤原家の娘・胤子(たねこ)をめとらされる。書物や和歌を好むふたりの妻は、意気投合し仲よくなる。

一方、猫の世界では、クロが、右京の親玉の野良猫と対等に闘い、左京の親玉である皇太后の飼猫に呼び出される。二匹は、人間だった前世で知り合いだったことがわかる。

クロが来日して3年後、天皇が崩御し定省が天皇になる。しかし、藤
原基経(ふじわらのもとつね)が定省の政治を邪魔し、クロは定省のためにひと肌脱ぐことになる。

平安時代の貴族の人間模様と猫の縄張り争いが、黒猫の視点でユーモラスに描かれている。(土居)

出版社 ポプラ社
初版年 2020年
ISBN 9784591164921
ページ数 304頁
サイズ 20×14
対象年齢 11歳から
キーワード 平安時代 ネコ 天皇

The Contrary Prince and the Black Cat from Tang

In the ninth century, a black tomcat is caught in China and brought back to Japan as a gift for the emperor. The emperor gives the cat to Sadami, one of his sons. In his previous life, the cat had been a Chinese warlord, and he can still understand and speak with humans. First Sadami keeps the cat in a basket and walks it on a leash. The cat, however, negotiates with Sadami for his freedom on the condition that he will always come back to Sadami’s house. Sadami names the cat “Kuro”.

In the human world, the Fujiwara clan, not the emperor, controls political power. Commanded by his father, Sadami marries a woman named Taneko from the Fujiwara family, even though he is already married to a woman named Yoshiko. Yoshiko loves reading and studying. Likewise, Taneko loves waka poetry and dreams of her son becoming emperor and compiling a waka collection. Taneko and Yoshiko become good friends. Meanwhile, in the cat world, Kuro takes up residence in Ukyo on the west side of Kyoto, and secures himself a position by winning a match with Kitora, the boss of stray cats in that area. Hakutaku, the boss of Sakyo on the east side of Kyoto challenges Kuro to a duel. Kuro injures Hakutaku during this battle only to discover that she understands human language and is, in fact, the reincarnation of his lover Gu in their previous life. Hakutaku is subsequently killed by one of her underlings, and Kuro ends up raising her son Haku.

Three years after Kuro came to Japan, the emperor dies, but by a strategy set in place before his death, Sadami ascends to the throne. Fujiwara no Mototsune, however, interferes with Sadami’s attempt to rule, and Kuro pitches in to help Sadami.

The story is a humorous depiction of territorial conflicts occurring within both the Japanese aristocracy and cat society in the ninth century through the eyes of Kuro, the black cat. (Doi)

  • text: Watanabe, Senshu | illus. Tanji, Yoko
  • Poplar
  • 2020
  • 304 pages
  • 20×14
  • ISBN 9784591164921
  • Age 11 +

Heian period (9th century), Cat, Emperor


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