ヴィンランドサガに窺える償いの道 Finding the Road to Atonement in the manga ''Vinland Saga''

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好評の漫画である「ヴィンランドサガ」の新巻の発売をきっかけにシリーズについて改めて回想する機会となりました。11世紀の頭の北欧が舞台となるこの漫画ですが、「償い」というテーマを中心に物語が展開していきます。主人公のトールフィンにとって償いの道を歩むのは苛烈な葛藤でもあります。このテーマを念頭に、この漫画の醍醐味が良く伝わる三つのシーンを選んで拙僧なりの英訳を付け加えて紹介したいと思います(注意:ネタばれ在り)。
The release of the latest installment in the acclaimed manga Vinland Saga has inspired me to go back and reflect on this series. Set in the early 11th century in Northern Europe, the story in this manga focuses on the theme of atonement. The road to atonement proves to be a vicious struggle for Thorfinn, the main protagonist of the series. There are three particular scenes that I feel wonderfully examine this theme and show how great this manga is. I have provided my own translation of the original Japanese below (WARNING: some spoilers)

 

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トールフィンのお父さんトールズはかつてヨーム戦士団の4人の大隊長の一人で、「ヨームの戦鬼(トロル)」と呼ばれた冷酷な戦士でした。ただし、戦場とその不毛を倦んで(あぐんで)、自分の戦死を装って家族を連れてアイスランドに逃げました。そこの新天地に根を植えて、「本当の戦士とは何か」の答えを模索しながら戦乱のないアイスランドで家庭を養い、平和に暮らしてきましたが、戦場で生きてきた彼の過去が生んだ因縁は遂に現れ、彼は再び戦場へ向かわざるを得なくなってしまいした。初めて自分の父の戦士の伝説的な功績を知って興奮するトールフィンが父の武器を手にするシーンは非常に印象的でした。そこでトールズがトールフィンに向けて言う言葉を通し て「本当の戦士は何か」と自分が辿り着いた答えを伝えようとします。(日本語はスクリーンショットにありますので、英訳のみの掲載となります。以下は同様です)。

Thorfinn's father is Thors, and he was once one of the four great generals of the Jomsviking army. He was known as the "Troll of Jom" for his ruthless cunning in battle. However, he grew weary of war and the utter futility of it all, and decided to flee to Iceland with his family, faking his own death. Laying roots in his new home, he lives in peace raising his family in a land without war, all the while searching for what it means to be a "true warrior." However, the bad karma from his life on the battlefield eventually rears its head, and once again he must head into the fray. Thorfinn is overwhelmed with excitement upon learning of the legendary exploits of his father, and there is a really impactful scene in which Thors finds him holding the weapons he used in the past. Speaking to his son, Thors attempts to convey the answer at which he arrived (English text below Japanese screenshots; manga screenshots read right to left). 

 

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Thors: Tell me, who do you intend to kill with those?
Thorfinn: My... enemies.  

Thors: So who are your enemies?
Thorfinn: Ahh... Halfdan???
Thors: Listen Thorfinn... You have no enemies. 
That's true for all people. No one has any real enemies.
There's nobody that deserves to be hurt...  Not anywhere. 


「不戦の誓い」を込めた父の篤い訴えの意味は子供のトールフィンにとって理解し難いものでありました。どうしても「ヨームの戦鬼」の戦いぶりを見たくて、その好奇心に駆り立てて次の日に出航した欧州大陸へ向かう父の船にこっそりと乗り込みます。しかしフェロー諸島でトールズを暗殺するため雇われた傭兵団の待ち伏せに遭い、父はその首領アシェラッドとの決闘で目のまえに殺されました。復讐の炎に包まれたトールフィンはその後アシェラッド兵団に取り付いて、父の仇を打てる日がくるのを待ちます。
Thors's fervent plea was essentially an oath to never to put anyone to his sword again, but it was too difficult for Thorfinn to understand. He was eager to see the "Troll of Jom" go berzerker on the battlefield, and this curiosity drives him to sneak on board his father's ship when it sets out for Europe the following day. However, they are ambushed in the Faroe Islands by a group of mercenaries hired to assassinate Thors. Thorfinn watches as his father is slain before his eyes in his duel with the Asherrad, the leader of the Viking mercenary troop. Thorfinn becomes consumed by a fiery vengeance and attaches himself to Asherrad's band, waiting for the day in which he can avenge his father's death. 


アシェラッドは非常に興味深いキャラクターです。トルフィンには仇として命を狙われながらも、彼を手下として使いこなします。ある意味で父親のようにトールフィンの成長を見守って行きます。トールフィンにとってもアシェラッドが父親的な存在に成り、そして自分の父と同じように目の前に殺されてしまいます。死にかけているアシェラッドがトールフィンと最後に交わす会話は心に沁みるシーンです。トールズと同じように、復讐と殺し合いの連鎖で生きていくの不毛さを必死に訴えます。
Asherrad is a truly fascinating character. He takes Thorfinn in and has him work alongside his men, despite knowing that the boy seeks to kill him and avenge his father's death. In a certain respect, we see Asherrad watching over Thorfinn as he grows up much like a father would. The reverse is true for Thorfinn, with Asherrad becoming that fatherly presence in his life... only to be killed right before his very own eyes again. The scene depicting the final conversation between Thorfinn and a dying Asherrad is really touching. He attempts to convey the utter futility of a life of vengeance and ceaseless killing, much as Thors had done.

 

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Thorfinn: Don't you go dying on me! I won't allow it!
Thorfinn: Get up! We have unfinished business to settle! You're mine to kill!
Asherrad: (To himself) This is why you've always been a handful Thorfinn.
Asherrad: (To Thorfinn) Tell me... What did you intend to do with your life after I'm gone?

 

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Asherrad: Haha, you've never thought about that. Goes to show with you.
Thorfinn: Silence! That doesn't concern you...
Asherrad: Life's much more than this... Don't let this vengeful hate continue to hold you back...
Asherrad: Your path lies beyond the world your father found... Go forth, Son of Tors...

 

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Asherrad: Go and become a true warrior... Son... of... Tors.


アシェラッドの死の後に奴隷身分に落とされ、デンマークユトランド半島の広大な農場の主に買われ、その森林の開墾の仕事が命じられます。復讐という生きる目的を失い、二十歳頃になる無気力にただ生きていたが、ある日同じく奴隷としてかわれた元農民の青年とエイナルとの出会いによりトールフィンの人生が大きく変わります。共に開墾作業に取り組む生活の中で、エイナルが積極的にトールフィンにはなしをかけて、彼の心を少しずつ開いていきます。それまでの血に染まった人殺しの生き方しか知らなかったトールフィンがエイナルから農業を通して生命を育つ人の命を支える喜びを始めて知ることになります。ただし、彼に包まれている後悔の闇はまだ深く、毎晩に悪夢に苛まれまていました。その悪夢の中に彷徨うトールフィンが遂に暴力との決別を誓い、子供の頃に聞いたヴィンランドという遥か海の向こうの土地を目指し、そこへ世の中から迫害に苦しんだ人々を連れて「戦争も奴隷もない平和な国」を作ることを決意します。その新たな使命を見つけたことをエイナルに打ち明けるシーンはまた印象的です。トールフィンの過去に対する後悔と新な使命を果たしながら少しでうもその罪を償う決心がよく描写されていると思います。
Thorfinn falls into slavery after Asherrad's death and is bought by the owner of a vast farm on the Jutland peninsula in Denmark, where he is charged with clearing the forest for new fields. The next few years of his life Thorfinn simply goes through the motions, having lost the object of revenge that he had made his sole purpose for living. Around the time he turns 20 he meets Einar, a young slave from a family of farmers, and their encounter marks a major turning point in Thorfinn's life. Einar makes an active effort to talk to Thorfinn as they go about their work on the farm, and these conversations help Thorfinn to open up. Until then, he had only known a blood-soaked existence of taking life, but his experience on the farm with Einar shows him the joy of cultivating life that in turn supports the lives of others. However, he still finds himself enveloped by the deep and dark swells of regret, and is assailed by nightmares each and every night. Wandering through this darkness, Thorfinn pledges to completely forsake violence and dedicate his life to helping the oppressed. He aims to take them to Vinland, the land far across the ocean that he heard of as a child, and create a place free of war and slavery.  The scene in which he shares this newfound mission with Einar really speaks to the heart. The author does a beautiful job portraying both the remorse Thorfinn feels for his past, and his determination to atone for his sins the best he can by fulfilling this mission. 

 

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Einar: But there's people like you Thorfinn. You reject what many consider to be normal and right. Is it that strange to swear not to hurt others?
Thorfinn: At least in Norse society... People label you a coward, and cowards get left out.
Einar: That's not right.
Thorfinn: I've accepted it. There's no helping it. But it's probably best that way if I'm going to carry their burden.
Einar: Who's burden?
Thorfinn: That of the dead. 
Thorfinn: I'm visited every night by the souls of those I killed. They torment me. "Why did you kill me," they ask. "How could you kill all these people--fathers, brothers, and sons--knowing the anger and hate you felt when your own father was killed?"

 

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Thorfinn: I have to make my penance with them... taking them to a place where they can rest in peace...
Thorfinn: But I can't take it any more. This burden is too much for me to bear alone. 
Einar: Do these dead souls only appear to you? Are other warriors tormented by the spirits of those they killed?

 

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Thorfinn: I can't speak for others. In my case, I began to see them after I became a slave. Maybe we can't see them while we're still warriors. 
Einar: I see. I guess it's impossible to see them while people are still warriors.
Thorfinn: It's always on my mind... finding a way to earn their forgiveness.
Thorfinn: Laying down my sword doesn't seem to be enough... That's a given.
Thorfinn: Simply promising to never kill or destroy anything does not suffice as atonement. 
Thorfinn: I need to grow more wheat than what I trampled under my feet.
Thorfinn: I need to fix more houses than I burned to the ground. 
Thorfinn: I need to do what I can to weed out the death and destruction I sowed with the seeds of life and creation.


ものを破壊するのは容易いであり、それを建て直すのがそれ以上難しいことであります。この投稿の頭で書いた通り、「ヴィンランドサガ」は「償い」というテーマを真剣に吟味する漫画であり、それこの作品の醍醐味であると思います。「完全たる償いは本当に可能のか?」トールフィンの物語のこれからの展開を通してこの答が少しずつ見えてくると願うばかりでいます。
While it's easy to destroy things, building them back up is much harder. Just as I wrote above, Vinland Saga seriously examines the theme of atonement. The beauty of this manga, in my view, lies in its examination of this issue. "Is complete atonement truly possible?" I hope the answer to this compelling question slowly comes to light as Thorfinn's tale continues to unfold.