宇留洲(うるす)

小駄良筋にある小字名である。これを一目見ただけで意味やら、語源に行きつく人は少ないかも知れない。よく分からんなあと思い始めて数十年、色々あぐねてきた。ここまでにきた道中をつらつら書くのも恐縮なので、今考えていることを少しばかり纏めてみることにする。

宇留洲の他、同じ河鹿(かじか)地区に宇留洲下(うるすじた)、宇留洲洞(うるすぼら)がある。私はいずれも「うる-す」と解している。「うる」は「漆(うるし)」、「す」はさ行変格動詞と思われる。「丹ぬり、漆せば何ぞと」という用例があり、「うるしす」が終止形だろう。「宿」に「す」をつけて、「宿(やど)す」となる要領である。これから何らかの理由で「し」が消えて、「うる-す」になったと解するわけだ。

私は以前、那比筋の最奥にある宇留良(うるら、うんら)について考えたことがある。その際「うるら」は「漆原(うるしばら)」から「うるしら」へ、「うるしら」から「うるら」へ音節が省略されたと解した。今でも変わらぬ仮説である。この場合も「うるしら」から「うるら」への過程で「し」が省略されている。郡上は東部方言の西端にあたり、西部方言に比べ、母音が省略されたり音便化することが多い。

「し」について言うと、関東方言で「ひ」が「し」と発音されるなど、東部方言では「し」が多用される傾向があり簡単ではない。実際「漆原(うるしばら)」「漆畑(うるしばた)」「漆洞(うるしぼら)」「漆ヶ井(うるしがゐ)」などでは「し」が省略されない。ただ郡上では「い段」は音節ごと省略されてしまう例が多く、「し」が消えてしまうことも不思議ではない。

「うるしす」でよければ「木製の器に漆を塗る」と読めるので、少なくともこの地に漆を塗る職人がいたことになる。漆のつく地名は郡上に十カ所ほどある。私の知る限り、「漆」のつく小字が高鷲、明宝にあるのに、白鳥地区にはない点に興味が行く。

私がこの宇留洲に注目しているのは、漆にまつわる分業が想定できるからだ。「漆原(うるしばら)」は漆の木が群生する原野と解せるし、「漆畑(うるしばた)」ならこれを採集しやすくするために整理しただろう。採集した後も精製せねばなるまいし、塗ったら塗ったで乾燥しなければならない。こういった一連の作業が地名で想定できそうなのが奥深い。

「うるし」の語源について言うと、「うるし-す」の場合、「うるし」という用語に動詞の「す」がついている形だから、これで辿れるわけではない。                                             髭じいさん

Urusu

This is the name of a small administrative unit on Kodarasuji. Few people may be able to figure out the meaning or etymology of the word just by looking at it. For several decades, I’ve struggled with many aspects since I started thinking that I didn’t really understand it. I’m afraid to write about the process I’ve thought so far, so I’ll try to summarize a little bit of what I’m thinking right now.

In addition to Urusu, there are Urusu-jita and Urusu-bora in the same Kajika district. I understand both as “Uru-su”.

“Uru” means “Urushi-lacquer,” and “su” seems to be a declension verb. There is an example that says “tannuri, urushi seba nanizoto”, and “urushisu” is probably the final form. This is how you add “su” to “yado” to become “yadosu.” From now on, we will understand that for some reason the “shi” disappeared and became “urusu”.

I once thought about Urura (Urura, Unra), which is located at the deepest part of Nabisuji. At that time, it was understood that the syllable of “Urura” was abbreviated from “Urushibara” to “Urushira,” and from “Urushira” to “Urura.” This is a hypothesis that remains unchanged even today. In this case too, “shi” is omitted in the process from “urushira” to “urura.” Gujo is at the western end of the eastern dialects, and vowels are more often omitted or made into sounds or euphonic changes than in the western dialects.

When it comes to “shi”, it is not easy because in the Kanto dialect, “hi” is pronounced as “shi”, and in the eastern dialect, “shi” tends to be used a lot. In fact, “shi” is not omitted in words such as “Urushibara”, “Urushibata”, “Urushibora”, and “Urushigai”. However, in Gujo, the entire syllable of “i-dan” is often omitted, so it is no wonder that “shi” disappears.

If “urushisu” is correct, it can be read as “lacquering a wooden vessel,” which means that at least there was a craftsman who applied lacquer in this area. There are about ten places in Gujo that have lacquer names. I am interested in the fact that, as far as I know, there are small administrative units with the word “urushi lacquer” in Takasu and Meiho, but not in the Shirotori area.

I am paying attention to Urusu because I can imagine the division of labor involved in lacquer. “Urushibara” can be understood as a wilderness where lacquer trees grow in clusters, and “Urushibara” would have been organized to make it easier to collect. Even after it is collected, it must be purified, and once it is applied, it must be dried. It is profound that this series of operations can be imagined based on the name of the place. Regarding the etymology of”urushi”, in the case of “Urushi-su”, the verb “su” is added to the word “Urushi”, so it cannot be traced from this.

Higejiisan

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