ムーミンはどうやって生まれた?The Origin of Moomin – the Name and the Character


トーベはそのスウェーデンの学校が大好きでしたが、他の生徒とは距離を感じていました。それはトーベが空き時間には常に本を読んだり、叔父の家で何かを常に描いていたからです。トーベは夜遅くまで絵を描く事が好きで、深夜にこっそりと台所に入って夜食を作るのでした。叔父のエイナーはそんな彼女を見て、台所のキャビネにはちいさな’トロール’が住んでいると、ふざけていたようです。叔父のエイナーはトーベにこのトロールはキャビネの中から出てきて人間の首筋に冷たい息を吹きかける事があるんだ!とも言っていました。トーベはトロールはどんなものかと聞いたところ、エイナーは「ムーーーミンーートロール」(Moo-oo-o-min-troll) と答えたそうです。そしてこれが、ムーミンの名前の由来となったのです。


この急いで書いた絵がムーミンの始まりでした。その後トーベはトイレの壁をトロールの漫画でいっぱいにし、それには”スノーク” (Snork)と書きました。”スノーク”はムーミンの最初の形であり、この長い鼻をもったスノークは後にガルムマガジン(Garm Magazine) でトーベのトレードマークとなります。



Between the ages of 15 to 18 years old, Tove Jansson was living in Sweden with her uncle Einar and his family. During these years Tove attended an art school in Sweden, where she learned all sorts of drawing and painting skills. Tove was so happy that she was finally attending a school that made sense to her (she had decided to become an artist –she had detested school before because she just did not understand why she had to study something so irrelevant such as mathematics).

Tove loved her school in Sweden, but at the same time she did feel lonely and somehow distant from the other students. She occupied her time by reading lots of books and by constantly drawing something at her uncle Einar’s home. Tove had a habit of drawing until late into the night, and at night she got hungry and sneaked into the kitchen to make a snack for herself. Her uncle Einar used to tease her that there lived a small troll in the kitchen cabinet. Einar told Tove that she should watch out for this troll, as the troll would crawl out of the cabinet and blow cold air into people’s necks. Tove asked uncle Einar what kind of troll it was, and Einar answered: “It is a Moo-oo-o-min-troll”. And this is how Moomins got their name.

It was however many years later that the actual Moomintroll character was born. Tove tells that the character was born while she was staying in their summer cottage in a small island. Tove had just had a philosophical argument with her brother Lars, and then she got so angry that she escaped to the toilet (which was a separate building outdoors, typical for the traditional Finnish summer cottages). In her fierce fury towards her brother, Tove made a quick, hasty drawing onto the toilet door depicting a little troll, “the most evil troll ever known to mankind”, as Tove says. She wrote ‘Kant’, a name of a philosopher, under the troll.

This hasty drawing is the first ever drawing of Moomin. Later on Tove filled the toilet cardboard wall with all sorts of caricature troll figures, with one with a text ‘Snork’ written under it. ‘Snork’ is the earliest name and shape of Moomin. The long nosed ‘Snork’ became Tove Jansson’s feisty trademark when she was writing to the political Garm magazine.

About ten years ago the toilet wall with earliest Moomin characters was removed and restored in order to keep it safe. Moomin fans had taken some pieces of the wall over the years while visiting the island, and therefore it became important to protect this important part of Finnish cultural history.

Sources: Orjasaeter, Tordis: Tove Jansson – Muumilaakson luoja. Muumiopas. HS Teema: Tove, Ihmisyyden puolustaja. Muumitaiteilijan sata vuotta.