I'm reading this story and am trying to understand the use of the causative in this sentence:
According to textbooks and this answer, the "causee" (the agent being caused to take the action) is marked with を for intransitive verbs and with に for transitive verbs. 脱ぐ (to take off) is transitive, and を is being used to mark its object (the cloak), so the causee would be marked with に. There's no に, so the causee doesn't seem to be specified. According to this answer, the causee can be omitted if it can be inferred from the context. So my first question is:
Am I right in thinking that the causee has been omitted because it's clear from the context that it's the person?
The site translates the sentence into English as "What do you think, which of us can make the person take off his cloak earlier?". Elsewhere, it says: "We have written English translations with Japanese grammatical structures. Therefore, some of them may not be natural in terms of English grammar." But it seems to me that this translation is actually how the sentence would be phrased naturally in English, and its structure doesn't correspond to that of the original, as it doesn't contain the phrase "the person's cloak". In fact, it seems to me like a faithful translation of the sentence obtained by replacing の with に:
So my second question is:
Is this a proper Japanese sentence (and if so, is it more or less natural than the sentence as written in the story)?
The structure of the sentence as written can't really be imitated in English, since the causee can't be omitted in English in this active structure, but I was wondering (third question) whether this passive construction comes closest to faithfully rendering the original:
What do you think, which of us can cause the person's cloak to be taken off earlier?
I'm aware that the verb isn't formally passive in the original, but I wonder whether this phrasing captures the effect of specifing the direct object of the action (the person's cloak) with を and omitting its subject.