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2005/05/31

5,000 years of human history on display

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;また、VOAでヴォイスレコーダーにDLしたMP3音声とテキストも楽しんでます。
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

5,000 years of human history on display

05/30/2005

Adolf Hitler's Third Reich surrendered to the Allies 60 years ago this month. As Germany's defeat in World War II loomed, Hitler ordered the destruction of world-famous masterpieces that he had stashed away in a salt mine.

2005年05月21日(土曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ドイツが連合国に降伏したのは、60年前の5月だった。いよいよ敗色が濃くなった頃、ヒトラーは、岩塩坑に疎開させていた世界の名画を破壊する命令を下す。

One of the paintings, saved by U.S. forces in the nick of time, is now on show in Tokyo.

It is ``In the Conservatory'' by French impressionist master Edouard Manet. It can be seen at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno, together with other treasures from the State Museums of Berlin.

The exhibit is titled ``Masterpieces of the Museum Island, Berlin.'' It continues until June 12 and moves to Kobe in July.

 米軍によって危うく難を免れたという絵が、東京に来ている。ベルリン国立博物館群の収蔵品を集めた「ベルリンの至宝展」(上野・東京国立博物館 6月12日まで、7月に神戸に巡回)の「温室にて」である。

``In the Conservatory'' depicts a married couple whom Manet knew. The general director of the State Museums of Berlin described this particular Manet as ``symbolic of the fate of artwork in Berlin.''

The painting was acquired at the end of the 19th century by the museum's chief curator. But the Impressionist School was still relatively obscure at the time. Furthermore, since conservatories were frequently used as the setting for torrid love scenes in romance novels, the German parliament denounced the acquisition of this piece. The chief curator was forced to resign.

 フランス印象派のマネが、温室の中にいる知人の夫婦を描いたこの絵は「ベルリン美術の運命を象徴している」と、博物館群の総館長が述べている。19世紀末に当時の美術館長が購入した。しかし印象派はまだそれほど認められておらず、温室が恋愛小説のエロチックな舞台に多用されていたため、国会で非難された。館長は辞任する。

Having survived Hitler's order for destruction, ``In the Conservatory'' was taken to and kept in former West Germany after World War II. It did not return to its home in the former East Germany until 1994, four years after German reunification. The painting survived tremendous upheavals of the 20th century that unfolded in Berlin.

 ヒトラーの破壊命令はくぐり抜けたが、戦後は旧西ドイツ側に置かれ たため、東ドイツ側の元の美術館に戻ったのは統一後の94年だった。ベルリンという土地柄、20世紀の歴史を色濃くまとう来歴だ。

The exhibition in Tokyo is powerful indeed, with veritable masterpieces ranging from those that date back to ancient Egypt of 3000 B.C., to modern European paintings.

Among them are ``Glazed Brick Wall: Striding Lion,'' unearthed from Babylon in Iraq, and Sandro Botticelli's ``Venus.'' The former vividly portrays a roaring lion, while the latter shows a young woman against a dark background, head slightly cocked and her shining long locks cascading over her bare shoulders.

 紀元前3千年のエジプト美術に始まり、ヨーロッパ近代絵画にまで至る「至宝の厚み」には、やはり相当の迫力がある。イラク・バビロンで出土した、ほえるライオンの躍動的な装飾煉瓦(れんが)壁、暗闇を背に小首をかしげて立つ女性の裸の肩を、長い髪が光りつつ流れるボッティチェリの「ヴィーナス」

The exhibit's artifacts come in all forms and from varied cultures and eras. There is an ancient urn depicting a scene from Greek mythology, and a Koran stand.

Some people may fail to see cohesion in the rich diversity, but I sort of sensed something like 5,000 years of human continuity.

 ギリシャ神話の壷(つぼ)やコーランの書見台もある。その姿形や文化、時代はさまざまだ。一見脈絡がなさそうだが、人間の営みはひとつながりとも感じる「5000年の旅」である。
--The Asahi Shimbun, May 21(IHT/Asahi: May 30,2005)

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Standing tall in a brave new world

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;また、VOAでヴォイスレコーダーにDLしたMP3音声とテキストも楽しんでます。
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Standing tall in a brave new world

05/28/2005

The Chinese ideograph for "large" is said to derive its form from a human in the standing position. When this character "stands" on a single horizontal stroke that represents the ground, the resulting kanji literally means "standing upright." Obviously, the creation of this ideograph was inspired by an image of a human standing tall on the ground.

2005年05月27日(金曜日)付
【天声人語】

 「大」の字は、立っている人の形から来ているという。その「大」が、地面を示す「一」の上にしっかりと乗っているのが「立」だ。字の成りたちには、大地に直立する人間の姿が深くかかわっている。

Futa, a 2-year-old male lesser panda at Chiba Zoological Park, is attracting attention for standing erect like a human. As soon as he was introduced on television and in newspapers, reports started coming in from zoos in Nagano, Fukui, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures that also have animals that can stand on their hind legs. A zoo in Aomori Prefecture even boasts a standing sea otter.

 人間ではないのに、その立った姿が人間風な千葉市動物公園のレッサーパンダ「風太(ふうた)」くん、2歳が注目されている。新聞やテレビで立ち姿が伝わると、間もなくあちこちの動物園から「うちのも立てます」という声が聞こえてきた。長野、福井、広島、高知県などからで、青森には、立ち上がるラッコもいるという。

Standing upright is apparently not a big deal for lesser pandas, although not many are known to maintain that posture for as long as Futa. Seeing a picture of him standing tall, people seem to feel the stirring of something almost primordial in the deepest recesses of their memory.

 時間の長短はあっても、レッサーパンダが二本足で立ち上がること自体は、新発見ではないらしい。しかし、すっくと立ち続ける風太の姿には、人間のはるかな記憶のようなものに訴えかけてくるところがある。

Nobody remembers the very first time they stood up as toddlers. But we are somehow reminded of that moment when we unexpectedly see a four-legged animal stand on its hind legs. Or perhaps this experience evokes something in our primordial, collective human memory of the time our ancestors began walking erect.

 生まれて初めて自分がひとりで立った時の記憶がある人は、まずいないだろう。これまで、直立はしないものと思っていた動物が見せる意外な立ち姿には、自らが初めて立った時の姿を思わせるものがある。あるいは、もっと古く、人間の祖先が直立を始めた頃の姿を呼び覚まされるのかも知れない。

It lightens the heart momentarily to imagine animals standing on their hind legs in many places. Even though this may not be their normal or natural behavior in the wild, it is still a comforting sight in our otherwise not-so-nice world.

 今日も列島のあちこちで、すっくと立ちあがるさまを想像するのは、一時の救いではある。動物園での彼らの振る舞いは、本来の自然の中で見せるものとは違っているかもしれないが、この厳しい世相の中では、心がなごむ。

The quizzical and innocent look on Futa's face, as if surprised by this sudden attention, is really cute. But I also feel a twinge of sadness.

 「どうかしたの?」。突然の世間の注目に戸惑ったかのようなあどけないしぐさは、愛らしく、そしてどこか、切なさも漂う。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 27(IHT/Asahi: May 28,2005)

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2005/05/30

How to remember those killed in the last war?

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;また、VOAでヴォイスレコーダーにDLしたMP3音声とテキストも楽しんでます。
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

How to remember those killed in the last war?

05/27/2005

From planning to completion, it took 17 years before the Berlin Holocaust Memorial finally opened this month in the German capital.

2005年05月26日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 建設へ向けての構想から完成まで、17年の歳月を要した。今月、ベルリンにできた「ホロコースト記念碑」である。

Located near the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, the memorial forms a sprawling maze of 2,711 dark gray stone slabs that represent tombstones.

 シュレーダー首相も出席して完成の式典が行われた。市中心部のブランデンブルク門近くの広大な敷地に、墓標に見立てた約2700基のコンクリートの柱が立ち並ぶ。

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder attended the May 10 opening ceremony.

The massive memorial, which serves as a stark reminder of that dreadful period of Germany's history, is also close to the Federal Parliament Building and the Federal Chancellery.

The neighborhood may be considered the German equivalent of the Nagatacho district in Tokyo.

The choice of such a location seems to indicate the German resolve to face up to, and condemn, the sheer enormity of the crimes against humanity that were perpetrated by Nazi Germany.

 周囲には連邦議会や首相府がある。東京なら永田町あたりの一角に、歴史の一大汚点を永遠に記す大きな碑を設けた。ナチスのなした行為の途方もない残虐さや重さと、それとの決別を強く訴えようとする姿勢がみられる。

Controversy raged when the memorial was in its planning stages: Who was the monument for? Who should it be dedicated to?

It was ultimately decided that the memorial should be dedicated to the more than 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, except that none of them would be identified by name.

Not far away from the new memorial is another, called Neue Wache in Germany, which is dedicated to the war dead of all nationalities and backgrounds.

 完成に至るまで、慰霊の対象者などで議論があった。碑には犠牲者の名は刻まず、対象はユダヤ人に限定した。この碑からそう遠くない所には、国籍などを問わない戦死者の追悼施設「ノイエ・ワッヘ」がある。

It has a plaque outside that says: ``We remember all peoples who suffered in war. We remember their citizens who were persecuted and lost their lives. We remember all the soldiers who lost their lives in world wars and the innocent people who lost their lives because of the consequences of war at home, in captivity, and during the expulsion ... .''

A Japanese translation of this text is credited to Morio Minami in a Kinohanasha Publishing Co. book, titled ``Kokuritsu Tsuito Shisetsu o Kangaeru'' (About national memorials) and edited by Nobumasa Tanaka.

 入り口脇に追悼文が掲げられている。「我々は追悼する、戦争によって苦しんだ諸国民を……迫害され、命を失った その市民たちを。我々は追悼する、世界戦争の戦没兵士たちを……戦争と戦争の結果によって 故郷において、また捕虜となって、そして追放の際に命を落とした罪なき人々を……」(南守夫訳/田中伸尚編『国立追悼施設を考える』樹花舎)。

As is obvious from the plaque, the Neue Wache remembers all people who died in war-never mind their nationality, ethnicity or whether they were combatants.

They were all victims of utterly deplorable acts.

Inside this facility is a bronze sculpture of a mother holding her dead son. He is naked, just like on the day she gave him birth.

It will soon be the 60th summer since Japan lost World War II. It is time for us to truly open ourselves to the question: How do we want to remember that war and the people who died during, and as a result of, that war?

 国籍、民族や、兵士か市民かも問わず、すべての死者を、否定すべき戦争と暴力支配の犠牲者として追悼している。その施設の内部には「死んだ息子を抱く母親」のブロンズ像が置かれている。息子は兵士の姿ではない。母から生まれた時のように裸だ。追悼のありかたが改めて問われる、戦後60年の夏が近い。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 26(IHT/Asahi: May 27,2005)

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2005/05/27

Shameless bid-rigging shows collusion culture

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;また、VOAでヴォイスレコーダーにDLしたMP3音声とテキストも楽しんでます。
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Shameless bid-rigging shows collusion culture

05/26/2005

There are songs that fill me with nostalgia, even though I have no personal knowledge of the era when they were hugely popular.

One such song is ``Tonarigumi'' (Neighbors) that begins with the refrain ``Ton Ton Tonkarari.'' (This is a meaningless phrase meant to provide rhythm.)

2005年05月25日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 その歌が盛んに流れていた時代を知っているわけではないのに、妙に懐かしさを覚える。「とんとんとんからり」で始まる「隣組」も、そんな歌の一つだ。

A parody of the song later came out. For a while, it served as a song of unity for a bid-rigging organization. Its English translation is as follows: ``Ton Ton Tonkarari/ Welcome to Doyo-kai (Saturday club)/ When you open the door/ You see only familiar people/ Please circulate this information/ So that all members know what to know.

 その替え歌が、一時は「談合ソング」になっていた。「トントントンカラリと土曜会/扉を開ければ顔なじみ/まわしてちょうだい このニュース/知らせられたり 知らせたり」

Doyo-kai, the bid-rigging organization, was comprised of general contractors with offices in Saitama Prefecture. In 1992, the Fair Trade Commission accused the club of violating the Anti-Monopoly Law and warned it to end its collusive practices.

The parody was printed in a booklet issued by the Saitama Doyo-kai to commemorate its 15th anniversary. An editor's note introduced it as the work of a club member. In the book, a note said: ``Please enjoy singing this parody by following the tunes of `Tonarigumi' that was played on NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) radio.''

This is revealed in a book titled ``Dokyumento Saitama Doyo-kai Dango,'' (Documentary on bid-rigging by Saitama Doyo-kai), written by Toshio Tajima and Hiroshi Yamaguchi about the bid-rigging organization's activities in Saitama Prefecture. It was published by Toyo Keizai Shinpo Sha.

 この「土曜会」は、埼玉県内に支店・営業所をもつ総合建設会社(ゼネコン)が加盟する団体だった。92年に、公正取引委員会から、独占禁止法違反で排除勧告を受けた。替え歌は「埼玉土曜会一五周年記念誌」に、会員の作として掲載された。「NHK国民歌謡『隣組』の節でお楽しみ下さい」と添え書きされていた(田島俊雄/山口広『ドキュメント埼玉土曜会談合』東洋経済新報社)。

The surprising thing about the parody is its nonchalant tone and its utter lack of a sense of guilt about bid-rigging.

The disbandment of Doyo-kai in Saitama did not change the fact that Japan is a country steeped in bid-rigging. Now, public prosecutors are investigating a massive bid-rigging case involving the construction of bridges for the national government.

 あっけらかんとして、談合という意識も、後ろ めたさも見られない。土曜会は解散したが、談合社会の根は深く、今度は、国の橋梁(きょうりょう)工事の談合事件で、検察が捜査を進めている。

The word bridge conjures up many images. For example, a bridge provides you with a link between one location and another. At the same time, it can cause you to think about the past and the future. Standing at the foot of a bridge, one can feel nostalgic at the thought of people crossing it in years gone by.

But bridges change into a wellspring of suspicion once you know they are the products of rigged procedures.

 橋は不思議な装置である。こことどこかを今結びつつ、過去や未来のことも思わせる。たもとに立てば、これまでに行き来した人々の足音が聞こえてくるような懐かしさも感じる。しかし、談合でできる橋の方からは、疑念ばかりがわいてきた。

The parody also includes lines about ``deals made for you or vice versa'' and ``being helped by others or vice versa.''

Considering the persistence of bid-rigging in this country, it seems as if there were invisible bridges linking general contractors to the national and local governments from which they get orders-or to the political world.

 替え歌には、こんなくだりもある。「まとめられたり まとめたり」「助けられたり 助けたり」。この国で、しぶとく続く談合を思うと、業界と、発注元の国や自治体、あるいは政界との間には、見えない橋が架けられているかのようだ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 25(IHT/Asahi: May 26,2005)

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Red lights alone won't deter drunken drivers

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;また、VOAでヴォイスレコーダーにDLしたMP3音声とテキストも楽しんでます。
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Red lights alone won't deter drunken drivers

05/25/2005

There is nothing unusual about the sight of mothers pushing baby carriages at pedestrian crossings. I sometimes see the scene on my way to work.

For their safety, the women depend on the rule that requires motorists to stop when the traffic signal is red.

2005年05月24日(火曜日)付
【天声人語】

 通り道の横断歩道で、時にこんな光景を見かける。信号が青になると、近所同士らしい母親たちが押す乳母車が、幾つか連なって渡り始める。ゆっくりと、にぎやかに進む無防備な行列の安全は、赤信号では車が止まるという約束に支えられている。

In Tagajo, Miyagi Prefecture, a sports utility vehicle, apparently with a drunken man at the wheel, ran into a line of senior high school freshmen crossing a national highway on Sunday, killing three students. The driver in question ignored the most basic rule of the road: to stop when the traffic signal at the crossing is flashing red, and the pedestrian crossing light is green.

 青信号で、国道の横断歩道を渡っていた高校1年生の列に、飲酒運転とみられる車が突っ込み、3人が死亡した。宮城県多賀城市での事故は、交差点での約束を踏みにじった。

How can pedestrians protect themselves against drivers who ignore red traffic signals?

Going to the other side by a pedestrian bridge-sometimes jokingly referred to as hisatsukyo (a bridge to avoid getting killed)-is often too much of an exertion for the elderly. Besides, pedestrian bridges are not always available.

The only viable option may be a common-sense one: Even when a green crossing light comes on, look right and left for safety, waiting until a vehicle likely to break the rules passes.

 青信号でも車が突っ込んで来るのでは、歩行者は身の守りようがない。「避殺橋」などという形容も聞かれる歩道橋は、お年寄りには骨が折れるし、どこにでもあるわけではない。青信号でも左右を確かめて、あやしい車はやり過ごすぐらいしか手はないのか。

In recent years, penalties have been stiffened for those who cause traffic accidents while driving drunk. But I think we need even stiffer measures to prevent accidents. For example, revoking licenses not just for drunken driving but also for driving under the influence of alcohol would be a good idea.

I even dream of the development of a car whose engine would automatically become unworkable if it detected the smell of alcohol on the driver's breath.

 近年、酒酔い運転での事故に対する罰は厳しくなっている。しかし、事故を予防する、より強い手だてが要るのではないか。例えば「酒酔い運転」の場合だけではなく、「酒気帯び運転」だけでも免許を取り消すのはどうか。運転者の酒気を感知したら、エンジンが掛からなくなる車すら夢想する。

The site of the traffic accident in Tagajo is near the trail taken by great haiku poet Matsuo Basho on his 1689 walking trip through northeastern Japan, known as ``Oku no Hosomichi'' (The Narrow Road to the Deep North).

The national highway where the accident occurred has been widened since Basho's days.

But I see a deeper problem: Motor vehicles now have kingly status on roads in this country, taking up too much space and relegating pedestrians to narrow lanes.

 多賀城の現場は、芭蕉がたどった「おくのほそ道」の道筋に近い。道の幅は、相当広がったはずだ。しかし、ここに限らず、幅を利かせているのは車で、人は細い通路に押しやられているのではないか。

In her junior high school graduation essay, one of the 15-year-old victims supposed herself to be 18 and asked, ``What are you doing now?'' The youngsters were just walking across a highway for a school event. The crossing light was green, but their futures came to a halt in an instant.

 亡くなったひとりは、中学の卒業文集では、「18歳の自分」に「あなたはいま何をしていますか」と記していたという。それが15歳で、学校行事のさなかに、青の横断歩道で、一瞬のうちに未来を断たれた。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 24(IHT/Asahi: May 25,2005)

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2005/05/24

Elderly need warm-up to face food hazards

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;また、VOAでヴォイスレコーダーにDLしたMP3音声とテキストも楽しんでます。
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Elderly need warm-up to face food hazards

05/24/2005

The figure 8,570 bothers Yoshiharu Mukai, a professor at the Showa University School of Dentistry. This is the number of people who choked on food and died during 2003.

2005年05月23日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 8570人。昭和大学歯学部の向井美恵(よしはる)教授は、この数字が気になって仕方がない。食べものなどをのどにつまらせて亡くなった人の03年の数である。

That's more than 20 people a day, and most of them were 65 or older. Mukai specializes in oral hygiene and rehabilitation. ``Aging causes muscles in your mouth to deteriorate,'' he said. ``This prevents the proper swallowing of food. The food ends up getting into and blocking the trachea.''

 1日あたり20人を超える。その大半が65歳以上のお年寄りだ。口の健康とリハビリを専門にする向井さんは「年をとると、口の筋肉も衰える。食べものを食道にうまくのみ込めなくなって、気管に入ってしまうのです」という。

Mochi, the gooey rice cake eaten during the New Year's holidays, is the first thing I associate with choking on food. But mochi is definitely not the only hazard. According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Fire Department, ambulances respond to cases of choking all year.

A department official told me about a recent case. A man in his 80s fell unconscious while having a bowl of ramen noodles in a Tokyo eatery. An ambulance rushed to the scene, where a medic checked the old man and used a specially designed pair of tongs to dislodge a boiled quail's egg. The man regained consciousness before long.

 食べもので窒息といえば、正月の餅を思い起こすが、それだけではないのだ。東京消防庁に聞くと、救急車は一年中、出動する。つい最近も、都内の飲食店で80代の男性がラーメンを食べていて、意識を失った。駆けつけた救急隊員が口の奥をのぞき込む。ピンセットに似た専用の器具でつまみ出したのはウズラの卵だった。しばらくして意識がもどった。

``It's actually ordinary side dishes that are the most dangerous, more so than rice or mochi. In fact, mochi is the least dangerous of the three,'' the official noted. In other words, any food improperly swallowed can pose a potential hazard to the elderly.

 「おかず、ご飯、餅。この順で原因になることが多い」と東京消防庁の担当者。どんな食べものでも、お年寄りには油断大敵なのだ。

In Nagoya, a nursing home for the elderly was taken to court for serving konnyaku and hanpen for a meal. The former has a tough, gummy texture, and the latter clings to the inside of the mouth like a foamy sponge.

A 75-year-old resident, who was being fed these items by a staff member, choked to death. The court ordered the home to pay damages to the man's family, noting that anyone should know the risk of serving these items to the elderly. The nursing home appealed. The case was settled at an appeal court last month.

 こんにゃくとはんぺんは、名古屋で裁判にもなった。特別養護老人ホームで、職員に食べさせてもらっていた75歳の男性が窒息死した。こんにゃくなどはお年寄りに危ないことで知られていた。そう言って裁判所は老人ホームに賠償を命じ、先月、二審で和解が成立した。

Mukai recommends that older people do a little ``oral workout'' before they eat-a combination of movements including opening the mouth wide and then shutting it, and sticking out the tongue as far as it will go.

``It's a stretching exercise for your mouth,'' Mukai said.

I tried it, and when I opened my mouth really wide, I felt I was all ready to tuck into my meal.

 向井さんがお年寄りに勧めるのは、食べる前の準備体操だ。口を大きく開いたり閉じたりする。舌も思いきり突き出して動かす。口のストレッチ体操ですよ。そう言われて、口を大きく開けてみた。さあ、食べるぞ、という心構えもできる気がした。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 23(IHT/Asahi: May 24,2005)

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2005/05/23

Much more to a name than meets the eye

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Much more to a name than meets the eye

05/21/2005

I once visited the office of a professional creator of brand names. The office was in an apartment building, and the only people allowed in as a rule were employees of the contracting companies. This was to prevent nosy people from entering and pinching ideas if they were on a computer screen.

2005年05月20日(金曜日)付
【天声人語】

 新しいブランド名の考案を請け負う人の仕事場に行ったことがある。マンションの一室で、原則として注文主の企業の人しか入れない。新しい名前の案がコンピューターの画面に浮かんでいれば、一瞬で読まれ、盗まれてしまうからだ。

Assuming someone did break in to steal a "name," would he or she bother with a brand name such as NPO (nonprofit organization) or Volunteer?

Wouldn't it be too commonplace to catch anyone's attention as a new product name? Surely such names would be overlooked.

 その部屋に「名前の盗人」が侵入したとしよう。画面にこんな文字が浮かんでいたら盗む気になるだろうか。「NPO」「ボランティア」。新しい商標にするには、あまりにも一般的過ぎると見過ごしてしまうかも知れない。

The Japan Patent Office has decided to cancel the brand name registration for NPO and Volunteer, after having approved them for Kadokawa Holdings Inc.

The cancellation was prompted by objections filed by NPOs questioning the registration of these commonly used words for commercial purposes.

 特許庁が、いったんは角川ホールディングスに商標登録を認めていた「NPO」と「ボランティア」について、登録の取り消しを決定した。NPO(非営利組織)の側から「一般的な言葉を営利目的で登録するのはおかしい」という異議申し立てが出ていた。

Explaining its decision, the patent office noted, "In view of the public interest, it is not appropriate to allow a certain party to have the exclusive right to use those words." This was obviously not what the office was thinking when it approved the registration, but anyway this is an interesting case of how brand names should be dealt with today.

 特許庁は「特定の人に独占使用を認めることは公益上、適当とはいえない」などと取り消しの理由を示した。当初の「登録認可」とのずれはあるが、現代の商標のあり方を考える例として経過を見守りたい。

The Japan Patent Office Web site lists some examples of brand names that cannot be registered. For shoe repairers, for instance, Shoe Repair is out; for pencil makers, it's One Dozen; De-luxe for automakers; Mountain Climbing for shoe makers; and Self-Service for eating and drinking establishments.

The Web site explains: "These are all names by which one's product or service cannot be distinguished from another's."

 特許庁のホームページには、商標の登録ができない一般的な例が載っている。靴の修理についての「靴修理」、鉛筆で「1ダース」、自動車で「デラックス」、靴で「登山」、飲食物の提供で「セルフサービス」。いずれも「自己の商品・サービスと、他人の商品・サービスとを識別することができないもの」だ。

A brand name can make a huge difference in product sales.

My visit to the brand name creator's office was more than 10 years ago, but the creator said fees could be as hefty as several million yen per name.

 商標のつけかた一つで売り上げが大きく変わることもある。商標請負人の仕事場を見たのは十数年前だが、1件で数百万円の注文もあると言っていた。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 20(IHT/Asahi: May 21,2005)

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2005/05/20

Safety should be the chief destination

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Safety should be the chief destination

05/20/2005

In railway jargon, people who set train service schedules are called suji-ya, or line men, because the progress of trains from station to station is represented in diagonal lines on the train timetable, according to ``Miyawaki Shunzo Taiwa-shu: Daiya Kaisei no Hanashi'' (Dialogues with Shunzo Miyawaki: On revising train timetables), a book from Chuo Shoin.

2005年05月19日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 列車ダイヤを組む人は、スジ屋と呼ばれる。ダイヤの上では、列車の走行は斜めの線(筋)で表されるからだ。「スジを立てる(傾斜をきつくする、つまり列車の速度を上げる)」、「スジを寝かす(傾斜をゆるくする、つまり速度を下げる)」などの言い回しがある(宮脇俊三対話集『ダイヤ改正の話』中央書院)。

The author goes on to introduce other examples of railway lingo, such as suji wo tateru (to sharpen the slant) and suji wo nekasu (to blunt the sharp)-the former meaning to increase the train's speed and the latter to slow it down.

After years of intensive ``slant sharpening,'' West Japan Railway Co. recently announced that from now on, it will do the opposite on its rapid train services on all major lines in the Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe region.

The decision came with the realization that the company's extremely tight timetables could cause drivers to recklessly speed up on lines where delays were already becoming routine.

 これまで、ひたすら「スジを立ててきた」JR西日本が、今後、京阪神地区の主要路線の快速などで、「スジを寝かせる」という。ダイヤ編成に余裕がなく、日頃から遅れが目立つ路線では、無理な運転が行われかねないと判断した。

This, of course, had much to do with the recent disaster in Amagasaki, but I must say the switch is long overdue.

Some passengers may not be at all happy with the inconvenience this will create. However, I believe this is the only way to prevent another tragedy.

 尼崎での大惨事を受けての切り替えだ。遅すぎた感がある。一方では「不便になる」と、同意できない利用者がいるかもしれない。しかし、再発を防ぐ手だてを尽くすためには、やむを得ないのではないか。

Recently, I wrote in this column of Amagasaki Station's timetable which had 40 trains bound for Osaka and Kyoto between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. I said this schedule seemed terribly congested because even Tokyo's busy Yamanote Line offered less than 30 runs within the same period.

But, the Yamanote Line is double-tracked, whereas the Amagasaki Line is quadruple-tracked and therefore, in terms of the operating schedule, the latter is in fact not as congested as I had thought.

 先日、尼崎駅の時刻表に触れた。朝8時台に大阪駅や京都駅方面へ向かう電車が40本あり、東京の山手線が二十数本だから、確かに、かなり密だと思ったと書いた。山手線は複線だが、尼崎の方は複々線だ。従って、山手線ほど密とは言えない。

Still, I have always felt that commuter trains in Tokyo run at impossibly close intervals. And even though the schedule in Amagasaki is comparably ``relaxed,'' it still feels to me to be pretty tight.

 ただ、日頃から東京の通勤線については、「密」を通り越した「過密」という思いがある。それほどではないにしろ、尼崎の方も既に「かなり密」な状態と感じられた。

I guess you just can't really help rush-hour congestion in any metropolis, including the Kansai region. But there has to be a limit. I urge other mass transit operators to take another look at their timetables and see if there are any ``slants'' that could be made less steep.

 関西に限らず、大都市圏で、ラッシュ時のダイヤがある程度密になるのは仕方がない。しかし限度はあるだろう。「寝かせる」べきスジがあるかどうかを含めて、他の交通機関も、改めて点検してほしい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 19(IHT/Asahi: May 20,2005)

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2005/05/19

The race for `moving ads' that beckon tourists

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

The race for `moving ads' that beckon tourists

05/19/2005

I'm always surprised to see a car with a distant place name on its licence plate. Surely, you remember staring at the name, wondering about the car's obvious trip from afar.

Starting next spring, such wonder is likely to shift to a desire to visit the place shown on the licence plate. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport plans to increase the number of area names to be shown on the plates.

2005年05月18日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ずいぶん遠くから来たなあ。道端で、はるか離れた地名入りのナンバーの車に驚いた経験は、だれにもあるだろう。それが来春からは「行ってみたいな」という気持ちに誘われやすくなりそうだ。

A succession of well-known tourist spots have announced plans to have their names embossed on license plates. The ``Welcome to'' place names listed on applications include ``Sendai'' (Miyagi Prefecture), ``Aizu'' (Fukushima Prefecture), ``Kanazawa'' (Ishikawa Prefecture), ``Izu'' (short for the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture), ``Suwa'' (Nagano Prefecture), ``Kurashiki'' (Okayama Prefecture), and ``Shimonoseki'' (Yamaguchi Prefecture).

The benefit is obvious: The presence of tourist-spot place names on license plates will serve as ``moving ads.''

Elsewhere, there is enthusiasm about having ``Toyota'' (the heartland of the automobile industry in Aichi Prefecture) and ``Suzuka'' (known for the Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture) as place names on licence plates.

The same thing can be said about ``Sakai'' (Osaka Prefecture) and ``Kawagoe'' (Saitama Prefecture).

 国土交通省が導入する「ご当地ナンバー」に観光地が続々と名乗りをあげている。「仙台」「会津」「金沢」「伊豆」や「諏訪」「倉敷」「下関」。どこも動く広告塔にと期待を膨らませる。自動車産業の盛んな「豊田」や「鈴鹿」のほか、「堺」「川越」なども意欲満々だ。

The practice began about 50 years ago. The names were taken from the locations where land-transportation bureaus, which issue license plates, had their offices. What names to put on the plates was in effect up to the bureaucrats to decide.

 ナンバーに地名が入ったのは、50年ほど前から。国の運輸支局の所在地をそのまま載せた。いわば役所の裁量だった。それが11年前、住民運動が火をつけた「湘南」が実現して変わる。地域のイメージアップになる、と各地が飛びついた。地方分権という時代の流れにも乗った。

The whole thing changed 11 years ago when ``Shonan'' (the coastal area of Kanagawa Prefecture) was approved after a grass-roots campaign. It set off a wave of efforts to have regional names used as a way to foster better images.

The tide of the times-the devolution of authority to the provinces-has worked in favor of bids for new place names.

Last year, the transport ministry set standards for approving new place names. For example, the standards stipulate a new place name for a close-knit region with more than one city, town or village, can be used where more than 100,000 automobiles are registered.

Referring to the standards, ministry officials have told the Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectural governments that their wishes to see ``Fujisan'' (Mount Fuji) on license plates are difficult to meet because the mountain straddles the prefectural border.

In Nagano Prefecture, the bids of two adjoining municipalities to have either ``Karuizawa'' or ``Saku'' approved are falling through because each insists on having its way and because the number of automobiles does not meet the standards.

Despite these hurdles, about 20 applications are expected to be filed before the deadline set for May 31.

 国交省は昨年、新設基準を設けた。複数の市町村でまとまった地域、自動車の登録台数が10万台以上など。おかげで、静岡と山梨が希望する「富士山」は、県境をまたぐので難しいと言われ、長野では隣り合う「軽井沢」と「佐久」が譲らず、台数不足で共倒れしている。それでも今月末の応募締め切り前に約20件の申請がありそうだ。

The question now is how the ministry proposes to pick new place names from among them, given its position that ``only a few names will be chosen for the initial year because a new budget appropriation is required to reorganize the computer system to admit new plates.''

Striking a regional balance and the enthusiasm of supporters are among the factors that go into the ministry's deliberations aimed at reaching informal decisions this summer.

 「コンピューター改編に予算が要る。まず初年度は数カ所で」と考えていた国交省は、どう選ぶのだろう。今夏の内定に向け、地域バランスや地元の熱意も判断材料に検討している。

I have a proposal here: Why not take the plunge and pick winners by lots?

How much supporters love their native places is a matter that cannot be graded, certainly not by bureaucratic reasoning.

 でも、ここは思い切って、クジで決めたらどうか。郷土への熱い思いに、役所の理屈で順位など付けられるはずがないのだから。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 18(IHT/Asahi: May 19,2005)

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2005/05/18

Another global threat: Looming `water wars'

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Another global threat: Looming `water wars'

05/18/2005

The 19th-century Romanian national poet Mihai Eminescu once praised the constancy of the Danube. He wrote that the river flows the same way, if the weather is good or bad, unlike human beings whose inconstancy sends them roaming the Earth. (From a compendium of the world's great poems, published by Heibonsha.)

2005年05月17日(火曜日)付
【天声人語】

 「天気がよかろうと、悪かろうと、ドナウ河の流れは同じ。ただ定めなき人間のみが、地上をさまよい歩くのです」。19世紀のルーマニアの国民詩人といわれるエミネスクの詩の一節だ(『世界名詩集大成』平凡社)。

Originating in Germany's Black Forest, the Danube meanders for nearly 2,900 kilometers through Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania until it empties into the Black Sea. Japanese meteorologists predict the amount of water in the waterway will diminish by more than 20 percent by the end of this century.

The prediction is among findings of a study in which researchers attempted to forecast how climate change brought on by global warming will affect the volume of water flowing in the world's great rivers.

 ドナウはドイツの黒森に源を発する。オーストリア、ハンガリー、ブルガリア、ルーマニアなどを貫いて黒海へと注ぐ2900キロ近い大河の変わらない姿が歌われている。そのドナウでは、今世紀末には流量が2割以上減るのではないか。日本の気象学者らが世界の大河の流量の予測をまとめた。地球の温暖化による降水量の変動などを計算した。

From ancient times, civilizations sprung up around major rivers. According to the study, the Euphrates river in Mesopotamia, Iraq will have about 40 percent reduced water flow.

On the other hand, gains of 10 to 15 percent are forecast for the Nile, the Ganges and China's Yellow River.

 古来、大河のほとりには文明が息づいてきた。その一つ、メソポタミアのユーフラテス川は、ドナウよりも変化が激しく、約4割減という。一方、ナイル、ガンジス、黄河などは、逆に10~15%の流量増を予測している。

Sometimes, we hear warnings that a mass scramble for limited water resources worldwide could spark ``water wars.''

In Japan, which doesn't have major water arteries like the Danube, which flow through several countries, the looming crisis may feel like someone else's affair.

But just consider how much water is consumed to commercialize the vast quantities of foodstuffs and industrial products that are imported by Japan.

It doesn't take much to see that the looming crisis will also affect Japan in a big way.

 限られた地球の水を争う「水戦争」の問題を指摘する声も時折聞く。ドナウのような国際河川を持たない日本では、他人事(ひとごと)のように感じるかも知れない。しかし日本が輸入している膨大な食料や工業製品などを商品化するまでに使われた水の多さを思えば、世界の水問題と深くつながっていると分かる。

In his poem, Eminescu went on to praise things that remain unchanged, existing as they were in ancient times. In this regard, he cites the sea, rivers, towns, the wilderness, the moon and the sun, and forests and spring.

 エミネスクの詩は続く。「けれど、私たちはいつも変わらず、昔のままの姿でいます――海も川も、町も荒野も、月も太陽も、森も泉も」

Sad to say, the era in which we could believe in the everlasting immutability of Mother Earth and big rivers has passed. The time has come for nations to pledge across borders that they will refrain from altering nature without justification.

 悠久の大地や大河は、変わるはずがない。そう思えた時代は残念ながら去った。「自然を、むやみには変わらせない」と国境を超えて誓い合う時代が来ている。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 17(IHT/Asahi: May 18,2005)

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2005/05/17

A recollection of two canaries and a tragedy

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

A recollection of two canaries and a tragedy

05/17/2005

When I think back 10 years ago to May 16, I flash back to an afterimage of two yellow canaries. The image is so fleeting, I don't even know if I can call it a scrap of memory.

2005年05月16日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ちょうど10年前の「今日」を思い出す。記憶の断片とも言えないような、一瞬の残像が脳裏に焼きついている。それは黄色いカナリアである。

Investigators in camouflage fatigues and gas masks walked in procession, and the birds in the cages were at the front of the line. The fragility and defenselessness of those little birds contrasted sharply with the men's heavily protective outfits.

 迷彩服に防毒マスクをつけた捜査員が、列をなす。その先頭にカナリアはいた。重装備の人間とは対照的に、鳥かごの中で無防備な姿をさらしながら。

About two months before, deadly sarin nerve gas had been sprayed in Tokyo's subway system. The investigators were taking no chances.

That was why they took the canaries along, just like coal miners of yore used such birds as detectors of toxic gases.

It was a bizarre and ominous sight, quite alien to our day-to-day lives.

 その2カ月ほど前、東京都心の地下鉄にサリンがまかれた。強制捜査でも万全の備えが欠かせない。ならば、炭鉱の有毒ガスを感知するカナリアが役に立つはず。そんな理由で連れて行かれた。ふだんの暮らしでは目にしない。不気味な光景だった。

Wondering what became of the two canaries, I did some research and learned they were already dead and had been given a decent burial.

Their grave is under a four-decade-old somei yoshino cherry tree in the front garden of the Metropolitan Police Department's No. 3 Kidotai (riot police unit) headquarters in Tokyo's Meguro Ward.

Near the grave is a monument fashioned from a rock brought back from the investigation site. Engraved on it are the names of 360 police investigators who took part in that expedition.

It also includes the words: ``Two canaries.''

 あのカナリアは、どうしただろう。探してみると、すでに寿命が尽き、手厚く葬られていた。場所は東京都目黒区の警視庁第三機動隊の前庭。樹齢40年を超すソメイヨシノの木陰だ。近くには、現場から持ち帰った岩でつくった記念碑もある。そこに、出動した証しとして、360人の隊員の名とともに「カナリア2羽」と刻まれている。

In the summer of that year, the canaries had a chick. The investigators cherished it dearly and named it Peace, praying for a peaceful society in which the baby canary would never have to be used as a toxic-gas detector.

 あの年の夏、2羽のカナリアには、1羽のひなが生まれた。その子が駆り出される事件などない平和な社会になってほしい。そんな願いを込めて「ピース」と名づけられ、隊員たちにかわいがられたという。

On the morning of May 16, 1995, Chizuo Matsumoto, the leader of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, was arrested on suspicion of murder. The cult has since renamed itself. The village of Kamikuishiki in Yamanashi Prefecture, where Aum had its sprawling headquarters, will cease to exist next spring when it will be split and merge with the city of Kofu and the town Fuji Kawaguchiko.

But although time has passed and the name of the village will soon disappear, Aum's crimes will not fade from people's memories.

In my case, it comes back in the form of an afterimage of the two canaries.

 1995年5月16日朝、オウム真理教代表の麻原彰晃容疑者が殺人容疑で逮捕された。時は過ぎ、流れた。教団は名称を変えた。現場の山梨県上九一色村は来春、甲府市と富士河口湖町に分かれて合併し、村の名前も消えていく。だが、事件は人それぞれの心に残り続ける。たとえば、カナリアの記憶として。

-The Asahi Shimbun, May 16(IHT/Asahi: May 17,2005)

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2005/05/16

List of rich people a treasure for the curious

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

List of rich people a treasure for the curious

05/16/2005

Around this time of year, tax offices across the nation receive this frantic request: ``Please do not disclose my name on your list of top taxpayers.'' These are among 70,000 to 80,000 people who get on the annual choja banzuke (ranked list of millionaires).

2005年05月08日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 毎年ちょうど今ごろから、各地の税務署に同じ要望が届く。「高額納税者リストに出さないで」。長者番付のことだ。載るのは全国でも7、8万人という。

Even those who have nothing to do with the list are nervous about how their personal information is handled. The rich have all the more reason to be afraid of their privacy being divulged. Once their names are on the list, they could attract loads of unsolicited mail, or worse yet, burglars and robbers to their homes. Their fears are not unfounded.

 番付に無縁の人々でさえ個人情報の使われ方には不安を覚える。載れば、怪しげな郵便が殺到するし、空き巣や強盗も怖い。切実な悩みなのだろう。

When did the publication of these lists of millionaires begin? Eisuke Ishikawa, an expert on the history of publishing, says they were already being cranked out in the latter half of the Edo Era (1603-1867), and the masses lapped them up.

There is actually a classic rakugo comic story by the title of ``Choja Banzuke.'' In one scene, a citizen of old Edo (present-day Tokyo) sees a list posted outside a sake brewery in the boonies and starts lecturing the gathered country bumpkins on ``the Konoike of the west'' and ``the Mitsui of the east''-two wealthy clans in Japan.

 長者番付はいつ生まれたのか。印刷史に詳しい石川英輔さんは「江戸の後期にはもう量産されていた」と言う。長者鑑(かがみ)とか長者控とも呼ばれ、庶民に人気だったという。そう言えば「長者番付」という古典落語がある。田舎の造り酒屋に張られた番付を前に、江戸者が「西の鴻池」「東の三井」とまくし立てる。

The prototype of the current top taxpayers' list was created around the time the Konoike and the Mitsui zaibatsu business conglomerates were being disbanded under Allied occupation after World War II. A system was simultaneously introduced to reward anyone who ratted on tax dodgers, so that the list came to be known as a powerful aid for authorities ferreting out tax cheaters. The reward system was eventually abolished, but the practice of publishing the list remained.

 鴻池や三井などの財閥が占領下で次々に解体されたころ、いまの長者番付の原型ができあがった。他人の所得隠しを通報すると報奨金がもらえる制度とともに、番付は、「密告税制」を支える柱とされた。報奨金はやがて廃止されたが、番付は残った。

``Nihon no Okanemochi Kenkyu'' (Study of Japan's rich people), a book that came out this spring from Nihon Keizai Shimbun-sha, is a tour de force that researched the behavior of listed people with annual incomes in excess of 100 million yen.

 この春に出版された『日本のお金持ち研究』(日本経済新聞社)は、長者番付から年収1億円以上の層を拾い出し、行動や意識を調べた労作だ。著者の京都大学経済学部教授、橘木俊(たちばなきとし)詔(あき)さんが2年前、全国6千人に質問状を発送すると、「詮索(せんさく)するな」「にせの学術調査か」と苦情が来た。

Toshiaki Tachibanaki, the author and professor of economics at Kyoto University, sent a questionnaire to 6,000 survey subjects around the nation two years ago. Many told him to mind his own business, while others thought it was a scam.

Still, Tachibanaki received valid responses from 465 subjects. ``I won their interest and cooperation when I promised to share my detailed survey results,'' he noted. ``Everyone is curious about other people's finances.'' The same human psychology must keep the ranking list alive to this day.

 それでも465人から回答が得られた。「協力してくれたら詳しい集計結果を送る」と約束したのが効いたと橘木さんは話す。「ひと様の懐具合は誰でも気になりますから」。番付が生き永らえたのも似たような心理のなせる業だろう。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 8(IHT/Asahi: May 16,2005)

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2005/05/14

Nihon or Nippon: Which has a better ring to it?

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Nihon or Nippon: Which has a better ring to it?

05/14/2005

A jam-packed subway train pulled into a station. An elderly woman walking with a cane got on the train. A middle-aged man stood up at once and offered her his seat. The woman nodded her thanks and sat down.

I thought to myself, ``Japan isn't such a bad place after all.'' And then I began wondering which pronunciation is correct-Nihon or Nippon-when referring to my country in Japanese language.

2005年05月13日(金曜日)付
【天声人語】

 地下鉄のホームに満員電車が入ってきた。つえを突いた初老の女性が乗り込む。すぐ中年の男性が立ちあがり、女性は会釈して座った。「日本も、そう捨てたものではない」と思いつつ、この「日本」は「ニホン」かそれとも「ニッポン」かと少し思案した。

Whether it's Nihon or Nippon was the subject of a recent survey, the results of which were published by the National Institute for Japanese Language, among others. The survey looked at how about 1,400 people pronounced more than 7 million words. It turns out most people say Nihon rather than Nippon.

Even with expressions that can be pronounced either way, such as Nihon-ichi (No. 1 in Japan) and Nihon daihyo (Japan representative), only about 20 percent said Nippon-ichi and Nippon daihyo. And 96 percent pronounced the country name as Nihon.

 「日本」がどう発音されているかという調査結果を国立国語研究所などがまとめた。1400人余の700万語以上の話し言葉を調べると「ニホン」が圧倒的に多かった。「日本一」や「日本代表」でも「ニッポン率」は約2割で、「日本」では「ニホン」が96%を占めた。

``Our nation shall be called Nippon,'' said the headline of a 1934 Asahi Shimbun story about the Japanese language council of the then Education Ministry. The council had proclaimed Nippon the official name of the nation. However, there was no legal requirement for anyone to stick only to Nippon.

It is 60 years now since the Great Japanese Empire was renamed just plain Japan. The institute's survey indicates that Nihon has become the established pronunciation.

 「我国号の呼称はニツポンとす」。文部省国語調査会の決定を伝える、34年、昭和9年の本紙の見出しだ。しかし法的な規制はなかった。大日本帝国から日本国になって60年、「ニホン」の定着を印象づける結果だ。

Except for expressions in which Nippon is the correct pronunciation by usage, Nihonkokugo Daijiten (Comprehensive Japanese dictionary) lists all entries as Nihon. One of the exceptions is the Bank of Japan, which is listed as Nippon Ginko. In fact, these words are imprinted in Roman letters on the back of every bank note.

 『日本国語大辞典』では、特に「ニッポン」とよみならわされているものを除き、すべて「ニホン」にまとめている。「ニッポン」の項の一つに日本銀行がある。紙幣の裏は今も「NIPPON GINKO」だ。

Back to the subway. When I surfaced from my subway station to street level, I heard loud honking from a car. Apparently, another car was starting to go the wrong way on a one-way road. The car's young driver was visibly flustered, but a man in worker's overalls called out orai, orai (all right, all right) and helped the driver back up and steer into a side road. The young driver bowed in gratitude before he drove away.

 地下鉄の駅を出ると、けたたましい警笛音がした。一方通行の道を逆進しかけた車への警笛らしい。どぎまぎしている運転席の青年に作業服の男性が「オーライオーライ」と大きな声をかけ、バックさせて横の道に誘導した。青年は深く頭を下げて走り去った。

``Japan isn't such a bad place after all,'' I thought again. And for no reason, the thought popped in my mind that while Nihon is probably how I should refer to my country, Nippon-jin can also have a very pleasant ring to it when I talk about nice, decent Japanese citizens.

 再び「日本も捨てたものでは……」が浮かんできた。そしてなぜか、国を指すなら日本(ニホン)かもしれないが、さわやかな人を指す時には日本(ニッポン)人という響きもいいと思った。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 13(IHT/Asahi: May 14,2005)

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War is too important to subcontract

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

War is too important to subcontract

05/13/2005

Novelist Kuninobu Noro, who died at a relatively young 42, won the Akutagawa Prize (a literary prize) for "Kusa no Tsurugi" (Swords of grass), a novel based on his experiences in the Ground Self-Defense Force.

In one scene, Noro describes a field with the blades of grass poking up like upside-down swords, stretching endlessly ahead of the young GSDF troops who crawled on their bellies with rifle in hand.

2005年05月12日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 42歳で早世した作家、野呂邦暢が芥川賞を受賞した「草のつるぎ」は、陸上自衛隊に入隊した体験がもとになっている。ある日の訓練では「緑色の短剣を逆に植えつけたような草むら」が、小銃を手にして匍匐(ほふく)前進する若い隊員たちに立ちはだかる。

He goes on: "A green substance, hard and sharp and supple, obstructs my progress, rejects me, accepts me, drains my will to resist and energizes me." The novel is included in "Noro Kuninobu Sakuhin-shu" (Collected works of Kuninobu Noro, Bungei Shunju). In it, Noro recounts his life in the GSDF when he was around 20 years old-describing things that can be experienced only in the army.

 「硬く鋭く弾力のある緑色の物質がぼくの行く手に立ちふさがり、ぼくを拒み、ぼくを受け入れ、ぼくに抗(あらが)い意気沮喪させ、ぼくを元気づける」(『野呂邦暢作品集』文芸春秋)。外の世界では体験できないような隊内での二十歳前後の日々を、躍動的に描いた。

Akihiko Saito, missing since he was apparently kidnapped in Iraq earlier this week, also entered the GSDF at around that age. In high school, Saito told his friends he wanted to join the French Foreign Legion, and he eventually did. Perhaps he saw the GSDF as a stepping stone to that dream.

 イラクで襲われて行方不明になった斎藤昭彦さんも、二十歳の頃は陸上自衛隊員だった。高校時代から友人に「外人部隊に入りたい」といっており、仏外国人部隊に入隊する。自衛隊は、その過程だったのか。

For years, Saito did not contact his family. When he was attacked and abducted, he had reportedly just finished transporting equipment from Baghdad to a U.S. base in his job as a security officer for a British security firm. Even though he must have been fully aware of the danger of working in Iraq, I can find no words when I imagine what he must have felt facing that life-threatening situation.

 家族とは、しばらく音信不通だった。最近は英国系の警備会社に属し、バグダッドから米軍基地に機材を運んだ帰りに襲われたという。イラクでの危険は覚悟していたのだとしても、実際に生命が危機にさらされた場面を思うと言葉も無い。

The business of war has expanded in recent years, with private companies taking on jobs that are normally done by governments. According to Peter Warren Singer, the author of "Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry," there were about 20,000 private-sector soldiers in Iraq last summer-practically as many as all the multinational troops combined, excluding U.S. troops. (A Japanese translation of Singer's book is published under the title of "Senso Ukeoi Kaisha" by NHK Shuppan.)

 近年、国家の役目の一部を肩代わりするような民間の戦争ビジネスが拡大している。昨年夏にイラクに居た民間の軍事要員は2万人ほどで、アメリカ以外の多国籍軍兵士の総数にほぼ匹敵する(シンガー『戦争請負会社』NHK出版)。

Singer laments the absence of rules and controls over the private military industry, and he warns that the 21st century world may need this new aphorism: "War is too important to subcontract to the private sector."

 こうした民間企業の活動には規制と監視が無いと、著者は憂慮する。そして21世紀にはこんな格言がいるかもしれないと警告する。「戦争は民間業界に任せるにはあまりにも重要すぎる」

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 12(IHT/Asahi: May 13,2005)

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2005/05/12

Bush revisits Yalta summit, with remorse

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Bush revisits Yalta summit, with remorse

05/12/2005

Speaking in Latvia, U.S. President George W. Bush effectively voiced regret over the outcome of the summit held at Yalta 60 years ago.

2005年05月11日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ブッシュ米大統領が「反省」を表明したという。バルト3国の一つのラトビアを訪問中の発言だ。

The summit, held in February 1945 in the Black Sea port city, brought together British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. They discussed the international order to emerge after the end of World War II.

The end of the war was in sight when the leaders got together.

 45年2月の、米英ソ首脳によるヤルタ会談を「強国が交渉し、小国の自由を犠牲にした」と否定的に述べた。第二次大戦の末期で、戦後の国際秩序が話し合われた。

Bush said powerful countries negotiated the postwar international order, but they sacrificed the freedom of small countries.

The words he used-negotiations by big countries and the freedom of small countries-remind me of Churchill's trip to Moscow four months before Yalta.

The time was ripe, Churchill wrote in his book on World War II, published in Japanese by Kawade Shobo Shinsha.

In his meeting with Stalin, Churchill proposed a plan to settle the Balkan issue. He scribbled figures on a piece of paper and handed it over to the dictator.

The Churchill plan read: ``90 percent for Russia in Romania, 10 percent for other countries ... 50-50 percent in Yugoslavia ... 75 percent for Russia in Bulgaria, 25 percent for other countries.''

The figures spelled out how the powerful countries were to share their say and primacy in the small countries.

Stalin signaled his consent by drawing a big circle on the piece of paper with a blue pencil.

 「強国の交渉」と「小国の自由」からは、ヤルタ会談の4カ月前のチャーチル英首相のモスクワ訪問を思い起こす。「機は熟していた」と、チャーチルは『第二次世界大戦』(河出書房新社)に記している。スターリンに「バルカンの問題を解決しようではないか」と告げ、紙に数字を書いて渡す。「ルーマニア ロシア90% 他国10%/……ユーゴスラビア 50-50%/……ブルガリア ロシア75% 他国25%」。スターリンは青鉛筆で紙に大きな印をつけ、同意を示した。

 数字は、強国が小国で保つべき発言力 や優位性の度合いだったという。

After a long silence, Churchill proposed burning this incriminating evidence. He said he feared that if his way to deal with an issue that affected the fate of millions of people appeared to have been too casual, he might be seen as a callous leader.

Stalin told Churchill that he should keep it.

 長い沈黙の後に、チャーチルが口を開いた。「何百万の人々の運命に関する問題を、こんな無造作なやり方で処理してしまったようにみえると、かなり冷笑的に思われはしないだろうか? この紙は焼いてしまいましょう」。「いや、取っておきなさい」とスターリンは言った。

Bush, with the benefit of hindsight, noted that the agreement reached at Yalta had resulted in placing Eastern Europe under Soviet occupation. He touched on America's historic responsibility for the outcome of the summit.

All this was partly intended to deter the Russian government of President Vladimir Putin amid backlashes from the Baltic and Eastern European nations over Soviet rule.

 ブッシュ氏は、ヤルタ協定が東欧をソ連の支配下に置く結果をもたらしたことに言及し、米国の歴史的責任に触れた。それは、バルト3国や東欧からソ連支配への反発を受けているプーチン政権に対する牽制(けんせい)でもあった。

I wonder how the voice of regret, uttered by an American president 60 years after the summit at Yalta, sounded to Roosevelt and Churchill, in their graves?

 60年後の「反省」を、泉下のルーズベルトやチャーチルはどう聞いたのだろうか。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 11(IHT/Asahi: May 12,2005)

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2005/05/11

Time to brake merciless quest for convenience

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Time to brake merciless quest for convenience

05/11/2005

On a recent trip to the scene of last month's train disaster, I took a look at a West Japan Railway Co. timetable at Amagasaki Station in Hyogo Prefecture.

The schedule listed 13 train runs for the hour starting at 8 a.m., going to Osaka destinations like Kita-Shinchi. The train that jumped the rails was running on the same line. I counted 40 runs on the line bound for Osaka Station and Kyoto Station.

It struck me that since the comparative figure for Tokyo's circular Yamanote Line was well below 30, JR West is running a pretty tight operation.

2005年05月10日(火曜日)付
【天声人語】

 先日、JRの尼崎駅に降りた時、時刻表を見た。脱線した電車と同じく、この駅から大阪の北新地などへ向かう線の本数は、朝8時台で上りが13本だった。そして、大阪駅や京都駅へ向かう線の方には、40本あった。東京の山手線が二十数本だから、確かに、かなり密だと思った。

With its train schedules criticized as too tight, the company says it plans to reconsider them as part of its efforts to assure safe operations.

If this means reducing train runs on the main lines, it will be the first downsizing undertaken since JR West was set up as a spin off from the state-run Japanese National Railways, which was broken up into private companies in 1987.

It has taken an accident that killed 107 people to motivate the company to apply the brakes on its policy of ``more and faster trains.''

 JR西日本は、今後の安全策の一つとして、過密と指摘されているダイヤを見直すという。主要路線で便数を減らすとすれば、民営化以来初めてである。重大事故が起きて、ようやく、増発と加速に歯止めがかかりそうだ。

Perhaps our society's unceasing quest for greater convenience also needs to be braked.

The kanji for ben means ``whipping people into docility to make them serviceable,'' according to Shizuka Shirakawa's Jito etymological dictionary for Chinese characters. Hence the meanings of words we usually use, like benri (convenience) and bengi (facility). Benben means doing obediently as told.

 初の減便は、この会社にだけではなく、便利さを求め続けてきた社会にも、歯止めが必要なことを示しているのかも知れない。「便」とは「人を鞭(むち)うって柔順ならしめ、使役に便すること」と、白川静さんの『字統』にある。そこから、「便利」「便宜」などの意となる。「便々」とは、唯々としてことに従うことという。

Also whipping up criticism for JR West is the revelation that employees went ahead with planned recreational events, such as a bowling tournament and a staff party, after the accident.

Planned events are just that-planned to take place- and they do unless something happens that applies the brakes.

 脱線事故の後の、職員らのボウリング大会や宴会などが指弾されている。いったん計画されたものごとが、何かのブレーキがかからない限り実行されるのは、JR西日本だけに限らない。

If something extraordinary happens, senior officials should consider what to do and slam the brakes, if necessary. At JR West, the brakes were applied quite gently or did not exist.

Sad to say, benben is the epithet that applies to the way many employees of the railway company behaved, including the two drivers who were aboard the derailed train, but went on to work instead of participating in the rescue of injured passengers.

 しかし、予定外のことが起こったと知れば、責任者は対応を検討し、必要ならば急ブレーキをかけるはずだ。そのブレーキが極めて弱かったか、無かった。現場で救助活動をしなかった例を含め、「便々」とした人が多かったようで残念だ。

Following the train derailment, some people have placed rocks and bicycles on railroad tracks across the country, as if to vent their anger at the accident or play on the uncertainty felt over rail travel. This is an outrageous way to react to this disaster.

 脱線事故への怒りや不安に乗じるかのように、線路への置き石や、置き自転車が頻発している。こうした「便乗」はあさましい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 10(IHT/Asahi: May 11,2005)

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2005/05/10

College kids too `cool' for bilingual dictionaries

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

College kids too `cool' for bilingual dictionaries

05/10/2005

The holiday-studded Golden Week is over, and university campuses came back to life Monday. Classes that began last month will soon go into full swing.

2005年05月09日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ゴールデンウイークが終わって、きょうから大学のキャンパスも活気を取り戻す。講義もそろそろ本格化する頃である。

In the past, taking a course in a second foreign language, such as French or German, made one feel like a full-fledged university student intellectually reaching out for something beyond English, which was the only foreign language required in high school. But times are changing. In fact, some universities are doing away with the second language requirement.

 かつては、英語以外にフランス語やドイツ語を学ぶことは、知的な背伸びをしているようで、大学生になったという実感を持ったものだった。最近は、第二外国語を必修から外す所も出てきて、語学学習の風景もだいぶ変わった。

An acquaintance who teaches Spanish at a private university in Tokyo told me that each year he notices more and more students don't own a dictionary. He recommends several dictionaries at the start of the course, but when he asked his class during the third lesson this year how many had followed his advice, only three among the 30 students answered that they had purchased a dictionary.

It used to be common sense for anyone studying a foreign language to purchase at least one dictionary. For today's students, the main reasons cited for not getting a dictionary are said to be: ``too expensive,'' ``too heavy (to carry around)'' and ``too much of a bother to look words up.''

 都内の私大で第二外国語のスペイン語を教えている知り合いによると、年々辞書を持たない学生が増えているという。毎年、最初の授業で何冊かの辞書を推薦するのだが、今年3回目の授業で尋ねたところ、クラス30人のうち購入したのは3人だった。かなり前なら、外国語を学ぶのに辞書を買うのは常識だった。いまの学生が辞書を買わない理由は「高い」「重い」「引くのが面倒くさい」の三つだという。

A veteran instructor at another private university recounted an episode that took place 10 years ago. When he permitted his students to bring dictionaries to a French-to-Japanese translation test he was giving, one student brought not only a French-Japanese dictionary, but also a Japanese dictionary. The student explained he needed the latter to make sure his Japanese translations were perfect. This kind of episode is history.

 別の私大のベテラン教員は、一昔前のこんな話を教えてくれた。辞書の持ち込み可でフランス語を訳す試験を行ったところ、ある学生は仏和辞典だけでなく、国語辞典も持ち込んだ。訳文に正確さを期するためだった。これまた失われた風景だという。

The foreign-languages section of any bookstore today is crammed with copies of flimsy books bearing titles that promise no-sweat mastery of languages in a matter of days. Not surprisingly, these crash-course books skip grammar. But they are snapped up by students who don't buy dictionaries.

 いま書店の外国語コーナーをのぞくと、「超やさしい○○語の入門」「10日でマスター」といったようなタイトルの薄っぺらい本であふれている。詳しい文法は省略だ。辞書を買わない学生もこういう本は購入する。

Perhaps it is not ``cool'' today to even attempt to read a foreign language book with the aid of a dictionary. But patient effort is basic to becoming proficient in a foreign language, and this will never change.

 辞書を片手に難解な原書に挑戦するなんてことは今時、はやらないかもしれない。だが、外国語は地道な努力が習得の基本である。それはいつの時代も変わらない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 9(IHT/Asahi: May 10,2005)

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2005/05/09

May gives us something to sneeze about

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

May gives us something to sneeze about

05/09/2005

An attraction known as ``Satsuki to Mei no Ie'' (Satsuki and Mei's house) is said to be pulling in quite a crowd at Expo 2005 Aichi. It is a faithful reproduciton of the 1950s home in which two sisters supposedly lived in ``Tonari no Totoro'' (My Neighbor Totoro), an internationally acclaimed animation film by Hayao Miyazaki.

2005年05月01日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 開催中の愛知万博で「サツキとメイの家」が人気だという。映画『となりのトトロ』で主人公の姉妹が暮らした昭和30年代の民家が、映画そのままに再現されている。

According to ``Shosetsu Tonari no Totoro'' (My neighbor Totoro-the novel), a pocketbook based on the movie, the girls move into the home one May morning. The sisters ride in a pickup truck with a pile of furniture and other belongings their father has loaded. The father sings in a chirpy voice: ``It's May and I'm moving May and May (the names of both girls can be translated into English as May).'' This is a delightfully light-hearted scene, but it ended up on the cutting-room floor.

 映画を文庫化した『小説となりのトトロ』(徳間書店)を開くと、姉妹があの家に引っ越すのは、5月のある朝のこと。家財とともに姉妹を車の荷台に積んで、父が陽気に歌う。「5月に5月(サツキ)と5月(メイ)を乗せて行くぞ」。サツキがもちろん皐月(さつき)なら、メイは英語で5月を指す。5月が三重奏する軽やかな引っ越し場面だが、映画では割愛された。

In another scene from the book, Mei gazes at a huge camphor tree in the garden and suddenly sneezes when the sunlight hits her eyes.

It is around this time of the year, when hints of summer begin to be felt, that it is not uncommon for people to sneeze when they raises their heads skyward. It is not cold anymore, so why does this happen?

 庭先でメイが、クスノキの巨木を見上げて不意にくしゃみをする場面がある。光に目を射られたからだ。たしかに、日差しが夏めくこの季節、空を仰ぐとくしゃみが飛び出すことがある。寒くもないのになぜなのだろう。

Satosi Nonaka, an associate professor of otolaryngology at Asahikawa Medical College, says it is caused by a ``malfunction of the nerves.''

Nonaka explains that when the eye reacts to an intense light, it sends a message to the brain, but the message somehow gets redirected as if it came from the nose.

 くしゃみやせきに詳しい旭川医大助教授の野中聡さんに尋ねた。原因は「神経の誤作動」という。目で知覚した「まぶしい」という刺激が、脳に伝わる途中、なぜか鼻からの刺激と受け取られる。

Some people also sneeze when emerging from a dark movie theater into broad daylight. According to Nonaka, about 20 to 30 percent of people have what is known in the United States as the ``Achoo Syndrome,'' which is not a serious problem.

The sneezing sound in Japanese is hakushon, but it is achoo to English speakers.

 昼間に映画館から外へ出たときなどにも起こる。2~3割の人に自覚症状があるが、深刻な症例はまずない。野中さんによると、米医学界ではこれを俗にアチュー症候群と呼ぶ。日本ではハクションだが、あちらではアチューと響くそうだ。

I asked The Asahi Shimbun's overseas bureaus' staffs what the equivalents are in other cultures. I was told it is echui in South Korea, atchoum in France, apchkhi in Russia and hatchi in Egypt. A sneeze is a universal human reflex, but it produces many different sounds indeed.

 ほかの国々ではハクションをどう言うのか、本紙の海外支局に聞いた。韓国ではエッチュイ、フランスだとアチュウム。ロシアがアプチヒーで、エジプトはアータスだという。人類共通の生理現象なのに、ずいぶん違うものだ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 1(IHT/Asahi: May 9,2005)

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2005/05/07

What sort of nation does Japan want to be?

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

What sort of nation does Japan want to be?

05/07/2005

On my ride back to Tokyo by Shinkansen from the Osaka-Kobe area, I opened a book published by FOIL titled ``Eiga Nihon-koku Kenpo Dokuhon'' (Primer on the movie ``Japan's Peace Constitution'').

This somewhat odd title needs explaining.

2005年05月05日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 阪神方面から帰京する新幹線で、『「映画 日本国憲法」読本』(フォイル)を開いた。この妙なタイトルには多少の説明が要る。

In late April, a preview was held in Tokyo of the documentary ``Japan's Peace Constitution,'' by John Junkerman. The film is based on interviews with a number of internationally acclaimed intellectuals on their thoughts about the Constitution.

About 700 people were present for the first screening. But 100 more had to be turned away because it was a full house. I watched it standing.

 4月下旬、東京で「映画 日本国憲法」(ジャン・ユンカーマン監督)の上映会があった。日本国憲法について世界の知識人が語るドキュメンタリーで、初回に約700人が来場した。当方は立ち見だったが、100人ほどが入れなかったという。

The ``primer'' was compiled from the movie.

Among those interviewed was John Dower, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of ``Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II.''

Dower observed that, ``Japan is a fine country, but it lacked the courage to speak with its own voice and clearly express any idea different from America's ... . If Japan wants to become an `ordinary country' like America, what a frightening prospect that is at this present moment ... since America is becoming a more militaristic society than ever.''

 映画をもとに構成したのが『読本』だ。「日本は立派な国家です。しかし、自分自身の声で発信し、アメリカと異なるアイディアを明瞭(めいりょう)に示す勇気をもつことができませんでした」。日本の戦後史を描いた『敗北を抱きしめて』でピュリツァー賞を受けた歴史家ジョン・ダワー氏だ。「(日本が)アメリカのような『普通の国』になりたいというのなら、現時点で恐ろしい話ではないですか……アメリカはますます軍事主義的な社会になってきているのですから」

In Japan, public sentiment seems to be leaning toward revising the Constitution.

True, the status of the Self-Defense Forces is anything but spelled out in the Constitution. But there has been no serious debate on, say, the enormity of the consequences of Japan telling the world it intends to maintain full-fledged armed forces.

 国内に「改憲ムード」が広がっているようだ。確かに憲法と自衛隊との関係はねじれている。しかし例えば日本が「軍隊を持つ」と表明することの重みがどれほどになるのか、詰めた議論が世の中に行き渡っているとは思えない。

In this day and age, the United States has the power to change the future of the world, including Japan. Our relationship with the United States is surely an urgent matter .

Our priority should be to decide what sort of a nation we want to be, not to rush into amending the Constitution.

 日本や世界の未来が米国に左右されかねないという時代に、米国との関係をどうするのかも緊急の課題だ。改憲案より、どんな国をめざすのかを詰める方が先ではないか。

The bullet train I was riding was filled with families with young children. There appeared to be no parents who even thought about the possibility that their child might someday become a soldier in the future and go to a battlefield in a foreign land.

 家族連れの多い新幹線の中を見渡す。将来、わが子が軍人になり、外国の戦場に行く。そんなことを思いめぐらす親など、いそうもなかった。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 5(IHT/Asahi: May 7,2005)

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Saying a prayer for slain reporter, free press

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Saying a prayer for slain reporter, free press

05/05/2005

At The Asahi Shimbun Hanshin Bureau, the editorial room where a reporter was slain 18 years ago is located on the second floor.

Every time I go there, I pause on the stairs, sensing an air of odiousness left behind by the killer-unknown and still at large-who climbed the steps shortly after 8 p.m. on May 3, 1987, with a shotgun in hand.

2005年05月04日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 朝日新聞阪神支局に入る。この支局に来るたび、2階の編集室に向かう階段の途中で立ち止まる。87年の5月3日の夜8時過ぎ、この階段を、銃を持った男が上って行った。そのおぞましい気配を、今も感じる。

There is a little altar against the wall at the back of the newsroom. A photograph of Tomohiro Kojiri, the staff reporter who was shot to death, sits at the altar.

Even though the statute of limitations for the murder has run out, there is no such limitation on rueful remembrances.

During my visit, my anger at the crime came back as I offered a prayer at the altar.

 細長い編集室の奥の壁に、射殺された小尻知博記者の写真を掲げた小さな祭壇がある。事件には法的な時効があっても、無念の思いに時効は無い。改めて冥福を祈り、凶行への憤りを新たにする。

With my hands clasped in prayer, I thought about the freedom of speech, recalling that it was something won by our society after World War II-at the cost of huge sacrifices.

The freedom of speech, I thought, is one of the important checks we have in place so our society and country won't run amok.

We must not let violence bend this rule.

 合掌しつつ、この社会がおびただしい犠牲を払って、ようやく戦後手にした言論の自由のことを思う。この原則は、社会や国家が暴走しないための大切な歯止めの一つだ。それを、暴力の前に揺るがせてはならない。

When I visit a local bureau or a larger general regional bureau from The Asahi Shimbun head office, the term genshuku na satogaeri (solemn homecoming) comes to mind.

I know that the way young bureau reporters, back from a round of news-gathering activities, consult with senior reporters or a desk editor remains unchanged from the old days. The newsroom exchanges among staff members-at once severe and nostalgic to me-provide a wellspring of articles at the bureaus.

A local bureau is a newspaper's front line for exchanges with readers on the issues in their local towns. The bureaus make significant contributions to the process of making up tomorrow's still blank pages from scratch.

On the night of the slaying, shells were fired when a newsroom discussion was under way. The sofa where the slain reporter was seated is kept at the Hanshin Bureau. Little damage was done to the sofa because the round that hit him burst inside his body.

 本社から支局や総局に行く時、「厳粛な里帰り」という言葉を思い浮かべる。外で取材してきた若い記者が先輩やデスクと話す姿は、昔と変わらない。懐かしさと厳しさを感じるそのやりとりから、記事が生まれる。支局とは、新聞社が、読者や市民や町と出会う最前線であり、まだ真っ白な明日の紙面を一からつくる現場だ。あの夜、そうした支局員らの語らいを銃弾が襲った。支局に保存されている小尻記者が座っていたソファには、損傷があまり見られない。散弾が体内で炸裂(さくれつ)したからだ。

A cherry tree stands at the entrance to the building that houses the Hanshin Bureau. Though not tall, the old tree has seen many reporters and other people come and go for a long time. The staff at the bureau hope that the tree will be kept standing even though a new building for the bureau is in the works.

 支局の入り口に、1本の桜がある。大木ではないが、長くこの地に根を張り、記者らの往来を見続けてきた。局舎の建て替えは決まっているが、支局では桜は残したいという。

Aboard the Shinkansen I took to return to Tokyo, all the seats were occupied because it was the middle of the Golden Week holidays. I took a book out of my bag to read, a volume dealing with the Constitution that had caught my attention.

 東京へ戻る新幹線は、連休さなかで満席だった。バッグから憲法に関して気になる本を取り出した。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 4(IHT/Asahi: May 5,2005)

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Rain at scene of crash felt like victims' tears

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Rain at scene of crash felt like victims' tears

05/04/2005

It was raining hard when I got off the train at JR West's Amagasaki Station. It was shortly before noon on Sunday. My eyes were drawn to a large statue in front of the station.

It was in memory of Umegawa, the heroine of a joruri ballad drama written by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1724), who had ties with what would become Amagasaki city, Hyogo Prefecture.

2005年05月03日(火曜日)付
【天声人語】

 JRの尼崎駅に降り立つと、雨が本降りになっていた。1日の昼前である。駅前には、この地にゆかりのある近松門左衛門の浄瑠璃の女主人公「梅川」の大きな像が立っている。

I headed north of the station for the site of the April 25 train derailment disaster. Blue plastic sheets still concealed the first floor garage area of the multistory apartment building that was rammed by the front coaches of the derailed train.

On that day, near where the sheets were hanging, cell phones kept ringing aboard these and other coaches. They presumably were calls from worried families and friends.

The rings were accompanied by two Chinese characters, jitaku (home), on the phones' displays to show where the calls were from.

 駅の北側の脱線現場に向かう。電車が激突したマンションの1階は、青いシートで覆われている。あの日、シートのあるあたりの車内では、安否を気遣う家族や友人からの携帯電話の呼び出し音が鳴り続けていた。小さな画面には、発信元を示す「自宅」の2文字が浮かんでいたという。

The apartment building stands so close to the tracks it could easily be mistaken for a railway facility. To drivers negotiating the curve, it must have looked like a huge wall looming ahead. Residents of the building must have lived in fear of being hit by a train. Why is it a protective wall never was built?

 マンションと線路とは、あまりにも近くて、一体のようにすら見える。電車からは、行く手の正面に立ちはだかるように、マンションの方からは、電車が常に飛び込んでくるように見えていただろう。なぜ防護壁がなかったのかと悔やまれる。

Only about 100 meters away, a chunky special express, Kita-Kinki No. 3, was still standing on the down track of the Takarazuka Line. If the driver of the special express had not noticed the signal had turned yellow, it might have slammed into the derailed train.

 わずか100メートルほど離れて、特急「北近畿3号」のずんぐりとした姿がある。あの時、運転士が、信号が黄色になったことに気づかなければ、脱線の現場に突っ込んで行ったかも知れない。

I paused near the last car of the seven-coach train, watching the rain pound its roof, fall off and then disappear into the ballast. The pouring rain struck me as tears shed by the victims whose futures were cut short just because they happened to board the train and by those who lost their loved ones.

I closed my eyes in prayer.

 電車最後尾の7両目の近くに立つ。降りしきる雨が屋根をたたき、滴り落ちて敷石にしみ込む。それぞれの未来を抱きながら乗り合わせた人たちと、その人々を失った多くの人たちの無念の涙のようにも思われ、目を閉じた。

A stone's throw from the scene of disaster is the Kosaiji temple where Chikamatsu, the dramatist, is buried. He is said to have penned some of his works in his quarters at this temple.

Asahi Shimbun reporter Tomohiro Kojiri wrote about the temple and Chikamatsu while stationed at the newspaper's Hanshin Bureau. On May 3, 1987, a gunman burst into the bureau and opened fire, killing Kojiri and wounding another.

Recalling the incident, I decided that I should pay a visit to the bureau in Nishinomiya, also in Hyogo Prefecture.

 この現場に近い広済寺には、近松の墓がある。彼は、寺の一角で執筆したと伝えられる。その来歴を、朝日新聞の阪神支局員だった小尻知博記者も書いたことがあった。支局が襲撃され、小尻記者らが殺傷されて、3日で18年になる。西宮市の阪神支局に向かった。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 3(IHT/Asahi: May 4,2005)

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2005/05/04

Even just learning to eat can take years

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

Even just learning to eat can take years

05/03/2005

One child shook his head, rejecting the spoon that was brought to his mouth. Another stuck out his tongue. Yet another child spat out the food.

2005年05月02日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 スプーンを口に近づけられると、いやいやをする。舌が飛び出してくる。いったん口に入れた食べものをプーと吐き出す子もいる。

This was another typical day at a ward for children with severe disabilities at the Chiba-East Hospital of the National Hospital Organization. All the youngsters there need assistance when they eat or drink. I had an opportunity to watch a mealtime-training session.

 国立病院機構・千葉東病院の重症心身障害児の病棟である。ここの子どもたちは、一人では食べることも飲むこともできない。その訓練を見せてもらう機会があった。

A nurse spoke gently to a child to help him relax. Holding his chin, she slowly made him close his mouth to encourage chewing.

"Eating is not an ability humans are born with," explained Yoshiaki Otsuka, a dentist supervising the training. "It's an ability one acquires by learning, step by step. Disabled kids take a long time to learn."

 看護師さんらがやさしく声をかけて緊張をほぐす。子どものあごに手を当てて、口をゆっくり閉じる。そうすれば、もぐもぐできるようになる。指導する歯科医師の大塚義顕さんは「食べることは生まれついての能力ではなく、段階を踏んで学んでいくものです。その学習に障害児は時間がかかる」という。

About 30 years ago, dentists who were trying to maintain the oral hygiene of such children realized how important it was to get them to eat, rather than be fed through a tube.

Chiba-East Hospital became a pioneer in this field, and was awarded the President's Prize from the National Personnel Authority late last year.

 もとはといえば、約30年前に当時の歯科医師らが子どもたちの口の中を清潔にしようと考えたのがきっかけだ。管からではなく、口から食べることの大切さに気づき、千葉東病院は障害児の訓練の先駆けとなった。昨年末には人事院総裁賞を受けた。

"Every parent wants his or her children to have tasty food," said Masako Kitaura, who heads a national group to protect severely disabled children.

Her second son loves eel.

When he gets minced eel, he grins happily and gestures for more because he cannot speak. On the other hand, Kitaura noted, her son dislikes anything sour and raises his functioning left hand to push the food away.

 「おいしいものを子どもに味わわせたい。それは親のだれしもの願いです」。そう語るのは全国重症心身障害児(者)を守る会の北浦雅子会長だ。施設で暮らす次男の尚さんはウナギが大好き。細かくつぶすと、しゃべることはできないが、もっとほしいと笑顔で催促する。逆に酸っぱいものだと、動かせる左手で払いのける。

When I phoned Chiba-East Hospital last week, I asked what was for dinner that evening, and was told: "Chicken and green peppers in miso sauce, and eggplants stewed with bacon."

I could picture the kids beaming happily at their favorite dishes.

Some of the patients, however, have been around for more than 30 years.

 きょうの夕食の献立は何ですか、と先週、千葉東病院に電話した。鶏肉とピーマンのみそいため、ナスとベーコンの煮物……。ごちそうを前にした笑顔が思い浮かんだ。そこには、入院して30年を超える人もいる。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 2(IHT/Asahi: May 3,2005)

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Too fixated on blood types to give a donation

 僕は英辞郎を使って英語を読みまくり、インターネットラジオのNHKのラジオジャパン英語ニュースで時事英語を聞きまくってます。(^^;
参考「こんな感じで英辞郎を使ってます

 今日の天声人語の話題は血液型について、確かに日本人ほど血液型で性格が決まると考えている人種は世界広しと言えども他にはないようだ。
 ほとんど軽い話題ではなく、本当に性格が決まると考えているかのように話題にする馬鹿が多い。科学的な根拠は全然ないのにもかかわらず、血液型がどうのと騒ぐ俗悪TV番組を作るマスゴミ(マスコミでなくまさにマスゴミである)が一番悪いのかもしれない。

Too fixated on blood types to give a donation

05/02/2005

After nearly a year, a craze for TV variety shows about the ABO blood groups seems to have finally subsided. At least this spring, we are no longer being inundated with prime-time programs claiming to explain how people's personality and behavior are influenced by their blood types.

2005年04月24日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 1年近くテレビ界をにぎわせた血液型番組のブームがひとまず去った。「最強血液型大実験」「血液型まるごと3時間」。そんな番組をこの春はほとんど見かけない。

Questions have been raised repeatedly since before World War II about pigeonholing people into the four categories of A, B, O and AB blood groups and judging their character traits accordingly. But no matter how often such attempts were dismissed for their dubious scientific worth or criticized for encouraging groundless and biased stereotyping, the subject always resurfaced after a while for avid public consumption.

 ABO式の血液型で性格を四つに分けてしまう血液型診断は、戦前から繰り返し批判されてきた。科学的根拠がないとか、偏見を助長するなどと退けられても、しばらくすると息を吹き返す。

It would be nothing more than a harmless pastime to guess the blood groups of famous historic figures: Murasaki Shikibu (from around the 11th century) must be A, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) must be O.

In the latest craze, however, type-B people somehow became the target of constant ridicule. In show after show, there were ``experiments'' conducted on entertainment personalities and preschoolers to ``prove'' the personal idiosyncracies of B subjects and deride them.

 「紫式部はきっとA型、徳川家康はO型か」と推理を楽しむ分には害もあまりない。だが今回は、どういうわけかB型が集中的にからかわれた。芸能人や幼稚園児を実験台に、B型のふるまいや対人関係をあげつらうような番組が目についた。

Between last spring and February this year, as many as 200 complaints were filed with the Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization. Many viewers were upset with the TV shows for using the blood groups to pass judgments on people. And concerned parents complained that children were getting into fights because they believed what they watched on TV.

Apparently, many people found the programs offensive even though they knew they were watching them only for mindless entertainment.

 「血液型で人の優劣を決めつけないで」「信じ込んだ子供が血液型でけんかする」。視聴者の声を受け付ける放送倫理・番組向上機構には昨春から今年2月までに、苦情が200件も寄せられた。娯楽番組のつもりで見て、不快に感じた人が少なくなかったらしい。

The ABO blood groups seem to be a popular subject in South Korea, too, but nowhere else in the world do people lap it up as in Japan. Yet, the public's interest in blood donation is ebbing. About 5.6 million Japanese donate blood annually now, but this number is less than 70 percent of what it was 20 years ago.

 最近では韓国でも人気のようだが、日本ほど血液型が話題にのぼる国も珍しい。それなのに献血に寄せる関心は下がっている。いま年間の献血者は全国で560万人ほど。20年前の7割にも満たない。

Early spring is said to be the leanest season for blood donations, perhaps because this is the start of the fiscal and scholastic years and people are on the move. This year especially, people with pollen allergies seem to be staying away from blood donation centers. To make matters worse, new donation rules will come into effect next month in wake of the recent Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease scare.

The whole nation seems to be anemic this spring. According to the Japanese Red Cross Society, the public's attention never turned to blood donation even at the height of the ABO craze on the boob tube.

 四季を通じて最も献血者が少ないのは春先という。進学や異動で気ぜわしいからか。おまけに今年は花粉症で人々の足が遠のき、来月にはヤコブ病対策の献血制限も本格化する。この春、日本は全体に貧血気味である。日本赤十字社によると、血液型占いがテレビでどんなに盛り上がっても、献血意欲は少しも上向かないそうだ。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 24(IHT/Asahi: May 2,2005)

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