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2005年8月 9日 (火)

The Akashi stampede must not be forgotten

 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

The Akashi stampede must not be forgotten

08/09/2005

In "Yonen Jidai" (Early childhood), novelist Tatsuo Hori (1904-1953) recalls the crowd that turned out for a fireworks display when he was about 4 or 5 years old. Though only a toddler, Hori wrote that he vividly recalled wailing on his mother's back while being pushed and shoved in the sea of teeming humanity. Given his year of birth, this was probably Tokyo's Sumida River fireworks around the 40th year of Meiji (1908).

2005年08月07日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 作家の堀辰雄が4歳か5歳で見た花火の群衆の記憶を「幼年時代」に書いている。ものごころつく前だったのに、花火見物の人波に押されて母の背で泣きじゃくったことは鮮明に覚えていると。年譜によれば明治40年ごろ、東京・隅田川の花火を見たようだ。

Sumida River fireworks date back to the era of Tokugawa Yoshimune (1684-1751), the eighth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty. According to "Hanabi: Hi no Geijutsu" (Fireworks: Art of pyrotechnics), an Iwanami Shinsho pocketbook by Kyosuke Ogatsu, the common folk of old Edo showed up in such huge numbers for their beloved fireworks that accidents occurred from time to time. Around the middle of the ensuing Meiji Period (1868-1912), too, scores of people plunged to their deaths when the handrails of bridges collapsed.

 隅田川の花火は徳川吉宗の時代にさかのぼる。江戸庶民に人気のあまり雑踏事故が何度か起きた。明治の半ばにも橋の欄干が崩れて数十人が転落死した(小勝郷右『花火-火の芸術』岩波新書)。

This year, about 700 fireworks displays are being held around the nation. For the organizers, however, the undertakings are becoming a heavy burden because of difficulties with funding as well as crowd control.

The annual Inbanuma fireworks in Chiba Prefecture, for instance, used to draw 300,000 spectators. But this year, the event is not being held. Since the 2001 disaster in Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, the costs of security maintenance have bloated while donations from sponsors are drying out.

 今年も全国で大小700もの花火大会が開かれている。どこも資金不足に雑踏対策が重なって、かなりの難事業になりつつある。たとえば千葉県の印旛沼花火大会の場合、毎年30万人を集める行事だったが、今夏は中止された。4年前に兵庫県明石市で起きた事故の教訓で警備費が膨らみ、一方で協賛金が集まらない。

"The Akashi tragedy changed the nature of these annual events around the nation," said Yoshimitsu Saito of the Sakura Municipal Tourism Association, organizer of the Inbanuma fireworks. "Everywhere, organizers have been spending more on security and skillful crowd control." Saito said his association hired 299 security guards last year, whereas 50 would have sufficed in the past.

 主催の佐倉市観光協会の斉藤啓光さんは「明石の事故は各地の花火を変えた。どこも警備費を増やし、観客の誘導が綿密になった」と話す。以前なら50人で足りた警備員を昨年は299人雇った。

Accidents at such events are certainly not unique to Japan. In 18th century Britain, about 1,000 people fell into the River Thames while watching a fireworks display celebrating a royal wedding. And a decade ago in Cambodia, a stampede on the King Sihanouk's birthday resulted in fatalities.

 花火での雑踏事故は海外にもある。英国では18世紀、王族の結婚を祝う花火で群衆千人がテムズ川に転げ落ちた。カンボジアでは約10年前、国王誕生日の花火に市民が殺到して死者が出ている。

The Kobe District Court described the Akashi tragedy in its verdict as a "human avalanche of the kind one would see in a pictorial depiction of hell."

A well-meaning crowd could instantaneously transform itself into a violent "machine" that crushes people. That horror in Akashi must not be forgotten. But I would still like to enjoy spectacular, ephemeral beauty of fireworks against the night sky this summer.

 「地獄絵図さながらの群集雪崩」。明石の惨劇を、神戸地裁の判決はそう表現した。善意の群衆がたちまち他人を押しつぶす暴力装置に変わる。あの怖さを胸に刻みつつ、この夏もどこかで、夜空を彩る一瞬の美を楽しみたいと思う。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 7(IHT/Asahi: August 9,2005)

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