2005/08/23

Hurdles overcome, on the track and in space

 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

Hurdles overcome, on the track and in space

08/12/2005

Human imagination takes a humorous bent when it creates the rules of sports. This is clearly the case with hurdles. I mean, it's kind of funny that running on flat ground is deliberately made difficult by placing obstacles one after another.

2005年08月11日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 平らな地面に、わざわざ高い枠を置く。ひとつだけではなく、その先にもそのまた先にも置いておく。ハードルが立ち並んだ障害競走のコースには、人間がスポーツのルール作りで見せるユーモラスな一面が映っている。

According to "Haadoru" (Hurdles), a book by Ken Miyashita from Baseball Magazine Sha Co., this particular sport originated in Britain. The rise of the Enclosure Movement for pastoral land, which peaked in the 18th and 19th centuries, gave birth to an equestrian race using the enclosures. The first hurdle race as we know it today took place in the mid-19th century as an Oxford-Cambridge collegiate competition event. Sheep enclosures were used as hurdles.

 英国に源流があるという。牧羊業などで土地の「囲い込み」が起きた後、できた垣根を使った馬による競走の時代があった。現在のような競走の元は、19世紀半ばのオックスフォード対ケンブリッジの大学対抗戦のレースだった。羊の囲いが使われた(宮下憲『ハードル』ベースボール・マガジン社)。

In the wee hours of Wednesday, I awoke from a restless sleep and switched on the TV. The 2005 World Track and Field Championships were on, and Japan's Dai Tamesue was just about to run in the final of the men's 400-meter hurdles. It was raining in Helsinki. While I thought that the weather itself was a hurdle of sorts, the starting gun boomed.

 昨日の未明、寝苦しさで起きてテレビをつけると、陸上の世界選手権を中継していた。為末大選手が出る400メートル障害の決勝が始まるところだった。ヘルシンキはどしゃぶりだ。これも一つの障害かと思った時、号砲が響いた。

Athletes' legs are beautiful as they leap over each hurdle. One leg is fully stretched while the other is lifted swiftly. The upper body is bent forward, and the eyes are trained on the track ahead. I was reminded of a lithe animal hunting down its prey.

 選手がハードルを越える瞬間の形が美しい。足を思い切り伸ばし、一方の足を素早く持ちあげる。前傾した上体と道筋を読む目が、獲物を追うしなやかな動物のようだ。

When Tamesue was nearing the finish line, his lips parted slightly as if in a smile. The race became a dead heat just before the end, and Tamesue collapsed across the finishing line to win a bronze medal. For him, this was a triumph that came in the wake of a long slump and other personal misfortunes that included the death of his father. His face was wet with tears, sweat and rain.

 最終コーナーを回る頃、為末選手の口がかすかに開き、ほほえんだように見えた。最後はもつれたが倒れ込んで銅メダルを手にした。不振、不運、父の死を経て「勝利」をつかんだ。雨と汗と涙の入り交じるゴールインだった。

Meanwhile, the space shuttle Discovery landed safely Tuesday in the United States. Astronaut Soichi Noguchi's beaming face mirrored his satisfaction with the completion of a tough mission.

Noguchi's performance was in space and Tamesue's was on the ground. But having cleared their respective hurdles, both men gave encouragement to those who watched.

 宇宙からは、野口聡一さんたちのスペースシャトルが、無事ホームインした。難しい任務をしっかり果たしたという満足の笑みもいい。天と地と、ふたりの道は違っても、ハードルを乗り越えた姿には、周りをも力づける輝きが宿っている。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 11(IHT/Asahi: August 12,2005)

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2005/07/10

Baseball mega-hero comes back to ballpark

 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

Baseball mega-hero comes back to ballpark

07/05/2005

Thunderous applause erupted from a crowd of more than 40,000 at the Tokyo Dome as Shigeo Nagashima, 69, raised his left hand. The former Yomiuri Giants slugger, affectionately called "Mister," flashed his characteristic big smile at fans Sunday. It was his first public appearance since he suffered a stroke in spring 2004.

2005年07月04日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ミスターは左手を上げた。4万人を超す観衆から拍手がわき起こる。「おかえりなさーい」。きのう長嶋茂雄さん(69)が東京ドームに姿を見せた。昨春に病で倒れて以来のことだ。あの屈託のない笑顔が帰ってきた。

Giants haters are legion, but I have yet to come across anyone who doesn't like Nagashima. His achievements are the stuff of sports legend, and, coupled with his funny manner of speech, are endlessly talked about. Who can forget his dramatic sayonara home run while Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, was watching the game? Or, that unforgettable tautology he shouted during his retirement ceremony? "The Giants are forever immortal." His No. 3 jersey is ingrained in the memories of many fans, just as his moments of glory resonate with certain episodes in their own lives.

 アンチ巨人は多いが、長嶋嫌いはまずいない。天覧試合でのサヨナラ本塁打や、引退式での「巨人軍は永久に不滅」なんて変な日本語は、もはや伝説のように語り継がれている。背番号3の名場面を、みずからの人生の一コマと重ねて記憶に刻む人も多い。

Japan was experiencing its postwar economic miracle when Nagashima was in his prime. Most Japanese were genuinely taken by any strong, cool "hero."

Children's top three favorite things were said to be "The Giants, sumo grand champion Taiho and tamagoyaki (sweet egg loaf)." Those were relatively simple, innocent days.

 現役選手で活躍したのは、ちょうど高度経済成長期だ。大多数の人々が強くてかっこいいヒーローに心から熱狂した。子どもが好きなものといえば「巨人・大鵬・卵焼き」。そんな、どこか単純な時代だった。

Yu Aku, a writer of pop lyrics, once wrote in The Asahi Shimbun that those three favorites were originally "Nagashima, Taiho and egg loaf." According to Aku, Nagashima was replaced with the team name in 1963, when fans began referring to him and his equally awesome teammate, Sadaharu Oh, as the "ON Guns."

 でも、あれは最初は「長嶋・大鵬・卵焼き」だった、と作詞家の阿久悠さんが本紙に書いていた。王貞治選手とともに「ON砲」と言われ始めた1963年に「巨人」に変わったという。

What would be today's equivalents of "Nagashima, Taiho and egg loaf?"

There are more sports and forms of entertainment now, and people's tastes have diversified. There isn't any one team or individual monopolizing victory and the public's adoration. If I must think of some icons, perhaps Hideki Matsui of the New York Yankees and pro golfer Ai Miyazato fit the bill. So, shall I say today's three favorites could be "Matsui, Ai-chan and ice cream?"

 現在の「長嶋・大鵬・卵焼き」は何だろうか。スポーツや娯楽の種類が増えて、好みも多様化した。勝利と人気を独り占めにする存在も見あたらない。あえて言えば、ヤンキースの松井秀喜、ゴルフの宮里藍選手らを並べて「松井、藍ちゃん、アイスクリーム」だろうか。

But Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and the national soccer team led by Zico have many devoted fans, too. And youngsters love kaiten-zushi (conveyor-belt sushi) and fried chicken as much as they love ice cream.

The more I wracked my brains, the more I was reminded of Nagashima's greatness. I suddenly recalled the words I used to say to myself on the batter's box in sandlot baseball: "No. 4 (in the batting order), third baseman, Nagashima."

 でも、イチロー選手やサッカーのジーコ・ジャパンへの声援も熱い。子どもは回転ずしやから揚げも大好きだ。悩むほどに、いわゆる一つの長嶋さんの大きさを思った。すると草野球の打席でよく口にした言葉がよみがえった。「よばん、さあど、ながしま」

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

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2005/06/07

Sumo champ charged head-on to greatness

 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

Sumo champ charged head-on to greatness

06/02/2005

Theatergoers of the Edo Era (1603-1867) used hanjo, small-sized tatami or rush mats, to sit on. The phrase ``hanjo o utsu'' referred to the audience throwing the mats to express dissatisfaction with the actors.

2005年06月01日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 半畳とは、元は江戸時代の劇場で見物人が敷く小さな畳やゴザだった。「半畳を打つ」は、半畳を投げて役者への不満や反感を表すことだ。

But it was by no means out of dissatisfaction that zabuton floor cushions were thrown when Takanohana won a grand sumo tournament title for the first time in the spring of 1975. Takanohana clinched the title by defeating Kitanoumi, now president of the Japan Sumo Association.

``Fans were throwing so many cushions that the ceiling of the sumo arena was almost invisible,'' Kitanoumi recalls. ``It struck me that for many fans of Takanohana, it was a moment of victory they had been waiting to see for a long time.''

 しかし、その時に舞った座布団は不満からではなかった。「場内のお客さんが、天井が見えないぐらいに座布団を投げあげていた。多くの貴ノ花ファンにとって待ちに待った優勝だったのだなと思った」。貴ノ花が初優勝を決めた一戦で、敵役となって敗れた北の湖(日本相撲協会理事長)が回想する。75年春場所だった。

Takanohana's autobiography, titled ``Atatte Kudakero'' (Charge whatever the consequences), came out just after he took the title. In the book, published by Kodansha, he wrote, ``From my childhood, I hated to be called Wakanohana's young brother.'' Nevertheless, when he finished junior high school, the 15-year-old asked Wakanohana, already retired as a yokozuna grand champion, to admit him into his sumo stable.

Wakanohana turned him down at first, then changed his mind when their mother intervened.

 この直後に出た『貴ノ花自伝 あたって砕けろ』(講談社)には、こうある。「物心ついたころから『若乃花の弟』といわれるのがいやでした」。しかし15歳の春、親方になっていた元横綱若乃花に弟子入りを願い出る。兄は断ったが母が助け舟を出した。

The big brother sternly told the teen: ``I will sever my brotherly ties with you as of today. From tomorrow on, I will be your stable master. I will treat you as just another new trainee.''

Takanohana worked with single-minded devotion and was rewarded with an unimpeded rise in rank.

 兄は厳しく言い渡す。「きょう限りで、お前と兄弟の縁を切る。あすからは親方と、ただの新弟子でしかない」。弟はひたむきな精進で一直線に番付を上っていった。

But once, he incurred the wrath of his stable master when he got drunk after winning a tournament title in the ``juryo'' second-level division of sumo.

Wakanohana's autobiography is titled ``Dohyo ni Ikite: Wakanohana Ichidai'' (A man of the sumo ring-My life as Wakanohana), and published by the Publishing Bureau of The Tokyo Shimbun.

The book tells what happened after Takanohana skipped a morning workout due to the hangover. ``The conceited little fellow'' were the first words the master uttered when his brother finally showed up.

``I hit my brother repeatedly with a green bamboo stick. The stick splintered, and the floor was spattered with blood.''

 しかし十両優勝後のある朝、二日酔いで稽古(けいこ)をさぼる。「『この野郎、いい気になって……』。私は持っていた青竹でメッタ打ちにした。青竹はバラバラになり、あたりに血が飛び散った」(『土俵に生きて 若乃花一代』東京新聞出版局)。

Wakanohana was called dohyo no oni (a demon of the ring). Sumo thrived on his rivalry with Tochinishiki, another great yokozuna. His younger brother was one of the most important wrestlers after the era of yokozuna Kashiwado and Taiho.

Takanohana was a small and slender wrestler. Yet, he grappled with his opponents head-on. He should also be credited with grooming his two sons-Wakanohana and Takanohana-into yokozuna. Sad to say, the legendary ozeki (champion, one below the highest rank of yokozuna) who took on the name of Futagoyama as stable master, died at the age of 55 on Monday. He will long be remembered as a man who made great contributions to the postwar sumo world.

 「土俵の鬼」と言われた兄は「栃若」時代を築く。弟は「柏鵬」時代以降、小さな体で真っ向勝負を貫いた。そして子を「若貴」の両横綱に育てあげた。戦後の角界に長く大きな貢献をした「伝説の大関」貴ノ花・二子山親方が、惜しくも55歳の若さで逝った。

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 1(IHT/Asahi: June 2,2005)

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2005/04/08

Here's hoping the new Eagles are here to stay

 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

Here's hoping the new Eagles are here to stay

04/08/2005

I recently watched a Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles game at the new team's home stadium in Sendai. Rooting with horns and other noisy musical instruments is banned at the renovated ballpark. It was refreshing to be able to hear from the stands the sound of a bat connecting with a ball.

2005年04月03日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 新球団・楽天イーグルスの試合をきのう、本拠地の仙台で見た。新装の球場ではトランペットなど鳴り物を使った応援は禁止である。そのぶんバットの音が客席まで心地よく響いた。

In this game, the Eagles defeated the Seibu Lions, the 2004 Japan Series champion. The way it played out was almost a mirror image of the ups and downs in the world of business: I'm referring to the entrepreneur, who quit a bank to start an Internet business and defeated a railway king who clung to his family tradition. The face-off between the new and old enthralled the fans.

 王者西武を相手に楽天が快勝した。産業界の浮き沈みを思わせるような試合展開だった。銀行を辞めてネット事業にこぎ出した起業家が、先代の遺訓にしがみつく鉄道王を倒す。新と旧の対決に場内がわいた。

When professional baseball made its debut in Japan in the early years of the Showa Era (1926-1989), most teams were sponsored by newspaper or railway companies. After World War II, the movie and automobile industries joined the ranks of baseball club owners, followed by confectionery, soft drink, financial and commercial broadcasting businesses. The real estate and supermarket segments were represented at one time, too.

 職業野球が生まれた昭和の初め、大半の球団が新聞社か鉄道会社を母体にしていた。戦後は映画や自動車などの業種が乗り出す。菓子や飲料に続き、金融や民放も参入した。その間に不動産やスーパーなどが退場した。

In the United States, the Major League baseball season is also now under way.

Team ownership turnover is quite brisk in America. In the past, bankers, brewery tycoons and other well-heeled people purchased teams, but they were eventually taken over by big-name enterprises such as the Walt Disney Co. Baseball teams have come to be regarded as investment opportunities by ambitious speculators. Even long-time fans have trouble nowadays keeping track of who owns their favorite team.

 米国時間の3日には、大リーグも開幕する。あちらの球団は、オーナーがめまぐるしく代わる。かつては、銀行家やビール王など野球好きの富豪が球団を買った。それが次々、ディズニーなど有名企業の手に渡った。近年は、球団を債権のように扱う投資家たちが買収戦に忙しい。ひいきチームの所有者がだれか、長年のファンでも混乱する。

In South Korea, too, the professional baseball season has started. There was a lot of commotion last year over a military draft-dodging scam involving some players.

Pro baseball is also extremely popular in Latin America and Taiwan. Team names such as the Giants, the Tigers, the Eagles are common around the world. They are probably named after those in America, the home of baseball.

 お隣の韓国でもきのう、プロ野球が幕を開けた。昨年は兵役逃れの不正で大揺れだった。中南米や台湾などでもプロ野球は盛んだが、ジャイアンツやタイガース、イーグルスといった球団名は世界各地にある。名前を決める際、本場の米国流にならうところが多いのだろう。

I understand this is the first time in 28 years that a baseball franchise has come to Sendai. While businesses rise and fall as a matter of course, I hope the new team will take firm root in Sendai, unaffected by the national economy and the stock market.

 プロ球団が仙台を拠点にするのは28年ぶりだという。産業の栄枯盛衰は世のならいだが、景気や株価に左右されず、この地にしっかりと根をおろしてくれたらと願う。

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 3(IHT/Asahi: April 8,2005)

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2005/03/19

Japan and U.S. have distant views of Iwojima

 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

Japan and U.S. have distant views of Iwojima

03/18/2005

Baron Nishi is probably a familiar name to people who know the history of Japan in the days leading up to World War II. Born an aristocrat, his first name was Takeichi. He won a gold medal in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, and served in the Imperial Japanese Army during the war. After a tour in Manchuria, he was shipped to Iwojima island, where he was killed in action.

2005年03月17日(木曜日)付
■《天声人語》

 バロン西といえば、戦前を知る世代には懐かしい名前かもしれない。本名を西竹一(たけいち)という。男爵(バロン)の家に生まれ、昭和の初め、ロサンゼルス五輪で馬術の金メダルに輝く。軍人として、満州から転じた硫黄島で戦死した。

It is said that U.S. soldiers on Iwojima tried in vain to get Nishi to surrender, calling out to him by name: ``Olympic hero Baron Nishi, please turn yourself in. You are too great a man to die.'' But Nishi refused.

Some think this story was made up after the war. According to official records, Nishi died on March 17 exactly 60 years ago.

 「五輪の英雄バロン西、出てきなさい。君を失うのは惜しい」。米軍が名指しで投降を呼びかけたが、西氏は抗戦を貫いた。そんな逸話が残る。後の創作とみる説もある。戦死公報によると、西氏が亡くなったのは60年前のきょう3月17日だった。

Mitsuhiko Niwa, 17, Nishi's great-grandson, visited Iwojima for the first time last weekend. Wearing a funereal black necktie and carrying two cameras, he walked around the island with about 110 people whose family members had also died there.

As many as 27,000 Japanese and American soldiers perished on the island, but Mitsuhiko found it surprisingly small. He had read many books about his great-grandfather, but it was only after ``stepping into dark, deep trenches and walking on blood-soaked beaches'' that he was truly able to feel his great-grandfather's ``physical presence'' for the first time.

 ひ孫にあたる丹羽満彦君(17)は先週末、初めて硫黄島に渡った。黒いネクタイにカメラを2台携え、遺族ら約110人と島を巡った。日米で2万7千人もの将兵が散った島は、歩いてみると驚くほど小さかった。曽祖父(そうそふ)を描いた本は何冊も読んだが、「暗く深い塹壕(ざんごう)や血のしみこんだ浜を歩いて初めて生身の姿 を実感できた」と話す。

Mitsuhiko climbed Mount Suribachi, where young Japanese and American soldiers literally fought to the death six decades ago. A photograph of the Stars and Stripes fluttering atop the mountain is still well-known in the United States partly because the photo is effective for raising morale. Whenever a catastrophe comparable in magnitude to 9/11 occurs, the photo is invariably used on fliers soliciting donations or announcing meetings of bereaved families.

 満彦君が登った摺鉢(すりばち)山では60年前、日米の若者が死闘を展開した。山頂にはためく星条旗をとらえた写真は米国では今も名高い。士気を高める効果があるのだろう。同時多発テロ級の大難があると、遺族の集会や篤志を募るビラにあの写真がきまって登場する。

Yasunori Nishi, 77, Baron Nishi's eldest son and Mitsuhiko's grandfather, noted: ``Japanese and Americans feel entirely differently about Iwojima. For us Japanese, it is an island for mourning the dead. For the Americans, it is an island for glorifying their victory.''

 「硫黄島に寄せる日米の思いは対照的です」と言うのは西氏の長男、西泰徳さん(77)。満彦君の祖父である。「私たちには死を悼む島でも、米国民には勝ち得た栄光を祝う島のようです」

Mitsuhiko will enroll in an American university this autumn. He hopes to start horseback riding there-a sport his great-grandfather would have enjoyed into old age, had he lived in peacetime.

 満彦君はこの秋、米国の大学に進む。平和な時代であれば曽祖父が晩年まで楽しんだはずの馬術を、自分も米国で始めたいと考えている。

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

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