2005/08/23

Obsessing blindly over our `assigned duties'

 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

Obsessing blindly over our `assigned duties'

08/16/2005

Because I was born two years after the end of World War II, obviously I was not around to experience the day of Japan's defeat 60 years ago on Aug. 15, 1945.

I can say, however, that this date has always been at the back of my consciousness.

Whenever I came across something that was related to this date or the days that preceded it, I was invariably compelled to ponder its meaning.

2005年08月15日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 終戦の翌々年の生まれなので、その日のことは直接には知らない。しかし昭和20年、1945年の8月15日は、頭のどこかに住みついているような気がする。この日を、あるいはこの日に至る日々を伝えるものに接する度に、その意味を考えさせられてきた。

Various people have noted their thoughts and feelings about Aug. 15, 1945, in their diaries.

Each observation is striking in its own way, but the one I would like to dwell upon anew in this 60th anniversary year is a passage from "Haisen Nikki" (Journal on defeat in war) by novelist Jiro Osaragi, published by Soshisha.

 さまざまな人の日記に、その日の思いが記されている。それぞれにひかれるものはあるが、「戦後還暦」の年に改めてかみしめたいのは作家・大佛次郎の『敗戦日記』(草思社)の一節だ。

Referring to his loss of sleep over worrying whether Japanese soldiers would be able to bear the indignity of defeat, Osaragi notes in part that the soldiers "had been taught to remain blind to anything other than their assigned duties ... ."

But this was not the lot of soldiers alone. The great majority of Japanese citizens had also been conditioned to focus solely on their "assigned duties."

 「自分に与えられし任務のみに目がくらみいるように指導せられ来たりしことにて……」。軍人たちが敗戦という屈辱に耐えうるかどうかを思い惑って眠れないというくだりだが、ことは軍人に限らない。

When the war began, every soldier, politician, parent and child blindly sought to live up to their respective ideal images.

Missing the crucially important overall picture-namely, where the nation was really headed-the Japanese people withdrew into their rigidly defined roles.

 「与えられた任務のみに目がくらんだ」のは、国民のほとんどだった。戦争が始まり、ことここに至っては軍人は軍人の、政治家は政治家の、あるいは親は親の、子は子のあるべきだとされる姿に向かって突き進んでしまった。国そのものの向きがどうなっているのかという肝心なことは見ず、それぞれに与えられたと思う狭い世界に閉じこもった。

There is something painfully pathetic about the intensity of their resolve.

But it was also this collective frenzy that allowed the nation to run amok and sacrifice the lives of a tremendous number of its own people as well as those of neighboring nations.

And I am pained to be reminded, too, of how the media pursued a grossly misguided cause.

 国民の、ある種のひたむきさには胸がつまる思いもするが、歯止めの無い奔流は、自国民だけではなく周辺国などを含むおびただしい人の命を奪い去った。メディアもまた、本来の任務を踏み外していたと自戒する。

Aug. 15 should be a day for each one of us to not only remember and mourn the dead, but also to ask ourselves once again whether we are still obsessing blindly over what we imagine to be our assigned duties.

I pray that our present postwar era will never go down in history some day as another prewar era.

 今日は追悼というだけではなく、与えられた任務のみに目がくらんでいないかどうか、それぞれの場で問い返したい。この今を「戦前」などと呼ぶ日の来ることがないように。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 15(IHT/Asahi: August 16,2005)

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2005/05/04

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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