2005/08/09

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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2005/08/02

Long, useless meetings still a scourge at work

 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< /a>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

Long, useless meetings still a scourge at work

08/02/2005

A little over 400 years ago in midsummer, the army of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) was advancing on Odawara Castle, whose lord was Hojo Ujinao (1562-1591). Ujinao held a council of war with his senior aides, debating whether to make peace or war with Hideyoshi, or hold the castle and engage in combat.

Probably because of Ujinao's indecisiveness, the council dragged on and went nowhere. The castle came under siege, and Ujinao surrendered to Hideyoshi about three months later.

2005年08月01日(月曜日)付
【天声人語】

 秀吉の軍勢が小田原城に迫る。当主の北条氏直は重臣を城に集め、対策を練る。講和か合戦か、籠城(ろうじょう)か出撃か。氏直が優柔不断なのだろう、いずれとも結論が出ないまま時が流れる。3カ月余り攻囲された末、あえなく秀吉軍に屈した。今から400余年前、夏の盛りのことだ。

From this episode in history comes the expression "Odawara hyojyo," an idiom for a useless meeting or a conference that drags on seemingly forever. The futility of Ujinao's council of war at Odawara Castle was often exaggerated in pithy senryu poems during the Edo Period (1603-1867). Meetings that are nothing but a waste of time die hard.

 この史話から生まれた言葉が、おなじみ小田原評定である。城内の軍議のだらだらぶりが江戸期に川柳などで誇張され、一向にまとまらないダメな会議の代名詞となった。

Even today, bookstore shelves are crammed with how-to books on improving the efficiency of corporate meetings. Titles include: "Sugoi Kaigi" (Awesome conference), "Kaigi Kakumei" (Conference revolution) and "Nobiru Kaisha wa Kaigi ga Umai!" (Successful companies conduct meetings smartly!).

But the matter is obviously not cut-and-dried, as there are also new books that extol the virtues of traditional, long-winded meetings. I saw one book titled, "Kaigi wa Mometa Hoga Ii" (The more disagreements in a meeting, the better).

 ダメ会議は決して滅びない。いまでも書店には、会議の効率化を説く本が山と積まれている。『すごい会議』『会議革命』『伸びる会社は会議がうまい!』。逆に『会議はモメたほうがいい』と旧来型の良さを挙げる新刊もあるからややこしい。

A U.S. insurance company executive once told me, "When I took up my post in Tokyo, I was astounded to realize that all meetings were scheduled by hourly slots." The executive recalled a meeting that went smoothly and could have been wrapped up 14 minutes ahead of schedule: "The meeting's moderator insisted that we spend the remaining 14 minutes chitchatting. I just couldn't believe it."

In the case of the U.S. firm Intel Corp., half-hour slots are the norm for meetings. The company even has conference rooms with lights that shut off automatically after one hour.

 「東京に赴任したら、社内の会議がどれも1時間刻みで設定されていることに驚いた」。米国の保険大手幹部にそう言われたことがある。せっかく早めに案件が片づいたのに「あと14分あるのでしばし御懇談を」と司会が促す。まるで理解できなかったという。たとえば米社インテルの場合、会議は原則30分刻みで、1時間たつと照明が自動的に消える会議室もある。

In retrospect, there was a time when the traditional Japanese-style meeting was touted as an opportunity for management and rank-and-file workers to share their grievances.

Executives visited from overseas to observe at firsthand how the system worked. But that was during Japan's asset-inflated economy of 1980s, and I feel as if we saw things like a vision.

 ふり返れば、日本流の会議がもてはやされた時期もあった。「経営陣と現場の社員が悩みを共有できる会議」と喧伝(けんでん)され、海外から視察が来た。バブルの時代の話だが、今となっては幻のようだ。

Now that it's August and midsummer, meetings that drag on are not welcome. It might help if the conference room air-conditioning units were set to shut off after an hour.

 今日から8月、真夏の会議は手際よく進めたい。1時間たつと冷房が切れてしまう会議室でもあれば、議事も多少はひきしまるだろうか。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 1(IHT/Asahi: August 2,2005)

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Politicos resort to sealing vote vows in blood

 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< /a>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

Politicos resort to sealing vote vows in blood

08/01/2005

Takasugi Shinsaku (1839-1867), an imperialist who was instrumental in bringing about the Meiji Restoration, apparently liked the idea of sealing vows in blood, and he demanded the same of his comrades.

When he founded Mitate-gumi, an Edo-based imperialist society dedicated to "purging foreign barbarians," he persuaded more than 20 like-minded men to pledge their loyalty in blood.

But Takasugi's idea to assassinate the shogun in Kyoto was shot down by all but one man. As charismatic as Takasugi was, he obviously did not draw support when his plotting and conniving became unrealistic.

2005年07月24日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 幕末の志士、高杉晋作は何かと仲間に血判を求めた。「夷狄(いてき)を討つ」と江戸で御楯(みたて)組を結成した時には二十数人が血盟に応じた。なのに京都で将軍暗殺の同志を募ると1人しか応じない。高杉の呼びかけでも、企てがむちゃならそっぽを向かれたようだ。

Now, Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers opposed to postal privatization are rumored to have put their bloody fingerprints on a document to pledge their allegiance to the cause. If this is true, their anachronistic thinking would be ludicrous at best.

 郵政法案をめぐる血判の動きが報じられている。民営化に反対の自民党議員たちが結束を固めるため、誓紙に名を連ね、血の判を押したと。本当なら、何とも時代がかった話ではないか。

Hisaoki Kamei of the Lower House, who apparently proposed this idea, explained: "It is true that I provided the paper and asked lawmakers who were against the privatization bills to sign it. But I did not ask them to seal it with blood."

About 20 lawmakers complied, and all voted against the postal privatization bills as promised, according to Kamei. The sheet of paper Kamei provided was called a go-o hoin, obtained from the Kumano Shrine.

 発案したと伝えられる亀井久興衆院議員に尋ねた。「たしかに私が誓紙を用意した。同じ意見の衆院議員に署名を頼んだが、血判はお願いしてませんよ」。応じたのは約20人で、採決では全員が誓い通り反対票を投じた。牛王(ごおう)宝印と呼ばれる熊野神社発行の誓紙を使ったそうだ。

The shrine teaches that anyone who breaks a promise written on this special paper will cough up blood and die. The "Azumakagami" (Mirror of Eastern Japan), a chronicle of the Kamakura bakufu (the feudal government from 1192-1333), states that Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune, a 12th-century warrior, pledged his loyalty to his older brother, Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, on go-o hoin paper. The same paper was also used when the Ako Roshi (the masterless samurai of Ako) vowed to seek revenge for their master's death.

I always thought belief in divine retribution for breaking an oath existed only in the pages of kodan (Japanese traditional historical tales), but apparently such ideas are current among today's political elite.

 熊野信仰では、牛王宝印の誓いを破ると血を吐いて死ぬと伝えられる。『吾妻鏡』には、義経が頼朝に忠心を訴えた手紙は牛王宝印に書かれたとある。赤穂浪士が復仇(ふっきゅう)の誓いに使ったのもやはり牛王宝印だった。神罰覚悟の連判状など講談の世界だけかと思っていたが、政界では今でも立派に通用するらしい。

According to Ryosuke Ishii's book "Han" (Seal, published by Gakuseisha), the practice of signing pledges dates back to the Heian Period (794-1185). But when betrayals became common in the ensuing eras of civil war, signatures alone could no longer be trusted, and oaths came to be sealed with blood. Ishii notes that the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1867) often required local feudal lords to pledge their loyalty with blood seals.

 誓文に署名する習わしは平安時代にさかのぼる。戦国の世に裏切りが相次ぎ、署名だけでは安心できなくなった。それで血判が重みを増す。徳川幕府も忠誠の血判をしばしば諸大名に出させている(石井良助『はん』学生社)。

I hear this blood-seal business is being considered among Upper House LDP members, too. With politicos plotting to sway allegiances and votes, discussions on the postal reform vote are noisier than cicadas in high summer.

 参院自民党でも、血判や連判の動きがあると聞く。切り崩しや寝返りをにらみつつ、票を読む声がセミのごとくかまびすしいこの夏である。

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 24(IHT/Asahi: August 1,2005)

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Mystery bird's hollow eyes invite stares

 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< /a>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

Mystery bird's hollow eyes invite stares

07/30/2005

Looking at a picture of a bird haniwa (ancient clay figurine) excavated from the Iwase-Senzuka Kofun burial mound in the city of Wakayama, I was first drawn to the bird's hollow eyes, which looked like two black holes to me.

A short beak protruded from between the eyes, and a wing stretched from the right shoulder. The image was strangely soothing.

2005年07月23日(土曜日)付
【天声人語】

 まず、ぽっかりと開いた目にひきつけられる。黒い穴のような目の先に短いくちばしがあり、右の肩から翼が伸びている。和歌山市の「岩橋(いわせ)千塚古墳群」で出土した鳥形埴輪(はにわ)の写真を見て、一時心がなごんだ。

Makoto Sahara, a former director-general of the National Museum of Japanese History, claims in "Nihon no Bijutsu" (Japanese art), a book published by Shibundo, that people are attracted to haniwa faces because of those hollow eyes.

"When looking at a haniwa face, people's eyes soften," he says. "As hollow eyes are without pupils, they cannot stare back at the beholder."

 埴輪の顔が私たちをひきつけるのは「切りとった目ゆえである」と国立歴史民俗博物館の館長だった佐原真さんが書いていた。「埴輪の顔に対するとき、人はおだやかな眼差となる。切りとった目は、目の輪郭にすぎず、黒目がない。埴輪は相対する者を凝視できない」(『日本の美術』至文堂)。

Sahara is referring only to human-shaped haniwa figurines, but I think the same also applies to haniwa that depict animals.

"One can stare at a haniwa without being stared back at," he observes, and concludes this is why people can remain at ease when they face these artifacts.

 人物埴輪についての記述だが、動物の埴輪にも通じるところがあるように思う。「埴輪に対する人は、見つめられることなしに、見つめることができる」。それだから、やすらいだ気持ちで埴輪に向かうことができると佐原さんは記す。

An exhibition titled "2005 Exhibition of New Archaeological Discoveries" is currently being held at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.

Among the exhibits from around the nation are some haniwa figurines, including those of three waterfowl unearthed from Suyama Kofun in Nara Prefecture.

These birds, which resemble swans, do not have hollow eyes. The eyes look as if they are trained on something far away.

 東京・両国の江戸東京博物館で開催中の「発掘された日本列島2005」には、全国各地からの様々な出土品と共に埴輪も幾つか展示されている。中に奈良県巣山古墳で出土した3羽の水鳥形埴輪がある。白鳥を思わせるこの埴輪の目は、くりぬかれてはいない。しかし、これはこれで、じっと遠くを見ているような風情がある。

Some haniwa experts claim that bird haniwa figurines were believed to transport the souls of the deceased to the world beyond. But the Iwase-Senzuka Kofun is said to be the first and only place that has so far yielded a bird haniwa with its wings spread.

Katsuhisa Takahashi, the chief researcher at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Nara, said, "This haniwa may have been modeled on some migratory bird that could fly with ease."

 鳥形の埴輪には、死者の魂を来世に運ぶといった解釈もあるそうだ。翼を広げたものが出土したのは、今回の和歌山が初めてという。奈良文化財研究所の高橋克寿・主任研究官は「渡り鳥のように飛ぶことが得意な鳥をモデルにしたと考えられる」という。

The mystery bird from ancient times made my imagination take wing and soar.

 古代からよみがえった謎の鳥は、想像の翼を広げてくれる。

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 23(IHT/Asahi: July 30,2005)

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2005/07/28

Author believed Edo ways best suited Japan

 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< /a>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

Author believed Edo ways best suited Japan

07/28/2005

By her own account, author Hinako Sugiura, who died last Friday at the age of 46, loved things associated with life during the Edo Period (1603-1867).

She loved kumade (bamboo rakes), yuya (bathhouses), mimikaki (ear picks), shakushi (ladles), kotatsu (foot warmers), kaya (mosquito nets), ohaguro (dyed-black teeth), ohitsu (rice tubs), zukin (hoods), and sugoroku (a Japanese variety of the Parcheesi dice game).

The list is taken from a series of essays Sugiura wrote for a local edition of The Asahi Shimbun under the title of "Inkyo no Hinatabokko" (Basking in the sun after retirement).

It gave readers some ideas about Sugiura's peculiar world-a leisurely, yet sad and potentially dangerous cosmos.

Besides being a manga cartoonist and essayist, she was known for her studies on Edo Period manners and customs.

2005年07月27日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 くまで ゆや みみかき しゃくし こたつ かや おはぐろ おひつ ずきん すごろく。

 46歳という若さで亡くなった杉浦日向子さんが、本紙の地域版に連載した随筆「隠居の日向ぼっこ」の題の一部だ。のどかで、かなしくもあり、こわさをも秘めた独特の世界の入り口が見える。日ごろ江戸の町家に住み、時に現代に通ってくる女性の浮世絵師といった風情があった。

Referring to the Edo Period in "Oedo Kanko" (Doing the sights in Edo), a book published by Chikuma Shobo, Sugiura wrote:

"I have no intention of singing the unabashed praises of the modern feudal system (that marked the Edo Period). But it was clearly different from the feudal system that existed in the Japanese medieval period or the European feudal system. I think the modern feudal system in the Edo Period was more open and more orderly. The nation's social structure was better attuned to it.

 『大江戸観光』(筑摩書房)で江戸時代をこう述べた。「近世封建制を手放しで礼賛する気はありませんが、かといって、中世封建制やヨーロッパのそれとは明らかに違う、もっとひらけた、秩序的にも社会構造的にも明快なものと思います」

"I cannot help thinking," she went on to say, "that the lifestyles created during the Edo Period were just the styles that fitted Japan's climate and the characteristics of its people."

Touching on the fact that Japan incessantly waged war after the Meiji Restoration of 1868, she wrote, "The only reason I can think of is that we were overreaching ourselves."

Her belief that overexertion was a universal vice apparently led to her surprise decision to retire as a cartoonist while she was still in her 30s.

 「風土・民族に適合した生活様式であった筈(はず)」で、明治以降の、絶え間なく戦争をしてきた近代日本は、「やっぱり無理をしているとしか思えません」。無理をしない心の構え方が、漫画家からの30代での「隠居宣言」にもつながったのだろうか。

In 1988, Sugiura was awarded the Bungei Shunju Cartoon Prize for "Furyu Edo Suzume" (Folks of refined taste in Edo), a series of comic strips dealing with poor but proud men.

She wrote a senryu humorous poem for each segment, and these poems made a sublime combination with the pictures.

I remember two poems, one of which went: "Having nobody to think about/ The person puts up a mosquito net." The other poem read: "Hailed as a hero/ The man can do nothing/ When his wounds smart under falling snow."

As for the pictures, I was captivated by her depictions of life in Edo tenement houses and river snowfall scenes.

 88年に文芸春秋漫画賞を受けた「風流江戸雀」では、一話の首尾に配した川柳と絵との絡みが絶妙だった。「物思う相手がなさに蚊帳を釣り」「男じゃといはれた疵(きず)が雪を知り」。長屋暮らしや、雪もよいの川端の一景に引き込まれた。

Like a native of Edo, her favorite food was buckwheat noodles. More precisely, she liked to visit buckwheat noodle shops. In "Motto Sobaya de Ikou" (More relaxation at buckwheat noodle shops), a Shincho Bunko book, she recommended such shops as a place for people to visit for temporary relaxation.

"If you have something to do today, you can do it tomorrow," Sugiura wrote. "You will have to live until you die." Then a punch line: "Where are you going in such a hurry?"

 江戸っ子らしくソバ好き、というより「ソバ屋好き」だった。『もっとソバ屋で憩う』(新潮文庫)では、ソバ屋でのいっときの安らぎを勧めている。「今日できることは、明日でもできる。どうせ死ぬまで生きる身だ」。その先の一行が、目にしみる。「ソンナニイソイデドコヘユク」

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

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2005/07/24

Lessons from a movie on Turkish immigrants

 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

Lessons from a movie on Turkish immigrants

07/22/2005

Ibrahim, an elderly Turkish immigrant who owns a small grocery store in a working-class district of Paris, is the protagonist of "Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs du Coran" (Mr. Ibrahim and the flowers of the Koran), a 2003 film by Francois Dupeyron. The story revolves around Ibrahim's friendship with a lonely young boy.

2005年07月21日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 イブラヒムおじさんは、パリの下町で小さな食料品店を営んでいる。フランソワ・デュペイロン監督の映画「イブラヒムおじさんとコーランの花たち」(03年)は、このトルコ移民の老人と孤独な少年の心の物語だ。

Egyptian-born actor Omar Sharif, now in his 70s, plays Ibrahim, a devout Muslim living quietly in his adopted country. In addition to his natural and dignified screen presence, the veteran actor gives a superb portrayal of an elderly immigrant who has craftily assimilated into this foreign environment, adopting the necessary facade to survive.

 異国でひっそり暮らす信心深いイスラム教徒を、70代に入った名優オマー・シャリフが演じた。落ち着いたたたずまいは持ち前だが、その姿は、異国にとけ込もうとする移民の知恵や、必要に迫られて身につける「擬態」を表しているようだった。

France is certainly not the only country where society places great pressure on immigrants to blend in and not stand out. For first-generation immigrants, it is probably their lingering sense of connection to their home countries that sustains them as they strive to become acclimatized in their new lands.

 移民が周りから際だたない暮らしを強いられるのはフランスに限らない。周りにとけ込む姿勢をとりつつも、移民一世の場合は母国への思いが心の支えになっているのだろう。

Most of the suspects in the July 7 London bombings were of Pakistani origin, but were born and raised in Britain by parents who had emigrated from what used to be British-ruled India. In recent years, however, an issue that is being re-examined is, "Do second- and third-generation Britons from immigrant families really feel as though they belong in their adopted country?"

 ロンドンの同時爆弾テロ事件の容疑者の多くはパキスタン系だった。親たちが、かつて植民地支配していた英国に来た後に生まれた。そして近年、こうした移民二世や三世の帰属意識が改めて注目されている。

According to a recent survey of Muslims in Britain by the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, only about 40 percent of the respondents said they felt they were "members of British society." But 80 percent said they have been discriminated against. Does this mean there are many young men who feel completely alienated in a land that they don't identify with?

 ロンドンのイスラム人権委員会のアンケートで「英国社会の一員だ」と答えたイスラム教徒は約4割にとどまった。一方で「差別を受けた」と答えた人は8割もいた。母なる国も、安らげる居場所も無いという悲痛な思いで日々を過ごす青年も多いのか。

In the film, old Ibrahim adopts the orphaned boy and takes him on a trip to Turkey, where they find peace of mind as well as sorrow. The old man passes away in his native land, while the boy overcomes this loss of his adoptive father and learns to live again. This is a story told with gentle, understated charm about what is apparently a universal human quest for the ultimate mutual bond of acceptance that transcends nationality, race and even a parent-child relationship.

 イブラヒムおじさんは、親を失った少年を養子にして、ふたりでトルコへ旅する。そこには安らぎと悲しみとが待っていた。母国で土に帰る老人と、別離を越えて生きてゆく少年と。国籍や民族、そして親と子すらも超えた、ひとりとひとりの人間のきずなへの希求が静かに描かれていた。

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 21(IHT/Asahi: July 22,2005)

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2005/07/14

Bid-rigging lexicon speaks loudly about Japan

 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

Bid-rigging lexicon speaks loudly about Japan

07/14/2005

A feature of the second edition of the Random House English-Japanese Dictionary, published by Shogakukan, is that it offers a list of words of Japanese origin that are used by English speakers. It puts together about 900 Japanese words that have appeared in authoritative American and British dictionaries of the English language or dictionaries of new words used in English.

2005年07月13日(水曜日)付
【天声人語】

 ランダムハウス英和大辞典(小学館)の2版には、「日本語から借用された英語」が載っている。英米の主要辞書や新語辞典などに見られる英語化した日本語で、約900語にのぼる。

The alphabetically arranged list ranges from words like tsunami, kimono and hara-kiri (committing suicide by cutting open the abdomen), which entered the English lexicon in the 19th century, continuing up to 1990s words.

Going over the list, one feels as if reading a history of shifts in interest about Japan. The list may also be taken as mirroring the way Japan has presented itself to the outside world.

 ツナミ、キモノ、ハラキリといった19世紀以来の古いものから、1990年代のものまでがアルファベット順に並んでいる。単語を拾っていると、それらは、日本に投げかけられてきたまなざしの変遷のようであり、日本が外に対して見せてきた姿のようでもある。

Among the words from the 1990s, my eyes were arrested by keiretsu (interlocking business ties) and dango (bid-rigging), because of their close and time-honored association with the way business is done in Japan.

These are words that make one understand why the Japanese economy is robust, why Japanese corporations often shut out outsiders, and why shady business practices persist.

 90年代に登場したという語の中に、日本の古くからの経済のありように絡むものが二つ、目に付いた。keiretsu(系列)、そしてdango(談合)である。日本経済の強さや閉鎖性、不明朗性を感じさせる言葉なのだろう。

In a bid-rigging scandal over steel bridge projects, a retired director of Japan Highway Public Corp. was arrested Tuesday along with four other men for allegedly playing key roles in fixing bids for orders placed by the state-run company.

A former adviser to one of the companies involved, the suspect is said to have had the cooperation of other former Japan Highway officials who landed cushy post-retirement jobs in the industry.

Operating from an "amity society" of retired Japan Highway officials, members allegedly gathered unannounced information on scheduled orders from Japan Highway branch offices across the country.

 日本道路公団が発注する鋼鉄製橋梁(きょうりょう)工事の談合事件を巡り、元公団理事で、受注調整をしたとされる会社の元顧問らが逮捕された。天下りした公団OBの親睦(しんぼく)団体のメンバーが、全国の公団支社から未発表の工事発注予定を集めていたという。

The scandal shows how deeply bid-rigging is entrenched in this country. But Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), was unexpectedly tolerant about the dango problem at a news conference. "It's something like a custom you find everywhere in Japan," he said.

Perhaps he was not specifically talking about the bid-rigging scandal over steel bridge projects. Even so, when I heard it, I could not help shaking my head in disbelief.

 dangoの根深さを思わせる事件だが、日本経団連の奥田会長は、談合問題について「全国津々浦々に行きわたっている慣習のようなもの」と、記者会見で述べた。橋梁談合事件を念頭に置いた発言とは思えないが、首をかしげざるを得ない。

I fear that a statement by Japan's top business leader, dismissing bid-rigging as if it were something irrelevant, just when a major bid-rigging case is about to be unraveled, could spawn misunderstandings at home and abroad.

My hope is that Okuda will watch his words if only to keep tsutsu uraura (everywhere in Japan) from being added to the list of Japanese words used by English speakers.

 大がかりな談合の罪が解明されようとしている時である。財界トップによる他人事(ひとごと)のような言い方は、内外から誤解を招かないだろうか。「tsutsu・uraura」が、借用語に載るようなことがないように願いたい。

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

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2005/07/10

Wishes for peace during Tanabata festival

 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

Wishes for peace during Tanabata festival

07/08/2005

A fine drizzle fell from the leaden sky. Bamboo leaves rustled, and blue or yellow tanzaku strips of paper fluttered in the breeze.

2005年07月07日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 どんよりとした空から、細かい雨が降ってくる。時折、風がゆるやかに渡って笹(ささ)の葉をゆらす。願い事が書かれた青や黄色の短冊がひるがえる。

I was walking along a street lined with Tanabata Star Festival decorations (The traditional festival celebrates the one night of the year when two star lovers meet in the sky). The branches of the bamboo trees were laden with the tanzaku "wish strips."

"Make me a millionaire!" screamed one tanzaku. Another wished for the "elimination of all unscrupulous business practices," while yet another said: "I want power. Grant me power." But most wishes were for the health and safety of one's family and friends.

 通り道に、七夕の竹飾りが並んでいた。一本の竹に数十の願いが下げられている。「大金持ち!」「悪徳商法撲滅」「権力がほしいので下さい」。こんな願いもあるが、多くはやはり、家族や友の健康と安全を祈っている。

Fifty years ago, novelist Sakae Tsuboi (1899-1967) contributed an essay titled "Tanabata-sama" to "Shufu-no-Tomo," a magazine for homemakers. Tsuboi wrote, "There is something delectably heart-warming and charming about the modesty of people's wishes on those tanzaku strips, hung here and there on little bamboo trees."

 50年前、作家の壷井栄が「主婦の友」に随想「七夕さま」を寄せた。「ささやかな笹にちらほらの短冊は、つつましい中にも、なにかしら人のこころの温さ、かわいらしさを感じさせられて好もしい」

This is a timeless sentiment shared by many people today, but the era when this was written-10 years after Japan's defeat in World War II-was reflected in Tsuboi's following observation: "Ever since I got into the habit of writing my wishes with my children every year, I have always associated this festival with the Lugouqiao Incident (Marco Polo Bridge Incident) of July 7, 1937. It was the beginning of what eventually led to our defeat in that war."

 今とそう変わらない七夕の情感だが、この先が、戦後10年という時代を思わせる。「子供と一しよに短冊をかくようになつてから、七夕さまにつながる思いとして、いつも私の心をとらえるのは盧溝橋事件である。昭和十二年七月七日。そしてそれをきつかけにして、敗戦にまで追いやられた私たち……」

On that night, Japanese and Chinese troops clashed near Marco Polo Bridge outside Beijing, triggering the Sino-Japanese War.

In "Rokokyo Jiken no Kenkyu" (A study of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident) published by the University of Tokyo Press, author Ikuhiko Hata notes, "Rumors were said to be flying among Japanese troops in China that something was going to happen on Tanabata day."

 37年の七夕の夜、北京近郊の盧溝橋付近で起きた日中軍の衝突は、日中戦争の発端となった。現地の日本兵の間では、「七夕の日は何かがおこる」という噂(うわさ)が飛んでいたという(秦郁彦『盧溝橋事件の研究』東京大学出版会)。

Tsuboi continued in her essay: "The Tanabata tradition gives us hope because even though the legendary lovers were allowed to see each other only once a year, at least they did get together every year. But many people around us are destined never to see their loved ones again. A friend of mine wrote `Peace' on a tanzaku and tied it to a bamboo branch."

Sixty years after the end of that war, "Peace" was written on many tanzaku that fluttered in the breeze.

 壷井は続ける。「七夕さまは、たとえ年に一度の逢瀬(おうせ)にもしろ、逢(あ)えるということで私たちに希望を与える。しかし、私たちのまわりには、永久に逢えない人がたくさんいる。私の友は七夕の短冊に『平和』とかいて笹にむすんだ」。戦後60年の竹飾りにも、その二文字は幾つも揺れていた。

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 7(IHT/Asahi: July 8,2005)

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2005/07/03

Justice comes in the end for slain activists

 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

Justice comes in the end for slain activists

07/02/2005

Few cases were too difficult to solve for Sherlock Holmes, the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and arguably the most famous sleuth in fiction. But even Holmes botched the job once in a while. He failed to protect his client from being killed in "The Five Orange Pips," a short story with references to the South after the U.S. Civil War.

2005年06月26日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 シャーロック・ホームズと言えば、難事件を解決する名探偵だ。しかし、時には失敗もあった。犯人に出し抜かれて、助けを求めに来た依頼人が殺されてしまう。南北戦争後の米南部を背景にした短編「オレンジの種五つ」である。

People were dying mysteriously after receiving envelopes containing orange pips. This was the doing of the Ku Klux Klan, a real-life secret society notorious for its ultraconservative, white-supremacist beliefs. The Klan still exists today, though its following has diminished somewhat over the years.

 オレンジの種の入った封筒を送りつけられた人物が、次々と謎の死を遂げる。秘密結社のクー・クラックス・クラン(KKK)の仕業だった。ホームズの話は物語だが、KKKは、奴隷解放に反発して白人至上主義を唱えた実在の右翼団体で、今も小規模ながら存在する。

After decades of relative obscurity, the KKK recently re-emerged in the news. The coverage concerns a crime that took place 41 years ago, when three civil rights activists trying to improve the status of blacks in Mississippi were killed. Even though the crime was suspected to be the work of the local white supremacists, investigations were thwarted by outright racism in the Deep South.

But finally, after all these years, the trial started, and a former ranking Klansman was found guilty on June 23.

 この組織の名を、久しぶりに聞いた。41年前、米ミシシッピ州で、黒人の地位向上に取り組む活動家3人が殺された。白人の組織的犯行だったが、南部の人種差別の壁に阻まれて真相解明が進まなかった。裁判がようやく動き出し、主犯格のKKK元幹部が有罪判決を受けたのだ。

One automatically associates the KKK with their white robes, pointed hoods and burning crosses. But the accused former Klansman who appeared in court was an 80-year-old man in a wheelchair, with a oxygen tube up his nose.

 KKKで連想するのは、白い山型ずきんとガウン、燃えさかる十字架だが、被告席に現れたのは、酸素吸入のチューブをはめた80歳の車いすの老人だった。

While some locals were vocally opposed to "opening an old wound" from a different era, prosecutors insisted on "clearing the town's name after too many years of having had to bear this terrible burden."

The court sentenced the defendant to 60 years in prison-20 years for each of the three counts of manslaughter. He has since appealed, but I must wonder how many years of his life are left to serve his sentence, if the appellate court upholds this verdict.

 地元では「時代は変わった。古傷にさわるな」という声も強い。検察官は「あまりにも長い間、我々は重荷を背負ってきた」と町の汚名返上を説いた。殺人1件につき禁固20年、合計60年の判決が出た。被告は上訴したが、有罪が確定しても、刑期を務める時間はどれほど残されているのか。

In the Sherlock Holmes story, the detective plans an elaborate revenge on the escaped killer, but the man perishes in a shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean. The judgment came from an "existence" transcending humankind.

 ちなみに物語の方は、ホームズが周到に復讐(ふくしゅう)の網を張ったが、脱出する犯人を乗せた船は、嵐で大西洋の藻くずと消えた。裁きは人間を超えた所から来たのである。

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 26(IHT/Asahi: July 2,2005)

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2005/07/01

'Banzai Cliff' the site of a terrible 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。(^^;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

'Banzai Cliff' the site of a terrible tragedy

06/29/2005

In July 1944, just after Imperial Japanese Army forces on Saipan were wiped out in heavy fighting, a U.S. newspaper ran a story headlined "Jeanne d'Arc on the island."

Philosopher and critic Shunsuke Tsurumi points this out in his explanatory note to the "Umiyukaba" volume of a series of writings on war produced during the Showa Era (1926-1989) and published by Shueisha. ("Umiyukaba" was a song in the wartime era.)

2005年06月28日(火曜日)付
【天声人語】

 1944年、昭和19年の7月、激戦のサイパン島で日本軍が壊滅した直後、米紙に「島のジャンヌ・ダルク」と報じられた日本人女性がいた。鶴見俊輔さんが『昭和戦争文学全集/海ゆかば』(集英社)の解説に記している。

According to Tsurumi, a war correspondent wrote in the New York Herald Tribune that a surprise awaited U.S. soldiers when they reached the spot where Japanese forces had made their last stand. They found a nurse with abdominal wounds from a grenade she had detonated in a suicide attempt.

The reporter wrote that he admired the woman's Yamato damashii (Japanese fighting spirit).

 「日本軍最後の玉砕地点で発見したのは、意外にも、手榴弾(しゅりゅうだん)で自決をはかり下腹部に重傷を負っていたワック(女兵士)だった……この勇敢な“女戦士”のヤマト・ダマシイに強く心をうたれた」。ニューヨーク・ヘラルド・トリビューンは、そう書いたという。

The heroine, Shizuko Sugano, was just 18. Shortly after her birth in Yamagata Prefecture, her family emigrated to Tinian, a Northern Mariana Island near Saipan. When U.S. forces landed on Saipan in June 1944, she volunteered as a nurse at the Japanese army field hospital there.

 この時に18歳だった菅野静子さんは、山形県で生まれて間もなく、一家でサイパンに近いテニアン島に移住した。44年6月、米軍がサイパンに上陸した時、陸軍野戦病院の看護婦を志願した。

Japanese defenders were driven to the wall. Sugano looked after the wounded soldiers, even though she knew that they would commit suicide before long. When U.S. soldiers approached the hospital, she was told to leave.

But she refused to take the advice. She was found unconscious after pulling the pin on the grenade.

 追いつめられ、やがて自決してゆく兵士たちを看護した。いよいよ米軍が迫った時、野戦病院を出て生き残るようにと言われたがとどまった。自決しようとし、意識不明の状態で発見される。

Her journal of that horrifying time was later published as "Saipanto no Saigo" (The last day of imperial Japan on Saipan).

The nurse wrote about a horrible scene she witnessed from a truck that passed near a cliff on the way to an internment camp. Below the cliff dozens of bodies of Japanese women lay floating in the waves. They had all jumped.

Especially painful was the sight of the children strapped to their mothers' backs and chests, Sugano wrote.

The dreadful sight caused a U.S. officer to weep, she wrote. They wondered why so many Japanese had killed themselves.

 トラックで収容所へ運ばれる途中、断崖(だんがい)の近くを通った。そこから身を投げた多くの女性の死体が、眼下の波打ちぎわに浮かんでいた。背中と胸に、子どもをひとりずつ縛りつけた人もいる。「日本の人は、なぜ、こんなに死ぬのでしょうね」。ひとりの将校が、泣いていた(菅野さんの手記「サイパン島の最期」から)。

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have paid their first visit to Saipan. On Tuesday, memorial rites were to be held at the site, now called "Banzai Cliff" because the women who leapt to their deaths 61 years ago cried "banzai" as they jumped.

Much time has passed since the war, but it left us with unforgettable tragedy.

 天皇ご夫妻がサイパンを訪問中だ。今日は、61年前に多くの女性が飛び降りた「バンザイ・クリフ」での慰霊も予定されている。あの戦争の時代は遠くなっても、遠のくことのない記憶がある。

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 28(IHT/Asahi: June 29,2005)

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