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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2005/07/17

Believing in the future of our mother tongue

 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

Believing in the future of our mother tongue

07/15/2005

Language is like one's beloved life companion. This thought occurred when I saw the results of a recent survey on the Japanese language conducted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

2005年07月14日(木曜日)付
【天声人語】

 言葉とは、人生に寄り添う愛(いと)しい道連れではないか。文化庁の国語世論調査に表れた「世間ずれ」についての回答のずれをみて、そう思った。

According to the survey, the expression seken-zure (sophistication) is misunderstood by a large number of Japanese.

Among teenagers, six out of 10 answered incorrectly that seken-zure describes an attitude, thought or behavior that "does not fit the social norm."

Only a little over 10 percent in this age group knew the right answer: "To be sophisticated and wise in the ways of the world through experience."

 この慣用句の意味を「世の中の考えから外れている」と答えた人が、10代では6割いた。本来の意味である「世間を渡ってきてずる賢くなっている」の方は、この年代では1割強だった。

The older the group, the more the respondents knew the correct meaning, with more than 60 percent of those in their 60s comprehending the phrase. As people grow older and more experienced, I reckon they begin to personally identify with seken-zure in the fullest sense.

However, even among people in their 60s, nearly 20 percent were as ignorant of the meaning of this expression.

 本来の答えの方は、年かさが増すほど増え、60歳以上では6割強に達した。人生の経験を積みながら、この句を実感してゆくさまがしのばれる。一方で、この年代でも、「世の中とのずれ」と答える人が2割近くいた。

Another interesting finding from this survey concerned recent language usage. More than half the teenagers and people in their 20s say yabai (dangerous or bad) when they mean "fabulous," "tasty" or "cool." These young people also led all other age groups by far in the frequency with which they use expressions such as watashi-tekiniwa and uzai-the former a contrived way of saying "I," and the latter a slang word that means "annoying."

If language is one's companion for life, I suppose we can expect twists and turns along the way.

 もうひとつ、目をひくのが、「最近の言い方」についての調査だ。すばらしい、おいしい、かっこいいなどの意味で「やばい」を使う人が、10~20代で半数を超えた。「わたし的には」「うざい」も、この年代が目立って多かった。言葉が人の道連れならば、時には揺らぎもあるのだろう。

More than 60 years ago, folklorist Kunio Yanagita wrote in "Kokugo no Shorai" (The future of the Japanese language), published by Sogensha: "My overall view is that the Japanese language is growing every day. The vocabulary is expanding, with new usage and expressions appearing, coming into fashion and being copied."

 「大体の見込をいふと、日本語は日ましに成長して居る。語彙(ごい)は目に見えて増加し、新らしい表現法は相次いで起り、流行し又模倣せられて居る」。民俗学者の柳田国男が、『国語の将来』(創元社)にこう書いたのは、60年余り前だった。

Yanagita went on, "If you genuinely love the Japanese language and want to preserve it, you should use it to say anything you want to say and to write anything you want to write, expressing yourself completely, clearly and moving a person to deeply understand your meaning."

I think these words were those of a man who believed in the future of his beloved mother tongue, who understood the difficulty of maintaining beautiful Japanese.

 柳田は、さらに述べている。「日本語を以て、言ひたいことは何でも言ひ、書きたいことは何でも書け、しかも我心をはつきりと、少しの曇りも無く且つ感動深く、相手に知らしめ得るやうにすることが、本当の愛護だと思つて居る」。難題と自覚しつつ、愛しい日本語の未来を信じた言葉のように思われる。

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 14(IHT/Asahi: July 15,2005)

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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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2005/07/12

Train announcements can't please everyone

 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

Train announcements can't please everyone

07/12/2005

Noticing a passenger force open a closing door and squeeze himself onto a departing train, the conductor immediately chided him over the public address system: "Please don't rush into the train when the doors are closing! If you get hurt, you alone are to blame."

2005年07月10日(日曜日)付
【天声人語】

 閉まりかけたドアをこじあけて、男性が乗り込む。すぐ車内に車掌の声が流れた。「駆け込み乗車はおやめ下さい。そんな乗り方でけがをした時はお客様の責任です」

This happened early last month on a Chuo Line train that was just pulling out of Kokubunji Station in western Tokyo. Another passenger filed a complaint with East Japan Railways Co. (JR East) about the conductor's "rude speech." After checking into the claim, JR East admonished the conductor-a veteran with nearly 30 years-for his "inappropriate announcement."

 先月初め、JR中央線の電車が東京の国分寺駅を出た直後のことだ。乗り合わせた客が「不快な言い方だ」と苦情を寄せた。JR東日本は事情を調べ、「好ましくない放送だった」と車掌に注意した。乗務歴30年近いベテランだった。

When this incident was reported by the media, JR East received as many as 420 comments from the public, 90 percent of which came to the conductor's defense.

Hackles are bound to be raised if people are told bluntly that if they get hurt, it's all their fault. Still I also empathize with the conductor's sense of duty that made him furious with a reckless passenger.

 この件が報道されると420件もの意見がJRに届いた。うち9割が車掌支持だという。全責任を客に押しつけるような物言いは反感を買うだろうが、無謀な乗車に憤る車掌の熱心さも、わからなくはない。

"What a conductor says on the PA system when he or she is deeply upset is a test of his or her professionalism," noted former train conductor Katsuo Koda, 60. For many years, Koda worked for the state-owned Japanese National Railways and afterward on JR-operated commuters and sleepers: he was famous for his dry and witty announcements. "You have to think on your feet and be able to ad lib. It all comes down to that," he said.

 「頭に血がのぼった時にどう放送するか。車掌の力量が問われます」と語るのは、元車掌の幸田勝夫さん(60)。国鉄以来、通勤電車や夜行列車に長く乗り、さりげない放送で客を和ませる名人と言われた。「大切なのはアドリブの力。とっさのひと言です」

Keiichi Ubukata, 72, a former NHK announcer, said it was unfortunate that the JR conductor was unable to defuse the situation with a little joke, such as by telling the offender: "I'm afraid our doors are a bit flimsy. They can break if you try to force them open."

Twenty years ago, Ubukata made a major professional blunder and paid for it: Emceeing the New Year's eve "Kohaku Utagassen" (red vs. white song contest), he mistakenly called singer Harumi Miyako by someone else's name-Hibari Misora. Having taken flak for his gaffe, Ubukata emphasized the importance of being able to deal with such sticky situations with humor.

 元NHKアナウンサー生方(うぶかた)恵一さん(72)は、「無理に開けると電車のドアも壊れます」といった冗談で応じる余裕が車掌にあればよかったと話す。紅白歌合戦で都はるみさんを「美空」と紹介する失敗に泣いた。あれから20年、反省をこめて「急場ではユーモアが大切」と訴える。

I used to hear conductors make comments such as, "The hydrangeas are in full bloom now," or "Have a nice day, everyone." Not anymore.

According to a JR East spokesman, it is impossible to please everyone these days because, while some passengers prefer a completely announcement-free silent ride, others still like to hear a kindly voice over the PA system.

 昔は「アジサイが見ごろです」とか「今日もお元気で」と言い添える車掌の声をよく耳にしたが、最近は聞かない。JRによると、何であれ静けさを求める客と、懇切な放送を望む客がいる。車内で何をどう語りかけるかは超のつく難題だという。

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 10(IHT/Asahi: July 12,2005)

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2005/07/10

Tokyoites lose in `steppingstone election'

 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

Tokyoites lose in `steppingstone election'

07/06/2005

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi did not make a campaign speech for Sunday's Tokyo assembly election. This was in sharp contrast to four years ago when his help was sought by many candidates vying for seats.

An aide explained that Koizumi preferred to stay at home ``because of the current political situation.''

2005年07月05日(火曜日)付
【天声人語】

 小泉首相は、今回の東京都議選では、街頭での応援演説を一切しなかった。前回とは大きな変わりようで、「今回は分が悪いから行かないんだ」との声も首相周辺にはあったという。

As it turned out, the Liberal Democratic Party, the largest party in the assembly, suffered a setback, while main opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) sharply increased its seats.

It is tempting to ponder whether the LDP lost seats because Koizumi stayed home. Or was the LDP setback minimized because of his absence from street campaigning?

 開票の結果、自民はやや後退し、民主党が伸びた。小泉演説がなかったから後退したのか、それとも、なかったから、やや後退で済んだのだろうか。

The voting rate was about 44 percent, the second lowest turnout for a Tokyo assembly election.

There was little debate on how to improve the lives of Tokyo citizens. This was because the parties viewed the election as a contest to gather momentum for winning the next national election. They should have used it as an opportunity to present their visions on the future shape of the capital.

 投票率は約44%で、過去2番目に低かった。政党の側では、都議選を次の国政選挙との絡みの中でみていて、都民の生活をどう変えるのかという論戦は乏しいようだ。本来なら都議選は、首都・東京をどんな都市にしていくのかというような未来像を浮かび上がらせる場でもあるはずだ。

Novelist Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965), who was born in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district, angrily wrote in his novel, ``Futen Rojin Nikki'' (The diary of an old man): ``Who has turned Tokyo into a wretched and disorderly city like this?''

The novel came out shortly before the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Pinning the blame on ``yatsura'' (those guys), Tanizaki went on to say, ``Because of `yatsura,' the rivers that were so clean have become dirty and polluted like stinking ditches.''

The novelist defined yatsura as the politicians ``who did not know how nice it was to live in Tokyo in the old days.''

 「今ノ東京ヲコンナ浅マシイ乱脈ナ都会ニシタノハ誰ノ所業(しわざ)ダ」。東京・日本橋生まれの作家・谷崎潤一郎が「瘋癲(ふうてん)老人日記」にそう書いたのは、64年の東京オリンピックの少し前だった。「アノ綺麗(きれい)ダッタ河ヲ、オ歯黒溝(はぐろどぶ)ノヨウニシチマッタノハミンナ奴等デハナイカ」。「奴等」とは、「昔ノ東京ノ好サヲ知ラナイ政治家」だという。

After the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, Tanizaki moved to the Kansai region. About 10 years later, he wrote the essay ``Tokyo o Omou'' (Thoughts about Tokyo).

``These days,'' he observed, ``Tokyo is so full of solidly built bridges and roads that people almost seem like scraps of paper dancing in the wind.''

 谷崎は、大正末の関東大震災の後、関西に移り住んだ。震災から約10年後に、「東京をおもふ」を書く。「今の東京はコンクリートの橋や道路が徒らに堅牢にして人は路上を舞つて行く紙屑の如く、と云つたやうな趣がないでもない」

This month marks the 40th anniversary of Tanizaki's death, but his aphorism is still valid. Its lesson applies not only to just Tokyo but other municipalities. After all, the politicians who decide the future of a certain municipality are elected by its local residents.

 谷崎が没して、今月で40年になるが、警句は今に生きている。そしてそれは、東京以外にも投げかけられている。その地の未来を左右する「奴等」を選ぶのは、他でもない住民自身なのだから。

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 5(IHT/Asahi: July 6,2005)

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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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What to make of teens slaying family members?

 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

What to make of teens slaying family members?

07/04/2005

After killing his parents at their home in Tokyo's Itabashi Ward, a 15-year-old boy went to a movie theater in the Ikebukuro district, where he watched "Batman Begins." He then took a Shinkansen bullet train to the resort town of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture, according to statements he gave to the police after his arrest.

2005年06月25日(土曜日)付
【天声人語】

 東京・板橋の自宅で両親を殺したあと、15歳の少年は池袋に出た。映画館に入り「バットマン ビギンズ」を見る。そして新幹線に乗って、長野県の軽井沢へと向かった。

The youth is a first-year senior high school student and the eldest son of the slain couple, who were live-in superintendents of a company dormitory.

In the Batman movie, the hero's parents are murdered when he is still a small boy. I wonder what thoughts crossed the teen's mind as he watched this scene.

 社員寮の管理人の父と母を刺すなどして殺害した疑いで逮捕された高校1年の長男の供述という。映画は、主人公の幼い時に、両親が殺害される設定だ。少年は、どんな面持ちで映画館にいたのだろうか。

In the city of Fukuoka, another 15-year-old-a third-year junior high school student-was arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing his 17-year-old brother with a kitchen knife in their family apartment.

The boy had previously complained to friends that he was bullied and treated like a servant by his older brother, who often woke him at night and demanded a back rub.

 福岡市では、15歳の中学3年生が、自宅マンションの部屋で、17歳の兄を包丁で刺し殺した容疑で逮捕された。「兄に夜中に起こされて肩をもまされるなど、こきつかわれている」と、友人に不満をもらしていた。

The Tokyo teen told investigators that he had been ridiculed and insulted by his father. The motives of the two boys have yet to be determined, but I believe each held a deep-seated grudge or hatred toward his own family members.

 板橋の少年の方は、「父に馬鹿にされた」と供述しているという。まだ詳しい動機は分からないが、少年による二つの事件の底には、肉親に対する日頃からの「憎しみ」があるようにみえる。

After the postwar chaos and ensuing years of economic growth, the number of homicide arrests made in Japan declined. It has hovered between 1,300 and 1,400 each year since 2000.

For minors, the numbers remained in the range of 300 to 400 until the 1960s, but dropped to around 100 in the early 1970s. Since 2000, around 100 minors have been arrested for such crimes each year.

 日本の殺人事件の検挙人数は、戦後の混乱期や経済成長期を経て減少し、2000年代は1300~1400人台となっている。うち少年は、60年代までは300~400人台が多かったが、70年代初めに100人台となり、2000年代は100人前後の年が多い。

From these statistics, one can hardly say that homicides committed by minors are on the rise.

Still, the act of killing one's family members in their own home is jarring to society.

City landscapes have changed immeasurably in the six decades since the end of World War II. For example, gardens have disappeared from many homes. But even then, I wish each home would have a "symbolic" garden that exists in the hearts of family members.

 この大きな流れを見る限りでは、少年による殺人事件は、増える傾向にあるとはいえないようだ。しかし自宅を犯行現場とし、肉親を殺害する「家庭内殺人」は、世の中に独特の衝撃を与えている。戦後の60年で都市化が進み、都会の多くの家庭から庭が失われた。土の庭はあってもなくても、小さな「こころの庭」があれば、と思う。

--The Asahi Shimbun, June 25(IHT/Asahi: July 4,2005)

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