Saturday, December 27, 2014

Truth about "Sex Slaves": English Paper in Japan Aplogizes over Using "Sex Slave" Expressions

On 16 December, an English-language newspaper in Japan made an apology for using the term “sex slaves” to describe “comfort women.”

“[The] Daily Yomiuri (hereafter referred to as the DY, and now The Japan News) used “sex slave” and other inappropriate expressions in a total of 97 articles from February 1992 to January 2013 in its reporting

“The expression ‘comfort women’ was difficult to understand for non-Japanese who did not have knowledge of the subject. Therefore the DY, based on an inaccurate perception and using foreign news agencies’ reports as reference, added such explanations…”

The apology does not mention what terms or expressions the paper will use in the future.

If it’s really difficult to understand for non-Japanese,how about women forced into prostitution by poverty,” “women forced into prostitution by parents” or “women forced into prostitution by brokers”? Or “wartime prostitutes” or simply “prostitutes,” as some of them had been, which, I believe, is much easier for everyone in the world to understand.    

Using foreign news agenciesreports as reference”: almost criminal.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Truth about "Sex Slaves": Koreans Were NOT Nationals of Another State

McDougall Report of June 1998 (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1998/13): [S]ince by the late 1920s international law recognized that when a State injured the nationals of another State, it inflicted injury upon that foreign State and was therefore liable for damages to make whole the injured individuals.

It means that Korean comfort women were not injured and the State (Japan) is not liable because they were then Japanese citizens.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Truth about "Sex Slaves": Bring Charges against Korean Guys

McDougall Report (E/CN.4/1998/13):

“Japan is clearly the most appropriate location to conduct criminal prosecutions of those responsible for implementing the “comfort stations” system. Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Sexual Slavery by Japan filed a complaint in 1994 with the Chief Prosecutor in Tokyo seeming criminal prosecution of Japanese military officers and others involved in the operation of the “comfort stations”. [See “Complaint” <http://www.peacenet.or.kr/~jdh/e comfort/library/complaint/comp.htm.] The Japanese Government should act as a matter of urgency on this complaint and should seek to bring charges against any surviving individuals who operated or frequented the military’s rape centres.”

So the Government of Japan should “bring charges against any surviving individuals who operated or frequented the military’s rape centers” even if any one of those surviving individuals is a Korean citizen now (Korean-Japanese then).

Friday, December 05, 2014

Truth about "Sex Slaves": This Sorry Guy's Mother-in-Law Is Director of Anti-Japanese Organization

This New York Times article does not mention at all that the mother-in-law of this guy, Takashi Uemura, is Yang Sun Nim, director of the Association of Pacific War Victims and Families, a forefront anti-Japanese organization in Korea.
“They are using intimidation as a way to deny history,” said Mr. Uemura, who spoke with a pleading urgency and came to an interview in this northern city with stacks of papers to defend himself. “They want to bully us into silence.”

I’m very much interested to know more about his “stack of paper to defend himself.” And “they” are not denying history. They are trying finally to set things right about this comfort women issue. The article is a creation resulted from very shallow historical research. It is only yet another example to misinform the reader about the issue. So, “Recreation and Amusement Association (R.A.A.)” in post-war Japan serving US soldiers? Comfort stations in Korea, based on the Japanese model, established by the father of the current president of the country? Or kids left behind fathered by Korean soldiers in Vietnam?

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Truth about "Sex Slaves": Women Who Were Deceived into Prostitution, But Who Deceived Them?

“Many [women] were deceived with offers of jobs in factories and hospitals and then forced to provide sex for imperial soldiers in the comfort stations. (Rewriting the War, Japanese Right Attacks a Newspaper, Martin Fackler, December 2, 2014, The New York Times, online edition)

If they were really deceived, who deceived them?

“[To] open up inquiry on this sexual slavery would be to find that many women were mobilized by Korean men.

(Bruce Cummings, Korea’s Place in the Sun, p. 179, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1997)
And because the whole Korean peninsula was part of Japan, not colonized but annexed, then, may I say that at least some imperial soldiers, who were visiting the comfort stations, were actually Korean-Japanese? Do not forget they were all Japanese, whether from Japan or Korea.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Truth about "Sex Slaves": Report 49, US Office of War Information

IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE WHO STILL BELIEVE THE STORY OF 200,000 SEX SLAVES KIDNAPPED BY JAPAN, READ THIS DOCUMENT.
 
 









Hyper-sensitive Molar

Having used up the mouth wash given by the dental clinic, I reverted to Listerine last night. PAIN!! The molar that used to have the now-extracted wisdom tooth as one of its neighbors is hyper-sensitive. It was also painful this afternoon when hot coffee touched the tooth. It seems that almost
all of the bad things that may happen after the surgery are happening to, and troubling, me.


 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Immigrants for Japan?

「ベトナム難民に対する日本政府の冷たさはすでに国際的に定評がある。
米国はすでに十数万人を受け入れ、仏、オーストラリア、カナダなどもそれぞれ数千人から一万数千人を引き取っている。タイをはじめとする東南アジアの国々も、計十万人以上をかかえ込んでいる。
これに対して、日本の門戸は極度に固い。政府は移住どころか、難民そのものの存在も認めていない。外国船や日本船に拾われて港に持ち込まれた分については、国連難民高等弁務官事務所が滞在費などを保証したもに限り水難救助者扱いで一時的に上陸許可を出す。というその場しのぎのに終始している。そして外務省は、米大使館などに足を運んで、ひたすら国内仮滞在中の難民の引き取りを頼み込んでいる。
定住や公式滞在を認めない理由はいろいろあげられている。
公式筋が口にするのは、①日本には従来、難民や亡命者の取り扱いを規定した法律がない。②かりにベトナム難民の滞在を認めれば、他の東アジアや東南アジアの強権国家からもドッと人々がつめかけ、ただでさえ人口の多い日本が大変な問題をかかえこむことになるかもしれない。③日本は古来、単一文化の特殊な国なので、たとえ難民を受け入れても彼らは社会に融け込めず、かえって不幸になるかもしれない―などだ。
いずれも愚にもつかぬ詭弁だが、とりわけ単一民族云々ほど、子供っぽい、自分勝手な言い分はあるまいと思う。現在私たちが享受している輸入文化の多くは、多民族社会の種々異る文化や価値観の血みどろの戦いの中から生まれ、培われた。自由にしろ、民主主義にしろ、そうだ。命をかけた切磋琢磨の中で多くの血が流れ、多くの生活が失われ、これらを養分にして自由や民主主義の概念も育った。そして私たちはこの上ずみだけを輸入し、近代国家(あるいは先進国)を名乗っている。他国の動乱や後進性に乗じて経済を富ませた。そして必要とあれば子供たちに「国際人になれ」と教え、その一方で単一民族、単一文化の特殊性を口にするのは、「私たちはこの世界からおいしいところはいただきますが、苦しいこと、辛いことは分担いたしません」と公言するに等しい。あるいは「私たちは特殊学級の児童ですので、この世に自分のと異った価値観や発想や風俗習慣があるということを理解いたしません。理解しようとも思いません」と、自らの未熟を宣伝するに等しい。」「ベトナム難民の涙」(近藤紘一「サイゴンから来た妻と娘」)
今日、人口減に歯止めをかけるため、移民を受け入れるべきとの考え方がある。人口の自然増が望めない状況では、積極的に移民を受け入れよういうことだ。どういうわけか、声高に賛成を主張する意見はまったく静かで、目にするのは反対意見ばかりだ。そして、反対する理由はサイゴン陥落当時と変わらず、「日本は、古来、単一文化の特殊な国」というものだ。
移民が増えることによって発生する既存社会との摩擦や衝突などという話は、アジア、中東、アフリカからの移民を受け入れてきたヨーロッパ諸国や、移民で成立しているような米国にもある。また、日本と同様に少子高齢化による人口減を危惧して移民の受け入れを進めようとしているシンガポールにおいてさえ、外国人に対する風当たりがいつも温かいとは言えない。人口の8割以上を華人が占めるこの地でも、同胞と呼んでもおかしくなさそうな中華人民共和国出身者を公共マナーの悪さから批判する声を聞くことはまれではない。すでに外国人が多すぎだという批判もある。一般的に、移民一世は新たな地に馴染めない、あるいは馴染もうとしない。三世、四世の時代になって、ようやく同化していくものだろう。
この数世代にわたる過程は、移民の存在が奇異ではない国や社会が、程度の差はあれ、経験するもので、それを大きな心としっかりした法制度で進める覚悟が日本にあるのかということだろう。日本語能力を受け入れ基準にするのかどうかは、大きな問題のように思えるが、日本語を解さない人を社会が歓迎しないのも現実だ。インドネシアとフィリピンから受け入れている看護師と介護士の例が参考になるかもしれない。
「人口が減少していくと国力も衰退する」のなら、移民を受け入れるか、はたまた「現日本人」の出生率増加に効果のある施策を講じるしかない。その場合も、出産はあくまでも各個人や各家庭が決めるべきことで、特に政治に関わる皆さんには、おせっかいな言動を慎んでもらいたい。そもそも、日本に移民したいと純粋に思う人が世界にどれだけいるのだろう?
日本の特殊性とやらを、さらに特殊にしているのは、「特別永住者」という制度だろう。その立場を強く主張したり、擁護したりする人たちもいる。自分に言わせれば、日本であれ、他国であれ、「祖国を持つことを拒否している人たち」であって、悲しいくさびしい存在として映る。
「私の目から見ると、ミーユンの両親に対する思慕は非常に強く、それは何よりも、彼女を包む通常の人間世界がないからではないか、と思える。失礼な言い方かもしれないが、そうした彼女をあなたたちは今、さらに深い孤独と緊張の境遇に投げ込んでいる。私としては、本人の明るく素直な一面に期待を託しているが、半面、彼女の脆弱なまでの感受性の鋭さが、こんごの性格形成にどう作用していくか、少なからぬ不安感も抱かずにいられない。」「娘ユンの転向」(近藤紘一「バンコクの妻と娘」)
まったく事情も環境も異なるが、自分はいつも両親を理由とする「深い孤独と緊張」を感じていた。おかげさまで、とんでもない性格が形成されてしまった。近藤家の場合は、具体的な選択がときにつらい結果をもたらしたとしても、ミーユンちゃんに対する大きな愛情がそこにはあった。
「自分の悩みや、腹の底や、あるいは自ら自覚している欠点、醜さ、劣等意識など、総じて心のヒダを、虚心に打ち明けられるような「長年の友人」がいないということが、ある日、どんなにうそ寒く、空ろな孤独の想いとなって、その人間をむしばみはじめるか、たいがいの想像はつく。とくに、彼が何かのはずみで思わむ挫折感に襲われたり、自分一人では手に負えぬ選択、難題などに直面した場合―。」「フレンドシップ・ブック」(近藤紘一「バンコクの妻と娘」)
「どこにいてもキミとは友人でいる」と言ったヤツが2人いる。ひとりは大阪、もうひとりはシンガポール。大阪のN君の場合は、本当に遠く離れてしまったこともあり、また何年も前にのやりとりから、他人が原因の災難に巻き込まれた様子だった。お互いに日々を生きるのに必死な気がする。もうひとりも、仲のいい友達であったが、その粗暴さや下品さ、さらにおカネ持ちそうな人に媚びる態度や、自分と競おうとしたり、自分を貶めようとする態度が見て取れる。彼が「どこにいてもキミとは友人でいる」と言ったのは、シリコンバレーへの出張を終えて戻ってきてから1カ月ほどあと、ある人の結婚パーティーで会ったときだった。シリコンバレー出張が彼にそう言わせる出来事だったようだ。浅薄なヤツだ。


きょう夜、抜糸。くちびるとあごの痺れはまだ残っている。なので、3週間後(抜歯から1カ月後)にまた受診する。

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 4 Is Over with Half-numb Lip and Chin

Day 4 (post-op) is over. Everything seemed to be going well
until I realized at the end of Day 2 that the left side of my lower lip and
chin were half numb. Next day, I did a quick online search and found many
comments and questions about the same condition.


Before the surgery, the specialist mentioned post-op
numbness and I had a higher risk because of the proximity of the wisdom tooth
to the nerve. He also said this would not affect eating and talking and passed
me the consent form to sign for this “minor operation.”

Now I sometimes feel the inside of the lip tingles,
especially when I’m resting. One post by a dentist I found says this is a “good
sign” that the nerve is returning to normal.

Well, I don’t know. This condition may last for only a few
days, months or even years. In the worst case, it never returns to normal. The
only thing I can do is hope this goes away soon.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Surgery Night

I got a wisdom tooth pulled out tonight. I took another ibuprofen
tablet some time ago though the instruction given was to take two of it every
eight hours with antibiotics. I had to take another because I was starting real
pain with the effect of anesthesia disappearing.






Contrary to what I was told last week, the specialist applied only
local anesthesia and the surgery itself was over in half an hour or so.


My eyes were covered to “protect” them as well as, I guess, prevent me
from seeing what would be going on.


When the specialist said, “Your tooth is already out,” I thought he could
now see the top part of it. After going through some forceful pulling, I heard the
sound of scissors cutting a string. Stitching. Then, I realized he had already extracted
the whole tooth when he said, “Your tooth is already out.”


Bleeding seems to have stopped in three hours. And that’s also when my
mouth started coming back to life, forcing me to endure the pain. I have to
live with this pain in this untouchable part at least for a few days. Stitch
removal in a week.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wisdom Tooth Trouble: It's Gonna Be Very Bloody

About 10 days ago, I started feeling that the inside of my
left cheek was a little swollen. Though it was not very painful but certainly
uncomfortable, I decided to try Panadol Extra. A week went by with no sign of
improvement. Then last Monday, finding a small amount of pus and blood coming
out, I checked the Internet to locate dental clinics in the neighborhood.


In the evening, I went out only to find the nearest one
closed. The online information didn’t list consultation hours. Unwilling to
give up, I walked down Upper Thomson to Thomson Plaza, where I knew there were
two more dental clinics. After walking around for some time, I found one, which
was also closed. It took me some more time to find the third one. And it was
still open. I went in and explained my condition to the youngish woman at the
reception counter. She then opened the sliding door of one of the two treatment
rooms, right behind the counter, apparently to ask the dentist inside if he was
happy to take another patient for the night. He wasn’t. I made a 6:45 pm
appointment for Tuesday night.
Tuesday night, I arrived on time. After filling out the
registration form, I met a young dentist.
Looking at the swollen part, he said, “Big gingivitis (or something like
that).” And he started talking about my bottom-left wisdom teeth, which he
suspected was causing this trouble. I was asked to go out of the room for an
X-ray. The image seems to have sent to the screen immediately in the treatment
room. The wisdom tooth was coming up though it was still buried. The friction
between it and the next one is the cause and it needs to be extracted, he said.


“But we can’t do the surgery tonight. I’ll give you
antibiotics and pain killers for the condition. And the tooth can’t be simply
pulled out. We need to open up the gum and cut the bone several times. See the
dark line here? This is the nerve. I think you should make an appointment with a
specialist for the surgery.”
“What’s the reason for that?”
“That’s because your wisdom tooth is close to the nerve. And
we may need to put you to sleep.”
“So the surgery will take place at his place not here.”
“It will take place here.”
“How long do you think it takes to heal after the surgery?”
“Two to three days for a healthy adult.”
“What is the cost like?”
“For a specialist, 900 to 1,000.”
For me, the clinic made a tentative appointment with a
specialist at 6:30 pm, November 7.
Open up the gum and cut the bone? Sounds very bloody… No
alcohol since Tuesday because of the medication (a great feat!). Already
feeling a bit nervous.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Still Fuming Today and Warning to HIM



Yesterday (8th), I started my 15th
year here. I met a friend who spends half of his time here and the other half
in Japan because I had something to ask him to bring back to Japan. After
dinner with him, I alone went on to CC.






There, I saw HIM again. When I met HIM there two weeks ago,
HE was saying that he would go back to HIS country at the end of August. I
thought HE finally had made up HIS mind to start it over and reconstruct HIS
life there.


According to the CC manager, HE is still coming every night
and sleeps in the outside seating area. Some customers had complained about this
sleeping man and HIS odor. The manager also showed me three bags, one of which
is a Takashimaya paper bag, HE had ask CC to keep them in its storage area. She says
one of them is smelly and she doesn’t want to touch them.


Worse, nowadays HE doesn’t order any drink. (HE would order
a glass of tomato juice.) HE brings HIS own bottle of water. Isn’t it a little
too much of HIM to come to a bar every night, order nothing, and make other
customers unhappy. HE even asks the staff to change the TV channel to HIS
favorite one. Man, you’re not a customer anymore. And behaving this way? Isn’t it
a little too much, really?


Last night, HE was sitting with two other guys, whom I’ve
known for some years but I’m not very close to. HE tried to talk to me about a
Japanese tennis player, but I wasn’t interested. Later, I poured out my feeling
about HIM to one of the guys who is from HIS country. I said to him, “My best
friend’s become impossible.” And what the manager had told me. “Your best friend”
is how he describes HIM. It was a big mistake. He glanced at me with an
accusing face and said something like, “He’s been going through tough times and
it can happen to anybody. She is ‘only’ a bar manager and do you believe what she
told you? Now are you complaining about him, blaming him? You hate him? If you
hate him, just ignore him. HE may have an interview with a nice company tomorrow and
become a billionaire.”


I do think this is absolutely unfair to me, and to her (“only”
a bar manager). Probably I, more than anybody else, have given HIM suggestions,
advices, criticism, and encouragement, of course with a great amount of frustration.
I believe I’ve shared enough of his tough times. HE bores and irritates me. Today,
I spent my time fuming about what happened last night. Warning to HIM: CC is
not your living room. Not your bedroom. Nor is it your warehouse.
And
the CC boss believes that HE has no place to stay at and is wandering around Orchard
area. If it’s really so, we call such a person homeless.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I Need to Turn This Around



I need to turn this around. Although my meeting with mother
had affected my feeling, I was still doing okay until this month started. I had
energy to maintain my exercise schedule and was even feeling physical strength.
For the past few weeks though, I’ve been feeling rather down. I’ve been drinking
more than before and I stay in bed around 10 hours everyday. I usually wake up
after a few hours and feeling thirsty go to the fridge to grab a tea bottle and
go back to bed. As is always the case like this, I can’t put my finger on what
is causing this sleeping trouble and general fatigue. Now I need a lot of
energy to force me to exercise, to feel the energy post-exercise.






True, I’ve been quite busy with work perhaps since late February
or early March. Thanks to this, I should be feeling assured and secure because
this financial year will be profitable. But I’m going very slow with the
current work, partly because this is kind of tough to deal with. And partly
because I’ve burnt myself out?


I really don’t feel going out of this neighborhood. And a
little comfort this place manages to provide me seems good enough to me… Then,
it means I’m condemned to be totally alone.


The place to go is CC. However, it’s very difficult not to
see Him there these days. A few Sundays ago, I went there only to find Him. He
told me He was coming down to Orchard to watch World Cup matches at a hotel bar
after midnight where “I don’t have to order anything,” perhaps after spending
hours at CC with a glass of juice. Nothing to be proud of.


And last Friday He was at CC again. The floor manager, and
He Himself, told me that He comes every night. Someone who has been completely
jobless for nearly two years and almost completely jobless for five years
coming to CC every night for a glass of juice and a free water and staying
there for hours... Sounds miserable. And what can we talk about when we meet?


There is nothing but His job search to talk about. He
certainly bores, irritates so terribly me with excuses not to take action and I
even need to raise my voice. I guess there’re not many employers who are
willing to hire someone who has been without a job for two years. What I tell
Him is the longer it is the tougher to find a job. Seems He’s still hoping
something better will come. Very fat chance. His friends have been trying to
help Him, but he must not expect somebody’s working full time for Him. And no
result for two years. Effectively He’s destroyed his career. Pride so high, He’s
unwilling to take up a job in the F&B industry where he may have a chance as
a waiter or kitchen help. He doesn’t understand He is in a better position
because He’s a permanent resident here. He can do whatever jobs offered. I’m
not allowed to do so.


He doesn’t want to go home. Well, his is a vast country. Why
does working in His country mean going back to His hometown?   


HE DOESN’T GET IT. AND HE HAS ONLY HIMSELF TO BLAME.


And feeling alone here, feeling alone out, do I only have
myself to blame? Currently, reading “Impossible Dream: The Marcoses, The Aquinos,
and The Unfinished Revolution” by Sandra Burton.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Trouble with sleeping







Trouble with sleeping. Some nights, I can sleep only for a
few hours and, other nights, need more than a dozen hours. This may be caused
by small burnout after almost non-stop work since late February or early March
and I’m having a few days of no work. Turning and tossing in that state I hate,
I think about my father, mother and brother, my family.
Because
I had no new book to read, I dug out old TIME and NEWSWEEK of almost 30 years
ago on that series of events in the Philippines from Aquino’s declaration of candidacy
to Marcos’s fleeing to Hawaii, which would become known as People Power, or
EDSA, Revolution. It was my first lesson on international politics.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Irritation about Life!!

I don’t remember exactly when this flow of work started, though it seems it did late February or early March. Since then, I haven’t had a real day off. Good and bad. The corporate finance to June won’t be too bad as I’m managing to make a small profit, and I hope this continues to the end of this financial year.

Not having had a real day off means I’ve been contained, or detained, in this apartment effectively. The only time I went out to have my time with others was April 14, when I met three guys for dinner, one of whom I hadn’t met more than 10 years. We are like comrades who survived a large translation project, a battle, some 13 years ago. I enjoyed that reunion. After we parted, I went on to CC for some more drink.

Being home almost all the time, except when I go to the supermarket for grocery shopping, is also affecting my daily life. Very often, I stay up until early morning (5:00 am in a few occasions) doing an online word game and watching YouTube and wake up only in the afternoon. Today, I got out of bed relatively early at 10:00 am.

Staying in bed and in that familiar state of “half awake and half asleep,” my thinking almost always goes to mother and my history with her. I think… she didn’t like me very much. Her attitude toward me when I was a small kid seems to me can be understood now with this idea that she was unhappy with me because I enjoyed being with father. Therefore all those stories told to me by her about him, telling me what a terribly violent and unethical person he was, perhaps trying to peel me off from him.

As for reading, after “America’s Boy,” I’ve read “The Story of English (Robert McCrum, Robert MacNeil and William Cran),” “The Fooling of America: The Untold Story of Carlos P. Romulo (Pio Andrade, Jr.),” “The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger),” “Douglas MacArthur: The Philippine Years (Carol Morris Petillo)” and “Corresponding with Carlos: A Biography of Carlos Kleiber (Charles Barber).”

“The Story of English” is its third edition and of course this is the base on which that famous TV series was created. This is a very nice book for one to see many Englishes used in today’s world in perspective but didn’t change my hostility toward so-called Singlish.

I decided to read “The Fooling of America” because the book was cited in “America’s Boy.” This was published by the author himself because no publishing house accepted his work. Surprisingly, I found his handwriting in this second-hand copy to “Dear Dr. Pontius” and comments throughout it. It was rather tedious to finish this book as this is badly written as the author is admitting in his message to the doctor and he is very emotional in many places. I wonder if Romulo was a politician so exceptionally deceptive. Many in almost every country are, and it shouldn’t be surprising at all when we talk about politicians in the Philippines.

“The Catcher in the Rye” is something I should’ve read years ago. But I had been ignoring American literature. As far as I remember, the other novel by an American author was “Sophie’s Choice.”

Carol Morris Petillo attempts to dissect the general’s psychology. A hero enthusiastically welcomed by the folks of my country at least partly because they were unaware of what sort of information control they were placed under, the author depicts him as a Mama boy.

“Corresponding with Carlos” must be a very rare source to look into the personality of this reclusive “old coot” conductor. It was like having a sneak view into private exchanges between Kleiber and the author though letters only about private matters are excluded from the book. It should be interesting when the book is perceived by combining it with the DVDs, “Carlos Kleiber: I am lost to the world” and “Carlos Kleiber: Traces to Nowhere.”

Thursday, April 03, 2014

SMS Exchanges with HIM





On my
previous two occasions at CC (February 28 and March 14), I had met Him there. He’s
been jobless around a year and a half.


Then, SMS
exchanges with Him:


Him: 18:40,
March 26: … possible to meet at cc this week?
Me: 20:07,
March 26: Not sure. Any good news? Unwilling to go orchard only to drink at cc,
honestly.
Him: 20:24,
March 26: Thank you. No news yet. Pls try to come and let me know. Regards.
Him: 11:25,
March 28: Good day. Please try to come today. Thanks.
Me: 15:46,
March 28: I don’t think I can. Sorry.
Him: 17:10,
March 28: Thank you. Possible to call me?
Me: 19:15, March 28: Whatever for? I’m not your
boyfriend.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Irritation Almost Overflowing & Dan Brown's "Lost Symbol"


イライラが危険な状態かもしれない。





きのうの朝、寝言がはっきり聞こえて目が開いた。「なめんなよ、こら!」「こ」は「ご」に近く、「ら」は巻き舌の発音だった。


言った相手は中学校で席が隣りだったこともあるヤマグチくん。こいつは、「君のお母さんから『よろしく頼む』と言われた」とか、英語の授業で理解不足のこの生徒に「この学期(多分、2年生の2学期)は関係代名詞がわからんかったら意味がない」などと言い、きわめてうっとうしい存在だった。


こいつが今だに記憶から消えていないようだ。


イライラの本当の原因はもちろんヤマグチくんではなく、孤独感、疎外感、不安感だと思う。言語を扱う人となってもう何年にもなるが、やればやるほど自分の周囲にある言語環境と、どうしてもそれに関連せざるを得ない在留邦人環境に対する情けない思いが大きくなる。仕事を別にしても言語と無縁の生活を送ることは不可能で、たまたま自分の仕事と深く関係する英語が公用語である当地の、とりわけ華人の、そして多くの在留邦人のいい加減さが情けない。この言語は当地国民の多く、またほぼ全員の在留邦人にとって第2言語だが、それは自分にとっても同じである。


当然、言葉が発せられる場所には人がいる。何とかもっといい文章を作りたいと常に思っているところに、当地国民の「pidginized (dumbed-down, that is...) English」は無用どころか、悪だ。


在留邦人の事情はもちろん異なる。日本人の言語は日本語だし、日本人の他言語についての運用能力欠如は理解できる。ただ、心底から情けないのは、英語を第1言語とする国に何年もいた後、「とりあえず英語国」のこの国でさらに何年も過ごしている人たち。


前回も登場してもらった「彼(Fuck you, man)」が典型だろう。おそらく悔しまぎれに、「(英語はできないけど)ラテン語はわかる」と平気で言う人だ。彼の専門にはラテン語が使われることがある。ただ、それは単語レベルの話であって、文法や構造を持った言語としてではない。また、言語ツリーにおいて英語はラテン語の下部にあって、「ラテン語がわかるのに、何で英語がそんなにヘタなのか」ということになる。さらに、ラテン語の語彙が現代英語でどう使われているのかについてもまったく知識がないのだろう。情けないヤツだ。


結局、孤独感と疎外感は自分で招いているものだろう。だから余計に情けない。そして不安感は、仕事の先行きを心配する気持ちと、母親の状態を見てから感じる自分自身の老い、そして人生最後の数年に現れる記憶と認知の消滅を原因とする不毛感が源なのだろう。


 


I’m finishing “Lost Symbol”
by Dan Brown. This is certainly not the kind of book I usually read. It was a
gift from someone, who is still so nice to me. I had been hesitating to open the
book especially because it was written by a best-selling author. (If it is
still selling ten years from now, I may decide to read it.) I started reading it
because I had no new other book to open. Interesting story. But Dan Brown made
an error, which is almost fatal to Japanese readers. He gave to one of the main
characters, the director of the CIA’s Office of Security, the name “Inoue Sato.”
“Inoue” as a given name. Impossible. Brown may know so much about anything
else, but not Japanese names.