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2009年3月 6日 (金)

ヒバクシャ広島/長崎:’09冬/3 下平作江さん 重なった惨劇、心奮い立たせ

Mainichi Japan) March 5, 2009

Hibakusha: Pair of A-bomb survivors vow to 'persevere together' as th(ey battle against pain

ヒバクシャ広島/長崎:’09冬/3 下平作江さん 重なった惨劇、心奮い立たせ

 <ノーモア核被害 documentary report/78>

When I met Sakue Shimohira, 74, at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum on Feb. 4, she could not manage a smile. She said that her husband Takatoshi "had been hospitalized" for problems with his internal organs.

 今月4日、長崎原爆資料館で会った下平作江さん(74)に笑顔はなかった。「夫が入院したんです」。夫隆敏さん(80)の内臓に異常が見つかったのだという。

From the way that Takatoshi, 80, who uses a wheelchair, appeared on New Year's Day, she could not have predicted that his health would take a turn for the worse. For the first time in three years, about 20 of their children and grandchildren had gathered, and Takatoshi distributed cash envelopes as gifts to the grandchildren. The sight of their family together during the New Year holiday reminded her of the joys of being with her family.

 今年の元日の様子からは、車椅子生活の夫の体調が悪化するとは思えなかった。3年ぶりに子や孫ら約20人が顔をそろえ、夫はお年玉を孫たちに手渡した。その姿を見て、家族と生きる幸せを改めてかみしめた。

But on Feb. 2 Takatoshi's condition deteriorated. He did not eat the rice gruel that Sakue tried to feed him, and could not move his arms and legs, yet he refused hospitalization. She somehow convinced him to enter the hospital by saying, "If you refuse hospitalization, then I might pass away first."

 だが、今月2日の様子は違った。おかゆを食べさせようとしても食べず、手も足も動かせなくなっていた。それでも入院しようとしない夫。「入院しないなら、私の方が先に逝くかもしれませんよ」。何とか言い含めた。

The war and the atomic bomb have claimed the lives of Sakue's mother and father, two older brothers, and older sister. Immediately after the war ended, she survived by eating food scraps and wild grasses, and drinking river water. Her only younger sister struggled with illness and committed suicide in 1955. Sakue tried to kill herself so that she could join her sister, but her husband stopped her, telling her that they should "persevere together." They were married in April 1955. Having been educated under the prewar system, her husband, an A-bomb survivor himself, had little to say about the atomic bomb but nevertheless quietly supported Sakue's peace activities.

 下平さんは戦争と原爆で父母と兄2人、姉1人を失った。終戦直後は残飯や野草を食べ、川の水を飲んだ。生き残ったただ一人の妹は病気を苦に55年に自殺した。後を追って死のうとしたが「一緒に頑張ろう」と引き止めてくれたのが夫だった。同年4月に結婚。戦前教育を受けた夫は自らも被爆しているが原爆について多くを語らず、下平さんの平和活動をそっと支えた。

When Sakue's husband wanted to quit his company due to his hand-trembling, which is believed to be the result of exposure to the A-bomb, it was now Sakue's turn to convince him to persist. Her husband later suffered from diabetes and other ailments, and once he began dialysis, he could not walk without assistance.

 原爆後遺症とみられる手の震えなどから会社を辞めようとする夫を、今度は下平さんが何度も説得した。夫はその後も糖尿病などで苦しみ、透析を受けるようになると介助なしで歩けなくなった。

The couple became inseparable. From the year before last, Sakue's lower back and legs had begun to hurt, and caring for her husband, who weighs 12 kilograms more than she does, had become physically taxing. But then her emotions were roused by the heart-breaking images that appeared in the TV news reports of the Israeli Army's bombing of Gaza. The sight of children fleeing and being injured by the rubble reminded her of her own experiences at the time of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

 2人寄り添う日々。一昨年からは下平さん自身も足腰が痛み、12キロ差の夫の介護が体力的にきつくなってきた。しかし、心を奮い立たせないではいられない映像が目に入った。イスラエル軍によるパレスチナ自治区ガザ地区への攻撃を伝えるテレビニュース。がれきの中で傷つき、逃げ惑う子供の姿が、被爆時の自分と重なった。

"There are people who justify war, and argue for possessing nuclear weapons, but war is absolutely wrong," she said emphatically, as if admonishing herself. (By Tomohiro Shimohara, Nagasaki Bureau, Mainichi Shimbun)

 「戦争を正当化して核兵器保持を訴える人がいるが、絶対に戦争はいけない」。自らを叱咤(しった)するように、力を込めた。<文・下原知広、写真・徳野仁子>=つづく

Profile: Sakue Shimohira survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki at the age of 10. She was about 800 meters from Ground Zero. She began lecturing on her A-bomb experiences around the age of 40, and has given approximately 10,000 lectures. She is the chairman of the Association of Bereaved Families of Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Victims.

 ◇下平作江さん

 10歳の時に爆心地から約800メートルで被爆。40歳ごろから始めた被爆体験講話は約1万回に及ぶ。長崎原爆遺族会会長。


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