« GDPプラス 本格回復へ詰めを誤るな | トップページ | フィリピンの日本兵戦没者共同墓地 »

2009年8月18日 (火)

あの戦争の記憶―世代を超え、橋を架ける

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 15(IHT/Asahi: August 18,2009)
EDITORIAL: Memories of war must be passed down
あの戦争の記憶―世代を超え、橋を架ける

 64回目の終戦記念日を迎えた。

A recent academic survey of students at the Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science turned up a surprising number. The survey, conducted last year by the university's Nagasaki Institute for Peace Culture, found only 33.2 percent of the respondents knew the correct day when World War II ended with Japan's surrender.
 驚かされる数字がある。被爆地にある長崎総合科学大学の平和文化研究所が、同大の学生を対象に行った昨年の調査で、「終戦の日」がいつかを正しく答えられたのは33.2%。

The figure was around 50 to 60 percent 15 or so years ago.
15年ほど前は5~6割台だった。

Now, more than three-quarters of the Japanese population are those born after the war. Of the people who returned to Japan from World War II battlefields, only an estimated 400,000 are still alive. The people who received the nation's last examinations for conscription in 1945 at the age of conscription--19 at that time--are now 83.
 戦後生まれは人口の4分の3を超えた。太平洋戦争の戦場から帰還し、健在な人は推計で40万人前後。最後となった1945年の徴兵検査を19歳で受けた人が、もう83歳だ。

How can we ensure that memories of the war will be handed down through generations? We are apparently facing a challenge that is getting increasingly difficult year after year.
 あの戦争の記憶をどう受け継いでゆくか。年々難しくなる課題に私たちは直面している。

Listening to war veterans
 ■当事者に向き合う

Naoko Jin, a 31-year-old employee at an English language school in the city of Saitama, visited the Philippines as part of a study tour when she was a student. During a gathering in the country, Jin was shocked to hear an old Filipino woman say she didn't want to see any Japanese.
 さいたま市の英会話学校で働く神(じん)直子さん(31)は、学生時代にスタディーツアーでフィリピンを訪ねた。現地の集会で、一人のおばあさんに「日本人なんか見たくない」と言われたことが胸に突き刺さった。

She said that her husband was killed by a Japanese soldier.
日本兵に夫を殺されたという。

Three years later, a friend happened to tell Jin about a former Japanese soldier who died while repenting what he did on the battlefield.
 その3年後に知人から偶然、戦地での行いを悔いながら亡くなった元日本兵がいる、と聞かされた。

The poignant story gave her the idea of making a video of former Japanese soldiers speaking about their feelings concerning their wartime experiences in the Philippines and delivering the video to people in the country.
フィリピンで従軍した人の今の思いをビデオメッセージにして、現地の人に届けてはどうか。そう思いついた。

Using information sources like lists of personnel who served in Imperial Japanese Army units, Jin sent letters to several hundred Japanese who fought in the Philippines, asking them to appear in the planned video.
 旧日本軍の部隊名簿などを手がかりに数百通の手紙を出してみた。

After a while, replies started arriving sporadically, and Jin began to travel to various parts of the nation with a videocamera to visit those who expressed a willingness to accommodate her request.
ぽつりぽつりと返事が来た。神さんはカメラを手に、全国を訪ね始める。

"We were all educated to do anything for the country. I just think I lived according to what the (militaristic) education taught me," said a former army soldier.
 「お国のために何でもやる。そんな教育に従って生きてしまった気がする」と、振り返った元兵長がいた。

"Robbery, rape, murder, arson. Although I acted on military orders, I still feel guilty. But I don't know how to apologize," a man who served in an engineer corps said with a strained voice.
 「強盗、強姦(ごうかん)、殺人、放火……。軍命とはいえ、罪の気持ちはある。でも謝るすべを知りません」。工兵隊にいた人は声を絞りだした。

One veteran, after recounting his wartime experiences in the Philippines, disclosed that he stabbed guerrillas in a frenzy.
 話の最後に「無我夢中でゲリラを突き刺した」と、打ち明けた人もいた。

The Philippines was one of the bloodiest battlefields of the Pacific War. About 500,000 of the 600,000 Japanese soldiers and civilian personnel serving the country died amid fierce battles between Japanese and U.S. forces. In addition, more than 1 million Filipinos were killed.
 フィリピンは太平洋戦争の激戦地だ。日米両軍の死闘のなかで、日本の軍人・軍属60万人中50万人が死亡した。フィリピン人も100万人以上が犠牲となった。

Jin revisited the Philippines with a video showing Japanese war veterans speaking about what they did in the country.
Many of the local people who watched the video were surprised to find the former members of the Japanese Imperial Army still struggling with emotional turmoil. Some of the locals said they forgave the Japanese.
 証言の映像を持参したフィリピンでは、元兵士が葛藤(かっとう)を持ち続けていることに驚いた人が多かった。みなではないけれど、許すと言う人もいた。

To Jin, the history of the war looks hazy.
 神さんにとって戦争の歴史は、モヤモヤとよどんでいる、という。

Chinese and South Korean criticism concerning descriptions of the war in Japanese school textbooks or Japanese high-ranking officials' visits to Yasukuni Shrine usually provokes a backlash in Japan.
 教科書の記述や靖国参拝を中国や韓国から批判されると、国内から反発が起きる。

When she traveled abroad, Jin was suddenly faced with Japan's wartime past. But she learned little about modern history at school. She has read "Barefoot Gen," a Japanese manga series describing the effects of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on a boy's life. But she has no clear images of Japanese soldiers sent overseas during the war.
海外に行くと、唐突に過去を突きつけられる。でも学校ではろくに近現代史を学んでいない。広島の被爆体験を描いた「はだしのゲン」は読んだことはあるが、海外に出兵した日本人のイメージは具体的に浮かばない。

Jin felt she couldn't disperse the fog and move forward unless she knew more about the war and the era through firsthand accounts by people who took part in the war.
 あの時代に近づき、戦争に携わった当事者に向き合わなければ、モヤモヤを埋めて先へと進めない――。

Jin set up a group named "Bridge for Peace." Young members of the group interviewed nearly 70 former soldiers. The group screens films comprising the interviews almost every year in cooperation with citizen organizations in the Philippines.
 神さんは「ブリッジ・フォー・ピース」という団体を立ち上げた。若者たちが手分けして70人近い元兵士の話を聞いた。フィリピンの市民団体などの協力で、毎年のように上映会を開く。

Discussing experiences
 ■語り始めた元兵士

Makoto Yasuda, an 86-year-old living in Tokyo's Nakano Ward, was an air radio soldier during the war. After returning from the Philippines, Yasuda worked for a company importing pharmaceuticals and retired after serving as president of the company's subsidiary.
 東京都中野区の安田誠さん(86)は航空通信兵だった。フィリピンから復員後、薬の輸入商社で働き、子会社の社長まで務めて引退した。

Yasuda had been long convinced that nobody would be interested in hearing the war experiences of a former private second class.
 2等兵の経験談など、だれも耳を傾けまいと思ってきた。

But he was alarmed to find a nationalistic atmosphere pervading this nation, encouraging the use of belligerent language toward foreign countries.
だが、気がつけば、外国に対し勇ましいことを言う空気が世にあふれている。

He wondered if young people today really knew about the wretchedness of war.
戦地の悲惨さを、若い者は知らんのだろうか。

Two years ago, Yasuda's life reached a turning point when his grandchild took him to a meeting to discuss the war. Now, he speaks about his wartime experiences at places like community centers in response to requests.
 孫に2年前、戦争を語る集会に連れて行かれたのが契機になった。請われるまま公民館などで話す。

When he encounters people around the same age while taking a walk, he invites them to join in this activity.
散歩中に同年配者を見かけては、仲間に誘う。

There are also attempts to make the experiences of former soldiers readily available to the public.
 元兵士たちの体験を、共有できる形にして残そうという試みもある。

Last month, a small war museum opened in a private house in Tokyo's Kita Ward. A group of volunteers in their 20s and 30s dedicated to showing and preserving records of war experiences have spent four years interviewing World War II veterans. DVDs and written materials at the museum offer personal accounts of the war provided by some 2,200 former soldiers.
 東京都北区の民家に先月、小さな史料館が開館した。20~30代のボランティアらでつくる「戦場体験放映保存の会」が、4年前から聞き取りを進めてきた。証言映像のDVDと手記類を合わせ、まず2200人分を公開する。

"Leaving records of the experiences of people who took part in the war--which were once national memories--as much as possible is an important mission of the generation of their grandchildren, who were born after the war," says Junko Nakata, the 35-year-old leader of the group. "The next five years, or rather the next three years, will be crucial."
 「国民的な記憶だったはずの従軍体験を、できるだけ残すことが、戦争を知らない孫たちの世代の使命。あと5年、いや3年が勝負です」と、同会事務局長の中田順子さん(35)は言う。

The number of former soldiers offering to talk about their experiences for the group is increasing as contributors invite their comrades in. Their slogan is: "Buddies, let's tell (the younger generation) before we die."
 元兵士が仲間に呼びかける形で、証言の輪は広がっている。合言葉は「戦友(とも)よ、語ってから死のう」。

Yasuda has also joined the movement.
安田さんもその一人に加わった。

Vanishing memories
 ■体験者なき戦後へ

Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) is promoting a project called "War Testimony Archives," which produces videos available on the Internet of former soldiers talking about their war experiences.
 NHKが進めるプロジェクト「戦争証言アーカイブス」では、従軍経験を語る映像がウェブ上で閲覧できる。

NHK posted videos of about 100 World War II veterans during the trial period through October. The broadcaster plans to expand the archives further by collecting accounts from people behind the front lines and set up a website devoted to the project in 2011.
10月までの試行で約100人分。銃後の経験を含めた証言をもっと増やし、11年には本格サイトを完成させる。

NHK has compiled video archives of interviews with war veterans made for its programs, including those that were not broadcast.
Viewers can search the archives using the names of battlefields or a chronological table.
 番組制作で集めたインタビューを未放送分も含めて収録し、戦場名や年表からの検索も可能にした。

The project is aimed at building a systematic and comprehensive collection of videos to preserve Japanese people's memories of the war.
日本人の戦争体験全体を、体系的・総合的に整理するねらいだという。

This is one example of an effort to recover the vanishing memories of the war. A number of attempts are under way to pass the experiences of the war onto future generations.
 社会の中で薄れてゆく記憶を、つくりなおす。世代を超えて橋を架ける作業がいくつも進められている。

Ordinary people can be dragged into a war by a government taking the wrong path and commit or suffer brutalities in extreme situations.
 ごく普通の人が、国の誤った道に巻き込まれ、極限の状況下で、加害者にも被害者にもなる。

This harrowing reality of war is the coherent message that should be gleaned from the accounts these unknown former soldiers leave for young people.
無名の元兵士たちが若者に語り残すのは、そうした戦争のリアリティーだ。

The accumulation of these firsthand accounts of the war should be kept as a shared public asset to ensure that Japan won't make the same mistake again.
その集積を、日本が二度と過ちを繰り返さないための共有財産にしてゆこう。

We must not tolerate the prevalence of political debates that ignore the reality of war.
 戦場の現実を踏まえない議論を、政治の場で横行させてはならない。

Before long, there will no longer be people who experienced the war. But that won't end Japan's postwar era.
 遠くない将来、あの戦争の体験者はいなくなる。それからも、私たちは「戦後」の時間を刻み続けていく。

|

« GDPプラス 本格回復へ詰めを誤るな | トップページ | フィリピンの日本兵戦没者共同墓地 »

03-英字新聞(朝日)」カテゴリの記事

コメント

コメントを書く



(ウェブ上には掲載しません)




« GDPプラス 本格回復へ詰めを誤るな | トップページ | フィリピンの日本兵戦没者共同墓地 »