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2009年8月 6日 (木)

記者の目:被爆者の新たな取り組みを学ぼう=下原知広(長崎支局)

(Mainichi Japan) August 5, 2009
Responsibility of the young to continue hibakusha push for nuclear disarmament
記者の目:被爆者の新たな取り組みを学ぼう=下原知広(長崎支局)

 ◇自ら行動して平和探求を 悲惨さ伝える義務がある
In mid-July, 74-year-old Sakue Shimohira, an adviser of the Association of Bereaved Families of Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Victims who has given approximately 10,000 lectures about her A-bomb experiences and is a staunch advocate of nuclear disarmament, suspended her activities due to health concerns. Now that her hip surgery has been successfully completed, she is highly motivated to resume her activities.
約1万回もの語り部活動で被爆体験と核廃絶を訴え続ける長崎原爆遺族会顧問、下平作江(しもひらさくえ)さん(74)が、体調を崩し7月中旬から活動を中断している。幸い手術は成功し、復帰に意欲満々だ。

It is an undeniable fact, however, that A-bomb survivors are growing old. Throughout my reporting on the A-bomb, I have asked myself how the stories and hopes of this aging population can be passed on to younger generations. Sensing the urgency of this current situation, some survivors in the city of Nagasaki -- which will commemorate the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing on Aug. 9 -- have begun engaging in new efforts to keep their stories alive. It is important that younger generations learn from such efforts to make their own efforts in inheriting their legacy.
被爆者の高齢化は進む。原爆取材をしながら「こうした思いをどう次代につなげばいいのか」と自問自答してきた。9日に64回目の「原爆の日」を迎える長崎市では、被爆体験継承に危機感を持つ被爆者が新たな取り組みを始めている。若い世代は、これらをヒントに継承に取り組むべきだと思う。

 私は08年末から連載企画「ヒバクシャ」(大阪、西部本社発行の朝刊に掲載)で、下平さんの取材を続けている。

Shimohira and a sister two years her junior were holed up in a bomb shelter approximately 800 meters from Ground Zero when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. What they saw when they emerged from the shelter the next day was a scene from hell. Family members who had been at home at the time of the bombing had died, and her sister who'd survived later committed suicide after struggling with illness. Shimohira herself went through trials and tribulations, including uterine and ovarian surgery. She began lecturing about her A-bomb experiences around the age of 40, and as a plaintiff in the Nagasaki lawsuit for A-bomb illness recognition, has engaged in various activities in support of A-bomb survivors. I have been overawed not only by her A-bomb experience, but also in the life she has chosen to live, bringing advocacy for the total abolition of nuclear weapons into the center of her life. "Nuclear weapons and humankind cannot coexist. My hope is that we are the last ones to experience the kind of suffering we did," she says.
 下平さんは10歳の時、爆心地から約800メートルの防空壕(ごう)で2歳下の妹らと被爆した。翌日、壕を出ると外は地獄のような光景だった。自宅にいた家族は被爆死し、助かった妹もその後に病苦で自殺。30代で子宮、卵巣を切除するなど過酷な体験をしてきた。40歳ごろから語り部活動を始め、原爆症認定長崎訴訟の原告として被爆者全体の支援活動にも取り組む。その体験はもちろん、核兵器廃絶の取り組みを生活の中心に据える生きざまに、強い衝撃を受けた。
 「核兵器と人類は共存できない。体や骨を刻むほどの苦しみは私たちで終わりにしてほしい」。

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, as of late March, there were approximately 235,500 A-bomb survivors nationwide, with an average age of 75.92. As the survivor population grows older and the number of lecturers like Shimohira declines, we rapidly approach a time when those of us who have not experienced the atomic bombings must take the lead in nuclear disarmament. Seeing Shimohira lying in a hospital bed after her operation in late July, I was struck by a renewed sense of responsibility to continue the legacy.
 7月末、長崎市内の病院の無菌室。下平さんは痛めた股(こ)関節の骨の手術を終え、ベッドで静かに眠っていた。回復すれば、修学旅行生たちに再び被爆体験を語るという。
全国の被爆者は3月末で約23万5500人、平均年齢75・92歳(厚生労働省調べ)と高齢化が進む。下平さんのような語り部は少なくなり、被爆体験を持たない人が核兵器廃絶に取り組まなければならない時期が目前に迫る。下平さんの姿に、被爆体験継承への思いをますます強くした。

Teruo Ideguchi, 73, a former company employee and a member of the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace, is one of those who takes an innovative approach to the passing down of A-bomb history. At the time of the atomic bombing, Ideguchi was at home, located 1.4 kilometers from Ground Zero. Having lost consciousness from serious injuries to his back and head, he has very little recollection of the experience.
 新たな手法で継承に取り組む一人が、長崎平和推進協会員で元会社員、出口(いでぐち)輝夫さん(73)だ。爆心地から1・4キロの自宅で被爆。背中や頭に大けがをしたために気絶し、当時の光景をあまり記憶していない。

"I didn't have the type of experience that Ms. Shimohira did," he says. "All I can talk about is what my surroundings were like."
「下平さんのような体験はなく、話せるのは周囲の状況だけ」と言う。

That was why he spent about eight years studying such fields as medicine and physics on his own, eventually compiling what he learned about the A-bomb into a book. When asked to give lectures, Ideguchi talks about both what he has learned from his independent study and his personal experiences.
そこで、医学や物理学などを約8年間独学、原爆について学んだことを本にまとめた。講話を頼まれると、こうして得た知識を体験談に交えている。

In May 2008, he began a monthly gathering called Heiwa-juku (Peace school), in which Ideguchi, along with survivors that lead tours of sites affected by the bombing and local citizens, engage in debates on nuclear power and weapons. He has discussed the origins of the code names "Little Boy" and "Fat Man," given to the bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively.
 08年5月からは「平和塾」を月1回開催。被爆遺構などをガイドする被爆者、市民と、原子力や核兵器について議論する。広島原爆(リトルボーイ)と長崎原爆(ファットマン)の名前の由来などを問うなどし、理解を深めてもらう。

"Young people who have not experienced the atomic bombings tend to think that the elimination of nuclear weapons is impossible," he says. "But I think there must be things that can be done."
こうした取り組みから「原爆を体験していない若い人は『核廃絶なんかできない』と考えがちだが、できることがあるはずだ」と語る。

Another member of the Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace and a volunteer guide, 67 year-old Yasujiro Tanaka, was 3 years old when the A-bomb was dropped 3.4 kilometers from his home. While he has no memory of the bombing aside from "a bluish white light that appeared as if tens of thousands of camera strobes had gone off," he wanted to find a way to pass on the history to younger generations through tales that children could relate to, like the famous story of Sadako Sasaki, who experienced the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and died at age 12 from A-bomb related leukemia.
 同協会平和案内人、田中安次郎さん(67)は、3歳の時に爆心地から3・4キロで被爆した。「カメラのストロボを何万個も集めたような青白い光」以外の記憶はほとんどない。そこで「広島で被爆し、原爆症(白血病)のため12歳で亡くなった佐々木禎子(さだこ)さんのように、子供にも身近に感じられる話をして平和への思いを伝えることができないか」と考えた。

Tanaka was inspired by the story of Kayoko zakura (Kayoko's cherry tree). The tree was donated to Shiroyama Elementary School in Nagasaki, where it still stands today, by the mother of Kayoko Hayashi, who was at the school when she died of the bombing at age 15, in memory of her daughter and others who had perished. Determined to spread the mother's legacy to the rest of the country, since February, Tanaka has raised money to buy cherry tree seedlings, which have been planted in the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. He explains that it's a way to let younger people know about the horrors of atomic bombs and war. He also talks about the bombings, but supplements certain areas in which he is not knowledgeable.
"With regards to experiences I personally didn't go through, I familiarize myself through photo books and by listening to other people talk about their experiences. Then I throw myself into character and pass their stories on to other people. We do not have memories of the atomic bombings, but we have a responsibility to pass them on."
 着目したのは長崎市立城山(しろやま)小の「嘉代子桜(かよこざくら)」だった。学校で被爆死した林嘉代子さん(当時15歳)の母親が、娘らの死を悼んで同小に植樹した桜への思いを全国に広めることを計画。募金などで集めたお金で桜の苗木を買い、長崎市や広島市などへの植樹を2月から続けている。「原爆や戦争の悲惨さを訴えるための手段。体験がない分は写真集などで勉強し、語り部の話を聞いて追体験し、その人になりきって話す。我々は被爆の悲惨さを記憶していないが、被爆を伝える責任がある」

The efforts of these two people -- who are trying to establish an understanding of what happened by re-examining the history of the bombings and the war -- provide us with hints on how we can inherit and pass on the legacy of the atomic bombings, ways that allow for self-motivated thought, action, and the pursuit of peace.
 被爆や戦争の歴史を再点検して紡ぎ出そうとする2人の取り組みは、自ら考え、行動し、平和を探求しようとする新たな被爆体験の継承手法を私たちに投げかけている。

The hopes of such people are gradually spreading across the country. The 10,000 high school student petition drive begun in Nagasaki in 2001 is one such example. Every year, the signatures of high school students calling for nuclear disarmament are collected and delivered to the U.N.'s European headquarters in Geneva and other organizations. About 300 high school students have participated in gathering signatures. Meanwhile, students and staff at a junior high school in Yamaguchi Prefecture who were touched by Tanaka's efforts sent him money that they had raised. We must not let the efforts made by survivors in the past 64 years for the realization of peace come to nothing.
 その思いは少しずつ各地で種を芽生えさせている。長崎で01年から始まった「高校生1万人署名活動」もその一つだ。高校生たちが核兵器廃絶の署名を集め、それを国連欧州本部(スイス)などに毎年届けている。参加した高校生たちは約300人に及ぶ。田中さんの活動に共感し、山口県柳井市の中学校が寄付金を送ってもきた。被爆者たちの64年間の平和への思いを途切れさせるわけにはいかない。

There have been signs of change in the global situation regarding nuclear weapons. We have seen the emergence of President Barack Obama, who has called for "a world without nuclear weapons," and who has signed a treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons.
 米国では「核兵器のない世界」を目指すオバマ大統領が登場し、ロシアと核削減に関する条約に合意するなど核兵器を巡る状況は動きつつある。

"The reason we continue to talk about our atomic bombing experiences is because we do not want nuclear weapons to be used ever again." As citizens of the only country in the world to have suffered atomic bombings, we must take to heart the meaning of these words Ideguchi has repeated over the years. (By Tomohiro Shimohara, Nagasaki Bureau, Mainichi Shimbun)
「私たちが被爆体験を語るのは、二度と核兵器を使ってほしくないからです」。唯一の被爆国に住む我々は、出口さんが繰り返し語り続けてきた言葉を、改めてかみしめなければならないと思う。

毎日新聞 2009年8月4日 東京朝刊

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