LONDON Love&Hate 愛と憎しみのロンドン

1999年のクリスマス・イヴにロンドンに。以来、友人達に送りつけていたプライヴェイト・メイル・マガジンがもと。※掲載されている全ての文章の無断引用・転載を禁じます。
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許すことの意味:私達をつなぐものは引き離すものより強い

2011.02.11
2010年12月、BBCに質問のメイルを送ったとき、そのことが自分の内面にまで何かを伝えることがあるんなんてこと、予想することすらなかった。世間では、半分ほど過去のニュースなのかもしれないが、過去に起きた戦争とそれに伴う憎しみに、世代を超えてどれだけ多くの人が今でも抜け出せないでいるかを、僕自身が痛感した、とても個人的な経験。

 ロンドンで暮らし始めたころ、ホスト・ファミリィの一員であり友人でもあるYから、オーストラリアに住むYの友人、J(女性)を紹介された。一度も会ったことはないが、紹介されて以来、その朗らかなしゃべり、美しい文章にみせられて、いつの間にか大切な友人になっていた。彼女の姿は、数年前、彼女が脳腫瘍を発症する前に撮影された写真だけでしか知らない。そんなあやふやな友人関係の上に交流は頻繁ではないものの、ずっと続いている。

 先月末、Jを含めてネイティヴの友人たちに以下のメイルを送った。

What I was talking in the video were 1) I could immediately understand their main point that they wanted to laugh about the British ill-train system, but I found it inappropriate to pick up Mr Yamaguchi in order to make a comparison and 2) I was also disappointed by BBC because they had not mention how devastated Hiroshma and Nagaski had been after the bombs.

In order to shorten the story, these two articles will tell you some part of the story.

BBC quiz's jokes about survivor of both A-bombs outrages Japan
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1349517/Quite-Insensitive-BBC-quizs-jokes-survivor-A-bombs-outrages-Japan.html

BBC apologises for Japanese atomic bomb jokes on QI quiz show

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jan/23/bbc-apology-atomic-bomb-jokes

I am one of the Japanese who sent BBC a question about how much they know about the atomic bomb in Japan. After I received the reply from BBC which I put onto my blog, a Japanese TV company contacted me to interview me and I accepted it.
I did not seek an apology from BBC, but I did want to know why BBC made the decision to air the programme.

You may not know, or you may not need to know about the atomic bombs in Japan. However, one thing I would like to stress is that all of Hibakusha, who are called in Japan, including Mr Yamaguchi, have run absolutely unimaginably difficult lives after the bombs.
Not only have they suffered from the unknown side effects caused by the bombs, but they have also been isolated from the main society because of prejudice. I have heard that some of them do really not want to unveil their experience because if they do, their brother, sister, their children or cousins might not be able to get a job or to marry because one of their family member is a Hibakusha.

If BBC dealt with the atomic bombs in general including the dark side of Japan`s history during WW2, I would welcome it. However, they picked up only Mr Yamaguchi, who was a victim and surviver, which I found inappropriate.

After I read the reader`s forum of the Daily Mail, I was really sad because I realised that we, both the British and Japanese, do not know about each other at all. I can say, while some Japanese do believe that all of the British enjoy afternoon tea everyday, some British believe that Shogun still exists in Japan.
On the other hand, I think that this row will provide us a good opportunity to be aware how different we are and we can still fill the gap between us.

 Jだけが返信してきた。

Many thanks too for the explanation about the YouTube interview. Fry is witty and sharp ... and sometimes, just a tad too sharp for his own good. Though I do think he has great empathy and would be appalled to think he ridiculed anyone who lived through such a time (he's Jewish and abhors the Holocaust, so knows about these terrible blights on humanity). Still. It's his show and he could have edited this out. We will never know why it was included.
No one could understand your point better than me.

Why?

My papa was a prisoner of war on the island of Hainan in the South China Sea for over 3 years.
Lost to the world - not even an official camp. Pretty grim in all respects. The few who survived those years, were, ironically, rescued by the Americans who flew over the island after the bombs were dropped, looking for survivors.

Little did those few men know that their fate was sealed, not by their medical conditions from
years of torture, starvation & abuse but because of the fallout from the bombs not far away in Japan.

My papa died of radiation poisoning - a long and terrible death it is too - and, 11 years after the war (side effects unknown then) passed this DNA onto me, his beloved daughter, when I was born, so that years later I developed my Lightbulb (as I call it) as a direct result of this.

So, my dear, you see how I understand and appreciate your poignant point only too well.

I'm so glad you spoke up.

love
J

 メイルと電話だけとはいえ、10年以上も知っているつもりでいたJのことを何も知らなかった自分のおろかさ、そして過去を一切語ることなしに友人として僕を受け入れているJにたった数行の返事を送るのに数日が必要だった。

When I wrote my last note to you I wondered how you would respond. I know how sensitive you are but felt it was timely to let you know a little more about your old friend and her background.

Isn't it fascinating how long we can know someone and still there are parts of their lives we know nothing about?

My papa was the bravest person I knew and know now for that matter. Despite his treatment he returned to Australia (5 stone - he was 12 stone when he enlisted; shrank 3" to 6 foot - a skeleton) he threw himself into making a new life. His health was broken & symptoms not understood then so no help, medically.

He not only built a new life on our property (from scratch, too) but threw himself into community work. He and a few other men at that time created the infrastructure that sustains us now in this lovely life we lead. The political infrastructure, the hospitals and medical infrastructure, etc etc.
All this done on an honorary basis, while working like the clappers on building up the property.

His papa had died while he was listed as 'missing in action' (no one knew where he was for over 3 years as the PoW camp was not an official one, so not listed anywhere) - of a broken heart - and his family was shattered. So he returned to find his father had died (and he knew why) and no money as the family income had gone, too.

Golly gum drops.

What a fella.

Perhaps best of all (and there was plenty to admire, let me tell you) was his attitude to his jailers.
He always - always - said 'forgive' & then he did it. This at a time, darling boy, when the feeling in Oz towards the Japanese was pretty grim (you understand why).

He was one of the very few (perhaps only one) who advocated this. He also always said - 'we must trade together' - and we did, of course. He encouraged this and because of his service, this was hugely respected by all and certainly encouraged the powers that be to trade and open links between our two countries.

There is much I could tell you about how this extraordinary link with the radiation (his killed him, mine has saved me) has helped me with my own spiritual growth. Hugely.

And it is his attitude of forgiveness that has transformed my life these past years when everything changed for me when my mother died. Such deep things between us, and now, my forgiveness has healed both our hearts.

I always felt, when Y brought you into my life, that you came along so I could continue this special link. Because of my papa's example and the fact I decided to follow it, I live with an open heart.
And how deeply it has pleased me, all these years, to have you in my life, so I can continue a special link with a country that means so much to me and my family.

You see, darling, what a big life we are all in? We never know how what we do, say, will influence others. Your high aesthetic, love of culture and beauty, so like my own.

As the Buddhists say - 'no accidents in this world'

What unites us is so much greater than what divides us.
This I know, for sure.

You are a blessing and treasure in my life.

Something I'm having on my gravestone that I think sums up how we're both feeling right now.

It is only through the heart that one can see rightly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.


(The Little Prince, St. - Exupery)

with my love,

Koji-san's friend
J

 許すことがすべてを解決することではないと判っているし、Jもすべてを許せるかどうかは判らない。でも、許すこと、そして許しを受け入れられることで前に進めるのなら、そこに至るまでどれほど心が引き裂かれようとも、無駄なことではないはず。

 「友人関係をひけらかしたいだけでは」とか、「会ったことのない人の話では信憑性にかける」等々あるだろうし、信じろと強制するつもりなど毛頭ない。ただ、漫画家のこうの史代さんの好きな言葉、「私はいつも真の栄誉をかくし持つ人間を書きたいと思っている(ジッド)」に倣い、Jという友人のことを書き記しておきたかった。

 コメント機能を閉じておこうと思ったが、それではJに応えていないことと同じなので、あけておきます。でも、返事できるかどうかの自信は全くない。また、「管理者にだけ表示を許可する」というコメントは、今回に限り戴いても読まずに削除します。

All of us are unique. Each of us forms our society.

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Comment

- ハマちゃん

守屋さん、素晴らしいご友人ですね。
彼女の文章は、私の胸の奥深くにまで入ってきました。
自分が狭量であること、時としてレイシストであることを自覚はしていても、そこから動くことはなかなか出来ない。

だけど、こういう方の言葉に触れることで、少しでも心を広く持ちたい、という気持ちになります。

Jさんとの友人関係を長く大事にしてきて、ストレートに思いを語り合える関係を作り上げた守屋さんも、

ありきたりな言葉だけど、「素晴らしい」。

幸せって、そういう関係の中にあるもの、だと思いますもの。
シェアして下さって、ありがとうございます。
2011.02.14 Mon 10:16 URL [ Edit ]

素晴らしい娘さんですね - Yoshi

こんにちは。お友達のJさん、素晴らしい娘さんですね。お父さんも立派です!

戦争や迫害、犯罪などでひどい被害を与えられた時、相手を許すのは、本人以上に家族の方が難しいかもしれません。憎しみの連鎖は、本人よりも家族から生まれることが多いのではないかと思います。被害者本人には許すことを決心する人もいるし、憎むとか許すという以前に、辛いことは忘れたいと思う方も多いでしょうが、家族は、許したり忘れたりすると、被害を受けた肉親への罪悪感が働くからかもしれません。第三者は、そうした肉親の声に異を唱えることは、非人道的で残酷と見なされます。被害者やその家族から「お前の家族がそうなったら、どう思うか」という糾弾の声もあるでしょう。戦争とは違う問題ですが、犯罪被害者の肉親による涙ながらの、「死刑以外は絶対に認められない」という一言が日本での死刑論議を決定づけているように見えます。

これからも素晴らしいご友人、Jさんとの、生涯変わらぬ友情をお祈りします。 Yoshi
2011.02.17 Thu 06:16 URL [ Edit ]

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