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August 07, 2022

酷暑から炎暑、猛暑へ、そして今日は少し穏やかな暑さ。散歩くらいは出来そうなので、コーヒーショップにかき氷を食べに行った。都心に出れば洒落たかき氷屋はいくらでもありそうだけれど、何せコロナ禍真っ最中。地元で叶う最善を求めることにした。やはりかき氷はいい!全身が冷え冷えした。本日の更新は表紙の写真(散歩の途中で見た満開のサルスベリ)と、このページのかき氷の写真です。暑中御見舞い申し上げます。

It has been extremely hot in Tokyo, but for a few days the hotness was rather moderate. It was not so dangerously hot today, so that I went out to a coffee shop in my neighborhood to eat shaved ice. If I could go to the central part of Tokyo, I might find some fashionable styles of shaved ice; however due to COVID-19, we were supposed to stay home as much as possible. The left one is "caramel-au-lait" and the right one is "muscat with aloe." The whole of my body and soul was cooled down. Greetings to you in the middle of summer! Today's update: the photo in the index page (Flowering crape martle on my way to the coffee shop) and the one here (two kinds of shaved ice at Komeda Coffee Shop).


August 04, 2022

青森県は私の義理の両親の故郷だ。既に身の周りに縁者はいなくなってしまったが、伯母の一人が今も故郷に住んでいる。盆暮の挨拶と、新茶を送るくらいしかコンタクトがないけれど、ごくたまに電話で話をする。伯母は今年90歳。今も地元で書道教室を開いている。「小学校のお子さん方は、はぁ、忙しくなってしまって休むんだけどぉ、年配の方々は楽しみに通ってくださってます」と大きな声で語る。近所には親戚がいっぱいいるから、一人暮らしはちっとも寂しくないそうだ。義母が最後まで「母の家に帰る」と言っていた故郷。「妹一人に墓守させて済まない」と言い続けていた。遠くにありてこそ懐かしい場所に違いない。故郷を後にした彼女の人生について誰かが記憶・記録しておかなくてよいのだろうかとずっと思っている。義母は膨大な書付を残した。広告の裏紙、ノート、メモ帳。そのうち整理してみようと思いながら、恐れをなして近付かずにいた。何でもない市井の女性の呟きは私がいなくなったら燃やされるのみ。なにがしかの形にしておいたら、いつか誰かの役に立つだろうか。

My parents-in-law came from Aomori Prefecture. There is none of her relatives around me now. One of her sisters remains in Aomori. I send her seasonal presents a few times a year. Only once in a while I call her on the phone. She is 90 years old now. She keeps teaching classes of Japanese calligraphy at home. "Elementary school pupils are absent quite often, perhaps they are very busy with their school activities; but elder students are never absent. They say they enjoy themselves in their calligraphy class," says she loudly. Because she has many of her relatives and friends in her neighborhood, she boasts she never gets lonely. My mother-in-law repeatedly said that she wanted to go back to her "Mother's home." That's the place one longs for because it's far away. She also regretted that her youngest sister was left behind in their home town with the family graveyard to take care of. I wonder if someone should write down about her life, who lived far away home. She left boxes of scribbles (in notebooks, back of ad-papers, tiny memos etc.) when she died. I should have checked them carefully but I haven't touched them at all yet. The trace of life of a nameless woman would be burned away when I die. I imagine if they are summed up and formed into a booklet, it might be of some use to somebody.


August 03, 2022

いつかそんな日が来るだろうとは思っていた。でもそれはずっと先であって欲しいと願っていた。グループホー、ムに入っている母は、今日訪ねて行った私が誰か分からなかった。母は腰椎骨折を何度か繰り返し、痛み止めを服用するうち睡眠時間が長くなり、食事にも介護が要るようになっていた。10日ほど前に訪ねた時にはトロトロしていて話しにならなかったが、目が覚めればと期待していた。今日は見たところ、血色も良く表情は穏やかで、いつもの母に見えた。けれど、「私、分かる?」と聞いたら、「ううん」と応えた。余り素直に否定されたので私は面食らった。「そう、お母さん私のこと忘れちゃったんだ」と冗談めかして言ったものの、もう取り戻せないものがこの世にあることを深く受け止めざるを得なかった。外は灼熱。内は冷房でひんやり。たまたま今日は母が長く介護を担った父方の祖母の命日だった。祖母をみんなで見送ったのは、私が19歳の時だった。ちょうど半世紀前のこと。

I had been thinking that soon the day would come, but I prayed it won't be very soon. Today my mother didn't recognize me for the first time. My mother has been staying in "a group-home for the elders" to be taken care of. She had lumber fractures several times. Since she started taking pain relief medication almost ten days ago, she would fall asleep even during the daytime. Last time I met her, she fell asleep in front of me, so that I couldn’t talk to her. I expected we would be able to talk again when she gets wide awake. Today when I visited her, I asked her, "Do you know who I am, Mother?" She answered, "No." I was at a loss because she responded to my question so quickly. "How come, you forgot me?" said I jokingly but I felt nothing could recover her memory. It was extremely hot outside, and it was so cool indoors. It happened to be my grandmother's anniversary: my father's mother whom my mother used to take care of at home. My grandmother passed away exactly 50 years ago when I was 19.


August 02, 2022

昨年のちょうど今頃、引っ越し騒動の渦中にいた。数カ月の待機場所として古い家屋を借りたのだが、所帯を一つ移すというのは大仕事で、酷暑の中エアコンの一つもないその古屋に元の家からもぎ取ったエアコンを設置してもらうだけでたいへんだった。大汗を流しながら作業する電気工事屋さんを見かねて、「どうぞお使いください」とタオルを差し出した。一枚では足りなかったかもしれない。ただ、古屋は樹木に覆われていた。窓を開けると畑が広がり、朝夕はいくらか涼しい風が吹いた。猫たちはしょっちゅう窓枠に座って外を眺めていた。今にしてみると幻のような一時期だった。今日の暑さはあの日の暑さに負けない。それどころか体験したことのない暑さだ。猫たちはカーテンの陰から時折目くるめく白昼の街路を眺めている。畑の記憶など無いだろうな。

At this time of last year, we were in the middle of moving fuss. We rented an old house for a few months to stay until our new place was ready. It was a hard job to move a whole household, especially to move into an old house without an air conditioner. We asked an electrical engineering technician to settle a machine we deprived of from our previous house. Looking at the man working sweating all over, I offered him a towel. Perhaps only one towel was not enough for him. One thing good about the old house was that it was covered with trees and was facing a vast field. The wind blew in the early morning and the evening. Our cats liked to sit on the windowsill to look out. I remember the illusory days in the old house. Today's heat was no less than that day. Rather, I should say the hotness today was something we have never experienced before. Cats are looking out through curtains at the broad daylight in the lane of a town. I guess they remember nothing of the field in front of the old house.


July 29, 2022

それにしても一旦迷路に入り込むと、なかなか出てこられない。事態を鳥瞰できる人がいれば、難なく解決できるだろうに。渦中の人間には問題点が見えない。数年ぶりにイギリスへ出かけた友人が現地から私にメールを送ろうとしているのにこちらで受信できない。こちらから送っているものもはかばかしく届かない。私のメーラーが相手のアドレスを怪しんで勝手に捨てているのか、私のアドレスが認識されないのか(三種類のアドレスを知らせてあるにもかかわらず)、スマホとケータイ間の短信は通常の通り行き交っているのに、インターネットメールだけが行方不明になる。今時メール交換などという方が古いのだろうか。いやいや、他の人たちとは難なくやり取りできている。一体全体?ただでさえ暑いのに、余計に暑くなる。解決のとっかかりだけでも見えるとよいのだが。本日の更新は表紙の写真(勝鬨橋から見る盛夏の隅田川)とこのページの写真(勝鬨橋の上から上流を見晴らす)です。もう何度も撮ったショットだけれど、何度でもこの場所へ行ってみたくなる。余りの暑さに早々に退散。ご訪問ありがとうございます。

Once I'm lost in a maze, I can hardly get out of it. If there is someone who can look at the situation from a bird's eye-view, the issue might be solved immediately. Unfortunately, however, there is none to help me. A friend of mine who travels to UK for summer is trying to send me emails. I can't receive her mails and so can't she mine. I wonder there's something wrong with my mailer. But I am corresponding with others with no problem. Although we can send and receive our short messages via my smart phone and her mobile phone, only our internet mails between our PCs can't reach us. What in the world is the problem?? Maybe e-mail correspondence is out of date. No way! I should be more patient. I hope the problem will be gone tomorrow! It's too hot to think of such a tedious problem. It seems I never grow up in terms of computer! Today's update: the photo on the index page (The River Sumida) and the one here (toward the upstream of the river from Kachidoki Bridge). I have taken similar shots time after time, but I do like this place. The heat of TOKYO was crazy. I left the place immediately after I had taken the photos. Thank you very much for your visit.


July 23, 2022

7月の終わりは春学期の終わりでもある。4月以来、二年ぶりの「対面授業」と相変わらずの「オンライン授業」を併用してきて、それぞれの良さ、難しさに出会いながらなんとか岸辺にたどり着けるかなというところにいる。しばらく鳴りを潜めていたCOVID-19が再び猛威を振るい始め、単純な終息や解放はありえないことをあらためて痛感する。キャンパスの学生たちはマスクをつけた顔が当たり前であり、豊かな表情に接することはまずない。学生同士も、互いの表情が読めず、「適正な距離」を保つことが必須である以上、正面からのぶつかり合いを期待することは難しいだろう。ごくまれに、教室の外で語り合う機会に恵まれると、その若さの輝きに圧倒される。抑圧や制限を跳ね返して良く生きる道を探って欲しい。後衛から見守り支援したいと願っている。本日の更新は、表紙の写真(お盆の墓参に訪れた高尾の風景)とこのページの写真(玉川上水べりのアジサイ)です。このサイトに戻ってくることもままならない状態が長く続いた。ご訪問に感謝します。

The end of July means the end of Spring Semester. Since April, I've come back to face-to-face classes and, at the same time, I remain online-classes. With both merits and demerits of respective styles, I feel I've managed to have arrived the final stage of the term. COVID-19 has been active again. Surely there are no simple solutions nor ending to the epidemic. In campus, students wearing masks rarely show their natural facial expressions. The situation is same among themselves. Probably it's quite hard for them to interact with each other straight, Once in a while, I get a chance to talk to them outside of classroom, when I am strongly impressed with their brilliantly youthful liveliness. I wish they would get rid of various restrictions and pressures to live in their own ways. I sincerely hope I would be of any help and support them from behind. Today's update: the photo in the index page (a scene in Takao, Tokyo, which I took when I visited our family gravesite in the middle of July), and the one here in this page (colorful hydrangea in the greenery at Tamagawa Jousui stream.). Thank you for your visit.


July 11, 2022

ドイツパン専門店で買ってきたパンの塊をスライスして昼食に食べた。「かみしめ系のパン」と呼んでいる、ふわついたところのないみっしりと密度の高いパンだ。ほんのりと酸味がある。「こういうのを食べるとデンマーク旅行を思い出すね」と言ったら、「何言ってるの、デンマークでは3日目にパンに飽きて温かいもの、汁気のあるものを必死で探していたくせに」と娘に言い返された。(デンマークでは菓子風のペストリーばかりではなく、ハードな塊のスライスも多彩だった。)一口の食べ物から蘇る記憶は数多の文学作品に描かれてきた。そんな高尚なものではないけれど、私も今、「穀倉地帯」と呼ばれてきた土地に降り注ぐ弾丸を思わずにいられない。エスカレートする戦火が燃え広がるのを恐れる。人々からパンを奪うことなかれ。

I ate for lunch some slices of German bread which we had bought at a German bakery. It's a kind of hard bread with a slight sour flavor you munch slowly, not the soft and creamy one. When I said, "This bread reminds me of our trip to Denmark," my daughter refuted me saying, "Stop joking, please. You were looking for warm and juicy dishes after 3 days here!" (Indeed, there were variety of loafs which you slice and eat with cheese butter, jam and marmalade etc. in Denmark, in addition to its famous sweet pastries.) In literature, we read variety of passages which describe how a bite of food reminds people of their memories. Mine is not so highbrow, but I can't help remembering the land called "bread basket" where people are suffering from bombardments now. I feel fear for the expansion of the war. Never deprive people of their bread!


July 9, 2022

暑くても、涼しくても、毎日いろいろなことがある。目に見えないことも、間近で起こることも、喜んだり驚いたりしながら日々は過ぎていく。本当はもっと深刻に受け止めなくてはならないこともたくさんありそうだが、生来の呑気さか迂闊さで、何とか切り抜けてきた。だが、これから世の中はどうなっていくのだろうと漠然とした不安はいつも付きまとう。多分に自分が年老いていくこととそれは連動しているのだろう。「何とかなるさ」と思う一方、「危ういのでは?」と胸の痛むこともある。そんな時、自分は何をよすがに生きてゆくのか、立ち止まって考える。もちろん答えが出るわけも無し、苦笑するばかり。それでも、ただ無為に生きてきたわけではなかろうと自分に言い聞かせる。どこからか知恵も湧くのでは?―と、これも根拠のない楽観なのだけれど。古希を前に、柄にもなくそんなことを考えてみる。

Regardless of the heat or the coolness, various things are happening day by day. I go on living at the visible things and invisible things, with joy and astonishment. I guess I should take happenings more seriously, but my forgetfulness and carelessness have let me survive somehow so far. However, I have been feeling uneasy thinking of what will become of us from now on. The uneasiness might come from my aging. Sometimes I say to myself, "Let it be" and other times I say painfully to myself, "No, life can never be so easy." If I stop to think, I can hardly get no answer. I just sneer. Yet, I believe I am not so naive. Have I no wisdom at all from my experiences? I know it's a baseless optimism. It's not like me, but I can't help thinking like this sometimes now that I'll turn to be 70 in half a year. (Unbelievable!)


June 29, 2022

ひたすら暑い。屋内にいれば熱帯の島にいることは忘れていられるが、ひとたび外に出れば砂漠のような場所にいることに気付く。このような気象状況に慣れるにはどのくらいかかるのだろう。東京(および日本の都市部)で今年の夏を過ごすのは拷問に近いのではないかと危ぶまれる。なんとしても生き延びなくては。本日の更新は、表紙の写真(夏空を背景にした東京ドームホテル)とこのページの写真(東京ドームに隣接する施設「ラクーア」の大観覧車)です。ご訪問に感謝します。どうぞ気を付けて、ご安全に!(COVID-19の時と同じ挨拶だ。)

Just extremely hot. As long as you are indoors, you can forget you live in a tropical island, but once you walk outdoors, you recognize you're in a sort of desert. I wonder how long it will take us to get used to this kind of weather. I'm afraid it is almost a torture to live in Tokyo (or any other urban cities in Japan) this summer. Let us survive by all means! Today's update: the photo in the index page, (Tokyo Dome Hotel in Bunkyo Ward against the brilliant summer sky) and the one here (Ferris wheel at LaQua beside Tokyo Dome in Bunkyo Ward). I wish I could upload something cooler! Thanks for your visit. Take care and stay safe! (The same line we exchanged at COVID-19)


June 28, 2022

未だ6月が終わらないのに突如梅雨は去り、灼熱の真夏日が続く。首都圏では連日35℃を超える暑さだ。戸外では日傘をさしても帽子を被っても熱波を凌げない。電車の中や建物の中は冷房で冷え冷えしているのと対照的だ。この落差を行き来して身体も戸惑う。くっきり晴れ上がった空に夏雲を見上げるとワクワクする。しかし都会のヒートアイランド状態は容赦がない。文字通り干上がって、疲労困憊して帰路をたどる。夏ってこんな季節だったかと今更ながらあっけにとられている。外出しなくてよい日は、室内で体操して身体を動かすのが精いっぱい。散歩に出るのは日が落ちてから。電力供給がひっ迫していると言われながら、熱中症を防ぐために冷房をケチってはいけないとも。どのあたりで折り合えばよいのか、この酷暑が次なる災厄を招かないことを祈るのみ。

It's still June but the rainy season has come to an end so abruptly and the blazing summer has come. It's over 35℃ day after day in the metropolis Tokyo. We can't shut out the heat wave with a parasol nor a straw hat indeed hanging around outdoors. On the other hand, it's so cool inside of trains and buildings. We come and go between them. Consequently, we get physically confused and bewildered. Of course, it's exciting to look up at "cloud nine" but "the heat island" in the huge city is intolerant to the feeble creatures. We get literally dried up and exhausted on our way back home. I'm simply surprised to feel the reality of summer. On days not necessary to go out, I stay home doing a little bit of exercise to lessen my inactivity although I know it doesn't help much. I can go out for a walk only when the sun is gone. They say we are short of electricity but we should not stop the air conditioner. How can we manage? I just hope this scorching heat won't bring us another disaster.


June 22, 2022

たまに都心に出る。一週間ほど前、本当に久しぶりに実際の会合に参加した。場所は九段下から10分ほどの所にある大学で、道すがら北の丸公園のお堀や、九段坂上にある明治時代の高灯籠(1871年設置)の遺跡を目にした。いずれも石垣や石積みにインパクトがある。人の手で築かれたものは年を経るごとに重みが増す。かつては東京湾からこの灯籠(灯台)が望めたのだから、都心から海は近かったわけだ。埋め立てられて海はどんどん遠ざかった。しかし、東京港が今でも重要な海上交通・物流の拠点であることに変わりはない。梅雨が明けたら、また海を見に行きたい。本日の更新は表紙の写真(北の丸公園お堀)とこのページの写真(高灯籠)です。ご訪問に感謝いたします。

Once in a while, I go to the central part of Tokyo. About a week ago, I attended a meeting which was held at a certain university in a walking distance from Kudan-shita subway station. On the way to the campus, I observed the old moat of Kitano-maru Park (in the north of the Imperial Palace) and Lantern Tower (on the top of Kudan Slope), a remnant of a light house which was built in 1871 (in Meiji Era). In both of the scenes, stone walls and stone base are impresive. Stones built up with people's hands give us great impact; the age-old presence. As the light of the lantern was seen from Tokyo Bay, it tells us how the sea was close to the central Tokyo in old days. The bay was reclaimed and the sea moved backward. Yet, Tokyo Bay has been an important hub of maritime transportation and the physical distribution base. I would really like to go to the seaside as soon as the rainy season is over. Today's update: the photo in the index page (Kitanomaru Park) and the one in this page (Lantern Tower). Thank you very much for your visit.


June 14, 2022

毎年この季節には地元の北山公園が満開の菖蒲園となる。花菖蒲は快晴より薄曇りか小雨の中でこそ魅力を発揮するのだけれど、そうそう手前勝手な注文をするわけにもいかない。たまたま近くを通りかかったので覗いてみると、平日の昼前だというのに大勢の人々で賑わっていた。流石に(自分も含めて)高齢者が多い。入場無料で出店もいくつかあり、久々にお祭りの雰囲気だった。季節ごとの花を愛でることのできる幸い。手入れする人があればこそ。年間を通じた丹精の賜物だ。同じ花が開いても年ごとに見る者の思いは異なる。今年は、とりわけ水辺の花の清々しさに心身を洗われる思いがした。無心に近付いたのだろうか。本日の更新は、表紙の写真(八国山を背景にした菖蒲田)とこのページの写真です。それぞれについている花の名をメモしようと思いながら忘れている。ご訪問に感謝いたします。

Every year in this season, Kitayama Park in my neighborhood becomes the flower garden of irises in full bloom. They suit the cloudy sky or the raining better than the sunny sky; however, who can expect such selfish conditions of flowers! I happened to go nearby and so I dropped in the park. I found a lot of people strolling among the flowers. Most of them including myself were elder citizens right before noon on a weekday. Th garden is free of charge, and there were several stalls of food to make the place festive atmosphere. What a pleasure it is to be able to enjoy the seasonal flowers! I have to remember those who are taking care of the plants carefully throughout the year. Sentiments of viewers of the flowers are different each year. As for me, I felt quite refreshed to see the flowers in the watery field. Their purity in the shallow water was very impressive. Am I approaching to an empty mind? Today's update: a picture in the index page (the field of irises against Mt. Hachikoku) and the one here in this page--It's a shame I always forget to take notes of the elegant names of flowers! Thank you for your visit.


June 8, 2022

本格的な梅雨の訪れ。東村山中央公園、保護雑木林の先に人工ながら渓谷を模した池がある。枯れていることも多いが、流石にこの季節は自然の貯水池となりアオサギが来ていた。純白のコサギではなく灰色の羽に、頭の模様もクッキリ鮮やか。オスだろうか?繁殖の季節なのか、めかしこんでいる。近くの空堀川や野火止用水でよくコサギのつがいを見かけるが、単独のこともある。身近な鳥なのに、生態を全く知らずにいた。この町には医療施設以外にめぼしい産業もなく、特に景観に優れているわけでもない。けれども、日常生活の中でささやかな動植物を見つけることがあるし、中小の河川や里山、公園、遊歩道などを散策することも出来る。名もなき自然文化財を預かっているような気がする。すぐどこかに出かけたがる私は、これから加齢とともに益々「今、ここ」をもっとよく知るべし、だ。本日の更新は表紙の写真(東村山中央公園の池)とこのページの写真(同池に来たアオサギ)です。ご訪問に感謝いたします。、

The real rainy season has come. In Higashimurayama City Central Park, Tokyo, there is a pond, a tiny artificial valley. It's dried up usually but now is full of water thanks to the rainy season. I saw a gray heron (Ardea cinerea) standing in the middle of the pond. It was not snowy white egret but was with gray wings and clearly colored head. Was it a male? It might be the season for propagation. This one looked "dressed up." I can observe egrets here and there in the nearby rivers, where they are often pecking in pairs. (This one was alone.) I'm quite ignorant about their ecological state. Actually, Higashimurayama City has no particular productive industries nor rich businesses, except for abundant medical institutions, nor has remarkably attractive sceneries, but we do have rich natural resources including plants and animals in our neighborhood. Rivers, hills, parks, promenades, and small forests are all our treasures. I tend to say I would go traveling somewhere far from here; however, I should learn more about "here and now" as I grow older. Today's update: a photo in the index page (The pond in Higashimurayama City Central Park) and the one in this page (a gray heron in the pond.) Thank you very much for your visit.


June 4, 2022

降ったり照ったり目まぐるしく空模様が変わる。近所の枇杷の木に実がたくさんなっている。昨年のこの季節、我が家の枇杷が初めて実を結んだ直後に、家の取り壊しと共に木を切ったのだった。新しい庭をどう育てていくか、ハッキリしたプランもないままに花屋で見つけた苗木や鉢植えを少しずつ買い集め、手探りで植えてみている。全体構想無しに踏み出してしまうのは私の悪い癖。今日、花壇の隅にオリーブを植えた。ひょろっとした若木。根付いてくれると良いが。オリーブは平和の象徴という。ま、それも後で思いついたことだけれど。

It rains and shines unexpectedly. A loquat tree in my neighborhood has a lot of fruits now. Last year in this season, a tree in our garden had its fruits for the first time. Soon after, our old house was torn down and the loquat tree was got rid of. with the house. Now that I live in a newly built house, I'm wondering how I should make the two flowerbeds. I'm collecting a few flower pots and seeds without a grand design. (It's my bad habit.) I planted a young tiny olive tree today in a corner of one of the flowerbeds. I wish it will take root all right. Olive is considered to be a symbol of peace, isn't it? Well, it's just my afterthought anyway.


May 31, 2022

麗しの五月も今日限り。気温も湿度もぐんと上がってきた。先日大雨の日に長靴を買った。晴雨兼用の傘も手に入れたので、梅雨、どんと来い!奈良方面へ旅行の計画を立ている。当初、9月初頭を考えていたものの、夏の奈良の酷暑を軽く見てはいけないという意見を聞いて、10月半ばに予定変更。それとて実際はどうなるやら。そもそも旅行らしい旅行から遠ざかって久しい。先だっての内房富津岬への日帰り旅行は爽快だった。現地でクルマを運転してくれる人がいたからこそ。どこまで行っても私自身は鉄道旅行専門だ。New Zealandでわざわざクライストチャーチ/グレイマウス間を行って帰るためだけにトランスアルパイン鉄道に乗ったことを思い出す。当日は山岳地方で大雨に降られ、車窓から増水した沿線の濁流を眺めたことも鮮烈な記憶に残っている。相変わらず私は季節の変わり目に漂泊の思いに駆られる。本日の更新は表紙の写真(珍しく流れが戻った地元東村山市の「空堀川」)とこのページのテレビを熱心に見る猫のはっかです。(NHKの『ダーウィンが来た』を見ている。もう一匹のにっきはTVになど全く興味を示さない。)

We've come to the end of the beautiful May. The humidity as well as the temperature has been increasing. I bought a pair of rain boots on a rainy day, and I've got a good en-tout-cas (an umbrella and parasol). Come, rainy season, come! BYW, I'm making a plan for traveling to Nara area in the middle of October. At first I was thinking of going there at the beginning of September: however I've heard that the severe heat in Nara in late summer should not be underestimated. So, I've changed my mind. I'm not sure yet how it would go actually. I've been away from traveling for a long time. Only in April, I went to Cape of Futtsu in Bousou Peninsula, which was just wonderful, thanks to friends who drove for us over there. I myself is a train railroad traveler. I remember I took TranzAlpine Railway  in New Zealand just to enjoy going to Greymouth and straight back to Christchurch. We had a heavy rain in the mountainous area. the river along the railway was gushing. At the change of seasons, I feel like traveling somewhere. Today's update: a photo in the cover page: River Karabori streaming (usually it's dried up.) in HIgashimurayama, TOKYO. Also, the photo in this page: Hakka is watching TV. (Another cat of ours Nikki never pays attention to TV at all!)


May 20, 2022

昼下がりの築地。もうどの鮮魚屋も乾物屋も店じまいし、かろうじてチェーン店の寿司屋が営業している。佃煮屋くらい開いているのではなかろうかと路地に入ったのだが、期待は裏切られた。市場が豊洲に行ってしまったために、築地には場外市場だけが取り残されている。しばらくは観光客が訪れるだろう。その先は分からない。いつも寄る「築地カフェ」で一休み。二階のテラス席でコーヒーを飲んでいたら、本願寺の梵鐘が鳴っていた。この町と付き合い始めて早くも21年が経過。いつになったら「卒業」出来るものやら。流石に曇っていたので勝鬨橋まで隅田川を見に行くことはせず、波除神社にお参りするのも止めた。また7月には来る予定だ。その時は、夏の日差しが川面をギラギラ照らしているとよい。東京湾に注ぐ直前の広い川幅はいつ見ても壮観だ。古い街並みや威勢の良い声の飛び交う路地に尽きぬ愛着を感じる。本日の更新―表紙の写真は路地裏の古い家。このページの写真は商店街の一角、何故かキリンとマグロが向き合っている。

I walked in Tsukiji in the afternoon. Most of the fishmongers were closed, dried food stores, too. Only chain sushi restaurants were in business. I walked in the back alleys expecting some stores selling fish boiled in soy sauce were open but none of them was. Since the fish market itself has gone to Toyosu, the old outside shops are left. Tourists might continue visiting hem continuously now, but we ae not sure how long they would remain. I stopped by Tsukiji Cafe for a cup of coffee as usual. While I was relaxing in the terrace, the bell of Tsukiji Hongan-j Temple was heard. Already more than 20 years have passed since the day I visited Tsukiji for the first time. I have no idea when I can leave this town. Because it was cloudy today, I gave up going to Kachidoki Bridge to see River Sumida nor visiting Namiyoke Shrine. In July I will come to Tsukiji again. I hope it would be brilliantly sunny then and will be able to see the bright rive running in sunshine. I never get tired of viewing the dynamic river running toward Tokyo Bay. How I love the old town and the vivid calling of people echoing in the back alleys! Today's update: the photo in the index page shows an old house in the back street and the one here shows a corner of the old market place with a giraffe facing a tuna on the roof.


May 17, 2022

二年余り遠ざかっていたことに「立ち話」というものがあった。職場に行けば休息室やエレベーター、その他様々な場所で、同僚たちと何気ない言葉を交わす。たったそれだけのことがCOVD-19のために絶えて久しかった。それはとりもなおさず私自身がリモートワークに引き籠り、人のいる場所へ出て行かなかったからからに他ならない。4月からそろりそろりと対面授業に出る様になったら、時折(非常勤とはいえ)見知った顔に出会う。「おや、久しぶり!」の一言でささやかな交流が再開する。まさにsmall talk以外の何物でもない。たかが「立ち話」でなにやら心に華やぎが戻るとは!ウィルスを忌避している間、人をも忌避していたわけだ。退職し、引き籠ると、結局はsmall talkからも遠ざかる。いずれそれが常態になるとしても、今から敢えて孤立を決め込むこともないと、「ではまた」と言い交わして人とすれ違う時に実感する。喋り好きな人間はどのように「一人」を生きていけばよいのだろう。これまた一つの課題らしい。

Stand talking is one of the activities that I have been away from for 2 years due to COVID-19. We exchange words wit our colleagues and acquaintances when we go to the workplace in a lounge or in an elevator. COVID-19 has deprived us of such a humble social interaction. Actually, it was caused by my self-made isolation. Since April once I started going out for face-to-face classes, I occasionally meet people I had known. "Oh, long time no see!" is a pleasantry with which we resume our long-lost conversation. It's no more than a small talk. But this kind of tiny small talk, unexpectedly, cheers me up. By avoiding COVID-19, I was avoiding communication with people. I guess we easily lose our contact with others so easily due to retirement aging, and any other disasters. It might come sooner or later; however, I do not have to rush into the isolation by myself. I should not be alone willingly--that's what I feel now when I say, "See you!" to people leaving me. How can I survive, a person who loves small talks, the rest of my life? It seems to be an assignment I should face, and solve.


May 15, 2022

親しい人たち4人で都心の美術館巡りをした。朝10時に六本木の国立新美術館に集合して―の予定が、連日の多忙のせいか私が寝坊したせいで、30分も遅刻という出だしになってしまったが―先ずはダミアン・ハースト(イギリス)の「桜」展。ドットペインティングという手法で大胆に構成・彩色された大きなキャンバスの、満開の桜を見て回る。至近距離に近寄れば、投げつけられ張り付いたペンキ絵の具の盛り上がりさえハッキリ見える荒々しさ。ぐっと身を引いて絵画全体を眺めれば、自分の良く知っている満開の桜木そのもの。太い幹や入り組んだ枝の交差するさまも、花の下で見上げた景色。葉桜の様、山桜の淡い色合い、豪奢としか言いようのないピンクの多彩さ。ついひと月余り前に街路や公園や里山を埋め尽くしていた桜が蘇った。儚さより力強い桜の饗宴だった。美術館3階のブラッスリー ポール・ボキューズ ミュゼにて少し早い昼食。濃厚なコーヒーを飲んで次の目的地根津美術館へ出発。

青山墓地を抜けて近道を通ればよかったが、墓地の外周をたどって南青山まで30分くらい歩いたおかげで、洒落た街路と街並みを見物出来た。超現代的な「国立新」に比べると、元は根津家の私邸だった敷地全体を活かした美術館は、収蔵品のみならず建物と庭園全体が「見もの」だ。今回の特別展は「燕子花図屏風の茶会」。昭和12年5月の取り合わせをそのままに展示する風雅そのものの。茶器・掛け軸・調度品・屏風の総体を再現しようという展覧会だった。根津氏が収集した中国やガンダーラの仏像、日本の小金銅仏・仏具等も併せて展示されており、東アジアの仏教世界を紀元前から奈良時代〜鎌倉時代に遡って目の当たりにすることができた。西洋美術の対極にある静謐を味わった。庭園では茶室で、(予約してあった) 茶席にてお抹茶をふるまわれた。深く苔むした庭園の泉水には燕子花の群生する一角もあり、尾形光琳や丸山応挙の描く燕子花や藤の花の屏風、作者不詳の吉野図(満開の桜木)そのままの雰囲気が漂う。この季節、雨上がりの日本庭園は真に趣深い。

かくて二つの個性的な展覧会を、全く趣の異なる美術館で鑑賞し、曇り空とはいえ早くも夏を予感させる街に出ると、途端に都会の喧騒に包まれる。南青山から表参道を抜け明治神宮前まで歩いて原宿駅から山手線に乗る。東京散歩は郊外や海辺の散歩とは全く異なる魅力と刺激に満ちている。いずれ劣らぬ興味深い土地が私を誘う。大都市の中に保存される緑地や広い空間を活用した建築物の迫力も知らずにいるには余りに惜しい。ぜひまた折を見て東京を探索したいと切望している。(今回は実物に圧倒され全く写真撮影をせずに一日過ごしてしまった。)

I made a short tour of visiting museums with my relatives in a group of 4. We planned to meet at 10 a.m. at the National Art Center, Tokyo. Actually, it started 30 minutes later because I overslept! We saw Damien Hirst's Cherry Blossoms. He produced his Cherry Blossoms with his special technique of "dot-painting." Panels of cherry blossoms are, when they are closely observed the rough collection of thick "stain-like" patches of flowers with the clear composition of trunks and boughs of cherry trees, which I felt I know very well with the real Japanese cherry blossoms in full bloom. The view of cherry blossoms in the picture were like what I saw only a month ago. Various kinds of pink colors remind me of the cherry blossoms I have seen again and again and something more. They were really powerful pinks rather than the ephemeral and subtle blossoms. Then we had lunch at Brasserie Paul Bucuse Muse on the 3rd floor of the museum.

After drinking a cup of rich coffee, we walked to our next destination, Nezu Museum. If we had taken a short-cut, we could arrive at the museum earlier, but thanks to the walk we had a chance to enjoy the chic avenues and residential areas of Aoyama. Compared to the ultra- modern National Art Center, Nezu is a museum in a quiet, estate of once a private property of Mr. Nezu. Not only their treasures, but also the architecture of the museum and its Japanese garden are attracting visitors. The current special exhibition is entitled A Tea Gathering with the Irises Screens: An Assembling from May 1937. The collection of tea utensils, hanging scrolls, furnishing goods for tea ceremony, particularly folding screens with the seasonal plants-irises. Besides, they exhibit their stored items of sculptures and Buddhist ritual articles. (The Allure of Buddhist Art and Ancient Chinese Bronzes) Visitors had a chance to view the long historical art and religious items from B.C. eras in China to 16th century Japan. The exhibitions were so overwhelming. Contrastive to the western art, Asian art feels quiet and subtle. In the garden, we attended a brief tea ceremony in one of the traditional tea rooms. What a bliss it was to have Japanese tea in a corner of the greenery with living irises!

Thus, we appreciated two completely different types of museums in a day. Once we stepped out of the tea room, we were involved in the crowd of town along the road to Omote-sando to Meiji Shrine. I like to take a walk in both suburbs, seaside, fields, mountains, AND the middle of Tokyo. Both of them are full of stimulation and attractions. It's a pity not to see both. I would really love to go out to these places as often as possible while I can. (Due to the power of reality, I could not take even one photo this time.)


May 13, 2022

2年間に及ぶ全面的オンライン授業に別れを告げ、対面とオンラインの混在する授業形態に戻って5週間が経った。その割合は4対2。再びキャンパスに通うようになり、学生と直接言葉を交わす日々が日常になった。流石に、当初の自分が新入生になったような戸惑いは消え、長年習い性となっていた音声言語を駆使する感覚が蘇ってきている。だが、やはりこの二年間の「変則的授業」の影響は色濃い。いつしか「変則」が「常態」となり、オンライン上での仕込みをせずには授業に向かえなくなっている。学生に対しても課題提出の要請が強くなったままだ。中には「両方やらされるのは荷が重い」と苦情を言う学生もいる。だが、学べる平常の生活を送れることの幸いを享受せずにどうすると思わずにいられない。もうどこにもかつての日常などない。緊急事態や非常事態が生活を席巻することなど容易いのだ。

I said farewell to the total remote-work which had lasted for teo years. Five weeks have already passed since April. I have 4 face-to-face classes and two online-classes a week. I resumed commuting t 2 campuses and meet students directly. The awkwardness I was feeling at the beginning of the semester has already gone; I'm getting back the reality of talking to students. However, the sense of value which I obtained through the custom of interacting with them via the Internet is hardly ever deprived of completely. That is to say I strictly demand students to submit their assignments in time online in addition to the actual class work. Some of the students complain of the heavy load. Wait! How can you say such a thing living in a land of peace in which you can live and study with no violence nor bombardments in everyday life? Before we notice it, everything has changed drastically. There is no "ordinary life." Emergency and crisis mode may happen anytime.


May 11, 2022

お天気さえよければ、どこへ行っても緑がまぶしい。近所にある広大な霊園を散歩の折に通ると溢れる緑に鳥が囀る。「こんな所で永遠の眠りにつくのもいいかなぁ」とふと考えるのだけれど、ここに埋まるには激烈な競争があって、そう簡単なことではない。高尾山の麓に建てた家族の墓地を移設するなどという芸当を子の世代が引き受けるだろうか。自分の生前にと思っても、手持ちは先ず生きるために必要なのだから、お墓のために大枚投じるなどという余裕はない。千の風になって自由に飛び回るには墓所の確保などという世知辛いことを考えていてはダメだ。生きているうちに万緑の恵みを満喫するがよし。本日の更新は表紙の写真(東京都小平霊園の一隅)とこのページの写真(マーガレットの群生-多摩湖・境 自転車遊歩道にて)。更新の途絶えがちなサイトへようこそおいでくださいました。ご訪問に感謝します。

In sunny days the world is brightening green. When I go through the huge cemetery near my house during the walk birds are heard chirruping in the thick greenery. I say to myself, "It would be nice to be buried in such a place." In fact, however, I will meet a serious competition to get a small patch of land for my grave there. What will become of our family grave at the foot of Mt. Takao? I'm dubious the next generation of our family would take care of the complicated procedure of relocation of the tomb. How about doing it by myself? No way! My humble saving should be spent for my life, not for afterlife. If I wish to blow as a thousand winds, I should not think of securing the place after I pass away. Appreciate the rich greenery while I can breathe. Today's update: A photoin the top page: in a corner of Kodaira Semetery, Kodaira City, TOKYO), and the one in this page: Marguerite blooming along Tama Lake-Sakai Promnade. Thank you for your visit!


May 3, 2022

黄金週間が続いている。だがそれは一般社会の話であって、大学の授業スケジュールには関係がない。春秋学期それぞれ15回の授業数を確保するためには「国民の祝日」を休んでいわけにはいかない。学生も教員も行楽客の賑わいを尻目に通学・通勤に励む。かつては新学期が始まって以来の緊張の糸がこの時期にぷっつりと切れ、意気消沈してしまうことを「五月病」等と呼んだものだが、事情は変わった。うつ状態に襲われる可能性があるのは、今や年間通じていつでも。ちょっとしたきっかけが調子を狂わせる。むしろ今は、コロナに感染することも心身の不調の最たるものか。好天の日には目の覚める緑に染まる周囲の風景が、逆に心をざわつかせることもあるだろう。本当はこの辺でちょっと休憩できると、夏までの直線コースに耐える体力気力が養われるのだけれどなぁ。(そんなことを言っていられない職業の人たちから見たら、なんとお気楽なと呆れられることだろう。)

Now in Japan, people are enjoying holiday-studded-week, which we often call "Golden Week." But it's a matter of the society in general, not for the schedule of colleges. In order to secure 15 weeks for each class, most of colleges (and universities) can hardly allow students to take holiday during the week (from April 29 to May 5 plus weekends). In spite of the joyful people going out, students and teachers commute seriously by trains and buses. Once this period of time used to be a good break after the intensive days lasting since the beginning of the new semester. Unfortunately, however, some of the students could suffer from mental problems, known as "Depression in May." After the continuous tense state of mind is lost, it's difficult for people to recover. Nowadays the chance of getting depression is anywhere. Just a small thing can break the balance of mind. These days particularly, COVID-19 can be a real threat. In the beautiful greenery, our mind can feel loneliness and sadness easily. Our sensitivity is so delicate. In fact, I would rather have a break in this season to prepare myself for the straight running course to summer, mentally and physically. (People in hardship would have a good reason to sneer at such a simple minded escape!)


May 1, 2022

毎日が五月晴れとはいかないけれど、ひんやりとした空気。抜ける青空、若葉にそそぐ陽光、どれをとっても五月だ。授業開始から三週間余り。スケジュールに追われるばかりで余裕がない。順調に書き進めてきたこのページも一週間空き、十日空き、下手すると以前のように閑古鳥が鳴く。それは本意ではない。なんとか拙文を書き繋いで、自分なりの2022年を記録してみたい。書くことで大きなニュースも些細な日常生活も自分で咀嚼する機会を得る。本日の更新は海辺の景色から一転、近郊の新緑の写真を。表紙は東京都小平市の多摩湖・境自転車遊歩道(小平市付近)、このページは小平ふるさと村(小さな鯉幟が右手奥に見える)。緑が目に染みると心まで潤う。このところのニュースはウクライナでの戦争に加えて、北海道知床岬近辺で沈没した観光船のこと。海辺に行くと遊覧船に乗ってみたくてたまらなくなる私はあの場にいたらどういう選択をしただろうか。これまでに乗った様々な遊覧船のことを思い出す。ニュージーランドのミルフォードサウンド、オークランド湾、下田、松島、それから...。この先旅先の港で、いつも知床の冷たい海に沈んだ人々のことを思い出すに違いない。

It is not brilliantly sunny every day, but the cool air, the clear blue sky, shinning sun light reflected on the fresh green leaves, they all remind me of living in May. Since the beginning of the new semester, three weeks have passed. I have not yet got used to the new schedule. To my regret, I have skipped one week, ten days without updating this page. I could be away from my Homepage unless I keep writing even a short note here regularly, which is against my wish. I really want to continue writing even shortly and briefly on what I am doing and thinking in my way. Writing gives me a chance to reflect on myself and thus makes me think and feel deeply and strongly. Today's update: the photo in the index page (Sakai-Lake Tama Cycling / Walking Road, at Kodaira City.) The photo in this page shows the conserved Post Office in Kodaira City, Tokyo. Tiny carp streamers are swinging in the yard. The fresh greenery comes home to my heart and body. By the way, one of the biggest news these days is, beside the war in Ukraine, concerning the sightseeing boat which sunk near Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido. I always wish to ride on a boat like that when I visit ports. I remember the boats I got on in Milford Sound and Auckland Bay in New Zealand, Shimoda Bay, Matsushima, and many more. Whenever I visit a port in the future, I'm sure I would remember the tourists who were lost in the cold sea of Shiretoko.


April 19, 2022

あっという間に一週間が経過した。新しい科目、新しいキャンパス、新しい授業方式等々が重なって、連日息つく暇もなく、ほうほうの体で切り抜けた。夜更かしもかさみ、よろしくない新学期のスタートだ。ただ、学生たちと対面で向き合うのは、新鮮。教室の感覚を取り戻しつつある。慣れない機材に手こずっていると、学生が助け舟を出してくれる。私が(出欠確認を)旧態依然の方法でで行おうとすると、新方式が如何にに合理的で衛生的(!)であるか鋭く説明して私にアッサリ方針転換させる学生もいる。彼らにとってはスマホの画面タップ一発、正に老いては何とやら。一週間のご無沙汰の言い訳を書きました。(他にもっと書くべきことはありそうだけれど。)ご訪問に感謝いたします。

One week has passed so quickly. New classes, new campus, new method for teaching etc. all made me extremely busy and I exhausted just to go through the hectic week with all my efforts. Often, I stayed up until late, which was not a good habit I know. However, it's really refreshing to meet students face-to-face. When I was struggling with the unfamiliar devices in classroom, one of the students helped me kindly, and another student suggested me to give up the old-fashioned method of checking the attendance of students. He showed me how to use the online system of uploading their attendance. For them it is a matter of one tap with their smartphone. To be young is to be wise. Thus, this is my excuse for my week's silence here. I'll get back to this page as soon as possible. Thanks for visiting!


April 12, 2022

昨日はオンライン、本日は対面と授業形態が目まぐるしく変わる。これまでと違うスタイルでオンデマンドの資料を共有サイトにアップしたものの、「管理者だけが編集できる」場所と「参加者誰でもが編集作業をできる」場所の区別が曖昧だったため(私の頭の中が曖昧だったということ!)授業開始と同時に学生たちから「チャット」で「皆が書き込み始めたので、たいへんな事になっています。どうしたらよいでしょう?」というメッセージが届き驚いた。全く想定外だった。メディアセンターの職員に助けを求めたら、収納場所設定の基礎から教えてくれたため、急遽修復作業を行い何とか切り抜けた。まったく、オンライン授業を受けているのはほかならぬこの私です。学生とのやり取りも続き、結局(オンラインで)半日一つのクラスに費やす羽目になった。その後本日の対面授業の準備の仕上げに取り組み、やはり夜中までかかった。(したがってこのページの更新も出来なかった。)本日は久しぶりの対面授業。黒板使用は禁じられているため、Zoomの「ホワイトボード」をスクリーンに映して黒板代わりにするとのこと。目の前にチョークがあるのに触ってはいけないなんて。資料はGoogle Driveに仕込んでおいて、スクリーンに映す。他の教員の多くがそのようにしてCOVID-19時代を潜り抜けていたのかと、あらためて理解した。卓上のカメラに向かってオンラインでしか参加できない学生のためにも語り掛けるハイブリッド型授業はアクロバットだ。(私は流石にそれは遠慮した。教室に来られた人にだけ話しかけ、発言を求め、資料と課題はLMSから送信するという便法でご勘弁!)帰宅後は週後半のオンラインと対面を同日に行う授業のための準備にかかる。数人の教員でコラボするクラスは、若手が非常に積極的なのでついていくのが大変。しかし、新しいものへの意欲が湧かなかったら若者と関わることはできないだろう。なんとか、出来るだけのことをしてみたい。もたもたしながらも。

I conducted an online class yesterday, and two face-to-face classes today. For the first day, I uploaded a PowerPoint file, but because I made a mistake in choosing the right place, it made virtually a confusion among students: Soon after the beginning of the class, one of them sent me a message via "Chat" of Teams saying, "Help! My classmates started editing the class material by themselves all at once. I don't know what to do." I was surprised to know for the first time that I had misunderstood the system of "cooperation" and "the read-only function." I asked staff of "the media center" for help. Thanks to their efficient support I fixed the trouble somehow finally. After the class, students kept sending various messages and it took more than half a day to settle down. After that, I started preparing for today's face-to-face classes. I finished it at midnight; therefore, no time for updating this page was left to me, alas! Today, I went to a campus for the first time after 2 years since the beginning of COVID-19. In the classroom, I was not permitted to use a chalk on the blackboard. I had to open a Zoom Meeting to use the whiteboard instead. I used Zoom's "sharing of the screen" to show my class materials. What a strange world! I dared not to apply the hybrid class (to talk to students in a distance attending the class online, and talk to students in the real classroom all at once.) When I came home, I started preparing for classes on Friday when I will have to conduct the two styles in one day. One of the classes, for which some teachers (including me) are working together as a group, is very demanding. Young teachers are really aggressive (positive). I need to catch up with them. I'll do what I can although in a very slow pace like an eldery member of the community. Oh, it's life!


April 10, 2022

今日も輝く日和だったけれど明日からの授業を控えて、本日は引き籠り。これから夏休みまでほぼ毎週授業サイクルで生活が動く。そのうちゆとりが出てきたらその限りでもなかろうが、学期当初は他のことを考えられない。ただ、昨日見てきた海が拡がり、うねり、煌めいている。そのような幸いをまた時折チャージしなくては。

It was another brilliant day; however, I stayed home all day, preparing for classes to start tomorrow. My life will go around in the weekly cycle of classes till summer holidays. Gradually when I get relaxed, I will feel more at easy hopefully. The ocean I saw yesterday gave me the expanding, moving and shining image really affluent in my mind and body. Thanks! I hope I'll be able to get the chance to enrich my life in that sense.


April 9, 2022

春の海を見に行った。千葉県内房の富津岬。対岸は神奈川県の横須賀近辺。今回は花曇りで遠望出来かなかったが、富士山までくっきり見えるという。東京湾の内側を望むとは言え、広々した海の景色は素晴らしかった。岬の外側には荒々しい波が打ち寄せ、房総半島の海岸線を眺めることができた。近くの砂浜では、カイトセーリングに興じる人たちが風をとらえてサーフボードを操りながら波間を滑る。「都心から最も近い岬」という。近いとはいえ、「新宿バスタ」(バスターミナル)から高速バスに乗り、東京・木更津アクアライン経由で一時間。木更津バスターミナルからは車で30分余り。さすがにそこまで行くと海のみならず田園の風景も都心とは様変わりする。水を張って田植えを待つ田圃、その周りにはイノシシ除けの電線が張り巡らされ、眠りから覚めたばかりの里山は花の後の桜色や芽吹くうっすらした緑の混ざるもやっとした色彩に覆われている。いずれも丹念に手を入れる人々あってのことだ。案内して下さった方々に、縁の尊さに、心からの感謝を。

We went to see the ocean. Our destination was Futtsu Cape which is located in Boso Peninsula, Chiba Prefecture. It's facing Yokosuka and its environments in Kanagawa Prefecture. If it were clearer, we could have seen Mt. Fuji. Although we were watching the view of inside of Tokyo Bay, the ocean view was dynamic and wild. The outer side of the Cape was washed by rough waves and we could see the coast line of Bouso Peninsula more. Along the beach nearby, people were enjoying kite-sailing, a sort of surfing in which they make use of the wind power with kites flying high. (See the photo in this page.) Futtus Cape is said to be "the nearest cape from Tokyo." We took a highway bus to go through Tokyo Aqualine to Kisarazu--it took us 1 hour--; then we drove to the cape, taking 30 more minutes. The bus ride and a car took us to a totally different world from busy Tokyo. Not to mention the wonderful view of the ocean, the view of the country side was excellent: the rice field was full of water waiting for the rice seedlings to be planted. The fields were protected by electric wires to prevent wild boars' invasion. The sleepy-looking hills and woods were tinted with the mixed colors of faded cherry blossoms and budding pale green. All the neat landscape is the result of people's hard work. I sincerely thank our guides and our relationship with them.


April 8, 2022

郊外の風景と都心の風景は大分違う。東京の西郊から都心に向かって流れる神田川。かつては情緒ある歌詞にも登場した街中の川だ。私の勤め先の一つは神田川沿いにある。既に二年間、ずっとリモートワークだったために、この春初めてキャンパスに足を踏み入れた。ここにもきっと街の四季がある。本日の更新は、表紙の写真。(上流に向かって、微かに花筏が見える。)このページの写真では下流に向かって、高架線の上を黄色い電車が行く。ここは飲み屋街の奥の奥にぽっかりと開いた小さなアカデミア。期待と不安に花が散りかかる。

The view in suburbs and the one in the central part of a big city are extremely different from each other. Here runs Kanda-gawa River, which was written in a sentimental popular song as an important motif. One of my workplaces is located by this river. As I have been away from the campus due to COVI-19, conducted all classes online, it is virtually the first occasion for me to step in it. I believe there must be characteristic four seasons in this place. Today's update: the photo in the cover page (of Kanda-gawa River upstream with petals streaming along the banks) and the one in this page (the river downstream with a train going on the elevated trucks). I work in a tiny academia open at the end of a crowded area with drinking and eating shops. Flower petals are falling on my expectations and worries.


April 7, 2022

流石に明日は久しぶりに早朝出勤が控えているので、夜更かしはならない。これまでよくもまあ「深夜営業」を続けてきたものよ。睡眠時間が不足すると認知症になりやすいという巷間まことしやかに囁かれる通説に怯えつつ、「明日からは真面目に早寝早起きしよう」と何度決心したことか!最近は猫たちが6時前から「餌よこせ」コールをかけてくる。ドアノブなどアッサリ開ける術をマスターし、部屋に侵入しさえする。たまらないのでドアノブストッパーでロックをかけ、侵入は防げるようになったものの、ドアに体当たりしてニャオニャオ鳴く。根負けして私も起きる。そのまま起きていればよいものを、餌を出した後二度寝するものだからよろしくない。リモートよさらば!(とはいえ、しばらくは対面と混在になる。)首都圏では20代を筆頭に新規感染者数は高止まり(平均8000人/日)している。TVニュースでインタビューに答える若者の言うことには、「副反応ヤバいので、ワクチンは受けたくありません。コロナに罹って直る方が手っ取り早いのでは?」だと。そんな群衆の中に飛び込んでいって良いのか、高齢者!?

I need to get up early tomorrow as I have to commute to my workplace in the morning. How long have I kept staying up so late? They say short of sleep will cause you dementia (or major neurocognitive disorder) . I have often decided to go to bed and get up early in vain. Recently, cats demand me to feed them before 6 in the morning. They learned to open the door easily, so that I put "a door lock" equipment to the knob to prevent them from invading my room. Then they started hitting their bodies to the board of the door, crying loudly for food. I give in and feed them first thing in the morning. I know I should not go back to my bed but cannot resist sleepiness and fall asleep again. Farewell to the complete online working habit! I'll get back to classrooms. To my surprise, however, I saw in an interview of a TV news program in which a young woman was responding to the interviewer, "I won't get the third vaccine because it seems an adverse reaction very severe. I would rather get infected with COVID-19 and get well soon!" Serious? Can you jump in the crowd of people mixed with such carefree ones? > Me, a Senior


April 6, 2022

学生時代の友人と会い、積もる話に花が咲く。20歳前後に知り合って約半世紀が経過した。お互い生老病死のいくばくかを経験し―それが自分の身の回りの人のことであれ―何とかこれまで生きながらえて再会出来たことを喜び合った。そんな大袈裟なと更に年配の方々からは笑われそうだけれど、同年代でも既に鬼籍に入った人たちはいる。これからそう何度も会えるわけではないことは、言わなくても分かっている。それぞれ忙しいのだ。忙しがっているうちに時はあっという間に過ぎてゆく。チャンスを逃したらもう戻ってこないことくらいは、知っている。だから、学生時代のようにしゃべりながらも、年齢相応な顔を見合って一抹の哀しさを笑いに流すのだった。

I met one of my old friends whom I have known since our college days. We talked over various matters. Since we met when we were around 20, almost half a century has passed already. Both of us have experienced birth of our children, aging, illness, and deaths, of people nearby. We congratulated we were able to meet by surviving somehow. Our elders will sneer at such a sentimental saying of ours who are still in the middle of our life journeys. Yet, I have to remember those who have already passed away in their middle age. We also know well that we can never meet so often from now on. We are busy in our ways. While we are living busily, time passes so quickly. We know that chances would never come back. Therefore, while we talked, we looked at each other marked with ages, we laughed out loud feeling a bit of tristesse.


April 5, 2022

漸く雨が上がった。二日間雨に打たれた桜はかなり精彩を失い、満開を過ぎたものが多い。近隣の遊歩道沿いには山桜も多いので、これから花開くものも控えている。しばらくは散り行く桜と新たに開花する桜が入り混じり、葉桜も加わってピンク一色から複雑な色模様へと変化していく。そして若葉の季節へ。花の話に打ち興じていられるのは平和だからか。戦地の映像や画像を見ると黒々としている。どこにも色彩がない。見る者の心も黒くなる。光が色彩を取り戻す日をひたすらに希求している。

Today the rain was over. For two days, the rain drenched cherry blossoms to deprive them of their bright colors. However, along the promenade in my neighborhood, there are cherry trees slow in blooming. It will take them a few more days to start blooming, and so we'll be able to expect the festa of cherry blossoms to continue a little longer. Right now, the mixture of faded pink and pale green of emerging leaves make a complex and fuzzy color. It will turn into clear fresh green very soon. I can indulge myself in the topic of flower colors because I live in a peaceful country now. Watching the photos and videos of the places under war conditions, I am depressed with the burned and black scenes. I hope the light will bring back lively colors to those places as soon as possible.


April 4, 2022

これまで「キエフКиев」と表記されていたウクライナの首都を、ロシア語ではなく、ウクライナ語で書くとКиев(Kyiv) となる。こう切り替わってから既に一週間余り。どのメディアもそれに従っている。我々の日常会話でも「キーウ」と呼ぶようになった。名前一つとってみても為政者の存在、主体のありかなどが明確になる。ロシア軍がキーウから撤退していきながら沿道の町村を更に破壊し尽くし、地雷まで埋設したと聞くと戦争の残虐性を思い知らされる。兵士たちは命令されてそのような行為に及んだはずだ。一旦負の連鎖に組み込まれると人間の良心や善悪の感覚が失せるということか。回復までのとてつもない道程を想像する。自分が生きている間に叶うかどうかも分からない。そのようなニュースに接する日々が続く。

We had called the capital of Ukraine "Киев" in Russian spelling and pronunciation, but we changed to call it Киевin in its Ukrainian way. It has been already more than one week since the change. All the media follow this way. In our daily conversation, too, we talk about Kyiv (the nearest pronunciation in English). When we get conscious of the names of places, we realize how they are controlled by political power. While drawing off from Kyiv, Russian forces reportedly go on destroying cities and towns, even burring land mines on the way, which shows the cruelty and the absurd of war. Soldiers must have ordered to act such vandalism. Once people get involved in a negative cycle, they lose their conscience and the judgement of good and evil. I imagine the extremely long procedure of recovering the destroyed country. I'm not sure whether the procedure will be covered while I live. We see and hear such devastating news day after day.


April 3, 2022

昨日から一転して、雨の日曜日。授業の準備をして過ごす。オンラインで同僚に技術的なサポートを受け、知らなかったことが一つマスターできた。(学生がスマホで録音した音声ファイルをTeams経由でPCのチャットから提出させる方法。フィードバックも込みになっているので、スムーズにできないと演習の進行に支障をきたす。)他の人たちにとっては何ということもない技術が理解できたことは有難い。やはり二年間のギャップは大きいようだ。よくもまあずっと引き籠って仕事が続けてこられたものだと思う。それにつけても感染は収まらない。次の波へ移行するのでなければよいが。昨夜は一晩中未完了のあれこれを思い出しては眠りが寸断された。肝が小さいというか、段取りが悪いというか、我ながら呆れる。晴れたり降ったり、目まぐるしい春の天気に翻弄され、やがては春眠に飲み込まれていく。自分が自分でないようなこの時期だ。

Contrastive to the sunny weather of yesterday, it was raining all day today. I stayed home preparing for the coming semester. Supported by one of my colleagues online, I learned how to use an application, which might be nothing so difficult for most of the people but for me it was a barrier. Thanks! I'm glad I could conquer the technique unknown to me. (It was how to let students submit sound files which they record by their smartphone via the chat of Teams. As it is closely connected with how to give them the feedback online, I definitely need to know it in conducting a practical class.) It seems clear that the 2 years' gap matters a lot. How could I manage to keep working staying home completely for 2 years! Last night my sleep was interrupted several times, bothered by things I remember I have not finished yet. I feel I'm appallingly stupid and inefficient. Sunny and rainy, the unstable weather disturbs me in spring. Then I'll get tired and will be engulfed in the sleep that knows no dawn. I nearly lose myself in this season.


April 02, 2022

晴天の週末には散歩せずにはいられない。午前中の光があるうちに多摩湖畔へ。湖面は春霞で何となくぼやけているが、給水塔はくっきり見える。土台のレンガも緑の円屋根も均整の取れた良い姿。(我ら地元民の誇りだ。一昔前はマンホールのふたにも給水塔の絵が採用されていた。今はご当地キャラらに変わってきている。)堰堤の反対側では狭山公園を満開の桜が彩り、その向こうには市街地が緩やかに広がる。堰堤から西武園遊園地の脇を歩いて八国山緑地へ。里山も漸く眠りから覚めようとしている。山の中では歌を覚えたての鶯が声高くホーホケキョウと鳴いている。この同じコースを何度歩いたことか。それでも年ごとに、季節ごとに、歩く楽しみは尽きない。いつかどこか遠くへと呪文を唱えながら。

I cannot help walking on a sunny weekend. While the morning sun was shining, I walked to Tama Lake. The surface of the water looked hazy, but the water towers were very clearly standing. The bricks of the base and the green domed roof keep a good balance. (We, the local residents are proud of the design. For decades, the water tower was engraved on the manhole cover of our city. Recently, however, the city's funny character has taken its place.) On the other side of the enclosing bund of the lake is Sayama Park scattered with blooming cherry trees. The city spread mildly beyond the park. I walked along Sseibuen Amusement Park to Hachikoku-yama Area. The hills are getting to be lively with birds' songs. How often do I walk this course! Every season, every year, the walking course gives me pleasure. I walk dreaming of somewhere far and more dynamic.

A manhole cover of Higashimurayama City, Tokyo

路上の美術館「マンホール」より引用


April 01, 2022

待ったなしの四月になった。今日から新年度スタートで、生活が様変わりした向きも多いことだろう。戦争の潮目も変わって和平へ向かいますように!塀の方に向かって俯いていた水仙が45°ほど回転して表を見せてくれたので、撮ってみた。園芸に不慣れな私はたった一本の花でも咲くと嬉しい。あんな小さな球根にこんな花を生む力があったのか!近所の公園の桜木も満開となり、花びらが舞い散り始めている。ほんの一瞬の饗宴に人は狂喜する。吹く風は冷たい。不安も心配も巻き込んで、春よ進め。本日の更新は表紙の桜とこのページの水仙の写真です。昨日までと大して変わらないので「更新」というほどではないけれど。ご訪問に感謝します。

It's April now. For many people, today marks a turning point to a new direction, which will change their lives remarkably. I wish the war will turn to peace. The narcissus bending down toward the wall is turning 45°to show its face, and so I took its photo. As I am a beginner in gardening, I am simply excited with a flower blooming. It's a wonder to a beginner of gardening that a small bulb contained the life of such a colorful flower. Cherry blossoms in a park in my neighborhood are in full bloom now. Their petals are starting to fall. We are easily in rapture to watch the gorgeous blooming cherry trees as if we forget shortness of the climax. The wind was cool. Go on, spring, blowing up all the worries and concerns of human beings! Today's update: photos in the cover page and here. Both are quite similar to the previous ones. Thank you for visiting.


March 31, 2022

とうとう三月が終わった。社会を見回しても個人的にも目まぐるしくも変化に富んだ、歴史に残るような時だった。戦争がどんなに過酷なものかを目の当たりにした日々。パンデミックは尚しぶとく拡がり続けている。四月がどのようなものをもたらすにせよ、人もしぶとく生き延びていくしかない。ここでも他所でも。ご訪問に感謝します。

Eventually March has come to an end. Socially and individually, it was a time of change and development of various kinds of things. I watched the cruelty and the violence of a war. The pandemic still lingers in our society. No matter what April may bring, we do have to survive here and anywhere. Thank you for your visit.


March 30, 2022

『イソップ物語』を読んでいる。子とも向けというよりは万人向けの寓話集という方が当たっている。元はギリシア語で紀元前7〜6世紀頃の作品と言われている。微かな記憶では、登場するのは殆どが動物たちでありそれぞれに強烈な個性(というか、特性)が付与されていた。ウサギは傲慢でうっかりもの、亀は愚鈍ながら地道な努力家。狐はずる賢く、羊は愚かないじめられっ子、という具合に。大昔からそのような動物キャラが(それぞれの時代の卓抜な画家による)挿絵に描かれ、読者を魅了してきたようだ。日本の鳥獣戯画をも思わせる図柄に私も惹きつけられる。モノ言わぬ猫と暮らしているとなお一層、動物たちに感情移入し人間に通じる関係性や闘争を重ねてみようとする寓意の巧みさに感嘆する。だがよく読み直してみると「北風と太陽」に出てくる旅人のように人間も登場するのだった。人間たちの愚かしさやひ弱さも動物と一線に並ぶ。人間が高等であるとはどこにも書かれていない。

I'm reading Aesop's Fables. The book is of allegories not simply for children but for all sorts of adults. Originally it was written in Greek in 7 to 6 B.C. In my faint memory, there were various kinds of animals to play significant roles in each story. They are given striking character: a hare is very arrogant and careless, a tortoise is slow but steady, a fox is cunning and cruel, a sheep is feeble and foolish, and so on. Animal characters have been attracting readers with superb illustrations (by skilful painters of different ages). They remind us of Japanese Choju Jinbutsu Giga (caricatures of frolicking birds, animals and humans). As I live with speechless cats, I admire the skillful art of Aesop's allegorical description of animals. They are presented as the picture of human relationships and battles tactfully. It is not exactly the personification of animals. Through animals, the folly of human beings is revealed. Like in "The Wind and the Sun," a human being (a traveler) shows up as one of the characters., too. In Aesop's Fables, human beings are no better than animals. They are not higher animals, but they are even with all other animals there. Cool!


March 29, 2022

20年以上飼っている亀が冬眠から目覚め、再び餌を食べ始めた。水替えの時水槽から出すとのそりのそりと歩き回る。土のにおいがするからか、小さな花壇に向かう。チューリップの花が咲き始めた。球根は昨年末5個植えた。似通った球根だったが、茎の延びる様子が大分違う。一緒に植えた水仙も開き始めた。俯いて咲く水仙だということに気付いた。満開となった桜を見て歩くのもよいけれど、庭の片隅に咲く小さな花々にも見とれている。何度も逃げ出したり行方不明になった亀が、元気に春を迎えられてよかった。こんな小さな花壇にも季節は巡る。人の上にも動物や植物の上にも、等しく時は流れてゆく。本日の更新はこのページの写真です。【お知らせ】ようやくこのサイトのアドレスがhttpからhttpsに変わりました。もう「このサイトは安全ではありません」という表示は出なくなるはずです。レンタルサーバ会社のサポートで漸く刷新した。システムをよく理解もせずにサイトだけ維持している状態は実に面目ない。本日はささやかな一歩。ご訪問に感謝します。

The tortoise I've been keeping for more than 20 years has come out of hibernation and started eating food again. When I change the water, I let it get out of the glass tank. The tortoise slowly moves around. It walks up to the small bed of flowers as if it is attracted by the smell of the earth. Tulips are starting to bloom. I planted 5 bulbs last year. Bulbs looked similar to each other, but the speed of their growth differs. Narcissus has also started to bloom. I found that they are the kind with their heads bending down. To observe my small flower bed is as interesting as to watch cherry blossoms. I'm glad to see my tortoise, which has run away and got lost sometimes, living here safe and sound. Seasons come over such a small flower bed, all kinds of plants and animals equally. Over the human beings as well, time passes evenly. [Note] Assisted by a supporter of a rental server company, I finally changed the address of this website starting with [https:] (not [http;]). Even such a tiny change matters a lot. The security of this website is enhanced. I'm ashamed of my ignorance of the system. How can I manage to maintain this website and IP address, knowing so little? Anyway, thank you very much for your visit.


March 28, 2022

自分の声を聞くのは気恥ずかしい。だが、音声を吹き込んで授業用ファイルを作成しなくてはならない場合、恥ずかしいだの変だのと言っていられない。音声だけでなく自撮り画像で講義しなくてはならないとしたら、もっと敷居が高い。この二年間、オンライン授業のために録音・録画にどれほど教員が労力を費やしてきただろうか。私の場合、オンライン授業は【課題提示方式】を貫いてきたので、リアルタイムのセッション以外は静かなものだった。だが、ここへきて対面授業とオンラインが混ざり合うスタイルに移行したために【課題提示方式】のみはご法度となった。という次第でパワーポイントファイルに音入れをしている。自分の話し方はこのようだったのかとあらためて驚きかつ呆れている。残りの時間を費やして練習しなくては。少しでも聴きよい発話を目指して。(あぁ〜いくら時間があっても足りないぞ!やっぱり休暇の最後で切羽詰まると思った通り。)

It is quite embarrassing to listen to myself. As I have to produce teaching materials with spoken explanation attached, I definitely need to record my voice. I can never be bothered by shyness or embarrassment. For two years since the beginning of the pandemic, teachers have been trying hard to conquer the uneasiness of listening to themselves and showing themselves on the screen. As for me I conducted all of my online classes by sending written materials and receiving written reports; only when we had real time sessions by Zoom or Teams Meeting, I really talked to my audience. Now that the situation has changed, we are supposed never to rely only on written materials only, I have to record my voice as other teachers have been doing. I am astonished to hear me talk; I mean I am not used to listening to myself. I know I have to practice for my listeners. As I had imagined, at the end of the break, I would get really busy. Procrastination returns!


March 27, 2022

毎日食事の準備をする生活を何十年続けているだろう。料理を正式に習ったことはない。総ては見よう見真似で身に着けてきた。だから、「料理科学」には疎く、なぜそのようにするか理屈を知らずに習慣でやっていることが多い。向学心旺盛な人なら、「美味しく」しかも「栄養のあるものを」合理的に調理するはずだ。私の場合は、経験にちょっとだけ聞きかじりの新しい要素を付け加え、日々をしのいでいると言ったところか。得意料理は何かと問われたら、「焼き餃子」と言おう。これは父から伝授された。父の時代には皮を小麦粉から練っていた。丸い缶のふたで延ばした生地をくりぬくのが面白かった。現在はもちろん皮は買ってくる。ひき肉を、キャベツ、白菜、シイタケ、タケノコ、きくらげ、ニラ、ショウガ、ニンニクのみじん切りと混ぜ合わせて中身をこね合わせる。皮で包むのが一苦労だが、慣れれば大したことはない。(本日は40個作った。)焼き方のコツは父に教わった通り、最後で一気に焦げ目をつける。一連の作業で立ち止まるところはない。ほとんど無意識に進む。大きなフライパンで半量ずつ二度に分け、一気に焼き上げる。底に程よい焼き目のついたカリっとして、しかも中身がジューシーな餃子ができた時の満足感。食べてくれる人たちがいればこそ。料理を趣味にしている人もいるだろう。私には「家事」というノルマか?いや、次第に存在理由になりかけているところがある。それは危険なことだろうかなどと、時々考える。

How long have I cooked? For decades! I haven't taken cooking lessons officially. I learned everything by watching some else cook (mainly my mother). I know so little about the science of cooking. I do most of the things just by custom. Ambitious cook would study and pursue rational ways to create delicious and nutritious food efficiently. In my case, I add only a bit of new things to what I've already learned. My specialty is "yaki-gyoza" (a fried dumpling stuffed with minced pork). I learned it from my father. Once he began with kneading the wrapping dough. I liked cutting the circular wrapping with a lid of a can. Nowadays I buy the wrapping dough. I mix finely chopped cabbage, shitake mushroom, bamboo sprout, etc. with minced pork. It takes time to wrap each gyoza but it's the matter of habit. (I made 40 pieces today.) My father showed me how to fry gyoza deliciously. The bottom must be brow and crispy and the filling must be kept juicy. I'm happy to have family to enjoy eating what I cook now. I guess some people call cooking their hobby, but for me cooking is a part of my chore. Well, I feel I am making it my raison d'etre. Isn't it dangerous?


March 26, 2022

桜の咲く頃は菫の咲く頃でもある。折からの荒天に阻まれ桜は一時足踏み状態。関東地方ではこの週末の花見は少し難しそうだ。雑木林の木々の根方に咲く菫は身を寄せ合うように風に吹かれている。どちらの花も開けばすぐに散っていく儚さも共通している。毎年、こんなところにもあったのかと桜木は花で人を驚かせる。散っていく花弁が水面を埋める花筏の風情も捨てがたい。桜は散り際も見事だが、菫は本当にひっそりと消えていく。だが毎年同じところに顔を出すしたたかさも備えている。(人間が踏みにじらなければ。)身近な花々に心を騒がせ、躍らせる幸福をかみしめる。本日の更新は表紙の写真(満開直前の桜)とこのページの写真(雑木林の一隅に咲く菫)です。ご訪問に感謝いたします。

When cherry blossoms bloom, it's also time violets to appear. As it was blowing hard, cherry blossoms were detained to bloom fully. In Kanto area, this weekend is not the best occasion for viewing flowers. Violets, on the other hand, blooming secretly at the feet of trees, were swinging together in the wind. Both of them appear and disappear so quickly in common. Every year cherry trees surprise us showing off their existence with their gorgeous blossoms. Their fallen petals cover the water running in pink belts so impressively. Cherry blossoms are splendid in their falling beauty, but I do love the stealthy violets as well. They appear at the same spots every year to remind us of their existence. (Humans, watch your step!) My heart trembles and leaps with the flowers near-by. Today's update: the photo on the cover page (blooming cherry blossoms) and the one here on this page (violets growing in a small wooded area). Thank you for your visit.


March 25, 2022

大きなカレンダーを壁に、小さなものを机上に、そしてほぼ毎日開く手帳、さらにスマホの予定表。これだけ揃えていても、(当然ながら)時間管理などできたためしがない。ただ時のすぎるのをあれよあれよと眺めて過ごす。TO DO Listを作っても直ぐどこかに見えなくする。夜更かしの習慣がたたって午前中はシャッキリしない。そんな私に容赦なく3月は去り4月がやって来る。大事件、小事件、様々あってこの世は忙しい。大海の一滴を捕えてここに書く。後から読んだら何かになるだろうか。(今、10年前の記述を読み返してみたら、介護生活の真っただ中でやっぱり散歩を繰り返している自分を発見。20年前には短詩を毎日書いていた。)人は10年先を予想できない。生死の別も分からない。それでも書くのは、結局「今」が頼りないからなのだろう。

A big calendar is on the wall, a small one is on the desk, and I have a notebook in which I write a diary; in addition, I have an app for daily schedule in my smartphone. Yet, I can hardly manage my ideal time table. I only gaze at calendars worriedly. My TO DO List is gone somewhere so easily. Due to my custom of staying up late at night, I'm not wide awake in the morning. March is gong already and April is waiting around the corner. Big incidents, small happenings, and variety of matters are here and there to make our lives busy. I catch a drop of water from the ocean and write it down. Does it make any sense? I opened a page of "The Latest Notes" in 2012 and one in 2002 to check what I was doing then. I found I was busy taking care of my family in 2012, and I was writing short poems every day in 2002. I was always taking a walk. We cannot predict our future, knowing not whether we would live or die then. Why do we write? All told, we may write because we are not sure of what we're doing now.


March 24, 2022

東京都に発令されていたCOVID-19の「蔓延防止措置」が解除されたため、三か月ぶりにグループホームに入っている母を訪問することができた。マスクを外してはいけないという規則を守りながら、面会室で30分足らずの会話を楽しんだ。昨日・今日のことは何一つはっきり覚えていないが、母は数十年前のことならよく覚えている。だから話題は専ら昔の思い出となる。何か共有できることが一つでもあれば、十分愉しく過ごせる。特に何も変わったことがない一日というのが母にとっては最も満足のいく生活なのだろう。今後もまた訪問が続けられるよう祈りながらホームを後にした。どうかもう感染者が急増することがありませんように。母は現下の戦争のことを全く知らなかった。

As priority preventative measures against COVID-19 in Tokyo has ceased, I visited my mother staying in "a group-home" for the elders. Three months have passed since I visited her last. Observing the strict rule to keep wearing a mask, I enjoyed talking with my mother in a small lounge for nearly 30 minutes. She doesn't remember anything clearly that happened yesterday and today, her memory of decades ago is good. Therefore, topics of our conversation is only the things happened in the far away past. If only we have something common, that will help us enjoy sharing time pleasantly. For my mother a day in which nothing special happens is the best day. Hoping to have the chance to visit her again very soon, I came home. I wish my mother will stay safe and sound. I wish COVID-19 won't spread drastically anymore! To my amazement, my mother knew nothing about the ongoing war at all.


March 23, 2022

本日はゼレンスキー・ウクライナ大統領の、日本に向けたオンライン演説が行われた。15分足らずの短いものだったが、力強く明晰な言葉によるウクライナへの支援呼びかけだった。全員マスクで顔を覆った日本の国会議員たちに対して、戦場からの演説の内容は具体的な援軍要請等ではなく、将来の復興を視野に入れた希望を感じさせるものだった。演説相手となる国によって内容は異なる。日本への、ある意味で過激ではなく脅迫的でもなく、むしろ穏やかで淡々とした語り口に迫真性を感じた。権威主義者の弄する無駄の一切ない話しぶりだったと思う。だからこそ、これを遺言に等すまいと思う人が多かったのではなかろうか。50 Beautiful Pics Of Ukraine That Are Heartbreaking To See Right Now「今見ると胸が張り裂けるほど美しいウクライナの50景」という写真サイトを友人が紹介してくれた。このような至宝を破壊し尽くす戦争の無限の罪深さを確信するばかりだ。

Ukraine President Zelenskyy addressed the Japanese Diet today. It lasted for less than 15 minutes, which was a powerful and articulate appeal to support his country. To the Diet members who were all wearing masks, his address from the front line of the battle field was not an entreaty to join the war nor to supply weapons but rather something more humane including the perspective to the recovery assistance in the future. Not eccentric nor threatening, but simple and calm in his tone of the voice. His speech varies depending on to which country it is addressed to. To Japan, he was realistic and restrained. There was no longish nonsense that authoritarians tend to expose. This address must not be made his last word. A friend of mine introduced 50 Beautiful Pics of Ukraine That Are Heartbreaking to See Right Now. How dare can a war destroy such treasures?


March 22, 2022

お彼岸に雪。午前中に外出したら、本降りだった。昨日はほころびかけた桜を見ながら散歩したのに、花も凍る天気の急変。お花見などと浮かれていたら「気が早い!」とたしなめられたような塩梅だ。そろそろ本格的に新学期の準備をしておかないと最後で焦ることになる。「積ん読」の山は高くなり、四方八方から飛んでくるメールも増えた。新学期に始まる新しいLMS(Learning Management System)―「学習管理システム」―に慣れておく必要もある。この二年間、無手勝流でオンライン授業を進めてきたけれど、様々な軌道修正をしなくては。いくつになっても新しく学ぶことは尽きない。それができなくなったら引っ込むしかないだろう。自分を客観視するのは難しい。年配者の思い込みや頑迷さが横行しない様に定年というシステムがあるに違いない。う〜ん、自分がその対象者になると思うと心穏やかでいられないが、己を知るべし、だ。(なんだか最近「べし」が多い、)

Suddenly it snowed today! I was surprised to find it was snowing heavily when I went out in the morning. Only yesterday, I was excited with the cherry blossoms starting to bloom. It was as if I was scolded of my haste. It's high time for me to start preparing rally for the new semester. Procrastination will be too stressful. Books are piled up and e-mails are arriving a lot. I am supposed to get used to the new LMS (Learning Management System.) For two years I've been conduction the online classes in my way, which should be straightened to meet the real needs of students today. No matter how old we become, we have a lot more to learn. Unless I can respond to the demands, I would have to retire finally. Don't be self-centered and stubborn. I'm afraid I could be such a typical old person. Before that I should know myself correctly. (How can I?)


March 21, .2022

2011年から11年経ったように、今から11年も瞬く間に過ぎてゆくのだろうか。実際には目の前にある、「今日」を生きるだけなのだが。毎年桜の季節を迎え、直ぐに桜は散る。だが同じ瞬間はどこにもない。咲き初める木、未だ蕾の固い黒々とした枝、あと何日と数えながら歩く道。朝には輝いていた空も、夕刻にはどんよりと曇って寒々とした風景になる。海辺に行きたいと思いながら、なかなか実現しないものだからせめて近隣の貯水池へ行って水の広がりを眺める。

逆光のさざ波寄せる古き春 

満開は散る直前の宴かな

幾組も寄り添う人らすれ違い

花びらを一人で浴びる春もよし

旅立ちの春は笑顔で送るべし

11 years have passed so quickly since 2011. That means another 11 years will pass as quickly as ever. In reality we can live each day ordinarily. Each year the season of cherry blossoms come and go right after their being in full bloom. But there is no one same year. I see trees with flowers starting to bloom, I see also branches still black only with buds. I walk along the road wondering how many more days I have to wait. In the morning the sky is bright but it gets cloudy and turns monotonous in the evening. I wish I could go to the seaside; as a matter of fact, I’m still lingering in my neighborhood only to go to the water storage pond just to look at the view of the water.

Backlit ripples come pushing springs in the past

Blossoms in full bloom perform the festa before falling

Couples after couples pass by beside a solo walker

I love the spring getting the shower of falling blossoms all alone

Smile when you see a traveler off in a heartbreaking spring


March 20 2022

花の季節到来。路傍に咲く花々に思わず足を止める。久々に会う友人のように懐かしい。いつか、誰かが植えた花。つい数日前までは何処も枯草色に沈んでいたのに、あちこちに目の覚める色彩が戻ってきた。晴れていても曇っていても花の鮮やかさは際立っている。東京でも桜が咲き始めた。数日中に街は桜色に染まるだろう。花は桜だけではないけれど、人々は桜に酔う。コロナ感染が始まった頃花見は禁じられ、酒盛りなどもってのほかだった。あれから二年。状況は大して変わったとも思えない。だが人々の心持は変わった。おそらく人それぞれに今年は桜の下を浮かれて歩くだろう。「もう待てない。」ワクチンは三回打った。マスクはかけている。群れ集うのでなければ良かろうと。この世の春を愛でずに生きていくのはあまりに寂しい。本当はここがこらえどころだったとしても。花を愛でられる平和の有難さ。本日の更新は、表紙の写真(満開のコブシ)とこのページの写真(水仙)です。ご訪問に感謝します。

The season of flowers have come at last! I often stop by while walking to watch the flowers blooming along the road. I feel as if I happen to meet my old friends. Flowers were planted by somebody in the past. Only yesterday, the world was in dry and withered colors. Then all of a sudden, it turned out to be lively with vivid colors of flowering plants. They are outstanding whether it's sunny or cloudy. In Tokyo, cherry blossoms have started blooming. In a few days, perhaps, the metropolis will be all colored with cherry pink. Of course, cherry blossoms are not the only flower, but we tend to be excited and fascinated with cherry blossoms, almost intoxicated. When COVID-19 started, "cherry blossom viewing" was forbidden, not to mention drinking under the blossoms. Two years have passed since then. The situation has not yet completely changed; however, people would go out for viewing by all means this year. They can't wait any longer. They would say, "I've vaccinated three times, I'm wearing a mask. So, what's wrong with enjoying flowers, if I'm not drinking in a big group of people?" It's a pity to live without loving the spring of life. (In fact, we are still in a crucial point though.) Thanks for the peace with which we can love flowers. Today's update: a photo on the cover page (flowering northern Japanese magnolia) and the one in this page (narcissus). Thank you for your visit!


March 19, 2022

春彼岸の墓参に行ってきた。「私はお墓になどいません」という「千の風になって」という歌もあるけれど、墓参は逝ってしまった人たちに直接アプローチするひとつの方法だ。我が家の墓は高尾山に近い小山の上にある。見晴らす限り何万という墓石が山々の表面を埋め尽くしている光景は壮絶だ。首都圏にはもう十分な(墓地のための)土地がないために、最近は集密霊廟や樹木葬など個々の家の墓石を建てない方法が考案されている。「必ず海に散骨しろ」と言い残して逝った作家もいる。戦火の中、道端に放置された遺体も多いと聞く。弔いは故人への最も重要な責務であると誰しも知っているのに。

I visited my family grave which is in the top of a hill near Mt. Takao in Tokyo. A song entitled "A Thousand Winds that Blows" says "Don't stand at my grave and cry / I am not there / I did not die / I am a thousand winds that blows..." It may be true but to visit the grave is one way to approach the dead. When I stand by the grave and look up to find thousands and millions of graves spreading over the hills around. In Tokyo metropolis land for graveyards is very limited nowadays: and so, new styles of grave are invented such as concentrated grave buildings and burial at the foot of trees (by "Tree Funeral"). A famous writer who passed away recently had told his family to scatter his ashes in the ocean. Under the war battles, people are dead and left on the roadside although mourning for the dead is the most fundamental responsibility of the living.


March 18, 2022

久しぶりに冷たい雨の一日だった。気付けば散歩にも出かけず机の前で過ごした一日。お彼岸が始まる。暑さ寒さも―と言われる。うまくいかないことはうまくいかない。下手なことはいつまで経っても下手。大抵は気楽に「何とかなるさ」と言いながら過ごすものの、そうとばかりも言っていられない。それでもできるだけの手を打たなくては。結果が出るのは先のこととしても。忍耐力と持久力が必要なのだろう。夜は第4回目の"22 Ulysses"イベントにオンラインで参加。ようやく生気を取り戻す。祭りは大切だ。俯いているより顔を上げよう!

It was raining all day long. I didn't go out for walking or shopping but kept sitting at the desk. The equinoctial week starts. They say the cold weather will come to an end then. Well, I was not feeling well thinking of what I am not good at. Things won't go smoothly due to my poor capability. Usually I say "Let it go as it goes. Take it easy!" However, my optimism won't work all the time. I need to think and make plans seriously. Patience and endurance areindispensable. At night I attended the fourth event of "22 Ulysses" online. Finally, I felt much better. A special event, or a festival, is important for anybody. All right, chin up!


March 17, 2022

昨夜の地震は死傷者を含めて、広範な地域に被害を出した。大きなものでこそなかったが、津波も起こった。東日本大震災の余波が未だ続いているということか。忘れてはいけない。人間が忘れやすくても、自然界が幾度も思い知らせてくれる。地震が起これば、国内ニュースはそれ一色に染まる。我が国土は地震を身の内に抱えて生きている。Twitterからは印象的な音楽と映像が流れてきた。アイルランド共和国が発信する動画だった。セント・パトリックデイにちなんでウクライナと危機に瀕しているすべての人々に向けた励ましと連帯のメッセージだった。短いけれど力強く美しく胸に響く。このように時機を得たメッセージを送れる人々に私は敬意を表する。抑圧された歴史の中から生まれた音楽と言葉。 a video message from Ireland, featuring "The Island," (words and music by Paul Brandy).

The earthquakes happened last night turned out to be a disaster much more serious than I first imagined. People were dead and injured. All day long, TV went on reporting the present situation of areas affected by the earthquakes. We live in a land which includes earthquakes constantly. Let us not forget about it. The nature always tells us about it, / Today I found in twitter an impressive message from the government of Ireland. It says, "On this St. Patrick's Day. Ireland stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and people everywhere in crisis. We are thinking of you today.” It’s a video message from Ireland, featuring "The Island," (words and music by Paul Brandy). I respect the country which can express its decisive status in such a beautiful way.


March 16, 2022

本日も一筆書こうとパソコンに向かっていたら、緩やかな、しかし執拗な揺れが来た。ゆら〜り、ゆら〜りといつまでも続く。流石に席を立って、部屋の扉、玄関の扉を開けて様子をうかがっていると次第に揺れは収まってきた。室内に落下物などなく、少なくとも東京の西郊では大地震という感じではなかった。(だが長く続いた横揺れで僅かに船酔いのような感覚が残る。)そうか、こんな時はテレビだとスイッチを入れる。既に地震速報が宮城県・福島県での震度6強の揺れを伝えており津波警報も発令されていた。地元の人たちは避難を開始したのだろうか。その後、かなり広域での停電やJRの運転見合わせなども伝えられている。3.11を過ぎたばかりのこの時期、地震に季節は関係ないと思いたいが、逆に言えばいつでもこの国は地震シーズンということか。「忘れた頃に」ではなく、「忘れる間もなく」次々に色々なことが起こる。

When I was facing the monitor of my PC, the earthquake happened. It was a slow and persistent quake. I stood up to open the door of my room and then the door of the house. Compared to the one in 2011, this was not a great earthquake but the shaking left me a faint nausea. Soon enough, the TV newsflash was reporting that the earthquake (of intensity 6 upper) happened out in the sea near the coasts of Miyagi and Fukushima Prefecture, triggered by a tsunami warning. I wonder people near the sea have already started fleeing. Afterwards, reportedly, blackout has spread in wide areas in Kanto and Tohoku areas. JR railway is stopped. Right after 3.11, another earthquake happened again. I guess the season has nothing to do with earthquakes, but in our country throughout the year, it's high time for earthquakes. They say disasters happen when people forget about them; however, we should say disasters happen anytime.


March 15, 2022

既に三月も半ば。この時期は殊に時の流れを早く感じる。梅が咲いたと心ときめかせていたら、もう沈丁花もこぶしも花開き、いよいよ百花繚乱の季節に入る。東京都に発出されていたCOVID-19の「蔓延防止等重点措置」もいよいよ3月21日で終わる見込みとなった。昨年末のように、新規感染者数が激減し「もうコロナはお終いなのでは」と私たちに期待させるに違いない。流石に三回もワクチンを接種したら、「一丁あがり!」と行きたい。ぬか喜びに終わらないよう願う。さても、戦争の行方は?前線の動向も気になるが、戦火を逃れてきた人々の行く先も気になる。日本政府はウクライナからの難民を期限付きで受け容れる方針を打ち出すようだ。就労ビザも発行するという。難民が暮らせる場所も各地に用意することになるだろう。これまでの難民受け入れに対する拒絶的な方針からの転換が起こりそうだ。TVに映る、既に日本で暮らしているウクライナ出身者は流暢な日本語を話すが、突然祖国を逃れて日本に到着した人々のケアはどうなるだろう。事態は猶予なく進行する。地球は広くもあり狭くもある。新たな隣人たちとの出会いは近い。

It's already the middle of March. I feel time passes extremely fast in this season. Right after I was excited with the blooming Japanese plum trees, daphne and northern Japanese magnolia are starting to bloom. We are on the verge of the season when various flowers are to bloom all at once. Priority preventative measures against COVID-19 in Tokyo will cease on March 21. Perhaps we'll feel at ease like at the end of 2021, when the number of infected patients decreased drastically and we almost believed COVID-19 would be over very soon. Now that many of us have been vaccinated, we are all right, aren't we? (The fact won't be that simple!) Then, what will become of the war? We're worried about the situation of the battle front, but how about those who have expatriated? Japanese government has announced that it will accept refugees from Ukraine for definite period of time, issuing working visa. Accommodations will be prepared. As Japan has refused to accept refugees so far, the change of policy will make a big difference. Ukrainians who are already Japanese residents speak fluent Japanese on TV, but those who are newly arriving in Japan from now on will have a hard time getting used to the language and customs. They will have to be taken care of in many ways. I'm sure the reality will move very swiftly. The earth is huge and small at the same time. Our encounter with new neighbors will be soon enough.


March 14, 2022

一旦は確定申告をやり終えたはずが、最後の最後で一つ大切な項目を入れ忘れていることに気付いた。税務署に問い合わせると全部やり直すようにとの指示。けれど肝心な添付書類は既に郵送してしまい、詳細が手元にないと入力の途中で立ち止まらざるを得ない。前回の申告書の控えと新しい書類を持って直接税務署で相談することに。(締め切りの前日だ!)予想通り税務署は大賑わい。駐輪場の係員も「今日がピークだねぇ」と言い合っている。何がどのように問題であるか説明するのに手間取りながらも、なんとか相談者の列に加わった。最初は屋外で、番号順に呼ばれて庁舎の中へ。列は遅々として進まない。途中で何度か目的別に仕分けされ、列はカテゴリー別に分岐する。私は【訂正申請】組。最後はサポーター付きのパソコン入力台へ。一人でやっていたら迷うところもサポーター職員の助けで難なく前進。(ありがたや!)印刷を終え、屋外に出るまでに2時間半かかった。私が到着した朝方とは違って、税務署の敷地をはみ出し塀に沿って続く順番待ちの長い列に驚いた。どのようなことであれ、お役所と付き合うには忍耐力と時間が必要だ。そしてやり直す潔さも!無事切り抜けることができてホッとした。

I thought I have finished with submitting the document of tax return a week before, but I found out I had forgotten a very important item to report. By phone they told me to write the document again. But the problem was I had already sent out some necessary data in print; so that I couldn't help stopping in the middle of the work. I decided to go to the tax office for help carrying on the copy of the previous document and the new one. (It's one day before the deadline!) As I had expected, the office was very crowded. I could hear people in the bike park say, "Today is the real peak!" I took a while to explain what the problem with me was and somehow, I got a waiting number for inquiry. First the line was in the courtyard, and then indoors. We were categorized according to the problems. The waiting lines didn't go on smoothly. Finally, I arrived at a desk equipped with laptops and a supporter for me! Thanks to her the input went on successfully. When I finished printing and submitted the finalized document, I found it took me more than 2 hours and a half as a whole. To my surprise, I saw a long line of waiting citizens standing along the wall of the tax office. (In the morning when I arrived the line was much shorter.) Well, whatever the matter is, it costs time and energy to go well along with bureaucracy. It also takes a simple decision to challenge. I was glad I did my job all right today.


March 13, 2022

コロナ禍により、私は滅多に都心に出なくなっていた。本日は久しぶりに神田神保町の岩波ホールへ出かけた。数々の名画を上映してきた岩波ホールはこの夏に閉じる。商業ベースには乗りにくい社会性・芸術性に富んだ作品セレクトの慧眼は高い評価を得つつ、集客にはつながらないことが多かった。今日見てきたグルジア(ジョージア)映画『金の糸』も、日曜日の午後なのに満席には程遠かった。主な登場人物はソ連時代に弾圧を受けた女性作家と体制の先鋒だった側の女性、そして二人に関わった男性―皆既に年老いている。彼らの静かで密やかで厳しい言葉の紡ぐ、回想と現実の絡み合い。1928年生まれの女性、ラナ・ゴゴゼベリエ監督自身の経験を投影する作品だった。語られる過酷な歴史の記憶は、どのような条件の下でも高潔に生きて死ぬ人の定めを穏やかに深く掘り下げる。若かった男女が通りでタンゴを踊る様子を除いて、回想シーンもない。観る者の胸を打つ作品の迫力には並々ならぬものがある。この映画は、現下のロシア対ウクライナの戦争を、どのように受け止めたらよいのか戸惑う者たちに差し出された、歴史の生き証人からの伝言と言えないだろうか。

Recently, due to COVID-19, I've seldom been to the busy centers of Tokyo. Today I went to Iwanami Hall in Kanda to see a movie. Iwanami Hall is famous for its excellent selection of worldwide movies. Unfortunately, however, it will be closed in summer 2022 partly because they could hardly collect enough audience on commercial basis. "Golden Thread", which I saw today, is not a popular work. On Sunday afternoon, the hall was far from full. It is a Georgian movie produced by Lana Gogoberidze, born in 1928. The main characters are an old writer, once persecuted, and her daughter's mother-in-law, once an officer of the Soviet Union, and an old man, who once loved the writer. Their words depict the experiences and memories of the past. Their quiet and subtle talks construct a large picture of history. The movie does not show any scenes of the past except for a dancing young couple on a street. Their memories tell us very quietly what life and death is like. I felt this movie is a message to people today bewildered by the war between Russia and Ukraine from surviving witnesses of the severe history.


March 12, 2022

私は時々、歩くために歩く。大旅行をするわけではない。せいぜい 私鉄の数駅分を踏破するくらいのことだけだけれど。今日もそのように歩きながら、祖国を追われて否応なく歩いている人々のことを考えていた。ウクライナだけではなく、世界中に否応なく歩かざるを得ない人々がどれほどいることか。私は好きで歩くだけなのに、陽が落ちて暗くなる道は果てしなく長く感じる。普段ならなるべく車の通らない裏道を選ぶのだが、最後はつい明かりの点いた街道筋を選んでしまった。クルマが行き交い恐ろしい。それでもこの道に沿って行けば迷うことはないと思うと安心感がある。行く先の見えない道程を行く人々の不安を想像する。疲労や空腹や思うように用足しも出来ない不自由を思う。自分がようやく見知った場所に出た時の安堵は、逆に見知らぬ場所をさまようことの恐怖を想像させる。戦火の故郷にとどまる人々のことを考えると、想像力も働かなくなる。私とはなんと小さな器に過ぎないのだろう!

I sometimes take a walk just to walk. It's not a long journey, but only a walk to cover the distance of a few railroad stations. Today while I was walking, I thought of those who must walk to get away from their homeland. Not only of Ukrainians, but also of people of other areas as well. How many of exiles are there now in the world? Unlike those who are forced to walk, I choose to walk for fun basically; however, when the sun set and it started to get dark, I felt home far away. Usually, I try to find quiet paths to avoid cars and people, but this evening I finally chose highroads lighted and busy with cars. They were scary with heavy traffic but they also gave me a feeling of security. Then I imagined those who are not sure where they are going. They might be hungry, tired, uncomfortable being unable to go to toilet as they want to. The feeling of security I got when I came to the place which I knew well made me imagine the horror those walking people might be feeling. When I tried to think of those who remained in their homeland under war, my imagination stopped. What a coward I am!


March 11, 2022

11年目の3.11。土台から生活が激震し、以来いわれのない「安全神話」が消滅した。同時に人の「忘れやすさ」もはびこる。(忘れる力も人間には備わっている。)だから人は石碑を建てる。しかし建てる場所を間違えると、石碑自体も忘れられてしまうという。これからも地震はきっと来る。TVでは最悪のケースを想定して崩壊する街の様子(のシミュレーション)を映し出していた。人の想像力は大したものだが、「まさか自分に」とタカをくくっているところもある。リスクを回避することと、それを最小限にする努力とはまた別だ。戦争についても識者の意見は様々で、いくら身を乗り出して耳を傾けても「解」が与えられるわけではない。歴史に学びながら、事の核心を自分の理性と感性で掴むしかない。理屈はともかく、このページの写真は友人から送られてきたミモザの花。満開の庭からのおすそ分け。「国際女性デー」(3/8)を祝う花だ。贈るなら戦車よりも花がいい。

Eleven years have passed since the East Japan Great Earthquake. The foundation of our daily life was drastically shaken and the ambiguous "myth of safety" vanished. At the same time, our forgetfulness invades our mind. (Forgetfulness is a part of our nature as well.) Therefore, we construct stone monuments. But if we build ones in wrong places, they could be forgotten. Earthquakes will attack us time and again. On TV I watched a simulation of the worst case in VR video in which buildings were falling down one after another. What an imagination! Most of the audience, however, would watch it feeling, "That won't happen to ME." To avoid risks and to try to minimize risks are different. That would apply to wars. Scholars and critics discuss the ongoing wars shrewdly but there is no convincing solution. We have to keep thinking and feeling the devastating phenomena and capture the heart of the matter by ourselves. BTW, the photo in this page is a present from one of my friends. She sent me mimosa from her garden. She told me it's the flower to celebrate "the International Women's Day" (March 8). Flower is better than combat vehicles to send.


March 10, 2022

明日は3.11だ。地震が発生した時、関東地方の内陸部にいた私は、強烈な揺れに見舞われたものの、直接物理的な被害はなかった。(当時の様子はThe Latest Notes 15 (2/25/2011-10/26/2011)に記録されている。)古い木造家屋はギシギシきしみ、梁が折れるのではないかと天井を見上げていた。揺れが少し収まった段階でTVを付けた。カメラは上空から津波が畑の中を進んでくるところを写していた。ゆっくり動いているような気がしたが、その破壊力がいかにすさまじいものかは直ぐ後に明らかになった。関東地方の人間にはTVが状況を伝えているのに、現地の人々は情報から遮断されて、何が起こっているのか把握できなかったと聞いた。数年の後、仲間と南三陸町を訪れて語り部の男性に当時の話を聴き、自分の不明を恥じた。知り合いの植木屋さんはすぐさまクルマで支援に駆けつけたそうだ。ショベルカーが運転できるからきっと役に立てると思ったと。そして原発事故だ。あの時も一瞬で崩れる日常生活の脆さに愕然としたものだが、COVID-19による「非日常」が今や「日常」となり、戦争の推移が毎日報じられる日々を私たちは過ごしている。この11年間が自分の個人生活にとっても、他の誰にとっても特別な時期であったことをあらためて肝に銘じる。砲撃や火の手を逃れ、泣きながら歩く人々の群れ。津波のように押し寄せてくるのは「新しい日常生活」だ。

Tomorrow is March 11. When the great earthquake happened in 2011, I was in the depth of the Kanto Plain, where we had only a little physical influence of the quake. (Notes of the days after the earthquake is recorded in The Latest Notes 15 (2/25/2011-10/26/2011). Our old wooden house was shaken so hard that I suspected the beam might be broken. I kept looking up at the ceiling. Then we switched on TV to find out Tsunami was going on the field seemingly quite slowly. Soon after that we learned that the destructive power of the rushing waves was extremely enormous. Contradictorily people under the disaster didn't know what really was happening; however, TV watchers in a distance could see what was wrong. A few years later, I had a chance to visit Minami-Sanriku Chou with my colleagues and had a chance to listen to a man talk of the reality of the earthquake and Tsunami. I was ashamed of my ignorance. One of my acquaintances, a gardener, rushed to Kamaishi immediately to help. He said he thought he might be of help because he was able to drive a shovel-car. Then there were accidents at the Nuclear Plants in Fukushima. I was devastated with extraordinary things happening one after another. But here we are at the variety of unusual, extraordinary things with us almost on a daily basis. 11 years made a special period for you and me and for everybody. Running away from cannonballs, bombs, fire, crowds of people walk on crying. Like Tsunami, the new daily life is approaching.


March 9, 2022

1922年のUlysses出版の年から今年は100年目だと、Joyce研究者も一般読者も(些か)興奮気味に100周年を祝っている。そんな折、歴史家の友人から「1922年はソヴィエト建国の年だったから、今年は建国100年に当たり、Vova (Vladimir Vladimirovich Putinのあだ名)はそれを祝いたかったのでしょう!」というコメントが来た。ソ連(1922-1991)が終焉を迎えた日、TVはそのニュース一色だった。巨大な国家が消えてなくなるなどということがあるのかと驚愕して私はTV画面を見つめていた記憶がある。しかし、そんなナイーヴな感想にどんな意味があっただろう。その後独立したいくつもの共和国は平和裏に発展したわけではなく、絶えざる紛争にさらされてきた。最大最強のロシア連邦がこの度のように武力で領土拡大を目指すと、平和は吹き飛ぶ。コロナ禍も吹き飛ばすほどの衝撃を世界に与え、それが日々報じられながらロシアの暴走を誰も押しとどめられない。Vovaの妄執が消える日は来るのか?-History is a nightmare from which I'm trying to awake. (「歴史とは僕がそれから目覚めようとしている悪夢です。」)というUlyssesの主人公の一人Stephen Dedalusの呟く言葉が闇に響き渡る。

James Joyce's Ulysses was published in 1922 in Paris, so Joyceans and common readers as well are celebrating the 100th year with excitement. A friend of mine, a historian, texted me, "In 1922 The Soviet Union was established; therefore 2022 is the 100th year since then. Is that why Vova (Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin) excitedly invaded Ukraine?" In 1991 when the Soviet Union ceased to be, TV news was reporting the end of the country all day. I was astonished to see an immense country collapse. But did such a naive sentiment mean anything? Newly independent republics did not maintain peace and development smoothly; on the other hand, they were disturbed by Russian Federation time after time by force. Peace can be blown off immediately. Even the issues of COVId-19 seem to be blown off by the latest news of the war. The war has been reported every day with photos and videos and yet, there is no way yet to stop it. Can Vova's fanatic illusion to conquer the area be stopped by something? In Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus says, "History is a nightmare from which I'm trying to awake. " His statement echoes in darkness.


Mach 7, 2022

確定申告書を仕上げてしまわなくてはと、PCに向かう。そんなやり方は今ではもう時代遅れのようだ。サクサクとスマホで書いてそのまま送信、という方法が推奨されている。デジタルネイティブにはその方がよほど楽なのだろうが、私はどうもPCのモニターに大写しにしないと今自分が何をしているのか分からなくなってしまう。最近何をするにもスマホでと勧められる。自分の物でありながら(しかももう何年も使っているのに)固定的な使い方しか知らず、時折「えっ、スマホでそんなことできるの?」と驚いては周囲を呆れさせている。また、以前は市役所まで取りに行かなくてはならなかった各種書類も、マイナンバーカードがあれば近所のコンビニで引き出せるのを最近知った。夜中に、ふと思い立ってコンビニで課税証明書を取ってきた。市役所へ出向くよりよほど楽だった。(なーんだ、そうか。)私はこっそりあれこれ試してみている。

As I had to finish the document of tax return, I faced the monitor of my PC for a few hours. This kind of method seems to be quite out of date; instead, we are recommended to send the form by smart phone. I guess it's much easier for "the digital-native" to utilize smartphone, but not for me. I would rather watch the large monitor of PC; thus, I can see where I'm now and what I'm doing. Recently whatever you do, you are invited to use smartphone. Although I have the device and I've been using it for many years, I know very limited ways to use it. Often people around me are surprised to hear me say, "Oh, can you do such a thing with your smartphone? I've never dreamed of it!" Also, I learned very recently that a convenience store we can download documents which you used to ask for at the counter of the municipal office if you hold "My Number Card." (You can use the machine with various languages.) At midnight I went out to a convenience store nearby to get taxation certificate. How easier it is to visit a convenience store than to go all the way to the city hall! Well, well, I'm secretly learning how to survive in the contemporary world.


March 6 2022

明るい色と暗い色。どちらも今の私の心境を良く映す。いつも歩く道筋に紅白の梅の木がある。どちらも枝垂れている。それらの木々が満開になると、もう待ったなしの春だ。木々は豪勢に花をつけていた。一瞬心がパーッと明るくなった。それからしばらく行くと陸橋があり、そこからはかろうじて秩父の山並みが見える。もっと早い時刻ならくっきりと青い山脈が見えただろうに、どうしても夕方の散歩になってしまうため、空はうす暗い。戦争以外にも心を塞ぐことがあり、もっと身近なことだけにこの鉄路の暗さはむしろ落ち着く。深く沈むこともまた、春ならでは。ご訪問に感謝します。

Bright colors and dark colors. Either of them reflects my sentiment now. Along the way I always walk, there are two Japanese plum trees: one blooms pink and the other blooms white. They are both weeping. When they are in full blossoms, I feel the real spring has come. Today both of the trees looked so gorgeous. (As you see in the cover page of this website.) They brightened my heart in a moment. Thereafter, I went up a land bridge over the railway. I can see the mountains of Chichibu District in a distance. It I had walked early I could have seen the mountains blue. Unfortunately, the sky was rather dark already. Beside the war, I have things to bother me. The darkness calmed me down. Spring gets me down quite often. Thank you for your visit.


March 5, 2022

晴れた週末には、近隣を散歩する。30年以上も住んでいる土地なのに、意外に知らない場所もあり、時折思いがけないルートを発見。例えばドローンで中空から見下ろしたら、私の歩く範囲や距離などほんの僅かなもので一筋二筋違う道だからと言っても「誤差」のうちだろう。だが、視点や視座の違いは世界を別のものに見せる。戦争・軍事を専門にする友人から受け取るメールは、マスコミやネットニュースのカバーしないこの度の戦争のあり様を深く抉り、今起こっていることとかつて起こった幾多の戦を重ね合わせ、これから起こりうる可能性を示唆する。彼女の分析する戦争のリアリティーに私は舌を巻く。戦争を遂行する人々が踏みしだく「民間人」を甘く見てはならない。「人一人」の存在意義を最も軽視するのが戦争だ。地震や津波のような自然災害は人を選別しないが、人為的な災厄は選別から始まっているのだろうから。

On sunny weekend, I take a walk in my neighborhood. Having lived here for more than 30 years, I still don't know lanes and corners well enough. If I am watched from a drone, the range and the distance I cover might be very limited. A lane or two might not make any difference in terms of the large view. But the difference in the point of view can show us a totally different world. Mails from one of my friends, who is a specialist in war and military affairs, analyze the present situation of the Russia-Ukraine war deeply and speculate about the possible developments. I'm overwhelmed by her shrewd opinions. Don't underestimate the ordinary people. Wars disrespect invaluable individuals. Natural disasters destroy everything all together; wars begin with sorting people.


March 3, 2022

東京西郊でも河津桜が満開を迎えた。枯野色の景色の中にポッと明かりがともったような早咲きの桜は、春の接近を告げている。春愁も始まる。ソメイヨシノや山桜が咲く頃までにやっておかなくてはならないこと、不可避のあれこれを思うと頭重になりそうだ。それでも、華やぐ季節から目を背けるのはよそう。出来ることも出来ないことも、自分のキャパを思えば無限でないことくらい先刻承知。だから、今は早春賦を心から楽しもう。本日の更新は表紙の写真(河津桜遠景)とこのページの写真(同接写)です。早咲きの桜たたきぬ慈雨なれど

In the west suburbs of Tokyo, the early cherry blossoms (Kawazu-zakura) are in full bloom. The trees look like lighted spots in the withered field. They indicate that spring is approaching really. At the same time my "spring melancholy" begins. When I remember the to-do-list I have to complete before the real cherry blossoms grow to be in full bloom, my head aches. However, let me not ignore the luxurious season. I should know the limit of my capacity. So it would be good to enjoy the early spring anyway. Today's update: a photo in the cover page (Kawazu-zakura, the early cherry blossoms) and a photo here in this page (the same closely shot). Early cherry blossoms are beaten/ By the merciful rain


March 02, 2022

関東地方では気温が大分上昇してきて、未だ外套は必要だが中に一枚着るものを減らしても外を歩けるようになった。むしろ息せききって坂道を上がったりすると汗ばむくらいだ。もっとも彼岸までは三寒四温が続く。今日横浜の県立高校の前を通りかかったら、生徒や保護者と思しき人たちが続々と集まってくるところだった。もしかすると入学試験の合格発表があったのだろうか。期待や不安と共に新しい季節を迎える人たちがいる。サクラより先、梅や桃の咲く頃。なつかしく輝かしい季節だ。それから卒業式や入学式と続き、新年度が始まる。幾度繰り返してきたことだろう。戦争や伝染病や様々な突発事故で、そのような当たり前にめぐりくると思っていた行事がフイになることもありうる。現在進行形の災厄がそれをリアルにする。無いふりはできない。もちろんポジティブな態度や思考を手放してはならないけれども。現実と向き合う勇気と叡智が要る。

In Kanto Area in Japan, it is growing warm day by day. Although I still need an overcoat, I can doff an inner shirt when I go out. I even slightly perspire when I walk up a slope in a hurry. Certainly, I need to remember the cold days will return anytime. I saw students and their parents gathering in front of a high school waiting for something today. I wondered if it was the day for the result of the entrance exam to be announced. There are people full of expectations and anxieties in this season. Before cherry blossoms we are blessed with Japanese plums in early spring. I remember the brilliant season with nostalgic feelings. Then come commencement and entrance ceremonies. And the new academic/ fiscal year starts in April in Japan. How many times have I repeated the routine? Now I know that anything can stop the cycle abruptly. I feel it quite real with the ongoing war and pandemic. I can't ignore them. At the same time, I should not give up the positive attitude at the same time; but we do need courage and wisdom to face the reality.


 March 01, 2022

季節は弥生となり、雛人形を飾った。母からの贈り物。今年に入って未だ母には会えずにいる。COVID-19の「蔓延防止措置」は3月6日から更に2週間延長となり、今月半ばまでは現状が続く。したがってグループホームに入居中の母を訪問できるのはまだ先のこととなりそうだ。第三回目のワクチン接種を受けてきた家族が、副反応に見舞われ休業中。接種の順番が来るのはありがたいものの、次々と副反応にやられるのは辛い。その先に安定的なコロナからの解放があるのならまだしも、社会全体の感染鎮静化はそうやすやすと図れそうもない。そして、目下最大の問題は、ロシアのウクライナ攻撃の行方である。プーチン大統領が核兵器の存在をちらつかせるという暴挙に出ている。国際社会が許容しないなどという理想的言説をものともせず破滅的な方向に突っ走りかねない。厳寒の土地で故郷を後にせざるを得ない人々の苦悩を思う。この戦争が今後の世界に及ぼす影響は計り知れず、我々にとっても対岸の火事では済まないと認識しなくてはならないだろう。友人から転送されてきたロシアの科学者・科学ジャーナリストのロシア軍によるウクライナ侵攻に反対する「公開書簡」をここに貼り付けておく。 雛人形ののどかさとは裏腹の弥生の幕開けである。本日の更新は、「更新・短信」ページの刷新と、表紙、このページの写真入れ替えです。表紙ははち切れんばかりに膨らんだ河津桜の蕾。このページの写真は我が家の猫にっきです。

It's March. We celebrate "Doll's Day" or "Girl's Day" on 3rd of March. I laid out a pair of dolls (the prince and the princess) to celebrate the day. The dolls are the present from my mother. Due to COVID-19, I haven't visited her at the Group-Home since the end of 2021. Priority preventative measures are in force right now and they will be prolonged until the middle of March in Tokyo. I won't be able to meet her for more than two weeks from now. After vaccination, my son-in-law is suffering from the adverse reactions now. Unfortunately, we can never say that we will be released from the disease even we are vaccinated three times. We will have to keep enduring the challenges caused by the pandemic. More than that, we are facing an actual war. Russia has invaded Ukraine for more than a week. Russian President Putin has referred to the possible usage of nuclear weapons. He may possibly carry on the devastating strategies in spite of the worldwide rational oppositions. I think of the people running away from their homes in this coldest season in the northern country. The influence of the war will prevail in the whole world. I should know it will be MY problem. A friend of mine sent forward to me an open letter from Russian scholars and publishers protesting against Russian invasion. (It's a Japanese translation.) Contrastive to the peaceful festival in March, it has started with ominous happenings. Today's update: The photo in the cover page (buds of early cherry blossoms) and the renewal of this page with the photo of our cat Nikki.

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