Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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One of themかThe Methodか

 
小保方晴子さんがアイドル級の扱いを受けていますが、Natureのポッドキャストにも英語でインタビューを受けています。TenaciousとNatureが評していた通り思いついたものをすべて試したと語っています。ポッドキャストでも取り上げているということはNatureも注目をしている研究ということなのですね。

科学素人の自分には何がニュースなのか、この研究が決定的なものなのか、実用につながる可能性なのか、などほとんど理解できていません。今回のタイミングはNatureの発売日にあわせたものなので,Natureの査読に通ったことが一つのニュースなのかもしれません。Received 10 March 2013 Accepted 20 December 2013 Published online 29 January 2014とあるように研究を論文にまとめて提出したのが昨年の3月ですから、査読って随分時間がかかるんですね。



Bidirectional developmental potential in reprogrammed cells with acquired pluripotency
Haruko Obokata, Yoshiki Sasai, Hitoshi Niwa, Mitsutaka Kadota, Munazah Andrabi+ et al.
One of two papers describing a reprogramming phenomenon called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) — in STAP, lineage-committed adult somatic cells are reprogrammed to pluripotency by transient exposure to low-pH treatment, and extensive analysis of the molecular features and developmental potential of STAP cells indicates that they represent a unique state of pluripotency.
See alsoNews & Views by Smith


2つの論文がArticleとLetterで登場しています。Articleがいわゆる論文でLetterが3ページほどの短い論文を指すようです。

NATURE | ARTICLE
Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency
Haruko Obokata, Teruhiko Wakayama, Yoshiki Sasai, Koji Kojima, Martin P. Vacanti, Hitoshi Niwa, Masayuki Yamato & Charles A. Vacanti
AffiliationsContributionsCorresponding authors
Nature 505, 641–647 (30 January 2014) doi:10.1038/nature12968
Received 10 March 2013 Accepted 20 December 2013 Published online 29 January 2014

Here we report a unique cellular reprogramming phenomenon, called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP), which requires neither nuclear transfer nor the introduction of transcription factors. In STAP, strong external stimuli such as a transient low-pH stressor reprogrammed mammalian somatic cells, resulting in the generation of pluripotent cells. Through real-time imaging of STAP cells derived from purified lymphocytes, as well as gene rearrangement analysis, we found that committed somatic cells give rise to STAP cells by reprogramming rather than selection. STAP cells showed a substantial decrease in DNA methylation in the regulatory regions of pluripotency marker genes. Blastocyst injection showed that STAP cells efficiently contribute to chimaeric embryos and to offspring via germline transmission. We also demonstrate the derivation of robustly expandable pluripotent cell lines from STAP cells. Thus, our findings indicate that epigenetic fate determination of mammalian cells can be markedly converted in a context-dependent manner by strong environmental cues.


NATURE | LETTER
Bidirectional developmental potential in reprogrammed cells with acquired pluripotency
Haruko Obokata, Yoshiki Sasai, Hitoshi Niwa, Mitsutaka Kadota, Munazah Andrabi, Nozomu Takata, Mikiko Tokoro, Yukari Terashita, Shigenobu Yonemura, Charles A. Vacanti & Teruhiko Wakayama
AffiliationsContributionsCorresponding authors
Nature 505, 676–680 (30 January 2014) doi:10.1038/nature12969
Received 10 March 2013 Accepted 20 December 2013 Published online 29 January 2014

We recently discovered an unexpected phenomenon of somatic cell reprogramming into pluripotent cells by exposure to sublethal stimuli, which we call stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP)1. This reprogramming does not require nuclear transfer2, 3 or genetic manipulation4. Here we report that reprogrammed STAP cells, unlike embryonic stem (ES) cells, can contribute to both embryonic and placental tissues, as seen in a blastocyst injection assay. Mouse STAP cells lose the ability to contribute to the placenta as well as trophoblast marker expression on converting into ES-like stem cells by treatment with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF). In contrast, when cultured with Fgf4, STAP cells give rise to proliferative stem cells with enhanced trophoblastic characteristics. Notably, unlike conventional trophoblast stem cells, the Fgf4-induced stem cells from STAP cells contribute to both embryonic and placental tissues in vivo and transform into ES-like cells when cultured with LIF-containing medium. Taken together, the developmental potential of STAP cells, shown by chimaera formation and in vitro cell conversion, indicates that they represent a unique state of pluripotency.

以下にNatureに論文が載るまでの経緯を日本語で説明したガイドです。大変そうです(汗)

Nature投稿案内

“If reproducible in humans, this could be a paradigm changer,”と仮定法で語っていますので、人間への応用などはこれからのようです。

Study Says New Method Could Be a Quicker Source of Stem Cells
By ANDREW POLLACKJAN. 29, 2014

A surprising study has found that a simple acid bath might turn cells in the body into stem cells that could one day be used for tissue repair and other medical treatments.

The technique, performed only with cells from mice, might turn out to be a quicker and easier source of multipurpose stem cells than methods now in use.

“If reproducible in humans, this could be a paradigm changer,” said Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer of the biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology, who was not involved in the work.

The new technique was developed by researchers at the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Two papers by the researchers were published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.


Podcastでも山中先生の名前が何度も登場していました。一人の成功者が次の画期的な研究を生み出すことがあるようですね。
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こちらも50周年

 
2012年は時計じかけのオレンジの原作本が刊行50周年を迎えました、今月の29日が映画『博士の異常な愛情』(Dr. Strangelove)の公開50周年だそうです。




Command and ControlCommand and Control
(2013/09/17)
Eric Schlosser

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Command and ControlのEric Schlosserが関連記事をニューヨーカーのサイトで書いていました。

JANUARY 23, 2014
ALMOST EVERYTHING IN “DR. STRANGELOVE” WAS TRUE
POSTED BY ERIC SCHLOSSER



オープニングでは以下のような言葉で始まりますが、実際のところ大統領の承認なしに核戦争を始めることができる仕組みがあったのは確かなようです。

It is the stated position of the U.S. Air Force that their safeguards would prevent the occurence of such events as are depicted in this film. Furthermore, it should be noted that none of the characters portrayed in this film are meant to represent any real persons living or dead.

この映画についてはウィキペディアが詳しいですね。

This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy about nuclear weapons, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Released on January 29, 1964, the film caused a good deal of controversy. Its plot suggested that a mentally deranged American general could order a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, without consulting the President. One reviewer described the film as “dangerous … an evil thing about an evil thing.” Another compared it to Soviet propaganda. Although “Strangelove” was clearly a farce, with the comedian Peter Sellers playing three roles, it was criticized for being implausible. An expert at the Institute for Strategic Studies called the events in the film “impossible on a dozen counts.” A former Deputy Secretary of Defense dismissed the idea that someone could authorize the use of a nuclear weapon without the President’s approval: “Nothing, in fact, could be further from the truth.” (See a compendium of clips from the film.) When “Fail-Safe”—a Hollywood thriller with a similar plot, directed by Sidney Lumet—opened, later that year, it was criticized in much the same way. “The incidents in ‘Fail-Safe’ are deliberate lies!” General Curtis LeMay, the Air Force chief of staff, said. “Nothing like that could happen.” The first casualty of every war is the truth—and the Cold War was no exception to that dictum. Half a century after Kubrick’s mad general, Jack D. Ripper, launched a nuclear strike on the Soviets to defend the purity of “our precious bodily fluids” from Communist subversion, we now know that American officers did indeed have the ability to start a Third World War on their own. And despite the introduction of rigorous safeguards in the years since then, the risk of an accidental or unauthorized nuclear detonation hasn’t been completely eliminated.

核ミサイルに馬乗りなるシーンや、最後の『また会いましょう』の曲などは印象的ですね。



この記事以外にも、映画のシーンの解説や公開された機密文書の紹介、ドキュメンタリーの抜粋と、いろいろと充実しています。

JANUARY 23, 2014
DECONSTRUCTING “DR. STRANGELOVE”
POSTED BY ERIC SCHLOSSER


JANUARY 23, 2014
PRIMARY SOURCES: PERMISSIVE ACTION LINKS AND THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR
POSTED BY ERIC SCHLOSSER

JANUARY 23, 2014
ALWAYS / NEVER
POSTED BY ERIC SCHLOSSER

Command and Controlに関する講演会は聞き応えがあります。



実は、最初から最後までこの映画を見たことがないので、これを機に見てみたいと思います。


 

能なしが褒め言葉になる?

 
ニューヨークタイムズの記事によるとケネディ大使のイルカ漁発言は、政府の方針を確認してからのものですので、思いつきで語ったというよりも準備をして行動に出たと考えられそうです。ただ名護市市長選のタイミングでしたから、沖縄の基地移設の話題をそらすことが目的ではなんて思ってしまいたくなります。

Star Envoy’s Frankness Puts Kennedy Mystique to Test in Japan
By MARTIN FACKLERJAN. 24, 2014

The United States Embassy in Japan referred all requests for comment to Washington, and on Friday, the White House spokesman, Patrick Ventrell, said that “Ambassador Kennedy is doing a great job representing the United States in Japan.” The State Department said that even before Ms. Kennedy’s confirmation hearing last fall, she received numerous comments about Japan’s dolphin hunting practices and decided she wanted to address the issue. She consulted with the department about the administration’s policies before posting on Twitter, an official said.

Animal Liberationを書いたピーターシンガーがイルカ漁に反対なのは分かりますが、オリビアニュートンジョンやテニス選手のパトリックラフターのような有名人がオーストラリアでの反対運動に参加しているは意外でした。







今回の問題は、動物をどのようにみなすか、につながるものでしょうが、その対象をどこまで広げることができるでしょうか。植物は意識がないからとのコンセンサスがありますが、もし植物に意識があるとしたら、我々の植物への接し方は変えていかざるを得ないのでしょうか。


The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four MealsThe Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
(2007/08/28)
Michael Pollan

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こんなところまで考えさせてもらえる、年末のニューヨーカーの大変興味深い記事がありました。Omnivore’s Dilemmaで有名なMichael Pollanが植物は、コミュニケーションを取り、痛みを感じ、学習をしているという研究がなされていることについて現状を報告しています。記事が出た時は定期購読者しか閲覧ができませんでしたが、今は全員が読めます。1万語近くの大変長い記事で、しかも記事のほとんどが植物研究の紹介なので挫折率が高いかもしれませんが、知的好奇心を大変刺激してくれます。

A REPORTER AT LARGE
THE INTELLIGENT PLANT
Scientists debate a new way of understanding flora.
BY MICHAEL POLLAN
DECEMBER 23, 2013

Words checked = [9670]
Words in Oxford 3000™ = [87%]


イルカ漁と随分と遠ざかってしまいましたが、これくらい視野を広げてみて再度考えてみるのもいいかもしれません。植物は感覚もある知的な生物なのだから、植物の生息地を守るべきだと考える研究者もいるようです。Plants evolved to be eatenと食用にすることは賛成なのはありがたいですが。。。

Mancuso believes that, because plants are sensitive and intelligent beings, we are obliged to treat them with some degree of respect. That means protecting their habitats from destruction and avoiding practices such as genetic manipulation, growing plants in monocultures, and training them in bonsai. But it does not prevent us from eating them. “Plants evolved to be eaten—it is part of their evolutionary strategy,” he said. He cited their modular structure and lack of irreplaceable organs in support of this view.


「植物にも意識があるか」なんてのは英検の長文問題でも出そうなトピックですね。ただ、そのようなマッドサイエンティスト的なノリの理解ではなく、人工知能やコンピュータ、ロボットの分野に新たなあり方をもたらすものかもしれません。

前の記事で脳の仕組みを真似たコンピュータについてNatureが記事にしていましたが、こちらは脳を必要としないコンピュータ、ロボットのあり方のヒントが植物にあるのではないかという可能性を記事の最後で指摘してくれています。

When I met Mancuso for dinner during the conference in Vancouver, he sounded very much like a plant scientist getting over a case of “brain envy”—what Taiz had suggested was motivating the plant neurologists. If we could begin to understand plants on their own terms, he said, “it would be like being in contact with an alien culture. But we could have all the advantages of that contact without any of the problems—because it doesn’t want to destroy us!” How do plants do all the amazing things they do without brains? Without locomotion? By focussing on the otherness of plants rather than on their likeness, Mancuso suggested, we stand to learn valuable things and develop important new technologies. This was to be the theme of his presentation to the conference, the following morning, on what he called “bioinspiration.” How might the example of plant intelligence help us design better computers, or robots, or networks?

Mancuso was about to begin a collaboration with a prominent computer scientist to design a plant-based computer, modelled on the distributed computing performed by thousands of roots processing a vast number of environmental variables. His collaborator, Andrew Adamatzky, the director of the International Center of Unconventional Computing, at the University of the West of England, has worked extensively with slime molds, harnessing their maze-navigating and computational abilities. (Adamatzky’s slime molds, which are a kind of amoeba, grow in the direction of multiple food sources simultaneously, usually oat flakes, in the process computing and remembering the shortest distance between any two of them; he has used these organisms to model transportation networks.) In an e-mail, Adamatzky said that, as a substrate for biological computing, plants offered both advantages and disadvantages over slime molds. “Plants are more robust,” he wrote, and “can keep their shape for a very long time,” although they are slower-growing and lack the flexibility of slime molds. But because plants are already “analog electrical computers,” trafficking in electrical inputs and outputs, he is hopeful that he and Mancuso will be able to harness them for computational tasks.

Mancuso was also working with Barbara Mazzolai, a biologist-turned-engineer at the Italian Institute of Technology, in Genoa, to design what he called a “plantoid”: a robot designed on plant principles. “If you look at the history of robots, they are always based on animals—they are humanoids or insectoids. If you want something swimming, you look at a fish. But what about imitating plants instead? What would that allow you to do? Explore the soil!” With a grant from the European Union’s Future and Emerging Technologies program, their team is developing a “robotic root” that, using plastics that can elongate and then harden, will be able to slowly penetrate the soil, sense conditions, and alter its trajectory accordingly. “If you want to explore other planets, the best thing is to send plantoids.”

たまにはニューヨーカーの読み応えのある記事で視野を広げて見るのもいいのではないでしょうか。
 

Are you normal? 米国男性の普通が分かる

 
Timeだ、Economistだと肩に力を入れた背伸びの学習も必要だと思いますが、日本語でも雑誌『選択』を読むような人だってサイトでスポーツ記事やグルメ記事などを読んでいるはずです。いろいろな素材の英語になじんでいき語感に幅をもたせていきたいですね。同じ人間が使う言語なんですから。

仕事は好きか?といった基本的な質問を通して、米国男性の普通が分かる面白い記事がEsquireにありました。男性雑誌のアンケートなので、はなくそほじったのはいつ?とか、ストリップに行ったのはいつ?といった、バカらしいものや性的な内容も含んでいますので、お遊びで読むのが一番だと思います。

Are You Normal? An Examination.
One man's journey toward a definition
By Richard Dorment on January 21, 2014

アンケート結果はこちらから。

調査方法は最後に以下のように載っています。18才以上の米国在住者およそ1000人にアンケートしたようです。

METHODOLOGY: This survey was conducted online through SurveyMonkey Audience
from December 2 to 4, 2013. among 1,032 men ages 18 and older living in the United States.
The questionnaire was developed jointly by Esquire and SurveyMonkey. The margin of error
is plus or minus 3 percentage points. For more on our methodology, visit esquire.com.


こういうのはTOEIC的文章と言えそうですし、冒頭のThis survey was conducted onlineでのconduct a surveyというコロケーションはTOEIC学習者にはおなじみですね。また、The questionnaire was developed jointlyでのdevelop jointlyというような副詞の効果的な使い方もものにしたいものです。

アメリカ人らしい回答と思ったのは以下のものでしょうか。1日に一回もしくは数回はI love youを言う人が過半数を締めているのですね。

HOW OFTEN DO YOU SAY "I LOVE YOU"

32% 
> A few times a day. To my kids, my parents, my partner.

34% > Once a day.

24% > Occasionally. When something happens and I'm reminded.

10%> Rarely, if ever. I'm just not an emotional person.

このアンケートはこちらのリンクで参加することもできるようです。英語学習に飽きたときの息抜きに挑戦されてはいかがでしょうか。
 

英検・国連英検向けの保存版の記事

 
FTJapan.png

紹介しようと思って1週間経ってしまいました(汗)タイトルは釣りっぽいですが、日本の高齢化社会を語るためのベースにすることのできる良記事だと思います。年初に紹介させていただいた本‘Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival’の作者David Pillingさんが書いたもので、この記事は本からの抜粋ではないようです。

David Pilling is the FT’s Asia editor. His book ‘Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival’ is published by Allen Lane. This is not an excerpt.

フィナンシャルタイムズの週末版の付録についていた読み物記事で、日本の高齢化をマクロとミクロの両面から4000語近くを費やして丁寧に取り上げています。

January 17, 2014 10:06 am
How Japan stood up to old age
By David Pilling
Twenty-five per cent of Japanese are over 65. But not only do they live longer, they work longer, stay healthier, care for their elderly better – and have found ways to pay for it

マクロというのは、例えば以下のように日本の現状について統計を交えて語ってくれているところです。

If ageing is a disease, then Japan is in the advanced stages. In 1950, only 5 per cent of Japanese were over 65. Today that figure is 25 per cent. With the exception of Monaco, Japan is the world’s oldest society, with a median age of 44. The equivalent figure in the UK is 40, with the US a relatively sprightly 37. At this rate, by 2035, one in three Japanese will be 65 or older.

As the population ages, more than 400 schools are closed down each year, with many converted to care homes or leisure facilities. According to Mayumi Hayashi, a fellow at King’s College London, Japan has the highest provision of day centres for the elderly in the world. Some municipal parks have replaced swings and roundabouts with equipment aimed at elderly fitness. In the countryside, whole communities have been virtually abandoned by youth, leaving older generations to fend for themselves. The oft-repeated tale that the Japanese buy more adult nappies than infant ones is probably not true, though it could soon be on current trends. But it captures our repulsion at the idea of a country with more geriatrics than gurgling babies. Almost subliminally, we think, such a place must offend against nature itself.

ミクロの視点として、東京で働く医師、自転車置き場で働く退職者、大分の田舎で日本語などを教えている高齢者、この3人がクローズアップされています。

Pillingさんは日本が長かったせいか、日本語を交えて記事を書いています。老人ホームでは姨捨山のイメージを紹介したり、「生き甲斐」は“It’s all to do with ikigai,” he said, using a Japanese word that translates as “a reason to live”と使われていました。

Kawahito, the author of a book called I Want to Die at Home, is a proselytiser for the cause of home-based care, which has a long tradition in Japan. The attraction of community care partly arises from a stigma associated with sending family members to nursing homes – institutions that, at least until recently, were regarded as only for those unfortunates who had been abandoned by uncaring relatives. Those sent away were sometimes referred to as “grannies dumped on the mountain”, a reference to an alleged practice in ancient times.

*******

Shin himself pursues a lifestyle that would exhaust many a younger man. “It’s all to do with ikigai,” he said, using a Japanese word that translates as “a reason to live”, something to keep mind and body active. It’s become fashionable, he said, to talk about something called pinpin korori, a brutal but almost comic way of describing an active life followed by sudden death. “Drop down dead,” he laughed. “That’s a good way of saving on medical bills.” Then he paused to reflect. “After all, we don’t want to be a burden on the youngsters.”

日本についての記事は統計的な情報による概略を学べたり、自分が知らなかったエピソードを知ることができるのでとてもためになりますね。
 

(続)素直に読めばいいのでは

 




ちょっと前回は細かい指摘になってしまったかもしれません、自分は背景知識を豊かなしようという流派なので(?)、一文ごとの読解をうんぬんするよりも、そもそもBeats Musicって何よっという方に注目したいです。雑誌Timeを読み続けるメリットは英語力だけでなく、新しい動きに敏感に慣れるということがあると思うからです。

ブロゴスでまさにこのサービスについて取り上げているものがありました。TIMEでも取り上げていた「大掛かりなマーケティングキャンペーン」の一端をYoutube動画からも感じることができます。

ジェイ・コウガミ
2014年01月08日 10:33
人気ヘッドフォンブランドの定額制音楽サービスBeats Musicがローンチ間近との噂、スーパーボウルのテレビCMで全米デビューの可能性

ヘッドフォンブランドBeats by Dr.Dreが開発し提供予定の、定額制音楽ストリーミングサービス「Beats Music」がいよいよリリース間近に迫っているようです。そしてローンチのタイミングで、Beats Musicは大掛かりなマーケティング・キャンペーンに打って出るようです。

New York Postが業界内の情報ソースから入手した情報によれば、まずBeats Musicは1月26日のグラミー賞の前にローンチする予定があるとのこと。ただこれが一般向けか業界関係者向けかははっきりしていません。

Beats Musicが最もチカラを入れると思われるのが、2月2日のスーパーボウルで、アーティストをフィーチャーしたTVCMを放送し、一般視聴者に向けてサービスを大々的にプロモートするとも伝えられています。30秒のスポットが400万ドル以上と言われるスーパーボウルのTVCMに加えて、その他のメディアでもプロモーション展開をする予定だそうです。

ライバルとなりうるSpotifyのCEOがBeats Musicについて語っています。「私たちのアプローチは、セレブリティの知名度をポッと出して結果を期待することではありません。」と答えているところは、まさに前回のブログで取り上げたTIMEの懸念事項と重なるのではないでしょうか。

ジェイ・コウガミ
2014年01月24日 16:52
SpotifyのCEO、ダニエル・エクが競争相手、アメリカ進出、トム・ヨークを語る ― Beats Musicとトム・ヨークには批判的な見解
Beats Musicはドクター・ドレーやジミー・アイオヴィン、トレント・レズナーなど音楽業界の大物が参加しています。気になりますか?
確かに、彼らは競合です。しかし私の考えは、もしそれが音楽ストリーミングの価値を理解させることにつながれば、それは素晴らしいことだと思っています。私たちのアプローチは、セレブリティの知名度をポッと出して結果を期待することではありません。私たちはソーシャルサービスなのであり、プロダクト・カンパニーなのです。多くの人は、ブランド名を出せば、もう十分だと思っています。マイクロソフトやノキアなど数々の大手企業がこれまで失敗してきました。

最近のBeats MusicのCEOのインタビューがありました。



やはり自分になじみのないトピックは日本語で何となくの背景を仕入れてからのほうが英語の読解力はあがりそうです。
まあ音楽サービスには興味がありませんが、2月2日のスーパーボールでどのような仕掛けをしてくるのか、この点は楽しみにしたいと思います。
 

素直に読めばいいのでは?

 
ツイッターで下記の1月27日号のTIMEの特集記事の最後から2番目のパラグラフにある"We know how to break Lady Gaga on $400,000 in every country in the world."の読み方について話題になっていました。

Look Out Google and Apple, Here Comes Dr. Dre
The famed music producer and his collaborator Jimmy Iovine made a fortune selling headphones. Now they're out to conquer streaming music
By Isaac Guzman Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

One thing is certain: Beats will be spending to make sure consumers know about the service. AT&T will also provide a massive marketing boost, since it will be collecting subscription fees directly from customers. "We know how to market things you've never heard of before," boasts Iovine. "We know how to break Lady Gaga on $400,000 in every country in the world."

It's true: Lady Gaga, who signed to Interscope in 2007, has sold about 24 million copies of her first two albums worldwide. But her most recent release, November's Artpop, has sold fewer than a million. An old-school record man like Iovine knows that even the brightest stars can fizzle. The only question is whether Beats Music will extend his hot streak or end it.

全体の流れから考えて、以下のように素直に読めばいいと思うんですよね。

"We know how to break Lady Gaga on $400,000 in every country in the world."
「Lady Gagaを400,000ドルで世界中のどの国でもブレークさせる術を知っている」

ここでの400,000ドルは日本円で4000万円ぐらいでしょうから、一国でのプロモーション費用でも安いくらいなのに、「たった」400,000ドルで世界各国でヒットさせる手腕について自信をもって語っているのでしょう。

この動詞breakの使い方はあまり用例はありませんが、以下の例も同じようにブレークさせるという意味で使われています。

Gray burst on a prelapsarian music business back in 1999, a fully formed phenomenon from her first album, Macy Gray on How Life Is, which spawned the global smash I Try.

Her advent was greeted with a five-page feature in The New Yorker anatomising Epic Records’ carefully calibrated campaign to break a singer no one was in any doubt was the music industry’s next big thing.

後のパラグラフのBut her most recent release, November's Artpop, has sold fewer than a million.の部分との整合性については、まさに「ブレークさせる」という動詞の意味そのものに関わっているからこそButが使われているのでしょう。つまり、ブレークさせることについて疑問を呈しているのではなく、ブレークさせることとブレークさせたアーティストの人気を維持することは別問題だという意味でButを使っていると思うのです。直後のeven the brightest stars can fizzleがそのことを物語っていますね。

この著者はBeats Musicがブレークして人気を得ることについては特に疑問をもってはいませんが、その人気を果たして定着させることができるだろうか、と思っているのでしょう。このためThe only question is whether Beats Music will extend his hot streak or end it.と記事を締めています。

意味がよくとれない文があると、いろいろ無理筋の解釈を重ねてしまいがちなのは、自分の体験としても痛いほど感じています。そんな時には全体の流れを大事にして、素直な意味で読んでみるといいのではないでしょうか。まあ、それができないから、無理筋にいってしまうのですが。。。
 

英検問題をトリガーに ~反対の反対のケース

 


peace in our timeという言葉は、英国チェンバレン首相のミュンヘン宥和政策を想起させることは何度かこのブログでも取り上げてきました。このフレーズはWikipedia にIt is primarily remembered for its ironic valueとあるようにむしろ反対の意味で皮肉的に使われることが多いようです。

(Wikipedia)
The phrase "Peace for Our Time" was spoken on 30 September 1938 by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in his speech concerning the Munich Agreement and the Anglo-German Declaration.[1] The phrase echoed Benjamin Disraeli, who upon returning from the Congress of Berlin in 1878 stated "I have returned from Germany with peace for our time." It is primarily remembered for its ironic value: less than a year after the agreement, following continued aggression from Germany and its invasion of Poland, Europe was plunged into World War II.

It is often misquoted as "peace in our time", which had appeared long before in The Book of Common Prayer as "Give peace in our time, O Lord", probably based on the 7th-century hymn 'Da pacem Domine! in diebus nostris, Alleluja'.[2] It is unknown how deliberate Chamberlain's use of such a similar term was, but anyone of his background would have been familiar with the original.

peace in our timeという言葉を皮肉的な意味ではなく、あえて文字通りの意味で使っているエッセイがありました。意外性をもたせることは読者の注意を引くためのテクニックの一つといえそうです。

January 17, 2014 12:00 pm
Peace in our time
Simon KuperBy Simon Kuper
‘They’d have stopped the first world war fast if soldiers had live-tweeted the carnage’

上記のフィナンシャルタイムズのエッセイは以前このブログでも紹介させていただいたエッセイを受けて別のコラムニストが書いたもののようです。

第1次世界大戦の教訓を忘れるな
目を向けるべきは「ミュンヘン」より「サラエボ」
2014.01.08(水) Financial Times

When war broke out in August 1914, crowds in Trafalgar Square cheered. In Germany, even the liberal novelist Thomas Mann exulted, “War! We felt a cleansing, a liberation.” The “world of peace” had bored him.

His words show how far we have come since. Most recent commentaries about 1914 emphasise current risks of war. Yet today’s overriding reality is peace – more widespread internationally and domestically than probably ever before. Armed conflict and violent crime are declining, as the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker describes in his seminal The Better Angels of Our Nature. What if trends are towards even more peace?

このエッセイでは、現代は平和な時代と主張している学者としてSteven Pinkerに触れています。Pinkerは昨年の英検1級の第一回試験で出題されていましたね。世界は平和になっているという主張をpeace in our timeという表現で、「つかの間の平和」という意味ではなく文字通りに「我々の時代の平和」という意味で使っているのです。

その後でThe notion that we live in peaceful times is counter-intuitive.と今の時代は平和だということは2001年の同時多発テロを体験した我々にとってはすぐには受け入れられないことかもしれないといいながら、平和といえる具体例を以下のようにあげています。このような具体例の書き方も参考になりますね。

Yet these are exceptions. The estimated 73,455 Syrians killed in 2013 represent more than half the world’s deaths in armed conflict last year. Pinker says that annual deaths in battle dropped by over 90 per cent from the late 1940s through the early 2000s.

Just since the 1990s, various trends have been pushing us further towards peace. On average, humans have been getting more educated, rich and internationally connected, and more likely to live in democracies. These factors would tend to reduce violence. Indeed, by some definitions, there have been no interstate wars since 2008. Meanwhile, homicides have dropped across the western world, with US murder rates down to 1960s levels.

こういうインプリケーションを読み込めることが読解力と言えるかもしれませんね。英検問題をしっかり復習するようにすれば、このようなフィナンシャルタイムズのエッセイも楽しめるようになるので、「試験か、本物の英語か」という議論は英検1級の勉強に関しては的外れなものとなりそうです。

 

(自分メモ)Democracy Now!は3日間日本特集

 
Democracy Now!は左寄りの立場がはっきりしているので、皆に勧められる番組ではないですが、
1月15日から日本特集で原発、安倍政権、TPP、沖縄問題などを取り上げていたようですね。

安倍政権


原発


TPP


Okinawa
 

国を守るということ

 
シャロン元首相が亡くなった時の反応は予想通り二分されました。

Ariel Sharon death: reaction from around the world
World leaders and political commentators respond to the death of Israel's former prime minister
theguardian.com, Saturday 11 January 2014 16.38 GMT

"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and to the people of Israel on the loss of a leader who dedicated his life to the state of Israel … We join with the Israeli people in honouring his commitment to his country." – Barack Obama

"Ariel Sharon is one of the most significant figures in Israeli history and as prime minister he took brave and controversial decisions in pursuit of peace, before he was so tragically incapacitated. Israel has today lost an important leader." – David Cameron

"Sharon will be remembered for his political courage and determination to carry through with the painful and historic decision to withdraw Israeli settlers and troops from the Gaza Strip. His successor faces the difficult challenge of realising the aspirations of peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people." – spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon

もちろん、パレスチナ側の人は批判しています。

"He wanted to erase the Palestinian people from the map … He wanted to kill us, but at the end of the day, Sharon is dead and the Palestinian people are alive." – Tawfik Tirawi, Palestinian intelligence chief when Sharon was prime minister

"After eight years, he is going in the same direction as other tyrants and criminals whose hands were covered with Palestinian blood." – Khalil al-Haya, a leader in the Islamic militant group Hamas

"His passing is another grim reminder that years of virtual impunity for rights abuses have done nothing to bring Israeli-Palestinian peace any closer." – Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director, Human Rights Watch

トマスフリードマンもイスラエル寄りの人ですから読んでいませんでしたが、さきのコラムを紹介するついでにこちらにも目を通したところ考えさせられる内容でした。

英語学習的にはhe personally reflected three of the most important states of mind …と3つを予告してからThe first was the enduring struggle for …とするセオリー道りの書き方を確認しておきたいです。

The Man on the Wall
JAN. 14, 2014

I’ve always thought that the reason Ariel Sharon was such an enduring presence in Israeli political life is that he personally reflected three of the most important states of mind that the state of Israel has gone through since its founding. At key times, for better and for worse, Sharon expressed and embodied the feelings of the Israeli Everyman as much, if not more, than any Israeli leader.

The first was the enduring struggle for survival of the Jewish people in Israel. The founding of a Jewish state in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world would never be a natural act, welcomed by the region. There is a Jewish state today because of hard men, like Ariel Sharon, who were ready to play by the local rules, and successive Israeli prime ministers used him to do just that. Sharon — whom I first met at age 16 when I interviewed him for my high school newspaper after a lecture he gave at the University of Minnesota in 1969 — always had contempt for those in Israel or abroad who he believed did not understand the kill-or-be-killed nature of their neighborhood. He was a warrior without regrets and, at times, without restraints. Not for nothing was a Hebrew biography of him entitled, “He Doesn’t Stop at Red Lights.”

レバノンでのこともありますからどうも好きになれませんが、国を守るということは、きれいごとだけではないことを映画A Few Good Menに重ね合わせて伝えようとしています。

Sharon could have perfectly delivered a Hebrew version of the speech Marine Col. Nathan Jessep, played by Jack Nicholson, delivered in the climactic courtroom scene in “A Few Good Men,” justifying the death of a weak soldier, Santiago, under his command. In Sharon’s case, it would be justifying his no-holds-barred dealing with Arabs who resisted Israel’s existence back in the 1950s and ’60s.

As Jessep told the lawyer trying him: “Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? ... I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. ... You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.”

A Few Good Menの上記のシーンは下記の4分あたりからです。I want the truth!というクルーズに対して、You can't handle the truth!というニコルソンはすごみがあります。



スクリプト

昨年、オバマ大統領がイスラエル訪問したときにシャロン元首相の言葉を引いていたのですね。

Once again, Sharon was expressing the sentiments of the Israeli Everyman — which is probably why President Obama got such a warm reception from Israeli youths when, on his visit to Israel last March, he justified his own peace diplomacy by quoting a wiser and older Ariel Sharon, as telling Israelis that the dream of a Greater Israel had to be abandoned: “If we insist on fulfilling the dream in its entirety, we are liable to lose it all,” Sharon said.

Few Israelis are neutral about Sharon. I think that’s because some part of him — the hardheaded survivor, the dreamer that hoped Israel could return to its biblical roots and that the Palestinians would eventually acquiesce or disappear or the sober realist trying to figure out how to share the land he loved with a people he’d never trust — touched something in all of them.

以下の動画で35分当たりがその場面です。オバマ大統領はTwo states for two peoplesのアプローチを明言しています。



スクリプト
Now, only you can determine what kind of democracy you will have. But remember that as you make these decisions, you will define not simply the future of your relationship with the Palestinians -- you will define the future of Israel as well. (Applause.)

As Ariel Sharon said -- I'm quoting him -- “It is impossible to have a Jewish democratic state, at the same time to control all of Eretz Israel. If we insist on fulfilling the dream in its entirety, we are liable to lose it all.” (Applause.) Or, from a different perspective, I think of what the novelist David Grossman said shortly after losing his son, as he described the necessity of peace -- “A peace of no choice” he said, “must be approached with the same determination and creativity as one approaches a war of no choice.” (Applause.)

Now, Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with anyone who is dedicated to its destruction. (Applause.) But while I know you have had differences with the Palestinian Authority, I genuinely believe that you do have a true partner in President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad. (Applause.) I believe that. And they have a track record to prove it. Over the last few years, they have built institutions and maintained security on the West Bank in ways that few could have imagined just a few years ago. So many Palestinians -- including young people -- have rejected violence as a means of achieving their aspirations.

There is an opportunity there, there’s a window -- which brings me to my third point: Peace is possible. It is possible. (Applause.) I'm not saying it's guaranteed. I can't even say that it is more likely than not. But it is possible. I know it doesn’t seem that way. There are always going to be reasons to avoid risk. There are costs for failure. There will always be extremists who provide an excuse not to act.

I know there must be something exhausting about endless talks about talks, and daily controversies, and just the grinding status quo. And I'm sure there's a temptation just to say, “Ah, enough. Let me focus on my small corner of the world and my family and my job and what I can control.” But it's possible.

Negotiations will be necessary, but there's little secret about where they must lead -- two states for two peoples. Two states for two peoples. (Applause.)

もちろん、だからといって、彼のやったことを不問に付していいのかは分かりません。バランスを取るためにも以下のようなメディアにも目を通して考えたいと思います。



How Ariel Sharon Shaped Israel’s Destiny
In a bloody career that spanned decades, he destroyed entire cities and presided over the killing of countless civilians.
Max Blumenthal January 11, 2014
 

紙の書籍がうらやましい時

 

OrfeoOrfeo
(2014/01/20)
Richard Powers

商品詳細を見る

昨日、丸の内オアゾの丸善に1月20日発売予定のRichard Powersの新作Orfeoがすでに発売されていました。電子書籍の注文だと発売日より早く手に入れることができないので、こういう時は紙の書籍がうらやましくなります。ちょうど雑誌Timeの最新号で紹介されていたので、明日まで待つことが出来そうです(笑)

雑誌Timeに挑戦したばかりの人には大変ですがCover to Coverを勧めたくなるのは長く続けると幅広い分野に食らいつけるようになるからです。文学なんて読まないと断言する英語教師や自称英語の達人がうじゃうじゃいますが、そんな偏った人になってしまうのを防げると思います。

Richard Powersは大変博学な作家なので、どうしても頭でっかちで心に届かない作家とみなされやすいようです。Timeで書評をしたライターもHe seemed more interested in ideas than in people.と書いています。

The Man Who Loved Music Too Much
Richard Powers' story of a composer who dabbles in DNA
By Lev Grossman Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

I had been taking a break from Powers when I picked up Orfeo. The last book of his I read--full disclosure--was Galatea 2.2 in 1995. I felt vexed by that novel, and vexed that I was vexed: Powers is and was even then one of the more critically celebrated writers of his generation, but somehow I couldn't manage to be charmed by his work. He seemed more interested in ideas than in people. So in that selfish way that readers do--and I think a certain amount of selfishness is allowable when one reads for pleasure--I skipped his next five novels, one of which, The Echo Maker, won the National Book Award. With Orfeo I thought it was time to see whether Powers or I had changed.

ニューヨークタイムズの書評でも、whether this time, at last, he has succeeded in fusing ideas and life into an organic wholeとこの当たりのことを話題にしていました。

The Music Gene
‘Orfeo,’ by Richard Powers
By JIM HOLTJAN. 10, 2014

Is it premature to talk of the “Powers Problem”? For the last three decades, Richard Powers has been bringing out hefty novels at the rate of one every 2.5 years: 11 in all. At his current age of 56, he is, as a novelist, midway on life’s path; presumably he has another 11 or so novels still in him. Powers has won a National Book Award and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; he has been the recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant”; he has elicited lavish praise from the critics — most of them, anyway. Two of the words most frequently employed in connection with his literary output are “cerebral” and “ambitious.” “Cerebral” refers to his tendency to lace his novels with scientific and scholarly themes, like artificial intelligence in “Galatea 2.2,” game theory in “Prisoner’s Dilemma” and musicology cum genetic recombination in “The Gold Bug Variations.” “Ambitious” refers to his penchant for fashioning narrative structures and symbolic networks on a heroic scale.

These words cut both ways. “Cerebral” suggests a surfeit of ideas at the expense of life: more head than heart. And “ambitious” . . . well, that’s a terrible thing to say about a writer of novels; it’s like calling a politician “brave.” It suggests that the novelist has set aims for himself that he is doubtfully capable of attaining. And for Powers’s severest critics, the aim at which he signally fails is that of creating fully human characters with interesting motives and emotions. His rather conventional stories of love and loss, they say, never take flight. As the critic James Wood put it in The New Yorker, Powers “makes beautiful connections between concepts (genetics, music, computers, consciousness, memory), but primitive and mechanistic connections between his characters.” Everyone concedes that Powers is prodigiously talented. Besides being fearfully erudite, he writes lyrical prose, has a seductive sense of wonder and is an acute observer of social life. He has every gift, it is sometimes implied, but the gift of literature.

That is our Powers Problem. Each new novel he produces becomes an occasion to ask whether this time, at last, he has succeeded in fusing ideas and life into an organic whole.

TIMEでもNYTでも今作の評価は厳しめでしたが、whether this time, at last, he has succeeded in fusing ideas and life into an organic whole.について明日から自分で読んで判断したいと思います。
 

(小ネタ)バリエーションを楽しむためには

 
Workers of the World, Faint!というタイトルをみて、ピンとくるかどうかが英語力の目安になると思います。まあ、別にピンとこなくてもコラムの内容は理解できますが。。。

Workers of the World, Faint!
By JULIA WALLACE
JAN. 17, 2014

mass faintingが起きている原因がaccounts of possession by local guardian spirits, known as neak taと霊に取り憑かれると説明している、カンボジアでの状況について、"Workers of the world, unite!"(万国の労働者よ、団結せよ!)をもじって、工場労働者の窮状を伝えているものです。タイトルはキャッチーにして興味を引かないといけないですから、いろいろと工夫しているのでしょう。

(Wikipedia)
万国の労働者よ、団結せよ!(ばんこくのろうどうしゃよ、だんけつせよ!)とは、共産主義に関して最も有名なスローガンの一つである。
初出は、カール・マルクスとフリードリヒ・エンゲルスの1848年の『共産党宣言』の"Proletarier aller Länder vereinigt Euch!"(万国のプロレタリアートよ、団結せよ!)である。ロンドン・ハイゲイト墓地にあるマルクスの墓石には、この文言の変種(Workers of all lands, unite)が刻まれている。原文の“プロレタリアート”が“労働者”と改変された理由は定かでない。
このスローガンはソビエト連邦の国是(Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes’!)であり、ソビエト連邦の国章や、1919年のロシア・ソビエト連邦社会主義共和国の紙幣(ドイツ語・フランス語・中国語・英語・アラビア語で書かれている)、1921年から1934年のソ連の硬貨、多くのソ連の新聞などにその文言を見ることができる。また、労働者のストライキや抗議で、この文言を繰り返し唱えることがある。

(Wikipedia英語版)
The political slogan "Workers of the world, unite!" (German: Proletarier aller Länder vereinigt Euch!, literally "Proletarians of all countries, unite!") is one of the most famous rallying cries of communism, found in The Communist Manifesto (1848), by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. A variation ("Workers of all lands, unite") is also inscribed on Marx's tombstone.
This slogan was the USSR State motto (Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes’!), appeared in the State Emblem of the Soviet Union, on 1919 Russian SFSR banknotes (in German, French, Chinese, English, and Arabic), on Soviet coins from 1921 to 1934, and in most Soviet newspapers. Contemporarily, some socialist and communist parties[who?] continue using it. Moreover, it is a common usage in popular culture, often chanted during labour strikes and protests

先ほどのEconomistの記事を読むと新しい労働のあり方が話題になっていましたが、依然として工場労働者が劣悪な環境で働かされているところもあるようです。

確かにこういう知識は英語の運用力とは直接関係ないかもしれませんが、理解力に大きな差が出てきますので、資格試験の先を見据えている方は意識していろいろと学んでいった方がいいと思います。
 

NYTとEconomist

 
今週のEconomistでは社説とBriefingでIT技術による労働へのインパクトです。Briefingでの歴史的考察はさすがだなと思います。ニューヨークタイムズのトマスフリードマンのコラムとかぶる部分も合ったので絡めてご紹介します。

(Leader)
Technology and jobs
Coming to an office near you
The effect of today’s technology on tomorrow’s jobs will be immense—and no country is ready for it
Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

(Briefing)
The future of jobs
The onrushing wave
Previous technological innovation has always delivered more long-run employment, not less. But things can change
Jan 18th 2014 | From the print edition

Economistの書き方は堅めなので、フリードマンの分かりやすい切り口のコラムを先に読んでみたいと思います。

Thomas Friedman
If I Had a Hammer
JAN. 11, 2014

MY favorite story in Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s fascinating new book, “The Second Machine Age,” is when the Dutch chess grandmaster Jan Hein Donner was asked how he’d prepare for a chess match against a computer, like I.B.M.’s Deep Blue. Donner replied: “I would bring a hammer.”

Donner isn’t alone in fantasizing that he’d like to smash some recent advances in software and automation — think self-driving cars, robotic factories and artificially intelligent reservationists — which are not only replacing blue-collar jobs at a faster rate, but now also white-collar skills, even grandmasters!

フリードマンは例えの切れ味が鋭いですよね。トピックを象徴して、多くを案じさせる例えを見つけるのは大変です。人間とコンピュータとのチェス対決の例を挙げることで、機械化、自動化の流れは知的労働に及ぶことが想像しやすくなります。

冒頭にあるようにこのエッセイはThe Second Machine Ageという本の紹介がメインです。いきなり結論をひいてしまいますが、We’re in a technological hurricane reshaping the workplace — and it just keeps doubling.という表現で機械化・自動化がものすごい勢いでくることを表現しています。

Put all these advances together, say the authors, and you can see that our generation will have more power to improve (or destroy) the world than any before, relying on fewer people and more technology. But it also means that we need to rethink deeply our social contracts, because labor is so important to a person’s identity and dignity and to societal stability. They suggest that we consider lowering taxes on human labor to make it cheaper relative to digital labor, that we reinvent education so more people can “race with machines” not against them, that we do much more to foster the entrepreneurship that invents new industries and jobs, and even consider guaranteeing every American a basic income. We’ve got a lot of rethinking to do, they argue, because we’re not only in a recession-induced employment slump. We’re in a technological hurricane reshaping the workplace — and it just keeps doubling.

リンク先のEconomistの表紙を見ていただくと、なぜフリードマンのエッセイを紹介したのか分かっていただけると思います。まあ、Technology’s impact will feel like a tornado, hitting the rich world first, but eventually sweeping through poorer countries too.とEconomistの社説ではhurricaneではなくtornadoになっていますが。。。

Remember Ironbridge
Optimism remains the right starting-point, but for workers the dislocating effects of technology may make themselves evident faster than its benefits (see article). Even if new jobs and wonderful products emerge, in the short term income gaps will widen, causing huge social dislocation and perhaps even changing politics. Technology’s impact will feel like a tornado, hitting the rich world first, but eventually sweeping through poorer countries too. No government is prepared for it.

Why be worried? It is partly just a matter of history repeating itself. In the early part of the Industrial Revolution the rewards of increasing productivity went disproportionately to capital; later on, labour reaped most of the benefits. The pattern today is similar. The prosperity unleashed by the digital revolution has gone overwhelmingly to the owners of capital and the highest-skilled workers. Over the past three decades, labour’s share of output has shrunk globally from 64% to 59%. Meanwhile, the share of income going to the top 1% in America has risen from around 9% in the 1970s to 22% today. Unemployment is at alarming levels in much of the rich world, and not just for cyclical reasons. In 2000, 65% of working-age Americans were in work; since then the proportion has fallen, during good years as well as bad, to the current level of 59%.

Economistは企業エグゼクティブや政府高官向けのためか、この流れが少数の資本家に富が集中し、中産階級以下は職にあぶれてしまい社会不安が起こす可能性があることを心配しています。確かに、以下のような具体的な数字を見ると、新技術は新しい産業を生み出すかもしれませんが、ずっとすくない人数ですむようになるので、この動きが社会全体に広がれば失業問題が深刻化しそうです。

Until now the jobs most vulnerable to machines were those that involved routine, repetitive tasks. But thanks to the exponential rise in processing power and the ubiquity of digitised information (“big data”), computers are increasingly able to perform complicated tasks more cheaply and effectively than people. Clever industrial robots can quickly “learn” a set of human actions. Services may be even more vulnerable. Computers can already detect intruders in a closed-circuit camera picture more reliably than a human can. By comparing reams of financial or biometric data, they can often diagnose fraud or illness more accurately than any number of accountants or doctors. One recent study by academics at Oxford University suggests that 47% of today’s jobs could be automated in the next two decades.

At the same time, the digital revolution is transforming the process of innovation itself, as our special report explains. Thanks to off-the-shelf code from the internet and platforms that host services (such as Amazon’s cloud computing), provide distribution (Apple’s app store) and offer marketing (Facebook), the number of digital startups has exploded. Just as computer-games designers invented a product that humanity never knew it needed but now cannot do without, so these firms will no doubt dream up new goods and services to employ millions. But for now they are singularly light on workers. When Instagram, a popular photo-sharing site, was sold to Facebook for about $1 billion in 2012, it had 30m customers and employed 13 people. Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy a few months earlier, employed 145,000 people in its heyday.

近代学校教育が工場労働者を養成することを念頭においていたとしたら、IT技術で経済構造が変化するのに合わせて教育システムも変更しないといけないでしょう。Economistは以下のような教育を提案しています。less rote-learning and more critical thinkingなんてのは日本の教育システムだけではなく、どの国も感じていることのようです。

The main way in which governments can help their people through this dislocation is through education systems. One of the reasons for the improvement in workers’ fortunes in the latter part of the Industrial Revolution was because schools were built to educate them—a dramatic change at the time. Now those schools themselves need to be changed, to foster the creativity that humans will need to set them apart from computers. There should be less rote-learning and more critical thinking. Technology itself will help, whether through MOOCs (massive open online courses) or even video games that simulate the skills needed for work.

The definition of “a state education” may also change. Far more money should be spent on pre-schooling, since the cognitive abilities and social skills that children learn in their first few years define much of their future potential. And adults will need continuous education. State education may well involve a year of study to be taken later in life, perhaps in stages.

Briefingではより詳しくこの動向について分析してくれています。本文は読まなくても以下の表は目を通しておいた方がいいかもしれません。今後20年間でコンピュータに取って代わられる可能性のある仕事だそうです。Technical Writerが0.89という高い可能性で載っていますので、マニュアル翻訳の仕事も近いうちになくなってしまうかもしれません(滝汗)

また、今回のBriefingはベンチャー企業を特集したSpecial Reportにつながるようです。

And although Mr Brynjolfsson and Mr McAfee rightly point out that developing the business models which make the best use of new technologies will involve trial and error and human flexibility, it is also the case that the second machine age will make such trial and error easier. It will be shockingly easy to launch a startup, bring a new product to market and sell to billions of global consumers (see article). Those who create or invest in blockbuster ideas may earn unprecedented returns as a result.




さらに雑誌Atlanticの先月号によれば、職業だけではなく、雇用・勤務評定にも影響を及ぼすことになると書いています。

DECEMBER 2013
They're Watching You at Work
What happens when Big Data meets human resources? The emerging practice of "people analytics" is already transforming how employers hire, fire, and promote.
DON PECKNOV 20 2013, 9:07 PM ET

この流れが定着すると、TOEICの求人などの出題の仕方も変わっていくのでしょうね。
 

国連英検受験者は要チェック。毎年恒例のトップ10リスク

 

Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero WorldEvery Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World
(2012/05/03)
Ian Bremmer

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数年前に国際関係のリーダーシップのなくなったGゼロという言葉を生み出したユーラシアグループの年初恒例の国際情勢のトップ10リスクを確認しておきます。チャリーローズ出演時に大体のリスクについて話してくれています。



大きな枠組みを押さえておくと、日々のニュースが立体的に感じることができるようになるでしょう。国連英検などに取り組まれている方は一つの指標になると思います。

THE RISKS
1 America's troubled alliances
2 Diverging markets
3 The new China
4 Iran
5 Petrostates
6 Strategic data
7 Al Qaeda 2.0
8 The Middle East's expanding unrest
9 The capricious Kremlin
10 Turkey
* Red Herrings

下記が概要部分ですが、リーマンショック以来の経済危機のリスクは過ぎ、地政学リスクが高まっているとみているようです。中国や韓国との緊張関係を考えると日本にも十分当てはまる分析ですね。

Since 2008, the world’s biggest risks have been economic. None of the feared crises was as likely to take place as expected (because of underlying political stability!), but from eurozone meltdown to fears of Chinese soft/medium/hard landings to the US debt crisis, analysts have spent the past five years worrying about how to stave off financial implosion.

That’s over. In 2014, big-picture economics are stable if not yet comforting. The EU has clawed its way out of recession. Japan has, improbably, discovered economic leadership. The economic performance of China’s new government is strong. And the US re- bound is sufficiently robust for the markets to shrug off New Year’s tapering resolutions.

But geopolitics is very much in play. The realities of a G-Zero order, a world of geo- political creative destruction without global leadership, are evident. There are tensions between China and Japan in the East China Sea, elite-level executions in North Korea, Russia flexing its muscles in neighboring Ukraine and beyond, and everyone fighting with everyone else in the Middle East (some things don’t change). All of which is changing the geopolitical map quite aside from the role of the world’s only superpower.

Above all, we foresee two essential questions about the world’s two largest economies this year. For the US, it’s externally focused: How will policymakers (re)define the role that the US should play in the world. For the “international community,” a term that has well outlived its use, much depends on the answer. For China, the challenge is internal: How will the country change now that real reforms are at hand? Superpower status isn’t on the table, but for the first time in decades, political leadership is altering the way the Chinese system functions. That will affect political risk in China, as well as Beijing’s behavior both domestically and internationally.

The other big focus this year is emerging—or more aptly diverging—markets. A healthy percentage of the major emerging markets that could have elections will hold them this year (China doesn’t, and Russia doesn’t count): Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Turkey. Not one of those countries enters its electoral cycle with strong, popular leadership. Then add empowered middle classes that demand greater accountability from their governments. The stakes are rising, and some of the world’s key economies are in for a rough ride.

It’s another troubled year for the Middle East and beyond, though the impact of the war in Syria is receding. After years of sanctions vs nuclear buildup, it’s the moment of truth in the Iranian nuclear talks, with either a deal or a collapse in negotiations that will have far-reaching regional implications. None of the hotspots in the extended region—North Africa, the Gulf, the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan/Pakistan—will avoid major conflict. Radicalism (Al Qaeda, in particular) is changing. It poses a less direct threat to the US but ignites more instability across the region. And to add fuel to the fire: In past decades, geopolitical conflict has pushed oil prices higher; this year, lower oil prices will put the squeeze on regional producers and others further afield.

Beyond that, the implications of the fight over cyber-security and the fallout from the broad, deep, and ongoing National Security Agency (NSA) scandal are making strategic data a core global political risk. The last two risks involve Russia and Turkey, and their leaders’ increasingly capricious behavior.

日本という言葉を含んでいたリスクは1 - America’s troubled alliances、3 - The new China、? - North Koreaでしたので、まずはこれらから読むのがいいのかもしれません。日米関係が新たな局面を迎えているように感じることがありますが、どうやら1 - America’s troubled alliancesを読むと日本だけではく、米国の同盟国全般に共通する傾向のようです。

英語学習的な観点からは6 - Strategic dataにあるon the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.を取り上げたいと思います。前のブログでも取り上げたことがある有名なフレーズなので、It’s said thatという前置きがあるのでしょう。

6 - Strategic data
(前略)
That’s why the internet and its governance are shifting suddenly and dramatically from being a bottom-up open source sector to a top-down strategic sector. The internet will fragment even more in 2014, national champions will become more dominant actors in data-driven sectors in many of the world’s key economies, and costs of doing business for competitors that are, or hope to be, global will increase. As cyber-security becomes a bigger vulnerability, and cyber-mastery a greater economic opportunity, these inefficiencies are set to grow.

It’s said that on the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. Governments now know what kind of dog you are, when you go for a walk, and your favorite kibble. Strategic data in the G-Zero is a dog- eat-dog world.

雑誌ニューヨーカーには毎週一コマ漫画がいくつか収載されていますが、その一作品だったようですね。

Internet_dog.jpg

(Wikipedia)
"On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" is an adage which began as the caption of a cartoon by Peter Steiner published by The New Yorker on July 5, 1993.[1][2] The cartoon features two dogs: one sitting on a chair in front of a computer, speaking the caption to a second dog sitting on the floor.[2][3] As of 2011, the panel was the most reproduced cartoon from The New Yorker, and Steiner has earned over US $50,000 from its reprinting.


ユーラシアグループでは、これを踏まえながらも政府の監視によって匿名性はすでに崩れていると警鐘をならしています。

有名なフレーズというのは結構限られていますので、多読をしていくと勘がついてきます。ジャンルにこだわらずたくさんのものに触れていきたいですね。
 

ラファエル前派と歩行者天国

 
BBCのラファエル前派に関する2回目にミレーのオフィーリアが登場しています。チューブ入りの絵の具によって戸外で絵を描くことができるようになり、印象派が生まれる土壌となったという方もいたと思いますが、それより前にミレーは戸外での絵画作成に取り組んでいたのですね。過去を振り返るときは、我々が当たり前に思っていることが当時は当たり前にはなかったこともあるということを常に意識したいです。



自然に対する意識の変化については、以前紹介したテート美術館のサイトやカーンアカデミーの動画でも触れています。



35秒あたりから
And Shakespeare described the place where that happens and he described the flowers and the willow tree. And Millais picks up on that with interest in the Botanical setting and expands on it.
The botanical specificity, this is an artist who is really taking Ruskin seriously.
Ruskin advised artists to‘go to Nature in all singleness of heart, rejecting nothing, selecting nothing, and scorning nothing.’
That is that nature itself has a kind of spiritual power and who are artists to mess with god's work.
That's right. But that was the academic tradition to take from nature and improve on it and to idealize it. That was what in fact Leonardo had advised. That’s the foundation of the academic tradition.
And so Millais is completely rejecting that. He's going into nature and he's trying to be as true to what he sees as possible. It's interesting because when we think of painting in plein air. That’s when we think painting outside we often think of the late 19th century French painting. We think of the Impressionists but of course the Pre-Raphaelites in England were taking this seriously mid-century.

当時は、自然を目に映るままに捉えることは規範に外れていたもので、理想化して描かなくてはいけないというのがアカデミックな伝統だったのですね。動画でも触れていた、戸外で描くことの大変さについてはテート美術館のPainting in the landscapeでも触れています。

Ophelia learning resource
Ophelia was part of the original Henry Tate Gift in 1894 and remains one of the most popular Pre-Raphaelite works in the Tate’s collection. Shakespeare was a frequent source of inspiration for Victorian painters. Millais’s image of the tragic death of Ophelia, as she falls into the stream and drowns, is one of the best-known illustrations from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.

John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti were the founding members of a group of artists called the Pre-Raphaelites formed in 1848. They rejected the art of the Renaissance in favour of art before Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo (15th -16th centuries). The Pre-Raphaelites focused on serious and significant subjects and were best known for painting subjects from modern life and literature often using historical costumes. They painted directly from nature itself, as truthfully as possible and with incredible attention to detail. They were inspired by the advice of John Ruskin, the English critic and art theorist in Modern Painters (1843-60). He encouraged artists to ‘go to Nature in all singleness of heart.rejecting nothing, selecting nothing, and scorning nothing.’

The Pre-Raphaelites developed techniques to exploit the luminosity of pure colour and define forms in their quest for achieving ‘truth to nature’. They strongly believed that respectable divine art could only be achieved if the artist focused on the truth and what was real in the natural world.

かなり無理矢理ではありますが、歩行者天国を取り上げたのは下記の展覧会のパンフレットで「歩行者天国が始まった日」(昭和45年(1970))というタイトルの写真に「自然に帰ろう!自由に遊ぼう!今日は歩行者天国です」という看板があったからです。

写真展 新宿・昭和40年代 ―熱き時代の新宿風景―
会 期 : 平成 26 年 2 月 8 日 (土) - 4 月 13日 (日)

1968年のパリ学生運動でもSoul les paves, la plage.(歩道の下は海岸だ)という落書きがこの運動を象徴するものとして使われています。まだ生まれていない自分が分かったように書くことはできないのですが、Go to Natureという雰囲気があったように思えてならないのです。



Go to Natureの思想の内容について立ち入る能力はありませんが、それまでの社会規範が状況にふさわしくなくなるとこのような反応が出やすくなるのかもしれません。

最後は余談になりますが、Soul les paves, la plage.(歩道の下は海岸だ)はピンチョンのInherent Viceという小説の始まりに出てきます。


Inherent ViceInherent Vice
(2010/08/05)
Thomas Pynchon

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Under the paving-stones, the beach!
Graffito, Paris, May 1968


Soul les paves, la plage.というフレーズに持ち出してしまったのは、過去のブログで取り上げたEconomistの記事でこのフレーズをもじってSous la plage, les pavesと使っていたからです。こちらは人の手が入っていない自然がないことを揶揄して使っています。こういう有名なフレーズを押さえることはEconomistやTimeの理解の助けになっていきますね。


 

英検問題をトリガーに

 
しつこく前回の英検1級の米国南北戦争を取り上げてしまいます。

Britain and the American Civil War

英国が奴隷制を支持する米国南部支援に傾きかけていて、開戦も視野にあったことを意外に捉える方も多かったのではないでしょうか。自分は下記の本が2011年のニューヨークタイムズのベスト10冊に選ばれたのを機に読んでいたので知っていました(と、プチ自慢(苦笑))


A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil WarA World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War
(2012/06/12)
Amanda Foreman

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A WORLD ON FIRE
Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War.
By Amanda Foreman. Random House, $35.
Which side would Great Britain support during the Civil War? Foreman gives us an enormous cast of characters and a wealth of vivid description in her lavish examination of a second battle between North and South, the trans-Atlantic one waged for British hearts and minds.

Amanda Foremanさんの動画をこのリンク先から読めます。英国では知識人も含めてほとんどが南部を支持していたと語っていますね。

おそらくWorld on Fireという本のタイトルは英検の長文にあった“wrap the whole world in flames”という国務長官の言葉からきたのでしょう。

War with Britain became a real possibility in November 1861, when the Union navy intercepted the Trent, a British mail ship, and seized two Southern diplomats headed to England. The seizure was a clear violation of Britain’s neutrality. Britain demanded an apology and insisted the men be released, backing up its position by dispatching troops to the northern border of the United States. Lincoln’s administration responded with fierce rhetoric; Secretary of State William Seward warned that the Union was prepared to “wrap the whole world in flames” if the British acted aggressively. As tensions escalated, hopes rose in the South. Even if Britain did not side with the South, the dispute raised the likelihood of a negotiated end to the war, which would leave the United States divided and the Southern states independent.

そんな1850年から60年までの状況を踏まえて、ロセッティのBelovedという絵画を見るとその時代の空気を読み取れるようです。BBCのドキュメンタリーを見つけました。



ロセッティがどちらの立場だったかは不明のようですが、奴隷の問題を強く意識していたことが伺えます。それはリバプールの美術館の解説にもあります。

Quite early on in the planning of 'The Beloved', Rossetti wrote to the man who commissioned the picture (the Birkenhead banker, George Rae) of his wish to include a little black girl carrying a cup before the Bride. This was later changed to a black boy, when Rossetti spotted on the steps of a London hotel a slave boy travelling with his American master. He came to Rossetti's studio in Chelsea to pose. This was the period of the American Civil War and the questions of slavery and abolition were hot topics in the newspapers. Rossetti's brother William, his sister Christina and other artist friends came out on the abolitionist side but Rossetti's views on the issue are not clear. Was the black boy an attempt to allude obliquely to the slavery question in his picture? (Ford Madox Brown might well have been doing the same in 'The Coat of Many Colours' showing Joseph sold into slavery, painted at roughly the same time for the same patron, George Rae).

この作品は六本木ヒルズの展覧会にも来るようです。時代を超えた美しさがあると同時に、時代の雰囲気を反映させる絵でもあったのですね。
 

映像化する力

 
語学力を測る目安の一つに「情景を思い浮かべられる」ことをあげていいでしょう。イメージ化できれば内容を理解できていると言えますから。『ハムレット』で王妃がオフィーリアの死を伝えている場面から情景が浮かぶか試してみてください。聞いただけで情景が浮かべばたいしたものですし、読んで情景が浮かんでもすごいと思います。

2分50秒あたりから


3分あたりから


There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
Therewith fantastic garlands did she make
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them:
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:
Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.

王妃
土手から斜めに柳が生え、
小川の水面に白い葉が映るあたり。
あの子はその枝で豪華な花飾りを作っていました。
金鳳花、刺草、雛菊、それから、
口さがない羊飼いたちが卑しい名前で呼ぶけれど、
純潔な乙女たちは死人の指と呼んでいる紫蘭――
そのすてきな花輪を、垂れた枝にかけようと、
柳によじ登ったとたん、意地の悪い枝が折れ、
花輪もろとも、まっさかさまに、
涙の川に落ちました。裾が大きく広がって、
人魚のように、しばらく体を浮かせて――
そのあいだ、あの子は古い小唄を口ずさみ、
自分の不幸がわからぬ様子――
まるで水の中で暮らす妖精のように。
でも、それも長くは続かず、
服が水を吸って重くなり、哀れ、あの子を
美しい歌から、泥まみれの死の底へ
引きずりおろしたのです。
(日本語は河合祥一郎さんから)

若い頃のヘレナ・ボナム=カーターやケイトウィンスレットがオフィーリアを演じているようですね。有名な「尼寺へ行け」の場面です。





何をしたかったかすでにお分かりでしょうが、ここで絵を確認する前にWikipediaの説明を見てみます。シェイクスピアのセリフよりずっと分かりやすいですね。。。

(Wikipedia)
Theme and elements[edit]
The painting depicts Ophelia, a character from Shakespeare's play Hamlet, singing while floating in a river just before she drowns. The scene is described in Act IV, Scene VII of the play in a speech by Queen Gertrude.[1]
The episode depicted is not seen onstage, but exists only in Gertrude's description. Ophelia has fallen into the river from a tree overhanging it, while gathering flowers. She lies in the water singing songs, as if unaware of her danger ("incapable of her own distress"). Her clothes, trapping air, have allowed her to temporarily stay afloat ("Her clothes spread wide, / And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up."). But eventually, "her garments, heavy with their drink, / Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay" down "to muddy death."
Ophelia's death has been praised as one of the most poetically written death scenes in literature.[2]
Ophelia's pose—her open arms and upwards gaze—also resembles traditional portrayals of saints or martyrs, but has also been interpreted as erotic.





もちろん、ミレーの回答が唯一のイメージ化ではないでしょうが、よくあのセリフだけでこれだけのものが描けますね。。。

1月下旬からラファエル前派展が開かれますね。ミレーのオフィーリアも来るようですが、これで3回目だそうですね。

英国のテート美術館ではサイトも充実していて、Ophelia learning resourceなるものがありました。テーマや手法など分かりやすく説明してくれています。

Ophelia learning resource
Ophelia was part of the original Henry Tate Gift in 1894 and remains one of the most popular Pre-Raphaelite works in the Tate’s collection. Shakespeare was a frequent source of inspiration for Victorian painters. Millais’s image of the tragic death of Ophelia, as she falls into the stream and drowns, is one of the best-known illustrations from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.

John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti were the founding members of a group of artists called the Pre-Raphaelites formed in 1848. They rejected the art of the Renaissance in favour of art before Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo (15th -16th centuries). The Pre-Raphaelites focused on serious and significant subjects and were best known for painting subjects from modern life and literature often using historical costumes. They painted directly from nature itself, as truthfully as possible and with incredible attention to detail. They were inspired by the advice of John Ruskin, the English critic and art theorist in Modern Painters (1843-60). He encouraged artists to ‘go to Nature in all singleness of heart.rejecting nothing, selecting nothing, and scorning nothing.’

The Pre-Raphaelites developed techniques to exploit the luminosity of pure colour and define forms in their quest for achieving ‘truth to nature’. They strongly believed that respectable divine art could only be achieved if the artist focused on the truth and what was real in the natural world.


 

(続)こんな所から気楽に読み始めてみては

 


昨日紹介した日本語の翻訳ワークショップはWords Without Bordersという雑誌で発表されることになったようですね。こんな雑誌があること自体知りませんでした。現代のさまざまな作家の作品を国籍を問わず紹介しているようです。2012年の7月号と8月号の2回にわたってMichael Emmerichさんが編集に参加してまとめたようです。

Founded in 2003, Words without Borders promotes cultural understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of the finest contemporary international literature. Our publications and programs open doors for readers of English around the world to the multiplicity of viewpoints, richness of experience, and literary perspective on world events offered by writers in other languages. We seek to connect international writers to the general public, to students and educators, and to print and other media and to serve as a primary online location for a global literary conversation.
Every month we publish eight to twelve new works by international writers. We have published works by Nobel Prize laureates J.M.G. Le Clézio and Herta Müller and noted writers Mahmoud Darwish, Etgar Keret, Per Petterson, Fadhil Al-Azzawi, W.G. Sebald, and Can Xue, as well as many new and rising international writers. To date we have published well over 1,600 pieces from 119 countries and 92 languages.

以下は2012年の7月号についてです。四元康祐さんという詩人の作品も取り上げています。

Guest Editor Michael Emmerich
This month and next we're showcasing writing from Japan. In the wake of the events of March 11, 2011, the boundaries between real and unreal, solid and fluid, seem to have shifted; guest editor Michael Emmerich has selected pieces that resonate with the country's new mood. The pieces in this first part have the texture of a dream, unstable, fleeting, fantastic. In tales of shape-shifting, Jin Keita finds new life in a different form, and Kawakami Hiromi pursues a girl who turns into a pearl. Kurahashi Yumiko takes flower arranging to a new level. Akutagawa Prize winner EnJoe Toh spins a yarn about an oddly familiar galaxy. Nakai Hideo follows an illusionist and finds himself part of the act. Medoruma Shun receives voice mail from the beyond. Poet Yotsumoto Yasuhiro plays with rhyme and rhythm. And Furukawa Hideo's young office worker stumbles upon a new world only steps away. The issue is produced in partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation. We thank the BCLT, and David Karashima and the Nippon Foundation, for their generous support. Elsewhere, we present three views of the current Greek crisis from Amanda Michalopoulou, Petros Markaris, and Auguste Corteau.


神慶太
倉橋由美子
円城塔
中井英夫
川上弘美
目取真 俊
古川日出男
四元康祐

円城塔さんの『後藤さんのこと』にあった作品を載せていますね。the weirdestとあるように日本語でも奇妙なものは英語でも奇妙になってしまいますよね。。。

The Reality of Dreams: An Introduction
The last two pieces in this issue are perhaps the weirdest. EnJoe Toh’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Galactic Empire,” translated by Jocelyne Allen, manages to achieve humor, pathos, a driving pace, and a sense of structure, all without troubling readers to follow anything as potentially tiresome as a plot. I chose Yotsumoto Yasuhiro’s wacky poem “Fish Variations” expressly because it is so obviously impossible to translate, and in my experience pieces that are impossible to translate are always the most fun to translate. I was delighted that Angus Turvill agreed to test this hypothesis with this poem.

2012年8月号の方です。ワークショップで取り組んだ川上未映子さんの『乳と卵』の一部が訳されています。

The second part of our double issue of Japanese writing presents writing grounded in the everyday, with uncertainty and confusion roiling underneath. Guest editor Michael Emmerich has selected pieces about ordinary people in ordinary situations, struggling with discontent and longing for change. In two tales of plastic surgery, Aso Nonami shows a woman in the grip of obsession and deception, and Akutagawa Prize-winner Kawakami Mieko looks at breasts and implants. Young sensation Wataya Risa finds an alienated high-school girl trying to throw out her life, while Motoya Yukiko's numb young woman drifts through her early twenties. Sakurai Suzumo sets marital discord against the devastation of March 11; Tsushima Yūko sees a day at the beach turn dark; and Nomura Kiwao evokes the landscape of childhood. The issue is produced in partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation. We thank the BCLT, and David Karashima and the Nippon Foundation, for their generous support. Elsewhere, the great Adonis introduces Egyptian poet Abdel-Moneim Ramadan.

乃南アサ
桜井鈴茂
川上未映子
綿矢りさ
本谷 有希子
津島 佑子
野村喜和夫

The Real, the Familiar: An Introduction

Louise Heal’s marvelous Mancunian translation of an excerpt from Kawakami Mieko’s novella "Breasts and Eggs," the second piece to deal with plastic surgery (in this case, breast enlargement), lightens the mood again. The translation is an outgrowth of the 2011 summer workshop at the British Centre for Literary Translation, which I had the privilege of leading. (As I noted in my introduction in July, all the translators in this double issues are alumni of this program.) During the workshop, I asked Louise and some other participants to render part of "Breasts and Eggs" into Manchester dialect; I liked the sound of their translation, and the provocative way in which it evoked the different intensities of Osaka dialect used in the Japanese text, so much that for this issue I prevailed upon Louise (a native Mancunian) to do more in the same style. With luck, perhaps some publisher will commission a complete translation.

訳者の方が大阪とマンチェスターとの親近感や銭湯の場面が子供の頃のプールが思い出されたと書いています。このような読み方がされることが面白いですね。そうなるとマンチェスターユナイテッドは阪神タイガースになってしまうのですね(笑)

When I read the exchanges between the two sisters as they relax in the sento (public bath), I had a sudden flashback of the Mancunian mothers of my childhood sitting around the edges of the kiddie swimming pool on a Sunday afternoon, loudly catching up on gossip. From that point onward, for me, the characters couldn’t possibly speak any other way. As a British translator accustomed to requests from publishers to translate into American English, it was a rare pleasure for me to be free to portray these characters the way I hear them in my own head. —Louise Heal Kawai

その銭湯の一節と翻訳を比べてみます。

「全然あつない」と巻子は云い、「なんなん、東京の湯ってこれが普通?」「や、味じゃないから東京も何も」「でもぬるい。そやのにあの人、あんな汗かいている」「ほんまや」という具合で浸かってみても、やはり熱的に物足りなくどれだけ浸かっていてもきりがない感じがして、じゃあミルク風呂は、というので石枠をまたいで真っ白な湯に足を入れればそこもぬるい。「ぬるぬるわ」と巻子は云い、泡風呂に移動すればまあ少しは希望に沿うものであったらしく、わたしらは泡風呂で体を温めることにした。

“Hey, this isn’t hot,” she whinges. “Is this what they call a hot soak in Tokyo?”
“I don’t think Tokyo’s any different from Osaka or anywhere else when it comes to bathwater,” I tell her.
“But it’s lukewarm. See her over there? Can’t believe she’s got sweat dripping off her.”
“I know,” I say, trying to relax, but to tell the truth it’s not really that hot for me either, and I don’t think I’m ever going to get properly heated up, so we decide to try the milk bath. We put our foot over the stone brim and stick a toe in the milky water, but that’s lukewarm too.
“Bloody freezing,” announces Makiko and heads over to the whirlpool. That one being more to her taste, we end up in there.

どれも短い抜粋のようなので、なるべく全部に目を通してみようと思います。
 

繰り返されるイメージ

 
どんな場面に置いても我々は「毅然とした態度をとる」ことがどうしてもかっこいいと思ってしまいますが、そのような考え方について再考を求めるエッセイがありました。

Time to think more about Sarajevo, less about Munich
As in the years before 1914 — when a rising Germany confronted its neighbours — a rising China now is in dispute with several Asian nations
By Gideon Rachman
January 7, 2014

第1次世界大戦の教訓を忘れるな
目を向けるべきは「ミュンヘン」より「サラエボ」
2014.01.08(水) Financial Times

Can thinking about the past improve the way you handle the present? If so, this year’s centenary of the outbreak of the First World War could do the world a great service by persuading modern politicians to spend more time thinking about Sarajevo — and less time worrying about Munich.

過去について考えることで現在への対処の仕方が改善されるということはあり得るのだろうか? もしあり得るのなら、今年が第1次世界大戦の勃発から100年目に当たることは、現代の政治家たちがミュンヘンを心配する時間を減らしてサラエボについて考える時間を増やすよう促し、ひいては今日の世界に大きく貢献してくれるかもしれない。

“Sarajevo” and “Munich” are, of course, shorthand for the diplomatic crises that preceded the outbreaks of the First and Second World Wars. Yet, the two events have been used to support very different approaches to international affairs. If leaders warn against “another Munich”, they are almost always advocating a tough response to aggression — usually military action. If they speak of “Sarajevo”, however, they are warning against a drift to war.

 もちろん「サラエボ」と「ミュンヘン」は、第1次世界大戦および第2次世界大戦の勃発前に起こった外交危機の略称だ。ところがこの2つの事件は、国際問題への対応策を論じる際に、大きく異なるアプローチを擁護する材料として使われてきた。

大きく異なる2つのアプローチ

 政治指導者が「ミュンヘン」を繰り返してはならないと警告する時、それは攻撃的な姿勢への強硬な対応――大抵は軍事行動――を支持する場合がほとんどだ。だが「サラエボ」を引き合いに出す時は、戦争にずるずると引き込まれてはならないと警告する場合なのだ。

The British and the French are generally believed to have made a terrible mistake, which led to a wider war, by failing to confront Hitler during the Munich crisis of 1938. By contrast, most historians look back at the events provoked by the assassination of an Austrian archduke in Sarajevo in the summer of 1914 and are horrified by how heedlessly Europe slipped into war. Margaret Macmillan, author of a compelling new account of the outbreak of conflict, The War that Ended Peace, laments that — “none of the key players in 1914 were great and imaginative leaders who had the courage to stand out against the pressures building for war”.

 1938年のミュンヘン危機については、英国とフランスがヒトラーと対決しないというとんでもない間違いを犯した、おかげでもっと大規模な戦争につながってしまったとの見方が定説になっている。

 一方、1914年夏にサラエボで起こったオーストリアの大公の暗殺については、大半の歴史家がその後の展開を振り返り、欧州が実に無思慮に戦争に突入していったことに恐れおののいている。

 例えば、第1次世界大戦の勃発を取り上げた説得力のある新著『The War that Ended Peace(平和に終止符を打った戦争)』を発表したマーガレット・マクミラン氏は「1914年当時の重要人物の中には、戦争に踏み切れという圧力の前に立ちはだかる勇気を持った、偉大で想像力に富んだ指導者が1人もいなかった」と嘆いている。

ミュンヘン=チェンバレン=宥和政策というのは以前のブログで紹介させていただきました。Peace in our timeのスピーチです。



(オックスフォード)
Neville Chamberlain
(1869–1940)
a British Conservative prime minister (1937–40) and son of Joseph Chamberlain. He is mainly remembered for his policy of appeasement. He signed the Munich Agreement in 1938, trying to avoid a war against Germany and Italy, but said that Britain would defend Poland if Germany attacked it. This led to the start of World War II. He left the government soon after Britain entered the war, when British forces were defeated in Norway.
This is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.
Neville Chamberlain, September 1938

今回のフィナンシャルタイムズの主張は以下のようにまとめられます。このようなインプリケーションは意味を取る上で大切ですので、慣れておきたいですね。開戦派はミュンヘンしか引き合いに出さないでしょうが。。。

サラエボ=第一次世界大戦=開戦をとどまるべき
ミュンヘン=第二次世界大戦=開戦すべき

どうやらこの構図は結構反復されているようで、2003年のイラク開戦前や2008年のイランとの緊張時でも同じ構図で慎重な対応を要求していました。

サラエボの教訓については、以下のコラムでThe lesson of Sarajevo is that war has a host of consequences that no one can foresee.と簡潔にまとめてくれています。誰もがすぐに終るだろうと思って開戦してみたら未曾有の損害を出す結果になってしまったのが第一次世界大戦と捉えています。

Sarajevo, not Munich
By Arthur J. Greif, Special to the BDN
This story was published on March 05, 2003 on Page A9 in all editions of the Bangor Daily News

This “war at any price” mentality of Bush does have a 20th-century analogue: the reaction of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, by terrorists seeking to promote a greater Serbia. Wounded by the loss of a much-loved heir to the empire’s throne, Austria, with Germany’s support, forwarded a list of stringent demands upon Serbia that no nation could have agreed to in its entirety. Serbia conceded much of what Austria demanded. Austria invaded anyway and, despite punishing Serbia, it set loose a cascade of events that led to a destruction from which Europe did not fully recover for more than 70 years. Millions of the world’s best young men died in trench warfare; chemical weapons were used repeatedly for the first time; a war that the United States later joined to “make the world safe for democracy” made it safe for the rise of fascism, Nazism and communism.
The lesson of Sarajevo is that war has a host of consequences that no one can foresee. When a weaker adversary repeatedly accedes to most of your demands, think twice before insisting upon 100 percent capitulation. The risks of war will far outweigh the benefits. We should shudder at what the winds of war will set loose both in the Islamic world and in a Western world beset by terrorism whose numbers of recruits will have doubled.

こちらは2008年のものです。

Look to Sarajevo, Not Munich
By Marcus Alexander Gadson | Sunday, June 8, 2008

My larger problem is that too many conservatives want to make every foreign policy issue into 1938 at Munich. Any leader who talks tough and rattles his saber becomes Winston Churchill. Any adversary becomes Adolf Hitler. And everyone who urges any sort of diplomacy is suddenly Neville Chamberlain. But the foreign policy challenges we face today are much more reminiscent of the years before World War One than they are of the years before World War Two.
Prior to the First World War, there were many great world powers. Britain, France, Germany, and Russia all jockeyed for global hegemony and influence. As militarism and nationalism dominated the European continent, career diplomats knew that the slightest misstep could lead to war. That misstep came on June 28, 1914, when Gavrilo Princip shot the archduke of Austria-Hungary, Franz Ferdinand. This triggered a now infamous chain of events. Austria-Hungary, backed by Germany, issued an extreme ultimatum which the Serbs rejected. Austria-Hungary promptly declared war. Russia rushed to the defense of Serbia, and Germany declared war on Russia. France and Britain were rapidly brought into the war.
The First World War would last for over four years and leave millions dead. Indirectly, it also caused the Second World War, which left millions more dead. If anything, this demonstrates the paramount importance of active diplomacy. What if European powers had engaged in more diplomacy, instead of going to war as a knee-jerk reaction? Foreign policy hawks don’t want to cause world chaos, but it is instructive for them—and for us—to remember that our actions can have dramatic consequences.

別にフィナンシャルタイムズのコラムに対してありきたりの構図を用いたと批判したいのではありません。やはりタイムリーなものだと思います。

In 1914, national leaders were so keen to appear strong and to protect their honour (or “credibility” as they would call it nowadays), that they were unable to step back from the brink of conflict. Reflection on the Sarajevo crisis may just prevent today’s leaders from falling into the same trap, if Sino-Japanese tensions heighten again. But, unfortunately, many of today’s political players still approach their rivalries with a Munich mindset. Neither Japan nor China is prepared to look “weak” by backing off in the East China Sea. The US is also worried that its “credibility” will be damaged, if it fails to show toughness. A prominent official in the Barack Obama administration explained to me last year that — while he understood Chinese objections to US naval patrols near China’s coast — America could not cut back these patrols because that would be seen as weakness.

1914年には、各国の指導者は強く見られること、そして自分の名誉(最近では「信頼性」と呼ばれるもの)を守ることに熱心なあまり、紛争の瀬戸際から退くことができなかった。日中間の緊張が再び高まった場合、サラエボ危機の考察はもしかしたら、現在の指導者たちが同じ罠に陥るのを防げるかもしれない。

だが、残念なことに、今の政界関係者の多くはまだ、ミュンヘン的なものの考え方をもって対立関係に取り組んでいる。日本も中国も、東シナ海で後退することで「弱く」見られる気はない。

 米国もまた、タフさを示せなければ自国の「信頼性」が傷つくことを心配している。オバマ政権のある著名な高官は昨年筆者に、中国の海岸近辺での米国海軍の巡視活動に対する中国の反発は理解しているが、弱さと見られてしまうために、米国はこうした巡視活動を減らせないのだと説明してくれた。

This is the kind of playground logic that four-year-old children are encouraged to grow out of. But, unfortunately, it still seems to be the dominant mode of thinking in international affairs.

国際問題を支配する遊び場の論理

 これは、4歳児が子供じみたことはもうやめろと促される類の遊び場の論理だ。しかし、残念なことに、国際問題では今もこれが思考の基本モードのようだ。

The Munich mindset is so entrenched that a real intellectual shift will be required to change it. The many commemorations of the First World War that will take place this year may just serve that purpose — by influencing world leaders to take a less dangerously macho approach to their rivalries. With tensions rising in East Asia and conflict spreading in the Middle East, the 100th anniversary of the Great War comes at an important time. Let’s hope it does some good.

 ミュンヘン的なものの考え方はあまりに深く染み付いているため、これを変えるには本格的な思考の転換が必要だ。今年行われる数々の第1次世界大戦記念式典は、他国との対立関係に取り組む際に危険なまでにマッチョな態度を取らないよう世界の指導者たちに影響を与えることで、その目的を果たせるかもしれない。

 東アジアで緊張が高まり、中東で紛争が広がるなか、第1次世界大戦の100周年記念は重要な時期に訪れた。これが何がしかの貢献を果たすことを期待しよう。

まあといっても「歴史の教訓」とありがたがるのは危険な感じもします。ベニスの商人の言葉ではないですが、歴史だって自己の目的で使えますから。。。

悪魔は目的のためには聖書でも引用する
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
 

Redeeming power of forgiveness

 


1月10日から英国で上記の映画が公開されるようになったのですね。

木村正人2014年01月11日 18:22
「死の泰麺鉄道」戦争の真実と和解(1)

日本でも今年4月に上映される英・豪合作映画『The Railway Man(邦題:レイルウェイ 運命の旅路)』が10日にロンドンで公開された。

先の大戦で旧日本軍の拷問を受けた英国人元戦争捕虜(POW)と憲兵隊の通訳として関わった日本人の再会と和解をテーマにした作品だ。

『英国王のスピーチ』でアカデミー主演男優賞のコリン・ファース、『めぐりあう時間たち』でアカデミー主演女優賞のニコール・キッドマン、『戦火の馬』の新星ジェレミー・アーヴァインが共演している。





ハリーポッターの例えで有名になった林駐英大使のコラムにLomaxさんと永瀬さんのことが登場しています。

China risks becoming Asia’s Voldemort
Japan is committed to peace and democracy – and a visit to a shrine will not change that
By Keiichi Hayashi
8:03PM GMT 05 Jan 2014

Prime Minister Abe issued a statement entitled “Pledge for everlasting peace” upon his recent visit to Yasukuni Shrine. He said his visit was made to pay his respects and pray for the souls of the war dead and to renew the pledge that Japan shall never again wage war. Nothing more and nothing less, and by no means to pay homage to war criminals or to praise militarism.

He also visited “Chinrei-sha”, a remembrance memorial to pray for the souls of all of those, irrespective of nationality, who lost their lives in the war. As he clearly stated at the time, Japan has created a free and democratic country and consistently walked the path of peace for the past 68 years, and there is no doubt whatsoever that Japan will continue to pursue this path.

Such a visit cannot be portrayed as a sign of reviving militarism. In the past, Japan caused tremendous suffering to the people of many countries, particularly in Asia. The government of Japan has consistently made clear that it squarely faces this history, and expresses deep remorse and heartfelt apology. This stance is firmly upheld under the Abe government.

As in the case of the Japan-UK relationship, exemplified in the meeting between Eric Lomax and Takashi Nagase described in the book The Railway Man, the only way to heal the wounds of the past is through the pursuit of reconciliation. But, critically, it takes two for this to be achieved.



The Railway ManThe Railway Man
(2009/10/06)
Eric Lomax

商品詳細を見る

Railway Manという本が1995年に出版された時点でもこの話は話題になったようです。

Prisoner of War Learns To Forgive, Reconciles With His Interrogator
Author tortured in World War II tells of his journey to a genuine tie with former enemy
By Christopher Andreae, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / August 9, 1995

'Some time the hating has to stop': A tortured war hero, his Japanese tormentor, and the redeeming power of forgiveness
By ROBERT HARDMAN
PUBLISHED: 23:40 GMT, 9 October 2012 | UPDATED: 14:31 GMT, 10 October 2012

イギリスやオランダは第二次大戦で捕虜になった方が多かったので、戦後すぐは反日感情が大きかったので、関係改善が米国ほど進まなかったと聞きました。戦争は、やる方もやられる方も大きな傷を負うことになるということを忘れずにおきたいですね。

Lomaxさんの奥さんPattiさんと彼女を演じたニコールキッドマンを交えたインタビューで以下のように語っている部分がありました。イギリスではアフガニスタンに派兵していてるので、過去の問題ではなく、現在の問題として捉えるべきもののようですね。

Nicole Kidman: 'I try never to be governed by fear'
In Kidman's latest film, The Railway Man, she plays Patti Lomax, the wife of a former prisoner of war who suffered terrible torture building the Burma railway. Here, Kidman and the real-life Patti talk about the relationship they forged
The Guardian, Thursday 26 December 2013 21.00 GMT

LF: Patti, do you feel you've become a representative for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder?
PL: I wouldn't be arrogant enough to say I represent them, but the story is about untreated battle stress. If it's not treated, it can blight not only the victim's life but their family's lives, and that really is a modern message, certainly for those coming back from Afghanistan. I am trying to raise people's awareness, but I think it's recognised a lot more now than it was in Eric's time.
NK: Yeah, but I don't think they're doing enough though. I think they should be doing more, particularly over here in the States for the men who are now returning from Afghanistan. And I'm sure it's the same in Britain. I'd be more than happy to be a spokesman for them because I don't think that it's dealt with anywhere near enough in the way it should be.

同じく日本軍に虐待されたLaura Hillenbrandの自伝Unbrokenがアメリカでベストセラーを続けていたのもイラク・アフガン戦争を戦っていて過去の物語とは感じなかったことが一因としてあったのではないかとふと思いました。

日本での公開は4月のようです。
 

小川洋子さんメモ

 


小川洋子さんの翻訳者であるStephen Snyderさんの2009年のころのトークです。外国の人のほうが歴史的パースペクティブから作者を理解しようとする気がします。

また、ニューヨーカーに掲載された短編小説2つを読むこともできます。

FICTION
THE CAFETERIA IN THE EVENING AND A POOL IN THE RAIN
BY YOKO OGAWA
SEPTEMBER 6, 2004


FICTION
PREGNANCY DIARY
BY YOKO OGAWA
DECEMBER 26, 2005


 

こんな所から気楽に読み始めてみては

 


小川洋子さんと言えば『博士の愛した数式』の訳書、The Housekeeper and the Professor当たりが読みやすいかもしれません。ただ1998年位でた短編集『寡黙な死骸 みだらな弔い』の英訳がでて、NPRはAn NPR Best Book of 2013に選んだそうです。

Under Ogawa's Macabre, Metafictional Spell
by ALAN CHEUSE
February 18, 2013 7:00 AM

ちょうど読み始めていることろですが、読みやすく一話一話も短めなので、取り組みやすいと思います。短編の方が文脈がとれずに理解しにくい場合もありますが、そんなことはなく楽しめます(といっても、ホラーですけど。。。)

11編ある短編から2つをサンプルとして読めることができます。これらを楽しめたら全部に挑戦してみてはいかがでしょうか。

AFTERNOON AT THE BAKERY

THE LAST HOUR OF THE BENGAL TIGER

ホラーちっくなのは最初のAFTERNOON AT THE BAKERYの以下の部分を読んでいただけば感じがつかめると思います。ケーキ屋で話をしているところです。

“I was happy to see they have strawberry shortcake,” I said, pointing at the case. “They’re the real thing. None of that jelly, or too much fruit piled on top, or those little figurines they use for decoration. Just strawberries and cream.”
“You’re right,” she said. “I can guarantee they’re good. The best thing in the shop. The base is made with our special vanilla.”
“I’m buying them for my son. Today is his birthday.”
“Really? Well, I hope it’s a happy one. How old is he?”
“Six. He’ll always be six. He’s dead.”

この本は昨年のEconomistの1月26日号でも書評で取り上げらています。Economistの書評はそれほど網羅的ではないですから、選ばれたのはすごいことだと思います。まあ、書評的にはどうしても日本らしさとやらを見出そうとしてしまうのでしょうが。。。出版社的には村上春樹の後継を探し当てたいという思惑があるようですね。

New Japanese fiction
Slightly off
A haunting introduction to the work of an important Japanese author
Jan 26th 2013 | From the print edition

Ms Ogawa has written more than 20 books and won every big literary prize in Japan. The English translation of her novel “The Housekeeper and the Professor” in 2009 brought her attention and success in America. Publishers keen to spot the next Murakami have now released four of her books in English. Her translator, Stephen Snyder, describes her work as remarkably diverse.

Her novels range from tender to sadomasochistic; her stories are more straightforwardly disturbing. This weird otherworldly quality is deeply Japanese, says Mr Snyder. It is in part a reaction to the glassy perfection of this self-conscious society. Ms Ogawa’s fiction considers what is out of place. She is less concerned with brutality than with loss and absence.

Yet there is a steadying effect in her stories through repeating motifs—a classic technique of Japanese poetry. Rotting food and body parts recur; actors in one story reappear obliquely in others. The result is a spectral connectedness. Ms Ogawa understands the consolations of order within apparent randomness. One story describes a dying man’s cluttered house: “As I studied the mass more closely, I began to feel that it was not the product of random accumulation but that it actually had a coherent form all its own.”
 

川上つながりで

 
木田元先生の技術論を訳されたMichael Emmerichさんについて調べているときに見つけた動画ですが、2011年に川上未映子さんを招いて翻訳ワークショップが開かれたようです。





日本財団が関わっているようですね、今年も2月28日から東京国際文芸フェスティバルが開かれるようですが、日本財団が後援団体でした。今年はA Tale for the Time BeingのRuth Ozekiさんも参加するようで、楽しみですね。



『乳と卵』がワークショップの題材として選ばれていたようです。最後の方で巻子と緑子が生卵を頭にかぶるシーンを取り上げています。



Michael Emmerichさんの翻訳についてのインタビューが興味深かったです。



7分30秒あたりから、
If somebody is thinking of becoming a translator, they have probably already started becoming a translator. So it’s probably too late to consider not becoming a translator. So just dive in just wholeheartedly as you can. And in particular don’t worry in the beginning about whether you can find a publisher. Don’t worry about how well things are going. Just commit to this stuff you’re already committed to and love doing it. Eventually something will work out.
翻訳者になることを考えていらっしゃる方がいれば、もうすでに翻訳者の駆け出しになっているのです。ですから、翻訳者にはならないと考えるのはもう手遅れなのです。ですから全身全霊で打ち込んでください。特に最初は出版社を見つけることができるかどうか心配しないでください。うまくいくかどうかなんて心配しないでください。すでに取り組み始めたことをしっかりとやり、好きになってください。最終的には何とかなるでしょう。
 

注意! 二つとも同じ作品です

 

The BriefcaseThe Briefcase
(2012/04/10)
Hiromi Kawakami

商品詳細を見る



Strange Weather in TokyoStrange Weather in Tokyo
(2013/08/01)
Hiromi Kawakami

商品詳細を見る


川上弘美さんの『センセイの鞄』を読み終わりましたが、英語学習的にも日本の小説を英語で読むのは、以下の理由からオススメです。

>日本が舞台なので背景知識が豊富にあるので意味が推測しやすい
>翻訳なので比較的読みやすくなっている

ただ、村上春樹だとか、夏目漱石だとか肩に力を入れるのではなく、楽しむつもりで読み始めるのが一番だと思います。英訳されている日本文学の有名どころについてはJapan Timesが新連載をはじめたので英語でどのように紹介されているか確認してしまえばとりあえずは十分でしょう。今週はよしもとばななのキッチンでした。

ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES

脱線しましたが、『センセイの鞄』はBriefcaseとStrange Weather in Japanという二つのタイトルで出版されているのでご留意ください。例えば、『センセイの鞄』を絶賛してくれているレビューの方もStrange Weather in Japanが出版前だったので、勘違いされていました。

THURSDAY, 31 JANUARY 2013
'The Briefcase' by Hiromi Kawakami (Review)

All in all, The Briefcase is an excellent book, well drawn out and thoroughly believable. There are a few moments of kitch, and a little melodrama towards the close of the novel, but Kawakami rescues it nicely with the ending. I'll certainly be getting myself a copy of Manazuru at some point, and
I'm already looking forward to the new one in English (Strange Weather from Tokyo), out from Portobello Books later this year - as you may have gathered, this was just a retitled UK version of The Briefcase :(. All that remains to say is that if you haven't read this, you could do worse than give it a try...

...oh, and good luck to Kawakami for the Man Asian Literary Prize :)

Strange weather in Japanというタイトルにしたのは、日本の香りをさせた方が売れると見込んだからでしょうか。林ナツミさんの表紙も目を引きますね。

‘Strange Weather in Tokyo’ Book Review
August 19, 2013 by Editor
Elegantly encapsulating an essence of ‘Japaneseness’; with all the elusive paradoxes that entails, this mesmerising book offers a read that is somehow light and breezy, yet possessing of literary depth. Nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2013, ‘Strange Weather in Tokyo’ is so much more than a romance novel about two lonely people who find solace in each other’s company.

Plain with the truth, the tone of the narrative is confessional. Bored, thirty-seven year old office worker Tsukiko gets to know Sensei, a man thirty year her senior. She recognises him from her own school days and they both enjoy drinking in a local bar. Socially awkward, she makes no bones about the fact that she goes there specifically to drink. Drink a lot. And eat. Socialising is incidental. A love of sake, beer and traditional Japanese dishes brings the two together, on and off throughout the year. As the seasons pass, the odd couple indulge their appetites, but restrain their feelings.

このレビューでは林ナツミさんの表紙写真についても軽く触れています。

By the way, if you like the cover image, check out more of Yowayowa Camera Woman’s amazing images on her website here.

彼女の作品は東京都写真美術館でも現在出展されているようです。

路上から世界を変えていく
日本の新進作家vol.12
会 期: 2013年12月7日 ( 土 ) ~ 2014年1月26日 ( 日 )

洋書で充実しているのは、Reading Guideですね。本の最後に掲載しているものもあります。この作品のReading Guideも出版社のサイトにありました。

Reading guide for Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami


In Brief
An old-fashioned romance set in modern day Tokyo...

In Detail
Strange Weather in Tokyo is about a woman’s relationship with an older man that blossoms against the odds. Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, ‘Sensei’, in a bar. He is at least thirty years her senior, retired and, she presumes, a widower. After this initial encounter, the pair continue to meet occasionally to share food and drink saké, and as the seasons pass – from spring cherry blossom to autumnal mushrooms. As this odd couple spend more and more time together, their friendship deepens and gradually becomes something more.

********

Reading Group Questions for Strange Weather in Tokyo
‘When I tried to think whom I spent time with before I became friendly with Sensei, no-one came to mind. I had been alone. I rode the bus alone, I walked around the city alone, I did my shopping alone, and I drank alone.’

1. Before she meets Sensei, Tsukiko is living by herself in a big city, working a job that doesn’t interest her. How do you relate to Tsukiko’s experience of loneliness?

2. Do you think that Strange Weather in Tokyo is a love story? What about it is conventional and what is unconventional?

3. How does Kawakami portray Tokyo?

英語で日本に触れる体験もいいものです。
 

表紙なんかよりも重要なこと

 
「女性ロボット」の表紙で話題になった人工知能学会ですが、もしかしたら炎上広報なのかもしれません。雑誌NatureはDeep Learning(深層学習)の可能性について記事がありましたし、日経コンピュータは機械学習を特集しています。IBMのワトソンはまだ先ですが、AppleのSiriは身近なものになっていますよね。

Vol. 29 No. 1 (2014年1月)
特集:「ヒューマンコンピュテーションとクラウドソーシング」
世界のAI,日本のAI〔第23 回〕
連載解説:「Deep Learning(深層学習)」〔第5 回〕
アーティクル
レクチャーシリーズ:「人工知能とは」〔第7 回〕
SF ショートショート〔第3 回〕
特集:「人工知能分野における博士論文」
論文特集:「知的対話システム」
論文特集:「近未来チャレンジ」
論文特集:「2013 年度全国大会速報論文」
グローバルアイ〔第26 回〕
学生フォーラム〔第70 回〕
会議報告
会  告


この学会誌でDeep Learning(深層学習)の解説を連載している久保 陽太郎さんのコラムを以下のリンクで読めます。

「深層学習」を再発見する土壌 久保 陽太郎
NTTコミュニケーション科学基礎研究所 研究員

音声認識器は耳を再発明するべきでしょうか.人工知能 システムは脳を再発明するべきでしょうか.音声認識や人 工知能に限らず,同様の議論はさまざまな学術分野で長く 続いており,決着の兆しをみせません.そして,このよう な分野に深層学習がもたらしたブレイクスルーは,人間か ら学ぶことがまだあるということを我々に示唆してくれた と考えることもできます.なぜなら深層学習の基本技術と して用いられる模型「ニューラルネットワーク」は,人間 の神経細胞を大雑把に模したものだからです.

Deep Leaningの最近の成果として挙げられるのが、iPhoneの音声認識Siriであったり、Google Brainによる猫の認識だったりするようです。2012年にコンピュータが猫を認識したというニュースがありましたね。その意義をまったく理解していませんでしたが。。。(汗)

Google、大規模人工ニューロンネットワークを用いた研究成果を紹介
2012/06/27
鈴木 英子=ニューズフロント

米Googleは現地時間2012年6月26日、同社研究チームの機械学習技術に関する研究成果を紹介した。脳をシミュレーションする大規模ネットワークを用いた新たな手法により、コンピュータが猫を認識する能力を自ら身につけることに成功したという。

 現在、機械学習技術を新用途に適用させるにはたいへんな作業を必要とし、例えば車とバイクの写真を区別できるシステムを構築しようとする場合、標準的な手法ではまず「車」あるいは「バイク」のラベルを付けた多数の写真を集めなければならない。そしてこれらラベル付けしたデータを使ってシステムをトレーニングする。

 しかしGoogleは、Web上や「YouTube」ビデオから無作為に画像を収集し、人間の脳などの神経回路網の学習プロセスをシミュレーションする人工ニューラルネットワークを構築してトレーニングした。

前置きが随分と長くなりましたがようやくNatureのDeep Learningの紹介記事です。2500語を超える記事ですので、機械学習に興味がない人にとっては長く感じてしまうでしょうか。Deep Learningの変遷から、音声認識や画像認識での最近の成果、そして、製薬研究開発への応用について分かりやすく説明してくれています。課題や違ったアプローチにも触れてくれています。

このDeep Learningは我々が使っている自然言語の理解に役立てることが期待されている分野でもあるようです。また、製薬の研究開発にDeep Learningによるパターン認識が使われているようです。

Computer science: The learning machines
Using massive amounts of data to recognize photos and speech, deep-learning computers are taking a big step towards true artificial intelligence.
Nicola Jones, 08 January 2014

Words checked = [2400]
Words in Oxford 3000™ = [89%]

With triumphs in hand for image and speech recognition, there is now increasing interest in applying deep learning to natural-language understanding — comprehending human discourse well enough to rephrase or answer questions, for example — and to translation from one language to another. Again, these are currently done using hand-coded rules and statistical analysis of known text. The state-of-the-art of such techniques can be seen in software such as Google Translate, which can produce results that are comprehensible (if sometimes comical) but nowhere near as good as a smooth human translation. “Deep learning will have a chance to do something much better than the current practice here,” says crowd-sourcing expert Luis von Ahn, whose company Duolingo, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, relies on humans, not computers, to translate text. “The one thing everyone agrees on is that it's time to try something different.”

Deep science
In the meantime, deep learning has been proving useful for a variety of scientific tasks. “Deep nets are really good at finding patterns in data sets,” says Hinton. In 2012, the pharmaceutical company Merck offered a prize to whoever could beat its best programs for helping to predict useful drug candidates. The task was to trawl through database entries on more than 30,000 small molecules, each of which had thousands of numerical chemical-property descriptors, and to try to predict how each one acted on 15 different target molecules. Dahl and his colleagues won $22,000 with a deep-learning system. “We improved on Merck's baseline by about 15%,” he says.

久保さんもDeep Learningを時代遅れの方法だったと語っていたように、人間の脳に似せることが機械学習で最良の方法かどうかは異論があるようです。よく使われる例で、「飛行機は鳥を真似たものではない」というのがありますが、ここでも反対者は飛行機の例をあげています。

Not all researchers are so committed to the idea. Oren Etzioni, director of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle, which launched last September with the aim of developing AI, says he will not be using the brain for inspiration. “It's like when we invented flight,” he says; the most successful designs for aeroplanes were not modelled on bird biology. Etzioni's specific goal is to invent a computer that, when given a stack of scanned textbooks, can pass standardized elementary-school science tests (ramping up eventually to pre-university exams). To pass the tests, a computer must be able to read and understand diagrams and text. How the Allen Institute will make that happen is undecided as yet — but for Etzioni, neural networks and deep learning are not at the top of the list.

機械学習と一口にいってもアプローチに大きな違いがあるようですね。

ちなみに日経コンピュータの特集は以下のようになっています。

「機械学習」革命
的中したビル・ゲイツの予言
2014/01/08
出典:2014年1月9日号  

「自ら学習するマシンを生み出すことには、マイクロソフト10社分の価値がある」。
米マイクロソフトの創業者ビル・ゲイツ氏は今から10年前の2004年2月にこう語った。
その時は来た。
米グーグルや米アップル、米フェイスブックといった先進IT企業は今、コンピュータがデータの中から知識やルールを自動的に獲得する「機械学習」の技術を駆使し、様々なイノベーションを生み出し始めている。
これらは来たる機械学習革命の、ほんの序章に過ぎない。
機械学習の本質は、知性を実現する「アルゴリズム」を人間の行動パターンから自動生成することにある。
この事実が持つ意味は、果てしなく大きい。
今後、実社会における様々な領域で「人間の頭脳を持つプログラム」が登場する一方、データの中から知識やルールを見つけ出したり、プログラムを開発したりするデータサイエンティストやプログラマーの仕事が、機械に置き換えられてしまうからだ。
機械学習は社会や企業にどんな革命をもたらし、IT関係者の役割や活動の場はどう変わるのか。
猛スピードで進行する革命の本質に迫る。

(中田 敦)

◆part1 嘆く天才プログラマー
◆part2 常識破りの9事例
◆part3 危機を好機に、五つの未来

この記事は定期購読者のみの閲覧ですので、引用は最小限にしたいと思います。興味がある方は紀伊国屋書店など大きな書店で売っていますので、お買い求めください。

機械学習の弱点として「学習していない事象には対応できない」「苦手とするタスクがある」「データが無いと学習できない」という3つを挙げていました。苦手なタスクとは、以下のようなものです。TOEICでいうとパラフレーズ問題になるでしょうか。

国立情報学研究所(NII)社会共有知研究センター長の新井紀子教授は、「表現が異なる二つの文章の意味が同じかどうかを判断する『含意関係認識』なども機械学習は苦手とする」と述べる。合意関係認識は、意味の推論や文章の要約などの際に必要となる技術だ。新井教授は「機械には何ができて、何ができないかを見極めることも、人間にとっての重要な仕事だ」と語る。

しつこいようですが、AI開発にはアプローチの違いがあったり、弱点の克服という課題があったりして、すぐにバラ色の未来が開けるということではなさそうです。

以下はDeep Learningの自分メモです。

プレゼン資料

(Wikipedia)
Deep Learning
Deep learning is a set of algorithms in machine learning that attempt to learn in multiple levels of representation, corresponding to different levels of abstraction. It typically uses artificial neural networks. The levels in these learned statistical models correspond to distinct levels of concepts, where higher-level concepts are defined from lower-level ones, and the same lower-level concepts can help to define many higher-level concepts.[1]

Deep learning is part of a broader family of machine learning methods based on learning representations. An observation (e.g., an image) can be represented in many ways (e.g., a vector of pixels), but some representations make it easier to learn tasks of interest (e.g., is this the image of a human face?) from examples, and research in this area attempts to define what makes better representations and how to learn them.

Some of the most successful deep learning methods involve artificial neural networks. Deep Learning Neural Networks date back at least to the 1980 Neocognitron by Kunihiko Fukushima.[2] Ronan Collobert has said that "deep learning is just a buzzword for neural nets".[3] On the other hand, many recent research results demonstrate superior learning abilities of neural nets with more layers than the traditional single hidden layer that was the norm before the invention of deep belief networks in 2006.
 

Silicon VallyからSilicon Alleyへ?

 


IBM、人工知能「ワトソン」の専門部署を設立
ウォール・ストリート・ジャーナル 1月10日(金)8時23分配信
 IBMは、人工知能「ワトソン」を専門に手掛ける部門を創設し、関連アプリケーション開発に資金を投じる1億ドルのベンチャー投資ファンドを設立する。有望視されながら遅々としていたワトソンの事業化努力を加速する考えだ。

 新設するワトソン部門には10億ドル(1050億円)余りを投資する計画で、ベンチャー投資ファンドの立ち上げはその一部。ワトソンに関わる従業員数も、現在の数百人から2000人以上へ増やす。ワトソンのさまざまな利用法を指南するコンサルタントと営業担当者を中心に新規採用を行う。

今回のニュースはパブリシティに近い感じですが、特設サイトを設けたり、ワトソン関連のYoutube動画をいくつもアップしたりと、IBMが本腰を入れて取り組もうとしているのが伺えます。

(IBMのワトソン特設サイト)
Watson is open for business.
Say hi to Silicon Alley’s newest techie.

拠点をニューヨークに置くようなのでSilicon Alleyと呼んでいます。カリフォルニア州のシリコンバレーに対抗して、ニューヨークでのIT企業はシリコンアレーとするのは90年代後半ぐらいから目にしています。ロングマンやオックスフォードの学習辞典にはありませんでしたが、ネイティブ向けの辞書コリンズは載せています。

(コリンズ)
Silicon Alley
noun
an area of New York City in which industries associated with information technology are concentrated



1月9日にはワトソン関連で一日で3つのプレスリリースを出しています。

IBM Forms New Watson Group to Meet Growing Demand for Cognitive Innovations
Headquartered in NYC's "Silicon Alley," New IBM Watson Group to Include Watson Innovation Hub, Fueling New Products and Start-ups
Watson Group Introduces New Cloud Solutions to Accelerate Research, Visualize Big Data and Enable Analytics Exploration
************
IBM Watson Group Unveils Cloud-Delivered Watson Services to Transform Industrial R&D, Visualize Big Data Insights and Fuel Analytics Exploration

************
DBS Bank Engages IBM’s Watson to Achieve Next Generation Client Experience
Collaboration to leverage Big Data and cognitive computing solutions to transform customer experience and shape future of banking

日経も雑誌『ビッグデータ』を創刊するようですし、ビッグデータ関連が普及の段階に入っていくのでしょうか。ただ、コーパス分析をしただけでも自然言語処理はそれほどバラ色な結果をもたらすものでないと経験上感じています(普段感じていたことを追認することが多く。知らなかったことをたくさん学べる機会は稀だったりします)。

先ほどのウォールストリートジャーナルの記事は売り上げが期待通りに伸びていないことも指摘しています。まだ最適な使い方を見出せていないようですから、どのようなかたちで社会に定着していくのかは、まだこれからのような気もします。
 

(小ネタ)カタカナ英語を克服

 


かぐや姫の紹介で見つけた小ネタです。Metropolisの映画紹介のところで、mansionという言葉が出てきました。

Kaguya Hime no Monogatari
Folk tale inspired anime by Studio Ghibli founder

By: Rob Schwartz & Rob Schwartz | Dec 5, 2013 | Issue: 1028 | No Comments | 429 views

The Studio Ghibli franchise is mostly associated with superstar director Hayao Miyazaki, but the filmmaker formed the studio back in 1985 with another renowned auteur, Isao Takahata. Takahata was nearly as prolific as Miyazaki for a number of years but hasn’t made a feature since 1999—until now. His latest is a wonderfully crafted fairytale piece based on the ancient Japanese story, the Tale of Princess Kaguya. Okina (Takeo Chii), an elderly forester, finds a glowing bamboo stalk in the woods and is shocked to discover a tiny girl inside (Aki Asakura), which the befuddled man takes home to wife Ouna (Nobuko Miyamoto). Reminiscent of both Miyazaki and Japanese folk tales in general, the girl shapeshifts into a baby that the couple feel obliged to raise. She grows at a flabbergasting rate and as she matures Okina finds treasures and gold in the forest. Newly rich, the couple give their daughter a mansion and servants but the girl yearns for the rough and common neighborhood of her parents’ poor birth. Aristocrats court her to no avail and even the Emperor cannot win her. The denouement reveals her otherworldly heritage. Charming, poetic and evocative, Takahata has reached into Japanese lore for a winner. English title: The Tale of Princess Kaguya. (137 min)


かぐや姫が都会に出てきて住んだお屋敷のことをmansionと呼んでいます。

Newly rich, the couple give their daughter a mansion and servants but the girl yearns for the rough and common neighborhood of her parents’ poor birth.

日本語のマンションと英語のmansionは使い方が違うことは、英語学習者なら一回は聞いているネタですが、今回のような使い方を見て改めて実感できました。

(オックスフォード)
mansion
a large impressive house
the governor's mansion


(ルミナス英和)
mansion
大邸宅、 やかた
【日英比較】 日本でいう「マンション」に当たる英語はふつう 《米》 apartment, 《英》 flat. やや高級な分譲マンションは condominium (《略式》 condo) ともいう.

日本のものを英語を通して知ることで、改めて実感できることがあるのですね。

たまたま図書館で川上弘美さんの『センセイの鞄』の英訳Briefcaseがあったので借りて読んでいます。野球のジャイアンツの話やパチンコをする話などのディテールの表現にもついつい目がいってしまいます。


The BriefcaseThe Briefcase
(2012/04/10)
Hiromi Kawakami

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このBriefcaseは、残念ながら受賞には至りませんが2012年のMan Asian Literary Prizeにノミネートされました。

 

技術の正体

 

対訳 技術の正体 The True Nature of Technology対訳 技術の正体 The True Nature of Technology
(2013/11/08)
木田 元

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アマゾンでは売り切れになってしまっていますが、ジュンク堂池袋ではまだたくさん売っていました。正直、文明論をしたり顔で語るのは苦手です。眉間にしわを寄せて、遠くを見ながら「あの日がすべてを変えてしまった」のようなことはどうしてもできないのです。そもそも今回の原発の発端は、技術そのものに内在する問題というよりは、電源は何とかなるんではないかという人間の甘い見積りという程度の低い問題の気がしますし。。。


技術への問い (平凡社ライブラリー)技術への問い (平凡社ライブラリー)
(2013/11/12)
マルティン ハイデッガー

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それに、展開している技術論を真剣に考えるならハイデガーの『技術への問い』を読んだ方がいいでしょう。そもそも木田先生の技術論そのものがハイデガーの考え方から着想を得たものでしょうから。そういうことで、『対訳 技術の正体』の技術論はそれほど興味をひかれなかったのですが、若者向けの短いエッセイ2本が気に入ったので買ってしまいました。訳者のエメリックさんの英訳にも興味がありましたので。。。

春の旅立ち「風の色」
どうやら旅立ちといったものには、旅立つ自分は恵まれている、残る人たちに申しわけない、という意識がつきまとうものらしい。「後ろめたさ」は、そうした意識にともなうぼんやりした感情ではないだろうか。
そうだとすると、いま旅立とうとしている若い人たちにも、その後ろめたい気持ちをいつまでも忘れないでいてほしい、と言いたい気がする。

Perhaps such guilt is just a part of every such
embarkation: we feel fortunate to be setting out
on a journey ourselves, and feel that we are betraying those we leave behind. The blurred sense
of guilt we feel is a byproduct of that awareness.
Assuming that's true, I find myself wanting to
tell all the young people embarking on then
own journeys today to hold on to the guilt they
feel, and never let themselves forget it.


ふたたび廃墟に立って
いままた震災後の廃墟の映像を眼にし、82歳になった私にはもうなにもできそうもないが、かつてのあの旅立ちのころのことをまざまざと思い出している。あのころ、これ以上ないほど貧しかったが、なにも欲しくなかった。廃墟に立って、ただ自分が何者なのかを見きわめたいとだけ、烈(はげ)しく思っていたことを覚えている。

When I see the images of the ruins this latest
natural disaster has left in its wake, I realize that
at the age of eighty-two there is nothing much I
can do to contribute, and yet I find myself
besieged by memories of that period w hen I set
out on my own journey into the ruins. I was as
poor as poor can be then, but I wanted nothing.
I was inspired, as I stood facing the ruins, only
by the fierce desire to look hard at myself, and
to see what was there.



木田元先生は哲学者というより哲学紹介者という方ですし、話すことはいつも闇屋からドストエフスキーに出会ったことばかりですが、その覚悟の決め方はすごみがありますね。なぜだが分からないのですが、頑張っている俺アピールの人よりも「後ろめたさ」を持って何かに取り組んでいる人の方に心がひかれるようです。以前紹介した、安部公房の『終わり道の標べに』の冒頭の言葉しかり、アンジェリーナジョリーのスピーチしかり。。。

亡き友に
記念碑を建てよう。
何度でも、繰り返し、
故郷の友を殺し続けるために……。

To a Dead Friend: I shall build a monument, in order to kill my home town friends, again and again forever…

終った所から始めた旅に、終わりはない。墓の中の誕生のことを語らねばならぬ。何故に人間はかく在らねばならぬのか?……。

For the journey which begins where it ends, there is no finish, I must speak of the birth which comes within the grave. Why must people live in this way?



We are all, everyone in this room, so fortunate. I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that I had to have this path in life and why, across the world, there's a woman just like me, the same abilities, the same desires, the same work ethic and love for her family who would most likely make better films than me — better speeches.
この部屋にいる皆さんはとても恵まれています。どうしても分からないことがあります。このような人生を送れる機会に恵まれているほど幸運な人がいる中で、世界には、私と同じような女性います。同じ能力、同じ希望、同じ仕事の取り組み、家族への愛情があり、きっと、私よりもいい映画を作り、いいスピーチをできることでしょう。

Only she sits in a refugee camp. She has no voice. She worries about what her children will eat, how to keep them safe and if they'll ever be allowed to return home. I don't know why this is my life and that's hers. I don’t understand that. But I will do as my mother asked and I will do the best I can with this life to be of use. And to stand here today means that I did as she asked. If she were alive, she would be proud. Thank you for that.
ただ、彼女は難民キャンプで過ごしているのです。彼女の声は届きません。日々心配していることは、子供に何を食べさせようか、子供の安全を守るにはどうしたらいいか、子供たちが故郷に戻ることができるかどうかなどです。どうしてか分かりません、私がこのような人生を送り、彼女があのような人生を送っているのか、わかりません。でも、私は母が求めたことをしていこうと思います。この人生でできうる限りの最高のことをして役立てていこうと思います。今日この場にいることは、母が求めたことを実行できたことであります。母が生きていたら、誇りに思ってくれたでしょう。どうもありがとうございました。

薄い本ですが、対訳形式で現在トップクラスの翻訳者であるエメリックさんの英訳が読めますから、英語学習に役立てようとすれば十分もとがとれると思います。
 

(勝手に予想)IPテストは廃止になるか?

 
TOEIC教師やTOEICマニアの方々はすでに気づいているのでしょうけど、TOEICで過去問を出すということはその過去問をIPテストで使えないということになりますね。ということは、もし過去問を継続的に売り出すことになれば、IPテストは廃止せざるをえなくなりますね。

韓国ではIPが盛んでないので受験者数が少ないから、過去問発売の決断ができたのでしょうか。日本では100万人を超えるIP受験者がいるのですから、過去問が次々に発売されるとIP試験の正当性・妥当性が崩れることになりますよね。特に韓国の問題が日本のIPで使われるという噂もあるくらいですから。。。

もし韓国でIPテストの取り扱いが中止されるとなると、今後の過去問は積極的に売り出されるということになるのではないでしょうか。もし過去問が受験者の回答データと合わせて発売されるようになれば、歓迎すべき動向になりますね。

 

あみだババアとAmida

 


ネタバレ恐縮ですが、映画かぐや姫の物語のラストシーンは、阿弥陀二十五菩薩来迎図に影響を受けているのではというブログ記事を見つけたので、早速観にいってきました。1月13日までなのでギリギリ間に合ってよかったです。

3.イメージの展開 ― 聖衆(しょうじゅ)来迎像へ ―
平安時代の後期になると、極楽往生への強い願いのもと、臨終時に阿弥陀如来および聖衆が浄土から迎えにやってくる「来迎」の思想が急速に普及しました。それに伴い、来迎を表現した美術が盛行します。そこに見る菩薩聖衆の姿は、奏楽しながら思い思いに舞い、浄土図における飛天および奏楽菩薩と共通するものです。その意味で、来迎の菩薩聖衆は飛天のイメージを引き継ぐものと言えます。本章では、華やかな舞と、妙なる音楽が満ちる来迎の表現を、彫刻・絵画作品に見ていきます。

3. Development of the Hiten: Divine Attendants of the Amida’s Descent
By the latter half of the Heian period, the deeply held desire to be reborn into paradise brought about the rapid spread of belief in a “coming of Amida” in which the Amida Nyorai and various sublime bodhisattva attendants descended to this world to receive a person into the Pure Land paradise on his deathbed. This belief inspired paintings and sculptures depicting the descent of Amida attended by bodhisattvas. Their brilliant dancing and exquisite music-filled figures surely gave strength to those who hoped to be reborn and at the same time served as assurance of the pleasures of rebirth into the next life. The Hiten and bodhisattvas, which originally should have supposedly been different kinds of beings in the Pure Land, both worshipped and served the Nyorai and both drifted through the air on floating clouds, grew more and more alike. Hiten also evolved into members of Amida’s entourage along with the bodhisattva attendants and took after the 25 bodhisattvas that were believed to accompany Amida in his descent to welcome the spirits of the dead. In addition, the clouds that had long been associated with Hiten became a convention for expressing movement through space. This section follows the development of the image of the Hiten through paintings of Amida’s descent as well as through sculptural representations

しょうもないタイトルをつけて申し訳ないと思いますが、これからご説明します(汗)。この美術館は英語の音声ガイドもあるということで、早速試してみました。ナレーターはTOEIC模試でもおなじみのクリス・コプロスキーさんでした。

英語音声のおかげで、日本美術をまた違った雰囲気で鑑賞できましたが、一点気になったのは阿弥陀の英語読みでした。上記の説明ではAmidaで通していますが、コプロスキーさんはAmitabhaと読まれていました。どうやら英語ではAmitabhaとなるようですね。コリンズもJapanese name: Amidaとわざわざ書いてあるのでAmidaは日本でしか通じない感じです。でも、Amitabhaだと、ひょうきん族が流行した世代なので、どうしてもAmitabhaが阿弥陀に聞こえなくて困りました(苦笑)

(コリンズ)
Amitabha
(Buddhism) (in Pure Land sects) a Bodhisattva who presides over a Pure Land in the west of the universe
Japanese name: Amida


英語ガイドを提供している美術館がどれほどあるのかわかりませんが、あればどんどん試していきたいです。
プロフィール

Yuta

Author:Yuta
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