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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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MONKEY Vol.4 ◆ ジャック・ロンドン 新たに(柴田元幸責任編集)MONKEY Vol.4 ◆ ジャック・ロンドン 新たに(柴田元幸責任編集)
(2014/10/15)
柴田元幸

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Monkeyのジャックロンドン特集で日本についての説明がありました。

Japan 日本
ロンドンと日本にはさまざまな縁がある。船乗りになって最初に行ったのが小笠原諸島、横浜であり、初めて活字になった作品「日本沖合の台風の話」(一八九三→M)をはじめ、初期作品には、日本とその周辺の海を舞台とするものがいくつかある。(後略)

上記で触れている記念すべき活字デビュー作は題名こそ日本がついていますが、それだけでした。。。

STORY OF A TYPHOON
OFF THE COAST OF JAPAN

(First published in San Francisco Morning Call, November 11, 1893)
By Jack London
"The first article Jack London wrote for publication. It won first prize in a contest for local authors run by the San Francisco Call. The success of this first article was to be the spark which eventually ignited all of Jack's latent creative genius."


ジャック・ロンドン多人種もの傑作短篇選ジャック・ロンドン多人種もの傑作短篇選
(2011/01)
ジャック ロンドン

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「小笠原諸島にて̶̶ 一八九三年、アザラシ狩り船隊の一件」とう短編もあり上記の本に収載されているのですが、英語の原作をサイトでは見つけることができませんでした。もう一つの「人力車夫堺長と妻君と、二人の息子の話」は以下のように全編が読めます。1500語というとても短いもので、物語が展開するというよりも、横浜訪問時の一エピソードという感じでした。

SAKAICHO, HONA ASI AND HAKADAKI
Source: Oakland High School literary magazine, Aegis, (19 April 1895)

Words checked = [1559]
Words in Oxford 3000™ = [84%]

According to Japanese custom, Hona Asi did not eat with us, but waited on the table as a true wife should. She removed the covering from a round wooden box, and with a wooden paddle ladled out two bowls of steaming rice, while Sakaicho uncovered the various bowls on the table and revealed a repast fit for the most fastidious epicure. The savory odors arising from different dishes whetted my appetite, and I was anxious to begin. There was bean soup, boiled fish, stewed leeks, pickles and soy, raw fish, thin sliced and eaten with radishes, kurage, a kind of jellyfish, and tea. The soup we drank like water; the rice we shoveled into our mouths like coals into a Newcastle collier; and the other dishes we both helped ourselves out of with the chopsticks, which by this time I could use quite dexterously. Several times during the meal we laid them aside long enough to sip warm saki (rice wine) from tiny lacquered cups.

19世紀後半ですでにアイスクリームがあったのに少し驚いたのと、旅行客として日本を訪問したせいかI had found the Japanese a shrewd, money-seeking raceとお金にがめつい印象を日本人に対して持っているのが気になりました。イザベラバードなんかは誠実な日本人が多いことを書いてくれているのと対照的です。

By the time we concluded Hona Asi had brought from the little shop round the corner two glasses of ice cream, which she placed before us with a porcelain jar full of green plums, packed in salt. When we had done justice to this, we had resort to the inevitable hilbachi and tabako-bon, presumably to aid digestion.

As a rule, I had found the Japanese a shrewd, money-seeking race; but when, as a matter-of-course, I took out my purse to pay the reckoning, Sakaicho was insulted, while, in the background, Hona Asi threw up her hands deprecatingly, blushed, and nearly fainted with shame. They gave me to understand very emphatically that it was their treat, and I was forced to accept it, though I knew they could ill afford such extravagance.


同じ時期の短編も横浜が舞台です。当時はまだ江戸湾と読んでいたのでしょうか。日本が急速に西洋化している点に触れているところです。

A NIGHT'S SWIM IN YEDDO BAY
By Jack London
Source: Oakland High School literary magazine, Aegis, (27 May 1895)

Words checked = [2388]
Words in Oxford 3000™ = [86%]

"They're always longing to be, as they call it, Europeanized or Americanized. They're only too quick to discard their old habits and way of doing things for the newer and more improved customs and methods of ours. Why, take the simple matter of dress, for instance. From the lowest beggar in the street to the highest dignitary in the land, they all want to be European in their dress. Pretty near all that can afford it dress like us, and sometimes those who can't put themselves to pretty shifts in order to do so.

10年後の日露戦争時は戦争取材に朝鮮半島に行っているようですね。その時に書かれたのがこちらのエッセイ。人口の多さから中国の脅威を書きながら、国家と宗教が一体となっている日本の特異性を語っています。

The Yellow Peril
Jack London


Words checked = [4125]
Words in Oxford 3000™ = [86%]

The religion of Japan is practically a worship of the State itself. Patriotism is the expression of this worship. The Japanese mind does not split hairs as to whether the Emperor is Heaven incarnate or the State incarnate. So far as the Japanese are concerned, the Emperor lives, is himself deity. The Emperor is the object to live for and to die for. The Japanese is not an individualist. He has developed national consciousness instead of moral consciousness. He is not interested in his own moral welfare except in so far as it is the welfare of the State. The honor of the individual, per se, does not exist. Only exists the honor of the State, which is his honor. He does not look upon himself as a free agent, working out his own personal salvation. Spiritual agonizing is unknown to him. He has a "sense of calm trust in fate, a quiet submission to the inevitable, a stoic composure in sight of danger or calamity, a disdain of life and friendliness with death." He relates himself to the State as, amongst bees, the worker is related to the hive; himself nothing, the State everything; his reasons for existence the exaltation and glorification of the State.

The most admired quality to-day of the Japanese is his patriotism. The Western world is in rhapsodies over it, unwittingly measuring the Japanese patriotism by its own conceptions of patriotism. "For God, my country, and the Czar!" cries the Russian patriot; but in the Japanese mind there is no differentiation between the three. The Emperor is the Emperor, and God and country as well. The patriotism of the Japanese is blind and unswerving loyalty to what is practically an absolutism. The Emperor can do no wrong, nor can the five ambitious great men who have his ear and control the destiny of Japan.


ジャックロンドンは「野生の叫び声」ぐらいしか知らなかったですが、本当にいろいろと書きまくっていたのですね。ちょっとジャックロンドンからはずれますが、日露戦争時に国家宗教的な日本が英国に与えた影響は興味ぶかいです。

日露戦争期の英国における武士道と柔術の流行
橋本 順光
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