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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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今週のJapan Times書評

 
毎週日曜日のJapan Times書評を楽しみにしています。Daughters of the Samuraiというタイトルを見て、安っぽい日本趣味の小説家何かと思ったのですが、津田うめ、山川捨松、永井しげの岩倉使節団の女性たちを描いたもので、ご自身の日本での体験も反映された本のようです。

The ‘Daughters of the Samurai’ who changed the face of Meiji Era Japan
BY JAMES HADFIELD
SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES
MAY 23, 2015

Tsuda College, occupying a leafy campus in the western suburbs of Tokyo, is a private college where female students are educated in languages and the liberal arts. In one corner of the site, overshadowed by the stately trees that surround it, lies the final resting place of Umeko Tsuda, an early pioneer of women’s education in Japan who founded the college in 1900.

Most Japanese schoolchildren will be familiar with the story of Tsuda, who was dispatched to the U.S. for a decade-long immersion in Western culture at the tender age of six. Less well known are the tales of the other girls who accompanied her on the Iwakura Mission that began in 1871 — a high point in Japan’s early diplomatic forays overseas during the Meiji Era (1868-1912).


米国アマゾンの作者のページで本の紹介動画を見ることができます。

津田梅子くらいしか知らなかったのですが山川捨松という人もすごかったんですね。名門女子大学Vassar Collegeで学士をとっていたなんてすごいです。

May 19, 2015
BOOKS
‘Daughters of the Samurai’ Sheds Light on a Strange Chapter in U.S.-Japanese History

By BARBARA CHAI

Of the three girls, does Sutematsu’s story stand out?
In many ways Sutematsu traveled the greatest distance of the three. She was one of the last to live within the rhythms and rituals of a traditional samurai family; she spent her childhood in the shadow of an ancient castle in the north of Japan; she survived the last battle of the 1868 civil war that toppled the shogun—and then suddenly she was thrust into Gilded Age America. She came of age in Alice Bacon’s liberal-minded New Haven family and graduated from Vassar College, the first Japanese woman to earn a bachelor’s degree. Then she returned to Japan and made the difficult decision to forgo a teaching career and marry a powerful man—the emperor’s minister of war—and turned her considerable intellectual strengths to making change from behind the scenes, constrained for the rest of her life by the rigid etiquette of the Japanese elite. I found her story almost unbearably poignant.


このWSJのインタビュー記事で他に興味深かった部分は以下です。

What lessons could be gleaned from their experience, that resonate with today’s culture of globalization?
We tend to think of globalization as a recent phenomenon. In the course of my research, I was struck over and over by the intrepid spirit and extraordinary open-mindedness of so many of the people in this story: the Japanese ambassadors who fanned out across the globe to gather information on Western technology and ideas; the American families who were eager to embrace these Japanese girls; and Alice Bacon herself, who after a year spent in Tokyo, commented, “The word ‘civilization’ is so difficult to define and to understand, that I do not know what it means now as well as I did when I left home.”
Having said that, what is particular about Japanese-American relations that makes the girls’ story more extraordinary?
Many commentators note a pendulum swing in Japan’s attitude toward the West, with periods of marked openness followed by conservative reaction. During the 1870s, Japan lunged avidly toward all things Western; it was this enthusiasm that launched the girls on their journey. But by the time they returned, in the early 1880s, reaction was setting in, and their fluency in English and Western manners was not embraced as eagerly as they had expected. Despite this dismaying shift, these young women still managed to make significant and lasting contributions to the progress of women’s education in Japan.
Is there still a gulf between tradition and Western culture in Japan, in your view, or between women and men in Japanese culture?
There is indeed. Part of the reason this story resonated so strongly with me from the start was my own experience when I moved to Tokyo, two years out of college and newly married. I was startled and frustrated by the automatic assumption that my husband would have a career and I would stay home—I remember one gentleman telling me that my role was “to be a harbor.” Today, even as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls for Japanese women to join the workforce and rescue the flagging Japanese economy, these women struggle to find adequate childcare and are expected to assume full responsibility for the care of aging parents.


Alice Mabel Baconの『日本の内側』という本をたまたま図書館でみつけたことが執筆のきっかけだったと語っています。

(Wikipedia)
アリス・メイベル・ベーコン(Alice Mabel Bacon、1858年 - 1918年5月1日)は、アメリカ人女性教育者。父はコネチカット州 ニューヘイブンの牧師であったレオナルド・ベーコン、母はキャサリン。キャサリンは後妻で、アリスは14人兄弟の末娘であった。
父・レオナルドは牧師のほかイェール大学神学校の教師も務め、南北戦争の時、いち早く奴隷制に反対する論陣を張るなど、人望が厚く地元の名士であった。子沢山であったため生活は非常に苦しかったという。1872年、日本から来た女子留学生の下宿先を探していた森有礼の申し出に応じて山川捨松を引き取ったのは日本政府から支払われる多額の謝礼が目当てであったといわれる。しかし、レオナルド夫妻は捨松を娘同様に扱い、特に年齢の近かったアリスとは姉妹のように過ごした。


アリスベーコンの本はどちらもネットで読むことができます。

日本の内側

日本の女性

『日本の女性』には捨松への献辞がついています。

To
STEMATZ, THE MARCHIONESS OYAMA,
IN THE NAME OF OUR GIRLHOOD’S FRIENDSHIP, UNCHANGED AND
UNSHAKEN BY THE CHANGES AND SEPARATIONS OF OUR
MARURE YEARS,
THIS VOLUME
IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED


津田梅子の英語教科書『女子大正りーだず. 第4巻』も近代ライブラリーで読めるんですよね。基本日本語はなく、英語のみの読本になっていますが、最後の付録としてある「舌切り雀」だけは日本語の語注が付いています。

今のところこの本のKindle版がないみたいので、しばらく様子をみたいと思いますが、明治の人たちがどのように英語に向き合ったのか興味があるので、本自体は読んでみたいです。
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Yuta

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