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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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Loss of innocence

 
日曜日のJapan Times書評欄がいいのは、日本関連本を必ず紹介してくれていることですね。Asia WeekやFar Easter Economic Reviewなど、アジアに特化した雑誌がない今、このような日本関連本の書評は本当に助かります。


3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan
(2013/04/02)
Richard J. Samuels

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今週は311後の政治と社会の状況を分析した本が紹介されていました。本を読まなくても、参院選を控えた今、このような書評を読むことは参考になるでしょうし、国連英検の面接対策にも貢献するかもしれません。

BOOKS / REVIEWS
Letting opportunity slip away
BY JEFF KINGSTON JUL 6, 2013
So why hasn’t March 11, 2011, been the game-changer that many anticipated? Richard Samuels’ masterful account of Japan’s policy responses to its greatest crisis since World War II explains why continuity has trumped change. But maybe, just maybe, it hasn’t, as he also reminds us that the consequences are still unfolding.

Crisis creates opportunity, but Japan’s politicians and mandarins let this one slip away as they resumed old battles under new guises. Samuels focuses on three policy areas — national security, energy and local government — and analyzes the competing narratives that emerged as policymakers hijacked the crisis to bolster their preferred agendas.

Metropolisで紹介されていた『春の城』の英訳本も取り上げられていました。人生の意義を見出せない若者が主人公のようです。


Citadel in SpringCitadel in Spring
(2013/02/28)
Hiroyuki Agawa

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Loss of innocence in war for a youth looking for some meaning
BY DAVID COZY JUL 6, 2013
Koji Obata, the protagonist of Hiroyuki Agawa’s novel, tends not to feel strongly about things. He is, however, convinced that this detachment is an aspect of his character that he’d like to change. Early in the novel he decides that “he [is] looking for something he could confront openly, something — immoral or not — that could really engage his emotions.” He has this realization after a couple of visits to prostitutes convince him that casual sex will not give him the emotional frisson he seeks.

出身が広島なので、終戦がどういう風に終わるのか、読者はすぐに想像できそうですが、どういう風にこの若者が受け止めたのか、興味深いところです。

With the bombing of Hiroshima we move from China, where Koji is based, to the city where Koji’s parents, friends and the girl who loves him, live. Here Agawa jettisons the detachment that Koji is, perhaps, only able to maintain because he is not at home for the bombing.

We get the horrific images that are inevitable in such accounts: “a school girl, her face deathly white and her eyebrows burned away; a soldier, the skin of his face peeling off and dangling in the air like a dust mop turned on end; a woman, her face scorched charcoal black, vomiting blood.” The quieter details Agawa evokes, however, make a deeper impression than the horrors. We learn, for example, that in the wake of the bombing, mosquito nets are unnecessary: “[T]here were … no mosquitoes flying about that night. Perhaps they had been killed off too.”

“I grew up in the midst of war,” Koji realizes toward the end of “Citadel.” In his portrait of Koji, Agawa shows us what such an upbringing — unheroic and inglorious — does.

この書評に使われていたLoss of innocenceですが、ウィキペディアには以下のような説明がありました。It is often seen as an integral part of coming of ageと大人になるために不可欠なものとみなされるようです。

(ウィキペディア)
Loss of innocence
A "loss of innocence" is a common theme in fiction, pop culture, and realism. It is often seen as an integral part of coming of age. It is usually thought of as an experience or period in a child's life that widens their awareness of evil, pain or suffering in the world around them. Examples of this theme include the song "American Pie"[4] and the novels To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, and Lord of the Flies.




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