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Témoignage visuel du vieillissement rural au Japon

image extraite du livre de M. Kajii

Cela peut ressembler, aux yeux des citadins, à un univers parallèle - un monde moyenâgeux et décalé - et pourtant il n'en est rien. Cette scène aux accents anachroniques se passe de nos jours dans les campagnes japonaises oubliées du Monde Moderne. On y perçoit le côté obscur du Japon d'aujourd'hui - un des pays les plus développés en termes d'infrastructures et des plus technologiquement avancés. Un pays fait de mégalopoles qui n'aiment pas trop regarder du côté de ce parent pauvre que sont les campagnes où des personnes à l'âge plus que vénérables perpétuent - faute de moyens - des techniques agraires désuètes - sans se plaindre - dans le silence et l'oubli.

Aging villages in dire need of attention

image from the book of M. Kajii

It may look like an unfamiliar parallel universe for many city dwellers.  But, this is REAL.  You can see how the countryside of Japan, one of the world's most materially developed country, looks like and how older people continue farming practices.

You see, living in a remote rural village is not easy.  Rural elders have to do everything by themselves.  They have to shovel the snow in winter, prepare their own meals, heat the evening bath, etc.  Rural people are hardy souls as they need to be.  The next photo shows a septuagenarian or octogenarian granny, who is probabaly suffering osteoporosis, though she continues hard toil.  But, what if she becomes a housebound?

 

証言「限界集落」

梶井氏と出版社から許可をえた写真複製より

「限界集落」というタイトルの本が最近、出版された。本の帯の「いいのか日本?」という言葉が示唆するように、過疎問題は今や社会施策の問題だけでなく、モラルの問題であるとも言える。「これでいいはずが、ない」と我々の倫理観に問いかける、地域格差や世代、職業格差の問題。過疎に関する英文記事を2月に書いたが、これからは日本語でも考察し、論議していきたい。

過疎地の写真を見て、あなたならどう感じるだろうか。

今回、「限界集落」の写真や日本の山村の写真を、欧州人の友人たちに見せた。「クール、クール(かっこいい!!)」と いう反応が返ってきた。こんな深山に寝袋を持っていってキャンプをしたい、訪ねてみたい、住んでみたいという。「はあーなるほどね」。

Money makes the world go round, world go round, world go round ... or Dirty cash

There is one interesting subject I was thinking of for a while now. At a first glance, one could say that the discussion around it could stay at a surface, and that there would not be much to say about. However, I will try to relate it with some deeper issues, in order to settle the field for discussion. Needless to say, I’ll appreciate very much your responsiveness.

Parks in Kyoto, in France, and in Luxembourg (in Japanese)

I was surprised to see poor parks and playgrounds in Kyoto with many warning signs, saying "It is forbidden to play ball games in bad manners, bothering others and neighbors.  The city of Kyoto."  You can see many parks are not so child friendly, but you can even feel something hostile toward kids.  I wondered where and how kids can play, learn, and grow in this hostile environment.  It is perhaps even unreasonable to pose the question “why do we have less and less kids in Japan?”  On the other hand, I find nicer gardens and parks, packed with kids, their guardians,

少子化と公園 

ある公園の注意書きを読んで、仰天した。「公園利用者やご近所の迷惑になるようなボール遊びはやめてください」「花火をしているのを見かけたときは警察へ通報します」このような注意書きがいたるところにある。なにやら公園で遊ぶ子供たちを迫害し、告発するようで穏やかでない。なにしろ、その公園には公衆トイレ以外、大した遊具も設備もない。最低限の公園

A Japanese "refugee" (in Japanese)

I have just returned from Japan. In Japan, I am a rather big, sturdy, and outspoken woman. In the U.S., I was seen to be a soft-spoken and small-sized woman. In France, I am back to a "normal" size. Having lived in different countries, I feel I belong to all countries. But, I will stay as a "foreign" person in each country. Going back and forth between Japan and France, I see good and bad things in both societies.

日本人「難民」

3日前、フランスに戻った。今回は関西に2週間、滞在した。昨年は3週間、帰国した。時差ボケ、文化ボケで過ごす一週間目、「あれはナンだったんだ」とヘマや混乱を分析する二週目、そしてやっと慣れたころに出国する日本。

The social-issues.org ready for Drupal 6

Wow, Whoaw!  It was hot February on Drupal.org... version 6 (Final) on the 13th and then 6.1, just two weeks later.  However, we made it and now the social-issues.org Community has become something like diapason!  Thank you to the team.

So, with this new release/update, new bugs will appear... it's logically unavoidable.  Feel free (especially the Community members) to report any anomaly.  TIA!

How to learn French (or a foreign language)

Even if you have completed the advanced level of French at a language school, you know there are still certain points to master. So, how can you be proficient in both spoken and written French? This is my question and I have been struggling to improve my French badly (and English, too). Here are my favourite methods. Maybe, you can share your ways to learn languages with me!

Kakusa (disparities) and the handicapped (in Japanese) - summary

The Japanese political decision-making process was or is still seen as being dominated by a triumvirate: LDP (Liberal Democratic Party— the head of LDP is usually the Prime Minister); the governmental bureaucracy (higher-level bureaucrats); and the Keidanren (the united big-business federation, made of the CEOs of large corporations).

格差と障害者

「えー、おっしゃってること、おかしいですよ」
2006年、5月24日。新経団連会長に就任した御手洗富士夫(みたらい ふじお)キャノン会長が、格差拡大をどう考えるかというインタビューに次のように答えた。

eLaboratory demonstrator is now up and running

Yes, let's have a glass of champagne... it's New Year's Eve!

...but it's also the birthday of our little demonstrator of eLaboratory.

Education in Japan, in the US, and in France (in French) - summary

“But there is no more wonderful depiction of what is wrong with an education based on mere technical mastery and rote learning that Tagore’s sad story ‘The Parrot’s Training’.” Martha C. Nussbaum (2006) ‘Education and Democratic Citizenship: Capabilities and Quality Education’, Journal of Human Development, 7(3), p. 392

I have had my education in Japan, in the USA, and in France.  After moving to the US, I realized that in Japan we had received a sort of "the [great] Parrot’s Training,” focusing on “technical mastery and rote learning” rather than critical thinking.  So, I had to go through a re-learning process in Chicago.  American universities curriculum courses were wonderful, though brutally demanding.

One of my big surprises at French universities was that there are not many older students (older than 30) and not many scholarships which help academically talented students from underprivileged backgrounds to pursue a higher degree.  In his blog in the newspaper Le Monde, a prominent writer Pierre Assouline illustrates how the degrees earned before the age of 25 will determine the rest of your career.  The political and business elites are usually from the Grandes Ecoles…
http://passouline.blog.lemonde.fr/2007/12/13/de-la-pub-pour-les-livres-a-la-television/

L’éducation, l’éducation et encore l’éducation

« En dehors des onze universités réputées, le pays fleurissait de mille établissements si peu difficiles qu’on les appelait « les universités de gare », car il y en avait autant que de gares, ce qui n’est pas peu prétendre en cette terre ferroviaire. Il me fut donc donné d’explorer l’une d’entre elles, où Rinri passait quelques années de vacances.
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