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「伝えられなかったヒロシマ・ナガサキ」

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Memorial

先日、明治学院大学の国際平和研究所発行の小冊子(PDF)を、送付していただきました。ハノーファー(ドイツ)から戻リ、受信メールをチェックしていた時のことです。

ハノーファーが広島の姉妹都市とはつゆ知らず、期せずして友人(かの王宮庭園のマネージャー)の誕生日祝に行ったのですが。

原爆の日の前夜、友人一家に旧市街を案内してもらい、広島から贈られた平和の鐘にも触れることができました。教会の壁には、被爆者の方たちの写真も展示されていました。

20代の頃、別のドイツ人夫婦にホロコースト関連物の保管所に連れて行ってもらったことがあります。その場所も、そこで何を見たかも、ほとんど覚えていないのですが。その後、あまりのショックで小一時間、身体ががたがた震えて口が聞けなくなったのを覚えています。自国の歴史に向きあう経験則の違いにも、驚いたものです。

。。。下につづく

Summer 2018

Many of us cannot wait for the summer holiday to arrive as it means no school, no work, getting together with relatives and friends, and leisuring. Some individuals and families are fortunate to afford a relaxing, fantastic getaway somewhere sunny and vibrant. The 2018 summer, however, was not only a question of money. It was so hot that many English and French vacationers opted to stay home. French radio stations had 24-hour updates of traffic situations with their warning of orange “dense – bad” and red “very bad”.

Holidaymakers expected heat in the mid-30s in their favourite countries of Greece, Portugal and Spain, but it went up to 50°C; while the rest of Europe had above-average temperatures in July and August.

Some experts had said that the heatwave was due to warming in the tropical equatorial Pacific Ocean while others disclosed that it was because of the very dry, hot air from the African continent. Whatever the official reason was, our consumption habits and environmentally-unfriendly behaviours have contributed, and will continue to do so, to the erratic climatic conditions and heating up of planet Earth.

"Hiroshima and Nagasaki Censored" par Kiyoko Horiba

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Censored by Kiyoko Horiba

Au Japon, les misères de la guerre, les raids aériens et les bombes atomiques ont souvent été évoqués alors que d'autres aspects, en particulier la mémoire des crimes de guerre, ont été quasiment passés sous silence au cours des dernières années.

Parmi les jeunes Japonais, nombreux sont ceux qui peuvent avoir entendu parler du daihonéi happyou ou "bourrage de crânes" de la propagande militaire mais ne presque rien savoir du système de censure imposé par les forces d'occupation après la guerre ou même ignorer que le Japon ne se classe que 67ème sur 180 au World Press Freedom Index 2018 (72ème l'an dernier).

C'est pourquoi j'aimerais attirer l'attention des gens sur notre histoire. Voici un lien vers le magnifique ouvrage de la poétesse Kiyoko Horiba intitulé Hiroshima and Nagasaki Censored qui a été publié cette année par Meiji Gakuin University (International Peace Research Institute).

N'hésitez pas à partager ce document avec autant de personnes que possible. Merci d'avance.

Lire la suite...

"Hiroshima and Nagasaki Censored" by Kiyoko Horiba

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Censored by Kiyoko Horiba

In Japan the miseries of war, the air raids, and the atomic bombs are often told, while other aspects, particularly the memory of war crimes, has been far less discussed.

Many Japanese people may know about the daihonéi happyou or force-feeding military propaganda. But, what little known is about the censorship system by the occupation forces after the war or even the fact that Japan ranked 67 out of 180 in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index (72nd last year).

That’s why I would like to draw people’s attention to our history. Here is Hiroshima and Nagasaki Censored, wonderful work by Kiyoko Horiba, poet, which was published by Meiji Gakuin University (International Peace Research Institute) this year. Please share this work with as many people as possible.

Read more...

Who are you? Where are you from?

I am writing this while on a short holiday in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, before heading to Spain and England. It is summer here in Europe and because we travel a lot during this period, we often get asked “Where are you from?” Depending on my mood, my answer ranges from my birthplace to current city or country of residence. Often, I give information on my nationality/citizenship, and I will tell you why later. In some cases, the enquirer really just wants to know the main language I speak and my religion.

During the World Cup, when I wore my gold and green outfit, some strangers smiled and commented, “You’re from Brazil” thinking that I had something blue invisible to the naked eye. Whereas, friends and acquaintances teased me “Socceroos, go, go...” My gold and yellow dress, green sandal and green bag said it all. They did not question my citizenship (Are you Australian?), appearance (but you look Asian), etc. On other occasions, however, I have to answer a follow-up question “Yes, but where do you really come from, your family?”

A fortnight ago, a close friend invited me to her barbecue dinner party. Her house is 15 minutes on foot from where we live, and since it was a sunny day, I decided to walk. France had just won the 2018 World Cup and knowing that there would be jubilant crowd, I put on my blue, white and red apparel. The time it took me to her place doubled as I had to stop and shake hands, take photos for others and kiss strangers. Everybody was so happy, friendly, and courteous. How I wished it was like that every day. No one asked me “where are you from”? Instead, many nodded and shouted amicably “On a gagné” (We won). They ignored my physical attributes and my non-French accent. They made me feel like I was one of them, which wasn’t my intention. I am a lover and partaker of peaceful and jovial celebrations, festivals, and traditional gatherings.

他国の知恵

他国の知恵

ルクセンブルグの名家でパーティがあった。「プチ・スイス」といわれる森の中のお城のような邸宅に、リサーチなどを生業とする人たちが25人ほど集まった。主にルクセンブルグ人とベルギー人の集まりで(いつものごとく私はマイノリティ)、外国人らしきカップルが皆よりやや離れぎみだったので、話の席に加わった。実は女性は邸の令嬢で、11年の英国生活から引き上げてきたばかりだという。男性は彼女のボーイフレンドでルーマニア人である。

また政治の話になり、私は「今の日本はドキュメンタリー映画で見た、チャウシェスク政権の末期のようです」と話した(広場に集まった市民が政府機関を占拠したとき、あらかじめチャウシェスクの名前が書かれた大量の投票用紙を窓から撒き散らして、皆の目にさらした映像をいつも思い出す)。ルーマニアは今も腐敗やスキャンダルは絶えないが、海外に暮らす愛国者たちが(正確な人数を失念したが、約500万人だったと思う)独立した調査報道の経済支援を続けているという。「自分の両親はまだルーマニアに住んでいるし。愚政がために、彼らがいかに苦しい人生をおくってきたかを知っている。だからリベンジのつもりで支援している」という。日本にはネットジャーナルや海外の「九条の会」などもあるけれど、似たたぐいの要請が、わが国でも高まっているのではないだろうか。

。。。下につづく

護身術とディフェンス

護身術とディフェンス

6月の週末。日本から武術の先生がベルギーのバストーニュにいらっしゃった。先生にとっては、3泊5日!?という強行日程セミナー。会場に着くまでは5〜6人の集まりかと思いきや。スイス、フランス、ルクセンブルグ、ベルギーそして日本(日本人は先生と私のみ)の5カ国から50人強の武道家が集い、さらにその家族がとり巻き見守るという盛会ぶりだった。

(海外に誇れる良きものが日本にはあるのですね。こういう指導力こそ、クール・ジャパン戦略にすればよろしいのでは)

予定は半年前に知らされていた。先生は「英語」を話されるので、技の説明は大丈夫だけれども、会食時などになかつぎが要るようだった。つまりは「要通訳」という無言のプレッシャーを感じた。とりあえず、ほうじ茶だけ淹れて早朝ベルギーへ向かった。

普段は「畳の上ででんぐり返りして、何が面白い」などと思っているが、いざ目撃してみると……。かなり興味深い。廻転にも洗練を感じる。

師範の友人(写真下・地方テレビ局にインタビューを受ける彼)は、畳の上にあがると水を得た魚のようだった。技を教える横顔にも、満面におさえきれない笑みがひろがる。畳をかかえて、広々とした体育館の中をひょいひょいと弾んで歩く後ろ姿は、まさに少年のようである。いつもは、やや神経質な人だと思ってたのですがね。しかも子どもたちに慕われる先生でもあるようだ。「彼の説明は本当にわかりやすい。痛くもなくってね」「へえ〜。そうなの。私、あの人の友だちなの」と自慢したくなった。

。。。下につづく

Foosball - fooball's/soccer's cousin

Rolade and a big foosball team

Table football (EU/UK) / table soccer (Australia/USA), which is also known as foosball, is a game for everyone (i.e. irrespective of age, gender and physical attributes). Playing foosball is a fun way to reunite with family, friends and colleagues. It brings out the competitive spirit in the players while making them mentally alert thinking of wise tactics to win the game. Therefore, if you want to be physically and mentally challenged, try foosball.

"Since this game involves the art and skill of coordinating your hands and eyes as well as keeping the body active, it is perfect to be done by all especially by people suffering from arthritis and brain injuries. In addition, foosball is a great rehabilitating sport for people with joint and bone problems. Aside from helping people in recovering from brain injuries as well as in joint and bone problems, foosball is not as tedious as other games and sports, thus, it does not cause too much pain on their part." (see ''Benefits and Reasons to Start Playing Foosball'', visited on 1/07/18).

Foosball is based on football/soccer, where 2 or 4 players try to hit a small ball into their opponent’s goal by turning rods with wooden figures then kick the ball downfield. Unlike football/soccer, there are no unified rules in foosball, i.e. there are different explicit regulations, styles of playing and table used in different countries. The Europeans generally use the Bonzini table (e.g. the Fédération Française de Football de Table in Rouen organised the World Series Bonzini in May 2018 -- photo above) and emphasise quickness and skill "finesse". The Americans have been using the Tornado brand for more than 30 years and focus on power and speed (I saw them play this way at Rouen last May).

(Continue to read...)

Football (EU/UK)/Soccer (Australia/US) Fever

What a pity the Philippines doesn't have a national football team. Every municipality and barrio in this country of more than 7,000 islands has a basketball court, but a football/soccer field is a rare sight. Its national sport is basketball, which requires a formidable height, i.e. average 6ft 7in (200 cm) for international players - that the majority of its citizens don't have). Whereas, Filipinos are resourceful, creative, hard-working, goal oriented and have a strong family/community/team spirit - qualities that make a football/soccer champion.

This coming Saturday (the 16th), 3rd day of the World Cup, it will be Australia - France; and there's going to be a party at home irrespective of the outcome of the match as we are both Australian and French citizens living in France. One of my family members, however, seems to favour France as he believes it'll fare better at the final stages. On the contrary, I will definitely cheer for the Socceroos because the Aussies occupy a special place in my heart.

I haven't met someone in France and Luxembourg (where I work) who thinks that the green and gold team will be the "vainqueur". Well, I always applaud and rally for the so called “underdog” and believe in the “David and Goliath" story. (With incredible support and financial rewards, France is definitely the latter. According to ''Soccer Laduma'', Paul Pogba is said to be earning £290,000 (328,892.95 EUR) a week at United, Paris Saint-Germain wonderkid Kylian Mbappe on £262,000, and Ousmane Dembele on £220,000 a week. About 17,000 tickets have already been sold to the French fans on their way to Russia).

Civility, respect and responsibility

It was a beautiful sunny morning; unlike the previous three months, it was neither raining nor snowing. At 7:30 in the morning, there were already more than 20 cross-border commuters lining up for the public transport. On the same street “Place de la liberté”, there was a local bus waiting for the traffic light to turn green. We watched in disgust as four teenage girls opened its window and threw empty cartons of orange juice that landed in front of the queueing passengers. I got out of the queue and picked these up then gave them a disappointing look wondering whether they realised that they had just exposed publicly their uncivility. When I returned from the nearest bin, their bus had left and mine had arrived, and no one uttered a word.

I didn’t think twice; picking up that litter was an instinctive reaction. I didn’t expect or want recognition from anyone; however, if I see you removing a piece of rubbish left lying in a public place, I’ll definitely give you some words of encouragement. Littering is hazardous for our health and environment.

During my first two years in France, while in parks and playgrounds with my toddler, I used to pick up wrappers of snacks and boxes of juice and put these in the bin while asking myself whether it was the kids or their parents who littered.

Whose responsibility is it when children litter: parents or society?

We, as parents, have an immense responsibility and opportunity in educating our children to be respectful of people, properties and our environment. Our words and actions help shape our children’s values and behaviours. If they deliberately litter, we must tell them why this is unacceptable. (When my son was 3 years old, he said, “Mummy’s bag is a fridge and a bin” because I had water, snacks and fruits every time we went out and kept all wrappers till we found a garbage bin). If the parents litter, their children are likely to do the same, and this is a societal problem.

Freedoms, Internet Access, and Mysterious Algorithms!?

Horse in Hespérange

Two days ago, Microsoft remotely updated and installed things in my computer, but has deinstalled my Japanese font – my mother tongue! Apparently, the problem has been well known, but they have updated anyway. At the same time I cannot deinstall the things I do not want, which is very frustrating. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Our friend Vincent says: “There are less and less free things on the Internet. If you think something is free, then you are becoming ‘the product’ itself. You see, where is your data?”

Another thing. Could you do me a favor? Could you google something and compare with the results of other lesser-known search engines on the Internet? Do you see any differences?

(Continue to read...)

How we live and what we leave behind matter

Today is International Labour Day; and in the 80s, Barbara and I used to have a stand of leaflets and Trading Partners’ products on May 1 to advertise and raise money for development education in Queensland. Three weeks ago, I received a very sad news about Barbara, and I will surely miss her.

I go Down Under whenever I can to be with family and friends and celebrate special occasions. Amid Barbara's hectic schedule caring for her sick son and other commitments, she came to my 50th birthday party in my sister’s house in Brisbane, and we had a memorable time.

Even if I had known, I would not been able to attend her funeral because of my work and family situation in France. I’m writing this not only to appease my deep sorrow of losing someone who did a lot for many socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and families, but because she was an exceptional person – a role model and an inspiration, especially to those involved in local and international charities and aid agencies.

The Sydney Morning Herald has published an article about Barbara’s many humanitarian endeavours, particularly as the first national president of the Save the Children Fund and past chairperson of the Refugee Council of Australia.

Inequality in Germany by Michael Hartmann

(a blog post written by my German friend Guido)

Professor Hartmann

Michael Hartmann is an emeritus professor of Technical University Darmstadt

Summary

Social and economic inequality is increasing in Germany faster than in all other developed countries (EU. US, JP, AU, CA, etc.)

Real income (not gross income) has not increased for the average German since the end of the 1990s, and today it has even fallen back to the level of beginning of the 1990s. Most alarming is the increase of income disparity caused by extreme concentration of wealth:

  • +17% for the top 10%,
  • -14 % for the bottom 10%
  • Total: +30% difference in 20 years.

(Continue to read...)

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