2014/12/31

2014年から2015年へ、ニーナ・シモンを聴きながら

ゆく年を送り、くる年をを迎えながら聴く音楽、それはニーナ・シモン(1933~2003)。
Cotten Eyed Joe. 何処からきて、何処へ行くの?

最初は1959年、彼女が26歳のときの録音。2つ目は円熟した声で歌うニーナ・シモン。





 若いころ、東京にニーナ・シモンがやってきた。それを聴きにいったとき、聴衆をにらむような、彼女の視線が怖かった。あれから幾星霜。ニーナはすでに亡い。でも、いまは彼女の歌とまっすぐ向き合える、そんな気がする。
 

2014/12/19

ジョン・クッツェーがチェルシー・マニングに宛てた誕生日メッセージ

一昨日の12月17日はチェルシー・マニングの27回目の誕生日だった。

ガーディアンにこんな記事が載った。スラヴォイ・ジジェクをはじめとする各界の面々が書いたマニングあての誕生日メッセージ。そこにJ・M・クッツェーの名前がなければ、おそらく、そのまま素通りしてしまったかもしれない。

だいたいチェルシー・マニングという人物が何者なのかさえ、わたしは咄嗟に理解できなかった。それが2010年に米国の機密情報──アフガン戦争やイラク戦争で非武装の人たちを米の戦闘機が攻撃しているビデオ等等──をウィキリークにもらした内部告発者、ブラッドリー・マニングであり、この8月、35年の禁固刑を受けたその日に、自分はこれから女性として生きるという宣言をした若者であることを知ったのは、あれこれネットで過去の記事等を調べた結果わかったことだ。それでようやく、ぼんやり思い出した。ああ、あの事件の・・・と。

 スノーデンなら知っている。彼の名が一躍、世界をかけめぐったのは、これも調べて確認したのだが、2013年6月、一年前のことだった。2010年と2013年の差異。ここには決定的ななにかがあると言わざるをえない。日本国内においても、2011年3月11日以前のことは、遠い過去のように思えるのだから。これでどうやら、自分は世界の情勢について、ごく限られた、まだらな情報しかもっていないことが実証されてしまった・・・ということか。


さて、話題にしたいのはそんなことじゃないのだ。ジョン・クッツェーがチェルシー・マニングにあてたバースデイ・メッセージのことなのだ。

 わたしはこれを読んで、しばらく、あらゆるものから遠ざかって、ことばのひとつひとつを噛みしめながら沈黙したくなった。ことばが、ことばそのものが、これほど澄明で、正直で、真摯な手紙を、わたしは知らない。

 深々と心にしみる。ジョン・クッツェーという人が、70年代以降、ケープタウンに住み暮らした時間がどのような政治的、社会的、法律的制約のもとで生きられたものであったか、獄中にある政治囚たちに(ネルソン・マンデラを含む)どのような思いを抱きながら日々くらしていたか、あらためて思いをはせた。

2014/12/15

LATINA 12月号に載ったクッツェー三部作の書評

もうそろそろいいかな? お許しあれ!と願って載せちゃおう。雑誌 LATINA 12月号に掲載された、J・M・クッツェーの自伝的三部作『サマータイム、青年時代、少年時代──辺境からの三つの〈自伝〉』の書評です。評者は寺本衛さん。


2014/12/14

Public Statement: A Critique of the Japanese Government's Stance on the Wartime "Comfort Women" Issue and Its Coverage in the Media



歴史学研究会が、戦時中「慰安婦」問題に対する政府の見解を批判して、公式見解を発表しています。その英訳をここにペーストします。

THE HISTORICAL SCIENCE SOCIETY OF JAPAN





Public Statement: A Critique of the Japanese Government's Stance on the Wartime "Comfort Women" Issue and Its Coverage in the Media
the Historical Science Society of Japan
December 5, 2014





On August 5 and 6, 2014, the Asahi Shimbun, one of the largest newspapers in Japan, carried articles reviewing its past coverage of sexual slavery, or "comfort women," in the Japanese military and retracted some of its past articles alleging that women were taken away to the military brothels by force. The affected articles cited the testimonies of Seiji Yoshida, a former member of a semi-governmental organization for wartime mobilization. Certain politicians and sections of the media have pounced on these retractions, arguing that they have disproved the fact that women were forcibly recruited by the Imperial Japanese Army, and, in some cases, arguing that the women were not subjected to violence at all. It is particularly disturbing that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet appear to adhere to such a view.

The Historical Science Society of Japan has examined the issue of wartime sexual slavery through various forums. For example, on December 15, 2013, it co-hosted a symposium with the Japanese Society for Historical Studies titled "Rethinking the 'Comfort Women' Issue: Military Sexual Violence in World History and in Everyday Life." Based on historical research, we outline below five problems associated with the Japanese government's stance on Japan's wartime sexual slavery.

First, at a Diet session, Abe commented that "false reports" by the Asahi Shimbun "gravely damaged Japan's reputation abroad" and that "the groundless defamation of Japan as 'a state that was involved in sexual slavery' has spread globally" (the House of Representative Budget Committee session, October 3, 2014). The view that Abe expresses is at odds with his administration's policy to abide by the Kono Statement, which was released by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in 1993 and which officially acknowledged the involvement of the Japanese military in the establishment and operation of military brothels, including the forced recruitment of women. Moreover, as Abe himself acknowledges, it is clear that the Kono Statement is not based on Yoshida's testimonies, and so the veracity of the statement is not undermined by Asahi's retractions. Thus by upholding the Kono Statement on the one hand, while simultaneously casting doubt on its substance on the other, the Abe administration is attempting to take the people of Japan and the rest of the world for fools. Their actions are also further escalating tensions with Japan's East Asian neighbors, who want Japan to squarely face up to its past wrongdoings.

Second, regardless of the veracity of Yoshida's testimony, it is clear that the Japanese military authorities were involved in the forced recruitment of women. In fact, as early as the 1990s, historians had already pointed out the inconsistencies in Yoshida's statements, and since then have carried out wide-ranging studies on the Japanese military authorities' involvement in the forced recruitment of women using sources other than his testimonies. Let us emphasize here that the term "forced recruitment" is not limited to cases of "breaking into houses and kidnapping" (Abe's statement in the House of Representative Budget Committee session, October 6, 2006). The term also applies to cases where women were recruited against their will through coaxing, threats, and human trafficking. With regard to the former type of forced recruitment, it is already known that such cases took place in Semarang, Indonesia and Shanxi Province, China among many other places. There are also many testimonies from victims attesting to such coercion taking place on the Korean peninsula. With regard to the latter type, it is known to have taken place over a wide area, including the Korean peninsula, and there is no room for doubting the violence it entailed. It does not matter that Yoshida's testimonies were fabrications; the overall body of historical evidence leaves no doubt that the Japanese military authorities were involved both directly and indirectly in the forced recruitment of women.

Third, it is important to remember that not only were victims forcibly recruited, but that they also were subjected to extreme violence as sex slaves. As recent historical studies have shown, the system of sexual labor into which the women were recruited truly amounted to sexual slavery; they were deprived of the freedom to choose a place of residence, to go out, to quit, and to refuse giving sexual service. The presence of coercion in the recruitment process is undoubtedly a serious issue, but the fact that, as sex slaves, the victims' human rights were trampled upon needs to be repeatedly stressed. The discrediting of a single source on the recruitment must not be used as an excuse to deny the issue as a whole.

Fourth, recent historical research has demonstrated that not only were the women subjected to direct violence, but also that the entire system of military sexual slavery was part of an imperialist structure that legitimatized discrimination. Even if some women did "consent" to becoming prostitutes, this should call into question the everyday realities of class, racial, and gender inequality and injustice that formed the backdrop to such "consent." To focus solely on the question of whether there was direct coercion, without considering the political and social context, is to miss the full picture.

Fifth, we must not shut our eyes to the way in which the Asahi Shimbun's retractions have been reported in sections of the media and the damage such coverage has wrought. The disproportionate focus on the "false reports" has helped ignite and spread a fierce public backlash against the Asahi Shimbun. There are even cases in which university professors who used to report the issue of sexual slavery for the Asahi have been targeted in this vicious hate campaign. Not only have individuals been slandered, but some universities--namely Hokusei Gakuen University and Tezukayama Gakuin University--have received violent threats demanding the dismissal of their instructors over the issue. Such threats clearly constitute an attack on academic freedom, and as such they need to be resolutely confronted.

Thus the approach to sexual slavery in the Japanese military being taken by the Abe administration and sections of the media is problematic in many respects. Abe stated at a Diet session that the Japanese government "will make sure that correct perceptions of history are formed based on objective facts, and that Japan will gain a fair evaluation from the international community" (the House of Representative Budget Committee session, October 3, 2014). However, by following the Prime Minister's interpretation of "objective facts" and "correct perceptions of history," Japan will end up committing the folly of transmitting to the world the irresponsible stance of the Japanese government, which continues to distract from the truth. We must also point out that, above all else, this stance represents a further insult to the dignity of the victims of wartime sexual slavery, who have already borne terrible hardships. We urge the Abe administration to squarely face up to the damage that Japan inflicted in the past and sincerely address the victims.

October 15, 2014
Committee of the Historical Science Society of Japan

(English translation on December 5, 2014)

2014/12/12

アンキー・クロッホ/Antjie Krog について


J・M・クッツェーの未邦訳の著作『厄年日記/Diary of a Bad Year』(2007)から、南アフリカの詩人・ジャーナリスであるアンキー・クロッホ(1952年生)について書かれた文章を訳出します。

〈アンキー・クロッホ/Antjie Krog について〉

放送波にのって昨日、アンキー・クロッホが自分で英訳した詩を読むのを聞いた。ぼくの間違いでなければ、彼女がオーストラリアの聴衆の前に姿を見せたのはこれが初めて。テーマは大きい──彼女が生きる南アフリカでの歴史的経験だ。詩人としての才能は挑戦を受けて立つことで伸び、決して萎縮することはなかった。強烈な、女性的知性に裏づけられた断固たる誠実さ、そこに描かれる、胸が引き裂かれるような経験。彼女が目撃した恐るべき残虐性に対する答え、引き起こされた苦悩と絶望への答え──子供たちに、人類の未来に、永遠に再生する命に向きあって。

 オーストラリアには、これに比肩する熾烈さで書く者はいない。アンキー・クロッホという奇才は、ぼくにはとてもロシア的に思える。南アフリカでは、ロシアのように人生は悲惨だが、なんと勇敢な精神がすっくと立ちあがり応答することか! 
                   (『厄年日記』より、2007、p199)

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 クロッホはアフリカーンス語で書く詩人です。アパルトヘイト政権下で行われた国家権力による残虐な暗殺、拘禁、拷問といった非人道的行為について、真実を語ることで罪を問わないという前提で「真実和解委員会」が開かれましたが、クロッホはこの委員会について詳細な報告書を書いています。それはCountry of My Skull という分厚い本になりました。邦訳もそのままの『カントリー・オブ・マイ・スカル』、現代企画室から出版されています。

2014/12/05

あったかいミネストローネ

ミネストローネって、そういえばトマトがたくさん入った、具だくさんのスープだと思っていたけれど、クラッシックなミネストローネはそんなにたくさんトマトを入れないらしい。ほら。


寒い夜は、あったかいスープで身体のなかからほかほかに! 写真はこのレストランから拝借しました。美味しそう!
 ジョン・クッツェーさんも、落ち込むと料理をするそうです。すぐに結果が出ることと、滋養に富んでいるところがいいって!