記者の目:震災1年 切れかけた「絆」を目にして=竹内良和(東京社会部)

>>"It would be embarrassing not to be able to contribute at all because I'm hung up on the little things," Sugano says. "
>>「ちっちゃなことにとらわれて何もできないのは恥ずかしい。

これは取材で被災者の一人が口にした言葉です。
人間とは本当に弱いものなのです。思ったり考えたりしていても、それを実行することは難しいことが多いですね。
立派な人だと打たれました。私も見習わなければ。

それから、新聞記者の魂にも打たれました。
しっかり、足で稼いだこの記事は苦闘の連続だったのでしょうね。
胸が詰まりました。

スラチャイ

(Mainichi Japan) March 21, 2012
Learning what it means to be a journalist through disaster victims
記者の目:震災1年 切れかけた「絆」を目にして=竹内良和(東京社会部)

 ◇“ありのまま”を原点に、今後も

Having reported from areas deeply affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis since immediately after their outbreak, the question of whether I've been able to convey the disaster survivors' reality weighs increasingly more heavily on my mind.
 東日本大震災の発生直後から被災地で取材している。「被災者の姿を伝え切れているのか」。自身への問いかけは日増しに重みを増している。

Over the past year, survivors repeatedly told me that their "reality cannot be glossed over with pleasantries" -- words that hit me hard.
 「ここはきれい事ばかりじゃない」。

Sure, in most of the disaster areas I've seen, there have been countless episodes characterized by warmth and tight bonds.
確かに、取材した被災地の大半は温かな絆にあふれていた。

この1年、被災者から何度も聞いた言葉が胸に刺さっている。

Without any reservations, I've reported stories of victims supporting each other through their many challenges.
困難にもめげず支え合う被災者たちの姿を私は迷わず記事にしてきた。

At the same time, however, I witnessed bonds being broken by the triple disasters.
その一方で、震災で失われた絆もあった。

I heard about people who have been kicked out of relatives' homes that they'd taken refuge in, and accusations of some people taking relief supplies all to themselves.
「避難した親戚宅を追い出された」「救援物資を独り占めする人がいる」--。

I agonized over whether to report on the negative incidents and sentiments among the survivors I wanted so much to support, and for the most part ended up barely doing so.
応援したい被災者の負の側面を伝える難しさに悩み、結局、ほとんど記事にできなかった。

The question of how, if at all, exposing the survivors' faults would help the situation, had driven me into a corner.  「被災者のあらを取材して、一体、何の役に立つのか」。

It was at such a time that I was reunited with a certain survivor, and learned the importance of facing head-on the ties that one has lost.
思考停止になりかけていたとき、ある被災者と再会し、失った絆に向き合うことの大切さを痛感した。

I met Hiroko Sugano, 69, of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, at an evacuation center four weeks after the March 11 quake last year.
 岩手県陸前高田市の菅野浩子さん(69)。震災4週間後に避難所で知り合った。

She had a friendly smile, and was busily carrying boxes of relief supplies.
いつも人なつこい笑顔で、救援物資の段ボール箱をせわしなく運んでいた。

In early May, however, when I again visited the same evacuation center, she was no longer there.
だが、5月上旬、避難所を再訪すると姿がない。

She had apparently returned home just a few days earlier.
数日前に帰宅したという。

When I asked another evacuee why Sugano had returned home, the only response I got was, "It's a long story."
避難者に理由を尋ねれば「いろいろあって」。

It didn't seem like something an outsider like I should pursue any further.
部外者が立ち入ってはならないように感じた。

Not long afterwards, Sugano appeared at the evacuation center, asking if it would be all right for her to recharge her cell phone there.
 程なく、「携帯電話の充電をさせてね」と菅野さんは避難所に姿をみせた。

Seeing the same smile she had when I first met her, I felt relieved that she had been able to return home and that things had seemed to work out for her.
変わらぬ笑顔に「家に戻れたし、良かったな」とほっとした。

In the texts she subsequently sent me with her cell phone, she showed no indication that anything was wrong.
その後、何度か届いた携帯電話のメールも変わった様子はなかった。

But I'd been naive.
だが私は鈍感だった。

When I visited her in February this year, Sugano told me, "I was literally living by the light of a lantern after I left the evacuation center."
今年2月、自宅を訪ねると、「避難所を出てからはランタンで暮らしていたのよ」と話し始めてくれた。

 ◇避難所を出てランタン生活

Four years ago, Sugano reached mandatory retirement at her company job, and returned alone to her parents' home, which had been empty.
 菅野さんは4年前、会社を定年退職し、空き家だった実家に単身で帰った。

She struggled to readapt to her hometown, which she had been away from since she left for Tokyo over 40 years earlier. Her ties with relatives and acquaintances there were no longer strong.
上京後、40年以上離れていた古里の雰囲気になじめず、親類や知人とのつながりも薄れていた。

It was under such circumstances that the massive earthquake hit.
そんな時、震災に遭った。

None of the other evacuees at the evacuation center were willing to take on the task of keeping track of relief supplies and maintaining name lists of the evacuees at the center.
 避難所では、救援物資や名簿を管理する「世話役」に誰も名乗り出ない。

In her years working in the corporate world, Sugano had accumulated a wealth of experience in administrative work.
会社員時代は総務畑を歩んできた。

Figuring that she may be the person for the job, she took on the center's general affairs.
「私の仕事かもしれないな」と引き受けた。

At first, relief supplies were barely delivered to the center.
当初は物資が全く届かない。

At one point, Sugano racked her brain over what to do with the seven toothbrushes that had been delivered from the government's disaster countermeasures headquarters, when there were 130 fellow evacuees staying at the center.
130人の仲間を前に、災害対策本部からやっともらってきた7本の歯ブラシをどう配ろうか悩んだ。

Sitting until night in the entryway, where a cold draft blew through, Sugano maintained a name list to keep track of the many people coming and going. Soon, she fell sick.
寒風が吹き込む出入り口に夜まで座り、入れ替わりの激しい避難者の名簿もつけた。やがて体調を崩した。

Sugano returned home, she says, because some fellow evacuees had requested that people whose homes had not collapsed in the temblor or been swept away by tsunami to go home.
With the elimination and merging of evacuation centers, space was at a premium.
 菅野さんが帰宅したのは、統廃合で避難所が狭くなるため、一部の避難者から「自宅がある人は帰ってほしい」と言われたからだという。

Sugano felt dejected, as if her ties to her fellow survivors were being severed.
絆を断ち切られたようで、やるせなかった。

Back home, with none of the basic lifelines restored, she once again lived by the light of a lantern.
帰った自宅はライフラインが断たれ、暗がりの部屋にランタンをともした。

She felt hopeless, and pondered the possibility of taking refuge at a relative's home in the Kanto region.
心が折れそうだった。だが、関東の親戚宅に行こうと考えた時、ふと思った。

But she couldn't give up now.
「逃げてはいけない」。

Her fellow survivors, including young brothers who had lost both of their parents and a former classmate who had lost her husband remained at the evacuation center.
両親を亡くした幼い兄弟。夫を失った同級生。みな避難所に残る。

She had finally made emotional connections with these local residents.
やっとできた古里の仲間だった。

Life by lantern lasted for two weeks. Until gas and water supplies were restored, Sugano lived on boxed meals from the convenience store.
 ランタン生活は2週間続き、ガスや水道の復旧までコンビニ弁当でしのいだ。

She also went to visit her fellow survivors at the evacuation center.
そして、また避難所の仲間の顔を見に行った。

Recharging her cell phone was just an excuse for her to go.
「携帯を充電させて」。それは避難所に通う口実でもあった。

Today, even if it's one of the people who asked Sugano to leave the evacuation center, she stops to chat with them when she runs into them on the street.
今は、かつて自分に帰宅を求めた人とも、道で会えば声をかけ、近況を尋ね合う。

At her home, which was spared extensive damage, Sugano puts up friends who were not as lucky, and volunteers who come to the area to help with relief efforts.
 菅野さんは自宅に、実家を流された友人やボランティアを泊めてもいる。

Some volunteers are arrogant.
横柄なボランティアもいる。

But she still lets them stay.
でも泊める。

"It would be embarrassing not to be able to contribute at all because I'm hung up on the little things," Sugano says. "
「ちっちゃなことにとらわれて何もできないのは恥ずかしい。

The volunteers are all valuable people who have come here for the sake of Rikuzentakata.
誰もが高田のために来てくれた大切な人。

It's not a time to complain."
文句を言ってる時じゃない」

Sugano appears to be slowly rebuilding the bonds that were almost destroyed by the quake.
 震災で切れかけた絆を、菅野さんはゆっくり結び直しているかのように見えてならない。

It was through the disaster, she says, that she's been able to become a true "Rikuzentakata citizen" again.
震災を経て「やっと陸前高田市民に戻れた」という。

 ◇被災者の言葉に込められた願い

There's another story I heard, from a store owner in the Sanriku area of the devastated Tohoku region. Immediately after the quake and tsunami hit, there was one business owner who did not participate in the searches for missing bodies that the local volunteer fire company undertook, and instead focused on rebuilding their own business.
 被災者は苦楽を併せのんで生きている。三陸地方の商店主からもこんな話を聞いた。震災直後、消防団の遺体捜索に加わらない仲間がいた。
家業の再起に動いていた。

A chasm emerged between those who did and those who did not participate in the searches, with the former denouncing the latter for not wanting to "at least cover the bodies of fellow town residents with blankets."
「同じ町の人間なら遺体に毛布の一枚でもかけたくなるはずだ」とわだかまりが生まれた。

Sometime later, the business owner began to participate in nighttime patrols, and at a one-year anniversary memorial, prayed for the souls of the dead with all the others.
だが、仲間はしばらくして夜警活動に頻繁に顔を出すようになった。3月11日の慰霊式では、ともに黙とうをささげた。

"Right after the quake, different people had different priorities," says the abovementioned store owner. "Time will take care of everything in the end."
「震災直後、何が一番大切なのかは人によって違った。後は時間が解決してくれる」。商店主は今はそう思う。

In the past year, I've taken 30 notebooks worth of notes in the disaster areas.
 この1年間、私が被災地で書き留めたノートやメモ帳は30冊になる。

But I still worry whether I've been able to achieve any sort of understanding of the suffering that survivors are going through.
だが被災者のつらさを、どれだけ理解できたのか不安でならない。

With the words, "reality cannot be glossed over with pleasantries," what survivors are likely asking of me is to understand what's going on in the hard-hit areas and to share what's most important with the rest of the country and the world.
「きれい事ばかりじゃない」。そんな言葉には、きっと「ありのままの被災地を知り、本当に大切なことを伝えてほしい」との願いが込められているのだろう。

The disasters' survivors are reminding me, in other words, of what it means to be a journalist.
被災者から、改めて記者の原点を教わっている。

(By Yoshikazu Takeuchi, City News Department)
毎日新聞 2012年3月21日 東京朝刊
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-03-23 05:54 | 英字新聞

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