天声人語(和英対訳)

【サンプル】Let 2016 mark a return to rational thinking

  • English

  • 日本語

  • "Sokotsu Nagaya" (scatterbrain row house) is a classic "rakugo" comic storytelling number with an offbeat storyline. Yanagiya Kosan V (1915-2002) made this the top piece in his repertoire. The protagonist, Hachigoro, is a scatterbrain with no patience, while his neighbor and buddy, Kumagoro, is patient but just as scatterbrained.The story that unfolds around these two goofballs could belong in the theater of the absurd.

    On his way home from Asakusa Kannon temple in Tokyo's Asakusa district, Hachigoro comes across a man lying dead by the roadside. Absurdly convinced that this must be Kumagoro, he decides to go fetch Kumagoro and make him ID "his own body."Hachigoro tells Kumagoro, "Hey, Kuma, you died last night." After his initial disbelief, Kumagoro begins to think Hachigoro is probably right, and agrees to go with him to claim the body.

    Neither is even remotely cognizant of the glaring paradox of Kumagoro being in two places simultaneously, as well as being alive and dead. Naturally, whatever conversation they hold with local community elders goes nowhere.One might even say this is a chillingly eerie scene. But it is recounted in a way that makes everything hilarious. The art of rakugo is profound indeed.

    Japan during this past year had similar communication breakdown. Supporters and opponents of highly contentious national security legislation argued entirely at cross-purposes over its constitutionality. The same could be said of the verbal warfare between the Okinawa prefectural government and the prime minister's office over the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.Whether or not the parties concerned were scatterbrained, their verbal communication circuits were out of sync.

    To return to the rakugo: In the final scene, Kumagoro lifts "his own body" to carry it home. But he becomes increasingly confused, and the punchline goes: "The fellow I'm carrying is definitely me. But then, who's this me who's carrying my dead body?"

    Kumagoro finally becomes aware of the paradox. "This is the moment when the bud of reason reopens in man, the thinking reed," says Naoki Fujiyama in "Rakugo no Kuni no Seishin Bunseki" (Psychoanalysis in the country of rakugo).A new year is dawning. I pray that the thinking reed will put out a bud next year to make rational dialogue possible.

  •  落語の「粗忽(そこつ)長屋」は奇妙な噺(はなし)だ。十八番(おはこ)にしていた五代目柳家小さんに言わせれば、八五郎は気が短くてそそっかしい。兄弟分の熊五郎は気が長くてそそっかしい。この2人が繰り広げる不条理劇である。

     浅草の観音様からの帰り、八五郎は行き倒れに出くわし、「熊の野郎だ」と思い込む。しかも「当人」を連れてきて身元確認させると言い出す。荒唐無稽だ。「おめえ、昨夜(ゆんべ)死んでるよ」。八にそう言われ、熊も次第にそんな気になる。そして2人で遺体を引き取りに……。

     長屋にいるのに路上にもいる。生きているのに死んでいる。明白な矛盾が見えない2人。当然、町内の世話役たちとは話が全く通じない。不気味といえば不気味な世界を、抱腹絶倒の一席に仕立てるのだから、落語という芸術は奥深い。

     話が全く通じないといえば、今年1年の日本もそうだった。安保法制をめぐる違憲合憲の論争は交わらなかった。米軍基地の移設問題をめぐる沖縄県と官邸との対立も同様だ。粗忽者がいるのかいないのか、言葉の通い路が失われていた。

     落語に戻れば、熊五郎は最後、「自分の」遺体を持ち帰ろうと抱きかかえる。訳がわからなくなってくる。「抱かれてんのは確かに俺だが、抱いてる俺は一体誰だ……」というのが、この噺の下げである。

     やっと矛盾に気づく瞬間。藤山直樹著『落語の国の精神分析』によれば、「人間という考える葦(あし)が再び芽ぶく瞬間」だ。年が改まる。葦が芽ぶき、少しは話が通じるようにと願う。