You bastard, one day you will see… おどれクソ、今にみよってみよ

My grandmother, who took care of me as a child, placed great importance on justice. I assume her strong sense of justice developed through her difficult life. That also had a strong effect on me for which I am grateful. But she was a very emotional person and  the combination of both sense of justice and emotionality was not always otimal for me.      When I was young, a couple of times I got punished by my grandmother even though I was innocent. Her sense of justice was so strong that even she did not believe her own granddaughter and branded me a liar. For me that seemed like an emotional outbreak.    For example one time, when I was about 8 years old, she stubbornly believed that I had lied about a small thing. She got that idea while she was at home but I was at a friend’s house. From our house to my friend’s house is about 500 metres. She lit several incense sticks and together with smoke and angry she came to my friend’s house. In front of my friend’s house she yelled “Come out, I know everything. I will punish you!” Many people heard it and gathered on the street. In Japan, there is a method of healing that involves putting a soft and moss-like substance on the body and lighting it with incense sticks. When the moss-like substance gets warm it heals the body. This method is called “Kyu” and it is used also symbolically to cleanse someone who did something bad. This is called “give somebody kyu” and my grandmother took this quite literally. I was trembling with fear but I thought I couuld not impose on my friend’s family forever. I thought it was like a criminal being arrested after taking hostages. My grandmother scolded me, accused me of being a liar and finally took me home. Crying, I apologized and felt that innocently I had knelt before a great power. That was a complete defeat for me and my humanity. Otherwise she was a caring and tender grandmother but if she believed me to breach her sense of justice then she turned into a different person. In truth she should listen to me but no matter what I said she did not believe it. In fact she wanted to do good for me and therefore I could accept it. But through this experience I learned that one has to listen to other people.

Naturally my grandmother knew that I was a person who was holding back, that I did not do much resistance and that I would listen to her. She thought about my character and often told me “You are a tender person in appearance and such people often are suppressed or made fun of by evil people. But in your heart you must always think: You bastard, one day you will see!” When my father heard that, he said to her that this was too hard. But I think these words of my grandmother always motivated and supported me. It has also been for recognizing my own true self.

私を育ててくれた祖母は、非常に正義感の強い人でした。多分、苦労のなかで培われた正義感だったのだと思います。それは私にも影響を与え、たくさん学ぶことができたことを大変感謝しています。しかし、祖母は非常に感情的な人でもありました。強い正義感と感情が結びついた時、私にとっては迷惑なこともありました。  子供の頃、私は無実なのに、祖母に怒られることが何度かありました。祖母は自分の正義を確信し、孫の言うことも信じず、私を嘘つきと決めるのです。私にとっては、それはただの感情の爆発でしかありませんでした。  例えば、私が8歳ぐらいのことですが、祖母はささいなことで私が嘘をついたと確信したのです。この確信を得た時、祖母は我が家におり、私は友達の家にいました。我が家から友達の家までの約500メートルを、祖母は火のついた線香の束を手に、煙をたなびかせながら歩いてきました。そして「由佳さーん、出て来なさーい、お灸をすえちゃるぞね。嘘ついたろう。出て来なさーい…」と友達の家の前で怒鳴るのです。友達と私は家の中で恐怖に震えて、いないふりをしていました。しかし、何分たっても祖母はあきらめず叫び続けるので、家の前に次第に人が集まってきました。私はとうとう、これ以上、友達に迷惑かけるわけにいかないと観念し、まるで、たてこもっていた犯罪者のように、恐々外にると、祖母は有無を言わさず私を叱りとばし、我が家へと連行しました。私は本当に無実なのですが、泣いて謝るしかなく、大きな権力に屈した思いでいっぱいでした。普段は、とても優しい祖母ですが、自身の正義に反することに対しては非常に感情的になるのです。本当は、私の言い分も考慮しないといけないのですが、祖母は聞く耳を持ちませんでした。それでも私は、祖母が私のためを思ってのことなのだと受け止めることができました。そして、自分は、他人の言い分も聞ける人間になろう、と思ったものです。   もちろん祖母も、私が大人しく、祖母に対して反抗心の少ない性質であることはよく分かっていました。そんな私の性質を思ってか、祖母はよく「由佳さんよ、あんたは大人しいきに(大人しいから)、へごうながが(悪い人が、性質の悪い人が)なめてかかってくるきに(軽々しくあしらってやろうとしかけてくるから)、あんたは心の中で、おどれクソ、今にみよってみよ、と思うちょかにゃあいかん(と思っていないといけない)。」という言葉を私にくれました。それを聞くと、父は「お義母さん、それはちょっと…」と言って、遠慮がちに苦笑いをしていたものです。しかし、この祖母の言葉は、ずっと私を支え、勇気ずけてくれたと思っています。また、自分自身が、この言葉によって、見えてくるような気がするのです。

Picture by Yuka Simeno 2016 in Kochi, I think in my hometown Kochi in Japan already the Camelias are blossoming… 故郷高知では、椿の花が咲いていることでしょう…

人 (Human/Person/People)

My grandmother took care of me as a child. She was my mother’s mother and since my mother was an only child after marriage for a short time she lived close to my grandparents. When I was three years old, my grandfather (mother’s side) passed away and after that my grandmother came to stay with us. Both my parents were working and so my grandmother took care of the household and me. She was born at the beginning of the 20th century and she wanted to teach me many things but sometimes tat was rather old fashioned. Before I attended primary school, I knew all the  animal signs of the Chinese zodiac by heart. Back in the days, those animal signs were quite important because for calendar, time, etc.  those signs were used. For example 12:00 noon is called “Shogo”. “Go” is the animal sign horse. The time from approximately 11:00 until 13:00 was called “Uma no koku” (Horse time). Nowadays  still “Shogo” is used but many other expressions are no longer in use. Therefore many of the things I learned from her were not so useful. She only attended primary school and after that she worked as a maid and then got married at the age of 18. She could only read Hiragana and Katakana alphabets, which is insufficient for reading newspapers and books. Many Kanji (originally Chinese charakters) are required for that. Even at old age, she wanted to study a lot, so she asked me about Kanji and their meaning and pronounciation. Of her limited knowledge of Kanji, her favourite was “人” (Hito =Human/ Person/People). When my friends came to visit, she wanted to keep us company and as an older person she wanted to teach us something. She especially liked to talk about that Kanji “人” (Hito). According to her interpretation this Kanji consists of two lines, which means that two people support each other. If one of those lines falls, both fall. That is why people need each other and shoud help one another. I do not know whether that is a general interpretation or her own, but we children listened to this and I thought I should value my friends. I think we were good children.

I think education is very important but not necessarily from school. Those people like my grandmother who could not receive proper academic education, have much knowledge and human depth etc.. Therefore I think it is important not to have prejudice and to face other people with honesty.

子供の頃私は、よく、祖母に世話してもらっていました。母の母です。母が一人っ子だったことから、母の結婚後も、祖父母の近くに居を構えていました。私が3歳の時、祖父が病死したため、その後は祖母も私たち親子と共に暮らすことになりました。両親共働きだったので、祖母が家事や私の世話をしてくれたのです。 祖母は明治生まれで、私にいろんなことを教えてくれましたが、その多くは古くて、時代に合わないものでした。例えば、私は小学校にあがる前から、祖母のおかげで干支を順序正しく暗記していましたが、現在の学校教育ではあまり重要とされていないことですよね。昔は暦や時刻など、干支が重要な役割を担い、よく使われていましたが、今は「正午」が残っているくらいで、他はあまり使われないと思います。 祖母は小学校しか出ておらず、その後は女中として奉公し、18でお見合い結婚しました。ひらがなとカタカナしか読めませんでしたが、習いたいという意欲はなかなかのもので、よく、私に新聞や本の漢字を指差し「これは何という字ぞね?」と尋ねていました。 祖母は、少ない漢字の知識のなかで、特に「人」という字を気に入っていました。私の友達が我が家に遊びにくると、祖母は好んで仲間に入り、年長者として私たちのためになると思われる話をよくしてくれました。中でも「人」という字の話を一番よく聞きました。祖母によると、「人」はお互い支え合うふたつの線からできている、これは、人は助け合い、お互いを大切にしないといけないということだというのです。一般的に言われていることか、祖母の解釈か、知りませんが、私たちはじっと座ってその話を聞いていました。そして私は、自分の隣に座っているお友達も大切にしなければ、と思ったものです。それにしても、じっと祖母の話を聞く私たちは「いい子」だったと思われません?


Picture by Yuka Simeno

Transformation 変身!

Look at this picture please. This is a piece of furniture. What do you think it is? It may be a little hard to discern because there are reflections on the shopwindow. Yes that is actually a table! But when you look closely, two chairs are inverted with a wooden board on top. What a marvelous inspiration to use two “hidden” chairs for a table. These chairs are one of the types made by the company “Thonet”. I heard that since about 150 years ago, this type of chair  by the company Thonet was used especially in Viennese coffee houses and became quite popular. The company itself is German but this type of chair could be called traditional Viennese style. To construct a table from those chairs is a remarkable inspiration and an upside-down perspective. I think it is wonderful!

Picture by Yuka Simeno, Furniture shop in the 7th district of Vienna, 2019 (this shop manufactures made to order furniture)


ウィーン7区の家具屋さんの前で撮りました。2019年、示野由佳 撮影(この家具屋さんでは、注文に応じて家具を製作しているようです。)


Noron のろん

Now in Japan it is the season of “Seijinshiki”. That is a ceremony of having reached adulthood at 20 years old, which means that one is considered mature. Each region has ceremonies for 20 year-olds. Many dress in Kimonos for those ceremonies and especially girls wear beautiful “Furisode”. That is a colourful Kimono for unmarried young women with long sleeves. I think it is nice that in Japan this ceremony exists and it is like with that young people can be conscious of being mature and go out into the world. But I did not attend that ceremony because I myself did not feel mature at that time. Because I am “Noron”. This was my nickname in primary school. “Noron” means slow in Japanese. Yes, I was slow. Very slow. But I can defend myself because everyone in my family was much older than me. Especially my grandmother, the person who mostly took care of me. She was still quite fit at that time but her movements were slow and she could not hear very well. When I went shopping with her, I had to adapt to her speed and walked very slowly. Also because she could not hear well I had to speak slowly and loudly. My parents also were much older than many other childrens’ parents, because I was born quite late in their lives. My father was a rather introverted person, who often immersed himself in philosophy by himself. He did not like speed very much. When I spoke fast or made fast gestures, he scolded me. He wanted me to become a tender, diligent, empathic person, who had the capacitiy of thinking about others. If I had had a sibling, I might have been able to train some speed, but I am an only child. Therefore I have the honour of carrying the nickname “Noron”. However I believe that even “Noron” has a good side to it. The lesser beneficial side of it I should improve upon. But I want to live a long and healthy life at my very own pace…

日本は「成人式」の頃ですね。成人するという責任感を自覚し、爽やかに新たな出発をする…  「成人式」は素晴らしい式典だと思います。しかし、私は「成人式」に出席しませんでした。私は自分はまだ成人していない、と思ったのです。なぜなら私は「のろん」だから。



Picture by Yuka Simeno, Poysdorf 2011

Memory of a river 川の思い出

“Bam”! I hit my knee at the door. At first it didn’t look so bad but the next morning my left knee was swollen with a blue patch. Looking at my hurt knee, I thought that for a long time I had not been injured. When I was small, I often had some injuries. Maybe growing older one becomes more careful or skilled at moving around.         The picture above was taken close to my house in Japan. Since the first grade of primary school I have been living there. When I was in primary school, the river banks were natural. On the both sides there were  steep  banks covered with grass.The natural bank was removed and now there are concrete walls (about one metre high) separating the bank from the street. That is because one time there was severe flooding from that river. It is not beautiful nature anymore but it makes the residents feel safer. Despite those measures unfortunately there has been flooding again.        When there was still the natural bank, with my bicycle I wanted to cross a bridge over this river. That bridge was just flat concrete even without a railing. When  I wanted to turn from the street onto the bridge, I could not steer properly and fell down the bank. My bicycle tipped over between the bridge and the road and I alone rolled down the bank. Fortunately the bank stopped my fall and I did not get wet but I sustained many small abrasions and there was blood coming from small injuries. This looked awful but after some days I started to heal. Especially my knees were hurt. Those injuries were only superficial and it did not take long for them to heal. Shortly after, exactly the same accident happened to me again. But this not only happened to me. About the same time near the location of my accident I saw a smiliar bicycle accident one time. At the edge of the road close to the bank I saw a bicycle lying there and I thought who might have just left such a beautiful biycle lying around. Then I saw a man, completely soaking wet, crawling up from the river. That was in winter and he had a nice suit, which made me feel very sorry for him.

Back then, when I strolled at this bank towards the mountain as in the picture above with my mother, she often said “I love this scenery most”. I don’t know why but every time she said it, she spoke with Tokyo accent, where she spent her childhood, so maybe with her friends she uttered such words. The scenery has completely changed and my mother is no longer here. Only the mountain in the distance always looks the same.

Over the course of time, things change. When I think about that, I understand how precious time is. I want to value the present and live ….

ガン!ドアに膝をぶつけてしまいました。その時はそれほどでもないと思いましたが、翌朝見ると、左の膝が腫れ、青い箇所ができています。膝を抱えて怪我を見ながら、そういえば、こんなことは久しぶりだなあと思いました。子供の頃はこの程度の怪我はしょっちゅうでした。年齢を重ねるにつれ、人は、注意を払い、上手く動くことを学んでいくのでしょう。  上の写真は、日本の我が家の近くで撮ったものです。小学1年の時から住んでいる地域です。小学生だった頃は、この川には自然の岸がありました。両岸とも、道から川に下る、草に覆われた傾斜となっていました。現在は、自然の岸は取り除かれ、約1メートル程高いコンクリートの防壁が、川の周りを囲んでいます。川が氾濫したためで、自然の美しさは失われましたが、住民は安心できます。しかし、残念ながら防壁を作ってからも、幾度かこの川は氾濫しました。  まだ自然の岸があった頃のことです。私は自転車に乗って、この川にかかる橋を渡ろうとしていました。簡単なコンクリートの橋で、当時は欄干もありませんでした。道から橋に曲がろうとした時、うまくいかなくて、自転車ごとひっくり返ってしまったのです。自転車は、橋と道の境で横倒して止まりましたが、私は川岸の傾斜を滑り落ちていきました。途中で止まることができ、川には落ちませんでした。しかし、たくさん擦り傷ができ、血がにじみでてきました。特に、膝の傷が一番大きかったです。見た目はひどかったですが、大した傷ではなく、数日でよくなっていきました。ところが、その後しばらくして、私はまた同じ場所で同様の事故をおこしてしまったのです。しかし、私だけではありません。同じ頃、私が事故を起こした場所の近くで、川岸の道端に自転車が横倒しになっていました。綺麗な自転車なのに、どうしてここに放っているのだろうと思っていると、岸の下の方に、ずぶぬれのおじさんがひとり、這い上がってくるのが見えたのです。おじさんはきちんとしたセビロ姿で、しかも真冬だったので、非常に気の毒でした。



Picture by Yuka Simeno 2018  Can you see the evening star ? 宵の明星が見えますか?

Making my dolls 2 私の人形作り2

There are two ways of making my dolls. The first is: starting with the doll. The second is: starting with the material. The first way is in order to depict a situation with a doll. I want to express a situation with a doll and therefore I focus on making an appropriate figure for it. First thinking about the doll and after that I think about the clothes. The second way is choosing the material such as textile, wool , etc. which gives me inspiration. For example beautiful fine wool inspires me to use like human hair and to create a matching doll for this.  Especially beautiful textile design motivates me to create a matching doll for it. About 10 years ago I had a bit of luck and stumbled upon some stores in Vienna and in Japan which sold small textile samples.           In my hometown Kochi (Japan)  by chance I stumbled upon a store, which sold many different small textile samples. Because that store was a big store for cloth and textiles and had planned to close the store soon, everything was on sale or in small sizes also at reduced prices.  Most of the samples had a print on the edge “designed in Japan” and maybe also for that reason they were a good fit for my taste. I was so fascinated by the textile design and some are so sweet and some just beautiful and some feature interesting geometrical shapes and others have patterns similar to traditional Japanese kimono patterns. Most of the samples had a print on the edge “designed in Japan”and maybe also for that reason the way were a good fit for my taste. Also in Vienna fortunately I found many samples “made in England” at a very reasonable price.  I was so fascinated by those samples that I would almost like to frame them but I think these designs were made in order to create something from them. It is obvious that the design was made for that. If I were good at sewing I would also been able to make objects like small pouches , pencases, etc. When I look at those designs, suddenly I had an image what the doll should look like with that specific pattern. That was so entertaining and fun. Most of my dolls have been created out of the image I had from the textile sample. First cloth and second doll. You could call my dolls fashion models. Because I wanted to make small dolls, their clothes were small too and in order to enjoy them, the clothes could not be overly complicated. Therefore they almost  always wear wide skirts.

人形を作る時、私の場合、だいたい2通りのパターンがあるようです。1つは、人形から始める場合。2つは、材料から始める場合。1つめは、状況などを人形を使って表したい場合です。まず、どんな人形で状況を表現できるかを考え、次にその人形に合った服装を選びます。2つめの場合は、まず、毛糸や布地があって、それからインスピレーションを得るという形。例えば、細い繊細な毛糸は人間の髪の毛を想わせることがあります。それで、この毛糸を髪の毛にして、これに合った人形を作りたいな、と思い始めるのです。特に、私にとっては、布地のデザインが創造の源であることが多いです。10年ほど前、ウィーンと日本で、ハギレを売っているお店を見つけることができ、それにより私の人形作りに拍車がかかりました。  特に、故郷高知の大きな服地屋さんが閉店するにあたって、セールをしていたことにより、私は安価にたくさん、少なく切った布地を買うことができました。素晴らしいデザインの数々で、かわいいものや、美しいもの、素敵な幾何学模様や、和柄など。私は時を忘れてそれらを眺めて幸福な気持ちになります。布の端に「designed in Japan」と表示されているものが多いので、私の好みに合っているのでしょう。また、ウィーンでもイギリスでデザインされたという表示のあるハギレを安価にたくさん買う機会に恵まれました。私はこれらのデザインから感銘を受け、額縁に入れて飾り、眺めたいと思うほどでした。しかし布地のデザインというものは、それで何かを作ることを考慮して施されていると思うようになりました。もし私がお裁縫が得意なら、ペンケースなど作れたかもしれません。しかし私の場合、これらの柄に合った人形を考え出すことに大きな喜びを覚えたのです。先ず、布があって、それから人形を考え出すのです。まるで人形がファッションモデルであるかのようだと思います。しかし小さい人形なので、あまり難しい洋服は私は作れません。柄を眺めて楽しめるように、多めに布を使用して、ゆったりとしたギャザースカートを着せることがほとんどです。

Making my dolls 私の人形作り

Ever since I was a child I wanted to make dolls. After many and long tries, about ten years ago I started to make dolls with “Fimo” material. Some time I made many many dolls. Right now I am pausing but in the future I would like to make more dolls.       The thought of making dolls presumably has to do with memories of my childhood.      My mother was really good at sewing and she made a doll from fabric for me. Unfortunately it is made from cloth and the face was drawn on with a pen and got washed out, the eyes being quite realistic which I found a little frightening. Of course I was happy and grateful for that, I was about four or five years old at that time.     Back then, I became friends with the children from the house on the other side of the street, where I used to live (Saiwai-cho in Kochi City). From them I heard that their grandmother was making dolls. One time I was allowed to look in their grandmother’s room and it was astonishing because everywhere in the room there were beautiful dolls. They were so beautiful and I assume she was a professional. I guess the dolls were made of cloth and very precise in all details. I think I saw some realistic dolls wearing Kimonos. Ever since I saw that, I also wanted to make dolls.       Another memory from back then is that my father used to work at a high school (Ozu High School in Kochi city). One day some of his students came to our house to visit him. I think they all collected money together and brought a doll for me. She was so wonderful like the ones the grandmother from the neighbouring house made. She was a European elegant lady with a beautiful marron-coloured hairdo, a pearl-like necklace and wearing a rosé coloured semi-long dress. She was sitting on a small chair, both legs closed, stretched to the side below the knees. Her beautiful legs were slim and curvy, wearing high-heel shoes with pointed tips. She was in a plastic box and unreachable and she is only loking at me with her beautiful big eyes. She is still at my house in Japan and gives me happiness. When I see her, I think about the day I received her and I can relive that moment in gratitude.

As a dollmaker, I am entirely self-taught. I have studied singing thoroughly and deeply, which is my profession. But when making dolls, I want to express my creativity freely and spontaneously. Therefore I will never reach such a high level as my neighbours’ grandmother but for the time being, I am really happy and satisfied with that.

子供の頃から人形作りがしたいと思っていました。いろいろ試した後、10年ほど前から人形本体を「FIMO」という材料で作るようになりました。今は休憩中ですが、またいつか人形を作りたいと思っています。   人形作りへの想いは、子供の頃の体験に由来しているようです。  私の母は、お裁縫がよくできました。布を使って人形を作ってくれましたが、顔をペンで描いたのでにじんでおり、また、目がリアルすぎて怖いくらいでした。しかし、私はとても嬉しくて、感謝したものです。私が4、5歳くらいのことです。   当時の住居(高知市幸町)のお向かいの家に住んでいた子供達と仲良くさせてもらっていて、よく一緒に遊んでいました。その子達のおばあさまが人形を作っていらっしゃるとのことで、私はどんな人形なのかな、と興味深く思っていました。一度、おばあさまのお部屋を見せていただく機会に恵まれました。お部屋中、お人形がたくさん飾られていて、素晴らしかったです。子供だったのでよくわかりませんが、薄い布で作られた人形だったと思います。非常に繊細に、見事に作られた作品の数々…日本人形もあったと思います。きっと、おばあさまは人形作りの専門的な職人さんでいらっしゃったのでしょう。自分でこんなふうに人形が作れたら、どんなに嬉しいだろう、と私は思い始めました。   また、その頃、人形に関するもうひとつの出来事がありました。当時、父は高知市内の小津高校に勤めていました。ある日、数人の生徒さんが、父を我が家に訪問して下さいました。その際、多分、それぞれがお金を出し合ってのことでしょう、私にお人形をプレゼントして下さったのです。向かいのお家のおばあさまの作品のような、素晴らしいお人形!西洋の貴婦人で、栗色の髪は美しく結い上げられ、真珠のようなネックレスをして、短めのばら色のドレスを纏っています。椅子に両脚きちんと揃えて腰掛けていて、膝から下は横斜めに伸ばしています。細い脚は曲線を描き、その先にはツン!とハイヒール。手の届かないプラスティックの箱の中から、大きな美しい瞳で私を見つめているのです。その人形は今も日本の我が家に飾られています。それを見る度に、いただいた日のことを思い出し、喜びと共に感謝の気持ちが湧き上がります。


Picture by Yuka Simeno


Thunderous New Year in Vienna 元旦のウィーンに轟く雷鳴

A happy New Year! How did you spend the first day of 2019? Here in Vienna the weather was unstable, even before midnight there was loud thunder! Also there was strong rain. I did not look outside but I presume it might have been sleet. I was surprised and immediately pulled out the power cord for my computer from the socket, because I am afraid of thunderstorms. Since my parents were both working, my grandmother (mother’s side) always took care of me. She was born around 1900 and her education of me was quite old-fashioned. She was extremely afraid of thunderstorms and when it was getting stronger, she even closed the typhoon shutters, switched off all lights and electrical appliances, cowered small in the room and we had to murmur “Kuwabara, kuwabara…”. That is a protective spell against lightning. When I was about 4 or 5 years old, I wanted to go to a festival at a nearby shrine with some children from the neigbourhood. One older children, like a big sister to me, made a beautiful hairdo from my hair for that festival. She was so satisfied with having accomplished such a nice hairdo and I also look at myself in the mirror in satisfaction. In that moment, there was a sound of very loud thunder. Screaming, I pulled out all the hairpins from my head and ruined the beautful hairdo. The girl (“older sister”) was appalled and screamed “What are you doing?”. I was raised by my grandmother that lighting strikes metal objects like hairpins and mirrors also attract lightning. When there is thunder, I remember that day and laugh about it…

Later, in school and in documentaries, etc. I learned some things. I can differentiate between science and superstition, but I think the things that our ancestors passed on to us as knowledge are not always incorrect.

This year on New Year’s day I did not do something really special, I had a good time with toasting to the New Year and was a little delirious and lazy. At the end of that day, lightning struck my heart and woke me up. So I thought that this year should be spent with diligence and motivation going forward.

明けましておめでとうございます。元旦をあなたはどのように過ごされましたか?ここウィーンは、一日中変わりやすいお天気で、夜11時過ぎには突然雷が轟き、雨が激しく降りました。外を見なかったのではっきりわかりませんが、雪や雹が混ざっていたかもしれません。私は驚き怯えて、すぐ、コンピューターのプラグをコンセントから抜きました。私は雷がとても怖いのです。   子供の頃、 両親が共働きだったので、明治生まれの祖母(母の母)が私の世話をしてくれました。祖母は昔ながらのしきたりや習慣などをとても大切にしていて、雷には大変な畏れを抱いていました。雷がひどい時は、雨戸を引き、部屋の中で身を寄せ合ってうずくまり、「くわばら、くわばら…」ととなえるのです。   私が4、5歳の頃、住んでいた家の近くにある神社のお祭りに、近所の子供達と一緒に行くことになりました。「おねえさん」と私が呼んでいた年長の女の子が、私の髪をお祭りのため、結ってくれました。おねえさんは、きれいに結えたと喜んでいましたし、私も、鏡の中の自分の姿がまんざらでもない、などと子供心に思ったようです。ところがその瞬間、すごく大きな雷が鳴り響いたのです。私は金切り声を上げながら、頭からヘアピンを手当たり次第全部引き抜きました。「由佳ちゃん、どうしたの?!」と、おねえさんは叫び、ショックに呆然としていました。私は祖母から、雷はヘアピンなどの金属に落ちる、鏡に雷は入ってくる、と教えられていたのです。今も、雷が鳴ると、あのお祭りの日のことを思い出し、思わず笑ってしまいます。   後に、学校の授業やテレヴィなどのいろんな情報から、何が正しくて、何が迷信か、わかるようになりました。しかし、昔の人の言い伝えは、迷信のように思えるものでも、心に留めておくのがいいと思います。


Picture by Yuka Simeno, Salzburg 2017