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…