fair (adj.) Old English fæger “pleasing to the sight (of persons and body features, also of objects, places, etc.); beautiful, handsome, attractive,” of weather, “bright, clear, pleasant; not rainy,” also in late Old English “morally good,” from Proto-Germanic *fagraz, perhaps from PIE *pek- (1) “to make pretty”.
dale (n.) level or gently sloping ground between low hills with a stream flowing through it, Old English dæl “vale, valley, gorge,” from Proto-Germanic *dalaz “valley”, perhaps from PIE *dhel- “a hollow”, or perhaps a substratum word.
헐벗은 내 몸이 뒤안에서 떠는것은 사랑과 미움과 배움에 참을 너로부터 가르쳐 받지 못한 탓이나 하여 나는 바람부는 처음을 알고파서 두리번 거린다 말없이 찾아온 친구 곁에서 교정 뒤안의 황무지에서 무너진 내 몸이 눌리어 우는 것은 눈물과 땀과 싸움에 참이 너로부터 가리워 아지못한 탓이냐 하여 나는 바람부는 처음을 알고파서 두리번 거린다 말없이 찾아온 친구 곁에서 교정 뒤안의 황무지에서 텅빈 내 마음이 굶주려 외침은 꿈과 노래와 죽음의 참이 너로부터 사라져 잃어버린 탓이나 하여 나는 바람부튼 처음을 알고파서 두리번 거린다 말없이 찾아온 친구 곁에서 교정 뒤안의 황무지에서
The following is a passage from the novel “Dancing the Tango in the Other World” (“The Irreligious People (3)”). I am reminded of the passage quite often these days.
People spent most of their time, except for sleep, looking at their palms. When walking, waiting for the train or subway to arrive, in the train car, on the escalator, sitting on the toilet seat, eating, killing time, etc., they always looked at their palms, whether they were at home or out and about. They never stopped looking at their palms when driving a car or riding a bicycle. When walking, people walked with their palms facing them and their elbows bent 90 degrees. Throughout the train station, people were warned not to walk while looking at their palms, but no one obeyed. Finding their own personal space in the data stored in their palms, including photos and videos, and spending time reading their favorite news or comics or playing games became the daily routine for most people. Many people had accidents while walking, and people were constantly falling from station platforms onto the railroad tracks.
[By the year 30, smartphones seemed to have undergone a revolutionary change and became known as smart phones. Unlike in the 20s, it seems that the palm of the hand itself performed that function. It is hard for the recorder to imagine, but Hyoya sometimes acted in a way that seemed to be the case. Even though he did not hold the phone in his hand, he operated it as if it were in his palm and explained it enthusiastically]. Translated by DeepL
大浜啓吉著｢<法の支配>とは何か: 行政法入門｣(岩波新書)を読んだ。立憲君主制の統治原理である法治国家 Rechtsstaat と戦後日本の統治原理である<法の支配> rule of law の根本的な違い、明治の<法治国家>論の枠組みから抜け出せない現代日本の行政法の学説など興味深い。
｢法治国家論はドイツ帝国の立憲君主制に特有の国家統治の原理でした。明治の新政府は近代国家の範をドイツに求めて明治憲法を制定したのですが、同時にドイツ帝国憲法の原理である<法治国家>論も受容しました。問題は第二次世界大戦に敗れ、日本国憲法が制定された後においても法治国家論の帰結である<法律による行政の原理>が支配的学説として生き残っていることです。<法の支配>を統治原理とする日本国憲法の下でどうしてそういうことになるのか｣(同書 p. 96より引用、句読点ほか編集)
Oguri was born in the 10th year of the Bunsei Period (1827), in Kandasurugadai, Edo (current-day Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), the eldest son of his father, Tadataka and his mother, Kuniko and the 12th in the Oguri line. Traditionally, the head of the Oguri household was called “Mataichi”. The reason for this dates back to the time of the 4th generation Oguri, Oguri Tadamasa. When the 4th Oguri was in the service of future shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, he took up a spear at the critical moment during a battle and saved his lord’s life. After the battle, Tokugawa Ieyasu rewarded him with the same spear and, thereafter, he always aimed to be at the head of the army in battle (ichiban-yari “the first spear”). His position as ichiban-yari became so expected that Ieyasu eventually ordered that he take the name Mataichi, a combination of the characters for “again” and “first”, and the name was then passed down through the Oguri line.
From the age of nine (according to the year counting based on the lunar calendar), Oguri attended the school of Confucianist scholar Asaka Gonsai, on the grounds of the Oguri residence. Also attending this school were Kimura Yoshitake (Kimura Kaishu), who later traveled to the United States on the Kanrin-maru, Iwasaki Yataro, the founder of Mitsubishi Group and, working as an assistant, Kitamura Sehei (later known as Kurimoto Joun), who would become a lifelong friend of Oguri. While attending school, he studied the arts of swordplay, jujutsu and gunnery. Small in size and not especially robust, he nevertheless possessed a well-developed fighting instinct and an unusually powerful curiosity. He also possessed the dislike for excessive and meaningless talk characteristic of the “Edokko”(a native of Edo).
In March of the 14th year of the Tenpo Period (1843), when he was 17 years old, Oguri paid his first visit to Edo Castle and had his first audience with the shogun. Before long, word of his excellence in the fields of both the liberal and military arts had spread and he was made an escort to the shogun. Several years later he married his wife Michiko, eldest daughter of the Takebe family. With Oguri reputedly just 22 and Michiko just 15, they made a charming young couple. However it was not until the arrival of the United States Navy’s Commodore Perry in the 6th year of the Kaei Period (1853), and Japan took its first steps towards opening to the world, that Oguri’s efforts began to take on a furious energy.
Oguri Takes the Stage
Following the arrivals of Commodore Perry and Russian Vice-Admiral Putiatin, and the consequent settling of the Treaties of Peace and Amity with the United States and Russia, Oguri’s father died from sickness whilst serving as magistrate in Niigata City and Oguri, in July of the 2nd year of the Ansei Period (1855) at just 29 years of age, succeeded as the 12th generation head of the family. In June of the 5th year of the Ansei Period (1858), and without the emperor’s sanction, Minister Ii(井伊) Kamonnokami Naosuke signed the United States-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Within the shogunate government, debate still existed concerning the pros and cons of signing the treaty but, from the beginning Oguri was a consistent proponent of the notion that,“Trade is not something for which one can just sit and wait. We should take it upon ourselves to enter the international community and pursue trade and commerce.”
In answer to those factions within the shogunate who were cautious of the treaty he said, “The important thing about who holds responsibility for the country’s administration, is not whether they are a Tokugawa, but whether they possess the determination and resolve to place the emphasis on the good of the nation.” It was decided that the shogunate would send a delegation to the United States, to take part in the treaty’s exchange of the instruments of ratification to take place there the following year. For various reasons, the representatives that the government initially intended to send were unable to go so, in September, it was decided that Shinmi Buzennokami Masaoki would go as senior envoy, Muragaki Awajinokami Norimasa as deputy envoy and Oguri Tadamasa as metsuke (a form of inspection officer).
Shinmi and Muragaki already held important posts in the shogunate government but for Oguri it must have been a considerable promotion. Just one day prior to this appointment, he had been promoted to the post of metsuke, and in November of the same year he was named to the rank of bungonokami. Why Oguri was chosen for this responsibility cannot be said with any certainty, but it is thought that word of Oguri’s sagacity, sensitivity and keen sense of logic and justice, and his opinions regarding such issues as commerce and trade, must have come to the attention of Minister Ii(井伊).
Behind the promotion, Oguri was also assigned a secret task: to identify and rectify any imbalances in the currency exchange rate. According to the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, it was decided that currency exchange should be conducted on a basis of “same type, same amount”, and the rate was fixed at one Mexican silver dollar for three Japanese silver coins. However the matter was complicated by the fact that, at the time, the value of gold was three times higher outside of Japan than within. This disparity threatened the loss of great quantities of gold and gold coins from Japan. At the time there were smaller gold pieces in existence, four of which were equal to the larger Japanese gold coin, the koban. However, due to the low production volume for gold coins, it had been decided that new silver pieces would be produced and circulated as the equivalent of the smaller gold piece. In other words, one koban became equal to four silver pieces.
This meant that 100 Mexican silver dollars could be exchanged for 300 Japanese silver pieces which, if changed into gold, would be worth 75 koban. If this gold was then taken outside of Japan and changed back into Mexican dollars, it would be worth 300 Mexican silver dollars, three times the original amount. Oguri took himself to an office at the Philadelphia Mint and, in no time at all, armed only with scales and an abacus, calculated the gold content of the Japanese and United States currencies and, to the surprise of everybody, made the American authorities recognize this disparity. After this, Oguri’s estimation in the eyes of the United States authorities took a leap. Until that time he had been seen as just a metsuke, little more than a spy, but he soon came to be seen as a man who, despite his small stature, possessed a curious mixture of dignity, intellect and conviction, and who was quite able to express himself directly and give a firm“no”, should he feel the need. This experience in the United States would prove a great influence upon the actions of the man in the future.
Magistrate of Accounts
When Oguri returned from his nine-month-long visit to the United States, he found the state of affairs within his country one of burgeoning radical changes. In November of the 1st year of the Man-en Period (1860), he took office as foreign magistrate and, just one month later, Mr. Heusken, an interpreter for the United States Legation, was killed by a member of the Satsuma Clan. Following this, in March of the 1st year of the Bunkyu Period (1861), a Russian warship occupied Tsushima Island in current-day Nagasaki Prefecture. When the government received word of this, Oguri, in his capacity as foreign magistrate, was sent to Tsushima Island with the task of solving the problem, in the end failing to make the Russians withdraw.
It was this incident which brought home to Oguri the difficulties inherent in diplomacy and the lack of policy of the shogunate government, and he submitted his resignation from the office of foreign magistrate. The incident also revealed to Oguri the shogunate’s lack of economic and military strength, and it was this that would, before long, spell the beginning of his resolve towards the establishment of the Yokosuka Arsenal. In March the following year he was appointed to a position as secretary and bodyguard, in May to the position of defense representative, and in June to the position of Magistrate of Accounts, and given the name “Kozukenosuke”. By this time Oguri was 36 years old. As Magistrate of Accounts, he was responsible for the government’s finances, which was, along with diplomacy, one of the shogunate’s two greatest headaches at that time. Oguri went through periods of repeated appointment and resignation from the post and, by the time of his dismissal in January of the 4th year of the Keio Period (1868), Oguri had taken up the position four times. This shows his expertise in matters of finance.
The Establishment of the Yokosuka Arsenal
In August of the 1st year of the Genji Period (1864), Oguri once again became Magistrate of Accounts. Around this time, a shogunate vessel, the Shokaku-maru was damaged and requested aid in repairs from a French ship which happened to be in port at Yokohama at the time. The repairs were completed perfectly and, in this way, France was able to earn the trust of the shogunate. In addition, the man who facilitated relations between the Japanese government and France during the repairs, was none other than Oguri’s most trusted friend, Kurimoto Joun. Oguri longed to establish a true dockyard and repair facility, but he could not look to the United States for assistance as they were in the middle of the Civil War and did not have the luxury of providing technical support to Japan.
England was to be avoided due to their dealings with the Satsuma and Choshu Clans, and their involvement in the Opium War. As for Russia, relations were still bitter after the incident at Tsushima and he could not turn to them for aid. Oguri was greatly pleased then, to find himself in a position where his close friend could assist in negotiations with the French and he immediately paid a visit to French Minister Roche. Roche too, when he was appointed as minister to Japan, had been charged with regaining status for France, which had been late in penetrating the Orient.
As the two had complementary goals, talks progressed very quickly and smoothly and, in November, discussion had already taken place between Oguri and Roche concerning the appointment of an overseer for the proposed steelworks (renamed the Yokosuka Arsenal in the 4th year of the Meiji Period (1871)). As a result of these talks, it was decided that a formal request would be made for Mr. Verny, an engineer currently posted in Shanghai, China, while the village of Yokosuka was selected as the first choice for the site of the steelworks. Yokosuka had already been involved in the repair of foreign vessels since the 1st year of the Man-en Period (1860), possessed shores of an appropriate depth and with a bedrock capable of supporting dry-docks, and had a marked similarity to the geography of France’s Port of Toulon. In January of the 2nd year of the Genji Period (1865), Verny arrived in Japan and conducted a survey of Yokosuka Port. He made his report concerning the construction of the Yokosuka steelworks to Minister Roche, and the minister and the shogunate government granted their official approval of the construction plan.
Oguri’s plan for the construction of the steelworks received much criticism from within and without the government, but Oguri refused to listen. He is attributed with saying, “A shipyard is a necessity, if only to cut down on unnecessary expenditure. Even if the shogunate should lose the reins of power, the construction of a steelworks at Yokosuka would be an honorable treasure to leave to posterity, on a par with leaving behind a house with a treasure house.” Oguri was convinced that, regardless of who held the reins of power within the Japanese government, the Yokosuka Arsenal would play an important role in the modernization of the nation.
The Yokosuka Arsenal in the Hands of the Meiji Government
On the 1st of April in the 4th year of the Keio Period (1868), the Yokosuka Arsenal, established as a genuine Western-style shipbuilding facility, was handed over to the new Meiji government. This followed the breaking out, in January of the same year, of the Boshin War at Toba and Fushimi-guchi at the entrance to Kyoto, and the subsequent defeat of the forces of the shogunate at the hands of the Meiji government troops. Even during these turbulent times, under the supervision of the Frenchman Verny, work on the steelworks continued steadily. The Meiji government had occupied Edo and, on the 21st of the month preceding the handover of the steelworks, negotiations for the handover were conducted by Higashikuze Michitomi, Governor-General of the Kanagawa Court and Isshiki Naoatsu, Magistrate for the Yokosuka Arsenal.
On the 24th of the same month, discussions with the French Minister concerning the involvement of France were concluded and it was decided that Verny and his 33 French engineers, and the 12 engineers from the Yokohama steelworks, would continue work under the new government as they had under the old, and unfinished work on the dry-docks and shipbuilding berths would continue. On April 6, by the side of the Karasu-gawa River where it runs through the village of Gonda, Gunma-gun, Kozuke-no-kuni (current-day Kurabuchi, Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture), an innocent samurai was beheaded. The man was none other than the one responsible for the creation of the Yokosuka Arsenal, Oguri Kozukenosuke Tadamasa.
At the outbreak of the Boshin War, Oguri asserted his rejection of the new regime and was dismissed by the 15th of the Tokugawa line and then shogun, Yoshinobu. He then retreated to his farm at Gonda Village (part of his fief) with his wife, children and retainers, but was taken by the new authorities and executed without trial. He was 42 years old.
Oguri was not only responsible for the establishment of the Yokosuka Arsenal, but he also proposed the establishment of a railway (between Edo and Yokohama), a national bank, telegraphic and postal systems and the county and prefecture system, and also such modern administrative methods as the establishment of a Chamber of Commerce and Industry and joint-stock company bodies. These were all realized one-by-one by the new government during and after the Meiji Period, laying the foundations for Japan’s rapid development into a modern nation, but it is important to remember also the contributions and efforts of Oguri in breaking the mould and taking those first active steps towards modernization.
The Yokosuka Arsenal, built on the hard work of Oguri, was not just involved with shipbuilding and repairs, but has also been involved in various other fields of endeavor. The Yokosuka Arsenal was the site for the construction of Kannonzaki Lighthouse, Japan’s first Western-style lighthouse, and for the construction of mining machinery and steam engines used in the rejuvenation of Ikuno silver mine (Hyogo Prefecture), which had been closed down at the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Also, the basic design of and machinery for the Tomioka Silk Mill (Gunma Prefecture), which pioneered the modernization of silk thread production, and the turbine water wheels used in cotton yarn production at the Aichi Spinning Mill, were all created at the Arsenal. In this way we can see the immeasurable importance of the role played by the Yokosuka Arsenal in the cultivation of an export industry so vital to the development of Japan’s modern industry and the process of modernization.
In later years, Okuma Shigenobu, a prominent figure in political and journalistic circles during the Meiji and Taisho Periods, said, “Oguri was destined to be killed. The reason: because the Meiji regime’s plans for the modernization of Japan were imitations of his own.” Today, with the world undergoing a turbulent period not unlike the turmoil of the final days of the shogunate, the unmatched foresight and administrative skills exhibited through the achievements of Oguri are being discovered anew. To this day, each year in Yokosuka City, a ceremony is held to celebrate his deeds.
Peririn and Ogurin
The Yokosuka Kaikoku Festival began in 2003, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Commodore Perry’s arrival in Japan. This festival, held each summer, is the representative event of“Kaikoku-no-Machi Yokosuka”(Yokosuka: the City of Japan’s Opening to the World), and features the Kaikoku Fireworks Display, and many other events. Peririn and Ogurin are much loved as the image characters of the Yokosuka Kaikoku Festival, and were created by cartoonist and direct descendent of Oguri Kozukenosuke, Oguri Kazumata, as cartoon re-imaginings of Commodore Perry, who led the re-opening of Japan to the world, and Oguri Kozukenosuke, who contributed in so many ways to the growth and development of Yokosuka.
この歴史的幕切れは、イギリス公使パークス(Sir Harry Smith Parkes, 1828-85, 駐日1865-83)の西郷に対する攻撃中止の強い要請が非公式に出されていたことによる。だが、一方で徳川軍の戦力が温存される結果を招いた。指揮官･大鳥圭介は伝習隊将兵に命じて江戸城内の最新鋭の銃砲を運び出させ江戸を脱出し、彼らを率いて権現様(祖神･徳川家康)を祀る野州日光(現栃木県日光市)に立てこもることを決意した。徹底抗戦を誓ったのである。旧幕府海軍を率いる榎本武揚もまた同じであった。
少し前 Peter Barakan の Weekend Sunshine で 西村ケントという若いギタリストがいることを知った。番組で紹介された彼のライブに予約申し込みをし、YouTube でその演奏を聴くようになった。また、정성하 という若いギタリストの存在を知り、その演奏も聴くようになった。この種のソロライブに行くのは初めてのことだ。
1970年代にヒットした Hotel California (the Eagles)を Kent と Jungha が演奏しており、ふたりの演奏をくり返し聴いた。同じくギターソロで弾いているのに曲想がまったく違う。歌詞は末尾に載せたとおり、幻想的で考えさせる内容だ。そこに込められたであろう意味を想像しながら聴くと、また別の興味が湧く。
バロック音楽やチェンバロ、チェロをはじめ西洋クラシック器楽曲を好んでいた僕は、ギタリストといえば Andres Segovia (1893-1987)しか知らなかった。そのバッハ演奏などをよく聴いたものだ。そんな僕が日韓の若いギタリストの演奏を聴き、初めてソロライブに行くのだから、大きな変化だろう。しばらく前から、73歳を前にして、またクロマティックハーモニカを吹きたくなっている。
On a dark desert highway Cool wind in my hair Warm smell of colitas Rising up through the air Up ahead in the distance I saw a shimmering light My head grew heavy, and my sight grew dim I had to stop for the night There she stood in the doorway I heard the mission bell And I was thinking to myself: “This could be heaven or this could be hell” Then she lit up a candle And she showed me the way There were voices down the corridor I thought I heard them say Welcome to the Hotel California Such a lovely place (such a lovely place) Such a lovely face Plenty of room at the Hotel California Any time of year (any time of year) You can find it here Her mind is Tiffany-twisted She got the Mercedes benz She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends How they dance in the courtyard Sweet summer sweat Some dance to remember Some dance to forget So I called up the Captain: “Please bring me my wine” He said: “We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969” And still those voices are calling from far away Wake you up in the middle of the night Just to hear them say Welcome to the Hotel California Such a lovely place (such a lovely place) Such a lovely face They’re living it up at the Hotel California What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise) Bring your alibis Mirrors on the ceiling The pink champagne on ice And she said: “We are all just prisoners here of our own device” And in the master’s chambers They gathered for the feast They stab it with their steely knives But they just can’t kill the beast Last thing I remember I was running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before “Relax,” said the night man “We are programmed to receive You can check out any time you like But you can never leave”
지난 사월, 춘천에 가려고 하다가 못 가고 말았다. 나는 성심(聖心) 여자 대학에 가 보고 싶었다. 그 학교에, 어느 가을 학기, 매주 한 번씩 출강한 일이 있었다. 힘드는 출강을 한 학기 하게 된 것은, 주 수녀님과 김 수녀님이 내 집에 오신 것에 대한 예의도 있었지만, 나에게는 사연이 있었다.
수십 년 전, 내가 열 일곱 되던 봄, 나는 처음 도쿄(東京)에 간 일이 있다. 어떤 분의 소개로 사회 교육가 M 선생 댁에 유숙(留宿)을 하게 되었다. 시바쿠(芝區)에 있는 그 집에는 주인 내외와 어린 딸, 세 식구가 살고 있었다. 하녀도 서생(書生)도 없었다. 눈이 예쁘고 웃는 얼굴을 하는 아사코는 처음부터 나를 오빠같이 따랐다.
아침에 낳았다고 아사코라는 이름을 지어 주었다고 하였다. 그 집 뜰에는 큰 나무들이 있었고, 일년초(一年草) 꽃도 많았다. 내가 간 이튿날 아침, 아사코는 스위이트 피이를 따다가 화병에 담아, 내가 쓰게 된 책상 위에 놓아 주었다. 스위이트 피이는 아사코같이 어리고 귀여운 꽃이라고 생각하였다.
성심 여학원 소학교 일 학년인 아사코는 어느 토요일 오후, 나와 같이 저희 학교에까지 산보를 갔었다. 유치원부터 학부(學部)까지 있는 카톨릭 교육 기관으로 유명한 이 여학원은, 시내에 있으면서 큰 목장까지 가지고 있었다. 아사코는 자기 신장을 열고, 교실에서 신는 하얀 운동화를 보여 주었다.
내가 도쿄를 떠나던 날 아침, 아사코는 내 목을 안고 내 빰에 입을 맞추고, 제가 쓰던 작은 손수건과 제가 끼던 작은 반지를 이별의 선물로 주었다.
그 후, 십 년이 지나고 삼사 년이 더 지났다. 그 동안 나는, 국민 학교 일 학년 같은 예쁜 여자 아이를 보면 아사코 생각을 하였다.
내가 두 번째 도쿄에 갔던 것도 사월이었다. 도쿄역 가까운 데 여관을 정하고 즉시 M 선생 댁을 찾아갔다. 아사코는 어느덧 청순하고 세련되어 보이는 영양(令孃)이 되어 있었다. 그 집 마당에 피어 있는 목련꽃과도 같이. 그 때, 그는 성심 여학원 영문과 3학년이었다. 나는 좀 서먹서먹했으나, 아사코는 나와의 재회를 기뻐하는 것 같았다. 아버지, 어머니가 가끔 내 말을 해서 나의 존재를 기억하고 있었나 보다.
그 날도 토요일이었다. 저녁 먹기 전에 같이 산보를 나갔다. 그리고, 계획하지 않은 발걸음은 성심 여학원 쪽으로 옮겨져 갔다. 캠퍼스를 두루 거닐다가 돌아올 무렵, 나는 아사코 신장은 어디 있느냐고 물어 보았다. 그는 무슨 말인가 하고 나를 쳐다보다가, 교실에는 구두를 벗지 않고 그냥 들어간다고 하였다. 그리고는, 갑자기 뛰어가서 그 날 잊어버리고 교실에 두고 온 우산을 가지고 왔다.
지금도 나는 여자 우산을 볼 때면, 연두색이 고왔던 그 우산을 연상(聯想)한다. ‘셸부르의 우산’이라는 영화를 내가 그렇게 좋아한 것도 아사코의 우산 때문인가 한다. 아사코와 나는 밤 늦게까지 문학 이야기를 하다가 가벼운 악수를 하고 헤어졌다. 새로 출판된 버지니아 울프의 소설 ‘세월’에 대해서도 이야기한 것 같다.
그 후 또 십여 년이 지났다. 그 동안 제 2차 세계 대전이 있었고, 우리 나라가 해방이 되고, 또 한국 전쟁이 있었다. 나는 어쩌다 아사코 생각을 하곤 했다. 결혼은 하였을 것이요, 전쟁통에 어찌 되지나 았았나, 남편이 전사(戰死)하지나 않았나 하고 별별 생각을 다 하였다.
1954년, 처음 미국 가던 길에 나는 도쿄에 들러 M 선생 댁을 찾아갔다. 뜻밖에 그 동네가 고스란히 그대로 남아 있었다. 그리고, M 선생네는 아직도 그 집에 살고 있었다. 선생 내외분은 흥분된 얼굴로 나를 맞이하였다. 그리고, 한국이 독립이 되어서 무엇보다고 잘 됐다고 치하(致賀)하였다.
아사코는 전쟁이 끝난 후, 맥아더 사령부에서 번역 일을 하고 있다가, 거기서 만난 일본인 2세와 결혼을 하고 따로 나서 산다는 것이었다. 아사코가 전쟁 미망인이 되지 않은 것은 다행이었다. 그러나, 2세와 결혼하였다는 것이 마음에 걸렸다. 만나고 싶다고 그랬더니, 어머니가 아사코의 집으로 안내해 주었다.
뽀족 지붕에 뽀족 창문들이 있는 작은 집이었다. 이십여 년 전 내가 아사코에게 준 동화책 겉장에 있는 집도 이런 집이었다.
“아! 이쁜 집! 우리, 이담에 이런 집에서 같이 살아요.”
아사코의 어린 목소리가 지금도 들린다.
십 년쯤 미리 전쟁이 나고 그만큼 일찍 한국이 독립되었더라면, 아사코의 말대로 우리는 같은 집에서 살 수 있게 되었을지도 모른다. 뾰족 창문들이 있는 집이 아니라도. 이런 부질없는 생각이 스치고 지나갔다.
그 집에 들어서자 마주친 것은 백합 같이 시들어 가는 아사코의 얼굴이었다. ‘세월’이란 소설 이야기를 한 지 십 년이 더 지났었다. 그러나, 나는 아직 싱싱하여야 할 젊은 나이다. 남편은 내가 상상한 것과 같이 일본 사람도 아니고 미국 사람도 아닌, 그리고 진주군 장교라는 것을 뽐내는 사나이였다. 아사코와 나는 절을 몇 번씩 하고 악수도 없이 헤어졌다.
그리워하는데도 한 번 만나고는 못 만나게 되기도 하고, 일생을 못 잊으면서도 아니 만나고 살기도 한다. 아사코와 나는 세 번 만났다. 세 번째는 아니 만났어야 좋았을 것이다.
Two weeks after the excursion, I suddenly realized that Komai Jinzaburo, one of the characters in the novel Daibosatsu Pass, who had lost his position as a bannerman in the Edo shogunate and secretly established a shipyard in Boshu(Chiba Prefecture). I thought to myself, “This is exactly where Komai was based in Sunosaki. Yes, I must have gone to Sunosaki in search of Komai, i.e., Oguri Tadamasa. It was in April of this year that I wrote a blog “Rereading the Daibosatsu Pass.”