昨日買った本-「恥と誇りを忘れた母国・日本へ」(渡辺幸一著)

自分が大学生のときもそうでしたが、日本人論および日本論の本は興味あるテーマの1つで、今でも気になる本があると衝動買いして読んでいます。この本も昨日購入した5冊の本の中の1冊です。まだ、本文は読み始めていませんが、日本での安定した仕事を捨て、1990年に家族と一緒に渡英した著者の決意には、何か惹かれるものがあります。日本人としてイギリスの金融街 (the City) に一人で飛び込んで行き、18年間ロンドンのシティーで仕事をこなした彼の精神的なタフさには、拍手を送りたいと思います。

まえがきの部分に、イギリスにきてから、自分が日本人であることや、日本という国について、より鮮明に意識するようになった類の説明がありました。慣れ親しんだ日本語や日本文化から距離を置き、他国の言葉や文化に身を置いてみることが、自分のアイデンティティー(identity)を見つめなおす良いきっかけを与えてくれることが多いのですが、この著者もそれを経験したようです。私も、8年間の英国における生活を通して、自分のアイデンティティーや日本文化・社会、日本語と英語の違いなどについて、よく考えたことがありました。

ほとんど例外なくある言葉とその文化は密接に絡み合っていますから(’A given Language and its culture are almost always closely interwined.’)、短期・長期留学などで日本という国や言葉・文化と距離を置いてみると、自分の国のことをより鮮明に意識できるきっかけになるかもしれません。興味のある方は、この本を手にしてみてください。

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‘Emotional Connection’

The other day when I was watching BBC World News, this phrase came up and remained in my mind. I do not know why the phrase in question caught my attention, but things of this kind sometimes happen to me when listening to English news.

As far as I remember, the newsreader on the programme was talking something about the inauguration of Obama, and the reader went on to say that one of the reasons why President Obama  has been successful in building up the supports from the voters  in America is that his extensive use of the Internet for his presidential campaign. Through his extensive use of the Internet, Mr Obama quickly and effectively bulit up ‘emotional connection‘ with the ordinary American people, especially with younger generations.

According to Kelly Morris, ‘emotional connection‘ is explained in the following manner:

‘It’s being able to relate to a person on an emotional level- being able to share your feelings with them, being open and vulnerable, and trusting that person not to hurt you emotionally. The connection has to work both ways. It’s not a true connection if you share your feelings but the other person holds everything back.’

Source: http://www.helium.com/items/383732-what-is-an-emotional-connection

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Obama’s Inauguration (BBC)

Mr Obama’s inauguration was broadcast live on TV very early in the morning in Japan. I should imagine that the live programme was too early in the morning to be viewed by most of the Japanese people who have to go to work early in the morning. Well, if you have missed the live broadcast, then please visit BBC’s site for various edited video clips of the inauguration as well as of Obama’s first speech as the 44th president of the U.S.A.

‘Honesty’—Billy Joel

On last Friday, we listened to Billy Joel’s ‘Honesty’, and I have pointed out the following phrase is an idiom. Please click the link for the meaning.

‘I can always find someone
To say they sympathize
‘If I wear my heart out on my sleeve.’

What follows is an explanation quoted from ‘Go_English.com’ <site:http://www.goenglish.com/WearYourHeartOnYourSleeve.asp&gt;

‘People who wear their heart on their sleeve express their emotions freely and openly, for all to see. Example: “She is kind of player who never hides how she’s feeling. One look at her and you know if she’s winning or losing.” Reply: “She wears her heart on her sleeve.”‘

Make-up Lecture on 23 January

Please note the following about the extra lecture held on 23 January 2009:

Time: 9:00-10:30 (First Year), 10:40-12:10 (Second Year)

Place: Room 601 (Our usual room on Fridays)

Homework: Bring your draft(下書き) of the essay ‘Pros and Cons of a mobile phone’ to the class!

Ideally, the draft should be in English, but the Japanese version would do to start with.

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