Wednesday, March 30, 2011
What a coincidence!
Thank you for the brochure regarding the service of prayer for the Japanese in distress.
You’re quite welcome, Kato. Have you really read it?
Yes, of course, I have. Actually, the brochure let me think about a certain coincidence.
Coincidence? … Well, what kind of coincidence?
Yesterday, I posted an article that was written in Japanese. Unfortunately, you cannot read it. Even if you translate it into English using the Google translator, you won’t be able to understand the contents.
…’cause I did translate the article into English on your behalf using the Google translator, which made such a bad job that nobody could understand the translated sentences. Even worse, you would certainly laugh to death.
Oh, really? How come the Google translator goofed it up?
Automatic translation is still in the cradle. It is far from practical use.
Is that so?
Yes, it is. Anyway, Japan is 16 hours ahead of us. So, the article posted yesterday is dated as March 30. If you’re interested in the article, click the following link:
■“Take a first-hand look at things!”
I wonder if the coincidence you just mentioned has something to do with the above pictures.
Yes, it has. You handed me the brochure right after I posted the above article.
Oh, is that right? Tell me how the above pictures in the article relate to the brochure I handed to you.
Look at the two women who stand side by side in the center of the front row.
One of the women is apparently a European, isn’t she?
Yes, she is. Actually, she is an American professor and missionary. Her name is Minnie Vautrin.
Wilhelmina (Minnie) Vautrin (September 27, 1886 – May 14, 1941) was an American missionary renowned for saving the lives of many women at the Ginling Girls College in Nanjing, China, during the Nanking Massacre.
Minnie Vautrin was born in Secor, Illinois. She was hard working and spent much of her childhood and teen years earning money to attend college. At 17, she attended Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. She then graduated from the University of Illinois. She began a career in teaching, starting with high school in LeRoy, Illinois.
In 1912, Vautrin made her way to China as a missionary and teacher. During her first few years there she helped found a girls school in Luchowfu. After her first furlough, she returned and helped build and found Ginling Girls College in Nanking, where she eventually took over as Master of Studies.
When the Japanese army invaded Nanking in December 1937, she and the other foreigners in the city, including John Rabe, worked to protect the civilians in the Nanking Safety Zone. Ginling Girls College became a haven of refuge, at times harboring up to 10,000 women in a college designed to support between 200 and 300. With only her wits and the use of an American flag, Vautrin was largely able to repel incursions into her college.
Minnie recounted the horrors of the war in her diary in 1937:
There probably is no crime that has not been committed in this city today. Thirty girls were taken from language school last night, and today I have heard scores of heartbreaking stories of girls who were taken from their homes last night—one of the girls was but 12 years old. Food, bedding and money have been taken from people. … I suspect every house in the city has been opened, again and yet again, and robbed. Tonight a truck passed in which there were eight or ten girls, and as it passed they called out “Jiu ming! Jiu ming!”—save our lives. The occasional shots that we hear out on the hills, or on the street, make us realize the sad fate of some man—very probably not a soldier.
On 19 December :
In my wrath, I wished I had the power to smite them for their dastardly work. How ashamed women of Japan would be if they knew these tales of horror.
In 1938, she wrote in her diary that she had to go to the Japanese embassy repeatedly from December 18 to January 13 to get proclamations to prohibit Japanese soldiers from committing crimes at Ginling because the soldiers tore the documents up before taking women away.
In 1940, weary and stressed, Vautrin took a furlough again from her work. A few months later, haunted by the images she saw and feeling responsible for not being able to save more lives, Vautrin committed suicide by turning on the stove gas in her small apartment in Indianapolis.
After the war, Vautrin was posthumously awarded the Emblem of the Blue Jade by the Chinese government for her heroic sacrifices during the Nanjing Massacre. Her work saving the lives of Chinese civilians during the massacre is recounted in the biographical book, American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking, written by historian Hua-ling Hu.
In the documentary film Nanking, Vautrin was portrayed by actress Mariel Hemingway, who recited excerpts from Vautrin’s diary.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pictures: from the Denman Library
Oh, how awful! And what a pity! I’m shocked to know that she committed suicide. You know, Kato, Christians are not allowed to do that.
Yes, I know. Our lives have been given by the Creator. So, nobody should kill himself or herself without His consent.
That’s right. Do you agree on that, Kato?
Yes, of course, I do. And I’ll never—ever kill myself no magtter what disaster or distress hit me hard.
So, Kato, how come you’ve picked her up for your article?
Well…, the brochure says:
In the Christian faith we speak of two kinds of evil – moral evil and natural evil. Moral evil is the cruelty unleashed upon the world by ourselves. It is the inhumanity we display by the exercise of our own free choice. When we lift our hands in anger agaqinst another; when bombs are dropped on innocent civilians; when poverty grows whilst wealthy elites flourish; when people are interned and their property is stripped because of ethnic or racial identity; when we turn away in indifference to the suffering of others – this is what we call moral evil.
Kato, I thought you were only interested in scantly-clad women like Marilyn Monroe below:
Wow! Look at the above pictures! Oh, yes, I love beautiful, charming, life-loving women. However, I’m also interested in humanity and goodwill.
Yes, of course…You don’t seem to believe me. Diane, I’m writing articles with a great hope that in the near future all the human beings will enjoy the peaceful days without wars and famine.
Do you really meant it?
Yes, definitely, I do. Believe me, Diane, I haven’t lost my mind on scantly-clad women, although I might look dumb from time to time.
Well…, I believe you. So, what kind of impression have you got from her suicide?
That’s the very reason I’ve picked her up for my article. The brochure also says:
Faith tells us that from the depths of suffering we can rise to a new hope, and build a better future. This is our Christian belief, found also in all religions and spiritual pathways.
Well, Minnie experienced the profound depths of suffering … so much so that she lost her mind. By writing the article, I just wanted to pray for her lost mind so that her soul could rest in peace.
How awful it is, indeed, to know that Minnie Vautrin committed suicide after being weary and stressed, haunted by the dreadful images she saw and feeling responsible for not being able to save more lives from the inhumane soldiers.
And, like Kato, I want to pray for Minnie so that her soul will rest in peace forever.
I also wish all the human beings could enjoy the peaceful days without wars and famine.
It would be marvellous if such days came into reality.
Don’t you think?
Anyway, peace is one thing; and romance is another.
Well, come to think of it, I’ve never met a decent man in my life.
How come I’m always a loner?
I wish I could meet a nice gentleman at the library in my town as Kato met Diane.
Well, they say, there is a way where there is a will.
Have a nice day!
Bye bye …
■ 『ちょっと変わった 新しい古代日本史』
■ 『 ○ 笑う者には福が来る ○ 』
①男の名前； 聖ヴァレンチノ （３世紀ローマのキリスト教殉教者）
St. Valantine’s Day