A Second World


 
 
Monday, July 29, 2013
 
 
A Second World
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
   

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今一つの世界


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ここにもし、それらのものとは全く違った、また目新しい、「今一つの世界」があって、魔法使いの呪文か何かで、パッと、それがわれわれの目の前に現れたなら、そして、たとえば竜宮へ行った浦島太郎のように、その世界で生活することができたなら、われわれはまあどんなに楽しく生甲斐のあることでしょう。

でも、われわれは浦島太郎にはなれっこない。そんな「今一つの世界」なんてあるはずもなく、そこへ住むなんて思いもよらぬことだ。われわれはやっぱり、このきまりきった、面白くもない日常茶飯事を繰り返して行くほかに生き方はないのだ、とおっしゃるのですか。だって「今一つの世界」を求めるわれわれの欲望の烈しさは、どうして、そんなことをいってあきらめていられるものではないのですよ。

ご覧なさい。子供がどんなにお伽話をすくか、青年がどんなに冒険談をすくか、それから大人のお伽話、冒険談は、たとえばお茶屋の二階、歌い女、幇間(ほうかん)。それぞれ種類は違っても、われわれは一生涯、何か日常茶飯事以上のもの、「今一つの世界」を求めないではいられぬのです。お芝居にしろ、音楽にしろ、絵画にしろ、小説にしろ、それらはみな見方によっては、人間の「今一つの世界」への憧憬から生まれたものではありませんか。

暑中には避暑をする。それは何も暑さを避けるためばかりではないのです。われわれはここでも「今一つの世界」を求めている。飽き果てた家庭を離れて、別の世界へ行きたがっているのです。

もろもろの科学にしても、やっぱり人間のこの欲望の現われではないでしょうか。例えば天文学者は星の世界に憧れているのです。歴史家は遠い昔の別世界に思いを寄せているのです。動物や植物の学問はもちろん、生命のない鉱物にだって、薬品にだって、やっぱり「今一つの世界」を見出すことができないでしょうか。

古来のユートピア作者達が、それを夢見ていたことは申すまでもありません。さらにまた宗教ですらも、天上の楽園と言う「今一つの世界」に憧れているではありませんか。

ある型に属する小説家は、誰しも同じ思いでしょうが、わたしもまた、わたしの拙い文字によって、わたし自身の「今一つの世界」を創造することを、一生の願いとするものでございます。


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江戸川乱歩(左)と三島由紀夫


(130 - 132ページ)
江戸川乱歩全集 第30巻 「わが夢と真実」
光文社文庫 2005年6月20日 初版1刷発行

『めれちゃんと今一つの世界』に掲載
(2013年7月7日)


Another World


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Have you ever imagined another world?
It might certainly appear like a fresh-looking and fascinating globe such as the island country of Lilliput, where Lemuel Gulliver meet tiny people less than 6 inches tall as described in “Gulliver’s Travels.”
You would definitely enjoy a thrilling and exciting life, wouldn’t you?

Unfortunately, however, you cannot become a man like Lemuel Gulliver.
You will never find the island of Lilliput on the Earth.

Aftre all, we would have to repeat the same routine work, do an unchanging job, and spend a monotonous life day after day.
Don’t you agree on that?
Well …, it’s true to a ceratin extent, isn’t it?
But we cannot bear such a routinely and uninteresting life forever.

For example, just take a look at small children around you.
These kids talk about fairly tales.
Some boys talk about adventures.
A number of girls chat about Cinderella—a young woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune and eventually she gets married to the prince.


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You see, in fact, everybody seems to seek a world of another kind.
You might find another world while reading a fiction, or a second world while listening to Mozart.
Or you may imagine a French country life while watching a picture painted by Vincent van Gogh in the museum.

Astronomers are engrossed in a world of stars.
Historians are thinking of ancient worlds.
Zoologists walk in the world of animals.
Botanists are enthralled in the world of flowers.
Religious people are dreaming about a paradise.
And as a mystery writer, I’m creating a second world of my own.

By Rampo Edogawa


(loosely and figuratively translated by Kato)


Ummm … I see… So, Kato, are you writing a blog to create your own world?

You’re telling me, Diane.  You’re absolutely right on that.

So what kind of world is it?

Well … look at the following map and list.

 
Access from Another World
 
 

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『Denman Blog』

I see … so your blog is read by people from 86 countries, huh?

You bet on that.

And are you telling me that I’m dreaming about a paradise as a devoted Christian?

You certainly bet on that, Diane.  You’re also creating a youthful fountain while practicing yoga and chi gong.


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By the way, Kato, I recognize the man in the above picture.  He was a famous Japanese writer who committed suicide by harakiri, wasn’t he?

Yes, his name is Yukio Mishima (三島由紀夫).

How about the other man?

He is also quite famous in Japan.  His name is Rampo Edogawa (江戸川乱歩).

… sounds mysterious, doesn’t it?

Yes, it does.  Actually, he is a mystery writer.  His real name is Tarō Hirai (平井 太郎).  His pen name was derived from the famous western mystery writer—Edgar Allan Poe, whom he admired profoundly and enthusiastically.

How was it derived?

In Japanese, his pen name is called “Edogawa Rampo.” <— Edgawa Ran Po <— Edga(w)A lan Poe <—Edgar Allan Poe

I see… The Japanese get confused with "R" and "L" even in writing, don't they?

You're telling me, Diane.

By the way, Kato, how come you come up with "A Second World"?

Well…, I borrowed two DVDs called "Shall We Dance?" from Vancouver Public Library.


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“Actual Shelf Page”

How come two DVDs of the same title you borrowed?

Number 254 is an American version, which is actually a remake of Number 253—the Japanese version.


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“Actual Catalogue Page”


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SHALL WE DANCE (2004)

Official Movie Trailer

Brief Storyline

A lawyer’s life and marriage take an unexpected turn when he follows a woman to a dance studio and begins to take lessons and finds he has a passion for dance. His wife thinks he is having an affair and hires a detective to follow him.

So, Kato, you think the lawyer in the movie is seeking another world of his own when he gets bored with his own work, huh?

Yes, I do.  John Clark (played by Richard Gere) is a lawyer with a charming wife and loving family, but he nevertheless feels that something is missing as he makes his way every day through the city.

Then what happens?

Well… Each evening on his commute home through Chicago, John sees a beautiful woman staring with a lost expression through the window of a dance studio.  Haunted by her gaze, John impulsively jumps off the train one night, and signs up for ballroom dancing lessons, hoping to meet her.

So, John is seeking a love affair, isn’t he?

Oh, no, no, no … he’s seeking what he thinks is missing from his seemingly happy yet monotonous life.

Anyway, he’s looking for a charming and exquisitely pretty woman, isn’t he?

Oh, no, no, no … he’s searching for what he believes is missing from his family life.

What is the beautiful woman staring with a lost expression?

Her name is Paulina played by Jennifer Lopez.  She is a dance teacher, a well-known figure on the ballroom dance circuit who once competed at the world-famous Blackpool international dance competition.  However, she lost the championship years before.


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I see … So, Paulina also thinks that something is missing in her life, huh?

That’s right.

Kato, are you saying that John is seeking a second world while Paulina is trying to regain a once-lost world?

Yes and no… Actually, Paulina wasn’t aware of her once-lost world.  She’d rather stay away from it.  But unconciouslly, she knows that she has to do something to overcome the past failure.

Does she face the music?

Yes, but not until she realizes that John now falls in love with dance itself.

Why is that?


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Well… once John woos Paulina, but she icily tells John she hopes he has come to the studio to seriously study dance and not to look for a date.

Does Paulina notice John’s seriousness?

Yes, she does as time goes by.  Inspired by John’s enthusiasm, Paulina now takes up competing again and decides to leave for Blackpool.

I see… but how come you viewed the Japanese version as well.

Actually, I saw the Japanese version first, then I noticed that Peter Chelsom did a remake out of it.

Which one did you like?

Of course, I like the Japanese version more than the American.

Why is that?


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“Actual Catalogue Page”


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Shall We Dance? (1996)

(Japanese Version)

I enjoyed the Japanese version so much that the American remake looks shadowed in the back of my mind simply because ballroom dancing in Japan is considered “weird” or “sissy” among men, if not the Japasene in general, while it is not abnormal at all in the States. For a Japanese man to join the dancing class, therefore, he needs a great deal of courage and expects a lewd remark from his coworkers once they finds it out.

Really?

Yes… So, a Japanese man in the class always feels tension and senses a spying eye around as if a gay man had to have a courage to come out when worse comes worst. I can’t feel this tension at all in the American remake.

What else?

Compared to her counterpart in the Japanese version, Paulina doesn’t show her character change in such a dramatic way as Mai does in the Japanese version.

So you dislike the American version, don’t you?

No, not really, the remake offers pleasures of its own in the sense that it focuses more on entertainment rather than on serious character study. For example, the end scene shows everyone afterwards: Link and Bobbie are now together; Chic, who was actually gay, dances at a club with his partner; Miss Mitzi finds a new partner, and they are happy together; John and Beverly are back to normal and dance in the kitchen; Vern, newly married to his fiancée, dances with her at their wedding; the private investigator that Beverly hired, starts up dance lessons; and Paulina, with a new partner, competes at Blackpool, the competition that she had lost years before.

… sounds interesting!

Anyway, Diane, when you see the movie, I think you’ll feel like taking ballroom dancing lessons at West End Community Center.


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【Himiko’s Monologue】

In the Japanese version, Shohei Sugiyama (Kōji Yakusho) is a successful office worker, with a house in the suburbs, a devoted wife, Masako (Hideko Hara), and a teenage daughter, Chikage (Ayano Nakamura).


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He works as a section manager for a firm in Tokyo.
Despite these external signs of success, however, Sugiyama begins to feel as if his life has lost direction and meaning and falls into depression.


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I think most of the Japanese workers feel this way.

In any case, I hope Kato will write another interesting article soon.
So please come back to see me.

Have a nice day!
Bye bye …


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If you’ve got some time,

Please read one of the following artciles:



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“Halifax to Vancouver”

“A Thread of Destiny”

“Fujiyama Geisha”

“Beaver Lake”

“God is Near!”

“Holy Cow@Rose Garden”

“Vancouver Earthquake”

“Birthplace”


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“KIFF”

“You Love Japan, eh?”

“Eight Bridges”

“First Love”

“Fright on Flight”

“Boy’s Movie”

“From Summer to Eternity”

“Sōseki & Glenn Gould”


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“Dream Dream Dream”

“In Search of Your Footprint”

“Little Night Music”

“Merry X’mas”

“Happy New Year!”

“Long live Diane!”

“Mona Lisa”

“Flu Shot”

“Selfish TD Bank”

“Talk with Mozart”


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“Bliss for Diane!”

“Romantic Bohemian”

“TD Bank or Mozart?”

“Diane@TD Bank”

“Tear Jerker”

“Diane in Chorus Line”

“Pork or Friend?”


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“Easter Bloopers”

“Beauty is Heart-deep”

“Romance@South Pacific”

“Art Gallery”

“Diane Hypatia”

“Cherry and Silk”

“Price of Your Life”

“Elephant Cries”

“Banana @ Eden”

“Go Bananas”

“Manwatching”

“Stanley Boardwalk”

“With Your Tiger”


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Hi, I’m June Adams.

I also like the Japanese version better because it is quite funny and emotional as shown in the following clip.

Sugiyama’s life changes once his classes begin.

Rather than Mai, his teacher is Tamako Tamura (Reiko Kusamura), who becomes an important mentor to him.
He meets his classmates: Tōkichi Hattori (Yu Tokui) who joined to impress his wife, and Masahiro Tanaka (Hiromasa Taguchi) who joined to lose weight.

Sugiyama also meets Toyoko Takahashi (Eriko Watanabe), another student.
He further discovers that one of his colleagues from work Tomio Aoki (Naoto Takenaka) is a regular at the dance studio.
Aoki, who is balding and mocked at work for his rigid ways, is revealed to be leading a secret life as a long-haired (via a wig) ballroom dancer.

Though distant from her, the classes increase his infatuation for Mai.
His secret thus becomes twofold: not only must he hide the lessons from his wife, he must also hide them from his friends and colleagues as it is considered embarrassing according to traditional Japanese customs to participate in Western ballroom dance.


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ところで、愛とロマンに満ちた

レンゲさんのお話をまとめて

『レンゲ物語』を作りました。

もし、レンゲさんの記事をまとめて読みたいならば、

次のリンクをクリックしてくださいね。

『愛とロマンのレンゲ物語』


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『軽井沢タリアセン夫人 – 小百合物語』

とにかく、今日も一日楽しく愉快に

ネットサーフィンしましょうね。

じゃあね。


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