Old Railroad Stations, My favorite Place 駅の思い出

station

 

JR北海道が芦別、赤平、鷲別の3駅を無人化すると発表しました。芦別は私の生まれ故郷。

Japan Railways Hokkaido publicly announced that three stations in the city of Ashibetsu, Akabira , and Washibetsu will be un-manned. Ashibetsu is where I was born.

 

 

同社によると、安全対策の強化と経営改善のために経費節減を進めており、

In their official statement, JR is in the process of implementing cost-saving policies to improve operations through efficient maintenance and ensure passenger safety.

 

これにより1駅1年あたり1000万円の経費節減がみこまれるとか。

A total of up to 10 million can be saved on both maintenance and labor costs through this initiative per station per year.

 

 

ここ数年事故が続いたJR北海道、後処理に莫大な出費がかさみました。

Over the past several years, JR Hokkaido had to spend significant expenses for a series of accidents that they had caused.

 

中央政府からの特別融資がなければやっていけない状態。

They are unable to do without the special fund from the central government.

 

従って無人化によるコスト削減は避けて通れないのでしょう。

So removing station staff would be inevitable.

 

なんだか心にぽっかり穴が空いた気分がするなあ。

I feel like there’s a hole in my heart.

 

私にとって、駅はただ列車を乗り降りする場所ではなく、人生のいろんなストーリーに根付いています。

To me, railroad stations were not only places to get on or off the train but also deeply rooted in my individual life stories.

 

 

例えば初めて彼女をデートに誘った時の待ち合わせ場所は駅でした。

For instance, I remember my first time to go on a date. I waited for her to show up at the station

 

母危篤の知らせを聞いて列車に飛び乗り、駅に着いて訃報を知らされ「間に合わなかったよ、ごめんおふくろ」と泣いたこともありました。

 

I also remember jumping on the train after hearing that my mother was dying in the hospital. I got to the destination station, when I got the text that she had just passed away. I dropped on my knees, saying “Sorry, mom. I couldn’t make it in time to see you.”

 

 

 

一つ一つの嬉しい悲しい思い出に駅が登場している気がします。

Each one of those good, happy and sad memories is connected with railroad stations.

しっかりしろ、東芝!

一昨日の火曜日、世界を代表する電気メーカー東芝の重鎮が記者会見を行いました。2009年から2014年まで決算報告で総額1510億円にも及ぶ利益水増が発覚したのを受けて。

 

Last Tuesday, July 21st, several figure-heads of the technology giant Toshiba held a press conference, relating to the recently discovered act of the inflating of profit and expenditure figures from March of 2009 to December 2014, amounting to a total of ¥151 billion.

 

会見は現社長、前社長、前前社長の3名がそろって行い、頭を下げて謝罪。自分らの在籍期間に不正経理があったことを認めました。

The press conference was held by all three leaders, including the current CEO of the company. They have expressed their apologies to the press by bowing their heads; admitting that the figures were indeed, incorrect for that span of time, all within their terms.

 

ですが水増しについては認めたものの、彼らが進んで指示を出したという点については否定。

Though they recognized the “inflated” numbers, they denied the allegations that the directive of willfully changing the information came from them.

 

 

1980年代、ヨーロッパの某国に赴任していた頃、差別やら何やらでホームシックにかかったことがありました。

I remember, during my overseas assignment in 1980s, I was feeling homesick and really didn’t enjoy my life there because of the racial harassments and so on.

 

そんなある日、テレビを見ていたら、東芝のCMが流れました。異国で聞く自国の会社のコマーシャル。とても勇気づけられ、誇りさえ感じたのを覚えています。

Then, as I was watching TV, I saw a Toshiba commercial; it instantly improved my mood! The short screen time gave me much pride and courage to push on with my stay in that city, as it reminded me of how great things are back home. I felt good that a Japanese company is still doing well over the years.

 

僕だけじゃない。 きっと多くの企業戦士がそのCMに勇気づけられたことでしょう。
It’s not only me but also a lot of corporate worriers who were given courage and pride by the commercial.

しっかりしろ東芝! Pull yourself together.

 

お笑い界に新星あらわる。旭川出身!

 

tonakakuakarui

テレビを見ていて最近人気が出てきたお笑い芸人がいることを知りました。彼の名は「とにかくあかるい安村」。出身はなんとこの旭川!
While watching TV, I’ve recently taken notice of this new comedian that has been becoming very popular recently. His name is Tonikaku Akarui Yasamura, and he was born and raised in our city of Asahikawa!

芸名のごとく、彼はとてもあかるい。小さなパンツ一枚で登場し、あたかも全裸でいるようなポーズをとるのだ。
True to his moniker, he comes out “cheerfuly and amusingly” to the audience, wearing nothing but short shorts. taking a pose as if he might not be wearing anything at all.

彼の主なネタはパンツ一枚のままでいろいろな職業の人々の動作を真似し、一瞬何もはいていないようなポーズをとること。
His main gimmick is to impersonate people of different jobs while in this attire and to suddenly take a pose as if he might not be wearing anything at all.

そして唖然としている観衆に向かって彼は言う。「安心してください。 はいてます。」
In the end he speaks to the appalled audience “Don’t worry, folks. I’m not naked.”

きっと彼は日本のお笑い界で次の担い手になるでしょう。郷土の誇り、がんばれ!
No doubt that this Asahikawa-local will be one of the next up and coming comedians in Japanese comedy show-business.
We are proud of you!

選手宣誓を英語で! 高校野球北大会

oath

 

昨日7月18日、 全国高校野球北北海道大会の開会式で選手宣誓が行われました。

Yesterday, July 18th, a senior high-school baseball player gave his traditional oath, or Senshu sensei, prior to the start of the Regional Baseball Tournament in northern Hokkaido.

 

ふつうこういった行事は、各参加チームがベストを尽くして正々堂々と戦うことを主催者(日本高校野球連盟)に誓うものですが。

Traditionally, this kind of ceremony is to announce each team’s promise to play fair and perform in their best, to the head of the organizer, Nippon Senior High school Baseball Association.

 

 

なんと昨日はその宣誓を英語で行ったというのです。

But this year’s was a little different. The oath was given in English instead of Japanese.

 

主催者によれば、英語での宣誓は過去に聞かないという。

 

According to the organizer, never has this been done in the history of senior high school baseball tournaments.