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父親と母親。好むと好まざるとにかかわらず、人は親の一部を引き継ぐ。この物語を読んでいて気づかされるのは、主人公と親との間のなんとも言えない微妙な距離だ。その距離は次第に広がっていき、破局を迎える。父親か母親かの選択で揺れる子供。その後一生消えることのない傷を抱えることになる。 無難な道、堅実な道を行く父親。平凡なのが一番良い、が口癖。それとは真逆の母親。音楽に人生をかける母。自分に対しても他人に対しても妥協のなかった母。母のような生き方に憧れ、父のような生き方を蔑みつつ、どちらにも振り切れない中途半端な自分。母に対する裏切り。後悔。偽りの生活。





読了後にずっとこの箇所について考えていた。歩きにくいけれど、足あとが一つ一つ残っている道。自分の人生には足あとがしっかり残っているだろうか。足の形全部が残っている必要はない。いびつな形でも、半分消えてしまっていてもいい。自分なりの足跡を残せているか。 遠藤周作の文章を読むと心がしんとなる。人生を思う。大連の厳しい冬の景色が眼前に広がった。


“Kage ni Taishite” (“Against the Shadow”) by Shusaku Endo This story was newly discovered in 2020. Endo is an internationally acclaimed author whose most representative work is “Silence”. It unspools in Manchuria (Endo himself spent his childhood in Dalian). The protagonist’s father is an employee of the South Manchuria Company, and his mother is a violinist. The father believes in a stable life whereas the mother believes in the path of a calling. The protagonist aspires to his mother’s way of living and despises his father’s. However, he is not able to take either of their ways. In the end, he gets torn between his father and mother, which leaves an unerasable dent in him. What stands out in this story is the nuanced distance: that between his parents; that between him and his parents. His mother advises him.

“Don’t trod on asphalt because there are no footprints left after. It’s safe but boring. Instead leave your footprints walking on a sandy beach, however difficult you find to walk”

Have I left my footprints on my life? However incomplete and faint they can be. Endo’s work always makes me reflect on life. I hope this story will be translated in the near future.

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