Dear Mr. Kanehara

I lived in Japan from 1936 to 1938. In 1937 the Tokyo Asahi newspaper published a photograph of a friend and I riding on bicycled and a short commentary. I have the newspaper sheet, but nobody here can translate the commentary. Besides I have two autographs from friends in Japan, but I do not know what they say. All is written in ancient Japanese.

After all these years through the Internet I hope to find someone who can help me. Having come across your name and seeing that you are a very qualified professor perhaps you can do me the favor of the translations or advice me on who can.

Yours gratefully
Irene Soler





朝日新聞 / Asahi Newspaper色紙 / autograph色紙 / autograph

 左が新聞記事、真ん中と右が色紙です。これは確かに古い! しかも、自転車に乗っている外国人(手前の女性)は、どう見ても10代以上。ということは、やっぱりアイリーンさんは、80歳を超えているはず。もしかすると、90歳くらいの方かもしれません。


 義母に画像を見てもらったところ、右はすぐに分かりました。神州というのは神の国、つまり日本のことで、どうやら5文字合わせて「日本万歳」(神国万歳の声)ということのようです。問題は真ん中で、「信」は分かるのですが、他の2文字が分かりません。辞書などで略字を確認したところ、どうも「望」と「愛」のようだということで、それらしい訳語をつけて送りました。(間違っていたら、教えてください。)ツバキカズラ / Copihue



I was surprised and very happy to receive such a kind mail from you.

Since you seem to be interested I shall tell you a short story. In 1937 my father decided that we should all, mother and three children go to live in Japan, since he had been there before and found out that he could import to Chile merchandize that at the time was unknown here. But mostly he was impressed with the country and wanted us to know it. We did not go to the “bluff” where most of the foreigners lived, but rented a lovely house in Honmoku which belonged to an English captain married to a Japanese lady. There we lived surrounded by Japanese houses and could learn about their lives. I remember the spring cleaning in the nubai season, and also the typhoon that came every year and flooded the area. We were sent to The American School in Tokyo where we went every day by bus and train. We only spoke Spanish and German since my mother is Swiss. We visited Kamakura, Miyanoshita, and many other places, we were very happy.

In 1938 my father decided to return home. It was a great shock to me, and I missed Japan for years, I can almost say all my life. I am surrounded by souvenirs and treasure the least little object. Since then I read and learned all about the country which I had been to young to know.(So now you know my age.) I have five children and eighteen grandchildren and tell them about my youth. The other day one of the grandchildren asked me “grandmother, were you born in Japan?” I only answered, “Yes” since it is true that in many ways I was born in Japan.

Please send me your address .I would like to send you an album with pictures of Chile, so that you will know us better.

My best wished to your teacher and receive the warmest regards from your friend,

 アイリーンさんは、お父さんのお仕事の関係で日本にいらしたようです。さすがに年齢は教えていただけませんでしたが、お孫さんが18人いらっしゃるとのこと! すばらしいですね。アイリーンさんからは、このあと、私と金原先生宛てにチリの写真集を送っていただきました。南北に長い国だけに、多種多様な風景があって、とても興味深かったです。




 last updated 2006/7/7