too tragic to talk about


There was a special TV program last night(August 5, 2007) on survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima(硫黄島). It was more of a hell than I had expected.

  • survivor 生還者
  • battle 戦い
  • more of A よりいっそうのA
  • hell 地獄
  • expect 予期する

In the program, three Japanese men were talking about their memories they had never talked about for the last 60 years with tears in their eyes. They were all more than eighty. It was like although they had never been able to talk about it for the past 50 years after the war, now that 60 years had passed and they became old enough to die anytime, they could barely talk about it. They said that they had been wondering to themselves if they were allowed to die without telling the truth of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

  • memory 思い出
  • tear 涙
  • more than A A以上
  • …enough to~ 〜するくらい十分…
  • anytime いつでも
  • barely かろうじて
  • wonder to oneself 自問自答する
  • be allowed to~ 〜するのを許される
  • truth 真実

Many returnees from other battles in foreign countries have told us about the situations of battlefields in many ways since the end of the World War Ⅱ. But what happened on Iwo Jima was too ghastly to talk about, so no one had never been able to talk about it on TV until recently. In fact there was a hell on Iwo Jima.

  • returnee 帰還者
  • sitiation 状況
  • battlefield 戦場
  • in many ways 多くの方法で
  • the World War Ⅱ 第二次世界大戦
  • ghastly 凄惨な
  • recently 最近
  • in fact 実際

At the last situation of the war, combined with what I heard about it before, the Japanese army ran out of ammunition. To kill American soldiers, Japanese ones hid themselves under the dead bodies of the soldiers at midnight and when the enemies came close, they stood up quickly and killed them with a Japanese sword.

  • combine A with B AをBと組み合わせる
  • army 軍
  • run out of A Aがなくなる
  • ammunition 弾薬
  • soldier 兵士
  • hide oneself 隠れる
  • dead body 死体
  • enemy 敵
  • close 近くに
  • stand up 立ち上げり
  • Japanese sword 日本刀

Those Japanese soldiers were all skins and bones in a tattered military uniform and their skin were hideously burned from head to arm by the attack of flame projectors. They looked like a fierce god whose eyes were shining, so many American soldiers lost their mind for fear. “Hitori-issatsu(一人一殺)”, a strategy of each soldier having to kill at least one enemy went on for a long time.

  • skins and bones ガリガリに痩せている
  • tattered ボロボロの
  • military uniform 軍服
  • be hideously burned ひどいやけどをしている
  • attack 攻撃
  • flame projector 火炎放射器
  • fierce god 鬼神
  • lose one’s mind 気が狂う
  • fear 恐怖
  • strategy 戦略
  • at least 少なくとも
  • go on 続く

Iwo Jima is a tropical island with only soil and rocks and without no forest. No drinking water is available there. It is said that just before dying, humans are all anxious for water, which is called “Shinimizu”(死に水),water that is used to moisten the lips of a dying person. The Japanese soldiers fought the battle after the hard labor of digging tunnels over half a year. I wonder how much they wanted to drink water when they were dying of a wound.

  • tropical 熱帯の
  • island 島
  • soil 土
  • rock 岩
  • exist 存在する
  • drinking water 飲み水
  • available 入手可能な
  • be anxious for A Aが欲しくてたまらない
  • moisten 湿らす
  • labor 労働
  • dig 掘る
  • wonder  〜かしらと思う
  • die of A Aが原因で死ぬ
  • wound 傷

Though the TV program told TV viewers enough of such a hellish situation on Iwo Jima, I hear that a part of the program had been deleted. One of the witnesses said shortly in the program that he had still something he couldn’t tell even to bereaved families. Such a story, if told, wouldn’t be understood by Japanese people living in the modern, peaceful age and the witness himself and his family would be tormented. It might be sealed for good.

  • TV viewer 視聴者
  • delete 削除する
  • bereaved family 遺族
  • modern 現代の
  • peaceful 平和な
  • torment 苦しめる
  • seal 封印する
  • for good 永久に

It has been 60 years since the war was over, but even now there is still a possibility anytime that such a hellish situation beyond description can take place on this planet again and be repeated.

  • It has been A since S+V SがVしてからAが経つ
  • possibility 可能性
  • hellish 地獄のような
  • beyond description 描写できないほどの
  • take place 起こる
  • repeat 繰り返す

Though we can live free in this society, a lot of people commit suicide everyday in the modern, peaceful Japan our ancestors left us at the expense of their lives. When I think of the dead soldiers in the Battle of Iwo Jima, we have to say sorry to them if we don’t live to the very end of life however miserable we are now and however handicapped our bodies are.

  • society 社会
  • commit suicide 自殺する
  • ancestor 先祖
  • at the expense of A Aを犠牲にして
  • to the very end 最後まで
  • however~ どれくらい〜でも
  • miserable 惨めな
  • handicapped 不自由な

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A RI Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.

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