In Japan, the Elderly Often Live, and Die, Alone估每周有4000人! 日本老人往往獨居獨死

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讀紐時學英文
2017/12/29 第199期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
 
 

紐時周報精選 In Japan, the Elderly Often Live, and Die, Alone估每周有4000人! 日本老人往往獨居獨死
Reckoning on Sexual Misconduct Splits Women Over How Harsh Judgment Must Be追究性侵擾該怎麼拿捏 女性看法分歧

紐時周報精選
 

In Japan, the Elderly Often Live, and Die, Alone估每周有4000人! 日本老人往往獨居獨死
文/Norimitsu Onishi
譯/李京倫

Cicadas, every Japanese schoolchild knows, lie underground for years before rising to the earth’s surface in summer. They climb up the nearest tree, where they cast off their shells and start their short second lives. During their few days among us, they mate, fly and cry. They cry until their bodies are found on the ground, twitching in their last moments, or on their backs with their legs pointing upward.

Chieko Ito hated the din they made. They had just started shrieking, as they always did in early summer, and the noise would keep getting louder in the weeks to come, invading her third-floor apartment, making any kind of silence impossible. As one species of cicadas quieted down, another’s distinct cry would take over. Then, as the insects peaked in numbers, showers of dead and dying cicadas would rain down on her enormous housing complex, stopping only with the end of summer itself.

每個日本學童都知道,蟬會在地下蟄伏多年,而後在夏天爬到地表。牠們會攀上最近的樹,在那裡脫殼並展開短促的第二段生命。在與我們人類共處的短短幾天內,牠們交配、飛翔並鳴叫。牠們鳴噪,直到身軀落地,在臨終時抽動,或背部貼地腳朝天。

伊籐千惠子討厭蟬噪。蟬兒才剛開始呼噪,一如既往的初夏。喧噪聲會在未來幾周變得越來越吵,侵擾她的三樓寓所,並扼殺所有的寧靜。當一種蟬安靜時,另一種蟬又會接著聒噪。而後當蟬的數量達到高峰,成批死掉或垂死的蟬就會灑落在她偌大的住宅社區中,直到夏天本身結束為止。

“You hear them from morning to evening,” she sighed.

It was the afternoon of her 91st birthday, and unusually hot, part of a heat wave that had community leaders worried. Elderly volunteers had been winding through the labyrinth of footpaths, distributing leaflets on the dangers of heatstroke to the many hundreds of residents like Ito who lived alone in 171 nearly identical white buildings. With no families or visitors to speak of, many older tenants spent weeks or months cocooned in their small apartments, offering little hint of their existence to the world outside their doors. And each year, some of them died without anyone knowing, only to be discovered after their neighbors caught the smell.

「從早到晚都聽見牠們在鬧。」伊籐嘆道。

這是她91歲生日的下午,天氣異常的熱,這波熱浪令社區主事者憂心。一些年長志工走過迷宮般的小徑,向171棟幾乎一樣白色大樓的數以百計像伊籐這樣獨居的住民發送傳單,提醒他們中暑的危險。許多年紀大的房客沒有家人或訪客可說話,繭居在小寓所幾周或幾個月,讓門外的世界幾乎察覺不到他們的存在。每年他們之中都有一些人在無人知曉的情況下死去,直到鄰居聞到屍臭才被發現。

The first time it happened, or at least the first time it drew national attention, the corpse of a 69-year-old man living near Ito had been lying on the floor for three years, without anyone noticing his absence. His monthly rent and utilities had been withdrawn automatically from his bank account. Finally, after his savings were depleted in 2000, the authorities came to the apartment and found his skeleton near the kitchen, its flesh picked clean by maggots and beetles, just a few feet from his next-door neighbors.

The huge government apartment complex where Ito has lived for nearly 60 years — one of the biggest in Japan, a monument to the nation’s postwar baby boom and aspirations for a modern, U.S. way of life — suddenly became known for something else entirely: the “lonely deaths” of the world’s most rapidly aging society.

“4,000 lonely deaths a week,” estimated the cover of a popular weekly magazine this summer, capturing the national alarm.

孤獨死第一次發生,或至少頭一次獲得全日本注意,是伊籐家附近一名69歲男子的屍體倒臥在地三年,沒有人發現他不見了。他的每月房租和水電瓦斯費都從個人銀行帳戶自動扣款。最後,他的存款在2000年耗盡,當局來到他家,在廚房附近發現他的骷髏,肉身已被蛆和甲蟲吃光,離隔壁鄰居只有幾英尺遠。

伊籐住了近60年的龐大公家住宅社區是日本最大的公家住宅社區之一,標誌著日本戰後嬰兒潮與對現代美式生活方式的嚮往,突然間因為全然不同的事而聲名大噪:世界上老化速度最快社會的「孤獨死」。

今年夏天,某暢銷周刊在封面標題上估計「每周有4000人孤獨死」,令舉國為之一驚。

說文解字看新聞

文/李京倫

本文談的是日本老人的「孤獨死」(lonely deaths),卻從「蟬的一生」說起,是一種比喻,因為女主角伊籐千惠子原本跟家人住在這個社區,但先生、女兒相繼罹癌過世後,她開始和老朋友聯絡並結交新朋友,展開第二段生命,就像蟬一樣。夏季熱浪(heat wave)侵襲,孤獨死容易發生,就如成批的蟬在夏天死去一般。

美式英語的apartment主要指出租的房間或整戶住宅,condominium則是住戶自有的房間或整戶住宅。英式英語則用flat指整戶住宅。1960年代,日本政府在東京等城市外圍蓋起大型住宅社區租給上班族。這些出租住房體現了西方人的生活方式(Western structure of life),可供年輕人組織核心家庭(nuclear family),擺脫多代同堂的住家(multigenerational home)。

 

Reckoning on Sexual Misconduct Splits Women Over How Harsh Judgment Must Be追究性侵擾該怎麼拿捏 女性看法分歧
文/Nellie Bowles
譯/王麗娟

In Boston, the leader of a businesswomen’s group said that some women were so angry about the wave of sexual harassment revelations that they no longer wanted to hire more men. In Kansas City, Missouri, a women’s career center is urging women not to throw caution to the wind when making public allegations involving harassment. And in Silicon Valley, one of the best-known female executives in the technology industry is celebrating the moment while advising that accusations must be followed by a fair process of punishment.

The diversity of perspectives reflects an evolving debate over harassment among women across the country. In interviews with The New York Times, most women agreed that a reckoning for the sexual misdeeds of men in the workplace was a long time coming. But ask the question “What do we do about it?” and the answer has become as wide ranging, nuanced and intensely personal as the offenses themselves.

在波士頓,一個女企業家組織的負責人說,有些女性對這波性騷擾事件的曝光憤怒到不想再雇男性員工。在密蘇里州堪薩斯市,一個女性職業介紹所呼籲女性在公開指控騷擾時,不要不顧一切全豁出去。在矽谷,科技業最知名的女性高管之一對這一刻額手稱慶,卻也同時建議,這些指控的後續發展,應該是一個公平的懲罰程序。

這些多元的觀點反映出,全美女性有關性騷擾問題的辯論正在如何發展。接受「紐約時報」訪問的女性大多認為,清算職場男性性侵擾行為是遲來的正義。但被問到對這樣的問題「我們該怎麼辦?」時,答案卻變得和那些不當行為一樣範圍廣泛、微妙,且高度個人化。

“We need to make sure the people accused believe there’s due process,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer and one of the most prominent female executives in Silicon Valley, said in an interview. “There will be claims that aren’t true, and if people feel there’s going to be no process for vetting, that’s where the backlash against women comes.”

But, Sandberg added, the opportunity to address what women commonly face cannot be allowed to slip away. Sexual harassment “has always been about power,” she said. “We cannot have a rash of people coming out and people getting fired and then back to business as usual.”

矽谷最知名的女性高管、臉書營運長雪柔.桑柏格受訪時說:「我們必須確保遭到指控的人相信,他們會面對正當的程序。這當中會有不實的指控,倘若人們覺得不會有審查過程,女性遭到反撲的時刻就會來臨。」

但是桑柏格也說,這是個解決女性經常遭遇問題的機會,而且機不可失。她說:「性騷擾始終和權力有關。 我們不能看著一批人挺身而出,有些人被炒魷魚,然後又讓一切回到遺去。」

For many women, the revelations around high-profile predation by men like Harvey Weinstein began as a black-and-white issue that deserved zero tolerance. Yet as the movement has flowed into workplaces around the country and grown into a broader conversation about men’s behavior, it is getting more complicated. Women’s debates about sexual harassment are splitting.

Some women caution that men need to be encouraged to join the conversation; others argue that men will change only if women collectively demand it. Some argue that making accusations on social media could become more dangerous for accusers, potentially exposing them to lawsuits; others see airing such accusations online as the only option. Older women said they were stunned at how little tolerance those just graduating from college had for toxic gender dynamics that had long been considered pretty normal; college students asked why women had tolerated sexual harassment for so long.

哈維.溫斯坦這類男性高調掠食的醜聞東窗事發時,許多女性一開始認為是黑白分明的一件事,理應零容忍。然而,隨著這場運動流入全美各地職場,演變成與男性行為有關的更廣泛談話後,情況也越變越複雜。女性有關性騷擾的辯論現在是眾說紛紜。

有些女性提醒,應該鼓勵男性加入交談;有的女性則主張,唯有女性集體要求男人才會改變。 有的女性認為在社群媒體發出指控對指控者更加危險,可能害她們吃上官司;有的則認為,在網路上公開發表這類指控是唯一選擇。年紀較大的女性表示,她們對大學剛畢業的學生對性別定型這個有毒思維容忍度如此低感到吃驚,性別定型長期以來被視為是相當正常的事;大學生則問,何以女性能夠容忍性騷擾如此之久。

 

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