朝日出版社ウェブマガジン

MENU

ケンブリッジ大学ヤング博士の A Young's Eye View on Japan

Creative sounds

This week I attended an engaging talk and musical performance by my Selwyn colleague, Dr Deepak Venkateshvaran. Deepak is both a physicist and a skilled player of the tabla, an Indian instrument comprising a pair of drums. In his presentation, Deepak combined these two passions by explaining the physics behind the harmonic sounds made by these percussion instruments.

engaging 人を引き付ける、魅力のある / colleague 同僚 / physicist 物理学者 / skilled 熟練した、腕の立つ / tabla タブラ (インドの伝統的なハンドドラム) / instrument 楽器 / comprise ~から成る、構成される / combine ~を混ぜ合わせる、結び付ける / passion 情熱、熱中 / harmonic sound 倍音 / percussion instrument 打楽器、パーカッション

LEFT: Dr Deepak Venkateshvaran (photograph taken by Mr Roger Mosey)
RIGHT: Me trying to play the tabla (photograph taken by Mr Roger Mosey)

 While listening to Deepak’s lecture I was struck not only by the sophisticated physics behind the tabla’s distinctive tones, but also by the tales of men and women in India who create these instruments without any scholarly awareness of that science. These artisans do not require complex equipment or mathematical formulae; only the dexterity of their hands and the acuity of their ears.

be struck by ~に感銘を受ける / sophisticated 洗練された、精緻な / distinctive 独特の、特色のある / tone 音色、音調 / scholarly 学術的な、学問的な / awareness 意識、認識 / artisan 職人、工匠 / require ~を必要とする / complex 複雑な / equipment 設備、装置 / mathematical formula 数式 (formulaの複数形はformulae) / dexterity 器用さ / acuity 鋭敏さ

This story returns me to Okinawa and the workshop of renowned silversmith[1] Matayoshi Kenjirō (by coincidence, Deepak also visits Okinawa through his work). Years earlier, the esteemed potter Hamada Shōji had overheard Matayoshi-san’s father tapping metal against metal, and immediately recognised that sound as the work of a silversmith. As if to reinforce the significance of sound in his endeavour, Matayoshi-san introduced his apprentice to me and explained that she will spend years just listening to her master work before she can herself take up the silversmith’s hammer.

[1] 銀細工, which in Okinawa is pronounced ginjeeku

renowned 高名な、著名な / silversmith 銀細工師 / Matayoshi Kenjirō 又吉健次郎 (1931-。沖縄の伝統的な金細工 (くがにぜーく) 工房の7代目) / by coincidence 偶然にも / esteemed 尊敬されている、評価の高い / potter 陶工、陶芸家 / Hamada Shōji 濱田庄司 (1894-1978。東京高等工業学校(現東京工業大学)窯業科卒。1955年、工芸技術部門陶芸民芸陶器において重要無形文化財保持者(人間国宝)に認定) / overhear ~をふと耳にする、立ち聞きする / tap A against B ABをトントンたたく / immediately すぐに、即座に / recognise A as B ABとして認知する、ABだと分かる / as if to do ~するかのように / reinforce ~を強める、補強する / significance 重要性、意義 / endeavour 努力 / apprentice 弟子、見習い

I am honoured to wear a ring crafted by Matayoshi-san in that traditional way. The design is a musubibana, or ‘flower of ties’, a name coined by Hamada Shōji. Inside the ring case, Matayoshi-san penned for me a ryūka[2] that reads:

 With thoughts of love the flower of ties blooms; adorning Vick’s hand let it bring a wealth of happiness

 Umui kanakana to musubibana sakachi Vick yubi kazati kafu yutabori

[2] 琉歌, a poetic form from the Ryukyuan Islands that follows a syllabic structure of 8-8-8-6

be honoured to do ~することを名誉に思う、~できて光栄に思う / craft ~を巧みに作る、職人技で作り上げる / traditional way 伝統的な方法、昔ながらのやり方 / tie 結び、つながり / coin (新しい言葉として) ~を作る / pen for A B AのためにBを書く / read ~と読める、書いてある / thought 考え、思想 / bloom 花開く、開花する / adorn ~を装飾する、飾る / bring happiness 幸福をもたらす / a wealth of 大量の、多くの / umui《沖縄方言》ウムイ=想い / kana《沖縄方言》カナ=愛 / sakachi《沖縄方言》サカチ=咲かせて /  kazati《沖縄方言》カザティ=飾って / kafu《沖縄方言》カフ=果報、幸運 / yu《沖縄方言》~ユ=~を / tabori《沖縄方言》タボリ=給え、ください

LEFT: Matayoshi Kenjirō’s musubibana ring design
RIGHT: Ring box containing Matayoshi Kenjirō’s poem

The opportunity to connect with you all through this column has been one such happiness. Thank you very much for reading. 

このコラムを通じて日本の読者のみなさまとご縁を結べ、とても幸せでした。ご愛読、ありがとうございました。

バックナンバー

ジャンル

閉じる