角田柳作WEB展 日米の架け橋となった"Sensei"
開催にあたって Greetings”
角田柳作の生涯 Biographical Sketch
メッセージ Messages
On the occasion of the Tsunoda Ry_saku Exhibition
Tsunoda Osamu
I was born into the family of Tsunoda Yasutarō, older brother of Tsunoda Ryūsaku, and I have been greatly interested in Tsunoda Ryūsaku's life. Over the past ten years I have been tracing its trajectory, and the following are my impressions of that life.
The life of Tsunoda Ryūsaku was itself a "journey." He was born in current Akagi-machi, Gunma Prefecture, and moved to Tomioka, Maebashi, and Tokyo for his education. He stayed in Tokyo after his college graduation, and then moved to Kyoto, Fukushima, Sendai, and Honolulu in Hawaii as a teacher. Later, he moved to the US mainland. After a short stay in Denver, Colorado, he moved to New York, which came to be his permanent home. However, he spent a great many days traveling back and forth between Japan and the United States during the period surrounding the establishment of the Japanese Culture Center, and continued making similar round trips between the two counties after World War II; he died in Honolulu, Hawaii en route to Japan.
I believe the English ability that he himself had cultivated was what persuaded Tsunoda Ryūsaku to take his "journey." It can safely be said that his language ability, in particular his fluency in the English language, determined the course of his life. He was always interested in English: when he was a student, he read through the original texts of Shakespeare; when he was a teacher, he was always in charge of teaching English. Even the Taishō Emperor, then the Crown Prince, watched Ryūsaku teaching an English class at Fukushima Junior High School. He was able to accept the offer of the position of principal of the Hawaii Middle School, and also he was able to establish the Japanese Culture Center when requested, because he was proficient in English. Later, the most prominent episodes that demonstrate his excellent ability in English were that he taught Japanese culture, history, and Japanese in English to students at Columbia University, and that the judge [at his trial in 1941 on charges of spying] seriously asked Ryūsaku, "Mr. Tsunoda, are you a poet?"
Ryūsaku's journey was also supported by many people. At the core of the support was his family: his wife Yasu, who raised two sons and three daughters, in his hometown his mother Gin, and especially his older brother Yasutarō, whose thinking influenced the later life of Ryūsaku.
I am profoundly grateful that this Tsunoda Ryūsaku Exhibition is taking place. On behalf of the Tsunoda family, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to each of you who made this exhibition possible: Professor Utsumi Takashi, the staff of the Waseda University Library, Waseda University, and those of Columbia University, beginning with Ms. Kai Miwa, who have been engaged in creating this event.