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Koji Hashimoto | Osaka univ. | Japan

View Blog | Read Bio

Visiting Vietnam

ビーチに打ち寄せる波の音を聞きながら、ゆっくりと30年前の論文を読んでいる.こんなのはサンタバーバラでポスドクをしていたとき以来なんちゃうやろか.

ここはベトナムのQui Nhonという街で、日本から一日半かけてやって来た.Elastic and Diffractive Scattering という会議で、そもそも僕の研究からはちょっと遠いのだが、non-perturbative QCDと言えば僕の研究分野な訳で、それでオーガナイザーの方に呼んでもらって、端っこで座っている.実験の話が半分以上なので、基礎的な言葉がわからず、また分かるつもりも薄く、何とものんびりと興味のある講演だけ聞きに行くという贅沢な時間の過ごし方をしている.スケジュールの中には理論セッションもあり、そこは楽しい.明日はchairをするし、明後日は自分の講演がある.

自分がベトナムに来ることなんて、想像もしていなかったし、またこれからもあるのかどうかすら分からない.ホーチミンでの飛行機の乗り継ぎが23時間という悲惨なものだったので、ホーチミンで一泊せざるを得なかったのだが、こういう機会だからと戦争証跡博物館を訪ねてみる.閉館30分前だったが、やはり行っておくべきかと思って.すると驚いたのは、この博物館にはアメリカ人が多く訪ねて来ていることだった.確か韓国で戦争の博物館を訪ねたときには、日本人なんて誰もおらず、韓国人の小学生が大挙して見学していた.ここホーチミンはそうではなく、このあたりが政治や国民性が見え隠れするところかも知れない.現地で見ないと分からない、感情がうずまく.今までそんなことを何度も経験して来た.

Qui Nhonの現地の最寄り空港には、ホテルの歓迎が待ち受けていた.花の首飾りをかけてもらったの、初めて.で、バスに乗り込んでホテルに向かうのだが、中途に通る村があまりに前近代的なので驚く.電気もろくに通っていないような暗い村に、笠地蔵の話に出てくるような笠をかぶった現地の人々が、自分の背の高さより高い荷物を載せて、バイクや自転車で往来する.トタン屋根に、水たまりばかりの泥だらけの道.ベトナム戦争のアメリカ映画で見たような村の光景がそこには広がっていた.ほんまはアジアはこんなところがほとんどなんや、という、多分当たり前の事実が眼前に展開されて、言葉が無かった.広がる水田やその向こうの山々は見慣れた風景ではあったが、日本の僕の知る田園風景との違いがよけいに際立って見えた.

近代的なホテルに到着すると、どうやら他の研究会も同時に開催するらしいことが、垂れ幕で理解された.不思議な感覚である.近いけれどもこんなに遠いところまで来て、知っている人たちと偶然に再会する.静かに一週間過ごそうと思って来たが、他にも研究会があってそちらにも知人友人の講演が並んでいると、ついついそちらにも出たくなってしまう.それにしても静かに部屋で波の音を聞きながら研究が出来るのは素晴らしい.インターネットが、遅いなりにも割と使えるので、論文を参照するにも不便が無い.けれども研究以外の仕事がひっきりなしにやってくるのに対応しなくてはいけないのは、インターネットの弊害である.こんなベトナムの田舎まで来て、こうやって日記をすぐにアップできるのも変なものである.それにtwitterを通じて、いつもおしゃべりしている人たちの会話をそのままここに持って来れるのも、不思議な感覚である.ベトナムの波の音が、湘南の波の音と一瞬聞き間違えるかのごとく.

せっかくいろんな会議をサボらせてもらってベトナムまで来ているのだから、30年前の論文の続きをゆっくり読もう.打ち寄せる波を見ながら論文を読むのは、本当にポスドクのとき以来だ.波の音は、悠久のときの流れを感じさせるだけでなくて、10年前の自分に一瞬で連れ戻す効果があるらしい.

物理をのんびりやろう.嬉しい.

 

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  • http://unabsichtliche-gluecklichkeit Sarai

    (I’m used to translating academic texts, and the language resembles spoken Japanese more, so I’m sure there are some mistakes – if anyone picks them up, please feel free to correct – it will help me as well! I have highlighted the bits I am very unsure of in square brackets :) – Sarai)

    While listening to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore, I slowly read papers from the previous 30 years. I can’t believe that I’ve been doing this since I was doing my post-doc in Santa Barbara.

    To get to Vietnam’s Qui Nhon road takes about half a day when travelling from Japan. Being at the Elastic and Diffractive Scattering Conference was somewhat distantly removed from my actual field of research, but because my research field is non-pertubative QCD, I was asked to be an organiser at the event. [I was quite marginalised.] Discussing the experiments took up more than half of the time. I couldn’t really understand some of the fundamental jargon, and I also wasn’t really bent on stressing about it, so I decided to take this opportunity to really enjoy myself by taking time to only attend lectures that I found interesting. There is also a theory session scheduled, and I look forward to that. Tomorrow I will be the chair, and on the day after that, I will be giving my lecture.

    Regarding visiting Vietnam, I honestly never thought I’d ever come here, nor do I have any idea what the future will hold. The airplane transfer in Ho Chi Minh took 23 hours so was quite a stuff up, and I was compelled to overnight there. Still, because of this, I was able to visit the [War Memorial Museum]. It was 30mins before closing time, but I thought I really should go all the same. What really surprised me about this was that most of the visitors were American. When I visited a South Korean war museum, there were no Japanese people there, but there were a lot of South Korean elementary students on field trips. It’s not like that in Ho Chi Minh, and I can’t really tell [if this is a government district] or whether the national character is enduring or not. It’s difficult to understand if you’re not actually here, but my feelings are really in a whirl at the moment. I have experienced this several times before in the past.

    We were received by the Hotel ushers at the airport closest to Qui Nhon. It was the first time I have ever been welcomed with a garland of flowers. When we boarded the bus for the hotel, I was surprised that en route we passed several villages that really seemed underdeveloped. There were dark, gloomy villages where there was insufficient electrification. [In these villages, it appears that these people, who wear the straw hats so frequently seen in story books] also carry a much heavier burden than this. People travel around by motorbike and bicycle. Between the galvanised zinc roofs are streets that are wed and muddy. The type of scenery in American movies depicting the Vietnam war is pretty much everywhere. On the other hand, when one realises that this is probably the same scenery and situation you find across the rest of Asia, or rather that this is representative, one tends to feel speechless. You soon get used to the scenery of endless rice paddies with a backdrop of mountains, but for someone like me from Japan, this is completely different to the rural scenery that I am used to.

    When we arrived at our modern hotel, we were notified of the research society lecture schedule, which was projected on a [hanging screen]. This caused quite a sensation. Although it was close, so many different people came to this different place and I was able to meet up with several people I already knew. [Note: presumably Japanese people!] .We thought we would be spending a nice relaxed week, but there were other research societies there with people there whom I knew, and because I ended up visiting their lectures, I didn’t get to goof off at all. Even so, I was able to enjoy the sound of the waves peacefully in my room while getting some research done. That was pretty awesome. Internet [was sometiems pretty slow, but still usable], so I could use it for reference. Unfortuantely, [even though there was so much to do besides research], the internet was still responsible for my inability to correspond. In fact, having to come to rural Vietnam, I have reached the stage where I am surprised that I can update my blog so quickly. I was able to let people know via twitter that I was still waiting to talk to the people I usually talk to, which is pretty amazing. For a moment there, I mistook the sound of the Vietnam waves for those in Shounan.

    So with difficulty, [I bunked a few lectures] to take time out in Japan to read over the progression of papers over the past 30 years. I really did start listening to the sound of the waves while reading papers when I was doing my post-doc. Apparently the sound of the waves not only has the power to remind us of the passage of eternity, but also to take me back in time 10 years.

    So I’m just going to take it easy and enjoy some physics. That makes me pretty happy.

  • http://www2.yukawa.kyoto-u.ac.jp/~koji/ Koji Hashimoto

    Dear Sarai, thank you very very much for your translation!! I appreciate your effort on this. And I hope you like my sentences… My blog is updated not so often but when I get time and when I have a good emotion of spelling out my feelings, I start writing.

  • http://unabsichtliche-gluecklichkeit Sarai

    It’s a great pleasure! I enjoy reading the way you write very much – when I get a chance, I shall try to translate some others, if that is ok with you? :)

  • http://www2.yukawa.kyoto-u.ac.jp/~koji/ Koji Hashimoto

    Thank you Sarai, your translation is very helpful! You are always welcome. -Koji