#38 英語と写真でバーチャルツアー⑥~沖縄県・小浜島~








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Kohama follows the classic small island layout of the Yaeyamas: a functional, largely uninhabited port, a circular road, and a village located smack-bang in the middle of the island ― a sensible precaution against typhoons and inundations. Kohama village is a classic study in small island design. While there are one or two concrete homes and minshuku, the houses here are mostly traditional, one-story residences in varying states of disrepair, speaking of the fact that Okinawa is not a rich prefecture.

the Yaeyamas「八重山諸島」。沖縄県西部に位置し、石垣島・西表(いりおもて)島・与那国(よなぐに)島・竹富島などを中心とした32の島々から成る(ニュースで耳にする無人島の「尖閣諸島」も含まれる)。smack-bangは副詞でexactlyの意味。ここでは直後のin the middleを強調している。日本語の「ど真ん中」の「ど」に相当。この後で出てくる「小浜村」が、小浜島の中央に位置していることを言っている。inundation「洪水(flood)」。a classic study「典型例」。classic=typical。a study in ~「~の好例」。Whileは「対照(whereas)」。one-storyのstoryについては☞ブログ#27ブログ#30。disrepair「破損状態」。speaking of ~は分詞構文。「~を物語っている」。

Kohama is situated in the clear blue waters between Ishigaki Island and Iriomote Island. With a circumference of just 16.6km, it’s possible to circle the island by scooter or bicycle, if you start early. The island and its watery parameters have been designated as part of the Iriomote National Park, affording it a degree of environmental protection it might not have otherwise enjoyed.

複数形watersについては☞ブログ#32。circumference「周囲」。parameters「範囲」。environmental protectionとitの間に関係代名詞の省略。仮定法と使われるotherwiseは大学入試でも重要。ここではotherwise=if it and its watery parameters had not been designated as part of the Iriomote National Park。「そうでなければ享受してこなかったかもしれない環境保護」。

Like other tiny islands that pepper the aqua blue waters of the Yaeyama chain in southern Okinawa, there isn’t a great deal to actually do on Kohama-jima. But for visitors who appreciate the nature, detail, atmosphere, and minutiae of life in these distant parts, there is much to recommend on this island.

pepperはここでは動詞。名詞の「胡椒」から動詞の意味を推測する力も重要な学力。「食材の表面に胡椒を振りまく」イメージから、ここでは「~の表面をばら撒かれたような状態で覆う」という意味。aqua blue「藍緑色」は緑ががった薄い青色。chainはここでは「一連の島々」を指し、the Yaeyama chainは「八重山諸島」を言う。But for ~が仮定法の勉強で出てくる熟語の前置詞に見えた人も、後ろに仮定法が無いことから頭を切り替えないといけない。Butは「しかし」、forは「~にとって」。minutiae of life「生活の細部」。

As attractive as Kohama village is, it doesn’t have the manicured beauty of other island settlements in this group like Taketomi-jima. This is a working island, revolving around the daily life of people engaged in agriculture and fishing. Perhaps because of these simple but painstaking activities, they seem a friendly, largely unspoiled breed, communal in a way that has mostly vanished elsewhere. Youngsters on their vacations help out parents and grandparents in shops, small businesses like bicycle rentals, or in the fields; everyone has time for a cordial greeting or chat with neighbors.

「譲歩」を表す構文「形 as S V」は「as 形 as S V」と書かれることもある。ここのAs ~ isもその形。manicured「手入れの行き届いた」。revolving ~は分詞構文。breed=type。communal「共同社会的な」以下は分詞構文。Youngsters以下の記述から、communalのイメージを膨らませることが、訳すだけで満足せずに「英文の内容を把握する」ということ。bussinessesは「仕事」ではなく「会社、店」。

Kohama receives a modest number of visitors, but is otherwise blissfully quiet. Six passengers alighted from the ferry I took to the island. Two of them were locals. Like many of these islands, Kohama supports a small population. 615 people live here, with about 50 children attending the combined Junior and Senior High school, a magnificently appointed building from which you can admire the peerless blue waters below. Resident numbers on Kohama may sound low, but compared to some of the smaller islands in the chain, this place is positively bulging. Nearby Panari Island supports a mere seven inhabitants.

blissfully「大変幸福にも」。alight=get off「乗物から降りる」。support「~の生活を支える、~の生活の基盤となる」。, with about 50 children attending ~のwithはいわゆる「付帯状況のwith」。magnificently appointed「立派な設備の」。peerless「並ぶもののない」。bulge「膨らむ」。ここでは「人口が増えている」ことを言っている。Panari Island「新城島」。

Although a stay on the island is recommended, a circuit of its modest features can easily be made on a day trip. The port area was originally a fishing village, home to families who settled there after leaving the mainland Okinawan town of Itoman. South of the port, Tumaru Beach is where many visitors head on arrival, but a little further on takes you to a more secluded possibility, Kubazaki, a white sand beach known to a cognoscenti of visitors who go there to collect shells. Ufudaki, the island’s 99-meter “mountain,” can be a surprisingly stiff climb, especially in the summer. One local belief maintains that gods moved the peak from Taketomi-jima, which would certainly explain why that island is so flat. The views at the top, taking in the islands of Iriomote, Kuro, Hateruma and Aragusku, are impressive enough to be celebrated in a folk song called “Kohama Bushi.” Japanese people will also know the name of the island from a shamelessly sentimental NHK TV show from a few years back called “Chura-san,” which was filmed here.

home to ~「~がいる(住む)ところ」はブログ#35でも出てきた表現。South of ~「~の南に」は副詞表現。headは動詞で「向かう」。on arrival「到着してすぐに(as soon as they arrive)」。a little further onは副詞なのにここでは名詞的に使われていて、takesの主語になっている。a more secluded possibility「より人目につかない可能性の高い場所」。cognoscentiはイタリア語から英語に入ったことばで「通、玄人」。a cognoscenti of visitorsで「事情通の観光客」。climb「山、斜面」。Kohama Bushi「小浜節」は八重山古典民謡の題名。willは「未来」ではなく、「現在」の推量。He will be upstairs.は、「彼は未来の時点で2階にいるでしょう」という意味ではなく、「彼は今2階にいるでしょう」ということ。

Kayama, or “Rabbit Island,” is clearly visible from the observation peak. A ten-minute boat ride will get you to this island where thousands of white rabbits live, and where the snorkeling is said to be superb. Its shore is the best spot to glimpse the sandy “Phantom Island.” The islet appears only at low tide, hopefully not a foretaste of climate change and rising seas. Taketomi-jima, also within this circle of enchanted islands, is both flat and low-lying, a worrying augury for the future.

, orについては☞ブログ#10③。ten-minuteのハイフン(-)と単数形については☞ブログ#14。islet「小島」。-letは「小さい」の意味。islandの小さいのがislet。「小冊子」を意味するbookletとpamphletの-letも同じ。foretaste「前兆、事前の体験」。ここでは「小島が見えるのが干潮の時だけだということが、気候変動や海面上昇の前兆でなければいいが」ということを言っている。enchantedは「魔法にかけられた」。an enchanted forest「魔法の森」。augury「前兆」。前文のforetasteと同意。同じ意味をわざわざ違う単語で言い表そうとする英語の傾向については☞ブログ#29

Rice has been cultivated here for centuries, but the island’s most conspicuous crop is sugarcane. Sugar is second only to tourism as an essential part of the island’s economy. Reflecting the very different climatic and horticultural conditions of these sub-tropical islands, most of the sugarcane is harvested from December. As with many of these small islands in the Yaeyamas, sugarcane is still cut by hand. With such a small population, extra hands are recruited from the mainland to work in the fields. Kohama Island Farm has its very own volunteer program called the “Sugar Cane Harvesting Experience.” Helpers, who receive no pay but are given full board and three square meals a day, typically work from one to three months cutting the cane, which towers above the heads of the workers. Kohama’s “Sugar Road” passes into open fields, where cane grows high on both sides, but once the stands are cut the road reverts to being just another island route.

conspicuous「目に付く、著しい」。sugarcane「サトウキビ」。Reflecting ~は分詞構文。horticultural「園芸の」。「栽培」の意味のcultureと関係がある。as with ~「~の場合と同じように」。full boardのboardは「食事」。「板→食卓→食事」と意味が広がった。full boardで「三食賄い付きの部屋」を意味する。half boardなら「朝食・昼食付きの部屋」。square「十分な」。cutting ~は分詞構文。動詞towerは現在分詞toweringの形でブログ#30に登場。the standsは「群生している植物(=サトウキビ)」を指す。once以下は「サトウキビが刈り取られてしまうと、シュガーロードは何の変哲もない島の道に戻ってしまう」ことを言っている。


The mangrove forests along the island’s west coast are another sight visible all year round. A small path leads through a wood to the curving bay where these well-preserved plants take root. While the cement wall and graduated observation decks are unsightly, the views, access, and utility they offer are welcome. This would be a superb place to loiter at sunset, watching the mangrove darkening to pink and purple against the red sheet of water, but these islands are infested with poisonous snakes. I only saw one example of Kohama’s indigenous “hundred-meter snake,” giving it a respectful berth before moving on. The name refers not to its size, but to local lore that holds that, if bitten, that will be as far as you get before breathing your last breath.

visible「目に付く、目立つ」。take root「根付く」。graduatedは難しいが、文脈から何となくは意味を推測してほしいところ。gradation「グラデーション、色の変化」とgraduation「卒業」の形が似ているのは偶然ではなく、語源的に同じだから。どちらも「段階」という意味を共有している。gradationは色の様々な「段階」、graduationは学業的に1つの「段階」を乗り越えるということ。本文の過去分詞graduatedは、動詞graduate「色の段階(グラデーション)を付ける」から。observation deck「展望台」がおそらく老朽化で斑(まだら)状の色合いになっていることを言っている。unsightlyは形容詞で「見栄えが悪い」。wouldは仮定法で、直後の不定詞の仮定的内容と呼応している。loiter「とどまる」。watching ~は分詞構文。against ~「~を背景にして」。be infested with ~「~がはびこる」。indigenousはnativeと同意で「土着の、原産の」。giving ~は分詞構文。give ~ a respectful berthは熟語give ~ a wide berthの変形。berthは元は「他の船舶との間の十分な距離」を指した。Give her a wide berth when she is angry.「彼女が怒っている時は彼女との間に十分な距離を取りなさい」→「彼女が怒っている時は彼女に近づかないようにしなさい」。本文のgiving it a respectful berth before moving onは「先に進む前にハブに敬意を示して十分な距離を取る」→「ハブを敬遠して先に進む」。respectfulと言っても、本当にハブに敬意を示しているわけはないですね。日本語の「敬遠」も、元は「敬意を示して相手を遠ざける」ことだったのが、敬意が無く単に相手を遠ざける場合にも使えるのと似ているでしょうか。lore「伝承」はfolklore「民間伝承」の一部としても使われている語。if (you are) bitten。thatはhundred-meterを指す。if以下は「もし咬まれたら、息を引き取る前にそれが咬まれた人がなるのと同じ程度だ」→「もし咬まれたら、それ(100メートル)くらいまで大きくなって息を引き取ることになる」。

If you decide to stay in a minshuku ― the best way to absorb the air of the island ― you will likely spend time in their gardens, which, like the island itself, are small sanctuaries of peace. Linger in these marine gardens long enough, and you have a good chance of experiencing something like an Okinawan trance state.