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Kawaisouna Zou - Faithful Elephants

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Kawaisouna Zou - Faithful Elephants

Kawaisouna Zou - Faithful Elephants

August 15th is the day that World War II ended. There are quite a few Japanese children books that talk about the war. "Kawaisouna Zou," which was published in 1970, continues to be a popular book. It is a true story about three elephants at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo during World War II. I read it for the first time when I was in elementary school. I remember it was very sad and I strongly hoped that a war would never happen again. I haven't read it for a quite a long time, but I recently had the opportunity to read the story again. I still found myself with tears in my eyes while I read it. Chieko Akiyama, a 93-years-old journalist, has been reciting the story on the radio every August 15th for over 40 years. The CD of her reciting it was released two years ago, along with the English version, which was read by the American singer, Cindy Lauper. I hope the story will continue to help spread an antiwar message.

Japanese Translation

かわいそうなぞう

8月15日は終戦記念日です。戦争について書かれた子供の本はいろいろあります。1970年に出版された「かわいそうなぞう」は、今でも人気のある本です。第二次世界大戦中に、上野動物園にいた三頭の象についての本当にあった話です。私は小学生のときに、初めてこの話を読みました。とても悲しくて、二度と戦争はおきてほしくないと強く思ったものでした。長い間読みかえしていなかったのですが、最近改めて読む機会に恵まれました。読みながら、涙がこぼれ落ちてきました。93歳になるジャーナリストの秋山ちえ子さんは、40年以上も、毎年8月15日に、ラジオでこの話を朗読しています。2年前、彼女の朗読が、シンディローパーの朗読による英語版とともにCD化されました。この話が、反戦のメッセージを広める役に立ち続けるといいなと思います。

Romaji Translation

Hachi-gatsu juugo-nichi wa shuusen kinenbi desu. Sensou ni tsuite kakareta kodomo no hon wa iroiro arimasu. Sen kyuuhyaku nana juu nen ni shuppan sareta "Kawaisouna Zou" wa, ima demo ninki no aru hon desu. Dainiji sekai taisen chuu ni, ueno doubutsuen ni ita san-tou no zou ni tsuite no hontou ni atta hanashi desu. Watashi wa shougakusei no toki ni, hajimete kono hanashi o yomimashita. Totemo kanashikute, nido to sensou wa okitehoshikunai to tsuyoku omotta mono deshita. Nagai aida yomikaeshite inakatta no desu ga, saikin aratamete yomu kikai ni megumaremashita. Yominagara, namida ga kobore ochite kimashita. Kyuujuu san sai ni naru jaanarisuto no akiyama chieko-san wa, yonjuu-nen ijou mo, maitoshi hachi-gatsu juugo-nichi ni, rajio de kono hanashi o roudoku shiteimasu. Ni-nen mae, kanojo no roudoku ga, shindii roopaa no roudoku ni yoru eigo ban to tomo ni shiidii-ka saremashita. Kono hanashi ga, hansen no messeeji o hiromeru yaku ni tachitsuzukeru to ii na to omoimasu.

Note: The translation is not always literal.

Beginner's Phrases

I strongly hoped that a war would never happen again.

  • Nido to sensou wa okite hoshikunai to tsuyoku omoimashita.
  • にどと せんそうはおきてほしくないと つよくおもいました。
  • 二度と戦争はおきてほしくないと強く思いました。

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