こうして、夜学に通い出したのは、11才の時でした。朝起きると、間もなく子守りに出かけ、夕食を終えると一旦、家に帰って、休息する暇もなく、長谷部先生の許へ通ったのですが、私にとっては、この塾での勉強が何よりの楽しみでした。[英訳を表示]
I was thus eleven years old when I started going to night school. I got up, went out to babysit for the day, and having finished dinner, I would stop home before immediately hurrying on to Mr. Hasebe’s private school. I had to really hurry, but this was the most joyful time I had ever spent.
ところが、ある日、母が「お前は学問ばかりを喜んでいるが、女の子には、お針の方がもっと大事だよ。お針仕事が一人前になれば、家庭に万一のことがあった場合でも、子供の養育ぐらいは、自分の力でできるのだ。それに私も商売上、お得意先で着物の仕立に困っている人があると、仕立屋に頼んであげているのだから、お前で間に合うようになれば、本当に助かるのだがね。」と勧めましたので、14歳になると、村のお寺へ、お針子として通うことになりました。[英訳を表示]
However, one day, my mother told me, “I see that you’re enjoying your studies, but for girls, sewing is far more important. If you can acquire sewing skills, you can support yourself and raise your children even through rough times. Whenever I meet customers whose kimonos require specialized adjustments, I have to refer them to the tailor, so if you could play that role, it would be very helpful.” So it happened, upon my mother’s recommendation, that I went to the village temple as a sewing girl at the age of fourteen.
そのお針子達は、7、8人おりましたが、私以外は皆、地主の娘さんばかりで年令も私より上の人ばかりでした。おまけに私はお裁縫がまことに不得手でありました。早い仕事はするのですが、何分にも技術がともなわないのです。友達のお針子達は皆、無学であるのに、私だけは相変らず、夜学に通っていたのです。これが友達との不和の種となったのです。私は遂に15歳の3月、塾へゆくのをやめることにしました。7年間通い続けた塾でした。私用で休んだことは一度もありませんでした。母の次に、大事な、そしてなつかしい先生にお別れするのは、身を切られる思いでした。子供ながらに、万感胸に迫るものがございました。[英訳を表示]
The village temple had seven or eight sewing girls. Save myself, all were daughters of landowners and were older than me. To make matters worse, it seemed that I was wholly unskilled at sewing. I could work quickly, but my skills were scarce. The fact that all of my peers sewing at the temple were illiterate and that I was the only one who went to night school, was a source of peer pressure for me. Finally, in March, when I was fifteen, I stopped going to the private school, the night school that I had attended for seven years. I had never been absent for any reason. It broke my heart to leave my dear teacher, whom I respected almost as much as my mother. A thousand emotions filled my young heart.