NE Japan Earthquake Day 6: A Message from the Emperor

This is the text of the video message about the earthquake that the Emperor released on the 16th. I’ve heard that only the Emperor can use certain vocabulary, but besides its elegance, this message wasn’t lexically unusual. Perhaps that’s because it was spoken word – a video recording – or perhaps times have changed. Regardless, I was moved by his compassion.

A Message from the Emperor About the Great Eastern Earthquake
Yomiuri Shimbun: 天皇陛下、東日本巨大地震でメッセージ

I feel great pain for the misery caused by the recent earthquake off the northeastern shore, which at Magnitude 9.0 was of a scale we’d never seen before. The death toll from the quake and tsunami climbs every day, and we don’t yet know how exactly many were sacrificed. I continually pray to hear news that even one more person is safe and sound. I am also very worried about the unresolved problems at the nuclear power plants, and I hope that the efforts of those involved will prevent that situation from becoming even worse.

Now as ever, relief efforts are pulling the country back to its feet, but in the midst of this bitter cold, many people do not have enough food, water, or fuel, and they are in grave conditions. Because of the alert and exhaustive efforts of many, some victims’ circumstances have changed for the better, and I hope against hope that our people’s recovery will continue. I am deeply moved by the valor of those who have pushed themselves to survive day after excruciating day.

I offer my deep thanks to national and local organizations, including the military, police, fire department, and coast guard, to those who have come from abroad to assist with aid efforts, and to members of emergency rescue teams for laboring day and night despite the danger of aftershocks.

Leaders of every nation have contacted me to offer their best wishes and to tell me the thoughts of all their citizens are with us. I pass these words along to the victims.

Many news stories from abroad have noted that in the midst of this tragedy, Japanese people are not descending into chaos but instead are responding in an orderly manner. From the bottom of my heart, I urge our people to continue to lift each other up, to show kindness to each other, and to ride out this unhappy time together.

I believe that we will all have to give a little more of ourselves to the victims in the difficult days ahead. I ask these victims to hold out hope, to take care of their health, and to preserve the will to live tomorrow and in the days to come. I implore our people to come together as one, to keep their hearts close to the afflicted areas, and to continue watching over the victims on the long road to recovery.

Original/原稿:

天皇陛下、東日本巨大地震でメッセージ

特集 巨大地震

 東日本巨大地震について天皇陛下が16日、ビデオメッセージで語られた内容は次の通り。

 この度の東北地方太平洋沖地震は、マグニチュード9・0という例を見ない規模の巨大地震であり、被災地の悲惨な状況に深く心を痛めています。地震や津波による死者の数は日を追って増加し、犠牲者が何人になるのかも分かりません。一人でも多くの人の無事が確認されることを願っています。また、現在、原子力発電所の状況が予断を許さぬものであることを深く案じ、関係者の尽力により事態の更なる悪化が回避されることを切に願っています。

 現在、国を挙げての救援活動が進められていますが、厳しい寒さの中で、多くの人々が、食糧、飲料水、燃料などの不足により、極めて苦しい避難生活を余儀なくされています。その速やかな救済のために全力を挙げることにより、被災者の状況が少しでも好転し、人々の復興への希望につながっていくことを心から願わずにはいられません。そして、何にも増して、この大災害を生き抜き、被災者としての自らを励ましつつ、これからの日々を生きようとしている人々の雄々しさに深く胸を打たれています。

 自衛隊、警察、消防、海上保安庁を始めとする国や地方自治体の人々、諸外国から救援のために来日した人々、国内の様々な救援組織に属する人々が、余震の続く危険な状況の中で、日夜救援活動を進めている努力に感謝し、その労を深くねぎらいたく思います。

 今回、世界各国の元首から相次いでお見舞いの電報が届き、その多くに各国国民の気持ちが被災者と共にあるとの言葉が添えられていました。これを被災地の人々にお伝えします。

 海外においては、この深い悲しみの中で、日本人が、取り乱すことなく助け合い、秩序ある対応を示していることに触れた論調も多いと聞いています。これからも皆が相携え、いたわり合って、この不幸な時期を乗り越えることを衷心より願っています。

 被災者のこれからの苦難の日々を、私たち皆が、様々な形で少しでも多く分かち合っていくことが大切であろうと思います。被災した人々が決して希望を捨てることなく、身体(からだ)を大切に明日からの日々を生き抜いてくれるよう、また、国民一人びとりが、被災した各地域の上にこれからも長く心を寄せ、被災者と共にそれぞれの地域の復興の道のりを見守り続けていくことを心より願っています。
(2011年3月16日17時26分 読売新聞)

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2 Comments on “NE Japan Earthquake Day 6: A Message from the Emperor”

  1. Sakiko Hashimoto Says:

    Hello, James-san. How do you do? My name is Sakiko Hashimoto who is living in Himeji city in Hyogo prefecture. I’ve just read your website about our Emperor and would like to say thank you for your brilliant translation which made me so moved and taught me something very important. I myself is an in-house translator/interpreter at a Japanese company and I tried to translate the Emperor’s words but yours were a lot more excellent. I very much respect your talent. I’m a still a novice and go to a vocational school to brush up the interpretation skills on weekends while I work during the weekdays. I want to be like you someday. Thank you again. Take care. Best regards, Sakiko

  2. jsmyth Says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words! :) I think it’s really impressive that you’re doing J-E. It’s a lot easier for me to translate into my native language! I wish you all the best!


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