Message from Minoru Hokari » | Top | >> 2004.07.01 »

::: Talking with HOKARI Minoru (Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo) ::: [ Speech ]

Please allow me to introduce myself: I'm Yuki, Mino's older sister. Over the course of our correspondence since I first e-mailed you about my brother's illness, I've come to feel very close to you, despite living in the US, geographically the farthest place from Australia. So I am truly grateful for this opportunity to be able to meet you in person.

In hindsight, I think Mino had intended that first mass e-mail telling you he'd fallen ill primarily for those who were involved in publishing his work and who would therefore be directly affected. As he had no Internet access at the time, my brother had no choice but to ask me to e-mail everyone in his Hotmail address book.

But your response was so overwhelming - so many messages flooding in, letting him know how well-loved he was - that he was moved to tears of joy. I believe it was then that he began to long to stay connected with all of you, until the very end.

Mino was and will always be my dearest, most beloved brother.

Even now, I haven't been able to physically process the fact of his death yet. Even as I sort through his belongings, it feels as if I'm doing it not because he has passed away, but because he has said to me, "Yuki, you know I'm no good at this stuff; won't you take care of it for me?"

When the cancer recurred and we decided to undergo a bone marrow transplant, Mino said, "You're so tough, living under all that stress, I bet with a bone marrow transplant from you the cancer will never come back," and I agreed. Even between siblings the chances of a bone marrow match are only about 25%. Having beaten the odds and come up with a match, I was convinced my brother would live.

When I traveled to Melbourne with my family after being told that a transplant was no longer possible, I said to Mino, "I guess your body really didn't want my bone marrow. Then again, maybe it's more like you to fight off the cancer on your own than to have to live the rest of your life being grateful to me!" My brother laughed and said, "I hadn't quite thought of it that way."

I want to share a little story with you. Unlike my brother, I am easily angered, and I often complained to him about my run-ins with my family, in-laws or friends. I was fishing for sympathy, of course, but instead he would always say:

"Yuki, I understand how you feel, but I also understand how the others feel. They aren't blameless, but neither are you. So, what to do? First, you should take a hard look at your own shortcomings, and do what you can to solve the problem from your end. Then, once they see you're making an effort, maybe they'll change their attitude as well. Of course, they may not change at all. But at least you've done everything you can."

Every time I would shoot back, "What d'you think I am, some kind of saint?" or "Why should I always be the one to change my attitude?" In this respect, Mino could be rather unsympathetic toward his family - but I think it was only because he believed that unless he could convince his own family members to change their attitudes, he could never gain the understanding of friends and acquaintances and of the world at large.

Since my brother passed away, I've had about three arguments serious enough to threaten my relationship with each of those poeple. When I was done yelling and screaming, I took a deep breath, wondering what to do next. That was when I heard Mino's voice. And when I asked myself, "How would he handle this? What would he say? How would he act?" I saw what I needed to do - and in each case, the situation was then resolved.

I wish I had been able to say to him when he was still here, "Thank you, Mino, you were right. I followed your advice and it worked out perfectly." But I realize that he will live on in me in this way and continue to be a part of my life.

I'm sure that Mino has left many words and thoughts with you, too. I ask that you keep his words alive in your daily routines and in your life. I believe this is what it means to "stay connected" with him, as he had wished up to the very end.

I hope to always feel Mino's presence in the sunlight, the white clouds, the moon and stars, and to cherish his words to me. I hope you, too, will stay connected with Mino forever.

Thank you very much for coming today.

Yuki Hokari
June 19, 2004
"Talking with HOKARI Minoru" at Hitotsubashi University

===================The following part is written in Japanese.===================



今 から思えば、彼が発病したことを皆様にお知らせしたあの一括メールは、弟にしてみれば、出版関係などの仕事でご迷惑をおかけすることになる方にお知らせす るというのが主たる目的だったと思います。ネットへのアクセスがなかった当時、私に頼んで、Hotmailに登録してあった全てのアドレスにああいう形で お知らせを流すしか手段がありませんでした。




再 発して、私からの骨髄を移植するということになったとき、「あれだけのストレスためて生活している由紀ちゃんの骨髄をもらったら、絶対に再発しないと思 う」と彼は言ってましたし、私もそう思ってました。兄弟でも25%の確率でしか完全マッチはしないという骨髄が一致したのですから、彼は絶対に私の骨髄で 生きると信じてました。

そして、骨髄移植ができないとわかり、私が家族でメルボルンに行った時、「よほど、貴方の体は私の骨髄を入れるの が嫌だったみたいね。でも、私に一生恩着せられて生きるよりも、自分の力で癌を克服するほうが貴方らしいかもね。」と言うと、「そんな風には考えなかった けどなぁ。」と笑っていました。



「由 紀ちゃん、僕は由紀ちゃんの気持ちもわかるけど、相手の気持ちもわかるよ。相手にも問題はあるけど、由紀ちゃんの側にだって問題はある。そこで、どうする か。まずは、由紀ちゃんの方が自分の側の問題を見つめた上でできることをやる。そして、相手にそれが伝われば相手も態度を変えるかもしれない。そしたら、 二人の関係は良くなるよね。もちろん、もしかしたら相手は何も変わらないかもしれない。でも、少なくとも由紀ちゃんの方でできることはやったってことにな るよね。」

そのたびに、私は「そんな聖人君子みたいなことができるか」「どうして私ばっかりが態度を改めなきゃいけないのか」と不貞腐れ ていました。実は、私達家族に対してとても厳しかったと思います。でも、それは自分の家族を説得できなければ、変えられなければ、友達や知人や世の中の人 の理解を得ることなどできないと思っていたからではないか、と私は思います。

彼が亡くなってから、3度ほど相手との関係が危うくなるかの ような大きなケンカをしました。怒鳴り散らした後で、深呼吸してどうしようかと考えた時、実の声が聞こえました。そして、彼だったら、どう考えるだろう、 どう言うだろう、どう行動するだろう、と考えた時、どうすべきかが見えました。そして、その結果は全て良しと出たのです。





保苅実さんと語る会にて(一橋大学 佐野書院)