From out of Dreams

Michiko Ishimure


Ah well!, this kind of talk is nothing but a dream," said young Tsuginori Hamamoto as he started murmuring in his sleep. The other victims who were sleeping beside him jumped up in surprise as if ready for a fight・スD
"What's going on Tsuginori? ", they said.
"Oh, it's just that this talk about the center is impossible."
"Yeah, was the blank response to his dream entwined murmurings, as they settled back to sleep. But the murmurings continued・スd・スd
"It's a dream, this kind of thing. In this world such a thing has never been seen."
This time the response around him was more from the gut as everyone agreed.....
"Yeah! ... Yeah!"

This night especially, before they fell asleep, they all thus agreed that the hope for a center was nothing but a dream. But they had been talking about it now for the past two years. Probably the pain of uncertainly about the Minamata Disease Center had begun to effect even the dream life of the victims. For they were searching for dialogue among themselves or with just anyone, even to the extent that their searching's murmured forth in their dreams.

To night was the night before the final decision was to be handed down by the Kumamoto Court in the long legal battle that was about to end. So on this night lets look into the hearts of the victims.

"When the court fight is over how can we possibly thank everyone who has helped."
"My legs are numb and I can't move but it's not just me that's effected but my family also becomes sicker and sicker by the day. I suppose that when the battle ends the sincerity of all our supporters will evaporate. And even now we are hated by our neighbors in town because we may be receiving some money. If the court decides in our favor we will be despised because of our new found wealth. And those who have supported us will move on to some other cause.

If the center was at all possible it would be wonderful but this would be further cause of our being hated. We have been helped by many people but can we always cling to others this way? For it is really too much to ask that people not desert us. My parents and my children have died and I also died only to be returned to this world through the mercy of others and my own sinful lust for life. And I don't know how long I can go on being a burden to total strangers. It is not my desire to ask people to help me in this way and I cannot ask others to do what I must do myself."

"The vision of a center is still only a dream and that part of the dream that is not yet seen is Part of this fearful world of money. And with this we are left sighing. Even though the center is just a dream no one has yet been cured of the sickness but we victims in our dreams build the center pillar by pillar, tear it down and build it again and then with the suddenness of a hand scalded we realize again that "Its a dream, ah, only a dream."

Is all this really the rocky road to hell.......?

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