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    《中英對照讀新聞》Japanese family watching over grave of Briton for 143 years finally learns who is buried there看顧英人墓143年的日本家族終於知道死者身分

    2015/02/27 06:00

    ◎張沛元

    For 143 years, five generations of the Murai family have tended to the grave of a little-known British English teacher who died of smallpox a year after he arrived in Japan in 1870.

    143年來,村井家五代人一直照料著鮮為人知、1870年抵日後一年便死於天花的英國教師的墓。

    Late last year, the Murai family received a letter out of the blue from the British Embassy in Tokyo thanking them for more than a century of weeding and cleaning the grave of one Bernard George Littlewood.

    去年底,村井家突然收到一封來自東京的英國大使館的信,感謝他們100多年來幫伯納德.喬治.利托伍德的墓清理與除草。

    Littlewood arrived in Japan two years after the Meiji government was inaugurated to teach English at Meirindo, a school established by the domain of Kanazawa, what is today’s Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures, but died the following year of smallpox in Kaga’s Daishoji district.

    利托伍德在明治維新政府開始2年後來到日本,在金澤藩(即今石川縣與富山縣)藩校明倫堂教英文,但隔年便因天花死於加賀市的大聖寺區。

    Domain officials set up a tombstone for him, which now stands at Kyuhoji temple in Kaga. Several months after Littlewood’s death, however, the system of feudal domains was abolished and replaced with prefectures. That shift left no one responsible for tending to the grave.

    金澤藩官員為他在現為加賀市久法寺的地方立起墓碑,但在利托伍德死後數月,日本撤除封建制度,廢藩置縣。此一改變導致無人負責看管他的墓。

    But ancestors of the Murais took up the job as the Murai family plot was located nearby. The practice has been kept up ever since.

    村井家的祖先因家族土地就在墓的附近而肩負起此照顧職責,持續至今。

    新聞辭典

    watch over someone or something:慣用語,監看或照料某人或某事。

    out of the blue:慣用語,突然,出乎意料。也可做out of a clear (blue) sky。例句:The invasion came out of a clear blue sky and caught everyone off guard.(入侵突如其來,所有人猝不及防。)

    die of something:慣用語,死於…(多為傷勢或疾病)。例句:His father died of cancer.(他父親死於癌症。)

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