开启辅助访问      

英语家园

 找回密码
 注册

QQ登录

只需一步,快速开始

搜索

七旬夫妇的震后寻亲之旅

发布者: katy | 发布时间: 2011-3-17 13:16| 查看数: 1250| 评论数: 1|

Hideo Higuchi and his wife sat in their truck, staring at the long lake in front of them. Beneath was the road to their daughter's home. Now it was a dead end.

The Higuchis hadn't heard from her since Friday's earthquake and tsunami. Water and debris had blocked the road into town. Phone networks remained down. So when floodwaters receded enough Tuesday to let them through, they rushed to Ishinomaki, the town on Japan's devastated eastern coast where their daughter lived with her husband and three sons.

'I am not from here,' said the 70-year-old rice farmer, as his bloodshot eyes tried to measure whether his boxy white truck could make it through the knee-deep water. 'I have enough gasoline, but I don't know any other way around.'

'What is the damage like in Ishinomaki?' his wife, Sayono, 68, anxiously asked a stranger. The Higuchis live around 25 kilometers inland from Ishinomaki, in a small city that was shaken but the earthquake but not affected by the tsunami.

Like most of the towns and seaside villages ravaged by the earthquake and tsunami, Ishinomaki has a higher-than average proportion of old people: 27% of the 163,594 residents are over the age of 65. The city is known for its fishing and oysters, cucumbers and tomatoes.

The Higuchis turned their truck around. The bed of the Isuzu, emptied of the usual rice seedlings and farming equipment, held a cardboard box of food and drinks. They were for their daughter's family, if the family could be found.

The couple decided to try to find the primary school of their three grandsons─Ryo, 12, and the 10-year-old twins Chihiro and Masaki. It was a likely place for the family to end up: It was where the boys would have been when the earthquake hit on Friday afternoon, and in many small towns like this one, schools are often the tallest buildings and likeliest emergency shelters.

But the Higuchis, dazed from days of worry, weren't sure of the name of the grade school. They had an idea how to get there but only by the one road that had been cut off by the remaining water. Pointing to a map, Mr. Higuchi asked people on the street. 'Is there a grade school around here? What's it called? Is it an evacuation center?'

They wound through the narrow back streets of Ishinomaki. On either side of the road were sights rarely seen in Japan until the past four days: men in military fatigues directing traffic, girls with plastic bags taped over their sneakers, old men grilling a fish over a fire in an oil can. A middle-age woman, bowing and grimacing with the particularly Japanese shame at the thought of inconveniencing a stranger, held up a sign: 'Please give me a ride to Watanoha.'

The Higuchis were directed to a middle school. They drove past it and were told there was no grade school in the neighborhood. Before making a U-turn, Mr. Higuchi stepped out of his truck and adjusted his black baseball cap as he talked to some neighborhood boys. The grade school was still underwater, they said. People there might have been taken out by helicopter.

They returned to the middle school, hoping his daughter and family had been moved to the evacuation center set up there. To search the four floors of evacuees, they split up. Each room had a roster pinned outside the door, naming the people who slept there and their age. Mr. Higuchi, with thick glasses and poor eyesight, went through more than 10 rosters, sometimes accidentally reading the class schedules still posted on the walls.

'Oikawa...Oikawa...Oikawa,' he said repeating the married name of his daughter, Miyuki. There are a lot of Oikawas in Ishinomaki, so his crooked fingers often paused as he went down the lists. 'No, that's not right,' he said raising his glasses to get a better look at one list, which had started to curl from all the others that had come searching for loved ones. 'Seventy years old is too old.'

Classrooms, music rooms and even stairwells were full of people, some chatting, some staring into space. One anxious-looking resident clutched a long-haired dachshund to her chest and paced up and down the hallway. Another mumbled to herself from under a pile of blankets.

No one took notice of the Higuchis, one of the many visitors here in search of loved ones. The children playing in the hallways obediently answered their questions.

'There's a grade school near here right?' Mr. Higuchi asked a cluster of kids sitting near the window at the end of the third floor hallway. 'Yes,' one answered, pointing through the window. 'See that yellow building with a green roof? It's behind there.' Added another: 'Just walk down that street.'

Mr. Higuchi's wife arrived just then. She had found a boy from the same grade school and asked if he knew the Oikawa twins. 'He knows what they look like and says he hasn't seen them here,' she said.

Back on the road and beyond the yellow building, they at last found the boys' grade school. It wasn't underwater. But unlike the middle school, it was eerily quiet. There were evacuees on the third floor, they were told.

The couple moved faster than they had all day, up the steps. Before she finished sliding open the first classroom door, Ms. Higuchi gasped. 'Ryo!' She waved her hand, apparently reluctant to enter the room. 'Ryo, come here.'

It was her eldest grandson.

Inside the room, also, were their son-in-law's parents. 'You're all right!' they shouted back at the Higuchis.

Three adults, in a display of emotion seldom seen in Japan, jumped up and down holding hands, hugged and cried. The three grandsons were then dragged into the group hug. Mr. Higuchi stood to the side, scratching his head and smiling.

The daughter and her husband were fine, the Higuchis were told. They learned their family's home had been ruined by the tsunami wave shortly after their daughter, the only one home at the time of the earthquake, evacuated and met the rest of her family at the school. The daughter and her husband were there now, seeing if they any of their belongings were salvageable. 'Thank god, thank god, thank god,' the four grandparents repeated, wiping away the tears and smiling.

Mr. Higuchi brought his eldest grandson down to the truck to give him one of his favorite drinks. Ryo, wearing the bright blue gym uniform he was wearing when the earthquake hit Friday, opened the Oronamin-C and started to sip.

'We will go meet our daughter now,' said Mr. Higuchi, smiling. Asked if he knew the way, he said: 'I'm OK now. My grandson is here.'

通口秀雄(Hideo Higuchi)和妻子坐在自家的卡车上,望着眼前的一片荒泽。车下的道路通向女儿的家,但现在已成死胡同。

自周五的地震和海啸后,通口夫妇就再没有听到女儿的消息。洪水和瓦砾堵住了通往城镇的道路。通讯仍未恢复。因此周二洪水消退到足以通行时,他们便赶往日本东岸的石卷镇(Ishinomaki)。他们的女儿、女婿和三个外孙住在那里。

Eric Bellman for The Wall Street Journal通口秀雄(Hideo Higuchi)在石卷镇(Ishinomaki)一所中学内避难。70岁的稻农通口秀雄一边用布满血丝的眼睛目测他四四方方的白色卡车,看是否能从没膝的水中开过去,一边说:我对这一带不熟。我的汽油足够用,可是我不知道附近有没有其他的路。

他68岁的妻子Sayono焦急地向路人询问:石卷镇的损坏情况怎么样?老两口住在距石卷镇25公里的内陆地区的一座小城市。小城同样受到了地震冲击,但没有受到海啸的影响。

和所有被地震和海啸蹂躏的小镇和海边村落一样,石卷镇老龄人口比例也超过了日本的平均水平。这里的163,594名居民中,有27%的人年龄在65岁以上。石卷镇以渔业、牡蛎养殖以及黄瓜和番茄的种植闻名。

通口夫妇把车调头。这辆五十铃卡车上,不见了原来的稻秧和农耕机械,而是装着一大纸箱食物和饮料──这些都是为他们女儿一家准备的,但前提是,能找到他们。

夫妇俩决定先找到三个外孙:12岁的亮Ryo,以及10岁的双胞胎千寻(Chihiro)和正树(Masaki)所在的小学。由于周五下午地震发生时孩子们都在学校,且在多数像石卷镇这样的小镇,学校的楼通常都是最高的建筑物,也最可能成为紧急避难场所,因此女儿一家人很可能会在学校。

不过,夫妇俩在担惊受怕几天后已头昏眼花,甚至记不得学校的名字。他们只记得一条通往学校的路,但这条路已被尚未退去的洪水隔断。通口先生指着一张地图问街上的路人:这附近有一家小学校吗?学校的名字是什么?它是不是一个疏散中心?

他们在石卷镇狭窄的小街道上蜿蜒前行。在道路的两侧,他们看到了日本极为罕见、直到过去四天才有的景象:身着军装的男人在指挥交通;女孩的运动鞋套上了塑料袋;老年男子在一个油罐上生火烤鱼。一位中年妇女举着一张写着“请让我搭车到渡波(Watanoha)”的牌子,一再地鞠躬。因为可能给陌生人带来不便,她愁眉不展的脸上带着羞涩的神情,这是日本人所特有的气质。

夫妇俩被指引到一所中学。他们驱车到那附近,却被告知附近没有小学。调头返回前,通口先生走下车,整理了一下他的黑色棒球帽,与附近的一些男孩交谈。孩子们说,小学仍淹没在水下,那里的人可能已经被直升机带走了。

他们回到那所中学,希望女儿一家已被转移到建在那里的疏散中心。夫妇兵分两路,在分布在四层楼的被疏散人群中分头寻找。每一间教室的门外都钉着一张名单,记录了每个睡在里面的人的人名和年纪。通口先生视力不佳,戴着厚厚眼镜的他浏览了超过10张名单,有时他会看花眼,看到仍张贴在 上的课程表。

“及川……及川……”他一遍遍重复着女儿美由纪(Miyuki)婚后的夫姓。在石卷镇,及川是个大姓。通口先生指著名单的有些弯曲的手指一次次地停下来:不,不是这个。他一边说,一边扶了下眼镜,以便看得更清楚。由于很多人都已来此寻亲,名单已经变得有些卷曲。通口先生说,70岁,看来是真老了。

教室、音乐教室甚至楼梯间都挤满了人,一些人在聊天,一些人在发呆。一位看上去很焦虑的妇女抱着一只长毛狗,在过道走来走去。另一位盖在几层毯子下的妇女则在呢喃自语。

没有人会注意像通口夫妇这样数不清的来此地寻亲的人。只有在走廊游戏的孩子顺从地回答了老两口的问题。

通口先生向一群坐在走廊尽头窗户下面的孩子问道:“这附近有一所小学,是吗?”“是的,”其中一个孩子一边回答,一边指向窗外说,“看到那栋绿色屋顶的黄楼了吗?就在它的后面。”另一个补充说:“顺着那条街走到头就到了。”

这时,通口太太也过来了。她找到了一个在那所小学上学的男孩,并问他是否认识一对姓及川的双胞胎。她说,男孩知道及川兄弟的模样,但是没在这里见过他们。

回到路上,来到那座黄楼的后面,他们终于找到了孩子们的学校,学校没有被水淹没,但是和刚才那间中学比起来,却出奇地安静。他们被告知,三楼有一些被疏散的人。

老两口以一天内最快的速度跑上楼梯。当妻子还没有完全打开第一间教室的门时,她惊叫地说,“亮!”同时,她向屋里面招手,显然不愿意走进教室。她说,“亮,过来。”

亮是她最年长的外孙。

教室里还有他们女婿的父母。他们向夫妇喊道:“你们也都平安!”

你从没在日本见过这样的感情释放:三个成年人蹦蹦跳跳,手拉着手,拥抱着哭泣。三个外孙也被拉进人圈拥抱。通口先生在一旁站着,挠头微笑。

老两口得知,女儿和女婿都好。女儿的房子已被海啸毁坏。地震发生时,只有女儿在家。震后她立刻撤出房子,到学校与家人会合。此刻,女儿和女婿正在家附近,检查是否能找回一些家里的东西。“谢天谢地,谢天谢地,谢天谢地,”四位老人重复着这样的话,擦去眼泪,笑得如此开心。

通口先生把最年长的外孙亮带到卡车边,拿给他一瓶他最爱的饮料。于是,亮开始吮吸外公带来的这瓶Oronamin-C。这时,他仍穿着周五地震时的那一身亮蓝色的运动服。

通口先生笑着说,现在去见见我们的女儿吧。当被问到他是否认识路时,他说:没问题,有我外孙在呢。

最新评论

jmdai88 发表于 2011-3-21 11:05:49
Touched
快速回复 返回顶部 返回列表