調査会社の会長ブログ【松谷廣信】

調査会社の会長ブログ

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終わったひと(内館牧子筆)

会長日記2016/04/07

「お父さん、これ面白いよ・・。読んでみたら、共感するところ多いと思うは・・」.

先週女房が図書館から借りて来た、内館牧子の「終わったひと」を持ってきた。「エッもう読んだの」、「ええ1日でいっきに読んじゃった。内館牧子はおもしろい・・・」。

共に読書が趣味で、2週間に1回、図書館で4〜5冊の本を借りているが、読書の傾向は違い、あまり同じ本を読むことはない。しかも「終わったひと」。何が終わったひとだ・・・。まだまだ終わっちゃいないぞ、共感なんかするか、と思ったが、口答えは禁物。まーそう云うのだから読んでみるか・・、くらいの気持ちで、本を手にした。

読み始めは、なんだ・・、くらいの感覚であった。ところが3分1くらい読み進んむと、がぜん興味がわき、小生もいっきに読んでしまった。

主人公は、盛岡出身。東大法学部卒の超エリートでメガバンクに就職。エリート街道まっしぐらで、同期の出世頭で40代で本社中枢の部長職につく。ところが、行内派閥の狭間で、関連会社に追いやられ、そこで定年を迎える。嘱託身分で残る道もあったが、プライドが許さず、潔く完全退職を決意。

どこかで悠々自適の隠居生活を夢見ないわけでもなかったが、いざ定年を迎えると、何をしていいやら・・・。仕事一途の企業戦士であっただけに、いざ定年を迎えると趣味一つなく、終わった人の悲哀をつくづく感じ、失意の中で悶々とした日々を送る。

カルチャーセンターやスポーツジムなどにも顔を出してみるが、どこもジジババの集まり。過去のプライドが邪魔をして、上手く溶け込めない。自然と日々の会話も消極的となり、妻には愛想をつかされそうになる。

そんな悶々とした日々の中にあったが、たまたまスポーツジムで知り合った30代半ばの青年実業家(ITベンチャー企業の社長)に声を掛けられ、年俸600万円で週3日勤務の顧問に迎えられる。

昔取った杵柄、経理財務に辣腕を振るい、社長以下幹部の皆から絶対的信頼を得て、水を得た魚の如く、活き活きとした日々が蘇る。人生の絶頂期であった企業戦士当時の意気が蘇り、彼女の一人もつくろかと思う程の元気を取り戻す。

ところが、あろうことか顧問就任1年足らずで、社長が突然死を遂げる。その時点で、本人も退職を決意。

ところが、若手役員陣が退陣を許さない。顧問の辞任どころか、社長に就任してしまう。元々仕事人間だけに、仕事となると燃える。会社業績は順調に推移し、名実ともに我が世の春を味わう。ところが、10ケ月ほどしたある日突然、東南アジアでの大型プロゼクトの取引先が倒産。3億円が焦げ付き、一挙に羅落の底。銀行を駆けづりまわるが、雨ふりに傘を貸してくれるような銀行はない。結果、倒産。社長は個人資産の全てを銀行にとられ、残るは妻名義の資産と年金だけ。

そんな失意のどん底を味わっているやさき、母校の高校が、甲子園出場の地方予選で決勝戦まで勝ち進む。同級生から、応援に行こうとの電話。失意の中にあるだけに、望郷の念も募る。

地方予選の球場に入るや、高校時代の友が勢ぞろいしている。あちこちから声がかかる。決勝戦の結果はボロ負けであったが、県下トップの進学校が野球の名門強豪チームに1点をとったことで盛り上がり、夜は久々の同窓会。ところが高校当時、主人公とトップ争いをしていた同級生の姿がない。聞くと、地元に帰っているが、事情があって出席できないという。

聞くといてっもたってもおれず、宴会を途中で抜け出し、彼の元へと走る。その同級生とは35年ぶり。一見しただけで、苦労の跡がうかがえる。ところが、彼は屈託なく、主人公を迎え入れる。

聞くと、彼は京大を卒業後、そのまま研究員として大学に残り、相当の研究実績を残すが、ある日突然、妻子が交通事故に遭い急死。そのショックから容易に立ち直れず、自死まで考えるが、死にきれず失意の中で故郷へ帰る。以後、父が営んでいたカメラ屋を継承、ボケた父親との侘しい男所帯を営んでいた。しかし、今ではどこかで達観し、心静かに生きている。そんな中、彼が主人公に伝える。

「死んだ女房の口癖を思い出してさ。俺が何か落ち込んだりして、昔は良がかっただのって嘆いたりするたびに、女房は東京の下町の女だからべらんめえで叱るのす。『ああ、しゃらくさい。思い出と戦っても勝てねンだよっ』てさ」。

 俺は黙った。彼も無言でビール飲んだ。

 ああ、俺は定年以降、俺は定年以降、思い出とばかり戦ってきたのではないか。思い出は時が経てばたつほど美化され、力をもつものだ。俺は勝てない相手と不毛な一人相撲を取っていたのではないか。

以降、主人公は妻と別居し、故郷に帰って、残った人生を自分なりに生きようとする。

ジャンジャン・・・。

内館牧子ってやっぱし面白い・・・。完全引退はあきらめるか・・・。

Dad, this is interesting… If you read the book, you’ll find a lot of sympathy for it.

Last week, my wife brought me a copy of Makiko Uchidate’s The End of the World, which she had borrowed from the library. I’ve already read it” and “Yes, I read it in one day. Makiko Uchidate is interesting…

They both enjoy reading and borrow four or five books from the library once every two weeks, but their reading habits are different and they don’t read the same books very often. What’s more, it’s the person who has finished. What’s the end of the world… We’re not done yet. I thought I was going to sympathize with you, but don’t talk back to me. So I picked up the book…

When I started reading this book, I felt like, “What the heck…? However, after reading the book for about three minutes, I became interested in it, and I read it all at once.

The protagonist is from Morioka. He graduated from the University of Tokyo Law School and worked at a mega-bank. He was at the forefront of the elite, and in his 40s he became the head of the central department of the headquarters. However, between the factions within the company, he is relegated to an affiliated company, where he will reach retirement age. He could have stayed on as a part-time worker, but his pride would not allow him to do so and he decided to retire completely.

It’s not that I didn’t dream of living in retirement somewhere, but once I reached retirement age, I didn’t know what to do… He had been a single-minded corporate warrior, but when he reached retirement age, he had no hobbies, and he felt the grief of those who had finished their careers, and spent his days agonizing over his loss.

I went to culture centers and gyms, but they were all full of old ladies. My past pride gets in the way and I can’t fit in well. Naturally, he becomes reluctant to talk to his wife on a daily basis, and his wife is likely to make him feel uncomfortable.

During those agonizing days, he was approached by a young businessman in his mid-thirties (president of an IT venture company) whom he met at a sports gym, and was hired as an advisor, working three days a week at an annual salary of 6 million yen.

He was able to wield his skills in accounting and finance, a skill he had acquired in the past, and gained the absolute trust of the president and other executives, bringing back the days when he was as lively as a fish with water. It brings back the spirit of a corporate warrior at the height of her life, and she’s so energized that she wants to get one of them back.

However, after less than a year as an advisor, the president died suddenly. At that point, he also decided to leave the company.

However, the young board members would not allow him to step down. Rather than the resignation of the advisor, he becomes the president of the company. I’m a workman by nature, so when it comes to work, I’m fired up. The company’s performance has been steady, and it has enjoyed the springtime of its life in both name and reality. However, one day, after about 10 months, a large scale business partner of Project in Southeast Asia suddenly went bankrupt, 300 million yen was burned, and the bottom fell out in an instant. I ran around the bank, but there was no bank that would lend me an umbrella when it was raining. The result is bankruptcy. The president had all of his personal assets taken into the bank, leaving only his wife’s assets and pension.

It is Yasakita, and my alma mater’s high school, which is experiencing a low point of disappointment, advances to the final round of the regional qualifying round for the Koshien. One of my classmates called me and asked me to go and cheer him on. In the midst of his disappointment, he feels a sense of nostalgia.

As soon as you enter the ballpark for the regional qualifier, your high school friends are all there. I hear voices from all over the place. The result of the final game was a disappointing loss, but we had a lot of fun because the top school in the prefecture had scored a goal against a powerful baseball team, and we had a reunion in the evening. However, there is no sign of the classmate who was competing with the protagonist in high school for the top spot. When I asked him, he told me that he had gone back to his hometown but was unable to attend due to circumstances.

When I asked him about it, I couldn’t stand it at all, so I slipped out of the banquet in the middle of it and ran to him. It’s been 35 years since I’ve seen that classmate. At first glance, one can see the traces of hard work. However, he welcomes the protagonist without complacency.

After graduating from Kyoto University, he remained at the university as a researcher and did considerable research, but one day, his wife and children suddenly died in a car accident. Unable to recover easily from the shock, he even considers suicide, but he is unable to die and returns to his hometown in despair. After that, he inherited his father’s camera shop and ran a lonely, male family with a blurry father. But now, somewhere along the way, he has attained mastery and is living a quiet life. In the midst of this, he tells the protagonist.

“I remember my dead wife saying. Whenever I would get depressed and complain about how things used to be better, my wife would scold me for being a downtown Tokyo woman. “Oh, it’s rubbish. You can’t win even if you fight against the memories.

I kept my mouth shut. He drank his beer wordlessly too.

Yeah, I’ve been fighting with memories since I retired, haven’t I? The more time passes, the more beautified and powerful our memories become. I was wrestling with an opponent I couldn’t win, and it was barren.

Thereafter, the protagonist separates from his wife, returns to his hometown, and tries to live the rest of his life in his own way.

Jean-Jean…

Makiko Uchidate is really interesting… You can either give up full retirement or…

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