Native son Nishida honored, vows to perform for hometown(県民栄誉賞・西田敏行さん決意「福島を表現していく」)

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Actor Toshiyuki Nishida speaks in front of the memorial bowl presented to him by Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sept. 17.(内堀知事から贈呈された記念品の大鉢を背に、笑顔でトークセッションに臨む西田さん=17日)

 KORIYAMA, Fukushima - Actor Toshiyuki Nishida, a native of Koriyama, stated his resolve to act for Fukushima Prefecture at a recent ceremony when he received an honorary citizenship award.
 At the award ceremony in Koriyama on Sept. 17, Nishida received a certificate and a memorial bowl from Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori.
 "With this award, I want to take time again to think about Fukushima and continue to live as an actor who expresses something about Fukushima," Nishida said.

 県は17日、郡山市出身の俳優西田敏行さん(70)に県民栄誉賞を贈った。同市で行われた表彰式で内堀雅雄知事から賞状と記念品の大鉢を受けた西田さんは「この賞を糧に、もう一度福島のことを思いながら、福島のことを表現していく俳優として生きていきたい」と決意を語った。

 The award ceremony was open to the public for the first time and about 300 people attended to honor Nishida, 70. During the ceremony, Uchibori held a talk with Nishida in which the actor discussed several topics, including his hopes for the revival of his hometown.

 県民栄誉賞の表彰式として初めて県民に公開して行われた。祝福に駆け付けた約300人を前に、西田さんは内堀知事とトークセッションを展開し、古里復興への思いなどを語った。

 Nishida recalled swimming in the Abukumagawa river when he was young, and his adoptive father, who was fond of the cinema, often took him to the movie theater. "Movies and Koriyama's nature shaped my sentiments, which encouraged me to be an actor," he said. "I had optimistic, bright ideas thanks to the character of Fukushima's people and its local areas, which raised me with generosity."

  トークセッションで西田さんは、幼少期に阿武隈川で泳いだことや映画好きの養父に連れられ映画館に通ったことを「映画と郡山の自然によって情操が育まれて、俳優になりたいという気持ちが高まっていった」と回顧。「おおらかに育ててくれた土地柄と福島県民の人柄によって、割と楽観的な、明るい発想を持てるようになった」と古里への感謝を語った。

 Nishida also talked about his move to Tokyo at 15. "I went to Tokyo to learn the language," he said. "I wanted to be 'bilingual,' not just speak the Koriyama dialect. When I became 'bilingual' at last, I was able to take a step forward."

 また、15歳で上京する際のエピソードを「郡山弁だけでなくバイリンガルになりたいと思って東京に語学留学した。それでようやくバイリンガルになって、俳優として一歩踏み出すことができた」と紹介。

 During an interview with the press after the ceremony, he mentioned popular singer Namie Amuro, who recently retired. He said that when she received an honorary citizenship award from Okinawa Prefecture, he thought he also had a chance.
 Nishida used the word "Amurer," which refers to Amuro fans who emulate her fashion style, saying, "'Toshirers' or 'Nishirers' also exist, though there aren't as many as the Amurers. Those supporters made it possible for me to get this award," he said, drawing laughter from those in attendance.

 表彰式後の記者会見でも「安室奈美恵さんが沖縄県民栄誉賞を受けた時、私にもチャンスが来たと思った。アムラーほどでないが『トシラー』『ニシラー』みたいな人がちらほらいて、その人たちに支えられて(県民栄誉賞を)甘んじて受けさせてもらった」と"西田節"をさく裂させ、会場を沸かせていた。

 Nishida debuted as an actor in 1967. Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, he has worked toward helping the region's reconstruction. For example, he encouraged young people as a member of the Futaba School Project, a support group for Futaba Future High School in the coastal town of Hirono. Nishida also appeared in the music video "MIRAI 2061" that depicts Fukushima Prefecture 50 years after the disaster.

( Translated by The Japan News )

  西田さんは1967(昭和42)年に俳優としてデビュー。震災後は、ふたば未来学園高を支援する「ふたばの教育復興応援団」の一員として子どもたちを励ましたほか、震災から50年後の本県を描いたミュージカル動画「MIRAI2061」に出演するなど復興支援に尽力した。

 【 2018年9月18日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】

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