Tanpopo

tanpopo

Today I played ball in the street with S. and Aiko, who is 1 and a half. Her grandpa lives next door. Then we searched for dandelions in the little dirt alley behind the block of flats across the road. Dandelion means “Lion’s Tooth” (Dent de Lion). Not very cute. The Japanese “Tanpopo” is much nicer. Usagis like dandelions. Many Japanese people have a soft spot in their hearts for them too. Ironically though, most of the tough little yellow flowers that push through the city asphalt are a non-native species, introduced from the West. The Japanese species is much more sensitive, and will only grow where the air is clean…

今日 S. と愛子ちゃんと道でボール遊びをしました。愛子ちゃんは1才半。おじいさんの家はうちのとなりです。その後、皆で道路の向こうのアパートの裏にある泥道でタンポポを探しに行きました。タンポポは英語で「ダンディライオン」と言うんだけど、語源はフランス語で、「ライオンの歯」(dent de lion) という意味です。あまり可愛くないね。「タンポポ」の響きのほうがすてき。うさぎはタンポポが好きなんだ。日本人も、タンポポのことを特別にあたたかく思ってる気がします。だけどほとんどの東京のアスファルトから小さな黄色い顔を押し出してるタンポポは他所の国から入ってきた西洋の種類だって。日本の種類はもっと繊細で空気がきれいな場所でしか育たないらしい・・・

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