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SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS - 第167回 「走って考える復興 〜第3回ツール・ド・東北〜」

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白戸太朗「スポーツ“TRY”アングル」(第3木曜) : 第167回 「走って考える復興 〜第3回ツール・ド・東北〜」
投稿日時: 2015-09-17 18:00:00

 仕事がら1年間に、沢山の自転車イベントやトライアスロンでいろいろなところを走るが、唯一走りながら深く考えさせられるイベント「ツール・ド・東北」に参加してきた。今年で3回目を迎え、以前と比べれば、かなり復興が進みつつあるエリアもあり、月日を感じさせた。だが、まだまだそうと呼ぶには程遠い場所もある。ようやく4年、されど4年を感じさせられた。その中で、変わらないのは地元の方々の温かい歓迎である。今年も多くの参加者が自転車に乗りながら、考えさせられる時間を過ごした。
(写真:今年も石巻に多くのサイクリストが集まった (c)Yahoo! JAPAN)

 人気イベントに成長した今年は3500人の参加者。応募は倍以上あったというから自転車イベントの中では出場すら難しい「プレミアイベント」になりつつある。それは単なる自転車イベントにはないものがあるからだ。被災地の現状を知ること、地元の方々と触れること、そこで感じ考えることができることが理由にあるのは間違いない。そしてそれを肌で感じ、見ていくのに、自転車ほど適した乗り物もない。景色を眺めるのには速過ぎず、それでいて移動距離も伸ばせる。カラダで空気感や雰囲気を味わうことができる。そういう意味では、この自転車イベントは、被災地の正しい認識を得ること、復興への応援といった目的には最高に合致したものなのかもしれない。
(写真:南三陸防災庁舎を眺める参加者 (c)Yahoo! JAPAN)

 今回は、これまでの2回ともに走らせて頂いているので、その変化を見るのが自分のテーマでもあった。「4年を迎えどのくらい復興は進んでいるんだろう」。そんなことを思いながらペダルを踏んでいく。整備、整地はかなり進んでいるところが多く、ようやくという感じ。苦しいながらにも、ここから新しい街が作られていくんだという希望の息吹も感じられる。しかし、そのまま手付かずという場所も少なくない。人口が少ない地域は、どうしても後手になってしまうのだろう。この地域の復興は容易いことではない。まだまだ先になってしまうことは仕方がないとはいえ、そんな現状があることも我々は知っておかなければならない。

 すべてを“風化”させてはいけない

 そして、印象に残るのは、やはり震災の爪痕の数々。南三陸町の防災庁舎に代表されるような被害を象徴するような場所である。コースを走りながらそういった場所、建築物が自然と目に入ってくる。今回は大谷海岸駅跡にエイドステーションが設定されており、おもてなしを受ける僕たちの後ろには、ホームと線路の面影が……。その様子を見た参加者は、誰もが息をのみ、言葉を失ってしまう。津波のパワーと怖さをあらためて感じさせられた。

 しかし、このような震災の爪痕が残る場所は確実に減ってきている。というより、街の復興が進む中で新しい街づくりが進んでいると言ったほうが正しいかもしれない。壊れた建物や、インフラなどを撤去し、新たに生活できる環境を作っていくことは大切だ。だからこそ年々、震災を思い出させる風景は減っているし、それが復興のバロメーターでもある。一方でそれらが無くなってしまうと、僕たちが感じるような震災の恐ろしさや、激しさに触れる機会は減っていくのだろう。そう考えると、少しでも現在の状態をより多くの人が見ておく必要があると思った。まだすべてが作り替えられていない今だからこそ、見ておかなければならないものが沢山あるはずだ。ぜひ、このイベントだけではなく、被災地の今の姿を確認しに行って欲しいと思う。
(写真:大谷海岸駅跡献花台に見舞うケネディ大使 (c)Yahoo! JAPAN)

 街が復興へと向かっていく中、これらのものは、負の記憶の象徴として残す必要があるのではとの思いも沸き起こってきた。原爆ドームのように、辛く悲しい歴史だけど、その証人と呼べるものを残しておく必要があるのではという考え方だ。震災後、被災地ではあちこちでこの議論があったと聞くし、今でもそれは続いているらしい。遺族からすると、家族の亡くなった場所に、観光地のように人が集まり、見学していくことは耐えられない。自分に置き換えれば、それは当然に気持ちだろう。悲惨な歴史を、それを見るたびに思い出すのは辛すぎる。

 だが、その出来事を忘れてはいけないのも事実。人間なんて愚かなもので、のど元過ぎれば熱さ忘れるとばかりに天災への備えが甘くなっていくのは歴史が証明している。だから、その象徴を残し、負の記憶の語り部が存在し続けることが必要だとも思うのだ。当然、簡単でないことも分かっている。それぞれの街の方々で答えを出していくしかないのだろう。どちらにしても、未来のための結論を出して欲しい。

 そんなことを考えながら、僕はペダルを踏む。
 沿道では、まだ仮設住宅に住んでいる方々が手を振って応援してくれる。そしていつも目頭が熱くなるのは、「来てくれて有難う!」という声援の言葉だ。こんなに温かく迎えてもらってお礼を言いたいのは、こちらなのに……。「応援していたら、応援されていた」。このフレーズそのままの状況に今年も沢山出会えた。
「来年も来るからね!」と力強く答えて、僕は走り続けた。
(写真:今年も沿道からは温かい声援が飛び交った (c)Yahoo! JAPAN)

白戸太朗(しらと・たろう)プロフィール
 スポーツナビゲーター&プロトライアスリート。日本人として最初にトライアスロンワールドカップを転戦し、その後はアイアンマン(ロングディスタンス)へ転向、息の長い活動を続ける。近年はアドベンチャーレースへも積極的に参加、世界中を転戦していた。スカイパーフェクTV(J Sports)のレギュラーキャスターをつとめるなど、スポーツを多角的に説くナビゲータとして活躍中。08年11月、トライアスロンを国内に普及、発展させていくための新会社「株式会社アスロニア」の代表取締役に就任。13年1月に石田淳氏との共著で『挫けない力 逆境に負けないセルフマネジメント術』(清流出版)を出版。
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