Review of Award-Winning Essays
Comment - Resurrection Force
Giichi Fujimoto,novelist

I have a feeling that the Most Excellent Otsuki Award winner "Three Maps" gives the essence of all the works submitted for this contest. Because the senses, feelings and impressions related to a map before the loss of vision, a map during losing of vision, and a map after loss of vision are vividly depicted in every work.
There are three maps stored in the memory of Yasuo Maeda, winner of the Most Excellent Otsuki Award, which are a map of old streets before the war, a map in his high school days and a map of the present day still remaining in his mind overlapped on each other. Such overlapping of three maps, which never happens to non-handicapped person, does not represent a simple mixture of dots and lines nor describes mere stores or buildings on a flat plate; they arouse a record of devastated towns and roads washed away by gigantic waves of tsunami following the Tohoku Earthquake that hit Japan on March 11. When we have regained some mental room to look back and come to feel the need to speak about the power of restoration, those maps will tell us what is modesty or passion a human being should have in a magnificent way.
Next let me talk about the Excellent Award winner "A Young Man's Words. Since the author Minoru Egawa became the visually handicapped in his 60s, he said he found it so hard to accept the handicap and even lost his energy to live. But he realized it was stupid of him to feel sorry for himself after he remembered the words told by a 20 year old born blind young man. He then started learning braille at the age of 65 and is now capable of reading a newspaper column in braille three years thereafter. Today he greatly rejoices in reading period novels. His realm of reading has expanded in a pleasant way.
Next, the author Minoru Nishida whose work, "Mother's Unforgettable Words," won an Honorable Mention Award was announced blind in his impressionable youth. His mother told him she would give one of her eyes to him. He interpreted those words of hers into the following phrase after her death:
Mother told me to turn loss of sight into happiness
As she breathed her last, she reminded me that.
Another Honorable Mention Award "Blue Sky" is a clearly understandable and refreshing piece of work. The author Masaharu Yoshimatsu was asked questions after his lecture. He had a question very difficult to answer.
"What do you want to see if you regain your vision?"
This is not the kind of question that can be quickly answered. His students gave back very short answers in braille to this question. One of the answers is, "What I wish I could see again if I lost my vision is the blue sky." Very poetic. Great depth of life. The depth of sky. This blue sky is the life.


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