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A SOCIALIST

TO THE MEN
						WHO WILL SOMEDAY BE FATHERS

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To the Men Who Will Someday Be Fathers

A SOCIALIST To the Men Who Will Someday Be Fathers いつかは父になる男たちへ

人間は、自分の欲しいと
思うものを求めて
世間を歩きまわり
そして、家庭に帰った時に
それを見出す
George Moore / 1852-1933

A Socialistのディレクター、渡辺真史にとって、父とは特別な存在だ。
それはいまも変わっていない。
昭和30〜 40年代の高度経済成長期。
誰もが社会の歯車であることを求められた時代を生きた真史の父、隆一は、一般的な他の父親像とは明らかに違って映ったという。
アウトロー。ひとことで言えば、そんな感じだ。
裕福な家庭で育つも、お仕着せの社会に疑問を抱き、学生運動へ傾倒。
プロレタリア文学を読み漁る日々をおくる文学青年であった父は、大学卒業後、共産党へ入党し、国会議員の秘書となった。当時でいう、インテリである。
普段は寡黙な父であったが、ひとたび口を開けば、政治の話ばかり。
子供がゆえ、その話はじつに退屈極まりなかったそうだ。
息子と上手く接することができない、不器用な父。
そんな生き下手な父のことを回想することが多くなった。
自身が父親となったいま、真史はそう語る。
そして父を誇らしく、眩しく想い出す瞬間があるという。
一張羅であったスーツを着て国会に登院する、凛々しき父の後ろ姿。
父、隆一が真史少年を前に放った、印象的な言葉がふたつある。
「自分の好きなことをやれ」、
そして66歳という若さで天寿を全うする直前、息子に遺した最後の言葉 「もっと勉強したい」。
これらの言葉こそが、父、隆一という人間の在り方を端的に語っているように思う。

“A man travels the world over
in search of what he needs
and returns home to find it.”
George Moore / 1852-1933

Masafumi Watanabe, director of 〈A Socialist〉, had an exceptional father. He was, and still is to Masafumi, an exceptional man.
During the postwar economic boom, when everyone was expected to be a cog in the wheel of society, Masafumi’s father, Ryuichi, made it clear he was not the average father.
He was an outlaw. That one word sums it up.
Despite coming form a good home, he harbored grievances against the world he was born into, and threw himself into the student movement.
Masafumi’s father was a literary young man who spent his days reading all the proletariat literature he could find.
After graduating, he joined the Communist Party, and became the secretary of a member of the Diet. They called this group the “intelligentsia.”
While his father was generally taciturn, when he did speak he spoke only of politics.
Because Masafumi was a child, these topics were insufferably boring.
As a father, Ryuichi was unadept, and unable to connect with his son.
Now that Masafumi is a father himself, he says he often reminisces about his father’s maladjustment,
but says that there are moments, too, when he recalls his father as dazzling or glorious figure.
He sees an image of his father from behind, dressed in his best suit, heading off to the Diet. Dignified.
There were two things Masafumi’s father Ryuichi told him that have left a deep impression and propelled him forward in life.
The first was “Do as you wish.”
And the second, his last words just before passing away, after a full life, at the age of sixty-six: “There's so much more to learn.”
These two statements combined give us a concise image of Ryuichi.
He passed his feverish lust for life down to his son, Masafumi, who felt a desire to do the best he could to express what he thought were the social and personal ideals his father espoused.
He wanted to take the words and ideas his father had spouted,

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そして、その強烈なまでの生への渇望は息子、真史へと受け継がれた。
父が目指したであろう理想の社会、理想の人間像を自分なりに表現したい。
いつの時代にも普遍のダンディズム、紳士の姿を父の発した言葉や思想から、形を変えて「服」という表現方法をもって描きたい。
息子、渡辺真史は、真摯に思う。

A Socialist = 一人の社会主義者。

理想の社会、理想の男、理想の服とはいったい何か。 その思索は群れることを嫌った、父の生き方を追う作業であるのかもしれない。
答えは、案外、身近なところにあるものなのだ。
すべての人にいる父親の生き方に、そして、この「服」の在り方に。

1st Story
STORY OF EAU DE PARFUM
幸福は香水のようなものである
人に振りかけると自分にも必ずかかる
Ralph Waldo Emerson / 1803-1882

生まれたての赤ん坊は母の“匂い”、そうミルクの“匂い”がする。
それ以外、なにもない。紛れもない、人を穏やかにする“匂い”。
その“匂い“は成長するごとに、遠い記憶のなかに消え去っていく。
すべての人が、その甘い“匂い”を忘れてしまう。
だが、渡辺真史の“匂い”の記憶は、母ではなく父の“匂い”だ。
パイプや煙草を嗜み、お酒を愛し、ヘアトニックなどの身だしなみを
整える様々な香料と体臭が混じった、父の独特な大人の“匂い”。
その“匂い”に、真史少年は違和感を覚えたという。
自分もいつかは大人になることへの、違和感。
見方を変えれば、それは自意識の目覚めでもあった。
父の香水を盗み付けたのは、中学時代であったろうか。
男なら誰でも経験がある、いわば大人になるための隠れた儀式。
そんな甘酸っぱい少年期を経て、気がつけば自身も父同様、煙草やお酒を嗜む齢、記憶にある父の歳になっていた。
そして、子を持つ親になった。
A Socialistのアイデアを思いついたとき、渡辺真史が最初に思い描いたのは“匂い”=香水だった。
First Layered(最初に着る)という発想。裸に纏う最初の服=“匂い”、という考え方。
ありのままの自分でいるための“匂い”。
生活に根差した“匂い”。そしてオン・オフの切り替えを計る、スイッチとしての“匂い”。
それがA Socialistが発表する最初のアイテム、香水の概念だ。

but switch his mode of expression to clothing, and use clothing to explore the dandyism and genteel style that persist through every generation.
Masafumi Watanabe had resolve.

〈A Socialist〉

What makes for the ideal society, the ideal man, the ideal garment? Such questions force us to leave the flock, and start to adopt Masafumi’s father’s way of life. But the answers, surprisingly, are always close to home.
We find them in the father inside each of us, and in the nature of this clothing.

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson / 1803-1882

A newborn baby smells its mother, the smell of milk. To be sure, there is nothing quite like it. It is a smell that calms.
As we grow, that smell disappears into distant memory.
Everyone comes to forget that sweet smell.
But the smell deep in Masafumi’s memory is not his mother’s, but that of his father, who had a taste for tobacco, loved a good drink, and wore hair tonic and various colognes.
These scents and his father’s natural body odor mixed together to form a special smell.
That smell made Masafumi feel uneasy.
It was an unease about knowing he would have to be an adult someday.
You could see this as the beginning of his self-awareness.
Sometime during middle school, he stole some of his father’s cologne.
It’s an experience shared by all men, a private ritual essential to becoming an adult.
After such a bittersweet youth, he realized he had acquired a taste for alcohol and tobacco, and reached the age his father still is when he remembers him.
Masafumi has also become a father.
When he came up with 〈A Socialist〉, his first idea was that a smell is something that you wear. A smell is your base layer.
The first thing you wrap around your nude body is a smell.
It’s the smell of you existing as you are.
A smell rooted in your lifestyle.
A smell that works like a switch between on and off.
You could call this concept of perfume the first item released by 〈A Socialist〉.
It’s that smell in the morning, when you’re just waking up, thinking about all the possible events of the day ahead; the smell of refreshment with something secret and uplifting hidden inside of it that gets your heart going.
It’s that smell at night, after work is over, and when you’re going to spend your hard-earned private time with close friends or a

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朝、眠りから目覚め、その日起きるであろう様々な出来事への期待に、胸弾ませる高揚感をすがすがしさのなかに秘める“匂い”を。
夜、仕事を終え、充実したプライベートな時間を気の置けない仲間や女性と過ごすため、男らしさを強調し、ミステリアスな夜の帳の到来を連想させる“匂い”を。
香水は着るもの、と渡辺真史は思う。
そして香水は、着る人だけでなく周囲の人間をも幸せにする、とも思う。
それが A Socialist、渡辺真史からの最初のメッセージである。

2nd Story
STORY OF DRESS SHIRTS
どうせ年をとるなら、陽気な笑いで、
この顔にシワをつけたいものだ
William Shakespeare / 1564-1616

白いシャツが連想させるものといえば、渡辺真史にとって、それは父の姿だ。
毎朝、国会へ登院するために着替えていた、父の白いシャツ。
お決まりのエンジ色かネイビーのネクタイに、グレーの無地のスーツ。
無個性なだけでなく、いつもヨレていた、その出で立ちは、世間的な見栄えよりも理念に重きをおく、共産党の主義を服で表現していたように真史少年には思えた。そして、そんな父を誇らしく感じたという。
だが、そのシャツは真っ白ではなかった。
帰宅すると、まず一番上のボタンを開けて袖をまくるのが、いつもの父の儀式。
そのまま食卓に向かい、夕食を済ませると、床に着くまでひたすら本をむさぼり読む。
当然シャツには、無数のシミと幾筋ものシワが刻まれることとなった。
お世辞にも清潔とは言えなかった、父の白いシャツ。
しかし、真史少年にとって、そんな父のシャツ姿は眩しく見えた。
ある種の潔さと同時に、理念を貫き通す男の意地と凄みがその白いシャツに表れていたように回想する。
渡辺真史はシャツを“肌着”、そして香水の次に着る、皮膚に近いものと考える。
上質なシャツを肌に沿わせることは、すなわち身体に馴染んだ第二の皮膚を纏うこと。
そんな限りなく肌に近づいた美しいシャツは、シワ自体が着る人の“味”となっていく。
それは日常を楽しむ人だけが刻める、“幸せのシワ”と言ってもいい。
“働くこと、学ぶことは、楽しく、美しい”と、父は無言で教えてくれた。
A Socialistの白いシャツは、その理念を表現するアイテムのひとつでありたい。
そしてシャツを着た姿が印象に残る男を、一人でも多く創りたい。
大人になった渡辺真史は、父のシャツ姿に想いを重ね、そう願うのだ。

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
William Shakespeare / 1564-1616

White dress shirts remind Masafumi Watanabe of none other than his father.
The fresh white shirt he put on every day before heading to the Diet...
His standard maroon or navy necktie, and a plain gray suit…
As a boy Masafumi saw this outfit, which was not only anonymous but always in disarray, as if the communist ideal were made manifest in his clothing, with more weight being placed on ideals than on appearances.
It made him proud of his father.
But the shirts were never bright white.
Upon arriving home, his father would open the top button of his shirt, roll up his sleeves, and head straight to the dinner table, where after eating he would devour books until he fell asleep.
It was his nightly ritual.
As a natural result, his shirts were full of stains and deep wrinkles.
They were too mussed up to pretend they could ever be clean.
But young Masafumi saw his father’s shirts as dazzling.
They seemed to embody a certain kind of righteousness, and a manly disposition and bizarre masculine energy that pierced ideology and doctrine.
Watanabe sees the shirt as something worn for beauty’s sake, the closest thing we put to our skin after our perfume.
Wearing a quality shirt that follows the contours of your skin is like donning a second skin that totally conforms to your body.
On a beautiful shirt that fits this closely to the skin, wrinkles are a mark of your personal character.
You could call these wrinkles of mirth, because you only get them when you’ve enjoyed the day.
Masafumi’s father tacitly taught him that work and study should be fun and beautiful.
This white shirt from 〈A Socialist〉 is an attempt to express that ideal, and an attempt to foster even one more man who leaves an impression because of the shirt he was wearing.
These are the things that cross Masafumi’s mind as he recalls his father’s shirts.

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3rd Story
STORY OF EYEWEAR

「暢気眼鏡」などというもの、かけていたのは彼女でなくて
私自身だったのかもしれない。確かにそう思える。
尾崎一雄著「暢気眼鏡」より抜粋 / 1933

「芳兵衛、お前はほんとうに気の毒だ」
私はある時珍しく真顔でいった。
「あなた本当にそう思う?」
「思う」
「それならいいのよ。あなたがそう思ってくれれば、わたしはそれでいいの」
と明けっぱなしの笑顔をした。
「こんな奴をいじめてーあアあ」と私は腹でうなった。
「こんなことをして小説書いたとて、それがいったい何だ」
そう思うと、反射的に
「いや、俺はそうでなければいけないんだ」
と突き上げるものがある。
「暢気眼鏡」などというもの、かけていたのは芳枝でなくて
私自身だったのかも知れない。確かにそう思える。
しかもこいつは一生壊れそうでないのは始末が悪い。
そこまで来て私はうすら笑いを浮べた。
渡辺真史の父は、本を読むときだけ眼鏡をかけていた。
若いときの眼鏡姿が記憶にないから、たぶんそれは老眼鏡であったと思う。
そんな眼鏡をかけた父に、真史少年は近寄りがたい、なにか威厳のようなものを感じた。
そして、その読書に没頭する知的さと荘厳さが入り混じった後ろ姿を、憧れの眼差しをもって見つめていたという。
以来、あいにく視力がよかった真史少年にとって、眼鏡は憧れの存在となる。
眼鏡をかけるだけで、印象が変わる。いや、それだけではない。
眼鏡を通じて見える世界観すらも、変わるような気がしたのだ。
いまも眼鏡をかけている人は、知的で徳を積んだ人のように見える、と真史は語る。
かけているときと外したときの、印象のギャップもいい。その存在は、
男の帽子とも通じるものがある。A Socialistの眼鏡に、渡辺真史はそんな想いを込めた。
眼鏡は己を語る。そして、ときにかける人の人生を象徴するものとなる。
その眼鏡はずっと人々の記憶に残ったまま、壊れそうにない。

“Maybe it was me, not her,
who had been wearing the rosy glasses all this time.
That’s certainly one way of looking at it.”
Kazuo Ozaki, excerpted from “Rose Colored Glasses” / 1933

“Yoshie, I feel really sorry for you,”
I finally said to her, my face totally serious.
“Is that what you really think?”
“Yes.”
“Well that’s fine. If that’s what you think, it’s fine by me,” she said, beaming.
“Ah, come on!” I groaned.
But just as I thought to myself “What’s the use in writing a novel, anyway?”
I was uppercut by the notion, “But you have to. There’s no alternative.”
Then I realized: maybe it was me, not Yoshie, who had been wearing the rosy glasses all this time. That’s certainly one way of looking at it.
But unfortunately, these rosy glasses aren’t apt to break anytime soon.
That, at least, is something we can laugh about.

Masafumi’s father only wore glasses when he read.
Because Masafumi never saw photos of his father wearing glasses as a young man, he thought maybe they were something he started wearing later in life.
There was something unapproachable and even majestic about his father wearing glasses.
When his father immersed himself in his reading, Masafumi stared longingly at him from behind, seeing in his posture a mixture of the intellectual and the exalted.
But for better or worse, Masafumi had good vision, limiting glasses to a fantasy.
He was amazed at the influence simply putting on a pair of glasses can have on a person’s appearance.
But he knew it was more complicated than that. It also changes the way that person sees the world.
He admits that he still thinks people wearing glasses somehow look more intellectual or virtuous.
There’s surely something enjoyable about the gap between how a person looks with them on and with them off.
Sort of like the way men wear their hats. Masafumi has tried to instill his glasses for 〈A Socialist〉 with this same kind of magical feeling.
Glasses tell a personal story, and become symbolic of the life of the person who wears them.
They are integral to the way people remember you. And these ones won’t be breaking anytime soon.

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