by Kawakami Yoshiko, pastor Okubo Church, Tokyo District Editor, KNL Editorial Committee
Anne of Green Gables* was translated into Japanese by Muraoka Hanako and published shortly after World War II under the title Akage no An (Red-haired Anne). It has been a very popular novel, and since the life of its translator was made into a drama in 2014, its popularity has risen once again.
Originally written by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942), this novel and its sequels include numerous episodes relating to the choosing of a pastor for the town church, ranging from hilarious scenes to ones filled with irony. In the first of the series, shortly after Anne comes to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert as an 11-year-old orphan, there are a series of scenes in which Anne shares her frank thoughts about the pastoral candidates. Following the retirement of the former pastor, there were several candidates who came to be evaluated for the position. Shortly before the new pastor and his wife, Rev. and Mrs. Allan, are invited to a welcoming tea, 12-year-old Anne shares her thoughts with Uncle Matthew, who was the first to really take a liking to Anne after her arrival. His younger sister, Marilla, was quite an austere woman, and even though she had her own opinions, she did not express them—a point that shows the author’s superior sense of balance.
Concerning the former pastor, Rev. Bentley, who was retiring due to old age, Anne said that he has no imagination. However, he was described as one for whom most “had the affection born of long interaction with their good old minister, in spite of his shortcomings as an orator.” Following his retirement, Anne shared her feelings with Matthew, as she felt safe in being frank with him. “Since then the Avonlea church had enjoyed a variety of religious dissipation in listening to the many and various candidates and ‘supplies’ who came Sunday after Sunday to preach on trial. These stood or fell by the judgment of the fathers and mothers in Israel; but a certain small, red-haired girl who sat meekly in the corner of the old Cuthbert pew also had her opinions about them and discussed the same in full with Matthew.” (I recall being particularly interested in this as a child growing up in a pastor’s family and how there were various ways of choosing a pastor.)
So, 12-year-old Anne gives her evaluation of six candidates. “I don’t think Mr. Smith would have done, Matthew,” was Anne’s final summing up. “Mrs. Lynde says his delivery was so poor, but I think his worst fault was just like Mr. Bentley’s he had no imagination. And Mr. Terry had too much; ...Besides Mrs. Lynde says his theology wasn’t sound. Mr. Gresham was a very good man and a very religious man, but he told too many funny stories and made the people laugh in church; he was undignified, and you must have some dignity about a minister, mustn’t you, Matthew? I thought Mr. Marshall was decidedly attractive; but Mrs. Lynde says he isn’t married, or even engaged, . . .she says it would never do to have a young unmarried minister in Avonlea, because he might marry in the congregation and that would make trouble. . . . I’m very glad they’ve called Mr. Allan. I liked him because his sermon was interesting and he prayed as if he meant it and not just as if he did it because he was in the habit of it. Mrs. Lynde says he isn’t perfect, but she says she supposes we couldn’t expect a perfect minister for seven hundred and fifty dollars a year, and anyhow his theology is sound.”
There are, of course, other people’s thoughts and opinions expressed in the novel, but I will omit those. Five years later, when the well-liked Rev. Allan and his wife leave for another church, there is another scene in which Anne laments about the next group of candidates to her close friend Diana. Also, later in the series, there is another episode in which a widowed pastor with many children, but who seems to care only about his sermons, gets remarried.
The author, Lucy Montgomery, herself married a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Canada by the name of Ewan Macdonald. Even though she had her own struggles with faith, in all of her works the main characters are all associated with the Presbyterian Church. Whenever she is just referring to “church,” it is always Presbyterian, and so whenever other denominations such as Methodist, Baptist, and Anglican are mentioned, the full name of the church is given, such as Whitesands Baptist Church. Likewise, whether the preacher at the various churches is a regular pastor or an itinerating evangelist is made plain, and the descriptions she gives paint a picture of the differences in church life and social standing of the congregants during that age in Canada. The time of World War I (1914-1918) is the setting of the last in the series, and thus the entire series is set in the context of the Presbyterian Church of Canada in the latter part of the 19th century into the early 20th century. Being fiction, of course, there may be some dramatization of the actual situation, but Montgomery depicts the kinds of ministers and spouses, along with the expectations of parishioners, during a time of more than 100 years ago. I wonder how differently it would be presented in today’s world. (Tr. TB)
*Anne of Green Gables published by YEARING, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books a division of Random House, Inc., New York
『赤 毛のアン』Anne of Green gablesに見る、牧師招聘
川上善子 ／ 東京・大久保教会（KNL編集委員長）
カ ナダの作家L・M・モ ンゴメリLucy Maud Montgomery （1874～1942）のアンシリーズには牧師招聘の エピソードが幾度も登場し、
「リンドの小母さ んは、あの人（ス ミスさん）の 説教はとても貧弱だって言いなさるけど、