Monday, November 9, 2009
Honesty and Trust
First, the photo is a map I used for the book festival. Yamamoto Shoten（山本書店）is the leftmost bookstore that I circled in red. Can you see? That’s where I purchased Rojin’s books.
I translated the following excerpt from “Midsummer Tales” by Rojin or Lu Xun.
I became interested in him and his work when I read a complaint by a Japanese linguist who translated Yusen-kutu (Taverns of Disporting Fairies). Yusen-kutu is from the Tang period of China. I don’t remember the name of the linguist/translator, so I refer him as he. He wrote a few negative sentences about Lu Xun. It was something like this: “Lu Xun knew the fact Yusen-kutu was discovered by Japanese and studied extensively over many centuries, but Lu Xun wrote and published the opposite.”
I wondered what went through Lu Xun’s head when he had to write that. Chinese government then was corrupt. Chinese in China were oppressed by the Japanese military. He struggled between two countries and for his people’s freedom. Lu Xun spoke and wrote Japanese. He studied in Japan for eight years. What went through his mind? I want to know. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lu_Xun
Below, Lu Xun wrote it toward the end of his life in Shanghai. I’m not crying, but I wish I can.
A “B, we trusted you. You seemed a fine person, so we let you in on the
revolution. Why did you squeal to the enemy?”
B “No way! Squeal! I only told them because they asked.”
A “Couldn’t you just keep saying you don’t know?”
B “No, no! I’ve never told a lie since I was born. I’m not such an
A “Oh, hello, Mr. B. It’s been three years. You were probably very
disappointed in me, weren’t you?”
B “No, not really. Why?”
A “I told you then. I was going to the West Lake and write 20,000 long
poems. I haven’t written a word up to now. Ha ha ha!
B “Well…..but I’m not a bit disappointed.”
A “You’ve gotten better at spoken words, haven’t you? You remember things
well, you’ve known to blame others quite severely, and you’re not the kind
of person who can reply with wishy-washy words. Everyone knows it. Are
you able to lie now?”
B “No, I’d never lie.”
A “Then, you’re not disappointed in me, right?”
B “No. There is nothing to be disappointed. After all, I’ve never trusted
you in the first place.”