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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thoughts on "Nanking" and thanks to everyone, By Arc


In the Peace Philosophy Centre Salon of Saturday, 28th March 2009, we talked about the issues of Nanjing Massacre. We watched movie “Nanking”, which recorded the efforts of several foreigners to protect civilians from raping and killing in Nanjing 1937. After the movie, we had a meaningful and serious discussion. Topics related to the Massacre, such as “incident” vs. “massacre”, and the debates over the number of the victims, were discussed.
I’m surprised that we had so many people yesterday, and the discussion group was so balanced composed by people with different background. And more surprisingly, we all come to a same conclusion that wars and the violation to humanity should not happen again. Personally, I’m really impressed by the consensus. It gives me a strong hope for the future.

在本周六晚和平哲学中心沙龙会上我们观看了关于南京大屠杀的影片《南京》。影片记述了1937年日军侵占南京的经过以及后来在南京烧杀抢掠的罪行。影片也记述了几名外国人在南京沦陷之后设立安全区从日本军队的刺刀下保护中国难民的经过。影片过后我们进行了有意义的讨论。以下是来自ARC的感想:

当我看到今晚庞大的出席人数的时候不禁吃了一惊,然后开始担心中心的椅子够不够用了。更让人吃惊的是来宾的构成,涵盖了加拿大人,华人,日裔,韩裔等等族群。这大大丰富了我们后来的讨论内容,让我们有机会听到来自不同团体的不同声音。相信这对促进我们之间的相互了解大有裨益。

对于最富有争议的两个话题之一的受难者人数问题,我的理解是这样的:几乎所有的与会者都认为争论死亡人数是毫无意义的,一个殉难者的生命是和30万受难者的生命一样宝贵的。我对此深表赞成。我认为关于死亡人数的争论已经被过度的政治化了。两国政府在这个议题上过分的倾注了精力。这个议题不应当与政治挂钩,这应当是超越政治,仅与基本的人道主义原则有关的议题。无论死亡人数是多是少,这都不应当成为被政治家有目的的操纵的话题。正如一位与会者指出,我们不应当过度关注人数的问题而忽略了“为什么会发生这样的事情”的思考,而事实上学术界和政界在这方面的研究是完全不够的。与其争论具体的死亡人数,不如关注一下未来我们如何防止这样的事情再度发生。
从民众的角度而言,以我对中国民众的理解,我相信中国民众强调30万殉难者这一数字绝非是立意要羞辱日本政府和人民。中国民众认为低估这一数字是不可接受的,部分原因可以归结于对死者的尊重。从传统文化的角度,遗忘死者是对其极大的不尊重甚至会招来报应。另外,日本右派对战争责任的态度问题应该也在中国民众的强硬态度中起到了很大的推动作用。
About the issue of the number of victims, my comments are: almost all attendants of the salon agree this is a meaningless issue, because one life is equally precious as 300,000 lives. I agree. This issue has been excessively politicized. This is more like a humanitarian issue, instead of political issue. No matter how many people died, this issue should not be purposefully manipulated by politicians. We should care more about “why this happened” instead of spending too much energy on debating about the number of casualties.
From my understanding of Chinese people, I think our emphasis on the number issue definitely does not mean we want humiliate Japanese people. From a Chinese cultural perspective, the dead should be respected, and to forget him/her is a humiliation to him/her and might hurt your karma. And there are some other reasons to cause this complex issue too, and some more discussion will be helpful.

对于另一个议题,南京事件VS.南京大屠杀的名称问题,我个人认为南京事件的称呼法是错误的。正如一位与会者指出,事件/事故这个词强调其事实性和独立性。但这样一个逻辑不适用于南京大屠杀这样的战争罪行。如果把南京大屠杀描绘为一个事件的话,那它就具有很多事件/事故的共同特征:独立的,偶然发生的,难以追究原因的。这显然是不利于年轻一代了解事情的起因,也显然不利于我们今后组织止这样事情再度发生的。
令人惊异的是南京事件这个词被广泛的被日本和平人士使用,倒是极端民族主义者常常使用南京大屠杀这个词--当然他们使用的目的是为了否定大屠杀存在的客观事实--对于他们而言即便是南京事件也并不存在。我个人对南京事件这个词的使用持宽容的态度,但条件是使用者须了解整个事件的来龙去脉和对事件的性质有清楚的认识。再一次的,我相信中国民众强调大屠杀这个词也绝非是要羞辱日本民众,相对的,我们强调事件的起因和性质,是因为我们希望这样的事情不要再发生。
About the issue of the working “accident/incident” vs. “massacre”, my comments are: the word “incident/accident” has meanings of “being and just being factual”, “independent” (in statistic term, one incident doesn’t make another incident more likely or less likely to happen. These are independent incident.) These two meanings make the word wrong in this case. We need think about the cause and how to prevent such a violation to humanity to happen again. For this purpose, the word “incident” is not helpful.
Personally, I’m open to the use of the word “incident”, providing that the user of this word understands the cause and the suffering of those victims. Again, I want to emphasize that I don’t think Chinese people want to humiliate Japanese people by emphasizing the word “massacre”. On the contrary, we emphasize the cause and the suffering of the incident, only because we want to make sure everyone understand it, and make sure this will not happen again.

最后,我对当天出席的立命馆大学的同学和日本友人表示深切的感谢。你们的勇气和开明的态度让我钦佩。我能明白你们身上所承受的压力和内心的感受,但你们的行动显然正在一点一滴的融化我们之间的坚冰。请继续加油,美好和平的未来需要我们共同去创造。
At last, I want to send my serious appreciation to the students from Ritsumeikan University and friends from Japan. I admire your courage and your open-minded attitude. I can understand your feeling and your pressure. It’s not an easy thing, but what you did are just making changes to the relationship between these two countries. If there was an iceberg in the relationship, your enthusiasm are melting it down little by little. Please keep on doing so; don’t stop, and we will be with you; let us labour together towards a peaceful future.
最後に、私は立命館の学友と日本の学友たちに本当に感謝をしています。私は、貴方たちの勇気とopen-mindに敬慕しています。貴方たちの気持ちや、この出来事の重みを思うと、これがぜんぜん簡単ではないと思います。でも、貴方たちの行動は、この国たちの間の氷山を少しずつ融かしていきます。頑張ってください、私も一緒に。平和と美しい未来は私たちの手の中です。

4 comments:

  1. As I said during the discussion, I knew nothing about
    Nanjing Massacre before seeing the film. The words and tears from
    survivors of the massacre made me feel stifled...Everything that "Japanese
    evils" did to Chinese people was just "unbelievable". It is unbelievable,
    but we,Japanese, must learn and confront the truth- what Japanese did in
    Nangjing.

    What I felt strongly was, what I saw in the film was not just a history. and
    we should not make it "just a history" or stuff that does not matter at all
    now. It's not "their"(people in the past) history, but it's "our" (both
    people in the past and the present) issue. I believe that people at the
    salon last night share the same/similar feelings and I felt hope in us
    during the discussion....we are the future.

    It was such a wonderful meeting.
    Thank you Satoko san and all people there last night.

    Shoko

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have things I want in my life; those are not
    like rule-the-entire-world kind of stuffs, but they are having-a-good-family-and-friends
    kind of stuffs. So I make plans. In my life, however, there are billions of
    things that I don’t know but still am involved
    anyways. And the moment of making a decision among things I have no idea always
    comes no matter how hard I try to avoid it. Frankly, I don’t like it but understand it because I know that’s something I have to live with. Speaking of my stupidity, I am also
    greedy and not very generous as Buddha or Jesus who would willingly share their
    flesh and lives with others. Therefore, I do research not to make mistakes so
    my dreams come true.



    I learn a lot from written or spoken
    language, however, I learn even more from people’s face, tones of speaking, and body language. And from my life experience
    (that is still not so long to say of), I also learned those information from
    out of language itself sometimes teaches me even more important things, their inner
    thoughts. I found those inner thoughts are hard to hide unless they are very
    well trained to do so, and give a brief idea of what they really are looking
    after.



    What I learned from the night from watching
    the movie and listening discussion after it, make the long story short, was a
    huge gap between those Chinese and Japanese people who lived in Nanjing when the massacre
    happened. I also was sad to know that there are still lots of people trying to
    make other people’s grief to their old good
    times and make the good times back. I wish I was wrong about all that I felt
    that night. I just remembered from out of nowhere that Shoko-san told me “you can’t bring happiness alone, you
    need to work together.” I believe in what she said
    and hope we work together to make the future happy.



    I read what you, Arc, wrote. It makes me
    bit more optimistic about the feelings of the night.

    Thanks, Arc.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 南京大虐殺がすごくひどいものだったということは知っていましたが、実際にどんなことが起きたのか詳細は知らなかったので、今回の映画を見てショックを受けました。今まで、テレビなどで中国での反日運動を見て、ちょっとやりすぎじゃないかなぁと思ってましたが映画を見てちょっと納得しました。

    南京大虐殺はなかったと言っている人がいるのは以前から知っていましたが、あれだけのことをやっておいて虐殺ではないと言えるのにも驚きました。

    ReplyDelete
  4. 南京大虐殺について私が知っていたのは、教科書でならったことのみで、南京事件が起こったこと、
    いつどこで、大虐殺やレイプが行われたこと、くらいのほんの少しのことでした。
    なので今回の映画を見て、実際の生存者の話や元日本兵の話を聞き、想像以上のことですごくショックを受けました。
    事件を起こしたのが同じ日本人だと思うと、なんと言ってよいかわかりませんでした。

    また、ディスカッションの中で出てきた、incidentとmassacreについてですが、今まで南京大虐殺がどう訳されているか知らなかったけれど、最初に「Nanjing incident」という言葉を聞いた時に、少し変な感じがしました。
    最後に、私が学校で南京大虐殺について習った時は、教科書2ページにも満たないほど少ない情報で、しかも大虐殺という事実しか学びませんでしたが、学生の中には、この事件を重く受け止めて考えている人もいました。もちろん、日本人のしたことは許されるわけではないですが、私は、多くの中国人が思っているよりも、今の日本人は重く受け止め、考えているのではないだろうかと思いました。

    ReplyDelete