The hostility comes for two reasons: many students distrust and disdain Zhou because he is Chinese, and they also come to believe that he has received preferential treatment from Professor Fujino. In the highly competitive environment of medical school this is no small matter. A number of issues threaten to divide the friendship between Tanaka and Zhou. One arrogant classmate from Tokyo named Tsuda Kenji remarks to Tanaka that Zhou, who was sent to study in Japan on a government-funded scholarship, could very well be a Chinese spy. He also asserts that, considering the fact that nearly every one of the Chinese students in Japan were political activists, they might be tempted to spy for Russia to gain political or military influence in an attempt to overthrow the Qing government.
The next day Tanaka asks Fujino about this and the professor admits that he did discuss the presence of Zhou during one of the class meetings, but that he had emphasized the need for all of the students to help him so that he can return to China and improve medical science there. Tanaka presses him further and Fujino is vague, but he points to an article in the newspaper about a chrysanthemum viewing party held at the Akasaka Detached Palace. Fujino asks Tanaka if he and Zhou are friends. Then, in a statement that echoes the rhetoric of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, he states his belief that all of the Orient is one family.
Lu Xun did not leave Sendai armed with the great ambition that he would salvage the spiritual poverty of his fellow countrymen through literature. It was more likely that he took leave of the city smitten by a feeling of humiliation and indignation. In any case I am inclined to conclude that the slide incident had no direct bearing upon his transfer to literature. Tanaka says of the incident:.
According to some, Lu Xun wrote his recollections of Sendai in his later years and it did seem that, indeed, he resolved to make the transition from medicine to literature due to this magic lantern incident. Yet I think that, for his own reasons, he was writing these things as a way of dealing with his past in a shorthand fashion. It seems that often people have to communicate the main points of their history after it has been thoroughly reconstructed in this way. Tanaka assigns the greatest influence on Zhou to an anonymous letter that was sent to him during the fall semester of his second year in Sendai.
In contrast to the slide incident in which his moral conscience is pricked, the insulting and accusatory letter ostensibly sows the seeds of shame and alienation. The people of my country are still in a degenerate state. Those are the faces of the Chinese people today. If things continue as they are now, China will not be able to establish the honor of becoming a real, permanently independent country.
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After visiting a Methodist church with a fellow classmate named Yashima, Zhou finds that he cannot stomach listening to a sermon about Moses leading his people out of Egypt, and he concludes that even though Moses was able to lead his people to the promised land, they were forced to endure forty long years of suffering and cursed him when it was all over. Zhou is skeptical that the common people can be saved in this way; that this can alleviate their deep suffering and slave-like mentality. After rejecting Western Christianity and Chinese orthodox Confucianism, Zhou decides that he can find inspiration for helping China modernize from the Japanese National Learning kokugaku scholars who paved the way for the Meiji Restoration: scholars such as Keichu , Kamo no Mabuchi , Motoori Norinaga , and Hirata Atsutane He asserts that they provided the fuel for the miracle of the Meiji Restoration.
With aggressive intent, this was the approach taken by Westerners to subjugate the people of other countries. In this way, Dazai presents Lu Xun as an anti-Western polemicist after the model of Japanese nationalists from the s to the end of the Pacific War. This ideological position generally promoted the Japanese spirit yamato-damashii as superior to the cold rationalism of Western science and enlightenment. This wartime gathering of Japanese intellectuals produced an array of opinions concerning the problem of Japanese modernity.
General consensus viewed the West as synonymous with modernization, and its powerful influence was generally viewed as merely an importation of form with little spiritual or cultural relevance to Japan. In this sense, Western modernity was viewed as a hindrance to the development of Japanese spiritual purity. The following statement from the symposium by the literary critic Nakamura Mitsuo reflects this view:. How badly have the heartless demands of the times twisted the spirits of those who had no choice but to accommodate themselves to it!
The emphasis on spiritual cultivation as a means of inoculating the Japanese people against the dangers of Western rational materialism was also extended as a higher ideological goal for all of Asia in the vaunted Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The root of the morality of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere lies in passing on to each people the moralische Energie of Japan, raising their spiritual level to a height where they can cooperate with Japan, and in this way setting up a moral relationship among different ethnic peoples that can support the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
After leaving medical school in Sendai in March of , he returned to Tokyo to enroll in the German Institute, ostensibly to study German language. In July of the same year he returned briefly to Shaoxing to marry a woman named Zhu An who was chosen for him by his mother. He soon returned to Tokyo, leaving his bride behind, and during the next three years he and his brother Zuoren translated, mainly through the medium of Japanese, a wide range of stories into Chinese from Russia, England, America, France, Finland, Poland, Serbia, Bosnia, Hungary and other European and Eastern European countries.
In this imagined world order, Japan serves as a bulwark against Western imperialism in Asia and presents itself to China as a role model for modernization, integrating Western knowledge without jettisoning some vaguely conceived notion of pan-Asian cultural values guided by Japanese spiritual principles. As the embodiment of a progressive political consciousness in China, Lu Xun is a figure who represents—from the Japanese historical perspective—a vital bridge for modern ideas between the two countries.
Nearly fifty years after Sekibetsu was written, the contemporary Japanese author Inoue Hiashi b. Among a wide range of topics—he has published roughly books as of —Inoue has a penchant for writing plays and novels about modern Japanese canonical authors, some of whom shared his own progressive political leanings. When Shukichi returned to his hometown in Yamagata after studying in Tokyo in the early s, he began to run a general store while supervising tenant farmers as the eldest son of a local landowner.
After marrying and settling with his wife Masu from Tokyo, Shukichi began producing socialist propaganda billets on three mimeograph machines hidden in various places on the property. Shukichi was a founder of a theatre troupe called the Reimei-za named after the Reimei-kai [The Illumination Society], a pro-democracy group founded by Yoshino Sakuzo and Fukuda Tokuzo  in Just before the beginning of the Pacific War in November of , the literary critic and Sinologist Ozaki Hotsumi was invited by the town mayor to give a lecture.
Ozaki was an outspoken critic of the war in China, and when he addressed the audience, Masu Inoue was one of the few who nodded in agreement while most muttered their disapproval. Six months after the speech, Ozaki was arrested with the German Richard Sorge on the suspicion of sending classified Japanese information to the Soviets. In spite of the fact that Ozaki was arrested as a traitor and a spy, Masu sent a series of letters to him in prison. Still, I thought that the people of a given country were not all the same and I felt that it was wrong to make generalizations about all Japanese people.
Image 3: photograph of Xu Guangping He joined the League of Left-Wing Writers and became the titular head after its inauguration on March 2, During the spring of , Lu Xun was compelled to cover his tracks, moving to various addresses, until finally seeking refuge with his wife on the third story of a building just opposite the Uchiyama Bookstore in May of the same year. The bookstore was located in Shanghai on the north side of the International Settlement in Hongkou known informally as the Japanese Concession at the end of North Sichuan Road, a bustling commercial street.
The third letter describes his old friend, Uchiyama Kanzo, and his bookstore:. Many customers who come to gather here worship the personality of that person. Of course, I too am one of those fans. There was never any policy about preventing shoplifting and customers who came in without money were given books on credit. Even when the charge account reached upwards of hundreds of yen, there was never a dour look.
Yet, when customers are trusted to that extent, they also respond to that trust with deep devotion. They start by taking special care in turning the pages of the books, then they begin forgetting about trying to shoplift, and despite other temptations, when some money comes in, they try to pay off their debts on the charge account. This is how the Uchiyama Bookstore became one of the biggest bookstores in Shanghai.
Kanzo moved to Shanghai with his wife shortly after they were married in March of He first established the bookstore in on North Sichuan Road at a different address from the one where the store would later prosper from to Image 4: Lu Xun and Uchiyama Kanzo. The presence of the other Japanese main characters, Sudo Iozo and Okuda Aizo, underscores the fundamental plot of Shanghai Moon : curing Lu Xun of his physical and spiritual afflictions. Sudo is a retired Japanese army doctor who opened his own clinic in Shanghai in This is played to comic effect, but Inoue also uses this as an opportunity for Lu Xun to divulge his deepest emotions from the past, when Sudo and Okuda secretly anaesthetize him with nitrous oxide in an effort to treat his illnesses.
In Shanghai Moon , Lu Xun begins to lose his literary voice and must be resuscitated through the intervention of modern Japanese science and technology, as well as something akin to group therapy. Sudo finds it hard to believe that Lu Xun hates doctors, considering his previous aspiration to become one himself when he was a medical student in Sendai. Kanzo then remarks to Sudo that Lu Xun had stopped frequenting his favorite crab restaurant in the French Concession since the fall of the previous year, when a medical clinic had opened up next door.
When the author asks why he is still holding his hand, Sudo replies that he is just overwhelmed at finally meeting him.
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Meanwhile, Sudo has secretly taken his pulse and determined that Lu Xun has an irregular heartbeat. At one time I too was drawn to it. For example, brutality—do you know what I mean? Lu Xun: Yes, it could be that Westerners are no longer able to control this cruelty. Thanks to the great powers of Europe, China finds itself in this terrible semi-colonial state and this cruelty clearly rears its head as these powers try to make foreign countries into their own colonies.
Of course, Orientals are cruel as well, but the nature of Western cruelty is different. This heartless and unforgiving cruelty is based on the idea that it is just and good if the stronger ones triumph and survive while the weaker ones are defeated and fade away. Lu Xun: then with firmness And Japan learned this cruelty from the West. Lu Xun is fully aware of the threat to Chinese sovereignty that the Japanese presence represents.
Lu Xun asserts that the Nationalists are trying to appease the Japanese temporarily so that they can first eradicate the Communists before turning their attention to the foreign invaders. He then produces a photograph of Fujino-sensei from a handkerchief and muses that there is a part of him that trusts the Japanese.
From casual conversation, Okuda learns that Lu Xun has a perennial sweet tooth and warns him that he will certainly get cavities if he continues eating so much sugar. Soon Sudo and Kanzo appear. Kanzo tells Lu Xun that his young son, Haiying, was sick to his stomach and that he had called a doctor for him. Lu Xun comments that he himself has no need for a doctor; that he understands his body perfectly well. Do you think that there might be any secrets rolling about in there somewhere? Responding to these signals as from a symphony conductor, Kanzo manipulates the knobs.
Miki takes out a washbasin, pours hot water and takes out disinfectant. Guangping puts a kind of bib on Lu Xun and holds him firmly. Once Lu Xun is incapacitated by the nitrous oxide, Okuda and Sudo examine him and argue with each other over about how to begin treatment.
After being completely immobilized for a short while, Lu Xun suddenly becomes semi-conscious: he then attempts to get up and begins addressing Dr. Sudo as Fujino-sensei. Lu Xun speaking now in a groggy and distressed tone of voice : When I went to say words of farewell at your home, the home that you could see at the top of the hill among that sea of rooftops in Sendai, I told you a lie.
Please forgive me as if he is taking on all the sins of the world. In my heart, my ambition was to write literature. In your desire to bring new medical studies to China, you always encouraged me in a kindhearted way. I repaid your heartfelt compassion with lies.
I feel terrible about that.
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Still in a drug-induced haze, Lu Xun then turns to Guangping and apologizes to her with a look of deep sorrow. Zhu An, I made you into a worthless housekeeper for your whole life. I made you into a widow while you were still alive! It seems that they were formally betrothed in the spring of before Lu Xun first left for Japan.
Lu Xun had resisted the union and he reportedly would not consent unless Zhu An unbound her feet and went to school. See image 7. Lu Xun dutifully complied with the ceremony, in spite of the fact that Zhu An had not met his preconditions. Throughout his marriage to Zhu An, Lu Xun generally ignored and neglected her, although he did support her financially since she played an important domestic role and aided his aged mother over the years. Image 8: Lu Rui, Lu Xun's mother. Kanzo cannot reason with him enough to guide his way back to the present reality.
Guangping emerges and reports on his condition to the other characters. She complains that he still thinks that she is Zhu An. Sudo and Okuda speculate about the root cause of his symptoms and conclude that he has suicidal tendencies. Ah, well. He retires—and then comes out of retirement. The work of Studio Ghibli has served as a bridge for many into the world of anime. In most anime films, each frame is more akin to a painting than an animation, and the stories are rich with meaning and symbolism.
The amount of time and effort it takes to pull off each masterpiece, especially with the quality that Miyazaki brings to the production, make it understandable that he would want to take a break.
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But it seems that retirement is just not interesting enough for the man. There is always another creative endeavor, and that is something that he cannot pass up. So, as long as Miyazaki keeps coming out of retirement to make more films, Midtown Cinema will keep playing his films en masse—or, at least, for a full weekend. From the moment Sophie discovers that erratically assembled, chicken-footed castle traipsing about the land, the mysterious Howl has already won us over.