大浜啓吉著｢<法の支配>とは何か: 行政法入門｣(岩波新書)を読んだ。立憲君主制の統治原理である法治国家 Rechtsstaat と戦後日本の統治原理である<法の支配> rule of law の根本的な違い、明治の<法治国家>論の枠組みから抜け出せない現代日本の行政法の学説など興味深い。
｢法治国家論はドイツ帝国の立憲君主制に特有の国家統治の原理でした。明治の新政府は近代国家の範をドイツに求めて明治憲法を制定したのですが、同時にドイツ帝国憲法の原理である<法治国家>論も受容しました。問題は第二次世界大戦に敗れ、日本国憲法が制定された後においても法治国家論の帰結である<法律による行政の原理>が支配的学説として生き残っていることです。<法の支配>を統治原理とする日本国憲法の下でどうしてそういうことになるのか｣(同書 p. 96より引用、句読点ほか編集)
Oguri was born in the 10th year of the Bunsei Period (1827), in Kandasurugadai, Edo (current-day Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), the eldest son of his father, Tadataka and his mother, Kuniko and the 12th in the Oguri line. Traditionally, the head of the Oguri household was called “Mataichi”. The reason for this dates back to the time of the 4th generation Oguri, Oguri Tadamasa. When the 4th Oguri was in the service of future shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, he took up a spear at the critical moment during a battle and saved his lord’s life. After the battle, Tokugawa Ieyasu rewarded him with the same spear and, thereafter, he always aimed to be at the head of the army in battle (ichiban-yari “the first spear”). His position as ichiban-yari became so expected that Ieyasu eventually ordered that he take the name Mataichi, a combination of the characters for “again” and “first”, and the name was then passed down through the Oguri line.
From the age of nine (according to the year counting based on the lunar calendar), Oguri attended the school of Confucianist scholar Asaka Gonsai, on the grounds of the Oguri residence. Also attending this school were Kimura Yoshitake (Kimura Kaishu), who later traveled to the United States on the Kanrin-maru, Iwasaki Yataro, the founder of Mitsubishi Group and, working as an assistant, Kitamura Sehei (later known as Kurimoto Joun), who would become a lifelong friend of Oguri. While attending school, he studied the arts of swordplay, jujutsu and gunnery. Small in size and not especially robust, he nevertheless possessed a well-developed fighting instinct and an unusually powerful curiosity. He also possessed the dislike for excessive and meaningless talk characteristic of the “Edokko”(a native of Edo).
In March of the 14th year of the Tenpo Period (1843), when he was 17 years old, Oguri paid his first visit to Edo Castle and had his first audience with the shogun. Before long, word of his excellence in the fields of both the liberal and military arts had spread and he was made an escort to the shogun. Several years later he married his wife Michiko, eldest daughter of the Takebe family. With Oguri reputedly just 22 and Michiko just 15, they made a charming young couple. However it was not until the arrival of the United States Navy’s Commodore Perry in the 6th year of the Kaei Period (1853), and Japan took its first steps towards opening to the world, that Oguri’s efforts began to take on a furious energy.
Oguri Takes the Stage
Following the arrivals of Commodore Perry and Russian Vice-Admiral Putiatin, and the consequent settling of the Treaties of Peace and Amity with the United States and Russia, Oguri’s father died from sickness whilst serving as magistrate in Niigata City and Oguri, in July of the 2nd year of the Ansei Period (1855) at just 29 years of age, succeeded as the 12th generation head of the family. In June of the 5th year of the Ansei Period (1858), and without the emperor’s sanction, Minister Ii(井伊) Kamonnokami Naosuke signed the United States-Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Within the shogunate government, debate still existed concerning the pros and cons of signing the treaty but, from the beginning Oguri was a consistent proponent of the notion that,“Trade is not something for which one can just sit and wait. We should take it upon ourselves to enter the international community and pursue trade and commerce.”
In answer to those factions within the shogunate who were cautious of the treaty he said, “The important thing about who holds responsibility for the country’s administration, is not whether they are a Tokugawa, but whether they possess the determination and resolve to place the emphasis on the good of the nation.” It was decided that the shogunate would send a delegation to the United States, to take part in the treaty’s exchange of the instruments of ratification to take place there the following year. For various reasons, the representatives that the government initially intended to send were unable to go so, in September, it was decided that Shinmi Buzennokami Masaoki would go as senior envoy, Muragaki Awajinokami Norimasa as deputy envoy and Oguri Tadamasa as metsuke (a form of inspection officer).
Shinmi and Muragaki already held important posts in the shogunate government but for Oguri it must have been a considerable promotion. Just one day prior to this appointment, he had been promoted to the post of metsuke, and in November of the same year he was named to the rank of bungonokami. Why Oguri was chosen for this responsibility cannot be said with any certainty, but it is thought that word of Oguri’s sagacity, sensitivity and keen sense of logic and justice, and his opinions regarding such issues as commerce and trade, must have come to the attention of Minister Ii(井伊).
Behind the promotion, Oguri was also assigned a secret task: to identify and rectify any imbalances in the currency exchange rate. According to the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, it was decided that currency exchange should be conducted on a basis of “same type, same amount”, and the rate was fixed at one Mexican silver dollar for three Japanese silver coins. However the matter was complicated by the fact that, at the time, the value of gold was three times higher outside of Japan than within. This disparity threatened the loss of great quantities of gold and gold coins from Japan. At the time there were smaller gold pieces in existence, four of which were equal to the larger Japanese gold coin, the koban. However, due to the low production volume for gold coins, it had been decided that new silver pieces would be produced and circulated as the equivalent of the smaller gold piece. In other words, one koban became equal to four silver pieces.
This meant that 100 Mexican silver dollars could be exchanged for 300 Japanese silver pieces which, if changed into gold, would be worth 75 koban. If this gold was then taken outside of Japan and changed back into Mexican dollars, it would be worth 300 Mexican silver dollars, three times the original amount. Oguri took himself to an office at the Philadelphia Mint and, in no time at all, armed only with scales and an abacus, calculated the gold content of the Japanese and United States currencies and, to the surprise of everybody, made the American authorities recognize this disparity. After this, Oguri’s estimation in the eyes of the United States authorities took a leap. Until that time he had been seen as just a metsuke, little more than a spy, but he soon came to be seen as a man who, despite his small stature, possessed a curious mixture of dignity, intellect and conviction, and who was quite able to express himself directly and give a firm“no”, should he feel the need. This experience in the United States would prove a great influence upon the actions of the man in the future.
Magistrate of Accounts
When Oguri returned from his nine-month-long visit to the United States, he found the state of affairs within his country one of burgeoning radical changes. In November of the 1st year of the Man-en Period (1860), he took office as foreign magistrate and, just one month later, Mr. Heusken, an interpreter for the United States Legation, was killed by a member of the Satsuma Clan. Following this, in March of the 1st year of the Bunkyu Period (1861), a Russian warship occupied Tsushima Island in current-day Nagasaki Prefecture. When the government received word of this, Oguri, in his capacity as foreign magistrate, was sent to Tsushima Island with the task of solving the problem, in the end failing to make the Russians withdraw.
It was this incident which brought home to Oguri the difficulties inherent in diplomacy and the lack of policy of the shogunate government, and he submitted his resignation from the office of foreign magistrate. The incident also revealed to Oguri the shogunate’s lack of economic and military strength, and it was this that would, before long, spell the beginning of his resolve towards the establishment of the Yokosuka Arsenal. In March the following year he was appointed to a position as secretary and bodyguard, in May to the position of defense representative, and in June to the position of Magistrate of Accounts, and given the name “Kozukenosuke”. By this time Oguri was 36 years old. As Magistrate of Accounts, he was responsible for the government’s finances, which was, along with diplomacy, one of the shogunate’s two greatest headaches at that time. Oguri went through periods of repeated appointment and resignation from the post and, by the time of his dismissal in January of the 4th year of the Keio Period (1868), Oguri had taken up the position four times. This shows his expertise in matters of finance.
The Establishment of the Yokosuka Arsenal
In August of the 1st year of the Genji Period (1864), Oguri once again became Magistrate of Accounts. Around this time, a shogunate vessel, the Shokaku-maru was damaged and requested aid in repairs from a French ship which happened to be in port at Yokohama at the time. The repairs were completed perfectly and, in this way, France was able to earn the trust of the shogunate. In addition, the man who facilitated relations between the Japanese government and France during the repairs, was none other than Oguri’s most trusted friend, Kurimoto Joun. Oguri longed to establish a true dockyard and repair facility, but he could not look to the United States for assistance as they were in the middle of the Civil War and did not have the luxury of providing technical support to Japan.
England was to be avoided due to their dealings with the Satsuma and Choshu Clans, and their involvement in the Opium War. As for Russia, relations were still bitter after the incident at Tsushima and he could not turn to them for aid. Oguri was greatly pleased then, to find himself in a position where his close friend could assist in negotiations with the French and he immediately paid a visit to French Minister Roche. Roche too, when he was appointed as minister to Japan, had been charged with regaining status for France, which had been late in penetrating the Orient.
As the two had complementary goals, talks progressed very quickly and smoothly and, in November, discussion had already taken place between Oguri and Roche concerning the appointment of an overseer for the proposed steelworks (renamed the Yokosuka Arsenal in the 4th year of the Meiji Period (1871)). As a result of these talks, it was decided that a formal request would be made for Mr. Verny, an engineer currently posted in Shanghai, China, while the village of Yokosuka was selected as the first choice for the site of the steelworks. Yokosuka had already been involved in the repair of foreign vessels since the 1st year of the Man-en Period (1860), possessed shores of an appropriate depth and with a bedrock capable of supporting dry-docks, and had a marked similarity to the geography of France’s Port of Toulon. In January of the 2nd year of the Genji Period (1865), Verny arrived in Japan and conducted a survey of Yokosuka Port. He made his report concerning the construction of the Yokosuka steelworks to Minister Roche, and the minister and the shogunate government granted their official approval of the construction plan.
Oguri’s plan for the construction of the steelworks received much criticism from within and without the government, but Oguri refused to listen. He is attributed with saying, “A shipyard is a necessity, if only to cut down on unnecessary expenditure. Even if the shogunate should lose the reins of power, the construction of a steelworks at Yokosuka would be an honorable treasure to leave to posterity, on a par with leaving behind a house with a treasure house.” Oguri was convinced that, regardless of who held the reins of power within the Japanese government, the Yokosuka Arsenal would play an important role in the modernization of the nation.
The Yokosuka Arsenal in the Hands of the Meiji Government
On the 1st of April in the 4th year of the Keio Period (1868), the Yokosuka Arsenal, established as a genuine Western-style shipbuilding facility, was handed over to the new Meiji government. This followed the breaking out, in January of the same year, of the Boshin War at Toba and Fushimi-guchi at the entrance to Kyoto, and the subsequent defeat of the forces of the shogunate at the hands of the Meiji government troops. Even during these turbulent times, under the supervision of the Frenchman Verny, work on the steelworks continued steadily. The Meiji government had occupied Edo and, on the 21st of the month preceding the handover of the steelworks, negotiations for the handover were conducted by Higashikuze Michitomi, Governor-General of the Kanagawa Court and Isshiki Naoatsu, Magistrate for the Yokosuka Arsenal.
On the 24th of the same month, discussions with the French Minister concerning the involvement of France were concluded and it was decided that Verny and his 33 French engineers, and the 12 engineers from the Yokohama steelworks, would continue work under the new government as they had under the old, and unfinished work on the dry-docks and shipbuilding berths would continue. On April 6, by the side of the Karasu-gawa River where it runs through the village of Gonda, Gunma-gun, Kozuke-no-kuni (current-day Kurabuchi, Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture), an innocent samurai was beheaded. The man was none other than the one responsible for the creation of the Yokosuka Arsenal, Oguri Kozukenosuke Tadamasa.
At the outbreak of the Boshin War, Oguri asserted his rejection of the new regime and was dismissed by the 15th of the Tokugawa line and then shogun, Yoshinobu. He then retreated to his farm at Gonda Village (part of his fief) with his wife, children and retainers, but was taken by the new authorities and executed without trial. He was 42 years old.
Oguri was not only responsible for the establishment of the Yokosuka Arsenal, but he also proposed the establishment of a railway (between Edo and Yokohama), a national bank, telegraphic and postal systems and the county and prefecture system, and also such modern administrative methods as the establishment of a Chamber of Commerce and Industry and joint-stock company bodies. These were all realized one-by-one by the new government during and after the Meiji Period, laying the foundations for Japan’s rapid development into a modern nation, but it is important to remember also the contributions and efforts of Oguri in breaking the mould and taking those first active steps towards modernization.
The Yokosuka Arsenal, built on the hard work of Oguri, was not just involved with shipbuilding and repairs, but has also been involved in various other fields of endeavor. The Yokosuka Arsenal was the site for the construction of Kannonzaki Lighthouse, Japan’s first Western-style lighthouse, and for the construction of mining machinery and steam engines used in the rejuvenation of Ikuno silver mine (Hyogo Prefecture), which had been closed down at the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Also, the basic design of and machinery for the Tomioka Silk Mill (Gunma Prefecture), which pioneered the modernization of silk thread production, and the turbine water wheels used in cotton yarn production at the Aichi Spinning Mill, were all created at the Arsenal. In this way we can see the immeasurable importance of the role played by the Yokosuka Arsenal in the cultivation of an export industry so vital to the development of Japan’s modern industry and the process of modernization.
In later years, Okuma Shigenobu, a prominent figure in political and journalistic circles during the Meiji and Taisho Periods, said, “Oguri was destined to be killed. The reason: because the Meiji regime’s plans for the modernization of Japan were imitations of his own.” Today, with the world undergoing a turbulent period not unlike the turmoil of the final days of the shogunate, the unmatched foresight and administrative skills exhibited through the achievements of Oguri are being discovered anew. To this day, each year in Yokosuka City, a ceremony is held to celebrate his deeds.
Peririn and Ogurin
The Yokosuka Kaikoku Festival began in 2003, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Commodore Perry’s arrival in Japan. This festival, held each summer, is the representative event of“Kaikoku-no-Machi Yokosuka”(Yokosuka: the City of Japan’s Opening to the World), and features the Kaikoku Fireworks Display, and many other events. Peririn and Ogurin are much loved as the image characters of the Yokosuka Kaikoku Festival, and were created by cartoonist and direct descendent of Oguri Kozukenosuke, Oguri Kazumata, as cartoon re-imaginings of Commodore Perry, who led the re-opening of Japan to the world, and Oguri Kozukenosuke, who contributed in so many ways to the growth and development of Yokosuka.
この歴史的幕切れは、イギリス公使パークス(Sir Harry Smith Parkes, 1828-85, 駐日1865-83)の西郷に対する攻撃中止の強い要請が非公式に出されていたことによる。だが、一方で徳川軍の戦力が温存される結果を招いた。指揮官･大鳥圭介は伝習隊将兵に命じて江戸城内の最新鋭の銃砲を運び出させ江戸を脱出し、彼らを率いて権現様(祖神･徳川家康)を祀る野州日光(現栃木県日光市)に立てこもることを決意した。徹底抗戦を誓ったのである。旧幕府海軍を率いる榎本武揚もまた同じであった。
少し前 Peter Barakan の Weekend Sunshine で 西村ケントという若いギタリストがいることを知った。番組で紹介された彼のライブに予約申し込みをし、YouTube でその演奏を聴くようになった。また、정성하 という若いギタリストの存在を知り、その演奏も聴くようになった。この種のソロライブに行くのは初めてのことだ。
1970年代にヒットした Hotel California (the Eagles)を Kent と Jungha が演奏しており、ふたりの演奏をくり返し聴いた。同じくギターソロで弾いているのに曲想がまったく違う。歌詞は末尾に載せたとおり、幻想的で考えさせる内容だ。そこに込められたであろう意味を想像しながら聴くと、また別の興味が湧く。
バロック音楽やチェンバロ、チェロをはじめ西洋クラシック器楽曲を好んでいた僕は、ギタリストといえば Andres Segovia (1893-1987)しか知らなかった。そのバッハ演奏などをよく聴いたものだ。そんな僕が日韓の若いギタリストの演奏を聴き、初めてソロライブに行くのだから、大きな変化だろう。しばらく前から、73歳を前にして、またクロマティックハーモニカを吹きたくなっている。
On a dark desert highway Cool wind in my hair Warm smell of colitas Rising up through the air Up ahead in the distance I saw a shimmering light My head grew heavy, and my sight grew dim I had to stop for the night There she stood in the doorway I heard the mission bell And I was thinking to myself: “This could be heaven or this could be hell” Then she lit up a candle And she showed me the way There were voices down the corridor I thought I heard them say Welcome to the Hotel California Such a lovely place (such a lovely place) Such a lovely face Plenty of room at the Hotel California Any time of year (any time of year) You can find it here Her mind is Tiffany-twisted She got the Mercedes benz She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends How they dance in the courtyard Sweet summer sweat Some dance to remember Some dance to forget So I called up the Captain: “Please bring me my wine” He said: “We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969” And still those voices are calling from far away Wake you up in the middle of the night Just to hear them say Welcome to the Hotel California Such a lovely place (such a lovely place) Such a lovely face They’re living it up at the Hotel California What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise) Bring your alibis Mirrors on the ceiling The pink champagne on ice And she said: “We are all just prisoners here of our own device” And in the master’s chambers They gathered for the feast They stab it with their steely knives But they just can’t kill the beast Last thing I remember I was running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before “Relax,” said the night man “We are programmed to receive You can check out any time you like But you can never leave”
지난 사월, 춘천에 가려고 하다가 못 가고 말았다. 나는 성심(聖心) 여자 대학에 가 보고 싶었다. 그 학교에, 어느 가을 학기, 매주 한 번씩 출강한 일이 있었다. 힘드는 출강을 한 학기 하게 된 것은, 주 수녀님과 김 수녀님이 내 집에 오신 것에 대한 예의도 있었지만, 나에게는 사연이 있었다.
수십 년 전, 내가 열 일곱 되던 봄, 나는 처음 도쿄(東京)에 간 일이 있다. 어떤 분의 소개로 사회 교육가 M 선생 댁에 유숙(留宿)을 하게 되었다. 시바쿠(芝區)에 있는 그 집에는 주인 내외와 어린 딸, 세 식구가 살고 있었다. 하녀도 서생(書生)도 없었다. 눈이 예쁘고 웃는 얼굴을 하는 아사코는 처음부터 나를 오빠같이 따랐다.
아침에 낳았다고 아사코라는 이름을 지어 주었다고 하였다. 그 집 뜰에는 큰 나무들이 있었고, 일년초(一年草) 꽃도 많았다. 내가 간 이튿날 아침, 아사코는 스위이트 피이를 따다가 화병에 담아, 내가 쓰게 된 책상 위에 놓아 주었다. 스위이트 피이는 아사코같이 어리고 귀여운 꽃이라고 생각하였다.
성심 여학원 소학교 일 학년인 아사코는 어느 토요일 오후, 나와 같이 저희 학교에까지 산보를 갔었다. 유치원부터 학부(學部)까지 있는 카톨릭 교육 기관으로 유명한 이 여학원은, 시내에 있으면서 큰 목장까지 가지고 있었다. 아사코는 자기 신장을 열고, 교실에서 신는 하얀 운동화를 보여 주었다.
내가 도쿄를 떠나던 날 아침, 아사코는 내 목을 안고 내 빰에 입을 맞추고, 제가 쓰던 작은 손수건과 제가 끼던 작은 반지를 이별의 선물로 주었다.
그 후, 십 년이 지나고 삼사 년이 더 지났다. 그 동안 나는, 국민 학교 일 학년 같은 예쁜 여자 아이를 보면 아사코 생각을 하였다.
내가 두 번째 도쿄에 갔던 것도 사월이었다. 도쿄역 가까운 데 여관을 정하고 즉시 M 선생 댁을 찾아갔다. 아사코는 어느덧 청순하고 세련되어 보이는 영양(令孃)이 되어 있었다. 그 집 마당에 피어 있는 목련꽃과도 같이. 그 때, 그는 성심 여학원 영문과 3학년이었다. 나는 좀 서먹서먹했으나, 아사코는 나와의 재회를 기뻐하는 것 같았다. 아버지, 어머니가 가끔 내 말을 해서 나의 존재를 기억하고 있었나 보다.
그 날도 토요일이었다. 저녁 먹기 전에 같이 산보를 나갔다. 그리고, 계획하지 않은 발걸음은 성심 여학원 쪽으로 옮겨져 갔다. 캠퍼스를 두루 거닐다가 돌아올 무렵, 나는 아사코 신장은 어디 있느냐고 물어 보았다. 그는 무슨 말인가 하고 나를 쳐다보다가, 교실에는 구두를 벗지 않고 그냥 들어간다고 하였다. 그리고는, 갑자기 뛰어가서 그 날 잊어버리고 교실에 두고 온 우산을 가지고 왔다.
지금도 나는 여자 우산을 볼 때면, 연두색이 고왔던 그 우산을 연상(聯想)한다. ‘셸부르의 우산’이라는 영화를 내가 그렇게 좋아한 것도 아사코의 우산 때문인가 한다. 아사코와 나는 밤 늦게까지 문학 이야기를 하다가 가벼운 악수를 하고 헤어졌다. 새로 출판된 버지니아 울프의 소설 ‘세월’에 대해서도 이야기한 것 같다.
그 후 또 십여 년이 지났다. 그 동안 제 2차 세계 대전이 있었고, 우리 나라가 해방이 되고, 또 한국 전쟁이 있었다. 나는 어쩌다 아사코 생각을 하곤 했다. 결혼은 하였을 것이요, 전쟁통에 어찌 되지나 았았나, 남편이 전사(戰死)하지나 않았나 하고 별별 생각을 다 하였다.
1954년, 처음 미국 가던 길에 나는 도쿄에 들러 M 선생 댁을 찾아갔다. 뜻밖에 그 동네가 고스란히 그대로 남아 있었다. 그리고, M 선생네는 아직도 그 집에 살고 있었다. 선생 내외분은 흥분된 얼굴로 나를 맞이하였다. 그리고, 한국이 독립이 되어서 무엇보다고 잘 됐다고 치하(致賀)하였다.
아사코는 전쟁이 끝난 후, 맥아더 사령부에서 번역 일을 하고 있다가, 거기서 만난 일본인 2세와 결혼을 하고 따로 나서 산다는 것이었다. 아사코가 전쟁 미망인이 되지 않은 것은 다행이었다. 그러나, 2세와 결혼하였다는 것이 마음에 걸렸다. 만나고 싶다고 그랬더니, 어머니가 아사코의 집으로 안내해 주었다.
뽀족 지붕에 뽀족 창문들이 있는 작은 집이었다. 이십여 년 전 내가 아사코에게 준 동화책 겉장에 있는 집도 이런 집이었다.
“아! 이쁜 집! 우리, 이담에 이런 집에서 같이 살아요.”
아사코의 어린 목소리가 지금도 들린다.
십 년쯤 미리 전쟁이 나고 그만큼 일찍 한국이 독립되었더라면, 아사코의 말대로 우리는 같은 집에서 살 수 있게 되었을지도 모른다. 뾰족 창문들이 있는 집이 아니라도. 이런 부질없는 생각이 스치고 지나갔다.
그 집에 들어서자 마주친 것은 백합 같이 시들어 가는 아사코의 얼굴이었다. ‘세월’이란 소설 이야기를 한 지 십 년이 더 지났었다. 그러나, 나는 아직 싱싱하여야 할 젊은 나이다. 남편은 내가 상상한 것과 같이 일본 사람도 아니고 미국 사람도 아닌, 그리고 진주군 장교라는 것을 뽐내는 사나이였다. 아사코와 나는 절을 몇 번씩 하고 악수도 없이 헤어졌다.
그리워하는데도 한 번 만나고는 못 만나게 되기도 하고, 일생을 못 잊으면서도 아니 만나고 살기도 한다. 아사코와 나는 세 번 만났다. 세 번째는 아니 만났어야 좋았을 것이다.
Two weeks after the excursion, I suddenly realized that Komai Jinzaburo, one of the characters in the novel Daibosatsu Pass, who had lost his position as a bannerman in the Edo shogunate and secretly established a shipyard in Boshu(Chiba Prefecture). I thought to myself, “This is exactly where Komai was based in Sunosaki. Yes, I must have gone to Sunosaki in search of Komai, i.e., Oguri Tadamasa. It was in April of this year that I wrote a blog “Rereading the Daibosatsu Pass.”
書きかけの文章の題名を再び改め、｢ギョンホとその母｣[仮英訳] Gyungho and his Mother とした(22/12/05)。<無宗教社会>の虚構性について｢中説｣という形を借りて描きたいのだが、なかなか思うように進まない。堂々巡りしている。12月に入り数ヵ月ぶりに母に会う三日前、母だけの伝記を書くことを断念し、題名を変更した。畢竟、自分の生き方が母のそれに重なっている、と気づいた。母に会って構想を説明すると、神妙な表情で聞いていた。
There is no such thing as a non-religious society anywhere, but after the summer of 1945, the people inhabiting the island of Japan seemed to think that their society had been reborn as a scientific and non-mythical society. This is not to say that the previous society was unscientific, violent, or fanatical, but August of that year created a historical rupture, and a religious ‘field’ of “100 million repentance” permeated the population. The people did not do this on their own initiative. They had long worshipped the Emperor as a living god and had lost the ability to think under a sophisticated surveillance system, so this time, too, someone had cleverly orchestrated it. The emperor could have remained a god and hidden in the heavenly realm, but instead, he decided to make the succession of the original title of the emperor a bizarre measure by demoting a god to the human realm. This caused a great deal of confusion and bewilderment among the people. One of the mental aftereffects of this was the mass development of what I call the “irreligious” syndrome. Most people with this mental disorder have no subjective symptoms. [Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator%5D
From the latter half of the nineteenth century, under the name of “Wealth and National Strength,” the Japanese Empire went to war with countries that are roughly equivalent to today’s China and Russia, colonizing what is now Taiwan, Korea, and North Korea, and expanding its territory by establishing Manchukuo in the northeastern region of China. In the 1930s, it expanded its war areas into inland China and Southeast Asia, and in the 1940s, it went to war with the United States. In the process, soldiers from both sides killed each other, and the Imperial Japanese Army deprived the people of these regions of their customs and culture, violated their human rights, and slaughtered them.
On the other hand, the Imperial Japanese Army advocated “harmony among the five races” and claimed the liberation of Asia. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and its propaganda are reminiscent of the invasion by the Empire of Japan and its control of the press. Although Japan surrendered unconditionally in August 1945 and the Empire of Japan seemed to have collapsed, I believe that the remnants of the Imperial Japanese Empire still exist in some parts of Japanese society.
After the war, new religions sprang up like bamboo shoots after the rain. Many of them were non-religious as well, as a reaction against the false religions of the prewar period, but people blindly followed them without being able to distinguish between religion and non-religion, or decided to have no religion. In such an era, the Soka Gakkai spread its proselytizing activities, known as shakubuku, throughout the country. Its Buddhist movement kicked out existing Buddhist sects, Shintoism, Christianity, and other religions as paganism and pagan religions. People called the Soka Gakkai “Gakkai” for short and abhorred its members, calling them Gakkai members, but few people understood the true nature of the movement. People who were surprised and perplexed by the mass movement called the Gakkai an abominable organization and scorned and ostracized it, calling it “a group of poor and sick people.” Fearing the momentum of this group, some people even described it as totalitarianism based only on the superficial observations of its well-organized members.
In 2023, the view of “religion” of many people in Japanese society had hardly changed from the late 20th century. Rather, irreligiousness has deepened further, and smartphone addiction and its extension, brain-exposure disorder, are widespread.
In postwar Japanese society, where “irreligion” is considered acceptable and normal, perhaps as a reaction against the emperor-centered state Shinto of the prewar era, praying at shrines is considered different from “faith,” and everyone pays homage to shrines on New Year’s Day. In addition, at funerals and Buddhist memorial services, people are asked to recite sutras and chant the Buddhist prayer to the dead, which is considered a mourning and rite of passage for the deceased. As in the prewar period, these are treated as something different from “faith.” The author calls contemporary Japanese society a “non-religious society” as a hypothesis. This work is also based on that hypothesis.
In a “non-religious society,” those who “believe” in something are considered unscientific, and those who have “faith” are marginalized as weak. Those who preach “faith” and invite people to join religious organizations are regarded as shady. People who have been under the control of ideas and information for a long time and who do not have the habit of thinking have lost the ability to think for themselves, as they always had been. This situation has not changed much in the 80 years since the end of World War II. The Gakkai appeared in the vacuum of people’s thoughts and beliefs as described above.
Becoming a Gakkai member is not only a declaration of one’s “faith.” It is a denial of the existing gods and Buddha that people have taken in as a matter of custom. Knowing this, Gyungho’s mother became a Gakkai member. She made the choice to become a Gakkai member even though people around her belittled her, talked about her behind her back, and her husband disliked her. Why, I wonder, did she choose to become a member of the Buddhist movement? Through this essay, I would like to think about it.
Oh, brother . I weep for you. Do not die, little brother. You are the youngest, so your parents’ love must have been strong. Did your parents teach you to hold a knife and kill people? Did they raise you until you were 24 years old, telling you to kill people and die yourself?
You are the owner of a historic merchant family in the city of Sakai. You carry on your parents’ name, so don’t die. I don’t care if the castle in Lushun falls or not. You probably don’t know this, but the merchant’s family code states There is no such item as killing a man and dying yourself.
Do not die, my brother. The Emperor did not go off to war himself. He wants us to shed blood for each other and die in the way of the beast. How can you call that honoring act? Would the deep-hearted Εmperor even think such a thing in the first place?
Oh, my brother. Please don’t die in a war. Your father passed away last fall and Your mother has been painfully in her grief. Her son was drafted and she protects the house by herself. Even though this is supposed to be the era of the Emperor’s reign, which was said to be a time of peace and security. Your mother’s gray hairs are growing.
The frail, young new wife who lies down behind the curtain and weeps. Have you forgotten her? Or do you think of her? Think of the heart of the young wife who left you after less than 10 months of living with you. You are not alone in this world. Oh, who can I turn to again? Please, brother, do not die.
from Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton
ow many of us have ever got to know a wild animal? I do not mean merely to meet with one once or twice, or to have one in a cage, but to really know it for a long time while it is wild, and to get an insight into its life and history. The trouble usually is to know one creature from his fellow. One fox or crow is so much like another that we cannot be sure that it really is the same next time we meet. But once in a while there arises an animal who is stronger or wiser than his fellow, who becomes a great leader, who is, as we would say, a genius, and if he is bigger, or has some mark by which men can know him, he soon becomes famous in his country, and shows us that the life of a wild animal may be far more interesting and exciting than that of many human beings.
Of this class were Courtrand, the bob-tailed wolf that terrorized the whole city of Paris for about ten years in the beginning of the fourteenth century; Clubfoot, the lame grizzly bear that in two years ruined all the hog-raisers, and drove half the farmers out of business in the upper Sacramento Valley; Lobo, the kingwolf of New Mexico, that killed a cow every day for five years, and the Soehnee panther that in less than two years killed nearly three hundred human beings—and such also was Silverspot, whose history, as far as I could learn it, I shall now briefly tell.
Silverspot was simply a wise old crow; his name was given because of the silvery white spot that was like a nickel, stuck on his right side, between the eye and the bill, and it was owing to this spot that I was able to know him from the other crows, and put together the parts of his history that came to my knowledge.
Crows are, as you must know, our most intelligent birds—’Wise as an old crow’ did not become a saying without good reason. Crows know the value of organization, and are as well drilled as soldiers—very much better than some soldiers, in fact, for crows are always on duty, always at war, and always dependent on each other for life and safety. Their leaders not only are the oldest and wisest of the band, but also the strongest and bravest, for they must be ready at any time with sheer force to put down an upstart or a rebel. The rank and file are the youngsters and the crows without special gifts.
Old Silverspot was the leader of a large band of crows that made their headquarters near Toronto, Canada, in Castle Frank, which is a pine-clad hill on the northeast edge of the city. This band numbered about two hundred, and for reasons that I never understood did not increase. In mild winters they stayed along the Niagara River; in cold winters they went much farther south. But each year in the last week of February Old Silverspot would muster his followers and boldly cross the forty miles of open water that lies between Toronto and Niagara; not, however, in a straight line would he go, but always in a curve to the west, whereby he kept in sight of the familiar landmark of Dundas Mountain, until the pine-clad hill itself came in view.
Each year he came with his troop, and for about six weeks took up his abode on the hill. Each morning thereafter the crows set out in three bands to forage. One band went southeast to Ashbridge’s Bay. One went north up the Don, and one, the largest, went northwestward up the ravine. The last Silverspot led in person. Who led the others I never found out.
On calm mornings they flew high and straight away. But when it was windy the band flew low, and followed the ravine for shelter. My windows overlooked the ravine, and it was thus that in 1885 I first noticed this old crow. I was a new-comer in the neighborhood, but an old resident said to me then ‘‘that there old crow has been a-flying up and down this ravine for more than twenty years.” My chances to watch were in the ravine, and Silverspot doggedly clinging to the old route, though now it was edged with houses and spanned by bridges, became a very familiar acquaintance.
Twice each day in March and part of April, then again in the late summer and the fall, he passed and repassed, and gave me chances to see his movements, and hear his orders to his bands, and so, little by little, opened my eyes to the fact that the crows, though a little people, are of great wit, a race of birds with a language and a social system that is wonderfully human in many of its chief points, and in some is better carried out than our own.
One windy day I stood on the high bridge across the ravine, as the old crow, heading his long, straggling troop, came flying down homeward. Half a mile away I could hear the contented ‘All’s well, come right along!’ as we should say, or as he put it, and as also his lieutenant echoed it at the rear of the band.
They were flying very low to be out of the wind, and would have to rise a little to clear the bridge on which I was. Silverspot saw me standing there, and as I was closely watching him he didn’t like it. He checked his flight and called out, ‘Be on your guard,’ or
and rose much higher in the air. Then seeing that I was not armed he flew over my head about twenty feet, and his followers in turn did the same, dipping again to the old level when past the bridge.
Next day I was at the same place, and as the crows came near I raised my walking stick and pointed it at them. The old fellow at once cried out ‘Danger,’
and rose fifty feet higher than before. Seeing that it was not a gun, he ventured to fly over. But on the third day I took with me a gun, and at once he cried out, ‘Great danger—a gun.’
His lieutenant repeated the cry, and every crow in the troop began to tower and scatter from the rest, till they were far above gun shot, and so passed safely over, coming down again to the shelter of the valley when well beyond reach. Another time, as the long, straggling troop came down the valley, a red-tailed hawk alighted on a tree close by their intended route. The leader cried out, ‘Hawk, hawk,’
and stayed his flight, as did each crow on nearing him, until all were massed in a solid body. Then, no longer fearing the hawk, they passed on. But a quarter of a mile farther on a man with a gun appeared below, and the cry, ‘Great danger—a gun, a gun; scatter for your lives,’
at once caused them to scatter widely and till far beyond range. Many others of his words of command I learned in the course of my long acquaintance, and found that sometimes a very little difference in the sound makes a very great difference in meaning. Thus while No. 5 means hawk, or any large, dangerous bird, this means ‘wheel around,’
evidently a combination of No. 5, whose root idea is danger, and of No. 4, whose root idea is retreat, and this again is a mere ‘good day,’
to a far away comrade. This is usually addressed to the ranks and means ‘attention.’
Early in April there began to be great doings among the crows. Some new cause of excitement seemed to have come on them. They spent half the day among the pines, instead of foraging from dawn till dark. Pairs and trios might be seen chasing each other, and from time to time they showed off in various feats of flight. A favorite sport was to dart down suddenly from a great height toward some perching crow, and just before touching it to turn at a hair breadth and rebound in the air so fast that the wings of the swooper whirred with a sound like distant thunder. Sometimes one crow would lower his head, raise every feather, and coming close to another would gurgle out a long note like
What did it all mean? I soon learned. They were making love and pairing off. The males were showing off their wing powers and their voices to the lady crows. And they must have been highly appreciated, for by the middle of April all had mated and had scattered over the country for their honeymoon, leaving the sombre old pines of Castle Frank deserted and silent.
The Sugar Loaf hill stands alone in the Don Valley. It is still covered with woods that join with those of Castle Frank, a quarter of a mile off. In the woods, between the two hills, is a pine-tree in whose top is a deserted hawk’s nest. Every Toronto school-boy knows the nest, and, excepting that I had once shot a black squirrel on its edge, no one had ever seen a sign of life about it. There it was year after year, ragged and old, and falling to pieces. Yet, strange to tell, in all that time it never did drop to pieces, like other old nests.
One morning in May I was out at gray dawn, and stealing gently through the woods, whose dead leaves were so wet that no rustle was made. I chanced to pass under the old nest, and was surprised to see a black tail sticking over the edge. I struck the tree a smart blow, off flew a crow, and the secret was out. I had long suspected that a pair of crows nested each year about the pines, but now I realized that it was Silverspot and his wife. The old nest was theirs, and they were too wise to give it an air of spring-cleaning and housekeeping each year. Here they had nested for long, though guns in the hands of men and boys hungry to shoot crows were carried under their home every day. I never surprised the old fellow again, though I several times saw him through my telescope.
One day while watching I saw a crow crossing the Don Valley with something white in his beak. He flew to the mouth of the Rosedale Brook, then took a short flight to the Beaver Elm. There he dropped the white object, and looking about gave me a chance to recognize my old friend Silverspot. After a minute he picked up the white thing—a shell—and walked over past the spring, and here, among the docks and the skunk-cabbages, he unearthed a pile of shells and other white, shiny things. He spread them out in the sun, turned them over, lifted them one by one in his beak, dropped them, nestled on them as though they were eggs, toyed with them and gloated over them like a miser.
This was his hobby, his weakness. He could not have explained why he enjoyed them, any more than a boy can explain why he collects postage-stamps, or a girl why she prefers pearls to rubies; but his pleasure in them was very real, and after half an hour he covered them all, including the new one, with earth and leaves, and flew off. I went at once to the spot and examined the hoard; there was about a hatful in all, chiefly white pebbles, clam-shells, and some bits of tin, but there was also the handle of a china cup, which must have been the gem of the collection. That was the last time I saw them. Silverspot knew that I had found his treasures, and he removed them at once; where I never knew.
During the space that I watched him so closely he had many little adventures and escapes. He was once severely handled by a sparrowhawk, and often he was chased and worried by kingbirds. Not that these did him much harm, but they were such noisy pests that he avoided their company as quickly as possible, just as a grown man avoids a conflict with a noisy and impudent small boy. He had some cruel tricks, too. He had a way of going the round of the small birds’ nests each morning to eat the new laid eggs, as regularly as a doctor visiting his patients. But we must not judge him for that, as it is just what we ourselves do to the hens in the barnyard.
His quickness of wit was often shown. One day I saw him flying down the ravine with a large piece of bread in his bill. The stream below him was at this time being bricked over as a sewer. There was one part of two hundred yards quite finished, and, as he flew over the open water just above this, the bread fell from his bill, and was swept by the current out of sight into the tunnel. He flew down and peered vainly into the dark cavern, then, acting upon a happy thought, he flew to the downstream end of the tunnel, and awaiting the reappearance of the floating bread, as it was swept onward by the current, he seized and bore it off in triumph.
Silverspot was a crow of the world. He was truly a successful crow. He lived in a region that, though full of dangers, abounded with food. In the old, unrepaired nest he raised a brood each year with his wife, whom, by the way, I never could distinguish, and when the crows again gathered together he was their acknowledged chief.
The reassembling takes place about the end of June—the young crows with their bob-tails, soft wings, and falsetto voices are brought by their parents, whom they nearly equal in size, and introduced to society at the old pine woods, a woods that is at once their fortress and college. Here they find security in numbers and in lofty yet sheltered perches, and here they begin their schooling and are taught all the secrets of success in crow life, and in crow life the least failure does not simply mean begin again. It means death.
The first week or two after their arrival is spent by the young ones in getting acquainted, for each crow must know personally all the others in the band. Their parents meanwhile have time to rest a little after the work of raising them, for now the youngsters are able to feed themselves and roost on a branch in a row, just like big folks.
In a week or two the moulting season comes. At this time the old crows are usually irritable and nervous, but it does not stop them from beginning to drill the youngsters, who, of course, do not much enjoy the punishment and nagging they get so soon after they have been mamma’s own darlings. But it is all for their good, as the old lady said when she skinned the eels, and old Silverspot is an excellent teacher. Sometimes he seems to make a speech to them. What he says I cannot guess, but, judging by the way they receive it, it must be extremely witty. Each morning there is a company drill, for the young ones naturally drop into two or three squads according to their age and strength. The rest of the day they forage with their parents.
When at length September comes we find a great change. The rabble of silly little crows have begun to learn sense. The delicate blue iris of their eyes, the sign of a fool-crow, has given place to the dark brown eye of the old stager. They know their drill now and have learned sentry duty. They have been taught guns and traps and taken a special course in wire-worms and green corn. They know that a fat old farmer’s wife is much less dangerous, though so much larger, than her fifteen-year-old son, and they can tell the boy from his sister. They know that an umbrella is not a gun, and they can count up to six, which is fair for young crows, though Silverspot can go up nearly to thirty. They know the smell of gunpowder and the south side of a hemlock-tree, and begin to plume themselves upon being crows of the world.
They always fold their wings three times after alighting, to be sure that it is neatly done. They know how to worry a fox into giving up half his dinner, and also that when the kingbird or the purple martin assails them they must dash into a bush, for it is as impossible to fight the little pests as it is for the fat apple-woman to catch the small boys who have raided her basket. All these things do the young crows know; but they have taken no lessons in egg-hunting yet, for it is not the season. They are unacquainted with clams, and have never tasted horses’ eyes, or seen sprouted corn, and they don’t know a thing about travel, the greatest educator of all. They did not think of that two months ago, and since then they have thought of it, but have learned to wait till their betters are ready.
September sees a great change in the old crows, too. Their moulting is over. They are now in full feather again and proud of their handsome coats. Their health is again good, and with it their tempers are improved. Even old Silverspot, the strict teacher, becomes quite jolly, and the youngsters, who have long ago learned to respect him, begin really to love him.
He has hammered away at drill, teaching them all the signals and words of command in use, and now it is a pleasure to see them in the early morning.
‘Company 1!’ the old chieftain would cry in crow, and Company 1 would answer with a great clamor.
‘Fly!’ and himself leading them, they would all fly straight forward.
‘Mount!’ and straight upward they turned in a moment.
‘Bunch !’ and they all massed into a dense black flock.
‘Scatter!’ and they spread out like leaves before the wind.
‘Form line!’ and they strung out into the long line of ordinary flight.
‘Descend!’ and they all dropped nearly to the ground.
‘Forage!’ and they alighted and scattered about to feed, while two of the permanent sentries mounted duty—one on a tree to the right, the other on a mound to the far left. A minute or two later Silverspot would cry out, ‘A man with a gun!’ The sentries repeated the cry and the company flew at once in open order as quickly as possible toward the trees. Once behind these, they formed line again in safety and returned to the home pines.
Sentry duty is not taken in turn by all the crows, but a certain number whose watchfulness has been often proved are the perpetual sentries, and are expected to watch and forage at the same time. Rather hard on them it seems to us, but it works well and the crow organization is admitted by all birds to be the very best in existence.
Finally, each November sees the troop sail away southward to learn new modes of life, new landmarks and new kinds of food, under the guidance of the ever-wise Silverspot.
There is only one time when a crow is a fool, and that is at night. There is only one bird that terrifies the crow, and that is the owl. When, therefore, these come together it is a woeful thing for the sable birds. The distant hoot of an owl after dark is enough to make them withdraw their heads from under their wings, and sit trembling and miserable till morning. In very cold weather the exposure of their faces thus has often resulted in a crow having one or both of his eyes frozen, so that blindness followed and therefore death. There are no hospitals for sick crows.
But with the morning their courage comes again, and arousing themselves they ransack the woods for a mile around till they find that owl, and if they do not kill him they at least worry him half to death and drive him twenty miles away.
In 1893 the crows had come as usual to Castle Frank. I was walking in these woods a few days afterward when I chanced upon the track of a rabbit that had been running at full speed over the snow and dodging about among the trees as though pursued. Strange to tell, I could see no track of the pursuer. I followed the trail and presently saw a drop of blood on the snow, and a little farther on found the partly devoured remains of a little brown bunny. What had killed him was a mystery until a careful search showed in the snow a great doubletoed track and a beautifully pencilled brown feather. Then all was clear—a horned owl. Half an hour later, in passing again by the place, there, in a tree, within ten feet of the bones of his victim, was the fierce-eyed owl himself. The murderer still hung about the scene of his crime. For once circumstantial evidence had not lied.
At my approach he gave a guttural ‘grrr-oo’ and flew off with low flagging flight to haunt the distant sombre woods.
Two days afterward, at dawn, there was a great uproar among the crows. I went out early to see, and found some black feathers drifting over the snow. I followed up the wind in the direction from which they came and soon saw the bloody remains of a crow and the great doubletoed track which again told me that the murderer was the owl. All around were signs of the struggle, but the fell destroyer was too strong. The poor crow had been dragged from his perch at night, when the darkness had put him at a hopeless disadvantage.
I turned over the remains, and by chance unburied the head—then started with an exclamation of sorrow. Alas! It was the head of old Silverspot. His long life of usefulness to his tribe was over—slain at last by the owl that he had taught so many hundreds of young crows to beware of.
The old nest on the Sugar Loaf is abandoned now. The crows still come in spring-time to Castle Frank, but without their famous leader their numbers are dwindling, and soon they will be seen no more about the old pine-grove in which they and their forefathers had lived and learned for ages.
[Except for a group of decorations from several pages moved together at the beginning of section II, the author’s drawings are placed on this web page approximately with the paragraph where they appeared in the original text. Text and author’s illustrations from ‘Silverspot, The Story of a Crow’ in Ernest Thompson Seton, Wild Animals I Have Known (1898), pp. 59-88. (source)]
Inzwischen treibe ich noch auf ungewissen Meeren; der zufall schmeichelt mir, der glattzngige; vorwrts und rckwrts schaue ich-, noch schaue ich kein Ende. (In the meantime I am still drifting on uncertain seas; chance flatters me, the smooth one; forwards and backwards I look, still I see no end. [translated by deepl.com])
Possible Outcomes of the Russo-Ukrainian War and China’s Choice
US-China Perception Monitor
3 days ago
Update on March 13, 2022: The following article was submitted by the author to the Chinese-language edition of the US-China Perception Monitor. The article was not commissioned by the US-China Perception Monitor, nor is the author affiliated with the Carter Center or the US-China Perception Monitor.
Hu Wei is the vice-chairman of the Public Policy Research Center of the Counselor’s Office of the State Council, the chairman of Shanghai Public Policy Research Association, the chairman of the Academic Committee of the Chahar Institute, a professor, and a doctoral supervisor. To read more by Hu, click here to read his article on “How did Deng Xiaoping coordinate domestic and international affairs?”
Written on March 5, 2022. Translated by Jiaqi Liu on March 12, 2022.
The Russo-Ukrainian War is the most severe geopolitical conflict since World War II and will result in far greater global consequences than September 11 attacks. At this critical moment, China needs to accurately analyze and assess the direction of the war and its potential impact on the international landscape. At the same time, in order to strive for a relatively favorable external environment, China needs to respond flexibly and make strategic choices that conform to its long-term interests.Russia’s ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine has caused great controvsery in China, with its supporters and opponents being divided into two implacably opposing sides. This article does not represent any party and, for the judgment and reference of the highest decision-making level in China, this article conducts an objective analysis on the possible war consequences along with their corresponding countermeasure options.
I. Predicting the Future of the Russo-Ukrainian War 1. Vladimir Putin may be unable to achieve his expected goals, which puts Russia in a tight spot. The purpose of Putin’s attack was to completely solve the Ukrainian problem and divert attention from Russia’s domestic crisis by defeating Ukraine with a blitzkrieg, replacing its leadership, and cultivating a pro-Russian government. However, the blitzkrieg failed, and Russia is unable to support a protracted war and its associated high costs. Launching a nuclear war would put Russia on the opposite side of the whole world and is therefore unwinnable. The situations both at home and abroad are also increasingly unfavorable. Even if the Russian army were to occupy Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and set up a puppet government at a high cost, this would not mean final victory. At this point, Putin’s best option is to end the war decently through peace talks, which requires Ukraine to make substantial concessions. However, what is not attainable on the battlefield is also difficult to obtain at the negotiating table. In any case, this military action constitutes an irreversible mistake. 2. The conflict may escalate further, and the West’s eventual involvement in the war cannot be ruled out. While the escalation of the war would be costly, there is a high probability that Putin will not give up easily given his character and power. The Russo-Ukrainian war may escalate beyond the scope and region of Ukraine, and may even include the possibility of a nuclear strike. Once this happens, the U.S. and Europe cannot stay aloof from the conflict, thus triggering a world war or even a nuclear war. The result would be a catastrophe for humanity and a showdown between the United States and Russia. This final confrontation, given that Russia’s military power is no match for NATO’s, would be even worse for Putin. 3. Even if Russia manages to seize Ukraine in a desperate gamble, it is still a political hot potato. Russia would thereafter carry a heavy burden and become overwhelmed. Under such circumstances, no matter whether Volodymyr Zelensky is alive or not, Ukraine will most likely set up a government-in-exile to confront Russia in the long term. Russia will be subject both to Western sanctions and rebellion within the territory of Ukraine. The battle lines will be drawn very long. The domestic economy will be unsustainable and will eventually be dragged down. This period will not exceed a few years.4. The political situation in Russia may change or be disintegrated at the hands of the West. After Putin’s blitzkrieg failed, the hope of Russia’s victory is slim and Western sanctions have reached an unprecedented degree. As people’s livelihoods are severely affected and as anti-war and anti-Putin forces gather, the possibility of a political mutiny in Russia cannot be ruled out. With Russia’s economy on the verge of collapse, it would be difficult for Putin to prop up the perilous situation even without the loss of the Russo-Ukrainian war. If Putin were to be ousted from power due to civil strife, coup d’état, or another reason, Russia would be even less likely to confront the West. It would surely succumb to the West, or even be further dismembered, and Russia’s status as a great power would come to an end.
II. Analysis of the Impact of Russo-Ukrainian war On International Landscape 1. The United States would regain leadership in the Western world, and the West would become more united. At present, public opinion believes that the Ukrainian war signifies a complete collapse of U.S. hegemony, but the war would in fact bring France and Germany, both of which wanted to break away from the U.S., back into the NATO defense framework, destroying Europe’s dream to achieve independent diplomacy and self-defense. Germany would greatly increase its military budget; Switzerland, Sweden, and other countries would abandon their neutrality. With Nord Stream 2 put on hold indefinitely, Europe’s reliance on US natural gas will inevitably increase. The US and Europe would form a closer community of shared future, and American leadership in the Western world will rebound. 2. The “Iron Curtain” would fall again not only from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, but also to the final confrontation between the Western-dominated camp and its competitors. The West will draw the line between democracies and authoritarian states, defining the divide with Russia as a struggle between democracy and dictatorship. The new Iron Curtain will no longer be drawn between the two camps of socialism and capitalism, nor will it be confined to the Cold War. It will be a life-and-death battle between those for and against Western democracy. The unity of the Western world under the Iron Curtain will have a siphon effect on other countries: the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy will be consolidated, and other countries like Japan will stick even closer to the U.S., which will form an unprecedentedly broad democratic united front. 3. The power of the West will grow significantly, NATO will continue to expand, and U.S. influence in the non-Western world will increase. After the Russo-Ukrainian War, no matter how Russia achieves its political transformation, it will greatly weaken the anti-Western forces in the world. The scene after the 1991 Soviet and Eastern upheavals may repeat itself: theories on “the end of ideology” may reappear, the resurgence of the third wave of democratization will lose momentum, and more third world countries will embrace the West. The West will possess more “hegemony” both in terms of military power and in terms of values and institutions, its hard power and soft power will reach new heights. 4. China will become more isolated under the established framework. For the above reasons, if China does not take proactive measures to respond, it will encounter further containment from the US and the West. Once Putin falls, the U.S. will no longer face two strategic competitors but only have to lock China in strategic containment. Europe will further cut itself off from China; Japan will become the anti-China vanguard; South Korea will further fall to the U.S.; Taiwan will join the anti-China chorus, and the rest of the world will have to choose sides under herd mentality. China will not only be militarily encircled by the U.S., NATO, the QUAD, and AUKUS, but also be challenged by Western values and systems.
III. China’s Strategic Choice 1. China cannot be tied to Putin and needs to be cut off as soon as possible. In the sense that an escalation of conflict between Russia and the West helps divert U.S. attention from China, China should rejoice with and even support Putin, but only if Russia does not fall. Being in the same boat with Putin will impact China should he lose power. Unless Putin can secure victory with China’s backing, a prospect which looks bleak at the moment, China does not have the clout to back Russia. The law of international politics says that there are “no eternal allies nor perpetual enemies,” but “our interests are eternal and perpetual.” Under current international circumstances, China can only proceed by safeguarding its own best interests, choosing the lesser of two evils, and unloading the burden of Russia as soon as possible. At present, it is estimated that there is still a window period of one or two weeks before China loses its wiggle room. China must act decisively. 2. China should avoid playing both sides in the same boat, give up being neutral, and choose the mainstream position in the world. At present, China has tried not to offend either side and walked a middle ground in its international statements and choices, including abstaining from the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly votes. However, this position does not meet Russia’s needs, and it has infuriated Ukraine and its supporters as well as sympathizers, putting China on the wrong side of much of the world. In some cases, apparent neutrality is a sensible choice, but it does not apply to this war, where China has nothing to gain. Given that China has always advocated respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity, it can avoid further isolation only by standing with the majority of the countries in the world. This position is also conducive to the settlement of the Taiwan issue. 3. China should achieve the greatest possible strategic breakthrough and not be further isolated by the West. Cutting off from Putin and giving up neutrality will help build China’s international image and ease its relations with the U.S. and the West. Though difficult and requiring great wisdom, it is the best option for the future. The view that a geopolitical tussle in Europe triggered by the war in Ukraine will significantly delay the U.S. strategic shift from Europe to the Indo-Pacific region cannot be treated with excessive optimism. There are already voices in the U.S. that Europe is important, but China is more so, and the primary goal of the U.S. is to contain China from becoming the dominant power in the Indo-Pacific region. Under such circumstances, China’s top priority is to make appropriate strategic adjustments accordingly, to change the hostile American attitudes towards China, and to save itself from isolation. The bottom line is to prevent the U.S. and the West from imposing joint sanctions on China. 4. China should prevent the outbreak of world wars and nuclear wars and make irreplaceable contributions to world peace. As Putin has explicitly requested Russia’s strategic deterrent forces to enter a state of special combat readiness, the Russo-Ukrainian war may spiral out of control. A just cause attracts much support; an unjust one finds little. If Russia instigates a world war or even a nuclear war, it will surely risk the world’s turmoil. To demonstrate China’s role as a responsible major power, China not only cannot stand with Putin, but also should take concrete actions to prevent Putin’s possible adventures. China is the only country in the world with this capability, and it must give full play to this unique advantage. Putin’s departure from China’s support will most likely end the war, or at least not dare to escalate the war. As a result, China will surely win widespread international praise for maintaining world peace, which may help China prevent isolation but also find an opportunity to improve its relations with the United States and the West.