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.
(a) 日蓮の安国観念の独自性は、その中心的意味を天皇などの特定の権力(狭義の国家=王法)の安泰から広義の国家としての国土と人民の安穏へと転換させたところにあった…一見すると｢安国｣｢護国｣といった類似の言葉を用いながらも、それが支配者とりわけ天皇の安泰を第一義としていた伝統仏教と、その中心概念を国土の安寧と人民の平和へと転換させた日蓮の間にはきわめて大きな隔たりがあったのである。[佐藤 p. 38]
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)]
Few people in Korea or Japan know of Min Kabwan (1897-1968). Although her autobiography, “One Hundred Years of Resentment,” was made into a movie in 1963, Min Kabwan has been completely forgotten in the 54 years since her death.
The Life of Min Kabwan
In 1907, when Japan’s annexation of Korea was underway after two Japan-Korea agreements since the end of the 19th century, at the age of 9, she became the fiancé of Yee Eun, the last crown prince of the Joseon Dynasty, but the crown prince was taken to Japan immediately after their engagement. With the ongoing colonization by Japan, Kabwan was forced to break off the engagement at the age of 21, a little more than 10 years after the engagement. Six months later, her grandmother died in deep sorrow, and six months after that, her father died shortly after taking a medicine prepared by a doctor named An.
At the age of 22, Kabwan’s life became increasingly unsafe, and she took her younger brother Chonen and went into exile in Shanghai, where many Koreans were living in exile at the time. During her 26 years in Shanghai, she changed her residence several times to escape Japanese officials. She was forced to live like a fugitive, unable to leave the house freely. Her fiancée, Yee Eun, went to Japan when he was 10 years old and spent most of his life there. In the year of Kabwan’s exile, he married Nashimoto-miya Masako, who was also a candidate for the position of queen of the Emperor Showa.
It is difficult for people today to understand, but there was a society in the first half of the 20th century in which getting engaged carried the same weight as marriage. During her exile in Shanghai, several men approached her, and some people around her, including spies dispatched by the governor-general, advised her to get married. In particular, a Chinese female revolutionary, who had also remained celibate throughout her life, tried to persuade Kabwan, but she remained celibate for the rest of her life. The deep melancholy and loneliness that overflows between the lines of this book are poignant and appealing even to people today.
In May 1946, Kabwan returned to South Korea after debating whether or not to stay in Shanghai, but the latter half of her life was not smooth: in 1950, when she had found enough money to start a social welfare project, it was cut short by the outbreak of the Korean War. It is heartbreaking to think of her huddled with her younger brother and her family downstairs in a Western-style house called Sadong-gung in Jongno, shivering at the sound of artillery shells.
In the early morning of June 26, 1950, she and her younger brother’s family risked their lives to cross the Han River and head for Cheongju, her father’s hometown. After the war, she and her family settled in Busan, the southernmost part of the Korean Peninsula, at the behest of Chonen, who believed that the North would invade again.
Personal History Forces Review of Contemporary History
What does Kabwan’s life, which could be said to have been tossed about by the modern Japanese and Korean history, tell us? As we have passed the centennial of Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910, Kabwan’s “One Hundred Years of Resentment” is more than just a record of one Korean woman’s life. It is also a book that will compel us to rethink history, the state of the nation, and the lives of those who are at its mercy.
Kabwan was continuously tossed about by major events in the modern history, including the annexation of Korea (1910), the Sino-Japanese War (1937-45), and the Korean War (1950-1953). In tracing her life, we are forced to reflect on the history of Korea and Japan. It is important to note that the significance of these events differs greatly between Japan and Korea.
For example, the year 1910 was a loss of national rights for Korea, but an expansion of its territory for Japan; the liberation of Korea on August 15, 1945 (Kwangbok) was a defeat and the end of the war for Japan; was the end of the war for Korea. Or the war that ravaged the entire Korean Peninsula from 1950-1953, brought a special procurement boom to Japan.
What makes her autobiography “One Hundred Years of Resentment” more than a personal history of a woman is that her life was not only continuously tossed about, but also greatly disrupted by these major events in modern history. Each fragment of contemporary history that comes to light through the record of her life seems to force us to rethink the history of Japan and South Korea.
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.
 Eliza Yates School、1940年(中華民國曆29年)発行、許晩成編｢上海學校調査錄｣(Directory of Schools and Institutions in Shanghai)には｢晏摩氏女中、外灘7號大廈4樓、應美瑛校長、敎會立｣｢卽前省立松江中學(松江高級中學、靜安寺路591弄141號)｣とある  Miss Hannah Fair Sallee [写真] 1915-25年校長