Newsletter No. 437

你是否很喜欢看漫画? 我从小到大都爱看漫画。因为我研究思想史,所 以喜欢看与历史有关的漫画,有些有深度的,对 人生思想有启发的我也喜欢看;例如《虫师》便 不错。旧的如手塜治虫我很喜欢,很有灵性,很有 哲理,大友克洋的我也爱看,虽然他以科幻包装, 但谈的是人性。 这是你的研究方向吗? 我有两个研究方向,一是中日思想文化交流史, 另一面是日本流行文化。 是否有点南辕北辙? 对我来说是互通的。研究流行文化时,以往思想 史研究的训练会影响我,我会像做思想史那样探 讨流行文化;而我处理思想文化交流史的时候, 流行文化的一些理论,如本地化、混种化,又可以 借用。 你为什么喜欢做研究? 做研究得到的满足感最大。做研究的时候,好像 能脱离现在2014年这个空间,觉得自己生活在德 川时代,当我研究那堆东西的时候,和古人好像 有种神交,这种感觉是很奇妙。 为何对德川时代的日本特别感兴趣? 我们身为中国人,做这个时代的研究,有条件做 得比日本人更好。尤其是我专研德川时代汉学与 日本本土思想的交流,我们阅读古文的能力不会 比日本人差,又有中国儒家、中国哲学的背景,所 以做这种题目我们是有优势的。 我们在311地震看到日本人守法、有秩序一 面;但在福岛核灾,又见到东京电力不负责 任、隐瞒的阴暗一面。这种矛盾现象应如何 解释? 日本人的公民意识很强、很团结,国民质素很高。 如果在外国,停水停电马上就动乱,但他们不会。 但企业的情况就不同,它们的许多行为,以欧美 标准来衡量是不够好的。你看《半泽直树》就知 道,企业很多隐瞒,很多勾当,要下级承担责任, 甚至有一些制度性的贪污,还有所谓金权政治, 与政府的关系千丝万缕。日本人在公民层次是值 得敬佩的,但企业层次则还有许多问题。 当初为何想到写博客「知日部屋」? 我在博客提出「反日不如知日」,这是一个态度。 虽然博客能发挥的影响力不大,但总算能够提供 多一种声音。传媒有许多关于日本的报道是哗众 取宠,乱报一通,我在这里写出来,起码多提供一 个角度让人家去看事物。 现在为何很少写博客了? 近半年我已经转了去写脸书,一来是喜欢脸书比 较多互动,第二是我愈来愈忙,而博客文章比较 长,多半五百至一千字。脸书写几句就可以。我不 想忙到完全断绝与外界的沟通,所以暂时就用脸 书的形式。 你在忙什么? 我有几本书准备出版。一本叫做《德川日本的中 国想像》,已交给出版社。另一本《日本流行文化 与香港》,已答允出版社年底交稿。第三本《易经 在日本、韩国、越南及琉球的传播与改造》,计划 明年会完成。 Do you like manga (Japanese comics)? I’ve been a keen reader of manga since I was young. I like manga that deal with historical topics because I’m a researcher of intellectual history. Manga that are deep and inspiring also appeal to me. Mushishi is a good one. For older ones, I like Teduka Osamu’s works, which are very intellectual and philosophical. I also like those by Otomo Katsuhiro. Although they belong to the sci-fi genre, what they really talk about is human nature. Is this also your research interest? I have two research interests. One is intellectual history of Japan and Sino-Japanese cultural exchange. The other one is Japanese popular culture. They seem to be poles apart. To me, they’re complementary. When I do research on popular culture, I benefit from my training in intellectual history. I tend to study popular culture the way I study intellectual history. When I study intellectual history and the history of cultural exchange, I borrow some concepts from the theories of popular culture, such as localization and hybridization. How do you like doing research? Research brings me a great sense of satisfaction. When I immerse myself in research, I feel as if I was removed from the present and have travelled back in time to Tokugawa Japan, interacting with people of the past. It feels wonderful. Why are you especially interested in Tokugawa Japan? As Chinese scholars, we have an edge over our Japanese counterparts in the research of this period. It is especially true for the area in which I’m interested—the intellectual exchange between China and Japan. We understand ancient texts as well as, if not better than, the Japanese. And we’re familiar with Confucianism and Chinese philosophy. So, in this area, we do have the ability to outshine others. In Japan’s 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, we saw that the Japanese were law-abiding and self-disciplined people. But we also saw many irresponsible behaviours and cover-ups in the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s handling of the nuclear crisis in Fukushima. How do you explain such a contradiction? Japanese society is civic and tightly knit. Its people are decent and respectable citizens. In any other country, power outages and cut-off of water supply would definitely trigger riots. But it wouldn’t happen in Japan. However, Japanese enterprises are a different story. As you can see in the TV drama Hanzawa Naoki , Japanese enterprises are riddled with problems like cover-ups, foul play, buck-passing, institutional corruption. Money politics is also a problem because these enterprises are closely intertwined with the government. As citizens, Japanese individuals are highly admirable. But Japanese enterprises are far from perfect. Why did you establish your blog ‘Nippon Heiya’ in the first place? I advocate an attitude in my blog: it’s better to have an informed Japan watcher than a Japan hater. Mass media tend to produce sensational reports about events related to Japan. I’m not a very influential blogger. But at least I can provide an alternative voice, so that people can see Japan from a different angle. Recently you haven’t updated your blog as frequently as before. Why? I’ve been writing mainly Facebook posts in the past six months. It’s because Facebook is more interactive and I’m too busy to write blog articles, which are usually 500 to 1,000 words in length. Instead, a few sentences will do in a Facebook post. I don’t want to lose contact with the outside world altogether because of my tight work schedule. So I stick to Facebook for the time being. What are you busy with? I have several books to publish. One is entitled China in Tokugawa Imagination , which has been finished and sent to the publisher. Another one is called Japanese Popular Culture and Hong Kong . I’ll finish it and send it to the publisher by the end of this year. The third one is named The Popularization and Localization of the Yijing in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and the Ryukyu Kingdom , which is expected to be finished next year. 吴伟明教授 Prof. Ng Wai-ming Benjamin 日本研究学系 Department of Japanese Studies 10 No. 437, 4.5.2014

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