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~Chinese / 中文
《平如美棠》饶平如

~Japanese / 日本語
「女のいない男たち」村上春樹
「職業は武装解除」瀬谷ルミ子

~English
"Notes on Democracy" Arundhati Roy

~Korean / 한국어
《그렇습니까? 기린입니다》박민규
《소나기》 황순원

~Finished / 読了 / 已读
「コンビニ人間」村田沙耶香
"Factory Girls" Lesley Chang
"Your Republic is Calling You" Kim Young-ha
「色彩を持たない多崎つくると彼の巡礼の年」村上春樹
《裸命》陈冠中
"River Town" Peter Hessler
"Oracle Bones" Peter Hessler
"Country Driving" Peter Hessler
「カンガルー日和」村上春樹
「こころ」夏目漱石
「火の鳥9」 手塚治虫
《呐喊》鲁迅
《娃》莫言
《朋友》余华
"Inside the Kingdom" Robert Lacey
《活着》余华
"A Room of One's Own" Virginia Woolf
「羊をめぐる冒険」村上春樹
《阿Q正传》鲁迅
《倾城之恋 》张爱玲
《茉莉香片》张爱玲
《金锁记》张爱玲
「深夜特急」(2)沢木耕太郎
「1973年のピンボール」 村上春樹
"One Foot In Eden" Ron Rash
「双子の星」宮沢賢治

“Thin frog” by Kobayashi Issa, a Japanese haiku

“Thin frog”

 

Thin frog—

Don’t give up! Issa

is here.

 

Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827)

 

Important Edo-period haiku poet

Born in Kashiwabara, Nagano, Japan

 

Photo credit: Penkdix Palme / Newsteam / SWNS

 

中译

瘦蛙,

别放弃!一茶

在这里

 

小林一茶

 

日本江户时期著名俳句诗人,

生于信浓国水内郡柏原村(今长野县上水内郡信浓町柏原)

 

原文

 

痩せ蛙

負けるな一茶

ここにあり

 

小林一茶

“The Moon” by Kobayashi Issa, a 19th-Century Japanese haiku

“The Moon”

 

“The moon—

Take it for me!”

cries the child.

 

Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827)

 

Important Edo-period haiku poet

Born in Kashiwabara, Nagano, Japan

 

Photo credit: Minami Sanriku Hotel Kanyo (here in English)

 

2・中译

 

“明月,

给我摘下来!”

喊孩子

 

小林一茶

 

日本江户时期著名俳句诗人,

生于信浓国水内郡柏原村(今长野县上水内郡信浓町柏原)

 

3・原文

 

名月を

取ってくれろと

泣く子かな

 

小林一茶

Walking the Philosophers’ Way in Kyoto

Dear Readers:

I went to Kyoto for three days. It’s not far from Osaka, so I rode the train there in the morning and alighted at Kyoto station. The station turned out to be an attraction in itself. Over the main entrance is a web of steel beams, and a series of escalators takes you all the way up the side of the 12-story-plus building to a deck on the roof. On the tenth floor is Ramen Alley, where specialty ramens of different places are represented. I tried to eat there, but every shop had an unbelievable line, so I gave up. The other restaurants on the top of the building (actually an Isetan dept. store) were expensive, so I left my bag in a locker and rode the bus to Ginkakuji, the temple of the famed Silver Pavilion.

Ginkakuji and the Tea Well

Nowadays, the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji 金閣寺) is an internationally recognized symbol of Kyoto and Japan itself, but what of the Silver Pavilion, on the opposite Eastern Mountain side of Kyoto? The pavilion is not plated in silver, and unlike the Golden Pavilion, is a 15th-Century original wooden construction. (Kinkakuji was burned by an arsonist about 60 years ago.) Kyoto is large and traffic dense, so it took an hour to get uptown to Higashiyama, around Ginkakuji 銀閣寺. I ate oyako-don (chicken and egg over rice) for lunch on a street leading to the temple. Ginkakuji is not the official name of the temple, but most know it as the Temple of the Silver Pavilion. I paid 500 yen ($6) to enter with a huge crowd. We passed a bamboo hedge, and right on our right was the pavilion. The bottom is built in Japanese Shoin 書院style, and the top in Chinese temple style, with a phoenix on the roof. The date of construction was some time around 1400. In front of the temple is a garden of raked sand, and a cone of sand called the Moon-facing Platform. Up the hill was a little spring of clear water and algae called the Tea Well. The water from the well apparently has a good flavor favored by tea specialists, and the water from the well is used to make tea at government functions. A quiet garden led the way out, and I set off down the Philosophers’ Way.

The Philosophers’ Way and Honen’in Temple

Yamazaki and his wife recommended me the Philosophers’ Way, a path lined with cherry trees that leads south from Ginkakuji toward Kiyomizu Temple. After being jostled by crowds in Ginkakuji, a stroll along the river on the stone path was a welcome respite. A café I passed boasted coffee made with water from the temple’s well. At times I was alone on the path, and at times I passed others walking their way. The Way is so named because great scholars of the past were said to amble along the riverbank lost in thought. The trees grew thick on the other bank and hung low their leaves on the water, quite like Suzhou or Ito, and I was quite taken by the mosaic of greens and rocks and stream. I came upon Honen’in Temple 法然院, where Yamazaki said I could find a hint of the old Kyoto. Unlike Ginkakuji, Honen’in was free, not crowded, and set back in the woods of sight. The buildings lacked illustrious pedigrees, but the setting was right for relaxation. A sign before the moss-covered straw roof entry gate read in Classical Chinese, Pungent foods, spices, alcohol and meat may not enter this gate. Inside, on either side of the path were raised platforms of sand with designs formed on top. I’d never seen such artwork before and don’t know what they mean. Great vines grew on the trees over the water, and a pamphlet advertised a lecture titled, Let’s talk with the monks about nuclear power.

Futher down the path, I visited Otoyo Shrine, where a fox and mouse shrine stand side by side (technically an Inari and a Taikoku shrine).

Eikando Temple and the Lake Biwa aqueduct

Before Eikando Temple 永観堂 (officially called Zenrinji 禅林寺) was a sign with a quote: Respect humanity and morality, keep courtesy and moderation, use no martial force, and all under heaven will be in accord. (仁徳を尊び、礼節を守り、武力を用いず、天下和順なれ。)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eikan-d%C5%8D_Zenrin-ji

Eikando’s autumn leaves are famous, and even in this late summer some were starting to redden. I walked among the centuries-old wooden buildings. Some parts of Eikando have been rebuilt more recently, as it suffered during the haibutsu-kishaku 廃仏毀釈 period during the late 19th Century when Buddhism was briefly outlawed, but even the elevator blended nicely with the old wood. I went up to see the tower, a famous spot for watching the sunset. The tower faces west, toward the Pure Land, so when the sun sets one can look out at the faraway Paradise and dream of the afterlife. A story associated with Eikando says that the founder of the sect was pacing in the temple in the cold early morning, chanting Amida’s name, when the statue of the Buddha Amida stepped down from its platform and walked with him. He stopped dead in his tracks. Amida turned his head and said, Eikan, you’re slow! Thus, to preserve that most beautiful profile of Amida, Eikan carved a statue of the Buddha looking over his shoulder than can still be seen in the hall.

Around Nanzenji Temple I saw the Lake Biwa aqueduct, which was built of brick about 100 years ago to bring water from Lake Biwa to Kyoto. I walked along as the water sped down the canal, until I came to a hydraulic station in an old stone-carved western-style building. I took the subway back to get my bag and spent the night in a hostel.

-Kieran

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Day 41 Beijing

July 6, 2011 (Wed)

Forty-first day in China, ninth day in Beijng: 奥体中心 Olympic Green, 北京国家体育场 (鸟巢) Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest), 北京国家游泳中心 (水立方) Beijing National Aquatics Center (Water Cube)

Still feeling sick, I slept until after 1pm and inquired at a pharmacy down the street, where I received medicine for a sore throat. I ate 过桥米线 guoqiao rice noodles, or “bridge-crossing noodles”, a Yunnan specialty that Haofan tells me gets its name from a story in which a woman carried noodles across a bridge to her husband each day. The noodles always grew cold. Hot soup is served. The noodles and many small ingredients like chicken, egg, carrot and tofu are added at the table. I took the subway to the Olympic Green. The streets are wide, straight and long. I entered the National Stadium, or the “Bird’s Nest”, used in the Olympics. Inside kids were riding Segways around the track. Most interesting was the exterior, which appears a random tangle of steel beams. In fact, the sides are identical. They surround the interior seating structure, painted red. Though events are rarely held in the stadium, tourists came in great numbers. On the Olmypic green sat a pruned hedge decorated with doves and the hammer & sickle over “90.” Tourists swarmed around the hedge, and behind stood the National Aquatics Center, or the “Water Cube.” It’s actually a cuboid, and half of the building has been turned into a cute water park. The walls are made of ultra thin material shaped like foam bubbles. Kids waded in the shallow trench beside the Cube.

On the subway I kept reading Sawaki’s descriptions of Hong Kong.

The hostel hosted a vegetarian dinner party, where I met several Chinese people, and a pair of guys from England who had just graduated high school.

KM

白娘子永ク雷峰塔ニ鎮マル

Notes for a paper comparing Feng Menglong’s 白娘子永鎮雷峰塔 and Ueda Akinari’s 雨月物語.

女のいはく、「わが家には更に人をば宿さず。
しかるに今夜、君を宿すことは、昼、君を見はじめつる時より夫にせむと思ふ心深し。
されば君を宿して本意を遂げむと思ふによりて近づき來れるなり。
われ夫なくして寡なり。君あはれと思ふべきなり」と。(今昔物語第40第3話)

“只聽得一聲響,卻是青天裏打一個霹靂,聚人都驚倒了!”(【警世通言】第二十八卷:白娘子永鎮雷峰塔)

Kieran Maynard

Kieran Maynard

Writer, translator, researcher, traveler specializing in Japanese and Chinese literature.

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