Kenji for You Japanese

Interview with Wang Ming

How did you get to know Kenji Miyazawa?
I had studied Japanese in Shisen Foreign Language School, and one Japanese teacher used Kenji's "Strong in the Rain" as a textbook. I was very impressed with it.
What aspects of Kenji's works are you interested in?
I felt familiar with "Strong in the Rain" because its theme is similar to the Chinese belief that self-sacrifice was required in the Cultural Revolution. We can understand this work's deeper meaning if we read it more carefully. For example, the phrase "Everyone calls him 'Blockhead' " is similar to the thinking of Laotse in China.
By reading Kenji's works I reconsidered Chinese tradition, which was denied in the Cultural Revolution. Studying Kenji's works again gave me energy and stimulation. Especially, I like "Wild Goose Child," "Crossing the Snow", and "The Nighthawk Star."
Kenji lived during a period when Japan was entering into war. I think we can understand Kenji's attitude toward such a period by reading his works carefully. What do you think?
I feel exactly the same. For example, Kenji wrote "General Son Ba-yu" just before the Manchurian Incident, so he probably anticipated the war between China and Japan. In that book General Son Ba-yu has not laughed for thirty years and cannot get down from his horse. I think Kenji was depicting the cruelty of war with this image in such ways. In the end, General Son Ba-yu was offered the highest position in the country, but he rejected it and went to a mountain instead. After he had nothing to eat, he finally became a wise man who was free from agony. I think Kenji was telling his readers that they needed to think about war.
Also, I think Kenji was thinking about Japan after the war. The physicians who cure General Song Ba-yu are three specialists who treat plants, animals, and people. Kenji Miyazawa probably was trying to tell us that it is necessary to heal everything that was destroyed by war and to create a balance among people and other living things.

Profile of Wang Ming

  • Was born in Chonto, Hopei Province, China in 1952.
  • Graduated from the Japanese Language Department at Tairen Foreign Language University.
  • Graduated from the Japanese Literature Department at Shisen Foreign Language Graduate School.
  • Researched Kenji Miyazawa at Miyagi Educational University.
  • Is an international committee member of the Japan Pen Club.
  • Is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at Tokyo Seitoku University.
  • Is a Guest Professor at Shoe University in China.
  • Wrote "Notes from My Japan Wanderings," "The Mysterious Spirit of Culture," "Long History of the Chinese People," published by Toyo Keizai Shinpo Sha, 1995; and "My Gratitude for Kenji Miyazawa" 1996.
  • Translated "Kujyaku no Mai (Peacock Dance)," "Chugoku no Nijyuisseiki heno Kihon Senryaku (Basic Strategy Toward the Twenty-first Century in China)," published by Toyo Keizai Shinpo Sha, 1995; and others.

Kenji for you The World of Kenji Miyazawa