I have been studying at a Chinese university since August 19th (Friday), and I will quote a Chinese poem (a poem written in old China) that I heard there.
Paraphrasing what this poem wants to convey,
“You and I are far apart. We are civil servants, so parting is unavoidable. I have a friend at the end of the world who understands me, so even if we are at the edge of the world, we are still next to each other.” So let’s stop crying like children.”
The full translation is below.
The city gates in Chang’an where I am are guarded, and beyond the wind-blown haze I see the five ferries that lead to the land where you are assigned (as a civil servant).
I feel the same as you, having to leave my hometown as a civil servant.
If there is someone in this world who understands us, it’s like being right next to us, even if we’re on the other side of the world.
So let’s stop weeping our handkerchiefs like children, standing at the crossroads of this life.
Interpretation and detailed explanation of this poem is outside my area of expertise and will not be included in this blog.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, it has become a world where it is not easy to meet people you want to meet. I have someone I love in Italy, and I have many friends in Italy, but the border wall is certainly thicker than it was in 2019. It used to be a time when it was easier to travel abroad, but now you can’t travel abroad without completing complicated procedures. And the footsteps of war were never an auditory hallucination, but a reality. A colleague of mine is forced to live in wartime. It seems that even in China, due to strict measures against COVID-19, people are still unable to leave their homes.
However, China and Japan (where I was born and raised) have a long history of deep ties and have learned a lot from each other. Some narrow-minded fools are trying to break the relationship, but friendships are not so easy to break. Chinese is a very interesting language (especially the way it is translated into foreign languages), and there are many Chinese students in Japan, and many Japanese students studying in China. Geographically close, China and Japan are only about 1,000 kilometers apart, much closer than they were 1,000 years ago. Technological innovation in China’s electronic products is progressing at a very fast speed. Japanese subcultures are becoming more attractive year by year. It’s a relationship where you can learn a lot from each other.
I would like to live in Italy in the future, but if I choose to do so, I will leave behind many friends and loving family in Japan and other parts of the world. Overcoming a distance of 10,000 kilometers and an eight-hour time difference is by no means an easy task. Fortunately, we now have WhatsApp and Google Meet. If the COVID-19 pandemic had happened 20 years earlier, people would have been much lonelier. We have to get through the lockdown with a limited number of SMS, letters and phone calls.
“No matter where we are in the world, we can always be in a relationship because we understand and love each other.” It struck me that he was talking about Italy and my dear family and friends.
This poem, written over 1000 years ago, has been translated into many languages and is still alive somewhere in the world, and you can feel the universal value of literature. . I hope that someday this blog will be read by people living 100 years from now.