Datsu-A Ron by Yukichi Fukuzawa
テーマ：True Story of Japan
Thanks to "http://koreasparkling.wordpress.com/datsu-a-ron/an-argument-for-leaving-asia-or-datsu-a-ron-translation-attempt-part-1/"'s translation, "Datsu-A Ron by Yukichi Fukuzawa" is published on the web!
"An argument for leaving Asia" by Yukichi Fukuzawa
Recent movement of westerner’s global rapid action is remarkable.
However, this is only a result of the Industrial Revolution and subsequent steam engines and does not mean there was some kind of progress in terms of human spirits(or humanity). Therefore, in order to stand up against and to prevent the invasions to the orient by western great powers, first of all,
we only need to get ready in our mind(meaning “to keep open mind and learn, not to have physical strength”). Westerners are the same human being. But, that does not mean we can disregard the reality of Industrial Revolution. In order to keep an independence of a country, it is necessary to just jump into the wave of the Industrial Revolution and accept not only it’s benefits but also it’s disadvantages as well. This is now required to survive in this modern civilized society.
YES,WE CAN! YES,WE CAN! YES,WE CAN! ............
Modern civilization is like influenza. Can we prevent infection of influenza on the sea front? No, I strongly believe we can’t. Influenza has no benefit, and we can’t avoid infections once it spreads. But, modern civilization bares both benefits and disadvantages, and how can we protect ourselves from modern civilization which has more benefits than disadvantages. It is, in a way, a duty for intellectuals to push the infections while providing antidotes.
Historically speaking, she must be a SADIST.
Historically speaking, she must be a MASOCHIST.
It was when Perry’s black ships appeared in Edo Bay, Japanese learned about the Industrial Revolution of the west. Since then Japanese gradually had begun to recognize the needs to accept modern civilization. However, the Tokugawa shogunate was the obstacle. As long as the Tokugawa shogunate existed, we could not accept modern civilization. We had only 2 choices; modern civilization or sticking to the old regime.
fashion style in the Edo era
fashion style in the Meiji era
If we had chosen the the old regime, the independence of Japan had been in danger. It’s because westerners, who went out to the world while taking advantage of technologies and competing each other, had no mercy to leave the oriental island country asleep.
Hereby, the faithful retainers, holding a faith to the country and the emperor, destroyed the Tokugawa shogunate and built a new government. This way, Japan as a country and the whole nation decided to accept technologies and modern civilization born in the west. This was the first amongst the all Asian countries and this also meant leaving Asia for Japan.
the crest of the Tokugawa shougnate
the crest of the Emperor's family
Japan, as a national mind, despite the fact that country is located in Asia, accepted the modern civilization of the west. However, an unfortunate thing for Japan is that Japan has the two neighboring countries. One is Sino, another is Chosun. It might possibly be because we are just racially different from the beginning or the educational level is different, the difference of the national mind between Japan and the two countries is just tremendous even though these two countries also possess the same classic and belong to the Chinese character cultural sphere as well. Japan; raw fish-eating
In this era of a rapid information exchange, while knowing the modern civilization and the international law, two countries still adhere to the past. This national mind is nothing more than the one from the 1000 years ago. In this actively progressive era of the modern civilization, the education is limited to Confucianism where they learn superficial knowledge, and in practice, their attitudes seem not only disregarding the scientific principles, but also morally collapsing while they have no self-examinations but arrogance.
Korea; worship of the Sinocentrism
Japan; spirit of harmony
In my view, China and Korea cannot survive as independent nations with the onslaught of modern civilization to the East if they keep the way they are.
There is no doubt that ruins and divisions of countries are inevitable unless noble men of reform appear in these two countries and manage to reform the countries from top to down just like the Meiji Restoration. It is because locking self up in a closed room and shutting the air flow avoiding the wave of modern civilization, will only suffocate themselves.
worship of the Sinocentrism
Although 輔車唇歯 in Zuo Zhuan stands for reciprocity of neighboring countries, Sino and Chosun today have nothing helpful for Japan while Japan might be mistakingly confused with these two countries by the westerners because the three countries are geographically close.
BGM: theme of Jaws
For instance, if Sino and Chosun are under dictatorship or if they are country of Confucianism, the western scholars might misunderstand that Japan might as well be so. Or if Sino ignore the international law or manners without hesitation/shame, some might think Japan may do the same. If Chosun brutally executes people, some might doubt Japan do the same. And there are countless examples like this.
Are you in? You are always welcome!
This is as if outsiders looking at a village full of cruel and crazy people. Even if one person in the village is criticizing other members of the village, it does not make much difference to outsiders. Outsiders would consider every one in the village are pretty much the same. In fact, this kind of view in Asian diplomacy can be seen here and there. That is one big unfortunate matter to Japan.
Japan should no longer wait nor expect the two countries to possess international common sense. Japan should now ditch the illusion that those countries, together with Japan, will help archive the prosperity in Asia. In stead, Japan should leave those countries behind and join the western civilization to go forward.
arrogance AND fail to keep one's word
arrogance BUT keep one's word
Just because they are neighboring countries, Japan should not associate with these countries with special emotional attachments. For these two countries, Japan only need to keep relationships according to the international law and common sense. Those who are intimate with bad friends are also regarded bad, therefore I deny friendships with those bad East Asian friends from my heart.
We are really really sorry that we have not abided by Mr. Fukuzawa's precepts.
bow, bow, bow, bow, bow....
“An Argument for leaving Asia” or “Datsu-A Ron” translation attempt, Part 1
“An Argument for leaving Asia” or “Datsu-A Ron” translation attempt, Part 2
Seventeen-article constitution -Wikipedia
Sorry, I could not find English for "fetus-eating(胎児食)", and "shit-eating（糞食）".
If you have interested in, check it out in Japanese.
“Datsu-A Ron” is an unsigned editorial of a newspaper called “時事新報” published in March 16, 1885.
Note: The newspaper was founded by Fukuzawa Yukichi who
founded Keio University.
invited many(about 50) Korean students from Chosun/Korea later known as 개화파(modernization/independence party) such as Kim Okgyun, and 박영효 .
helped 개화파 publishing the first modern newspaper called 漢城旬報 in Korea in 1883.
helped the development of the modern educational system in Korea using Hanja-Hangul for the first time in the Korean history.
taught 井上角五郎(Kakugorou Inoue) and sent him to Korea, along with other students, who created the Hangul font in Japan and used it in Korean newspaper called 漢城周報 in 1886 for the first time in the Korean history.
felt desperate when he heard his students(개화파) failed in Gapsinjeongbyeon incident and many of 개화파 were slaughtered.
Here is the part 1
Here is the part 2
The original text is found here . My translation is based on the text found here . This contents are base on this paper [Japanese]. A Chinese translation of Datsu-A Ron by 林思云译 can be found here.
About the Sinocentrism/사대주의(事大主義)/Flunkeyism, read this post.