Page 1

EAST winter 2016




N ORT H KO R EA a guide from the inside


falun gong, gated communities and leftover women


food and language


Laura Pincher

Evelyne Hibbert

Matthias De Ruyver



online co-ordinator

Violet Ross

Amy Sharp

John Harwood

finance co-ordinator

publicity co-ordinator

graphic designer

Dear Readers, Thank you for picking up a copy of EAST Magazine, the University of Leeds’ East Asian Studies Department’s own magazine this winter. In this issue we gain a rare insight into North Korea and the experiences of one student as she stepped into the most isolated country in the world. We are pleased to announce that we have continued to include foreign language articles with pieces in both Japanese and Mandarin. We also explore different aspects of the ever-evolving Chinese society ranging from religion outlawed by the government, the growing problem of homelessness and the lesser-known impacts of the one child policy. Lastly, we are, as always, grateful for all of the contributions and the support from the Leeds Business Confucius Institute who have made the publication of this issue possible. We hope that you, the reader, and any of you who may have contributed, enjoy reading this magazine as much as we enjoyed creating it. If you’d like to be involved with the next magazine due to come out in Summer, or just even to show your support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. See you all again for the summer edition! The EAST Magazine team.



EAST | Winter 2016



4 µ 6 µ 8 µ 9 µ 10 µ 12 µ 14 µ 16 µ

NORTH KOREA for Beginners by Demetria Claire McKenzie

µ 21 µ 22 µ

CHINA’s Gated Communities by Mailies Fleming


FALUN GONG An Illegal Religion? by Violet Ross 日本の国民食 The Food of the People of Japan by Masako Miki EYE ON ASIA Photography Competition CHINA’s Leftover Women by Caitlin Wong A 400 YEAR LEGACY The Shakespeare-Tang Project LIFE OF THE HOMELESS in Shanghai by Lian Gooden 日本人はなぜ英語が不得意なのか? Why do Japanese Struggle with English? by Masako Miki

我怀念 孙燕姿 逆光 衣带渐宽终不悔,为伊消得人憔悴 樊柠淏 | EAST 3


NO RT H KO REA for beginners



tudying in a sleepy Beijing coffee shop on an indiscriminate Tuesday afternoon, my friend removed his ear phones, paused as if for thought, then asked me if I would like to go with him to North Korea. The first word that came to mind is “banter” and a week and a half later, I found myself in Beijing Railway Station boarding the train for Pyongyang. Until this point, I had unwittingly managed to avoid learning anything about the country to which we were going and instead of doing some last minute reading, I thought it might be interesting to go in blind. Pulling out of Dandong, occasionally mouthing the syllables that form “North Korea” to each other (giggles ensuing, of course), I had no idea what to expect. We began with a six hour journey to Pyongyang on a train that might have been outrun by a large horse. We rolled through mottled brown cropland and saw rice being harvested by hand with sickles, men herding gaggles of geese through cabbage patches, brown oxen pulling wooden carts along dusty paths. After a dazzling pink and orange sunset, we pulled into Pyongyang station where we were led straight to the front of long queues of locals who didn’t even look at us, let alone grumble at our blatant pushing in. After the frivolity of the train, the atmosphere was crushingly sombre.


EAST | Winter 2016

The next day, we boarded our parakeet green coach and were immediately held up on the bridge between the hotel island and “mainland Pyongyang” by endless trucks of soldiers. Locals – invariably dressed in the same shades of grey, navy, and brown – filed past without looking up while the members of our tour group clamoured to see the soldiers. Our guide explained that they were on their way to the military parade that was to happen later that day. The passage of trucks seemed endless, one after the other, at least thirty men in each.

Eventually, we made it to the Korean War Museum where we were greeted by a large square lined with immensely large and impressive statues and sculptures. After a brief pat-down, we were taken to inspect captured American weapons, including a spy helicopter which was accompanied by a photo of its capture – American corpses included. We later were shown a propaganda film in a make-shift cinema nestled in the mess room of the USS Pueblo. The term “imperialists” was thrown around like a hackey-sack. The atmosphere was, again, desperately tense. That evening, we shivered on a crossroads lined with people but empty of cars. As the sun set, the street lamps remained unlit. We were cold and hungry but after over an hour’s wait, the street exploded into action. Tanks. Trucks and tanks and soldiers. Armoured vehicles and planes. They roared past us, leaving trails of smoke, the soldiers sat atop them shouting and waving at the crowds of both tourists and locals alike. The deafening noise filled our ears while the ground under us shook up through our shoes and feet and into our legs. I felt incredibly small.

Over the course of our tour, we were driven all around Pyongyang. The wide streets were largely empty – clean and wide, lined with middle-aged trees. The only piece of North Korean litter I saw during the whole trip was when I accidentally dropped a tissue. We were made to bow to various statues of Kim Il-Sung and for lunch we were taken to restaurants wherein we were the only patrons. They made a point of serving us too much food – but it was always cold. En route to an excursion in the Demilitarised Zone 160km away, we saw one other car – another tourist bus. At the end of the tour, I asked my friend if he had ever seen our guides eat, and he could not say that he had.

It rained at the Demilitarised Zone and I bought a garish jumper with the North Korean flag on it, just to have an extra layer to stop the shivering. Unphotographable soldiers were everywhere, and we drove down a narrow road lined with barbed wire, with massive boulders lining it that were propped up precariously, should the single lane need to be blocked in an emergency. Having watched propaganda films aboard the USS Pueblo, laid flowers at the feet of a sixty-foot Kim Il-Sung, felt the ground underfoot rumble with tanks, coughing at the diesel smoke; standing close enough to the South Korean border that our phones connected to their network felt simmeringly overwrought. My friend pointed at the cameras that lined the opposing side. South Korea was looking back.

After our arrival back in Pyongyang, we were taken to the People’s Theatre to watch the Mass Dance. The square outside of it was alive with men in black trousers and once-white shirts, women in beautiful hanbok. They weaved in and out of each other, perfectly in sync with each other and the music that blared from two vans nearby. The fact that we were the only foreigners in the small crowds of locals was startlingly obvious. Our group had cameras, and was taken up the steps leading to the theatre, as if the Dance was being performed for our benefit. The spectacle was incredible and difficult to look away from – but it felt far too much like we were being privy to something deeply personal. The slow-burning stress that formed the backdrop to the whole trip was flaring in the time that we watched them. Over the course of the trip, we went to the Korean War Museum, the native home of Kim Il-Sung, Mangyongdae hill, the Kimjongilia flower exhibition, the Demilitarised Zone, the Koryo Museum, Mass Dance, the Pyongyang Subway, a funfair and a pub. We watched a propaganda film on board the USS Pueblo, laid flowers at the feet of a sixty foot statue of Kim Il-Sung, watched the army disembark from the military parade, tanks billowing smoke, the ground under our feet rumbling. It definitely was not a bad trip. I still can’t put my finger on why I can’t refer to it as “good”. The sense of release as we crossed the border back into China was indescribable. | EAST 5


法輪大法 by Violet Ross

AN ILLEGAL RELIGION? In 1996 Falun Gong was the largest non-governmental civil society group in the PRC history1. Founded in 1992 by Master Li Hongzhi, the government first saw it as a legitimate organisation (zong pai’ 宗 派). Tolerated and even practised by government officials, this short investigation will ask why, in the late 1990’s, was it classed as a ‘xiejiao’ or illegal cult?

WHAT IS FALUN GONG? Falun Gong is a branch of qigong 气功. Another form of slow-moving qi gong exercise is tai chi. The ‘falun’ aspect can be translated as the ‘Dharma’ or wheel and it links with views in Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism of the cosmos as one entity. The Falun practice teaches that by cultivating (turning) one’s Dharma through daily, meditative, qigong-style exercises, the practices of zhen真, shan 善and ren忍 (standing for truth, compassion and forbearance) can be achieved. China in the 1980’s saw a growth in support for these slow-movement exercises performed in public spaces. Although later attacks on the practice say otherwise, Falun Gong doesn’t claim to have healing or supernormal abilities, just a pathway towards spiritual perfection. What’s more, Falun Gong practitioner’s state that it is ‘neither religious nor political’2. The practice claimed moralphilosophy, free teachings, the simplicity and flexibility of its exercises, and its efficacy in improving health.


EAST | Winter 2016

WHY THE OPPOSITION TO FALUN GONG? With its humanist morals and peaceful ethics, why did it encounter such opposition in China? There are many explanations for this. After the death of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping’s new policies (beginning in 1978) opened China to the world socially, economically and politically. After years of closed communism there was an apprehension and fear within the government of the effects that this new freedom would have on state security. This fear of any threat was strengthened after the student protests in Tiananman Square in 1989. Another big factor that contributed to the State’s objection to the movement was lack of support from Chairman Jiang Zemin. On April 25th 1999, 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners peacefully demonstrated around the CCP government compound in central Beijing. Jiang Zemin rebuffed the vice-Premier Zhu Rongqi’s conciliatory stance by labelling Falun Gong a threat to the Party. However, the main cause which led to a fear of Falun Gong in the CCP and the suppression of the movement was its popularity. A government report estimated that there were 30 million Falun Gong practitioners in the PRC, while the Falun Gong organization claimed there to be 60 million practitioners. This figure was more than CCP members3. Most members were urban, uneducated and middle aged, although some were party members or in the police and armed forces. Perhaps they were seen as a political threat because Falun Gong was mobilizing very different members of society to come together when they normally would not have integrated.



We can see the extent of its popularity in the 1999 demonstration in Beijing where 10,000 demonstrators stood silently around the streets of Zhongnanhai and protested about their rights to practice Falun Gong. Designated people were allowed to speak on behalf of the protestors. Despite the banning of Falun Gong websites, the organised demonstration showed the government how communal and, in their eyes, potentially threatening the practice had become. This identifies how it was not just the scale of support but the movement’s organization and interconnected communities that scared the government most.

LEGITIMATE SUPPRESSION BY THE CCP? After the movement’s popularity implanted fears of the state’s stability, the CCP ‘attempted to reconfigure the religious field’, by defining what was a politically acceptable form of religion4. In 1995, journalists and scientists were defining and attacking the qigong movement as ‘superstitious’ and ‘pseudo-scientific’. This was when the link was made between cult (xiejiao) and some qigong organisations5. The change in the meaning of xie 邪 from ‘heterodox’ to ‘cult’ also legitimised the suppression of Falun Gong. Goosaert and Palmer have identified how the CCP utilized ideologies from the Qing dynasty which permitted orthodox (zheng正) religions and banned heterodox (xie邪) religion6. The CCP’s also claimed that Falun Gong was an illegitimate ‘cult’ according to established religions. For instance they used the history of Christianity and quotations from the Bible to legitimise the discourse on Falun Gong as a cult. Also, several Buddhist magazines specifically attacked Falun Gong in 1998, describing it as a ‘xiejiao’ that drew lay Buddhists away from orthodoxy7.

THE ISSUE OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE RELIGION In 1982 the CCP published document 19, outlining the government’s stance on religion. It emphases the need for ‘private’ not ‘public’ practice. Since Falun Gong practitioners met daily in large groups in parks and public spaces, it was most defiantly communal, not private.

Over all, Falun Gong was portrayed in the media as a menace to society, a superstitious, foreign-driven, tightly organised practice, run by a dangerous group of meditators. The speed at which Falun Gong established such a large following in China during the 1990’s, and the speed of the CCP’s negative stance and ‘crack down’ of the movement are fascinating. The role of Falun Gong in China and the world is still taking shape and it has vital importance to those interested in China’s socio-religious history.


6. 7.

The People’s Republic of China founded in 1949. Falun Dafa: Peaceful Journey of Truthfulness – Compassion – Forbearance, compiled by Falun Dafa practitioners, 1st edn, July 2000, p.3. Eugene Gallagher and Michael Ashcraft, Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America (Greenwood press, 2006) p.173. V. Goossaert, ‘State and religion in modern China: Religious policies and scholarly paradigms’ in State and Society (Taipei, Taiwan: Academica Sinica, 2005) p.2. Palmer, David A., ‘Heretical Doctrines, Reactionary Secret Societies, Evil Cults: Labelling Heterodoxy in 20th-Century China’ in Chinese Religiosities: The Vicissitudes of Modernity and State Formation, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), p.16. Goossaert (2005) p.3. and Palmer (2012). Palmer (2012) p.16 and 18. | EAST 7

日 本 の 国 民 食

もはや日本を観光したらま ず食べたいもののひとつにあ げられることも多いラーメ ンだが、地域によって様々な 特徴があることはご存知だ

of Japan

Words and Pictures by Masako Miki

ろうか。日本は小さな島国だ が、北海道から沖縄までそ れぞれの特徴があるラーメン に溢れている。スープのだ しも海鮮系、豚骨などの動物 系、野菜系、それらを組み 合わせたものと様々だ。それ に加える味付けも醤油、味 噌、塩などがあり、その味 の強さもこってり系、あっ さり系などと様々なカテゴ リに分類される。また、特徴 的なのは麺も同じだ。たと えば私の出身地、北海道の札 幌ラーメンでは黄色の太縮 れ麺が主流だ。黄色が強いの は麺の材料にかん水が多く含 まれているからだ。一方、日

く、細くて真っ直ぐである。一口にラーメ ンと言っても地域によって色々違うのだ。 よって、日本人同士でラーメンの話をして いてもそれぞれが頭に描いているラーメン は違う。実際に博多出身の友人は「麺が 黄色くて縮れているなんてありえない!」 と言っていたし、私にしても「ラーメンの 麺は黄色くて縮れているのがおいしい!白 くて細い麺なんて食べた気がしない。」と 一歩も譲れない戦いがそこにはある。日本 を旅する際に本場のラーメンを食べたいと 考えている方はぜひ地域による違いを感 じ、お気に入りの一杯を探すことも楽し みのひとつに加えてはいかがだろうか。


The Food of The People

EAST | Winter 2016

Ramen is often championed as the first thing you would want to eat after sightseeing in Japan, but did you know that each area has its own special varieties of ramen? Japan is a small country, but it is bursting with a diversity of ramen all the way from Hokkaido right down to Okinawa. Ramen soup also has many distinctions within vegetable, seafood and meat varieties. On top of that there are an abundance of flavourings - soy sauce, miso, salt to name a few, as well as separate categories for these individual flavours being strong or mild. And of course, the actual noodles themselves are also of many varieties. For example, in my native Hokkaido, the noodles mainly used in Sapporo Ramen are yellow, thick and curly; because they are rich with lye water. On the other hand, the noodles used in Hakata Ramen - a speciality of Kyushu - are white, thin and straight. In other words, ramen is different wherever you go in Japan; and when Japanese people are talking about ramen, the ramen they are imagining are completely different! My friend from Hakata would say, “Yellow, fat, curly noodles? Ridiculous...” Leading me to respond, “Those are delicious! There’s no way I’m eating your pale, stiff, skinny noodles from Hakata,” thus marking the beginning of a conflict. For those who visit Japan, I advise you to sample the local speciality ramen of many different places, experience the distinct flavours of each area and enjoy the pursuit of your own personal favourite.

Photography Competition ‘Capturing Asia Through the Lens’ Submissions open now until 17th February 2016 Email your photos to including your name, the location of the photo and photo title. £2.50 for the first entry and 50p per subsequent entry. Once your photo has been received, payment details will be emailed to you. All money raised will go to Global Action Nepal, which supports earthquake relief. The top 40 entries will be showcased in an exhibition in the Parkinson Building until the closing ceremony on the 18th March and candidates will be able to take home a professional print of their photo. £100 STA Travel Voucher for first prize plus many more!

Check out our Facebook page:

eyeonasia2016 | EAST 9




he former ‘One Child Policy’ is one that almost

degree or a Ph.D. they are often described not only

everyone associates China with. It prevented millions of births and helped control the rapid population growth, which are factors that most people think about when talking about the policy. However, it has come to mind that few people know about the leftover women that have been brought about by the social instability and gender imbalance in China. Despite not being able to marry as being considered the main issue, there lies more serious matters that are often overlooked and regarded as less important. In reality, they should be seen as equally if not even more of an issue, that needs greater awareness. The term ‘leftover women’ customarily describes women in China who remain unmarried after the age of 27. There are many reasons that these women remain unmarried. In terms of the One Child Policy, gender selection over the preference of male babies has meant that the ratio of men to women has become extremely imbalanced. Additionally, once women finish higher education such as a Masters

by men but even by family members as ‘old yellow pearls’ and they are seen as too old and unattractive to marry. The pressures to marry not only end up being from family members, but also become self-inflicted. Many women want to rid themselves of the leftover label they are stigmatized with and will go through extreme situations such as marrying someone they don’t want to or even staying away from home in order to avoid embarrassment and shame from their family. Leta Hong Fincher’s book ‘Leftover Women’ was what brought my awareness to the chilling notion on these women in China. Fincher’s book has many heart breaking accounts of women who have lived their lives hidden, vulnerable and anxious due to sexism and gender discrimination over being a leftover woman. When trying to talk lightly about such a heavy topic in China, these circumstances become too sensitive to talk about. However the situations that these women are faced with are too serious

10 EAST | Winter 2016

to be ignored. It is only right that more attention is brought to their situations that they often suffer in silence. Since recent years, the derogatory term of being a ‘leftover woman’ has had so much negativity placed on it, no longer is it seen as more valuable for a woman to have achieved higher education and to be able to survive independently. Instead, without a man, these women are viewed as worthless and unwanted. One woman in Fincher’s book even mentions how she dropped out of the employment ladder in order to be seen as more suitable to marry and to be seen as less intimidating towards men so that she was given a

to financially help their daughters since they believe that is the role of a husband’s, whilst sons will receive all the financial support that their parents can provide them in order to find a suitor. Despite many women providing most of the funds for property, this will be kept quiet and ignored since it is seen as unusual for a woman to claim property rights. It is not only the lack of rec-


ognition that women should have in their financial contributions acknowl-

Chinese history there has always

edged, but also the emotional help that they lack from their parents and

been a preference

the harsh judgements they face from

for males

higher chance of marriage. From newspapers, films and even dramas, the term ‘leftover woman’ is seen as an increasing trend. Most troubling of all perhaps, would be the All-China Women’s Federation (a government organisation founded in 1949 claiming to defend women’s rights), who have even added to the stigmatisation of ‘lefto-

society. In darker cases, many women in

Fincher’s book have reported how the police have been unsupportive of their domestic problems stating that they should just “put up with it” and shockingly, Fincher writes how “marital rape is not considered a crime in China.” Despite activists trying to shed more light on the legal aspects of domestic rights for women, no further legislation by the government has seen to take place.

ver women’ and pushed the idea that women are in fact too old to marry after education and as quoted Nonetheless, many women across the country seen as ‘worthless without a husband and children have been reclaiming the label of being a leftover despite an impressive career, and do not deserve woman and turning it into a positive thing, spreadour sympathy.’ So, we must question how ing awareness for equality and creating a these women are able to stand confidentsense of unity by bringing women togethEven ly and securely in a society where women er. There has also been a resurgence of Confucius women protesting against sexism. More are automatically positioned as inferior to men. attention from the media on female activwrote, Throughout Chinese history, there has ists and bloggers have been reaching out always been a preference for males. Even “the woman across multiple platforms highlighting Confucius wrote, ‘the woman follows the women’s rights and the independence of follows man. In her youth she follows her father women. In a rapidly economizing China, and elder brother’ when married she folthe grounds for gender equality need to the man” lows her husband and when her husband be regarded as an equally important matis dead, she follows her son.’ Despite Mao ter and women’s voices in society must not claiming how women ‘hold up half the sky’, the pref- be ignored for any longer. Being a leftover woman erence and dominance of men over women is still an should be seen as something to be proud of, provon going culture that has not left China. In Fincher’s ing how women should not feel pressured to marry book, we witness how parents are often unwilling in order to be deemed by others. | EAST 11

– Celebrating a 400 Year Legacy — INTRoDUCING THE SHAkESPEARE - TANG PRojECT ‘ShakeSpeare through ChineSe eyeS’ by

Shanghai theatre aCademy at LeedS photoS by maLCoLm i. JohnSon (


years after William Shakespeare’s death, his plays continue to draw huge crowds. Many people in China, whether they speak much English or not,

performed in the summer at the University of Leeds Intercultural Theatre Festival and at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The work will consist of the Chinese students’ interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsum-

can quote the line ‘to be or not to be’ from the bard’s iconic play Hamlet. But did you know that China also has a culture-defining playwright who was alive at the same time?

mer Night’s Dream and a production by the British students based on Tang Xianzu’s A Dream Under the Southern Bough. The resulting work, A Midsummer Night’s DREAMING Under the Southern Bough (仲 夏夜梦南柯 in Chinese), will therefore not only look back and honour both playwrights’ 400-year legacy, but also provide a model for building upon this strong foundation to create an exciting, collaborative and culturally rich future for theatre. The international project is a collaboration between Staging China, stage@leeds, the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds and Beijing’s University of International Business & Economics. Visit to find out more.

When Shakespeare was in Stratford writing his iconic plays, Tang Xianzu was on the other side of the world in China producing work that would leave its mark on Chinese culture. 2016 also marks the 400th Anniversary of his death, making this the perfect year to celebrate both these prolific playwrights and examine their respective influences on theatre and culture over the last 400 years. The Shakespeare-Tang Project aims to do this throughout 2016 with talks, workshops, and performances. Students from Leeds and Beijing are collaborating on an original piece of theatre combining both Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu’s work, which will be

12 EAST | Winter 2016

If you are interested in supporting the project, please contact Ruru Li (Staging China) at or Steve Ansell (stage@leeds) at

– Programme for 2016 — For full details please visit DATE March 2



David Lindley & Paul Edmondson


on Shakespeare

March 8

Professor Zou Yuanjiang on Tang Xianzu and Ming theatre


March 16

Open rehearsal (work in progress)


March 14-28

British Academy Fellow Martin Butler on Shakespeare and Elizabethan/Jacobean theatre

China: Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai & Hangzhou

April 20

Professor Martin Butler on Shakespeare


May 4

Professor Li Ruru on Tang Xianzu and the kun theatre


June 17

Open Dress Rehearsal for Schools


June 27-28

Performance: A Dream Under the Southern Bough


July 27

Performance: Opening of Leeds Intercultural Theatre Festival: A Midsummer Night’s DREAMING Under the Southern Bough 《仲夏夜梦南柯》


July 28

Royal Shakespeare Company workshops for the theatre companies (stage@leeds and TS@UIBE); Leeds International Summer School; and the Pre-sessional English Course


July 29

Leeds University Library Special Collection workshop on the First Folio for the theatre companies (stage@leeds & TS@UIBE)


Seminar with students from the Pre-sessional English course August

Edinburgh Festival Fringe



Performances and seminars with professionals, academics, and local students


Spring 2017

Symposium: The Contemporary Value of the Classic

Leeds | EAST 13



uring my Year Abroad in Shanghai, I spent

As I arrived, I noticed that the majority of the

a week volunteering in a homeless shelter. It was one of the most fulfilling and interesting experiences I had in China as it gave me an insight into how the homeless are treated in China. This particular shelter specialised in helping the specially abled homeless people who are generally forgotten and completely disregarded by the Chinese Government and Chinese society as a whole. The shelter I volunteered at was run by a Christian organisation, it was one of the only homeless shelters I came across during my year there. One of the aims of the organisation was to introduce these people to God and remind them that despite the misfortune of their situation, God had not forgotten them. This message was one that resonated with me in particular as it was one of hope and love, something I feel, that many homeless people often lack as they exist only on the outskirts of society.

people at the shelter were male excluding a few staff members. For the first few hours, I was told to sit and chat to the homeless people. It was really interesting to talk to them, especially to hear about their views on foreigners in China. As a Black expat in China, many Chinese people regarded me as a novelty, as something so alien almost as if I were from a fantasy film. I spoke to one man in particular about the situation for Black people in America and informed him on the Ferguson Riots that were happening at the time. He was very chatty and said to me ‘no matter what colour your skin is in China, Chinese people don’t care’. I thought this was a very well-meaning statement but when reflecting on my personal experience in China, I am unsure as to how much truth there is to it. It became apparent to me that no matter how wealthy a person you were in China, a foreigner would always be treated as an outsider, as a subject of interest.

14 EAST | Winter 2016

After chatting, we moved on to games and

At first, I remember I was quite confused as to why

played ‘Uno’ with a group of about five others. I got

he had said this but as soon as the manager told

out my water bottle to take a drink and noticed many people looking at me, I over-

everyone to eat, I understood. It became

heard someone say something along

These people

the lines of ‘Her water is one of the

were starved,

expensive bottles; it’s one of the 10

clear that these people were starved, many of the people there may not have eaten in days and this could be

kuai bottles’. Just to clarify, 10 kuai is

many of the people

around £1 and you could often buy

there may not have

water for about 3kuai. Even though

get another so I had to be firm. Many

It immediately

people tried to argue for a bigger

became clear

Western Foreigner’. It also reminded

why arguments

ple were and how privileged I was to

could have

just be able to pick up any bottle of

broken out

piece and grew agitated when told they had to accept the one they had been given. With many of the homeless people simply milling around outside of

water that I wanted without having to

the shelter doors after closing time,

pay much attention to the price.

eating their water melon and chatting I

Following on from Uno, the head of the

remember watching them with a very heavy

shelter then called everyone round to sing of the lines of the hymn and just restated

arguments could have broken out.

some people would come back to try and

reinforced stereotypes of the ‘Rich

a Chinese hymn. He then analysed some


that it was only one piece per person and that

in the shelter knew the exact price of my

me just how impoverished these peo-


as they left. The manager again reinforced

thought it was so interesting how the people

changed their perception of me and


piece of watermelon to each person

day because I’d forgotten my usual one, I

water bottle and how this had probably


At the end of the day, I served a

eaten in days

I had only picked up that water that

their only warm meal of the week. It

heart because the reason these people had

These people

not yet returned home was clear; these people had nowhere to go. The shelter

the idea that God was with these peo-

had nowhere

was possibly the one place that these

ple. I thought it was very compassionate

to go and

people could come once a week to

homeless people, telling them not lose

nobody to

bath and a hot meal and chat to some

faith in God despite the misfortune of

turn to

familiar friendly faces. Outside of the

of the organisation to try to reach out to

their current situation. I then helped to serve lunch which was a typical Chinese meal of a large shared

escape the cold Shanghai winter, have a

shelter where I had just spoken to such lively and interesting individuals, it seemed these people no longer had a purpose

portion of boiled rice, a stewed meat dish and a

or meaning to their day. They now had nowhere to

vegetable dish. Before eating, the manager of the

go and nobody to turn to and even thinking back to

organisation said very sternly that this was not

it now brings a sense of sadness.

an area where violence or arguing was tolerated. | EAST 15

日本人はなぜ英語 W hy do Jap a n e s e 2013年

東京オリンピック招致に あたって滝川クリステルが 使った「おもてなし」という言葉はもはや日本


日本での英語が 必要とされる機 会の少なさについて。正直に言って日本から出

のインバウンドツーリズムの合言葉として定着 していると思う。日本のサービスは世界に誇る

なければ一部の人を除いてほぼ英語を必要とす る機会はない。英語で出版されている書籍も、

べきレベルにあるが一方で批判されているのが 日本人の英語力の低さだ。これにより、日本に 今まで以上に海外からの観光客を迎えても彼ら を案内できる人材が不足しているのではないか と懸念されている。日本人はたいてい13歳から 18歳までの間に学校教育で英語を6年間は勉強

ハリウッド映画も少し待てば日本語版が手に入 るのだ。英語を話せなくてもホワイトカラーの 職に就くことは可能だし、管理職になるために 一定のTOEICスコアが求められていたとしても そのスコアが高いからといって英語が話せるわ けではない。(TOEICでは聞くことと読むこと

する。(大学進学した場合は更に長い時間勉強 する)にもかかわらず、会話力の低さから「6 年?冗談でしょ?日本人は全然英語を話せない じゃない!」と揶揄される。でも少し待って欲 しい。あなたの周りにいるその日本人は本当に 英語が不得意なのか。英語で文章を書かせてみ たら(もしくは読ませてみたら)意外に英語が

しか求められない)つまり英語を話すインセン ティブが少ない。これは学生を離れてしばらく 経った人が英語を理解できなくなるのに十分な 理由だと思う。 スピーキング機会の少なさについ て。日本の英語教育の殆どは文法と 単語の学習に充てられる。このおかげで日本人

できるかもしれない。日本人は英語が不得意と いうより、英会話が不得意なのだ。私が思いつ いた理由は5つ。順に説明しよう.


は読んだり書いたりすることは比較的できるの だが、会話に慣れることができない。会話の機

1.英語で会話する機会が少ない 2.義務教育でのスピーキング機会が少ない 3.会話するネタがない、そして沈黙しても気まずくない 4.言わなくても察する文化 (high context culture) 5.謙遜を美徳とする文化 16 EAST | Winter 2016

が不得意なのか? St ruggl e wit h E n gl i sh ? 会が与えられない理由の一つには、日本人の英 語教師も同じような教育を受けて教師になって おり読解はできるが会話を教えられる力はない ことも挙げられると思う。そして社会に出ても 1のように英語を話すインセンティブがないの で、会話力はつかないというわけだ。 会話するネタと沈黙の時間につい て。日本では知らない人同士で会話 が始まる機会は他の国々に比べて少ない。たと えばバスを待っていて「いい天気ですね。」「 そうですね。この天気が明日も続くといいです


ね。」なんて会話もかなり少ない。大抵の場合 は沈黙している。それが普通の文化では、初め て会った外国人観光客と世間話をするなんてい う機会も少ない。そもそも日本人同士だったと しても、バスを待っているだけで話し始めるこ とが少ないので、そんな時のためのネタに乏し いのだ。 一度でも日本を訪れたことがある人なら、 言わなくても察する文化を体感した ことがあるかもしれない。察する ことのできない人はKY(空気<Kuuki>よめない <Yomenai>)と陰口を叩かれることもある。た とえば列車に乗っていて誰かが窓を開けたら、 近くの席の人が腕をさすっていたとする。その 場合は窓を開けた人が「すみません。寒かった ですか?すぐに閉めます。」と察して窓を閉め るのだ。ところが日本人以外にはこれは通用し ない。しかも日本人は英会話が不得意と来てい る。結果、外国人観光客がしたことに面と向か って注意ができず、外国人観光客も「悪いこと なら言ってくれれば止めたのに。」という相互 不理解も起こっていると思う。



謙遜を美徳と する文化につ

いて。日本人は謙遜する。もはやあまり聞かな くなった表現だが愚妻という言葉をそのまま英 語にしたら英語圏の妻たちは怒り狂うかもしれ ない。何も日本人夫が本当に自分の妻を愚かだ と思って言っているわけではない。自分や家族 の立場を下げることにより相手の立場を上げて いるのだ。英語力についても日本人はよく「自 分は英語がうまくない。あまり話せない。」な どと言う。本当に自信がないこともあるが、謙 遜もあるのだ。私は現在カナダのバンクーバー に在住しており、日本語を話せると言う人に出 会う機会もある。その「話せる」というレベル は「話せる?冗談でしょ?全然話せてないじゃ ない!」というものであることもしばしばだ。 単語を知っているだけのレベルは日本人にとっ て「話せる」とは言えない。日本人の英語はengrishなどと言われることもあるが、自称「日本 語が話せる」人はそのレベルにすら達していな いのだ。謙遜し、自信がないから英語を話す勇 気が出ず、結果英会話力が伸びないのだ。 この記事を読んで少しでも納得された方には、 インセンティブもなく文化的背景も異なり、自 信もないのに尚英語を話そうとする日本人をど うか温かい目で見守ってほしいと思う。あなた の温かさで自信がついた日本人が今後の日本人 の英会話力の向上に寄与するかもしれない。

by Masako Miki | EAST 17




the spring of 2015 I moved to China, where I spent four out of six months living and working in the city of Foshan, which is situated in China’s southern Guangdong province. As a satellite of the sprawling metropolis of Guangzhou - China’s third largest city - Foshan’s urban population of 7.2 million is considered relatively small. Its proximity to Guangzhou’s booming financial district has made it a hub for China’s newly emerged middle class, which, according to The Diplomat, is estimated to have surged from comprising a mere 4% of China’s population in 2000 to over 60% in 2012. This rapid expansion is reflected in the boom of construction which many Chinese cities, including Guangzhou, have experienced in recent years. Entire new neighbourhoods of tower blocks - most of them in close proximity to shopping malls - complete with parks, playgrounds, shops, swimming pools, gyms and even spas shape the urban landscape. Known as fēngbì xiǎoqū (gated or sealed communities), the one defining feature that they all share is that they are gated and guarded.

18 EAST | Winter 2016

When I first moved in to one of these complexes I did, admittedly, find the level of security unusual in comparison to my rural hometown and somewhat frustrating, especially considering that I sometimes had trouble just trying to leave a complex which I didn’t live in and therefore didn’t own a key card for. After talking to some Chinese colleagues about this I did begin to understand the importance of such stringent security measures. One friend shared her fears that her four year old son would soon learn to run too quickly for his grandparents to keep up with him, thus ruling out the option of taking him for walks even within their gated neighbourhood as this could put him at risk of being hurt or even kidnapped. Clearly then, there are advantages for keeping these areas private and off limits to strangers. However, when thinking of the social implications which living environments have for communities it becomes clear that the segregated nature of fēngbì xiǎoqū stem the flow between those who can afford to live within them and those who can’t; in other words, they drive a wedge between classes

the fēngbì xiǎoqū drive a wedge between classes and strengthen the feeling of exclusivity within the middle class and strengthen the feeling of exclusivity within the middle class. There are clear similarities be-

epitomised by the fēngbì xiǎoqū . I suppose this

tween the structures of these gated communities

notion of individualization was contrary to the impressions I had of China being a nation founded

and the way in which the social elite live in places such as California. It is relatively easy to draw a cor-

on principles of collectivism, but it was reading the news from home, in which there seemed to be a

relation between the introduction of more Western-style living arrangements and a shift towards

growing anxiety about the effects of gentrification and government cuts upon British culture, which

a more ‘Western’ mindset amongst the middle

gave me pause for thought. Coverage of things

classes, who seem to be embracing the ideals of

such as the rapid pace at which London is becoming an unaffordable place for anyone except

individualism in the race to get rich. Considering the fact that it has taken China roughly fifty years to surpass the economic advancement which the UK has been working on since the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century, it comes as no surprise that a diminished feeling of community-cohesion seems a small price to pay in exchange for a comfortable and even luxurious lifestyle - one which is

the upper echelons of society to live in, as well as the slow, silent extinction of working men’s clubs in the north of England (with youth clubs set to head the same way) suggests to me that to those in power, nurturing the concept of community is considered a superfluous expense.

Back in my fēngbì xiǎoqū the sense of community was still strong, despite the segregated living, with the garden being alive well into the night with kids playing basketball, groups doing tai chi or dance classes and families taking strolls together. Nevertheless, there was a sense of restriction; it felt strange to see old women standing outside an apartment block reliant on texting their friend or neighbour in order to pay them a visit and the only interaction between us and our neighbours was the 30 seconds during which we made small talk | EAST 19

whilst waiting for the lift. At the same time, on the other, less well-off side of town, dinner meant sitting at a table with strangers having a beer whilst āyí (aunty) cooked you noodles out of the front of her garage, which doubled up as a living room, complete with bed and TV. Even as a foreigner liv-

China’s economic development has clearly had many positive effects on its population, including an increase in GDP and life expectancy, the focus seems to be on assimilating with the Western economies and the materialistic, largely self-interested attitudes which they perpetuate. My hope is

ing in a Cantonese speaking area, in possession of questionable Mandarin speaking skills, I still felt a stronger sense of community in many parts of China than I ever have done in the UK. From being referred to as jiĕjie (big sister) by any children I talked to being taught dice games, invited to meals out or into the homes of people I barely knew, the hospitality and inclusivity of the people I met completely made up for the blatant stares I attracted as a tall, brunette European woman.

that, as more and more migrants flood China’s cities in search of work and the economy continues to expand, the core values of community are not left behind amongst the memories of more financially difficult times.


20 EAST | Winter 2016

我怀念 孙燕姿 - 逆光

影就会肆无忌惮地哭。我们会去KTV拿着 麦克嚎《死了都要爱》直到嗓子哑掉; 会和姐妹们组个团一起叫金谷园的外卖 然后比哪个馅的饺子更好吃;会等着某 部大片上映然后携闺蜜们一起坐在电影 院里看,然后在回学校的路上边走边吐 槽剧情;会在某个不开心的晚上找一堆 朋友去路边摊边吃串边喝啤酒,然后第 二天捂着肚子去上课;会吐槽一个老师 的讲课方式,然而考试周还会乖乖的熬 夜背书;会为了听某个名人的讲座在寒 冬排2个小时的队,然后发朋友圈炫耀自 己排到的票。这一切的一切仿佛是青春 的底片,在我的脑海中挥之不去。直到 毕业典礼上,董校宣布我们顺利毕业, 伴随着《凤凰花开的路口》,我们高高 地抛出了学士帽,大喊着:“我们毕业 啦!”那一刻,我又开心,又难过。我 知道,我无比珍惜的四年青春时光,在 这里,结束了。

有的时候我们怀念过去,是因为我们知 道,我们再也回不过去了。 今天东京下了一整天的雨。给自己 煲了汤,炒了鸡肉,晚上洗完澡便手捧 一杯热可可写日记。初冬的东京阴雨不 断,少了几分肃杀却多了几分阴冷。而 这两点,却都是我怕的。因为我怕冷。 有人说:怕冷的女孩子心一定是凉的。 每每冬季,我总是用厚重的外套把自己 包裹起来。心的温度,也会慢慢回暖起 来。而今年冬初,却依旧穿着丝袜,罩 着一个薄薄的外套,每天研究室和家两 点一线地跑着。在东京的生活寂静而又 繁忙。whatever,我就是喜欢。我喜 欢现在的生活,虽然有时我也会怀念过 然而生活还在继续。每个人还是带着梦 想,在属于我们的20岁的路上,顽强而 去。 又坚定地走下去。每天奔波于学校家里 渐渐自己才明白,事实上“享受现在” 的我,一边记着日程一边按部就班地生 和“怀念过去”其实是不矛盾的。这说 活。Strategic Environmental Manage明从过去到现在你所拥有的都还是美好 ment的老师这学期发了一堆哈佛商学院 的。因为美好才值得铭记,才值得你去 的论文,每当我一边抱着字典一遍努力 享受和怀念。今天和一个北师大的师妹 地读着的时候,总会想起以前自己本科 聊 天 。 师 妹 说 今 天 是 校 园 歌 手 大 赛 决 学日语一边读课文一边查字典预习的情 赛,大家都拿着票要去听。时光总是这 景。以前认为无比难的事情,在时间的 么轻易地在人的身边溜走,带走你的天 面前,总会变得简单。但改变我们的不 真 和 稚 嫩 , 然 后 还 你 一 张 成 熟 刻 板 的 止是时间,还有努力。它们的mixture换 脸。去年的校歌赛是11月6日。我大病初 来的成长,才是无坚不摧的。 愈外加教育实习结束,和寝室姐妹们携 手一起去体育馆门口排队入场。一首首 歌曲,时而高昂,时而温婉。兴起之时 坐在观众席上的我们携手高歌,忘我地 为自己支持的选手呐喊。那一刻,我知 道,青春就是听到自己喜欢的歌会唱, 看到自己喜欢的人会笑,吃到自己喜欢 的食物会手舞足蹈。看到让人感动的电

那些美好的,令人怀念的曾经终会逝 去。就像你手里所拥有的现在一样,无 论喜欢与否,也会被时间淹没。走好眼 下的路,是为了不将遗憾留给未来。而 怀念过去,通往未来的路就不会那么艰 辛了。人的成长就是这样:微笑保持善 良,理想不卑不亢。 | EAST 21

衣带渐宽终不悔,为伊消得人憔悴 樊柠淏




高中死记硬背下的那 些文学常识——婉约派词人的代表,市井词人

于柳词贴近平民百姓使得柳永才名远传,但却让 他受尽了那些自诩为“雅士”们的白眼。他追求



抱任何的感情的,甚至于受我那粗鄙的关于他的 了解的影响,我对于他也是有些“不屑”的,

名字柳三变改为柳永;为了功名,一身才气的他 甚至放下身段,做了些谄媚之词,据传那首《望

总觉得他不如苏轼“伟大”,有些“小家子气” 。但当我真正去深入了解他的时候,我为我之前

海潮》就是为求见孙何(当时官居两浙转运使, 驻节杭州,门禁甚严)而作。但种种的挣扎努

对于他的种种误解发自内心地感到羞愧。他,柳 永,才是当之无愧的第一才子,是宋词演进史上

力,却被宋仁宗的一句“汝自去浅酌低唱,要功 名何用”抹杀的一干二净,御笔四字“且去填

一个里程碑式的大词人。 柳永的确有才,才情上达天阙,下至黎民;

词”,断送了他的三十功名。这大概就是一种命 吧,柳永注定和功名无缘。不是你该走的路,你

所做曲词风传天下,号称“杨柳岸边,凡有井水 饮处,即能歌柳词”。那是个没有电话,没有电 视,没有媒体炒作的年代,一首好词的流行,从 此处到彼处,必定口耳相传。一个人的

是怎么也挤不进去的,柳永就是这般,他注定是 为词而活。 多年的坎坷,柳永终于灰心了,认清自己的 命途,顺应天意。他遂以妓为家,自称“

红,是要经过经年累月的积累的。而他柳 永就是能经受住时间的考验的真正的才子 词人。他的红,连东坡也羡慕。南宋俞 文豹在《吹剑续录》中记载:东坡在玉 堂,有幕士善讴,因问:“我词比柳词如 何?”对曰:“柳郎中词,只好十七八女 孩儿,执红牙拍板,唱‘杨柳岸,晓风残

柳 永

月’;学士词须关西大汉,执铁板唱‘大 江东去’。”公为止绝倒。能令才大如海 的苏轼起一时竞雄之心,柳永之才可见一 斑。 可惜,柳永虽获天下芳心,亦有才名,却在 仕途上始终不得意。究其原因,“罪魁祸首”还 是在他所作之词上。在当时,柳永的作品是不被 士大夫们所接纳的,诸如“浅近卑俗”、“语言 尘下”、“生态可憎”(王灼《碧鸡漫志》卷 二)等负面评价使他名声大大受损,他因此被贴 上了“腻柳”的标签,写进了千古词史。所谓“ 腻”,是指柳词内容上多倚红偎翠,浅吟低唱之 作,审美情趣上以大众市民情调取代贵族情调, 变“雅”为“俗”,着意采用生动活泼的市井通 俗语言,洋溢着浓厚的市民气息。这个“腻”字 评,正揭示出柳词“还俗”、面向市民大众的特

22 EAST | Winter 2016

奉旨填词柳三变”。他真的流连于烟花之 地,整日与伶人妓女来往。那些所谓的雅 士更是看不上他,讥笑他甘于“下流”。 严有翼《艺苑雌黄》评柳词曰:“大概非 羁旅穷愁之词,则闺门淫蝶之语。”这话 在我看来是有失偏颇的,尽管柳词中是有 些低级趣味的色情描写,但我不认为柳词

是下流的俚俗,相反,在柳词中自有一 种才子的放荡不羁,豁达明艳的境界。 他承李煜余绪,注重抒发个人真切细微 的感受,使得境界更加广大。这点在他的羁旅行 役之词中很好地体现了出来,即使在柳词的风花 雪月中也同样能体会到这一点,愈是风花雪月, 愈是情谊深长,也愈加地让我们认清柳永的与众 不同之处。那些所谓的雅士有谁曾倾听惨遭遗弃 的平民女子的痛苦心声,又有谁曾设身处地的去 感受伶工乐妓生活的艰辛和心灵的痛楚,在他们 看来舞女歌妓是下贱的,她们甚至连人都不是, 只是物品。对于她们,雅士们投以的是俯视的可 怜目光,只有柳永,是平等地看待他们,去聆听 去感受,用音乐劝慰她们。柳永对于舞女歌妓们 的爱与关切,换来了她们于他的真情与崇拜。“ 不愿君王召,愿得柳七叫;不愿千黄金,愿得柳



目中,能见上柳永一面,自己的名字能被他叫一 声,使柳永为自己填词一首,即使立即死去,她

后,每逢清明,都有舞女歌妓载酒于柳永墓前, 祭奠他,时人谓之“吊柳会”,也叫“上风流

们也心甘情愿。 是啊,平时,谁肯真心的为她们写下一字半

冢”。渐渐形成一种风俗,没有入“吊柳会”、 上“风流冢”者,甚至不敢到乐游原上踏青。后

句?那些“文人雅士”是不屑的,在他们眼中这 将会玷污了他们的笔;就算有那些酸腐文人偷偷

人有诗题柳永墓云:乐游原上妓如云,尽上风流 柳七坟。可笑纷纷缙绅辈,怜才不及众红裙。



真情,说到底,还不是被那些外在的美貌所蛊 惑。安意如曾在她的文章中这样写道:“女子无

永是真正的性情中人,他对女子的感情稀缺而珍 贵,即使隔了千年,还是如此之动人。就算在现

才便是德,她们才是真正的过客,一腔的苦无法 倾诉,生命就结束了。所以若有个人,天生敏

代社会中,这样的感情同样稀缺。从他词作中流 露出的真挚感情更是如金似玉,但就是这样的宝

感,绝顶聪明,博学多才,妙解音律,肯低下心 来,听她们的哀曲,是几世求得的福分?这个

贵感情却不被封建社会所允许。柳永的一生为人 所忌,皇帝不喜欢他,朝臣压制他,士人排挤

人,老天派来了,他就是柳永。” 晚年的柳永落魄潦倒身无分文,但他的死却

他,但是无论怎样诋毁他,也无法改变柳永是北 宋一大词家的事实,待后人拂去历史的尘埃,重


新审视他时,他的才情,他的可贵之处终将会在 眼前展现。 | EAST 23

Introducing the

Shakespeare - Tang Project

‘ShakeSpeare through ChineSe eyeS’ by Shanghai theatre aCademy at LeedS univerSity 10/12/15 Photos by Malcolm I. johnson ( WorkShop run by Shanghai theatre aCademy at LeedS univerSity 9/12/15 Photos by Malcolm I. johnson (

more information on page 12-13

9/12/15 Photos by Malcolm I. johnson (

more information on page 12-13

‘ShakeSpeare through ChineSe eyeS’ by Shanghai theatre aCademy at LeedS univerSity

Introducing the

Shakespeare - Tang Project

10/12/15 Photos by Malcolm I. johnson ( WorkShop run by

Shanghai theatre aCademy at LeedS univerSity 9/12/15 Photos by Malcolm I. johnson (

more information on page 12-13

Profile for EAST Magazine

EAST Magazine Winter 2016  

EAST Magazine Winter 2016  


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