(Translation) 丁若鏞 日本論一

장서각위키
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Introduction

Original Script

Classical Chinese English

日本,今無憂也。余讀其所謂古學先生 伊藤氏所爲文及荻先生ㆍ太宰純等所論經義,皆燦然以文,由是知日本今無憂也。雖其議論間有迂曲,其文勝則已甚矣。夫夷狄之所以難禦者,以無文也。無文則無禮義廉恥以愧其奮發鷙悍之心者也,無長慮遠計以格其貪婪㩴取之慾者也。如虎豹豺狼,怒則囓之,饞則啗之,復安有商度可否於其間哉?斯其所以爲難禦也,斯其所以可畏也。昔我邦之無文也,隋 煬頓百萬之師,而不得尺寸之地,太宗傾中國之力,眇一目以去,高麗之世,臣服女眞,威制琉球。自文物寢盛,禮義相尙,而有外寇至,唯知拱手而奉獻,此其明驗也。日本之俗,喜浮屠,尙武力,唯剽掠沿海諸國,奪其寶貨糧帛,以充其目前之慾。故我邦爲患,自新羅以來,未嘗數十年無事,中國 江ㆍ浙之間,連年攻劫,至大明之末,其患不息。今我邦州縣不與交兵,已二百餘年,中國互相市貨,舟航絡續。苟非有禮義文物,有以大變其輕窕貪賊之俗,何累千百年莫之或改者,能一朝而帖然寧息如此哉?有欲興兵者,其左右諫之曰:“得其地不可守,竊其財有盜賊之名。” 有欲興師者,其左右諫之曰:“某時興師伐之,片甲不還,某時興師伐之,國隨以亡。” 於是乎止,此皆文勝之效也。文勝者,武事不競,不妄動以規利。彼數子者,其談經說禮如此,其國必有崇禮義而慮久遠者。故曰,日本今無憂也。

There is no need to worry about Japan these days. I have read Mr. Ito, the so-called teacher of Classics, Mr. Ogyū, and Mr. Dazai’s discussions of Classics and found that they were all fantastic pieces, and thereby, I know that we do not need to worry about Japan now. Even though these two scholars’ points of view were somewhat circuitous sometimes, their writings were exceptional. The reason that barbarians are difficult to defend against is that they do not have a culture of literacy. No literature means no rituals, righteousness, and the sense of honor to feel ashamed about their ideas to attack others. They have no plan for the future and thus do not stop being greedy and plundering others. They are like tigers, leopards, jackals, and wolves, when they are angry, they will gnaw, and when they are hungry, they will bite, how could it be possible to negotiate with them? That is why they are terrifying and hard to be stopped. In the past, our state did not have a culture of literature. Emperor Tang of the Sui used to lead millions of armies to invade us, but could not obtain a piece of land. During the Tang period, Emperor Taizu mobilized the whole state’s army (to invade us), but withdrew soon after arriving. During the Koryo period, the Tang made the Jurchens submit and controlled the Ryūkyū kingdom. As long as the state has prosperous civilizations, sustained upon rituals and righteousness, even if the barbarians come to attack, they would only voluntarily submit, which has been clearly prooved in the past. Japanese culture values Buddhism and promotes military strength. Japanese invaded coastal states and deprived these states of treasures, goods, grains, and clothes to fulfill their current greediness. Therefore, it became a concern to our state. Since the Silla period, there wasn't a decade without incidents. Attacking and robbing happened annually; worries did not stop until the late Ming period. It has been around two hundred years since Japan did not have wars with any provinces and counties of our state. It traded with China both on land and at sea. If Japanese do not have rituals and a culture of literature, how could their natures of being frivolous, greedy and stealing be dramatically changed, let alone how could the customs kept for thousands of years be completely pacified overnight? Whenever a war was proposed, remonstrance officials would suggest that “even though we got the land, we can not sustain it, and we would only leave the name of being a thief.” Whenever an invasion was proposed, remonstrance officials would say that “we invaded there before, but none of our forces returned; we invaded there in the past, but the state collapsed soon after the invasion.” These invasions could be all prevented by the influence of a culture of literature. Civilized/literate people did not compete with militaries, did not act in a hurry, but followed rules. Since the figures mentioned as above discussed Classics in this way, their state must have people who respect rituals and righteousness, and thus concerned about the state’s future. Therefore, there are no worries about Japan today.

Discussion Questions


Further Readings


Translation

(sample) : Jaeyoon Song


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Student 2 : Ze, Xiaoyi


There is no need to worry about Japan these days. I have read Mr. Ito, the so-called teacher of Classics, Mr. Ogyū, and Mr. Dazai’s discussions of Classics and found that they were all fantastic pieces, and thereby, I know that we do not need to worry about Japan now. Even though these two scholars’ points of view were somewhat circuitous sometimes, their writings were exceptional. The reason that barbarians are difficult to defend against is that they do not have a culture of literacy. No literature means no rituals, righteousness, and the sense of honor to feel ashamed about their ideas to attack others. They have no plan for the future and thus do not stop being greedy and plundering others. They are like tigers, leopards, jackals, and wolves, when they are angry, they will gnaw, and when they are hungry, they will bite, how could it be possible to negotiate with them? That is why they are terrifying and hard to be stopped. In the past, our state did not have a culture of literature. Emperor Tang of the Sui used to lead millions of armies to invade us, but could not obtain a piece of land. During the Tang period, Emperor Taizu mobilized the whole state’s army (to invade us), but withdrew soon after arriving. During the Koryo period, the Tang made the Jurchens submit and controlled the Ryūkyū kingdom. As long as the state has prosperous civilizations, sustained upon rituals and righteousness, even if the barbarians come to attack, they would only voluntarily submit, which has been clearly prooved in the past. Japanese culture values Buddhism and promotes military strength. Japanese invaded coastal states and deprived these states of treasures, goods, grains, and clothes to fulfill their current greediness. Therefore, it became a concern to our state. Since the Silla period, there wasn't a decade without incidents. Attacking and robbing happened annually; worries did not stop until the late Ming period. It has been around two hundred years since Japan did not have wars with any provinces and counties of our state. It traded with China both on land and at sea. If Japanese do not have rituals and a culture of literature, how could their natures of being frivolous, greedy and stealing be dramatically changed, let alone how could the customs kept for thousands of years be completely pacified overnight? Whenever a war was proposed, remonstrance officials would suggest that “even though we got the land, we can not sustain it, and we would only leave the name of being a thief.” Whenever an invasion was proposed, remonstrance officials would say that “we invaded there before, but none of our forces returned; we invaded there in the past, but the state collapsed soon after the invasion.” These invasions could be all prevented by the influence of a culture of literature. Civilized/literate people did not compete with militaries, did not act in a hurry, but followed rules. Since the figures mentioned as above discussed Classics in this way, their state must have people who respect rituals and righteousness, and thus concerned about the state’s future. Therefore, there are no worries about Japan today

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