. Tatsuru Uchida, a Japanese cultural scholar, pointed out that it is a deep-rooted “border” mentality: it doesn’t count if we say it, it’s reliable to say it from others. Who makes us “border people” who “lag behind people at the starting point”?

ancient tribute ships (data map)

about ten years ago, I was on a business trip in Japan and my destination was an industrial port in the North Kanto region. Early in the morning, before taking the high-speed train from Ueno station in Tokyo, I bought a copy of the morning magazine of Yomiuri Shimbun at the convenience kiosk for an hour and a half. When the train moved together, I adjusted my seat to the most comfortable angle and began to read the newspaper. An essay in the supplement almost made me spray out the canned coffee I had just drunk.

is a joke at the beginning of the essay to the effect that an international forum on elephants will be held in a country. As a result, Russian scholars submitted a paper with a very ideological Title: “elephant and atheism”; The most academic paper of German scholars: “on the living habits, cultural and philosophical background and historical origin of elephant groups”; Americans are very business. The title of the paper is “analysis of the profit model and potential market of elephant as an industry”; The romantic French are out of tune. The paper is “the love life of elephants”; At that time, the economy was in a continuous downturn, and Brazilian scholars on the brink of crisis could not hide their hesitation. They were concerned about “where are the elephants going”; Japanese scholars are the most engaged. The title of the paper is “how elephants treat Japan”. Of course, the article was written by Japanese writers, which is quite a bit like making fun of the Japanese. But objectively speaking, there is really no second nation in the world that cares as much about how the outside world views its own problems as the Japanese do. The Japanese who go abroad treat people and things locally. If they know that the other party has been to Japan, they will be very excited, but the next first question must be: what is your first impression of Japan? No matter officials, common people, scholars and businessmen, they have tried repeatedly.




this rootedness of Japanese people is generally considered to be not “calm”. It’s hard to imagine a careless American asking you what you think of America; Europeans have multiple values and cultural self-confidence. A Frenchman feels that there is no need to boast about the Louvre and the “left bank” culture to foreigners, because, as a supreme and pure art, it is there and no one can ignore it; Most Chinese people have all kinds of dissatisfaction with the domestic situation, but only in this way, their mentality seems to be more “open” and pay more attention to the external world. It’s not easy to catch a foreigner and maybe come up to consult others about immigration affairs. So, what is the root cause of the “uneasiness” of the Japanese? Tatsuru Uchida, a Japanese cultural scholar, pointed out that it is a deep-rooted “border” mentality: we don’t count on it. It’s only reliable to say it from others. Who makes us “border people” who “lag behind people at the starting point”?

the so-called “frontier” (henkyo, sometimes written as “frontier” in Japanese), the authoritative interpretation of “Guangci yuan” is “the national boundary, national boundary, or such place far away from the central government”. Although this vocabulary contains geopolitical meaning, the main language sense is cultural, which refers to a corner and marginalized situation (or territory); “Country” in “national boundaries and borders” does not exclude countries in the sense of geography, politics and international law, but it also means “Hometown” and “local” in different contexts. For example, the classic opening of Kawabata Yasunari’s famous work “snow country” is “through the long tunnel of the county boundary, it is the snow country. The night sky is white. The train stops in front of the signal post…” among them, the original text of “county boundary” uses “National boundary”. Neida believes that the positioning of “border” in the sense of geography and geopolitics is of great significance to the formation of Japanese special cultural psychology, It has played a decisive role in a deep level: “the ‘character of the frontier people’ has been deeply written into the national identity of the residents of the Japanese islands. The characteristic of this national identity is the incompetent consciousness that ‘I do not have the ability to create systems from scratch (systems are introduced from the outside).”

since “border” is a relative concept that deviates from the mainstream and is marginalized, there is a subjective existence that occupies the core of value; Vice versa: the concept of “border” only exists when there is a dignified Chinese value system. The definition given by neida is: “the concept of ‘border’ is opposite to ‘China’. The concept of ‘border’ is meaningful only in the cosmology of ‘Huayi order’.” Therefore, for two thousand years, the great empire had a world without a world. Relying on the tributary system from near to far, it radiated the “moral government” of the Chinese dynasty to the “border” areas such as “Dongyi”, “Xirong”, “Nanman” and “Beidi”, and effectively maintained the “order of Hua and Yi”. As a remote branch of the “Dongyi”, Japan, although separated by mountains and seas, is still illuminated by the light of “kingization” of the Chinese dynasty. Empress Pei Mihu of the country of evil horse Taiwan was officially canonized by the Chinese emperor () and was granted the title of “Pro Wei Japanese King”, thus avoiding the fate of becoming a dark “foreign country”.

however, Japan “does not know its happiness in the midst of happiness”, which has exposed its “barbarian” nature that is difficult to assimilate: according to the records of the book of Sui and the biography of the kingdom of Japan, in the third year of Daye (AD 607), crown prince Shengde sent a special envoy, sister Ono, to visit the Sui Dynasty and submitted a national document saying that “the sun originates from the son of heaven and sends a letter to the son of heaven. It is safe and sound”. Even (SUI Yang) “when the emperor was unhappy, he said that Hong Luqing said that those who were rude to barbarian books should not be heard again”.

is a historical record, which makes people feel better for more than a thousand years! Especially since modern times, Japanese historians have been scrambling to interpret and demonstrate that as early as the era of Prince St. De, the rulers of the island countries had sprouted the “two hearts” to compete with each other, in order to emphasize their “independence”. If you look at it literally, this statement really makes sense. At that time, Japan had completed its reunificationOne. Under the leadership of Prince St. De, he continued to introduce China’s advanced civilization, determined to innovate, and the weather changed greatly, which also laid the foundation for the later “Dahua reform” (A.D. 646). For the rulers, there is likely to be a “great wish” to live on an equal footing with the advanced countries on the mainland. However, it is doubtful whether this “great wish” has reached the level of embracing “two hearts” and openly “challenging”. Because, in the same record, there is such a paragraph:

the king met Qing Dayue and said: I heard that there was a great Sui Dynasty in the west of the sea, a country of etiquette and righteousness, so I sent tribute; We foreigners are isolated in the corner of the sea. We don’t hear etiquette and righteousness. We stay in the territory and meet each other immediately. Now, the Qing Road decoration hall is waiting for the ambassador, hoping to hear the new transformation of a great country.

if there was an “attempt” to compete with the Sui Dynasty at that time, why should there be such a modest word as “I foreigners are remote in the corner of the sea and don’t hear etiquette and righteousness”? Isn’t this explicit and self demonizing?

for this, Uchida also has his own interpretation: “Here, I came up with a more ‘sinister’ idea. I think Prince Shengde may have adopted a high-level diplomatic skill, that is, pretending not to know the diplomatic rules of the other party. After Prince Shengde, up to now, ‘pretending not to understand the rules adopted by the other party, as long as there are benefits’ is still the traditional diplomatic strategy used by the Japanese.” It should be said that neitian’s “insidious” is not the conjecture of scholars, but the judgment based on historical facts. As a matter of fact, it is not the strategy of the “frontier people” from the “vassal areas” to deal with the imperial court representing the Chinese Empire to pretend to “don’t know” and win real benefits by “don’t know”. Typical examples are the “KANHE trade” in the Ming Dynasty: in order to prevent the harassment of Japanese pirates, a strict sea ban policy was implemented in the early and middle Ming Dynasty, “no board is allowed to go to the sea”, ordinary merchant ships are prohibited from trading, and only tribute ships are allowed to trade in China. The Ming Dynasty often paid tribute to the “vassal state” with several times or even ten times of gifts, and the reception of the trade mission was extremely generous and considerate (Nan Yexi, a member of the mission and who had been to the Ming Dynasty twice, sighed with tolerance that the Ming Dynasty was really a “rare country of good governance”) – in exchange for the tribute country in this unequal way of “giving favors but not giving favors” The political respect of the nation is not only one of the links of “moral government”, but also a united front strategy. Japan seized the Chinese mentality and under the banner of “tribute trade”, in addition to the acceptable tributes of both sides, it often attached a large number of square objects and even contraband swords and weapons, in order to buy them at the “United Front” price far higher than the market price, with amazing profits. Even in Japan, strong vassals have been coming out to compete for KANHE, and even did not hesitate to loot halfway. There have been several tribute contests (such as the “Ningbo tribute contest” in Zhengde’s four years).




Japanese people are known for their seriousness, but when they introduced China’s laws and regulations, they seemed to have the suspicion of “Ma Daha”: they introduced all kinds of systems, from politics to culture, and even copied the words without error, but left the imperial examination and eunuch system alone. How do you think about it? How do you feel strange. Naida believes that it is not that the Japanese feel that these two systems are inadequate after a review, but that these systems seem to be not in the right way with their “family style”, so they pretend not to know the existence of these systems. But they will not deliberately refute, but quietly and low-key “give up love” – the so-called “superficial obedience, inner dissatisfaction” is the remarkable psychological characteristics of border people. This “inner dissatisfaction” emotion will have different manifestations in different periods, which depends on its own strength level and the growth and decline of its strength with the central country (China).

Uchida said when thinking about why the Japanese rulers took the conquest of the Korean Peninsula as the country’s diplomatic strategy and its purpose in the early Meiji period, because “in the eyes of Meiji people, ‘Japan is China'”. But in fact, nearly 200 years before the Meiji Restoration, the rulers of the island countries in the Edo era, from Toyotomi Hideyoshi to Tokugawa Jiakang, began to seek to rebuild the ideological framework of Japan’s independence by banning Catholic missionaries and “de Sinicization”, so as to determine the direction of the country’s development. Over the past two thousand years, Japanese cats have benefited a lot from the protection of Chinese civilization, but their inner anger is also growing. Seeking autonomy by “de Sinicization” has long been a “ontological need” and is expanding day by day. However, it is paradoxical that although Japan has been known as the “Kingdom of God” since ancient times, those who have strategically established the direction and ideologically completed the great task of rebuilding the subjectivity of local culture are not Shinto or Buddhism, but Confucianism (Zhu Zixue) imported from China; The path of their “rebuilding” self ideology is nothing else, but to subvert the traditional “Hua Yi order”: in the eyes of Zhu Zi scholars at that time (such as Lin Luoshan, Zhongjiang tengshu, Shanlu Suxing, etc.), the “Hua” of China is Japan. So far, the construction of the new ideological framework of the so-called “Japanese Chinese order” has been completed, with Japan at the top and at the core, while China, an ancient country on the mainland, has turned against “China” into “barbarians”. It can be said that for 300 years since the Edo era, the island country has always been in the carnival and consumption of this illusory “subject ideology”, which is difficult to extricate itself.

in this way, it completely exposed the Japanese people’s “border” mentality. In this regard, neida pointed out: “if the border people really want to surpass the Chinese thought and get rid of the shackles of the Chinese and foreign order, they must first create a relationship different from the relationship between the center and the border”; “If we put aside the relationship between ‘center and border’, we can’t tell the origin and mission of our country. In fact, we don’t have the opportunity.” The so-called “spekds” and “spkds” refer to the beginning of Japan’s involvement in the international society after the “Meiji” and “spkds”. At this time, the international community is already “full of political ideas different from the cosmology of the Chinese and foreign order. Japan can adopt diplomatic strategy based on the premise other than the Chinese and foreign order”. Objectively speaking, in 1648, European countries signed the Westphalia contract, and a new framework of modern international relations has been formed between countries. However, Japanese people’s thinking has not yet been transformed – to borrow neida’s expression, they have “stopped thinking” within the framework of “Huayi order”