Mo Yan - The People of Hokkaido Full Text Appreciation

Mo Yan-"The People of Hokkaido

Mo Yan - The People of Hokkaido Full Text Appreciation

On December 26, 2004, under the careful planning of Mao Danqing, a writer in Japan, and Mr. Takada Eiki, the director of the Economic Exchange Office of Sapporo City, the capital of Hokkaido, in Beijing, I set foot on the long-awaited land of Hokkaido with a group of Chinese writers and journalists. The trip took 12 days and covered 3,000 miles. During that time, I saw countless wonders and ate many delicacies. We experienced the unique feeling of "open-air ryokan" and saw the amazing creatures such as "kurionai". All of these are shown in the beautiful articles and photos by fellow journalists in this book, and I am aware that I am too clumsy to repeat them. But the style of this book requires an article by me. I had to write a perfunctory article on what you ladies and gentlemen did not write about. I think the world travel and tourism mecca, to attract tourists, in addition to the beauty of food, but also beauty. The beauty here, and not only refers to the beautiful woman, and not only refers to the beautiful appearance of people, can be a long time to comfort the hearts of travelers, or the local people show the simplicity, kindness, dedication and many other virtues.

Organizing my thoughts is like looking through the photos stored in my digital camera. The first one that comes to mind is Ishikawa Woodpecker in Odori Park in Sapporo City. This is a bronze statue of a dead poet that I took a picture with. Because of his haiku, "On an autumn night, the street smells like roasted corn," I felt that he was close to my heart. The quiet, dark autumn night, the corn roasting oven on the corner, the bright light, the lingering smoke, the fragrant smell, the lonely night walkers and the lonely corn roasters are all frozen in a simple verse, and can be restored immediately in the imagination, just like the magical green algae, which can be revived by soaking in water even if it has been dry for a hundred years. Because of poetry, he has in fact gained eternal life.

Then there was the female university student of the Da Cang Mountain ski resort, who was wearing a red ski suit, with white frost on her long eyelashes coated with eyelash oil, and a red face, like a red plum in the snow, overflowing with a healthy spirit. I talked with her while the camera filmed in the back and the reporters circled around to take pictures. She was a little shy, a really nice girl. She said she was a second-year student at Hokkaido University, majoring in physics, and had come here to ski, not for merit, but because of interest, a desire for adventure, and to exercise her courage. We saw her flying down the mountain and down the mountain. I asked her if she had the feeling of soaring on wings like an eagle at the moment of leaping in the air, and she smiled without answering, her smile innocent and childish.

The next person to appear was the smiling Ikuko Takada, a frail middle-aged woman who is the owner of the green bulb teahouse. Her teahouse, a narrow field with a circle of tables, surrounded the worktable. The roof was as dark and shiny as a glaze from years of smoke and fire. Such a small place was packed with eighteen of us diners. We gathered around her, watched her operate, and waited for her to share the food with us. She was the owner, the chef, and the host. The scene reminded me of a mother and her children sitting around a table, and of a bird's nest with stretched-out baby birds waiting for the mother to come and feed them. It seems a bit pretentious that this association is not in line with our status and age, but it is an association that still moves me to this day. The diligence and humility of the Japanese women, and the heartfelt warmth and gratitude of the Japanese buyers and sellers for their guests, are all things I will never forget. That night, we tasted a lot of delicious food that could be applauded. The delicious food will be forgotten eventually, but the tired smiling face of the owner's wife, shrouded in smoke, will be remembered for the rest of our lives.

Mr. Isamu Ishida, a horse breeder at Kentucky Ranch in the Hidaka area, seemed to be standing in front of me at that moment. He was tall and sturdy, and he had the characteristic boldness of a man who could tame a strong horse. The wind was cold, the snow was blanketed, and purebred English horses were running on the horse farm. This is a man who knows the language of horses, and an ambitious entrepreneur. He also has a horse farm in Tongzhou District, Beijing, and plans to build several more horse farms in the northwest of China. He believes that in the near future, there will be many venues in mainland China, too, that will need horses as elegant as swans. In his warm, spring-like beach house, we drank piping hot coffee and talked to him about horses. He knows all the famous horses in the world like the back of his hand, and he knows the horse farms all over China like the back of his hand. This is a man who really knows and loves horses, and even many of his expressions resemble horses. He provided us with a recipe for horses: oats, alfalfa, sunflower seeds, honey, garlic, and soy sauce ...... What a great meal for these happy horses. From his house, we ascended to the lookout of the ranch and saw a couple of riders, showering several horses that had just been exercised. Behind his house, the gray waves of the Pacific Ocean pounded against the reef with a lazy roar.

The horse breeder was followed by Kanichi Sakuma, a cattle breeder at the Kusatsuchi Ranch in Akan-cho. He wore high slip-resistant rubber shoes, thin work clothes, a purple face and neck, thick fingers, cracked skin, and the smell of forage mixed with cow manure. We were still shivering in our heavy clothes, but he looked so open that he didn't seem to feel the cold. He showed us the cows, the feed yard, the milking parlor and the milk storage tanks. This was a simple man who reminded me of those big brothers and uncles back home. This is a man who is useful to society by providing milk for the people. It is said that the average height of children in Japan has increased by two centimeters in thirty years because the government promotes milk for children. In fact, this man may not be as old as I am; in fact, if I had not left my hometown as a soldier and taken up the business of literary creation, I might have been a professional cattle farmer in my hometown. The people need people who can provide them with milk, and it doesn't matter if there is one more or one less novelist. The cattle farmer Kanichi Sakuma and his cows evoked in me a deep feeling for the land and the cows. In fact, I am still a farmer at heart.

At the bottom of the sizzling, scorching gas, there is an old couple selling sulphur eggs. In the windbreak, a campfire was burning and a small tent was set up. There, dressed in shabby and dirty clothes, with their hands and faces full of dust, they calmly waited for visitors to buy the eggs they had baked by the sulfur steam hole. The hard conditions, the heavy and lonely work, the meager profits, they have been doing it for decades. This old couple, dependent on each other, has formed part of the landscape of Brimstone Hill. Many people buy their eggs, not necessarily because they really want to eat them, but rather as a ritual to fulfill a ritual. Such people are the true lower class people. Life is hard, but there is not much misery on their faces, but a kind of peace that is happy to know their lives. I was deeply moved by this peace. If everyone, all want to get ahead, all want to make a splash, do not want to do ordinary work, then the world, there will be no peace.

A person older than the old couple who sold sulfur eggs is Mr. Kiyoharu Dangbetsu, an old hunter in Dangbetsu, who is eighty-eight years old with a foreign accent. He had been sick in bed for many days, but when he heard that I was coming to visit, he sat up on purpose. In fact, he sat up not for me, but for Liu Lianren, my extraordinary hometown friend who had lived as a savage in Hokkaido for thirteen years. According to his family, his memory has been seriously deteriorated, but mentioning the discovery and participation in the rescue of Liu Lianren more than forty years ago, his dull gaze suddenly put out a glow, his memory was activated, and his slurred speech, also became clear. This was a small man of ordinary appearance, whose name would have been difficult for Chinese people to know if they had not stumbled upon the cave where Liu Lianren was living. But now, his name and Liu Lianren's name are so tightly bound together that he is almost a household name in my hometown. The war was like a giant wave rattling two grains of sand, bringing these two disparate people together, colliding to become legends. When Beichen built a monument and a sculpture for Liu Lianren and established a committee to preach Liu Lianren's deeds, many enthusiastic people, on a voluntary basis, did the work. The monument and sculpture are made of black stone, not too tall, but solemn and heavy against the snow-capped sky. When the car was about to leave, the old man's face was pressed against the window glass looking at us. I got out of the car and went over, shouting through the glass: Sashonara, Sashonara ...... words were said, but I knew I would never see this old man again.

Mo Yan - The People of Hokkaido Full Text Appreciation

As soon as we got on the bus, Ms. Shiho Ekiji, an employee of the Sapporo City Tourism and Culture Bureau, talked to us about the itinerary, food, and local history. There were times when we were so tired that we got bored with her explanations. I even called her a "chatterbox", but I soon regretted it. Ms. Citation accompanied us for twelve days, taking care of everything, getting up early and going to bed late every day, which was very hard. On the day we went to the ski resort, she even got up early and went up the mountain to explore the snow for us. A small woman, so dedicated, so able to suffer, really respectable and admirable. The boarding dinner, Miss Citation mission is about to be completed, finally relaxed, more than a glass of beer, little face red, laughter, Fang showed the daughter's true colors.

Mo Yan - The People of Hokkaido Full Text Appreciation

There were many people who came to us, including Mr. Arai Kou, the head of the Sapporo City Tourism and Culture Bureau, Mr. Asamura Shinhiko, the head of the department, the two drivers who drove us, Ms. Misa, Ms. Tokai Hayashi Sahoori, who looked like a civet cat and could sing and dance well, Mr. Kiichiro Kizuya Road, who helped Liu Lianren, Mr. Izutei Toshihiko, the head of the town, who wrote the inscription for the memorial of Liu Lianren's death, and many other people from Hokkaido who served us. The smiling faces and enthusiasm of the townspeople of Dambetsu and many other Hokkaido people who have served us have been deposited in our minds as one with the natural beauty of Hokkaido. We met most of them in passing and will not see them again in this life, but the impressions they left on us and the gratitude we have for them will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

Mo Yan - The People of Hokkaido Full Text Appreciation