Wednesday, April 01, 2015


I think my Japanese friends had a very enjoyable first visit to Shanghai. Here, in strict chronological order, are some highlights of the trip.

Details of the Peace Hotel, the Bund, where they stayed

Flowers and a classic ride at Luxun Park

Neighborhood where early 20th C. Japanese-Chinese literati gathered

Scenes from Suzhou, including Hanshansi, a temple devoted to a poem about that temple, and home to what may be the world's biggest bell

Not included are scenes of assorted delicious meals (for which the hotpot below will have to stand in, along with the view at top from the window of a pricy place on the Bund). One of my friends studies early 20th century Chinese literature, and has come to China once before (to Dongbei!), also in search of traces of a time when China was an important part both of Japan's imperial ambitions and cultural self-understanding, so they sought out the site of the bookstore run by Uchiyama Kanzo, friend of Lu Xün, buildings at Jiaotong University built during the Japanese occupation, etc. If the reaction to Shanghai was that this recent history was 言い難い hard to talk about, Suzhou produced a different reaction again (a reminder that Shanghai is relatively easy for foreigners to digest). Outside 寒山寺 in Suzhou, named after a poet who wrote before writing arrived in Japan, she said that China's ancient history made her as a Japanese feel ばかばかしい like a provincial dolt. Her summary word for the trip was すごすぎる too great. Even without "world's top Xs" it is indeed a bit much, this China!

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