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He Wei’s Essay: Memories of a Historic Scene  — On the Nanjing ceremony of Japanese surrender 40 years ago– 何为《回忆一个历史镜头——记四十年前日军在南京投降仪式》

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回忆一个历史镜头

 ——记四十年前日军在南京投降仪式

◎ 何为

在中国抗日战争[1]和世界反法西斯战争胜利四十周年的纪念日子里,我想起四十年前的一个历史镜头。那是一九四五年九月九日,日军对华投降仪式的一次采访。

抗战刚刚结束,一个炎夏日子,柯灵同志介绍我在复刊后的上海文汇报工作[2]。我很幸运,到职后约一个月,便以该报特派记者身份,去南京采访那个历史时刻的现场实景,同行的是摄影记者穆一龙。

车抵南京,费了一番周折,办妥了入场采访的各项手续,终于在日军投降签字仪式举行前及时赶到,得以目击这一历史性的场面。

是日,南京黄埔路“中国陆军司令部”大门外的广场上,来往军人骤增。到处可见大写V字,即英文Victory(胜利)的第一个字母也。通向大礼堂的甬道两侧,全部美式配备的岗哨林立,吉普车往来不绝。间或可见三三两两的美国宪兵协助警戒。景象森严,气氛肃穆,确是一个不同寻常的日子。

按照印发的时间表,仪式于上午九时举行,“投降代表务必于八时五十二分到会场”,实际上是八时五十五分到场的,迟了三分钟。代表投降一方的是驻华日军最高指挥官陆军大将冈村宁次[3],偕同其高级幕僚共七人,在一名国民党上校军官带领下,乘车到达。聚集在门前的上百名中外记者,纷纷摄取这一情景。

此时在大礼堂内,一片凝固的沉默。礼堂中央的一侧,设一较小的长条案,为日军投降代表席,其后站立十二名全副武装的士兵。与投降席相对,另一侧的条桌宽长得多,这边是国民党高级将领及中国记者席。国民党陆军一级上将何应钦代表中国接受降书。介乎两桌之间的边侧置有一长桌,乃盟国代表和外国记者坐席。桌上都铺着白桌布。所有参与其盛的人员均依次坐定,默默等待着那庄严时刻的到来,等待着日军降将进入大厅。

在这一瞬间,我的思潮翻腾。八年抗战的灾难日子,任人宰割的中华民族,国土沦丧的屈辱生活,从此一去不复返了。然而内战的乌云笼罩着中国疆土之上,中国人民真正站起来的日子还有所待。不过我深信,这个日子将不是很远了。

这时我注意到,日军代表的投降席条案上摆着一台小时钟,还有一套纸墨笔砚。文具当然是签降书用的,至于小时钟的用意则就不得而知了。

八时五十八分,礼堂内灯光闪亮,摄影机纷纷开动。众目睽睽下,日军投降代表被引导入场,先站在规定的地位,立正,然后向何总司令鞠躬。何矜持地示意他们可入席坐下,便转向中外记者宣布,距签字式只有“最后五分钟”了。于是中外记者一阵忙乱,场子里一阵响动。

九时零四分,何总司令站在盟国国旗下主持受降式,令冈村宁次大将递上证明文件。冈村一身戎装,脸色铁青,毫无表情,坐在其旁的驻华日军总参谋长陆军中将小林浅三郎,持证明文件走过来,经何应钦验阅后将文件留下。

紧接着,两份日军降书中文本,交由小林参谋长转给位于投降席居中的冈村宁次。冈村起立,双手接过降书,取用案上的毛笔签字盖章。其中一份命小林参谋长交于冈村。投降签字的过程约五分钟。仪式历时二十分钟,日军投降代表随即被引导退出。

有一个细节不妨一记[4]:我从旁观察何应钦向其僚属低语,原来他要那支有历史意义的毛笔留作纪念。

风云变幻数十年,当年的日军投降书早已存入历史的档案,用于投降书上签署的那支毛笔大概也不知去向。历史是无情的,有它自己的轨迹和方向,伟大的中国人民抗日民族自卫战争终于胜利了。日本军国主义者以战败而告终。侵略者在中国大地上留下的那一段血腥的罪恶历史,任何人都无法篡改,更不容抹煞[5]。历史只能还它本来的面目。

四年前我在日本旅行的时候,广泛接触到日本各阶层的人民,他们对过去日本军国主义者侵占中国领土,都抱有沉重的赎罪心情。有一回,北海道的一户牧场主看见我们伏地便拜。这是我亲眼目睹的事实。我能够理解日本人民的感情。他们也是军国主义的受害者。

从一九四五年九月九日到一九八五年九月九日,整整四十年过去了。回忆四十年前的那次采访,使我得以重温历史的一页,也促使我进一步对历史的回忆和思考。

《回忆一个历史镜头》是当代著名作家何为写于1985年9月的一篇回忆录。

[1]“中国抗日战争”通常译为China’s war of resistance against Japanese aggression,也有人把它译为China’s anti-Japanese war,虽较简短,但欠周全,未能充分传递原意。

[2]“柯灵同志介绍我在……上海文汇报工作”译为I got a job through Ke Ling as a staff member of the Shanghai Wen Hui Bao,其中through一词作“经……介绍”解,意同on the recommendation of。

[3]“驻华日军最高指挥官陆军大将冈村宁次”本可译为Yasuji Okamura, commanding general of the Japanese ground forces on the China mainland或General Yasuji Okamura, commander-in-chief of the Japanese army in China等,均欠妥切,现译General Yasuji Okamura, supreme commander of the Japanese invading forces in China (或the Japanese forces of aggression in China)。

[4]“有一个细节不妨一记”可按“不妨谈谈一个花絮”译为There is a titbit I would like to share with you,其中titbit作“小趣闻”、“花絮”等解。

[5]“侵略者在中国大地上留下的那段血腥的罪恶历史,任何人都无法篡改,更不容抹煞”译为The history of bloody crimes committed by the aggressors on Chinese soil shall never be falsified, let alone blotted out,其中let alone是成语,作“更不必说”解,意同成语much less。

Memories of a Historic Scene

 — On the Nanjing ceremony of Japanese surrender 40 years ago

◎ He Wei

On the 40th anniversary of the victory of China’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the world war against fascism, a historic scene of 40 years ago came back to my mind. It was on September 9, 1945 that I was sent to cover the Japanese surrender ceremony at Nanjing.

On a hot summer day at the end of the anti-Japanese war, I got a job through Ke Ling[1] as a staff member of the Shanghai Wen Hui Bao[2], a newspaper that had just resumed publication. Luckily, I was sent to Nanjing about a month later to report on the historic event in my capacity as special correspondent. I was accompanied by press photographer Mu Yilong.

After arriving in Nanjing by train, with elaborate formalities gone through, we came just in time for the opening of the surrender ceremony.

The day witnessed a sudden increase of armymen hurrying to and fro on the square in front of the gate of the Chinese Army Headquarters on Huangpu Road, Nanjing. The capital letter V, signifying Victory, was in sight here and there. Lining the paved path leading to the assembly hall were numerous sentries fully armed with US-made equipment and jeeps kept zooming up and down. Occasionally, US MPs were seen assisting in keeping watch in twos and threes. It was indeed an unusual day characterized by utmost vigilance and solemn atmosphere.

According to the printed timetable distributed to the public, the surrender ceremony was to begin at 9:00 a.m. and the Japanese surrender delegation had to show up by 8:52 a.m., but they arrived at 8:55 a.m., that is, 3 minutes late. The Japanese delegation consisted of General Yasuji Okamura, supreme commander of the Japanese invading forces in China, and six of his senior aides. As they arrived by car under the guidance of a KMT colonel, over a hundred Chinese and foreign newsmen gathered at the gate hastened to click their cameras.

There was a sustained utter silence in the hall. In the center of it, there was on one side a smaller long table for seating the Japanese delegates, with 12 fully-armed Chinese soldiers lining up behind. On the other side, there was another table, much longer and wider, for seating the KMT highranking officers and Chinese newsmen. KMT General He Ying-qin was to accept the surrender on behalf of China. Still another long table stood in between for Allied representatives and foreign correspondents. The tables were all covered with a white cloth. All personnel then took their seats one after another, quietly awaiting the solemn hour and the appearance of the Japanese delegation.

At this very moment, my mind was occupied with teeming thoughts. The disastrous days of the 8-year war of resistance were gone for ever. The Chinese people would never again be subjected to the humiliation of being annexed and subjugated. However, since the country was then enveloped in the dark clouds of civil war, it would be quite some time before the Chinese people could really rise to their feet. Nevertheless, I firmly believed that such a day would not be far off.

I noticed that there was on the table of the Japanese delegates a little clock in addition to paper, ink, writing brush and inkstone. The stationery was of course to be used for signing the surrender documents, but what about the little clock?

At 8:58 a.m., the hall was ablaze with lights and cameras started clicking. The Japanese delegates were led in under the gaze of watchful eyes. They walked on until they reached the prescribed place, then stood at attention and bowed to General He. General He reservedly motioned them to their seats, and then turned to the newsmen with the announcement that the surrender ceremony was to begin in five minutes. Thereupon, there was a sudden flurry among the newsmen plus the sound of something astir throughout the hall.

At 9:04 a.m., General He, standing under the Allied flags to accept the surrender, ordered Yasuji Okamura to submit his certificates. The latter, in full military attire, looked ghastly pale and expressionless. Lieutenant General Asasaburo Kobayashi, Chief of General Staff of the Japanese forces of aggression in China, who had been sitting next to Okamura, came up to hand over the certificates to General He, who kept them after looking them over.

Then Kobayashi was given two copies of the instrument of surrender, both in Chinese, to be passed on to Okamura, who rose to take them with both hands and then picked up the writing brush from the table to sign his name and affix his seal on either copy. Kobayashi was then ordered to hand over one copy to Okamura. Altogether it took about five minutes to finish signing the surrender and twenty minutes for the ceremony to last until the Japanese were led out of the hall.

There is a titbit I would like to share with you, that is, I noticed General He whispering to his subordinates that he personally would like to keep the writing brush as a memento.

Now, the surrender documents have long since been consigned to the historical archives. And no one knows what has become of the writing brush that was used to sign the documents. History is inexorable, moving ahead according to its own course and direction. The great people of China have won the victory of the war of resistance against Japanese aggression and self-defence. Japanese militarism has ended in total defeat. The history of bloody crimes committed by the aggressors on Chinese soil shall never be falsified, let alone blotted out. History should be shown in its true colors.

Four years ago, while traveling in Japan, I came into wide contact with Japanese people of various strata. They all felt deeply sorry for the Japanese militarists’ aggressive acts against China. Once, I saw with my own eyes how the owner of a livestock farm in Hokkaido threw himself on the ground before us to show his remorse for the Japanese invasion of China. I well understood the feelings of the Japanese people. They, too, were victims of Japanese militarism.

It is now forty years to a day from September 9, 1945 to September 9, 1985. Recalling my news-gathering of forty years ago has enabled me to review the past. It has also deepened my thoughts on history.

[1]Ke Ling (1909—2000), renowned contemporary Chinese essayist, playwright and literary critic.

[2]Wen Hui Bao, Chinese daily newspaper first published in 1938 in Shanghai.

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