「影を負う」こと, あるいは抵抗の翻訳 “To Shoulder a Shadow,” or What is a Translation of Resistance?
presented by Annmaria Shimabuku
Ukai Satoshi's text is available only as PDF-File.
Exegesis and Commentary on “To Shoulder a Shadow, or What is a Translation of Resistance?” by Ukai Satoshi
After the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, the “Cold War” supposedly came to an end. As the wall crumbled to the ground, the rumble resonated clearly throughout East Asia. The very foundation of the postwar nation-state form was now thrown into question. After all, it was the logic of “communist containment” that served to foreground a US-Japanese collaborative hegemony over East Asia in the first place. With the favor of the US, Japan was allowed to escape severe punishment for its war crimes during the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal (1946-1948); Japan was bestowed a “Peace Constitution” (1947) stripping it of a military while the Japanese Emperor gave Okinawa to the US as the condition of its restoration of sovereignty in 1952 to serve as a military base island from which it could “protect” Japan. It was from Okinawa that the Cold Wars in Korea and Vietnam were launched.
However, after 1989 the “communist threat” was less convincing. This was the year that the first so-called “Comfort Woman” came out in protest of sexual slavery instituted by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Fifteen Year War. The ghosts of Japan’s colonial past, invisible but yet surreptitiously reincarnated by a US-Japan transnational network of power in the postwar present, exploded into a politics of shame, war responsibility, and guilt centered on the force of sexuality. This embarrassing issue set off contemporary hot button issues in Japan such as the textbook controversy (ky ô kasho mondai) in which neo-conservatives seek to erase the history of Japan’s aggression in East Asia.
It was in this atmosphere that postcolonial studies began to flourish within the Japanese language context and the Japanese academe witnessed a resurgence of Takeuchi Yoshimi studies. In 1931, Takeuchi enrolled in the Chinese Literature Department at Tokyo Imperial University not because of his fascination with China, but because he thought it was an easier field of study, and wanted money from his parents that he could only get by pretending to go to school. He admits that he learned very little about Chinese Literature at the university, as it was confined to a study of the classics; anything Asian was considered inferior to the study of European Languages and Literatures. Rather, what he witnessed on the intellectual scene was a series of mass political conversions (tenk ô, 転向) that took place as Marxism was suppressed and fascism swept through Japan. Also, he started to travel to China in 1932, where the Other was not merely confined to the temporal and spatial dimension of “ancient China,” but became the real life targets of Japanese brutality in the Fifteen Year War. It was through his study and translations of the literature of Lu Xun, who himself was a translator of minor world literatures into Chinese, that enabled Takeuchi to think about the relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed.
Ukai Satoshi’s essay, “To Shoulder a Shadow, or What is a Translation of Resistance” is commentary to the new 2002 edition to Takeuchi Yoshimi’s seminal work Lu Xun first published in 1944. This essay is a close reading of Takeuchi’s translator’s introduction to Lu Xun and is comprised of two parts: First, the various and seemingly contradictory readings of “shadow” in Takeuchi’s work that make up the horizon of his text; Second, the relationship between literature, translation, and Enlightenment through Takeuchi’s refusal to translate the Chinese word 掙扎 (ch ê ng-cha), or “resistance” into Japanese. Instead of providing a definitive reading of a seamless and unified Takeuchi position on the matter as one would hermeneutically extract meaning from a “classical text,” Ukai instead treats Takeuchi’s Lu Xun as a (Foucauldian?) “monument” (kinenhi, 記念碑) in which he shows how Takeuchi worked, struggled, and groped in the darkness (m ô saku) through these problems.  Below I provide an exegesis of Ukai’s commentary.
2. “Pursuing the Shadow” or “Shouldering the Shadow”
First Ukai poses the problem of the relationship between literature and politics. Takeuchi footnotes the 1952 edition of his text a confirmation that he was a member of the “Society for Japanese Nationalist Literature” (Nihon Bungaku H ô koku Kai, 日本 文学報国会) although he denies participating in the “Greater East Asian Literati Convention” (Dait ô a Bungakusha Taikai, 大東亜文学者大会). This is significant because it shows that Takeuchi could not escape the fascist takeover of the literature in Japan characteristic of the period of the Fifteen Years War. However, Takeuchi argues this was insignificant compared to the choices Lu Xun faced in his struggle with political persuasion. Contrary to common belief, Takeuchi argues that Lu Xun did not participate in the “Restoration Society” (Guangfuhui, 光復会), which was an anti-Qing Dynasty organization established in 1904 that aimed for revolution. Regarding this decision, Takeuchi writes the following:
Literature is powerless.That is how Lu Xun saw it.Powerless means powerless in the face of politics.To take it the other way, this means that literature is not powerful in the face of politics.Is this culturalism? Certainly it is.Lu Xun was a culturalist.However, culturalism here means culturalism vis-à-vis culturalism.He rejected “clamoring for literature, literature!” or believing literature “possesses a great power.” This does not mean that literature is unrelated to politics.This is because the powerful or powerless cannot emerge from a place of non-relation.What it means to be powerless in the face of literature is that by alienating itself from politics, literature becomes so [powerless] through its confrontation with politics.Literature is not released from the grips of politics.Taking a look at the Self’s shadow within politics, and by demolishing that shadow, or in other words, by becoming self-aware of powerlessness, literature becomes literature. Politics and literature are not in a subordinate relationship or a relationship of conflict.Literature does not ingratiate to politics, nor does it roll its eyes in disregard for politics.Real literature is to demolish the Self’s shadow within politics.In other words, the relationship between literature and politics is a relationship of contradictory self-identification (mujunteki jiko d ô itsu, 矛盾的自己同一). 
Here, Ukai senses a strong teleological vein in the above Takeuchi text. “[L]iterature becomes literature.” In other words, “Taking a look at the Self’s shadow within politics” should not necessarily entail a demolishing of the shadow. This is because, by replacing “demolishing that shadow” with “becoming self-aware” through a rough translation, the agent of the decision must be first knowledgeable of their own “powerlessness.” In other words, there must be “knowledge” before the “self-awareness.”
Next, Ukai shows another angle to Takeuchi’s reading of the “shadow” through a “literature of atonement.” Takeuchi’s writes:
When reading his [Lu Xun’s] text, I run into a certain shadow.That shadow is always in the same place.The shadow itself doesn’t exist but light is born from it and disappears into it.In this way, there is a tacit understanding hinted at by existence.One might not notice it if they carelessly gloss over the text, but once it is realized it cannot be forgotten.Like a weather beaten skull that dances around a pomp-filled stage, the weather beaten skull starts to look like the real thing (jittai, 実体) in the end.Lu Xun shouldered this kind of shadow throughout his entire life.It is in this sense that I term him a literature of atonement (shokuzai no bungaku, 贖罪の文学).The period in which he attained self-awareness about his sin was the six years before the 1918 publication of Diary of a Madman when he resided in Beijng, or the lost years of his biography. 
According to Ukai, this “shadow” first appeared as the “eye” in Takeuchi’s heart as a reader and translator. However, this “shadow,” tacit understanding, or abyss was not something that Lu Xun was privy to see. The Lu Xun that appeared in the “eye” of Takeuchi’s heart was not a person who pursued “shadows” (kage wo ou ) but a person who “shouldered the shadow” (kage wo ou )  . In other words, Takeuchi was able to “see” Lu Xun who “shouldered” a “shadow,” a “tacit understanding,” or “something invisible.” Just as the “shadow” created a “self-awareness of powerlessness” in its demolition a moment ago, here the “shadow” is a metaphor for “self-awareness for atonement.” The “shadow” is taken on as an endless debt.
Takeuchi reads Lu Xun’s “literature of atonement” in religious terms. The “shadow” here is not something like a Chinese devil or a Mephistophelean in which guilt is projected onto a source and then feared as an external object. I infer from Ukai’s reading of Takeuchi’s reading of Lu Xun that this would mean that the need for “atonement,” or alternatively “redemption” is a result of an internalization of guilt that is worked out by appealing to a higher universal such as religion.
Ukai provides an alternative reading that resonates more closely to passages from Nietzsche’s “The Wanderer and His Shadow” or Thus Spoke Zaranthustra. Here, the protagonist converses with his alter ego. Nietzsche’s philosophy seeks a liberation from this conversation, which I personally would add would be a liberation from “bad conscience.”
Ukai does not think these two readings necessarily cancel each other out. Rather, he reads a tension between Takeuchi who hesitates as a “translator” (should he translate the shadow as a Chinese devil or Mephistophelean?) and Takeuchi as a “man of letters” that is further split between the heart’s “eye” that cannot decisively “demolish” the shadow and the will of his “hand” that makes a one-sided decision.
3. Translating “Resistance”
In the second part of the essay, Ukai poses the question of how Takeuchi viewed Lu Xun as a translator, or more specifically, how did Takeuchi position translation for Lu Xun between literature and Enlightenment?
For both Takeuchi and Lu Xun, translation was never a mechanical technique carried out from a neutral position free from the operation of sin or crime. For Lu Xun, this was made painfully clear through the philosopher 章柄麟 who condemned the status of the translator as the most base in society, akin to someone who parasites off of power within an ethnic group. For Lu Xun, translation must be divorced from Enlightenment. Enlightenment for him was not an import or translation of the West into China. Rather, Enlightenment could only be attained by divorcing literature from translation conceived as an import from the West.
This problem is furthermore complicated by the aforementioned relationship between politics and literature. The demand for translation comes from the nation-state formation premised on Western enlightenment. Given this situation, Ukai asks how is it possible to conceive of translation in a way in which it doesn’t fall into the trap of Western Enlightenment, or translation that can actually be a practice of resistance against Enlightenment?
Ukai suggests that the answer may already be inscribed in Takeuchi’s reading of Lu Xun’s texts. Takeuchi repeatedly uses the word 掙扎 (ch ê ng-cha) in the original Chinese. In Japanese, this would be rendered something like “to put up with” (gaman suru ), “to endure” (taeru), or “to writhe” (mogaku). Finally, Takeuchi writes, “If [I] were pressed to translate this into Japanese, it would be something close to “resistance” in today’s terminology.”  Takeuchi wrestled with the question of how this word could possibly be rendered into Japanese. His problem was informed by the fact that it would be a translation between groups with two different historical experiences, i.e., a translation between an oppressor race and an oppressed race. In the final analysis, translation is impossible. This impossibility was poignantly informed by Takeuchi’s realization of the pain of being translated at the complete mercy of the Other. In examining Lu Xun, Takeuchi “saw” that he was Lu Xun’s shadow. He plots a parallelism where Lu Xun started to translate minor literatures of the world precisely at the point where he feared being translated by the Other and integrated into their universalism. The shadow for Lu Xun here would have been those other minor literatures that are always open to the vulnerability of translation-as-subjugation to a Western universalism.