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Japan’s New Era Gets a Name, but No One Can Agree What It Means

来源:纽约时报    2019-04-02 03:55

        TOKYO — It’s the end of an era, and the new one already has a name.        日本——这是一个时代的结束,新的时代已经有了名字。
        The Japanese government on Monday officially unveiled the name of the imperial era set to begin on May 1, the day after the current emperor, Akihito, abdicates.        日本政府周一正式公布了将于5月1日启用的新年号,即现任天皇明仁退位后的第二天。
        Akihito, 85, is the first Japanese monarch to step down in more than 200 years. As his reign ends so does his era, known as Heisei.        85岁的明仁是日本200多年来第一位退位的君主。随着他统治的结束,他那个被称为“平成”的时代也结束了。
        The reign of each emperor is accompanied by a name for his term in power, and the era’s name becomes an important part of everyday life in Japan, as it is used to indicate the date on all official documents.        每任天皇在位期间都会配合一个名字,这个年号是日本日常生活的重要组成部分,被用在所有的官方文件上来表明日期。
        At a news conference on Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga dramatically revealed a calligraphic rendering of the name for the era of the incoming emperor, Naruhito, 59, the current crown prince.        在周一的新闻发布会上,内阁官房长官菅义伟(Yoshihide Suga)通过一幅书法作品,戏剧性地透露了属于即将上任的天皇、现年59岁的皇太子德仁的新年号。
        Naruhito’s reign will be called Reiwa, a term with multiple meanings, including “order and peace,” “auspicious harmony” and “joyful harmony,” according to scholars quoted in the local news media.        德仁的统治时期将被称为“令和”。据据当地新闻媒体援引学者的话说,这是一个有着多重含义的词语,包括“秩序与和平”、“吉祥和谐”以及“欢乐和谐”。
        Naruhito is slated to become the 126th emperor of the world’s oldest monarchy.        德仁将成为世界上最古老的君主政体的第126位皇帝。
        The current imperial era known as Heisei — roughly translated as “achieving peace” — was chosen the day that Akihito’s father, the wartime emperor Hirohito, died.        当前的天皇时代被称为“平成”——大略可以翻译为“获得和平”——是在明仁的父亲、战时的天皇裕仁去世那天被选中的。
        In addition to choosing the imperial era’s name a month before Naruhito takes the throne, Japan broke with tradition in another way: The government selected the word Reiwa from a collection of Japanese poetry rather than classic Chinese literature, as had been the custom.        除了在德仁继位前的一个月选择年号,日本还以另一种方式打破了传统:政府从一本日本诗集中选择了“令和”这个词,而不是按照惯例从中国古籍中选择。
        As soon as Reiwa was announced, pundits immediately jumped to define the word, a task made difficult by the nature of Japanese kanji characters.        “令和”一经宣布,专家们立即开始着手定义这个词,但这一任务由于日本汉字的性质而变得困难。
        Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the name had been chosen from Japan’s oldest collection of poems, an eighth-century anthology known as the Manyo-shu, and referred to a verse about the budding of plum blossoms after a harsh winter.        首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)说,这个名字是从日本最古老的诗集——作于公元八世纪的《万叶集》——中挑选出来的,取自一首关于梅花在严冬过后绽放的诗。
        “The era name is based on the long heritage of the imperial family, the stability of the state and the happiness of the people,” Mr. Abe said, declining to give details of how the name had been chosen or what the alternatives were.        “年号是以皇室的悠久传承、国家的稳定和人民的幸福为基础,”安倍说。但他拒绝给出年号选择过程的细节,也没有透露其他的选项。
        According to the Japanese news media, the cabinet selected the name from a shortlist after consulting with a panel of nine experts, which included Shinya Yamanaka, a stem cell researcher and Nobel laureate, and Mariko Hayashi, a novelist and one of two women on the panel.        据日本新闻媒体报道,内阁在咨询了一个由九名专家组成的小组后,从最后的候选名单中选出了这个名字。这个专家小组包括干细胞研究人员、诺贝尔奖得主山中伸弥(Shinya Yamanaka)及小说家林真理子(Mariko Hayashi),后者是小组中的两名女性之一。
        Neither the emperor nor the crown prince had any say in the decision.        无论是天皇还是皇太子对这个决定都没有发言权。
        Some commentators noted that Mr. Abe’s cabinet, which is right-leaning and has advocated an expanded military role for Japan, chose a name containing a character that can mean “order” or “law.”        一些评论人士指出,安倍的右倾内阁主张扩大日本的军事角色,选择了有“秩序”或“法律”含义的字眼。
        In an email to reporters, Tomoaki Ishigaki, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office, wrote that interpreting Reiwa as “order and peace” was “not the intended meaning.”        日本首相办公室发言人石垣友明(Tomoaki Ishigaki)在给记者的一封电子邮件中写道,“秩序与和平”这个解释“并非本意”。
        Mr. Ishigaki pointed instead to passages from Mr. Abe’s speech in which he described the name as representing the “culture born and nurtured while people beautifully bring their hearts together.”        石垣转而指向了安倍演讲中的一些段落,其中描述了这个名字代表“人们的心美妙地凝聚在一起所孕育出的文化”。
        “Like the plum flowers that beautifully bloom, heralding the arrival of spring after a severe winter, each one of the Japanese people can bloom their own flowers with a hope for tomorrow,” Mr. Abe said.        “如梅花朵朵嫣然盛开,向人们报告寒冬后春天的来临,每一个日本人都可以绽放自己明日的希望之花。”安倍说。
        In selecting a name from Japanese, rather than Chinese, literature, the government made an “unquestionably significant” choice, said Kenneth J. Ruoff, a historian and specialist in Imperial Japan at Portland State University. “He went out of his way to emphasize that this is Japanese tradition,” Professor Ruoff said.        通过从日本古籍而非中国古籍中选择年号,政府做了个“无可争辩的重大决定”,波特兰州立大学史学家、日本帝国专家肯尼斯·J·洛夫(Kenneth J. Ruoff)说。“他打破了常规,以此强调这是日本的传统,”洛夫说。
        Otherwise, he said, the meaning is “pretty broad and vague.”        他说,除此之外,这个年号的含义是“相当宽泛而含糊的”。
        Thousands gathered in public spaces around Tokyo to await the revelation of the name. Newspapers rushed out special editions commemorating the naming of the next era. In Tokyo’s Shinbashi neighborhood, Japanese salarymen wrestled each other for copies of the paper, headlined with the new era’s name in giant Japanese characters.        数千人聚集在东京的公共场所,等待新年号的揭晓。报纸纷纷赶制了纪念为下一时代命名的专刊。在东京新桥区,日本上班族为争抢报纸互相推搡,这些报纸的大标题是用巨大的日文字刊印的新时代名称。
        “Someone’s going to get hurt. Please calm down!” one vendor shouted as the crowd tore copies of the paper from his hand. A young man waved a brown pump above the crowd and yelled, “Someone lost a shoe!”        “这样会弄伤人的。请冷静些!”一名小贩在众人从他手中抢夺报纸时喊道。一名年轻男子在人群上方挥舞着一只棕色便鞋喊道,“谁掉了一只鞋!”
        Nearby, people formed a more orderly line for bottles of Coca-Cola branded with the new era’s name. An elderly man standing nearby showed off a bruised cheekbone he said he got in the free-for-all. “It’s really too much,” he said.        不远处,有人群排着相对整齐的队列,等着领印有新时代名称的可口可乐瓶。站在一旁的一名年长男子展示了他青肿的颧骨,他说是在“混战”中弄伤的。“真的太过头了,”他说。
        Businesses, including toy companies, calendar makers and official stamp producers rushed to introduce versions of their products featuring the new era’s name.        包括玩具公司、日历制作商和公章生产商在内的众多商家匆忙推出各自带有新时代名称的特色产品。
        One of the most popular orders now at Shachihata, one of the largest makers of stamps used on official documents, is a stamp with double crossed lines that can be used to cover the previous era’s name on documents until new stamps are released. “It takes time to carve rubber materials,” said Hirofumi Mukai, a company spokesman.        日本最大的公章制造商之一舟桥(Shachihata)眼下最热卖的是一款带有双横线的印章,可用来遮住文件上前一时代的名称,直至发行新的印章。“橡胶材料的雕刻比较费时间,”公司发言人向井弘文(Hirofumi Mukai,音)说。

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