The relationship between China and Japan, which is separated by a narrow strip of water, is bridged by culture, which can be traced back to the Zhou and Qin Dynasties from the 5th century BC to the 3rd century BC.

Immigrants from the mainland brought advanced farming civilization, making Japan move from the Jomon period to the Yayoi period.

During the Three Kingdoms period in the 3rd century A.D., Queen Himiko of Yamatai of Japan sent envoys to Cao Wei. Since then, the exchanges between the two sides have become more frequent.

From the Sui and Tang Dynasties in the 7th to 9th centuries AD, Japan continuously sent more than a dozen missions to the Sui and Tang Dynasties from the Asuka era through the Nara era to the Heian era to learn Chinese culture in all aspects.

At this time, there are Abe Nakamaro who stayed in the Tang Dynasty because of his "admiration for the style of China", Kibi Makoto who returned to Japan to make a name for himself, and Jianzhen who sacrificed his life to go east six times in order to spread the Dharma. Together, they have achieved an extraordinary feat in the history of Sino-Japanese cultural exchanges.

During the Song and Yuan Dynasties from the 10th century to the 14th century AD, due to the impact of dynastic changes and wars, although there were few official contacts between China and Japan, non-governmental exchanges were still in the ascendant, and Chinese Zen and tea ceremony culture spread widely in Japan.

From the 14th century AD to the end of the Ming Dynasty, Chinese Confucianism had a profound impact on Japanese culture. From Cheng Zhu Neo-Confucianism to "Yangming Learning", it promoted the officialization of Japanese Confucianism.

Culture has become an invisible link connecting the emotions and lives of the Chinese and Japanese people, which is both profound and long-lasting.

art old and new

Portrait of Mr. Fan Zeng

  In the summer of 1979, Chinese painter Fan Zeng went to Japan for the first time for an exhibition. While achieving great success, he also first met Ikuo Hirayama, whom he had known for a long time.

This eight-year-old painter who is well-known in Japan left Fan Zeng with a steady and modest first impression.

Later, when introducing Fan Zeng to Japan's NHK TV station, Hirayama Ikuo called Fan Zeng a new generation of leading painter who inherited the excellent Chinese cultural tradition.

When asked whether Fan Zeng represented the new trend of Chinese art, Hirayama Ikuo replied: "The standard of art is good and bad, not new and old!" Become an irresistible friend.

  Every time Fan Zeng went to Japan, Hirayama Ikuo would take him from Tokyo to Kamakura, where he lived.

Fan Zeng recalled that it was a row of bungalows built on a gentle slope. The living room and bedroom were furnished very simply. Only the small bronzes and pottery and stoneware from the Silk Road were placed in the cabinets, which witnessed his yearning for Chinese civilization. with love.

Ikuo Hirayama gave Fan Zeng a wooden box containing his sketches and sketch albums created on the Silk Road.

Hirayama Ikuo said that only 19 volumes of this album were printed, and only Wu Zuoren, Li Keran, and Guan Shanyue were sent among Chinese painters before.

A volume number 14 was given to Fan Zeng. Fan Zeng felt that it was extremely precious and refused to keep it for private use, so he donated it to the Nankai University Library for collection.

  Fan Zeng was invited by Hirayama Ikuo to visit the Tokyo Academy of Fine Arts to see him teaching Japanese students to copy Dunhuang murals.

There was no sound in the classroom, and even the incomplete parts of the murals were required to be represented one by one, and no subjective elements were allowed to be added.

In 1991, the construction of Xuanzang Sanzang-in Garan in Nara Yakushi-ji Temple was completed, and Ikuo Hirayama devoted his lifelong learning and emotion to Chinese culture to create the "Da Tang Western Regions Mural". In this 50-meter-long mural, the largest in Japan, Hirayama Ikuo left his own image in the shadow of clouds near the end of the mural, and in the majestic atmosphere of Tang culture.

Fan Zeng (second from the right) and Ikuo Hirayama (second from the left) toast to the friendship between China and Japan

  Tangzhaoti Temple, which is far away from Yaoshi Temple, was built after Jianzhen made great contributions to Sino-Japanese cultural exchanges.

The day Fan Zeng went to Tangzhaoti Temple coincided with the anniversary of Jianzhen's death, and the Japanese people lined up for several hundred meters and walked slowly without making any noise.

Fan Zeng donated the "Portrait of Monk Jianzhen with Splashed Ink" painted by Fan Zeng to Tang Zhaoti Temple, and Hirayama Ikuo also expressed his gratitude for this.

Mingyue has returned

  In the summer of 1984, Ikuo Hirayama, then vice president of the Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association, visited China. At the invitation of Fu Hao, the former ambassador to Japan, many famous Chinese painters gathered in Diaoyutai.

As soon as the rice paper was spread out, Huang Zhou said, "Xiao Fan, draw a person first." Fan Zengsu was known for his speed in painting, and in two or three minutes, a poet with his eyes closed and chanting had already appeared on the paper.

It was too late and then soon, Huang Zhou added a vivid donkey under the poet, taking the meaning of "poems are on the donkey's back".

Then, Hirayama Ikuo's pen drew a full moon in the sky.

The whole painting was completed in less than ten minutes, and everyone praised it.

Everyone invited Wu Zuoren to write an inscription, and the text said: "The bright moon returns with people, Jiazi Mid-Autumn Festival will be held at Diaoyutai, a group of virtuous people will come, and those who have fun are Hirayama Ikuo who wrote Hanging Mirror, Mr. Huang Zhou who wrote Running Donkey, and Mr. Fan Zeng who wrote Poetry." "The Bright Moon Returns with People" has become an immortal work, recording the friendship between Chinese and Japanese painting masters, and it is treasured in Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

The original work of "The Moon Follows You"

  In 2008, one year before his death, Hirayama Ikuo gave the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse an oil painting depicting a Buddhist temple in Nara with his affection for the Chinese people, and met Fan Zeng again, which was the last time the two saw each other.

At this time, both Mr. Huang Zhou and Wu Zuoren had passed away, so Diaoyutai copied two copies of "The Bright Moon Follows People", one was given to Pingshan Yufu, and the other was given to Fan Zeng.

  On January 23, 2023, the editor-in-chief of the Kansai Chinese Times in Japan visited the Hirayama Ikuo Art Museum in Hiroshima.

In order to continue the century-old friendship between the Hirayama family and Mr. Fan Zeng, Hirayama Ikuo's younger brother, Hirayama Susunari, painted a round of bright moon and wrote the inscription "The bright moon returns with people". The continuation of Japan's friendship will go down in history forever.

Hirayama Susunari imitated the painting of the bright moon and wrote the inscription based on "The Bright Moon Follows the People"

Zeng Zhao Caiyun's Heart

  "The bright moon returns with people" comes from Li Bai's work "Going down Zhongnan Mountain and passing Husi Mountain where people live and place wine".

"Mountain and moon return with people", the sky is getting late, the moonlight is hazy, illuminating the people who are going down the mountain, the moonlight moves forward slowly with them, the sense of emptiness and depth integrates people with time and space.

  As an important motif of Chinese literati chanting, this bright moon, though as cool as water, can warm guests from other lands.

Occasionally, I bury flowers in the cold moon, and I often share the beauty with warmth.

This emotional sympathy is just like the detached magnanimity and broad-minded affection between Chinese and Japanese artists. In the creation and dissemination of art, the blue sky shines brightly and the moon is thousands of miles away. It has become a moving stroke of magic in the cultural exchanges between China and Japan.

In their artistic career, we can see the care of the times and common ideals throughout.

Yan Jidao of the Northern Song Dynasty said: "The bright moon was there at that time, and it once returned under the colorful clouds." I hope that we will be full of this emotion that connects ancient and modern times, and take the bright moon as our heart to actively write a new chapter of Sino-Japanese cultural exchanges.

Poster of Mr. Fan Zeng's calligraphy work "Bright Moon and Thousand Miles"

  (Author: Li Xiaoqi)

  China Net