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我迷上了日本四國島的“荒涼”稻草人村莊

The scarecrow master of Shikoku, Japan
我迷上了日本四國島的“荒涼”稻草人村莊

I had set out to explore the heart of Shikoku, the smallest and least visited of Japan’s four main islands, and was white-knuckledly navigating my rental car along a one-lane road through a mountain valley toward a storied vine bridge. I drove through a seemingly deserted village of a dozen homes perched precariously on metal stilts over a river, turned a corner and saw in the distance three figures slumped against an electricity pole.

我出發探索四國島的心臟地帶,這是日本四個主要島嶼中面積最小、游客最少的一個。我小心翼翼地駕駛著租來的汽車沿著一條單行道行駛,穿過山谷后駛向一座傳奇的葛藤橋。途中經過一個看似荒涼的村莊,那里有十幾戶人家,房子搖搖欲墜地建在河上的金屬支架上方。拐個彎,可以看見遠處有三個人影靠在一根電線桿上。

They were dressed in rubber boots, rough-spun farmers’ trousers and windbreakers, and wore white gloves on their hands. Baseball caps covered their heads. Yet something was odd in their postures. They didn’t seem quite human. As I got closer, I realised they weren’t human. Their faces were made of white cloth, plump and pillowy, with buttons for eyes and black yarn for eyebrows.

他們穿著膠靴、粗制的農民褲和風衣,戴著白手套,頭頂棒球帽,姿勢有些奇怪,看起來不太像人。走近一看,我發現他們根本不是人。這些假人的臉是用白布做成的,豐滿圓潤似枕頭,紐扣作眼睛,黑紗扮眉毛。

Five metres further on, I saw another of these human-sized figures pushing a wheelbarrow in a field, then another pulling weeds, then five of them sitting on a bench at a bus stop.

再往前走五米,我看見另一個真人大小的人偶推著一輛獨輪手推車走在田地里,接著是一個推著拔草車的人偶,還看到五個人偶坐在公交站臺的長椅上。

I was wondering what alternate reality I had wandered into when I spied another figure on the side of the road ahead. This one was also remarkably lifelike, dressed in black sneakers, trousers and a grey smock, her hands gloved and her head hidden under a bonnet. I turned my eyes back to the road, then abruptly stopped. That figure had taken a step! And another!

當看到在前面路邊還有另一個人偶時,我不禁納悶自己到底闖入了怎樣的一個世界。但這個假人同樣栩栩如生,身著黑色的運動鞋、褲子和灰色的罩衫,戴著手套,頭藏在一頂軟帽子下。我把目光轉回馬路,然后突然愣住了,因為那個人影走了一步又一步!

I pulled up and walked warily towards the bonneted figure, not quite sure who or what I was about to encounter.

把車停了下來后,我小心翼翼地朝那個骨瘦如柴的身影走去,不知道將會遇到什么。

“Excuse me!” I called. The figure seemed not to hear. “Excuse me!” I yelled, much louder.

"請問!",我叫道,那人影似乎沒有聽見。"請問!",這次我大聲呼喊。

The figure stopped and slowly turned.

那個身影停了下來,慢慢地轉過身。

A human face appeared – warm, flesh-coloured, lined and benign, with tiny, sparkling eyes. “Yes?” a woman’s voice replied in Japanese.

一張溫暖紅潤的人臉出現在我眼前,臉上已有皺紋,但面容十分和善,一雙小眼睛閃閃發光。"有什么事嗎?",這個女人用日語回答我。

“Excuse me, but may I ask you a question?”

"不好意思,我可以問你一個問題嗎?"

“Yes, of course.”

"當然,問吧。"

I walked forward, sweeping my arm towards the figures on both sides of the road. “Do you know who has created these wonderful creatures?”

我向前走去,指著路兩邊的人偶,"你知道是誰創造了這些奇妙的東西嗎?"

She looked at me intently for a moment, then broke into a smile. “I did!”

她聚精會神地看了我一會兒,然后笑了起來,"我做的!"

That was how I met Ayano Tsukimi, the scarecrow master of Shikoku. The year was 2013, and I was venturing into the virtually impenetrable green folds of the Iya Valley, a remote region in the north-eastern part of the island where paved roads had been introduced only half a century before.

我就這樣認識了四國稻草人大師月見綾野(Ayano Tsukimi)。2013年,我冒險進入了幾乎與世隔絕的深山幽谷——祖谷溪。該溪谷位于四國島東北部的偏遠地區,半個世紀前才有道路與外界相通。

My wife was born and raised on Shikoku, and I had heard about the Iya Valley from my brother-in-law, who had said that it was a rugged place of thatch-roofed farmhouses, barley fields, vine bridges and traditional ways – but he had not mentioned anything about human-like figures.

我的妻子在四國島上出生長大,我從妹夫口中聽說過祖谷溪。他說那里地勢崎嶇,有大麥田、葛藤橋和古道,農舍都是茅草屋頂——但他沒有提到任何形似人類的東西。

Ayano-san burst into laughter at the wonder in my eyes.

綾野女士看見了我眼中的驚愕,大笑起來。

“May I ask you about these?” I said.

"我可以問些關于稻草人的問題嗎?",我說。

“Of course!” she said. “Would you like some tea?”

"當然!"她說,"要喝點茶嗎?"

We wandered past two small boys – well, boy-like figures – playing on a rusting bicycle, and a woman sitting in a work shed with her back to the road. Ayano-san led me up a driveway to her simple house. Seated beside the path to her door were half a dozen more figures: a girl in school uniform; a mother with a baby in her lap; an elderly gentleman in a business suit holding a cigarette.

我們走過兩個小男孩身旁(好吧,像男孩子一樣),他們在生銹的自行車上玩耍。一個女人正坐在工作棚里,背對著馬路。綾野女士帶我走上一條車道,來到她那簡樸的房子。在通往她家門口的小路旁邊,還有好幾個稻草人——一個穿校服的女孩;一位抱著嬰兒的母親;一位上了年紀的紳士身著西裝手里拿著香煙。

I took off my shoes and stepped into a tatami-matted room crammed with more of her creations, including a couple dressed in traditional wedding kimonos, standing formally at the end of the room. I felt like a character in an episode of The Twilight Zone.

我脫下鞋子,走進一間榻榻米房間,房里擺滿了她的創作,其中包括一對穿著傳統和服的新婚夫婦。他們端正地站在房間的盡頭,我覺得自己簡直成了電影《暮光之城》中的一個角色。

Ayano-san bade me sit on the tatami mats beside her traditional irori hearth, then left to make tea. She returned with a small lacquer tray bearing two cups, and placed one carefully before me.

綾野女士安排我坐在傳統地爐旁的榻榻米上后便去泡茶。她托著一個裝有兩個杯子的小漆盤回來,小心翼翼地把其中一個杯子放在我面前。

I bowed and said thank you, and she looked at me, eyes twinkling. “They’re rather unusual, aren’t they?”

我鞠躬說了聲謝謝。她看著我,眼中閃爍著光芒,"它們很與眾不同,對吧?"

“Yes, they truly are. Please tell me about them.”

"是的,確實很特別。能給我講講這些稻草人嗎?"

“Well,” she began. “I grew up here but left to go to Osaka with my parents when I was in secondary school. I stayed there, got married and had children. At one point my parents moved back here and then, when my mother passed away, I came back to care of my father. That was in 2002. 紐約時報中英文網 http://www.gwbyzx.live

"好。"她開始說道,"我在這兒長大,中學時和父母一起去了大阪,在那兒結婚生子。后來,我的父母回到家鄉。2002年,母親去世后我回來照顧父親。"

“I made the first kakashi…”

"我做的第一個'卡卡西'......"

I stopped her. “I’m sorry, but what was that word?”

我打斷了她,"不好意思,你說的那個詞是什么意思?"

“Kakashi. The figures farmers use to scare away birds from their crops.”

"卡卡西,農民們用這些像人一樣的東西驅趕鳥兒,不讓它們吃莊稼。"

“Ah, kakashi!” Scarecrows.

"噢!卡卡西!"即稻草人。

“I made the first kakashi to scare away the birds. I noticed that they were eating the seeds in that field out there” – she pointed outside her doorway – “and so I wanted to shoo them away.”

她指著門外說:"我第一次做卡卡西是為了嚇跑鳥兒。因為當時我發現有鳥兒正在吃外面那塊地里的種子,所以我要把它們趕走。"

“I made a few more for that purpose. Then when our neighbour up the road passed away, I missed her – I used to talk with her every day. So I made a scarecrow that looked like her, so that I could continue to greet her every morning.

"出于這個目的,我又做了一些。后來,鄰居去世了,我很想念她,因為以前每天都和她聊天,于是我照她的樣子做了一個稻草人,這樣我每天早上還能和她打招呼。"

“Over time,” she said, with a shrug and a sigh, “more and more of the villagers passed away. I began to make scarecrows to remember them and in a way to keep them alive.”

"時光易逝,",她聳了聳肩,嘆了口氣,"越來越多的村民去世。我開始做稻草人來紀念他們,讓他們永遠活在我們心中。"

She paused. I sipped my tea and watched. For a moment, a cloud passed over her face, shadowing the sun of her smile. Then it evaporated, and she pointed to a figure seated on the tatami behind me, a wise-looking woman with braided grey hair made of thick yarn, clad in an elegant grey kimono. “That’s my mother,” she said. “I still talk to her every day. Would you like to take a walk?”

她停頓了一下。我呷了一口茶,靜靜地看著她。一會兒,一片烏云遮住了她的臉,微笑失去了陽光的照耀,然后一切又煙消云散。她指著坐在我身后榻榻米上的一個人偶——一個看上去很睿智的女人,用粗紗編織的灰白頭發,穿著優雅的灰色和服。"那是我媽媽,"她說,"我每天都和她聊天。你想去散散步嗎?"

We wandered a few minutes down the road to an imposing two-storey concrete building behind a dirt playground. “This used to be the elementary school,” she said. “But over the years, the students became fewer and fewer until finally, last year, they closed the school. Now all the students in this area go to a school 30 minutes away by bus.”

我們在馬路上閑逛了幾分鐘,來到泥地操場后面一座雄偉的兩層混凝土建筑前。"這里曾經是小學,",她說,"但這些年來,學生越來越少。到去年,他們終于關閉了學校。現在這個地區的所有學生都得坐30分鐘公共汽車去上學。"

There was no regret in her voice; she was simply stating the facts. “Come inside!” she said, opening the door into the school.

她的聲音里沒有遺憾,僅僅是在陳述事實。"進來吧。"她打開學校的門說。

As we walked, I could hardly believe my eyes. Scarecrows were everywhere. A scarecrow principal supervised the hallway, scarecrow teachers gathered in a teachers’ lounge, and in a schoolroom, 20 scarecrow children were seated obediently at their desks, textbooks open, earnestly looking at the scarecrow teacher at the front of the room. On the blackboard behind her was written, ‘My future dream’ – the Japanese equivalent of ‘What I want to be when I grow up’.

走進學校后,我簡直不敢相信自己的眼睛。到處都見到稻草人。一個稻草人校長監督著走廊,稻草人老師聚集在教師休息室內。在一間教室里,20個稻草人孩子乖乖地坐在課桌前,打開課本,認真地看著教室前面的稻草人老師。老師身后的黑板上寫著日語——"我的未來夢想",也就是我們說的"長大后想做什么"。

By the time we finished our tour, the sun was lowering. I needed to get back to my hotel before dark, so I said a hasty thank you and promised that I would return.

結束旅行時,太陽正要落山。我要在天黑前趕回到酒店,所以匆匆地對綾野女士說了聲謝謝,并保證還會回來。

Driving back along the winding road, I was filled with deeply mixed feelings. On the one hand, there was something undeniably unsettling about the figures, especially the schoolchildren, who seemed like characters in a horror film about to leap into life. But on the other hand, there was a warmth to Ayano-san’s character and a poignancy to her story that took seed in my soul.

我沿著蜿蜒的道路開車回酒店,內心五味雜陳。一方面,不可否認的是,這些稻草人令人不安,尤其是那些稻草人小學生們,看起來就像是恐怖電影中的人物,隨時會動起來嚇你一跳。但另一方面,綾野女士內心充滿溫情,她的故事令人心酸,在我的心靈中播下了種子。

A year later, on a sunny spring day, I returned. This time I was leading a group of eight Americans to the vine bridge, and when we reached Nagoro, the scarecrow village, I asked our minivan driver to pull off the road. Ayano-san was standing in front of her house.

一年后,在一個陽光明媚的春日,我回來了。這一次,我帶領八名美國人一同前往葛藤橋,到達稻草人的名頃村時,我讓小貨車司機把車開離公路。綾野女士正站在她的房子前面。

I leapt out. “Hello, Ayano-san!” I called out, waving.

我跳下車,"你好,綾野女士!",我揮著手大聲喊道。

She peered at me, puzzled. Then she looked more closely. “Ah, welcome back!” she said. And she invited us into her home to introduce her creations.

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她疑惑地看著我,然后走近看了看。"啊,歡迎回來!"她說。隨后便邀請我們到她家參觀她的作品。

For a year, I had been wondering how she made these figures. Finally, I had the chance to ask.

一年來,我一直在想她是如何做出這些稻草人的,現在終于有機會問她了。

It takes about three days to make one kakashi, Ayano-san explained. She begins with the face, taking a square patch of white, stretchy, jersey-type cloth and wrapping it around the kind of batting used to stuff quilts. After sewing the back, she stuffs in more batting to form the nose, sews on buttons for the eyes and shapes the lips by deftly pinching and sewing the cloth. She takes special care with the ears, Ayano-san said, tucking and sewing the cloth so that the ears have individualised creases. “I want to make sure my kakashi can hear well,” she explained with a smile.

綾野女士解釋說,制作一個稻草人要花大約三天的時間。她從臉開始,拿一塊白色有彈性的方形運動衫布,裹在用來填充被子的棉絮上。縫上人臉的背面后,她在鼻子的地方塞了更多的棉絮,再縫上鈕扣作眼睛,熟練地捏型縫補來塑造嘴唇。她造耳朵時特別小心,綾野女士說,得把布縫起來讓耳朵有像人一樣的皺褶。她笑著解釋說,"我要保證我的稻草人能聽到聲音。",

For the arms and legs, she wraps wire around rolled-up newspapers, using more newspaper to stuff the torso. When the body is complete, she dresses it in clothing – from scarves to elaborate kimonos – that has been brought or sent to her by fans from throughout Japan. She then places the figure in the location she has envisioned, utilising the wire’s flexibility to arrange the arms and legs.

她用金屬絲纏繞卷起的報紙當作手臂和腿,再塞更多的報紙填充軀干。當身體完成后,就給它們穿上衣服,從頸巾到精心制作的和服或是她買的或是日本各地的粉絲送給她的。最后,就可以把稻草人放在預想的位置,利用電線的柔韌性來擺弄手臂和雙腿。

When she finished her explanation, we all burst into applause. Her smile filled the room.

她講完后,我們爆發出一陣掌聲。她的微笑感染了房間里的所有人。

I have returned to Nagoro every spring since then, and in the intervening years, as other foreigners have made their way here too, Ayano-san has become something of a celebrity. A German film-maker posted a short documentary about her in 2014, and a dozen articles have been written about her (many of which, sadly in this age of copycat journalism, mistakenly state that her father has passed away – news that was quite a shock to her father, who was pottering energetically away in the yard on my most recent visit this May).

從那時起,我每年春天都會回到名頃村。在這期間,也有其他外國人來訪,綾野女士已經在某種程度上成為了名人。2014年,一位德國電影制作人發表一部關于綾野女士和她的稻草人的短紀錄片,介紹關于她的文章也有十幾篇。(但遺憾的是,在這個網絡假新聞盛行的時代,竟然誤傳綾野女士的父親已逝世,她的父親對此感到震驚。在我今年5月最近一次拜訪時,他正在院子里精神飽滿地閑逛。)

Accounts by other writers often use ‘creepy’ or similar words to describe her creations, but as I have been drawn back every year, my understanding has ripened.

其他作家經常用"毛骨悚然"或其他類似的詞語描述她的作品,但由于每年我都會回到名傾村,我對綾野女士作品的理解很深入。

Nagoro’s story is not unique. Every year it’s played out in hundreds of villages around Japan. Children growing up in these remote areas, dealing with the demanding conditions of rural life, are seduced by the allure of big cities – conveniences, jobs, entertainment – and leave their hometowns, never to return.

名頃村的故事并非獨一無二,每年日本的數百個村莊上演著同樣的故事。在這些偏遠地區長大的孩子們,面對著農村生活的艱苦,很難不受到大城市的誘惑。大城市生活方便,就業容易,還有豐富的娛樂,因此他們離開家鄉,永遠不再回來。

The dilemma is common, but Ayano-san’s response has been pure, wholehearted and unique. A few times a week she gathers cloth, batting, newspaper, wire and clothing, and begins to craft a figure who represents a cherished grandmother or grandfather who has passed away, or a child who moved to the city, or even a visitor who has left a mark on her heart.

這種兩難處境比比皆是,但綾野女士卻用如此單純、全心全意且獨一無二的方式作出回應。她每周都會收集幾次布料、棉絮、報紙、電線和衣服,然后開始塑造人物:去世的祖母或祖父、搬到城里的孩子、甚至可能是一位在她心中留下印記的訪客。

She has chosen to repopulate her village with these eminently un-scary scarecrows, and she fills them with art and soul and loving memory.

她選擇用這些并不可怕的稻草人重新充實凋零的村莊,每個稻草人都飽含她的藝術才華、心靈和愛的記憶。

In this, she symbolises Shikoku itself, a stunningly beautiful but largely ignored and impoverished island whose residents meet the challenges of daily life with a deeply ingrained resourcefulness and resilience. Every day on Shikoku, farmers plant and harvest rice, mikan oranges, shiitake mushrooms, wheat, tomatoes and other crops, as they have for centuries; every day, fishermen motor out before dawn and return each afternoon with nets silver-shimmering with yellowtail, sea bream and bonito.

在這一點上,她象征著四國本身,一個美麗得令人驚嘆、但總被忽視的貧窮島嶼。島上的居民用骨子里的智慧和韌性迎接日常生活的挑戰。在四國島上,農民們每天種植和收獲大米、蜜柑、香菇、小麥、西紅柿和其他農作物,幾百年來一直如此。每天,漁民們天沒亮就出海打漁,下午帶著閃閃發光的網回來,網里裝著黃獅魚、海鯛和鰹魚。

And in the island’s best-known tradition, Buddhist pilgrims from near and far walk a sacred circuit of 88 temples, honouring the founder of Japanese Shingon Buddhism, Kobo Daishi. As they walk, they are welcomed by the locals with smiles, bows and gifts of rice, oranges and biscuits to help them on their journey.

這個島上最著名的傳統是來自四面八方的佛教信眾按沿著既定路線巡游朝拜88座寺院。這些座寺院是紀念日本佛教真言宗的創始人空海大師。當地人會微笑鞠躬并贈送大米、橘子和餅干等禮物來迎接行走在朝圣路上的信眾。

In her own way, I have come to realise, Ayano-san too is offering gifts to help us all on our life’s journey.

我漸漸意識到,綾野女士也在用她自己的方式向我們贈送禮物,在我們人生的旅途中提供幫助。

On my May visit to Nagoro, I met another resident of the village and asked her what she thought about the scarecrows.

5月份去名頃村的時候,我遇到了村里的另一位居民,問她對稻草人有什么看法。

“At first they were a little disturbing,” she said, “for us just as for visitors. But I’ve come to like them and find comfort in them. I recognise people who have passed away and it’s nice to have them still here.”

她說:"剛開始的時候,我們本地人和游客一樣覺得它們看起來有點嚇人,但現在我已經很喜歡稻草人,從中找到人生的慰藉。我能認出一些已經去世的人,很高興他們還在這里。

On that visit, Ayano-san again invited me and my fellow travellers into her home. I asked her how many scarecrows she had made since 2002. “I think about 450,” she said. “Every three years or so, I have to replace them. Now there are 27 people living in the village – and 200 scarecrows!” She laughed.

在這次名頃村之行,綾野女士再次邀請我和我的旅伴們到她家做客。我問她自2002年以來她做了多少稻草人。她說:"我想大概有450個,因為每隔三年左右,我就得更換一遍。現在村里有27個居民和200個稻草人!"

One of the members of our group asked if, once her father passed away, she would move back to Osaka.

我們小組的一個成員問她,一旦父親去世,她是否會搬回大阪。

There was a long silence and she seemed lost in thought, gazing into the distance.

她久久未開口,凝視著遠方,似乎陷入了沉思。

Finally she spoke. “I don’t think so,” she said. She looked out at the fields, the bus stop, the woodshed, the one-lane road, all of them enlivened by her creations. “I’m quite content here. I’m among my friends.

她終于開口說話,"我不會回大阪",她望著外面的田野、汽車站、木棚、單車道公路,所有的一切都因她的創作充滿生氣。她說:"在這兒生活我很滿足,到處都是我的朋友。"

“And look!” She turned back to us, her eyes sparkling, her face crinkling into a bright smile. “They are bringing new friends to my village, too!”

"看!",她回頭對我們說,眼睛閃閃發光,臉上洋溢著笑容。"他們也把新朋友帶到了我的村莊!"。

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