Chapter 538: Apologize

Volume 35: Dead Japanese [1]

Chapter 538: Apologize

The film and television studio on the outskirts of Long'an was originally a small town. It had been converted into a film and television shooting base ten years ago, and it had already developed to a sizable scale by now.

On the evening of September 17th, several featured extras were celebrating the end of the filming of the new drama in a farmhouse restaurant. There were dozens of dishes on the table and the food was cheap, albeit not of great quality. Everyone was drinking and discussing the funny things that had happened during the filming process as well as gossiping. 

"I heard that the second female lead had been signed to do the next drama by the director."

"Really? Her acting seems average. Did she get the part using the unwritten route[2]?"

"You’d know, even if you didn’t think too deeply about it! I think that this woman would definitely be a star within three years with her speed of climbing into beds.”

"Haha, you want to sleep with the director too? Do you fulfil the requirements?"

After lots of drinking, the topic of conversation gradually revealed a sour taste[3]. The featured extras were just a step above ordinary extras. Their income was comparable to that of the average office worker and their schedule was flexible. However,  when they thought of the people making over a million yuan in the same industry and enjoying fame, their hearts would always be unbalanced.

When everyone had arrived here carrying their luggage, they had all dreamed of becoming Wang Baoqiang. [4] However, after being grinded down over and over again by reality, being content with whatever they got had become a motto for most people.

"Sorry, we’re late!"

The two men walked in, speaking poor Chinese. They bowed to the people present.

The atmosphere suddenly became a bit uneasy, and some people whispered, "Why were these two things called over?" "Who invited them? What bad taste!" "Tell the Japanese to get lost."

The two Japanese actors, Tamura Shinji and Fujiwara Akinori, didn’t notice the subtle changes in the atmosphere. They greeted their colleagues with smiles and sat down. Tamura Shinji poured himself a drink. "In accordance with Chinese customs, I will first punish myself with a glass."

“Wait, change it to a big glass!" said Old Wang, the oldest featured extra. Someone immediately gave the Japanese man a big glass of Erguotou, and there was a burst of laughter as they prepared to see a foreigner make a fool of himself.[5]

Tamura Shinji hesitated for a short while as he stared at the full glass brimming with liquor. After drinking half the glass, it was so fiery that he frowned. He quickly handed the remaining half to Fujiwara Akinori who rejected it with a smile, [6]"Chotto matte yo. Sake ni yowai[7]."

"Fujiwara-san, kore wa chuugoku kisoku!"[8]

"Yabai yabai!"[9]

"Ikki ni nondai."[10]

The two of them declined the liquor in turn for a long time until Fujiwara Akinori swallowed the rest. The whole table laughed, and some people said, "Don't speak bird language.[11] Speak some human language."

"Fujiwara-san said that he can't drink, so he’ll only have this glass." Tamura Shinji explained.

"Fujiwara, your Chinese isn’t very good. You should learn more from Tamura." Old Wang said.

Another featured extra said, "Fujiwara, do you still remember the sentence that we taught you?"

Fujiwara Akinori thought for a while and parroted, “I’m a Japanese devil!”

There was another burst of laughter. Old Wang put the glass down on the table. "Little Japan[12], do you know why we’re drinking together today?"

"The crew has just finished filming desu yo." Tamura Shinji replied. The vague hostility showing at the dinner table made him a little uncomfortable.

"You’re wrong, it’s because tomorrow is an important day in China. 918. Have you heard of it? 918!"

The Japanese men conferred with each other. Tamura Shinji told them the conclusion they had reached. "918 is the holiday celebrating the defeat of the Japanese by the Chinese. Anti-Japanese War of Resistance saikou, and world peace saikou!"[13] He raised his fist and smiled, trying to display his stance.

As featured extras in China, the two had learned early to follow the local customs.

"You’re wrong. 918 is China's National Day of Humiliation. In that year, you Japanese invaded China, caused the Lugou Bridge Incident[14] and occupied Beijing. Didn't your history textbooks mention this?”

"Sou desu ne!"[15] Fujiwara Akinori nodded in agreement.

"I’m asking you something. Did your history textbooks mention this?"

The two looked embarrassed, while the others got more fired up. "I despise the Japanese the most for invading China. The whole world knows but they won’t admit it.

"They also said that the Nanjing Massacre had never happened. They’re totally shameless.”

"Did you know? The crew gives these two Little Japans 3,000 for each episode.”

These words suddenly seemed to add fuel to the fire and the atmosphere around them was ignited at once. As featured extras, they only got a thousand yuan per episode on average. Some people slammed the table angrily, "What right do they have? They’re treating them differently? These Little Japans are neither talented actors nor handsome. So how can they earn three times as much as us?!”

"Why don't you guys go back to your country and act as AV actors?[16] Wouldn’t you earn more? And you will even get to play with actresses for free."

"Yes, go back to Japan. Don't come here to earn Chinese people’s money. Don’t you have any sense of shame?!"

The two looked at each other awkwardly. Fujiwara Akinori, who wasn’t very good at Chinese, had also noticed the hostility and poked Tamura Shinji non-stop, urging him that they should leave quickly.

Old Wang took a sip of alcohol and slowly put down his glass. "Let me say something fair. You two came all the way to China to get ‘killed’ by the Chinese[17]. There’s nothing wrong with the crew giving them extra red envelopes.”

"Aiya, Old Wang, why are you speaking for the Japanese?"

"That's right. Don’t tell me that your mother-in-law is Japanese?"

"Get lost!" Old Wang scolded, "I haven't finished speaking!" He was already getting a bit drunk. He pointed at the two Japanese men whose faces gradually paled. "But you have to remember that if it weren’t for China defeating you all back then, you wouldn’t have been able to earn this money. This is the source of the water you drink. You must be even more thankful than us towards those anti-Japanese heroes!"

"Right, they should apologize to the dead anti-Japanese heroes!"

"Apologize! They should kowtow and apologize!"

The table of people created a commotion. Tamura, who was in a cold sweat,, stood up and bowed, "We came to China for filming shows. We thank China in our hearts. China is becoming more and more prosperous and powerful. It has produced many excellent film and television works and given working opportunities to many international friends. We are very, very grateful for the opportunity!"

"Stop saying nonsense. Hurry up and apologize!" A person smacked the table.

"Every Japanese has to apologize to China. If you don’t, don’t think you can leave today!"

Fujiwara Akinori also stood up, visibly angry. An actor next to him stood up and splashed alcohol onto his face. "What's wrong, Little Japan? You’re not happy with it?"

"You guys… Bu Jiao Ku Si Lou. Kutou wa yurushimasen!"[18] Fujiwara Akinori shouted  and babbled.

Tamura Shinji counseled him, "Fujiwara-san, iu na…[19]"

Fujiwara Akinori swept his hand off. The half-glass of alcohol that he had drunk had already started to take effect. He became more and more agitated, and actually flung and smashed a bowl.

"What bird language are you speaking in?! Speak human language!" The featured extras didn’t let up.

"Ikimashou!"[20] Tamura Shinji frowned as he persuaded Fujiwara. He regretted coming today.

A man stood up and blocked the door of the private room. Fujiwara Akinori shouted, "Let me out!" A slap landed on his face and the other person pointed at his nose with a sinister gaze. "I killed you in the show. Don’t think you can fight me outside of the show. If you don’t fucking apologize today, don’t think that you can walk out through this door!”

Everyone was filled with indignation in an instant. All the Chinese were brimming with a sense of national pride on their faces and Old Wang patted his companions’ hands, "At that time, Little Japan bullied us. Now that China is rich and powerful, it’s our turn to bully them, hahahaha!"

1. Can also be read as “Damned Japanese”. 

2. Euphemism for “casting couch”. 

3. A taste of jealousy. 

4. He’s a man regarded to have neither acting talent nor looks. However, he learned martial arts and gained fame after acting in Blind Shaft (2003). Right now, he’s very famous. 

5. This is because baijiu is a very strong liquor. It’s at least 50% in terms of alcohol percentage. 

6. Important Translator Note: The author uses random Chinese characters to phonetically sound out Japanese words and phrases and it’s quite hard to guess what they’re saying even if you understand some Japanese. Unsure how many of the author’s original readers would have understood these parts. There will be a few parts like this here and there for the rest of the volume. I will use romaji in the text and use translator notes to explain the meaning behind them. 

7. 酒に弱い means “I’m weak when it comes to alcohol/I’m not very good at drinking alcohol.” 

8. これは中国規則 means “This is the Chinese rule/custom.” 

9. やばいやばい means “Dangerous”/ “Uh-oh”/ “Not good” / “Shit” depending on context or the person saying it. 

10. Drink it in one shot. 

11. A language that’s hard to understand. 

12. Wiki: Xiao riben is a derogatory Chinese slang term for the Japanese people or a person of Japanese descent. Literally translated, it means "Little Japan", a reference to the stereotype of the Japanese being short in stature. Anti-Japanese demonstrators used the term xiao riben during the 2012 China anti-Japanese demonstrations

13. 最高 means “The best”/ “Supreme” etc. 

14. Marco Polo Bridge Incident on 7 July 1937. 

15. そうですね is used to agree with a statement. Essentially means “So it is, isn’t it?” 

16. Porn actors. 

17. I assume they mean in all the shows that they act in. 

18. It’s unclear what the author means by the first part, so it’s been left as Chinese pinyin. 句頭は許しません means “Your words can’t be forgiven.”  

19. Means “Stop saying (that).” 

20. いきましょう means “Let’s go”. 

 

 


1. ちょっとまってよ is an informal version of “chotto matte kudasai”, which means “Wait a little” or kind of like how people say “Hold up one sec.”

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