FANGZHENG, China — At the end of a narrow road in Fangzheng, a remote town in northeastern China, next to a hushed forest of birch and pine trees, stands the locked iron gate of the Sino-Japanese Friendship Garden.

中国方正县——在中国东北偏远县城方正的一条狭窄道路的尽头,一片白桦和松树林旁,中日友好园林的铁门锁闭着。

But inside is no garden. Instead, there are graves of some 5,000 Japanese who died in what was then known as Manchuria when the Japanese Empire collapsed in defeat at the end of World War II, and victorious Soviet armies swept in.

里面并不是园林,而是约五千名日本人的墓地。二战结束时,日本帝国战败崩溃,获胜的苏联军队涌入当时的满洲国,这些人就是那时候死去的。

The Friendship Garden was built as a memorial to this tragic period of history, and became a symbol of the unusually close ties that have bound Fangzheng to Japan since the war.

中日友好园林是为了纪念那段历史悲剧而修建的,象征着战后方正与日本不同寻常的紧密关系。

The town was once so proud of its connections to Japan that it erected Japanese-language shop signs, and sent a fifth of its population to live and work in Japan. But when rivalries between Japan and China flared, people in Fangzheng found themselves branded as traitors.

这个县城曾以自己与日本的这种联系为傲,它竖起了日语的商店招牌,有五分之一的人口在日本生活和工作。但是,当日本和中国的敌对情绪加剧时,方正人发现自己被打上了叛徒的标签。

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In 2011, the garden was closed after angry anti-Japanese nationalists splashed it with red paint.

2011年被愤怒的反日民族主义者泼洒红色油漆后,这座园林被关闭。

Now, though, the town’s people are watching with wary hope as ties seem to have warmed again in recent months between China and Japan, driven together by a defusing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and the shared threat of a trade war with the United States.

不过现在,这里的人在怀着谨慎的希望观察事态发展。近几个月来,中日关系似乎再次升温,主要是因为朝鲜半岛的紧张局势在缓和,而且两国都面临着与美国发生贸易战的威胁。

现在,这座县城与日本的联系可以从城里各处的广告牌中明显看出来。如图中的这类咨询中心称自己可以提供申请赴日签证或在日本寻找婚姻伴侣等各种服务。
现在,这座县城与日本的联系可以从城里各处的广告牌中明显看出来。如图中的这类咨询中心称自己可以提供申请赴日签证或在日本寻找婚姻伴侣等各种服务。 Giulia Marchi for The New York Times

These days the garden is guarded by an older couple who live in a small house next to the gate, and stop the rare visitor from entering without permission from the town government.

现在,这座园林由一对老年夫妇看守,他们住在大门旁边的一个小房子里,阻止偶然出现访客入内。要入园参观需得到县政府的批准。

The town, like its cemetery, has found itself caught up in the complex and tortured history that still divides Asia’s two economic giants.

这个县城和公墓一样,被困在复杂而痛苦的历史之中。直到现在,这两个亚洲经济巨人的关系依然因为这段历史而有着深深的裂痕。

Fangzheng’s bonds to Japan go back to the 1930s, when this region of China, now known as Heilongjiang Province, was part of a Japanese-created puppet state in Manchuria. In its efforts to control this de facto colony, Japan sent over some 380,000 settlers, mostly impoverished farmers.

方正与日本的联系可以追溯到上世纪30年代,当时中国的这个地区——现在被称为黑龙江省——受日本建立的满洲傀儡政府管辖。为了控制这个事实上的殖民地,日本派来了约38万移民,其中大多是贫穷的农民。

When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, about 10,000 of these colonists were trapped in Fangzheng by the advancing Soviets. Cut off from escape, thousands died from cold, sickness and starvation, as well as group suicide.

1945年日本投降时,约有一万名殖民者被不断前进的苏联军队围困在方正。成千上万人无路可逃,死于寒冷、疾病和饥饿,以及集体自杀。

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Thousands of other Japanese stayed, many of them children who were given to Chinese families by desperate parents, or abandoned as orphans.

还有成千上万日本人留了下来,其中很多是被绝望的父母送给中国家庭的孩子,或者被遗弃的孤儿。

Their story was forgotten until 1963, when Zhou Enlai, China’s No. 2 leader under Mao, ordered the town to excavate the Japanese bones from the hills and forests around the town for cremation and burial. The ashes were interred at what later became the Friendship Garden.

他们的故事被遗忘了,直到1963年毛泽东时代的中国二号领导人周恩来下令,将日本人的遗骨从周围的小山和树林中挖出来火化和埋葬。骨灰被葬在这个后来被称为中日友好园林的地方。

74岁的郜凤琴是日本战争遗孤,五岁时生母把她给了哈尔滨一户中国人家庭。
74岁的郜凤琴是日本战争遗孤,五岁时生母把她给了哈尔滨一户中国人家庭。 Giulia Marchi for The New York Times

When Japan became prosperous in the 1980s, it began repatriating its war orphans from northeastern China. They, in turn, helped their Chinese relatives and friends to move to Japan for work, study and marriage.

在80年代日本经济繁荣起来后,日本人开始从中国东北地区接回战争遗孤。他们反过来帮助在中国的亲戚和朋友去日本工作、求学和结婚。

According to the Fangzheng government website, 38,000 people from the town — one fifth of Fangzheng’s population — now live overseas, overwhelmingly in Japan.

据方正县政府网站称,该县3.8万人——占全县人口的五分之一——生活在海外,绝大部分在日本。

In 1995, a repatriated former orphan built a monument in the cemetery to the Chinese parents who adopted Japanese children. Many of the former orphans, some of whom kept their Chinese names while others took Japanese names on returning, are now among the most frequent visitors to the Friendship Garden.

1995年,一名被接回日本的遗孤在公墓里为收养日本儿童的中国父母修建了一座纪念碑。这些遗孤中一些人沿用了自己的中文名字,还有一些人一回去就起了日语名字。现在常来友好园林的有很多属于这个群体。

“The Friendship Garden is a meaningful place,” said Gao Fengqin, 74, a former Japanese war orphan now living in Harbin, about 120 miles from Fangzheng. “The visits are not paid to the Japanese soldiers, but the Chinese parents who brought us up.”

“友好园林是个有意义的地方,”曾是战争遗孤的郜凤琴说。她今年74岁,住在离方正县大约120英里(约合200公里)的哈尔滨。“我们去园林不是为了日本军人,是为了纪念抚养我们成人的中国父母。”

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The bonds are apparent in the billboards around town that advertise “consultancy centers” to help with everything from applying for visas to finding work and marriage partners in Japan.

在县里随处可见的广告牌中,这种纽带显而易见。这些广告牌上宣传的“咨询中心”可以提供方方面面的帮助,从申请签证到在日本找工作和结婚对象。

Nearby, a high-end gated community is called the Overseas Chinese Village Homeland, a reference to the 48,000 residents and their families who have returned to this once poor rice-farming town after living in Japan.

附近是一个名为华侨村家园的高端封闭式小区。这里的华侨指的是曾在日本生活过一段时间的4.8万居民及其家人,他们后来又回到这个曾经颇为贫穷的水稻种植县生活。

郜凤琴的日本生母小林昭子和两个孩子。
郜凤琴的日本生母小林昭子和两个孩子。 Giulia Marchi for The New York Times

“It’s glorious if someone’s daughter married to Japan,” said Chen Zhongbo, 45, a taxi driver in Fangzheng. “Japan is still considered richer, much more developed.”

“谁们家女儿要是嫁到了日本,是挺光荣的事儿,”方正县45岁的出租车司机陈中波说。“大家还是觉得日本有钱、发达。”

In 2006, the town went a step further, declaring itself a “Hometown for Chinese Living in Japan” in order to attract more investment from there. As part of the rebranding, all shops in Fangzheng were required to have both the Chinese and Japanese languages on signs.

2006年,方正县更进一步,为了从日本吸引更多投资而宣称自己是“龙江第一侨乡”。作为形象重塑工程的一部分,方正县所有店铺的牌匾都被要求做成中日双语。

The troubles began not long after that, as economic and political competition between Tokyo and Beijing reignited old disputes over contested islands and Japanese efforts to whitewash wartime atrocities.

不久后,麻烦开始了,在东京和北京之间的经济和政治竞争中,围绕有争议岛屿和日本粉饰战争暴行的行为而起的旧有争端被重新点燃。

Every time a Japanese politician visited the Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo, or denied the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, when rampaging Japanese troops slaughtered civilians in that city, hatred welled up online.

每当日本政治人物参拜东京的靖国神社,或否认1937年日军在南京屠杀平民的暴行,网上就会充斥着仇恨情绪。

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This anger increasingly spilled over onto Fangzheng.

这种愤怒日渐涌入方正。

In 2011, Fangzheng provoked online outrage when it spent more than 700,000 yuan, or about $110,000, to build a memorial wall in the cemetery inscribed with the names of Japanese settlers who were believed to be buried there. Later that year, five young men climbed into the cemetery and splashed red paint on the wall.

2011年,方正县花70多万元在公墓里建了一道纪念碑墙,上面刻着据信被葬在那里的日本移民的名字。此事激起了网民的愤怒。同年晚些时候,五名年轻男子翻墙进入公墓,将红色的油漆泼在了碑墙上。

方正县华锐语言学校的日语培训班。
方正县华锐语言学校的日语培训班。 Giulia Marchi for The New York Times

The town government knocked it down during the night and buried the pieces in the graveyard.

县政府连夜拆除了碑墙,并将残垣断壁埋在了墓地里。

That did not end the criticism. Fangzheng came to be mocked as the “hometown of traitors.” At the entrance to an underground shopping center, a sign appeared saying “Japanese and dogs not allowed,” a reference to past humiliations of Chinese people by imperialist powers.

此举并没有止住批评的声音。方正被嘲讽为“汉奸县”。在一个地下购物中心的入口处,一个牌子上赫然写着“日本人与狗不得入内”。这句话是在指涉昔日帝国列强对中国民众的羞辱。

Almost all the Japanese-language signs in the streets have since disappeared, and the town has removed the name of the cemetery from road signs.

自那以后,街头几乎所有日语牌匾都消失不见了,方正县还去掉了路牌上的公墓名称。

“Without the business related to Japan, Fangzheng is nothing,” said Wang Dongjun, the owner of Huarui Language School, which teaches Japanese. “Fangzheng people are well-off. This is a miracle given that there aren’t many industries here. It’s obvious the wealth comes from Japan.”

“如果没有和日本的关系,方正什么都不是,”教日语的华锐语言学校所有人王东军说。“方正人很富,但是方正这里真的没什么企业,算是个奇迹了。挺明显的,方正人富和日本有关。”

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“When there are sensitive days, like the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Day, I sometimes close my training school to avoid trouble,” he said.

“敏感的日子,比如南京大屠杀纪念日,我有时候就把培训学校关了,免得麻烦,”他说。

Bowing to the pressure, the town released a plan in January to turn the cemetery into a “patriotism education base” by “adding more content to show Chinese people’s spirit of persistence and resistance against Japan’s aggression.”

迫于压力,方正县1月公布了通过“增加抗日内容,展示方正人民自强不息、顽强抗争的精神”,把公墓变成爱国主义教育基地的计划。

郜凤琴家的照片和装饰。
郜凤琴家的照片和装饰。 Giulia Marchi for The New York Times

“It’s torture for people like me who love both countries,” said Sumie Ikeda, a former war orphan who is now director of Association of Friendship of Repatriates from China. “Fangzheng could be a place for reminding people of the history to avoid same mistakes, not a resource for generating hatred.”

“对我们这样既爱中国又爱日本的人来说,看着这种纷争就是一种受罪,”曾是战争遗孤、现在是中国归国者日中友好之会理事长的池田澄江(Sumie Ikeda)说。“方正本该成为让人们铭记历史不犯同样错误的地方,而不是一个让人产生仇恨的地方。”

Others just wish that the disputes would leave them alone.

还有一些人只是希望争端不要殃及他们。

“As common Chinese people, we don’t care about politics,” said Yang Shuang, a 25-year-old woman who worked for three years in a film factory near Tokyo. “When we have the connection, why don’t we use it?”

“我们普通中国人不关心政治,”25岁的杨爽说。她曾在东京附近的一家胶卷厂工作过三年。“我们有这层关系为什么不用?”