After he was denied re-entry to China eight times, Feng Zhenghu lived in Tokyo’s Narita Airport for 92 days in 2009-2010. Now Feng is telling the story of his airport odyssey on his blog, and CDT is translating his account.
This is part 15. Read previous installments here.
November 17, 2009
This morning between 9:30 to 9:45 a.m., no flights were scheduled for arrival, so the lobby was quite empty with only a few employees walking by. It was very quiet. Besides Mr. Yu, a painter now residing in Japan who called to offer encouragement, there were no other calls. I sat quietly reading Zhai Minglei’s article “Blocking Feng Zhenghu From Returning Home is Our National Humiliation!” [Chinese] The more I read, the more moved I became. Tears welled in my eyes, but I tried hard to hold them back. I can’t cry at this place. Perhaps, when I get back home I’ll cry out loud, showing my grief for the motherland.
The ending of the article expresses the sorrow of all Chinese people:
What happened to our country? Why is outstanding talent forced out? Why do hot-blooded men who are unwilling to emigrate end up like this? And patriots being called traitors?!
I am reading a book called “Father’s Battlefield.” It is about Chinese expeditionary soldiers fighting against the Japanese in western Yunnan. I like what the author Zhang Dongpan said, “A real man should never say ‘love’ easily. Once he says that, he must have the courage to die for it. It doesn’t matter if he loves the motherland or a woman.”
I believe that, through what he is doing at Narita Airport, Feng Zhenghu has proved himself to be a man like this.
Feng Zhenghu hasn’t taken a shower in 12 days. He’s been sleeping on a bench in a Japanese immigration lobby, tired and alone. To me, he seems a reflection of the scholar-officials of millennia ago, who left their motherland, let their hair hang loose, and didn’t bathe eat, or drink in order to ease their suffering. All those noble souls who were unwilling to abandon their country! Is our country mad?
At around 2 p.m., a friend in Shanghai asked his brother to send me towels, T-shirts, toothpaste and other daily necessities along with a bag of food. At that time, I happened to be negotiating with a representative from All Nippon Airways. I requested that ANA allow me to take their flights. They announced their written decision today, but because of factual errors, had to go back for more discussion. I am waiting for their response. Just as I finished writing this update, I looked up to see a couple of Americans, flight attendants for US Airways. The woman handed me a cup of instant noodles, a pair of chopsticks, and two sandwich biscuits, saying with a smile, “Good luck!” In English, I answered, “Thank you.” I saw that the gentleman was holding an English newspaper—perhaps it had my story in it.
In the evening, I wrote the article “Feng Zhenghu’s Twitter,” and I am about to post it on Boxun and other websites to thank my supporters. At around 10:23 p.m., I got a call from the U.S., a journalist from the LA Times who wanted to interview me. It was a busy day. I am a bit tired and need some rest. [Chinese]
Translated by Mengyu Dong.