22 February 2019
Those who do not understand the past will not be able to look to the future either. Photo: Reuters
Those who do not understand the past will not be able to look to the future either. Photo: Reuters

Living in a mind cage

Visiting MUJI’s immense store at the Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu, I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous. 

Our mainland peers appear to have definitely surpassed us – assuming that the material world is a reflection of our spiritual life.

The four-story shop is MUJI’s largest flagship unit outside Japan, offering so much more than I have seen in its Hong Kong outlets. I bought a few Japanese lacquer bowls at the store.

This renowned Japanese brand is meant for the middle class. A mega flagship store like the one in Chengdu could not survive unless it has a huge customer base.

My question: Why didn’t Muji set it up in Hong Kong, and chose Chengdu instead?

Meanwhile, I have also noticed that young people in Chengdu dress quite smartly and are even more sophisticated than Hongkongers.

Over the past few years, many Hong Kong youngsters lead themselves down to a dead end and lock themselves up in a dungeon called “Hong Kong”.

For those who do not understand the past, they wouldn’t be able to look to the future either.

I have disapproved of the blind opposition against China.

Hong Kong will always have an inseparable relationship with China, be it in terms of history, culture or political reality.

The ideals of a culture and room for development would be so much wider when people recognize themselves as “Hong Kong Chinese”, instead of being just “Hongkongers”.

“I am a Hongkonger” is wishful thinking. It is an imagined spell that they thought could ward off political influence from the north by simply murmuring it a few times, resulting in Hong Kong independence.

This is self-hypnotism. Only if people come down to earth, understand the political reality and face the opponent with bravery can Hong Kong, along with its youngsters, have the future.

When young people could not differentiate “anti-communism” from “anti-China”, and read “China” as “Chee-na”, they are just presenting themselves as narrow-minded racists, a retrograde step of civilization.

If young people could not jump out of the box of “I am a Hongkonger”, they should not only forget about having a MUJI store that’s bigger than the one in Chengdu; they should also expect to languish in the prisons of the mind.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov. 17.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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HKEJ columnist; art, culture and food critic

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