首相培養所——東京大學

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1989 / 2月

文‧陳淑美 圖‧楊家順


大學,是令人嚮往的知識殿堂。本刊在一系列介紹國內大學之後,將視野轉向國外著名大學,由「光華」的編輯實地採訪,將各校特色與風采呈現給您。

這次介紹的是日本東京大學。它不僅是日本一流官僚與企業人才的培養所,也是學術領導的重鎮。


「本鄉三丁目」是離東京大學最近的地鐵站名,一下車就可看到斗大字體的指示招牌:「往東京大學」,但從此以後,「東京大學」就消失了。

想在校園看到校名很不容易。東大有好幾個校門,但沒有一個掛校牌。

沒有校牌,卻已成為日本第一學府,只因其歷史背景與傳承。

領導日本學、政、經界

東京大學自一八七七年創立至今,其為政府造就人才的「官學」色彩始終不變。

從明治時期「開成學校」(東大前身)的「貢進生制度」——從各藩鎮中選取俊彥至東大讀書,並授予學位;到帝大時期,優先任用文法科畢業生擔任政府高等文官;至現在的日本政府內閣首相(如中曾根康弘、佐藤榮作、福田糾夫等)十之八九出於東大等例子,皆可看出東大人在日本社會的崇高地位。

除了政界,東大人在企業界也表現優異。日本俚語謂:「只要是東大畢業的,醜八怪也好」,意思是說只要找到東大畢業的好郎君,則此生吃穿享用不盡。

但成立東大的目的,當然不只是為實用。「東大要當學術界的領導者」,一八九三年,曾參與伊藤博文內閣憲法起草案的文部大臣井上毅,確立了東大的定位。

直至今日,此種信念仍深植東大領導人的心中。從校長、系主任、教授、助教授到講師,每個人都認為有責任要承繼此傳統。因此東大的入學標準向來嚴格,其政策是「寧願不收,不願濫收」。

日本學制採各校獨立招生制,目前每年有八十萬人報考東大,但只錄取三千人,錄取率為千分之三點七五。

本國人如此,外國人亦然。目前東大共有來自六十個國家的一千零五十名外籍學生,約二百名來自台灣。

留學生口中,常傳說著一些名落孫山者的軼事:例如,某甲苦讀數年,立志要讀東大,結果連申請進門的機會都沒有。最後他到京都大學讀書,並且發誓有朝一日要以教授身分回來,結果他辦到了。

某乙連考數年東大,屢戰屢敗,最後換遍了各系,還是與東大無緣;某丙更傳奇,他屢試無望後,以手支地在校門口作倒立狀,以示不忘奇恥,並自我嘲謔:「此後將倒行逆施了」。

我國男生念大學部少

東大分大學院(研究所)及大學部(大學)兩個部門。

東大中華民國留學生同學會會長林智賢指出,由於大學部對外籍學生有「須於取得修完十二年課程(相當於我國的高中畢業生)之後的兩年內報考」之規定,等於限制了須服完兵役才能出國的我國高中畢業男生就讀機會,因此幾十年來東大大學部來自台灣的男性學生可以說寥寥可數。

目前我國的留學生多半在大學院攻讀碩士或博士課程,還有些在熱身階段——當研究生。

什麼是研究生?

專攻文化人類學的「研究生」陳文玲指出,研究生原指對某項專門學科有興趣,願跟著老師作研究、調查,不以拿學位為目的者,有點像研究助理的性質。後來因為日本學制中,進入大學院須經考試,而著名大學的競爭又十分激烈,逐漸演變外國學生多以當研究生來熟悉專攻科目,也藉此適應語言,成為進大學院踏板。

語言是敲門磚

不管是研究生或正式學生,「敢」來念東大的多少有點自信,不少人在台灣就勤學語言,打穩專業基礎。以林智賢為例,出國前看了兩三百卷錄影帶,每天下班學著說。這樣打下的基礎,使他在來日後的第一天,就能毫無困難地找路、看房子、與人對話。

今年卅五歲,在農學院專攻放射線遺傳學的鴻義章是另一個例子。他放棄台北一家貿易公司國外部經理的優渥職位,到日本追求理想。第一年他除了打工、睡覺外,其他時間就是看書。考試前,他將要考的專業科目來來回回複習三次,考試時「覺得只是在使用語言而已,並不困難」,他說。

但是有些人的過程並不這麼順利。

目前在教育行政學科就讀碩士二年級的廖芳濱回憶,考試前就聽學長說過,如果老師認為你「孺子可教」,且願意收你為徒,就會在口試時問些諸如此後有何計劃?研究重點如何?……等問題。但當他考試時,老師什麼也沒問。

「莫非沒希望了?」考完後,他打電話給老師,希望指點迷津。

「別急!再等兩天就公布了呀!」老師回答。

兩天!如今回憶起來,廖芳濱仍覺漫長。他只記得放榜前一晚徹夜未眠,第二天清晨六時就跑到學校,但校門還沒開。等到九點半門開了,可是公佈欄內什麼也沒有。等呀等呀,十一時半,有人來貼榜單,屏息靜氣,他看到自己「榜上有名」,一回頭,指導教授站在後面微笑。

「照張相吧」,教授說。就這樣他和教授在公布欄前拍了一張照片,留下歷史性的一刻。

不輕易授與學位

廖芳濱事後回想,老師所以如此慎重,一方面是因為編制——後來他才知道教育行政學科每年只有一個外國留學生名額;一方面則是因為東大對人文學科學位的授與十分嚴格。

據廖芳濱的了解,東大對理工與人文學科學位授予的觀念十分不同,前者只要能夠獨立研究或創造一種研究數據或理論即可;而後者則須對人類、宇宙有重大貢獻才行——這是何其困難之事!

因此,東大創校一百一十年以來,授予人文學科的博士中,除較多法學院的為一百卅人外,文學教育、經濟、社會學科各為卅、廿六、四十三、廿三人。

三年前從東大畢業的現任立法委員蔡中涵,是東大第十七位社會學博士。

蔡中涵畢業於政大東語系俄文組,在東大作的是有關赫魯雪夫的研究。

眾志成城

他指出,因為掛著俄文專長的招牌,到東大後,老師總以為他的俄文不錯,沒事就丟來一本俄文書:「蔡先生,這裡頭的資料你看看!」,「可是他那曉得,我的俄文是上課才看得到,下課就收走地學了四年」,蔡中涵說。

但老師的要求總得想辦法,於是蔡中涵組成「俄文研究會」,召集大家一起看俄文書,用團體的力量來完成作業,也可以跟同學討論學術、交換意見。這種研究會,日本人稱「勉強會」,在日本學術圈十分流行。

如蔡中涵一樣,不少東大人都曾參加「勉強會」。「除了研討學術外,也可以作學術的傳承,當同一部門年輕的與資深的學者聚在一起時,新人可得到成長的機會」,專攻印度哲學的郭敏芳談起團體研究的好處。

此外,日本學術圈也相當重視基礎研究。

郭敏芳指出,從系所課程可看出端倪。像人文科學研究科除有國語(日本語)、中國、西洋古典、英、德、法等文學與語學的研究外,每種語言之下還細分語史、文學、文學史,有時還依古代、中世、近世、近代等時間分類。「學生一、二名,教授八、九名是常有的事」,郭敏芳說。

分工細、學問紮實

郭敏芳指出,日本學者要求分工細密,訓練的方法看來很死板,但自有其長處。以他專攻的印度哲學來說,老師要求有解讀第一手文獻的語言基礎,因此學生們至少要會英文、巴利文、藏文、梵文,最好還會中文,而他則再加上日文,總共要接觸六種語言。

有解讀能力,才能談思想架構。「和中國人的想法不大一樣,他們不會立刻要求你怎樣思想、如何融會貫通,馬上成為『大通家』」,郭敏芳說。

又由於注重工具書,學術界常結合眾人之力,出版辭典、文法書、索引、解題書,目的是普及學術。

這使只接受一般基礎訓練的人,也有辦法研究,「就像有人可以練鐵砂掌來開罐頭,但能練成的畢竟是少數,而用開罐器是每個人都會開的」,郭敏芳說。

蔡中涵也指出,日本教授的作風是:看論文先看參考書目,若是他覺得這個研究有些書該列未列,就認為你有所疏漏;教授們甚至認為,如果連標點符號這種細節都弄不好,論文是不會好的。

入境隨俗?

但日本教授數十年如一日的研究精神,卻讓留學生覺得沒話說。

「你可以強烈地感受到他們研究的熱度」,目前在工學院念博士班一年級的林如章指出,不少教授每天帶頭在實驗室工作、寫報告、整理資料,「日本社會競爭的壓力轉換到學術界來,精神完全一樣」,他說。

但外國人終究是外國人,偶爾也會有些文化困惑。

專攻造船的林忠宏指出,撰寫論文時,很肯定或是有些自詡的句子,常被改成雙重否定、推測、不置可否,如「就是這樣」改成「難道不是這樣」,「不是這樣」,改成「個人認為,應該不是這樣吧!」。

「有時會覺得論文講求證據,肯定就肯定,否定就否定,那來那麼多商量的語氣,但日本人卻以為,如此才能給人深思的餘地,才叫客觀」,林忠宏說。

而一些日本人的習慣,如下課或作完實驗後,往往還有所謂「親睦會」——一些日本電影見到的畫面:一碟小菜、一瓶清酒,陪老師論古說今到天明。一名東大人指出,藉著這種不拘形式的管道來交換意見,能使原本嚴肅的師生關係緩和下來,學生也能說些不成熟的見解。但是,這類聚會十分頻繁,少則一周一次,多則每天都有,次數多的話,簡直沒有私生活。

而日本文化的含蓄與曖昧,有時也會讓異鄉客摸不著頭緒。

最明顯的是考試,不少人都知道,日本文化中有所謂「揉搓」——事先協調的過程,考不考得上,不知道原因的「黑盒子」佔很大部分。

「有時你會很緊張,覺得跟老師作好關係,大過學術的追求」,一名自認為個性內向、喜歡關在圖書館中自我追求快樂的東大人形容。

人際關係等於人品?

不少東大人也懷疑,考試只是一種形式,重要的是停在老師腦海中的印象——語言、專業能力、對學術研究的熱誠,及與團體交往的人際關係都是;而這其中又以人際關係最難讓中國人理解。

林智賢認為,日本人認為沒有好的人際關係的人,其品格必然有缺陷,雖然有些道理。但對外國人來說,什麼才是好的人際關係?其禮數、規矩如何?多少要經過番適應。

但不管如何,大部分人都還是認為,來到東大絕對沒錯,「有那麼多認真、嚴謹的教授來帶領,有那麼多孜孜不倦的『勉強家』(用功的人)當同學,能不豐富嗎?」一名東大人說。

〔圖片說明〕

P.112

銀杏道上有濃郁的香味、有特殊的感覺,令東大人永難忘懷。(陳無憂攝)

P.113

安田講堂是東大的精神象徵,六○年代學生運動留下的火燒痕跡,仍在紅磚牆上。(張良綱攝)

P.114

百年老校東大隨處可見這般歷史痕跡。此為學生活動場所——劍道館入口。

P.115

昔日東大人都以出身「赤門」自傲。因其歷史意義,此門已成日本重要的文化財。

P.116

東大校地原為江戶時期某諸侯的家園,建築頗具特色。(陳無憂攝)

P.117

圖書館前,我國旅居東大的留學生,留下「證據照」。

P.118

帝大時期(1866∼)的工學院。(取材自「東京大學的百年」)

P.119

東大靠上野地區的校門,厚重且饒富古意。

P.119

離東大車程不到十分鐘的神田古書街,常可見到東大人身影。(陳無憂攝)

相關文章

近期文章

EN

Training Ground of Prime Ministers: Tokyo Universyty

Jackie Chen /photos courtesy of Yang Chia-shun /tr. by Phil Newell

University: the longed-for "palace of knowledge." After a series of articles introducing universities in the ROC, Sinorama has taken to the road, with its editors personally bringing you the special characteristics of famous universities around the globe.

This time we're at Japan's Tokyo University. Not only the top ranked hothouse for cultivating future government and business leaders, it is also a center of scholarly leadership.


At the Hongo San-Chome subway stop nearest to Tokyo University--often called Todai--the arrow says "To Tokyo University." But then the university just disappears: The school has many gates, but its name isn't on them. But it is Japan's leading educational institution, owing to its history and traditions.

Since its founding in 1877, Todai has not lost its character of being the center for "official training." One gets a sense of the important status of Todai from the system of student recruitment--top students chosen by local government--in the Meiji era, from the use of its top literature graduates in the highest levels of government in the Imperial era, and from the fact that 80 or 90 percent of Japan's prime ministers (including Nakasone, Sato, and Fukuda) are from Todai.

Todai grads also shine in business. There is a saying for hopeful brides: "It doesn't matter if he's ugly as long as he graduated from Todai." And it's no joke. Statistics reveal that there are 5,300 directors from Todai in the business community today.

But Todai wasn't just established as a status factory. In 1893, the former prime minister, K. Inoue, stated that "Todai must be the leader in scholarship." This idea is deeply planted in the hearts of school administrators and educators, who believe it their duty to carry on this tradition. Acceptance standards are extremely rigorous. The motto is: "Better to not accept than to accept too many." Only 3,000 of the 800,000 who shoot for Todai in the entrance exams get in. That's 3.75%.

The same goes for foreign students. Altogether, there are currently 1,050 foreign students from 60 nations at Todai.

For those who "dare" to attend Todai, confidence is required. Many from Taiwan work hard on the language to have a firm base. Lin Chih-hsien, for example, watched two or three hundred videos and studied Japanese every day after work. It paid off when he got to Japan and had no trouble asking directions, looking for a place to live, or conversing.

Thirty-five-year-old Antonio I. C. Hong is another example. He gave up a good job as general manager of the foreign department of a trading company to pursue his dream. In his first year, besides work and sleep, he did nothing but study, reading his texts three times before exams. This made the exams only a matter of getting the language right.

But things aren't always so smooth.

Liao Fang-pin, now a sophomore in the Educational Administration Department, found her admissions process very nervewracking. Looking back, Liao thinks one of the reasons was the system--only later did she discover that her department accepted only one foreign student a year. Another reason is that Japan is very strict about who gets an advanced degree in the humanities.

Liao understands that the view of sciences differs from that of the humanities. For the former, it is enough to be able to do research or formulate theory independently. The latter are expected to make great contributions to mankind or to the universe. In its 110 year history, the humanities fields--with the exception of law's 130--have graduated few Ph.D.s: 30, 26, 42, and 23 in literature, education, economics, and sociology, respectively.

Three years ago, Tsai Chung-han, now a member of the Legislative Yuan, became Todai's 17th sociology Ph.D. Tsai graduated in Russian from National Chengchi University on Taiwan.

He pointed out that since he had the credentials of a Russian specialist, his professors at Todai thought he could read Russian without any problem. But he knew that "I only saw my Russian in class; after class I just packed it away," as he put it. But he had to come up with a way to meet his teachers' demands, so he organized a study circle to read Russian together, relying on the strength of the group to complete assignments.

These study circles are very popular at Todai. Besides being forums for discussion, they serve as transmitters of scholarship, bringing together young and senior scholars.

The Japanese scholarly community puts great emphasis on basic research.

A clue can be discerned from the curriculum. Humanities has not only Japanese, Chinese, Western Classical, English, German, and French language and literature, but is further subdivided into linguistic history, literature, literary history, and even sub-sub-divided chronologically. "It's common to have one or two students and eight or nine professors," says student Guo Miin-fang.

The professors in turn demand well-honed basic skills. To study Indian philosophy like Guo Miin-fang requires first-hand knowledge of six languages. Tsai Chung-han points out that the style of the Japanese professors is to look first at the references in a thesis; if something isn't there they think should be, they think you have a gap. They even consider punctuation: if that isn't done right, the thesis likely isn't done right either.

The dedication of the Japanese to research leaves their overseas students speechless. A first year Ph.D. student studying engineering says that the scholars bury themselves in research and writing, bringing the competitiveness of Japanese society to the academic world.

But foreigners are, after all, foreign, and there can be cultural problems. Thesis writing like "that's just the way it is" can be changed to "it is possible that's the way it is" or "I think that's the way it is." Japanese professors believe such terminology is more "objective" and less presumptuous. And after class or lab, professors may expect the students to participate in informal discussions over food and drink which can last all night. These can be as often as daily events, leaving one without personal time.

And the subtleties and implied meanings which are part of Japanese culture can create headaches. The best example is exams.

Japanese culture includes "massage" --a kind of prefatory harmonization. One self-described "introverted" student complained "Sometimes you get uptight because relations with the teacher can be more important than the pursuit of scholarship."

Many at Todai consider exams a formality. Most important is the impression left on the professor, and interpersonal relations within the group. Lin Chih-hsien argues that the Japanese believe those who cannot have good interpersonal relations are somehow not up to snuff. That's true to a point, but as far as foreigners are concerned, what are the standards? It takes a lot of adapting to rituals and unwritten rules.

Despite these problems, most believe coming to Todai was absolutely correct. As one student concluded, "With so many dedicated professors and hard-working classmates, is it possible that it not be enriching?"

[Picture Caption]

Poplar-lined streets have a great scent and ambience, leaving a hard-to-forget impression on those who go to Todai. (photo by Chen Wu-yu)

Yasuda Hall is the spiritual symbol of the university; its facade still bears the scars of an explosion from the 1960's student movement. (photo by Vincent Chang)

Todai has always been a gateway to success. Its profound historical significance makes the school gate a valuable cultural relic in itself.

The hundred-year-old campus is filled with the traces of history: this is the entrance to a Kendo hall.

Students from the ROC get an "evidential photo" in front of the library.

The campus was originally the home of nobility in the Edo era (1603-1867). In this photo you can get a feel for the special character of Japanese architecture. (photo by Chen Wu-yu)

The College of Industry of the "Imperial University" era. (photo from On e Hundred years of Tokyo University)

The gate facing the Ueno district is heavy both literally and figurative ly, rich with the meaning of the past.

Less than ten minutes from Tokyo University is the center of bookshops i n Kanda, where one often finds Todai students lurking about. (photo by Chen Wu-yu)

 

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