This year marks the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations’ establishment between China and Japan, but the recent rise of anti-Japanese sentiment has attracted public attention. Recently, a video of a policeman scolding and tearing off a girl’s Japanese kimono on the street has gone viral. With a heavy heart the girl said: “I can only say that I am really disappointed. It turns out that I have never had the freedom to dress and speak freely.”
According to Sound of Hope, recently, a girl following the cosplay trend (the movement of dressing up, acting as characters in certain fictional works) posted on Weibo that she recently went to a event site with her friend and wanted to shoot a scene in the Japanese anime “Summer Time Rendering,” so both of them were wearing kimonos. As a result, they were stopped and interrogated by a police officer.
In the video, the police officer says,
“If you wore a Hanfu, I would never say that, but a Japanese kimono? For a Chinese person, are you Chinese?”
The girl asked: “Do you have the right to scold me?”
The policeman shouted: “Yes!”
The girl said that she and her friend didn’t want to cause any trouble, but the police tore her kimono and took them away.
The girl said that many friends advised her not to expose the incident and the police also threatened her not to disclose the incident on the internet. She said, “But it is really difficult to calm down.” She said after being taken away, the police confiscated her cell phone, checked photos, recorded chats, confiscated her clothes, deleted photos, and forced her to write a 500-word review. After that, the police called her school to ask them to educate her.
“Now I feel like I don’t have any personal dignity.” She said that she was very patriotic and believed in the police. ”I like 2D animation, I like Japanese culture, European culture, Chinese culture, I like multiculturalism. Is it wrong for me to like such things?”
Sound of Hope said the incident also sparked a lot of discussion among netizens, with one commenting: “This stupid kind of xenophobia is enough, just don’t wear suits or anything.” Another commented: ”Every day they say that Japanese culture is infiltrating, animation exhibitions are canceled, cartoons are taken off the shelves, cosplay is not allowed, aren’t you always confident about Chinese culture? Why are you so afraid of being infiltrated?”
VOA reported on August 3 that comic exhibitions across mainland China have repeatedly reported that some Cosers (who dressed as Japanese anime characters) were beaten, some even put sharp objects in Cosers’ food.
According to Sound of Hope, at the same time, online video platform BliBli, which has prepared 21 activities for the fully Japanese-style “Summer Festival,” attracted netizens’ attention. The organizer has made it clear that the event is a gathering of animation lovers and has nothing to do with Japan. However, many hotels have repeatedly expressed disapproval and canceled rental venues, so BliBli had to change to a Chinese-style event in mid-July.
Chen Yongfeng, director of the Center for Japanese Regional Studies at Taikai University, told VOA that, although it has been 10 years since the Toyota smashing incident and the details of other cases are different, there is still a shadow of official anti-Japanese acquiescence behind it. It is very difficult for the Chinese to be anti-Japanese without the authorities’ permission! Like previous protests, whether burning Japanese cars or anti-Japanese, they are basically under official permission. It can be said that if you want to oppose Japan in China, it’s hard to do without the government’s approval.”
Wangjian, a self-made media person, said that, in the era of interactive media, the information that Chinese netizens see is all given out by the official propaganda agency, that is, the Central Propaganda Department, with the purpose of manipulating public opinion. Regrettably, the victims of similar hatred toward Japan in recent years have often been not only Japanese in China, but also Chinese.