Chinese netizens urge government to criminalize cosplaying Japanese military uniforms
?? Police arrested several young men who posed for photos next to a war remembrance site wearing replica Japanese WWII military uniforms
?? Similar provocative things reminded audiences of the problems of history teaching among Chinese youth
?? Experts say it’s time for China to pass law over disrespect for history
A bullet-marked wall from the Joint Trust Warehouse, or Sihang Cangku, has been preserved as it was after a battle with Japanese invaders in Shanghai. Photo: CFP
News of the detention of four people who posed for photos next to the site of a famous 1930s battle while wearing replica Japanese military uniforms from the era has been widely welcomed online.
Photos of the four provocateurs have been shared widely online over the past two weeks. The photos were taken outside the Joint Trust Warehouse, or Sihang Cangku, where dozens of Chinese soldiers died defending the city from Japanese invasion 80 years ago.
Unsurprisingly, the young men were convicted of insulting the soldiers who gave their lives.
A notice published Wednesday by the Shanghai police on their official Sina Weibo website indicates that three of the five provocateurs (including the one who took the picture) will be detained and two will be “educated”.
Many have even called for them to be severely punished, with some drawing parallels with the two Chinese tourists who were recently arrested in Berlin for performing the Nazi salute and could face criminal charges. However, there is no law in China that specifically applies to such behavior.
For Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies of the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, such behavior shows ignorance and disrespect of some young people for history in general. .
“Such things do not happen by chance. It reveals problems in our young people’s view of history,” Da told the Global Times. “While criticizing these people, we should also think about how young people are educated about history.”
Question the results
One of the posers said taking the photos was as exciting as stealing a manhole cover. “There are so many people around Sihang Cangku at night. Taking a photo is like stealing a manhole cover – we finished it in seconds,” the photo taker wrote in the caption of the photos. .
Shangdizhiying_5zn, the surfer who first spotted and disseminated the footage, wrote that he felt “an unmistakable flush of anger surging throughout his body” when he first saw them as they “touched them. its bottom line “. Then he quickly posted the photos on Weibo, hoping the lack of respect for the historic site would catch the government’s attention.
In 1937, around 400 Chinese soldiers clashed with tens of thousands of Japanese in the warehouse and successfully detained them until the bulk of the Chinese forces were able to retreat. Today a museum, it is considered an important vestige of the war.
“Now some people don’t feel grateful. Instead, they wear the enemy’s uniforms and take pictures at the site where the martyrs shed their blood and write mocking captions. For me, such behavior is no different from peeing and pooping the “rest” martyrs, Shangdizhiying_5zn wrote.
“In Germany, giving a Nazi salute would lead to one in prison. [the relevant department] face people taking pictures in Japanese military uniforms at a site where China fought the Japanese army? A simple apology cannot settle the matter, “wrote one netizen.
The question of respect for war often arouses anger. Tuesday, several emojis with still images from the documentary 22, which includes 22 Chinese women who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II have sparked public outrage.
Also recently, two young men were detained for 10 days after dressing in Japanese military uniforms in Binyang County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which was occupied by Japanese forces in 1940. Photos of the incident showed they had their bayonets. They were quickly surrounded by a crowd of hundreds and likely would have been beaten if the police had not come to their aid. The couple later said they were trying to gain attention online.
“The most terrible thing is that they may not have realized that they are questioning respect for people’s history,” Da noted.
Chaos of history
These young people dressed in Japanese uniforms are often referred to as “jingri” online, which literally means “Japanese spirit”.
There has been little research on the size, identity or motivations of this “reverse nationalist” group. Some suspicious online jingri are actually Japanese right-handed people posing as Chinese.
Netizens are tagged as jingri if people think they have sided with right-wing Japanese forces, insulted China, or argued with more patriotic netizens.
A Jingri netizen called Daribendiguo (literally Japanese Empire) wrote that the invasion of Japan was a good thing, arguing that it was aimed at freeing China from the dictatorial government of ROC leader Chiang Kai-shek.
Shangdizhiying_5zn told the Global Times that while it is not entirely sure whether the four photo takers engaged in any other inappropriate activities, information provided by other netizens appears to show that some of them did. already visited the Yasukuni shrine and even have connections with right-wing people. in Japan.
After posting the post exposing the four photo takers, he received online threats from people he believed to be Jingri.
“Judging whether someone is jingri should be based on their remarks and behavior over a long period of time, not just their cosplay in Japanese military uniform,” Shangdizhiying_5zn said.
Da said these young people may have done these things for fun or to become famous online, but they definitely had “the wrong view on history.”
“Historical nihilism, revisionism and exaggeration are all rampant and even hateful views on history,” Da said. “All of this, especially in the information age, has affected the view of history by young people.”
“Games, cartoons, etc. that change history at random may have more influence on young people than history textbooks,” Da said, “In Japan, embellishing war and distorting history are made by cartoons, through which many learn the story. “
“In addition, in the Internet age, young people can easily learn how other countries interpret our history, including the history of the war against Japanese aggression, which would also affect their view of history. “Da said.
According to Da, many Chinese students who previously studied in Japan would use the name “Japanese-Sino War” to describe the war of resistance against Japanese aggression (1931-45), which “blurs the nature of war.”
“Now the prejudices against Chinese students are reduced in Japan, and many students believe that Japanese society is attractive in many ways, especially against some issues in Chinese society,” Da said.
The other day, two Chinese tourists who gave Nazi salutes in Berlin were arrested by German police. In addition to fines, they can also be subject to criminal prosecution, in accordance with German law on Nazi matters.
Their arrest was applauded by many Chinese netizens, who said it would be a good lesson for those who do not respect history. Many hope that the provocateurs in Shanghai, and others like them, will also be punished.
While they have been detained by local police, some are calling for the introduction of a specific law to target this kind of behavior, like Germany.
“There should be a limit to the story. It is high time to put the making of a law on the agenda, because such things happen again and again,” Da said, “The law is to make people respect history, instead of making punishment its goal. “
“These people, who have now alerted us, offer us a good opportunity to reflect on how to deal with such problems and to reflect on our current history education among young people,” Da said.
Da says that to combat the confusion of the Information Age, an authoritative version of the story should be released widely. “Education in a correct view of history and peace must be strengthened and a correct historical record must be kept to awaken people’s respect and fear for history,” he said.
“But education doesn’t have to be rigid and focus on cramming. It’s a better idea to create related products that appeal to young people,” Da said.
Journal Title: Mocking Martyrs