Bifurcated views of Japan within the PRC (and the global Chinese diaspora) are nothing new, but two new Huanqiu photo galleries are particularly striking in this regard.
The first shows some hideously gruesome corpse pictures of what are said to be Chinese victims of Japanese chemical weapons attacks, presumably in Changde in 1940. If such in-your-face evidence isn’t your thing, try this photograph of some museum claymation of Japanese Kwantung Army soldiers doing frostbite experiments on Chinese civilians in Manchuria. It’s certainly an interesting question: does the internet reduce or expand the field of possiblity for anti-Japanese commemoration, or, to put it more bluntly, does the internet render such museum displays obsolete? Museum science in China is developing fast, and, although I won’t have a chance to review in person the giant consortium of anti-Japanese museums in Chengdu until September, I would imagine that these kind of clay models will be out the door within in a generation. Which still gives them 15 years or so to gum up museum floors.
The second features photos of a new bd, or bande desinee/manga sensation in China, the precocious artist Xia Da (夏达), a Chinese phenom who is apparently making big waves in Tokyo. The author’s blog isn’t very updated, but it should give you a sense of the kind of typical style in which she works. Frankly, it’s hard to tell what’s so special about it, but if it’s good enough for the Japanese market, maybe Xinhua should be promoting her work even more.
There is certainly much more to the Sino-Japanese relationship than war crimes memories and Hello Kitty, but it is hard to conceive of a country which is more vilified in China than is Japan, both weighted by historical depictions and simultaneously uplifted by the cultural preferences of Chinese youth.