More Sino-Japanese Controversy

Huanqiu Shibao is again stirring the pot, summarizing Le Figaro reports about Sino-Japanese relations and a possible visit by Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama to Nanjing.  Online polls are a part of the new coverage,  as are over 300 comments on the Huanqiu board.  Between opprobrium at French media and the whole idea of Sino-Japanese amity, there is more than enough to analyze.  Anticipate a fuller report, and probably a translation of the article that started it all, Le Figaro‘s report on the great Sino-Japanese rapprochement, sometime soon. I had been planning to translate the Le Figaro piece anyway, but now that it has come across the wire and been baited up by Huanqiu, well, that’s what we call an irresistible combo.

In the meantime, I cannot recommend highly enough this 40-page conference paper analyzing the CCP’s media strategy toward the Japan issue from 2005-2009.  It is nothing short of brilliant; one of the best analyses I have read on the issue outside of the standard work by Peter Hays Gries.  If you want to know more about the intersection between state newspapers like Renmin Ribao and their commercial offshoots like Huanqiu Shibao, and how the two interact and often contradict one another as regards Chinese public opinion, read this essay.

And Danwei.org includes an intelligent essay on subtle totalitarian themes in the ostensibly anti-Japanese cinema of Lu Chuan.  Ed Wong at the New York Times provides more discussion of Lu Chuan’s galvanizing 2009 film, “Nanjing! Nanjing!”

Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan (陆川,born 1970), director of "Nanjing! Nanjing!" -- photo by the omnipresent frenchman, Gilles Sabrie in Beijing

I am still chewing on that Danwei link, as I am currently at work on a more extensive review of Lu Chuan’s work and the spate of Nanking dramas for another fantastic journal which can be read online.  You can expect updates on that in the coming weeks, as well as an associated dissertation on my own bloody struggles with word counts.

Finally, there is this rather odd story from Huanqiu about a Japanese-style cafe in Shanghai (page may load slowly):

via Huanqiu Shibao

Netizen comments on the cafe story are here.  In true Huanqiu style, the photo essay is flanked by other photo galleries of anti-Chinese cartoons published in San Francisco in the 1890s and a bunch of completely self-indulgent portraits of “Shanghai girls with lots of money.”  Nothing like national humiliation mixed in with a little Wei Hui.

Fortunately the various responses to the cafe story are mitigated by Huanqiu pointing us to a bunch of (what else) crazy Japanese men getting wet on New Years’ Day.

Well, if you can’t handle cognitive dissonance, then Sino-Japanese relations may be the wrong field (yet a bullish field in a sluggish economy!) in which to forge a career.  In the meantime, enjoy the links.