News / Asia

China's 'Hollywood' Stokes Anti-Japanese Sentiment

A Chinese woman drags a Japanese flag on the ground during a protest march in Beijing last September. The media plays a large role in stoking anti-Japanese sentiment.A Chinese woman drags a Japanese flag on the ground during a protest march in Beijing last September. The media plays a large role in stoking anti-Japanese sentiment.
x
A Chinese woman drags a Japanese flag on the ground during a protest march in Beijing last September. The media plays a large role in stoking anti-Japanese sentiment.
A Chinese woman drags a Japanese flag on the ground during a protest march in Beijing last September. The media plays a large role in stoking anti-Japanese sentiment.
In 2012, the Chinese film industry produced numerous movies and television dramas with anti-Japanese themes, many of them dealing with the two wars between the countries. The trend seems set to continue in 2013, with at least nine anti-Japan productions in progress.

According to a report in the Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News, Hengdian World Studio, known as China’s Hollywood, produced between 40 and 50 such shows last year alone. The newspaper estimated the number of deaths of Japanese depicted in the dramas to be one billion over the course of the entire year.

The newspaper said the production quality of many of the productions is not sophisticated, and that some the action shown is so preposterous as to elicit laughter from the audience. In one drama, for example, Chinese are portrayed as having the power to cut Japanese in half with their bare hands.

But while the dramas may appear fantastical or even amateurish, they do serve a very real purpose.

According to Doug Young, a journalism professor at Fudan University in Shanghai and author of the new book The Party Line: How the Media Dictates Public Opinion in Modern China, fanning anti-Japanese sentiment can be very useful for the government in Beijing.

“It’s a convenient way to rally the Chinese around the flag and deflect attention away from scandals like Bo Xilai and corruption,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to make people proud to be Chinese.”

Young added that latent resentment toward Japan makes it easy to stir up the population.

“The Chinese government knows it’s there, and it uses that latent distrust to its advantage when it runs into issues with Japan like the Diaoyu Islands,” he said. “In the case of Japan, it’s a very deliberate effort by the [Chinese] Propaganda Department not to stop inflammatory discussions and maybe fan the flames. They let people break the laws and do things that would never be tolerated otherwise.” he said.

Last fall, after Japan nationalized the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which are claimed by China, anti-Japanese sentiment erupted throughout China, with widespread looting and vandalism of Japanese businesses as well as calls to boycott Japanese products.

“Whenever you need a good bad guy in the United States, you can never go wrong bringing in a Nazi,” said Young. “It’s the same way in China. You can never go wrong vilifying the Japanese, and they take advantage of that fact.”

Additional reporting by Yi-Hua Lee of VOA's China Branch

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Mary from: America
March 10, 2013 4:56 PM
Mary,

Yes. You are right.

Best


by: Mary from: philippines
March 05, 2013 9:02 AM
Thanks life, Your point of view is quite biased. What did Japanese people living now do!? What you said is just the past. You know, now they're very kind and peaceful.

Most Americans disagree with your opinion. You Are Chinese, right? I understood from his comments. Chinese people are really brainwashed.


by: Thanks life from: America
March 04, 2013 11:53 AM
Taro,

Billions of lives already dead under the Japanese guns and weapons. Does Japan still need to produce movie to harm other people?


by: Thanks life from: America
March 03, 2013 8:27 AM
Thanks for this article and the author. This is good for people to read and think.

The relationship between Japan and China is pretty easy and simple to see. China has been on this earth for over 5,000 years. Chinese people work diligently and consistently. Historically, Qin Shihuang (the Qin Dynasty Emperor) unified China and then he got sick, therefore he sent a medical team to look for a "magical medicine" that can make him live forever. (Obviously, this is funny). When the doctors arrived on a nobody- lived island, where nowadays people call it "Japan", they decided not to come back to Qin Shihuang because Qin's cruel rule. Then, the doctors started to populate on the island.

That was how Japanese history started.

Time flied.

With the following three thousands years, Japan learned and studied with and from China. For example, what Chinese people wore, what Japanese people wore right after a short time; what kind of coin Chinese people use, the same kind of coin Japanese people started using in a short time. Needless to say the language, food and other aspects of culture.

To be frank, Japan didn't stop learning Chinese culture until Netherlands (Holland) and United States power came to Oriental lands, which means East Asia including China, Korea, Japan and other South East Asian countries. Japan was very sharp-eyed. It observed that the Western power was new and fresh, and probably stronger than Chinese culture, which Japan learned from at least two thousands years. After that, Japan turned its direction to follow Western power and started to invade other Eastern countries including its teacher, China.

Japan did a huge job.

In my opinion, there is no need to say how abnormal Japanese were in the past hundreds years; there is no need to say how cruel and inhuman Japanese military did to other nations, including the United States, because today United States people still remember that Japan gave United States a lesson on the Pearl Harbor. Correct?

To conclude, God is keeping an eye on everybody. Who is clean and who is not, it is very obvious to see.

Thank you very much for VOA.


by: taro from: japan
March 03, 2013 7:41 AM
The Japanese film industry has never produced movies or dramas with anti-Chinese theme. There are not too many Japanese who don't like Chinese. Actually, in Japan, I have never seen a mass demonstration against Chine. A Chinese media stirs up a demonstration.


by: ari from: Malaysia
March 01, 2013 5:28 AM
As if the American Hollywood does not not make anti japanese and anti Germany films and TV series in which the heros were always Americans and the bad guys Germans nazis and Nipponese soldiers or just plain Orientals.

Truth is, the Americans are more guilty, much much more guilty than the Chinese of making anti Japanese and German films. Not even worth saying the "Pot calling the kettle black" but the sheer hypocrisy and lie-in-your face lowlife behaviour and BS propaganda of the US.


by: Bombkiller007 from: USA
March 01, 2013 5:23 AM
Another factor for these movies that the article avoids is that these types of movies distract the people from the occupation of Tibet, Xinjiang, and parts of Mongolia. Not to mention massive human rights and crimes against humanity violations from Chinas Fascist government. As Hitler, Stalin, and every statist power knows, distracting the masses from the current issues by a "bread and circuses" cinema campaign is also good cover.


by: dib
March 01, 2013 3:28 AM
To the comment above: I don't know where your information (Hengdian is managed by CCP) comes from.
The large production of anti-Japanese movies is a result of the demand from the market. People go to cinemas because they are telling something that stuck in people's minds.


by: Steven Ribet from: Beijing
March 01, 2013 12:45 AM
It's true that China's state-controlled media, including its film industry, unrelentingly stokes anti-Japanese sentiment. More interesting, however, is how Hollywood itself is stoking anti-Iran sentiment; hyping up US public opinion to support America's next war.

More generally, US mainstream media itself is engaged in a massive effort to demonize Iran. Like the best (e.g. most effective) propaganda, it presents its coverage as unbiased, yet routinely and willfully omits facts of central importance to the current standoff.


by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
February 28, 2013 9:58 PM
I would say the Japanese government is really stupid. China and Japan used to have pretty good relationship after WWII. There was a time, Japanese films were very popular in China, and when I was young the communist party worked hard on improving the friendship between Japan and China. That was the golden time of the two countries. However, Japan is inciting conflict on those tiny little islands. Those islands has been being quiet for decades. Why cant we keep it that way until we find a solution acceptable for both sides? Japan is doing really stupid, and destined to be a loser again.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid