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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

3-day Lockdown to Fight Ebola Continues In Sierra Leone

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid