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INTEREST: 9 'Spiritually Japanese' Cosplayers, Cartoonists Arrested in China For 'Anti-China Extremi


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Engineering Nerd



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 852
Location: Southern California
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:44 pm Reply with quote
zrnzle500 wrote:


I think we need more to go on than just what is in the article. We don't really know the context from the little information we have. Does it depict only Chinese people as pigs and people of other national origins otherwise, or are all the characters depicted as pigs and it's just set in China? Is it an Animal Farm reference? What history are they supposedly "warping"? What we have doesn't answer those questions (and likely others) and personally I'm skeptical of the Chinese government's characterizations, at least without more information.



Hi, as a Chinese American who has spend his entire childhood and half of teenage in China and Japan, please allow me to explain some of the “context” you are interested. I am going to try to explain it as subjective as possible based on my experience on Chinese SNS.

The term “Jing-ri” (精日)aka “spiritual Japanese”, as you have guessed it, is a VERY derogatory term, even more mean-spirited than “weebs” . As the article suggested, it was populated when two Chinese cosplayed as Japanese war time soldiers and took photographs in front of a local WWII memorial statue (you can think of it as insensitive as cosplaying as triple K or Nazi). However, that term was widely used in Chinese SNS even before that incident, as popularity of Japanese anime and manga has made many Chinese youth aspire of Japan and wish to immigrate ( although some of their fantasies of Japan, which originated from anime, do not exactly match from real-life Japan) , and some of Chinese netizens mock those youngsters as “spiritual Japanese” since as Chinese citizens, they obviously prefer to be Japanese without knowing they have very little chance to achieve that due to strict immigration law of Japan.

Yes, it’s a slang term that Chinese netizens often used in online flame wars and trolling, which is even more shocking and frustrating that some were arrested due to that unofficial and discriminative title.

The cartoonist, Zhang, after checking the article, I actually searched for her comics on Chinese social network, which can still be found. It does seem she likes to use pigs to describe Chinese people in general, for what I saw, since most of her comics only involve Chinese people and topics only, so I highly doubt there are some negative connotations or context. The comic featured in this article is about a military veteran try to beg for some food due to poverty and was arrested by police, since that comics was posted quite some time ago, so I cannot say for sure that comic is the one that got her into trouble.

In the original post’s interview (see the first linked article), Zhang’s parents aren’t too concerned about her daughter’s jail time as she will be released soon, they are much more worried about her daughter ‘s future since now there is a criminal record in her record, and of course, fear of possible unemployment.

Very unfortunate indeed. Before Xi’s term, Chinese internet is definitely much more open and the there are much greater artistic freedom compare to right now
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seoulman1985



Joined: 01 Oct 2009
Posts: 41
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:57 am Reply with quote
In a similar vein as a Korean American who spent my youth and early adult years in South Korea, it was always the older generations who lived through the colonial period of Korea that ultimately ended after WWII that have always been distrustful of the Japanese and hold their culture in contempt, and often shame me for enjoying it.

In Korea, the term 친일파 (chinilpa) is used to refer to Koreans who collaborated with the Japanese from the moment the kingdom was made a protectorate, up to when it was formally annexed into the empire. Nowadays, the term still refers to those traitors to the people, as well as Japanophilic Koreans.

Granted, South Korea formally "normalized" relations in the Cold War era out of economic necessity, but people there have continued to demand compensation or apologies from the Japanese government over war crimes and exploitation, particularly for the comfort women.

Despite sour relations, younger generations have grown up watching Koreanized anime and reading manga translated in Korean, and South Koreans have always been one of the larger demographic of overseas tourists to Japan. In light of recent souring of relations, the chastising of appreciators of Japanese culture are ridiculed. The only thing that may make it less painful, is that South Korea is a more democratic country.
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El Hermano



Joined: 24 Feb 2019
Posts: 443
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:00 pm Reply with quote
Engineering Nerd wrote:
The term “Jing-ri” (精日)aka “spiritual Japanese”, as you have guessed it, is a VERY derogatory term, even more mean-spirited than “weebs” . As the article suggested, it was populated when two Chinese cosplayed as Japanese war time soldiers and took photographs in front of a local WWII memorial statue (you can think of it as insensitive as cosplaying as triple K or Nazi). However, that term was widely used in Chinese SNS even before that incident, as popularity of Japanese anime and manga has made many Chinese youth aspire of Japan and wish to immigrate ( although some of their fantasies of Japan, which originated from anime, do not exactly match from real-life Japan) , and some of Chinese netizens mock those youngsters as “spiritual Japanese” since as Chinese citizens, they obviously prefer to be Japanese without knowing they have very little chance to achieve that due to strict immigration law of Japan.

Yes, it’s a slang term that Chinese netizens often used in online flame wars and trolling, which is even more shocking and frustrating that some were arrested due to that unofficial and discriminative title.


That sounds suspiciously similar to modern American political climates, only without a government that can arrest you because some anime reviewer called you of being a nazi for disagreeing with their opinion on an show or people complaining about 'anime nazis' on Twitter.
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SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:41 pm Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
Without reading the seized novels, the only information we have is that they contained/ centered on gay romance. Getting a 10 year sentence for writing gay books is pretty relevant to being arrested for creating political cartoons. It's all art.


I very much disagree with their laws regarding free speech and the punishment for breaking this one, but I don't think profiting by selling material violating obscenity laws is equivalent to political activism. ANN's own article specifically says it violated obscenity laws. You can try to underplay it by saying it is a 10 year sentence for writing gay books, but like you just said, you don't have anything to go on other than the law which was broken. The fact is, it was an illegal, for profit business that they tried to hide. A quick google search suggests you can get 5 years in the US for violating obscenity laws by distributing banned material, and we even have strongly protected freedom of speech. I do think 10 years is highly excessive, but even here that is not a light slap on the wrist violation. That book likely would be perfectly fine to distribute here, but it wasn't fine to do it there. They knew it, and they wanted to make a buck off of it anyway.

The entire point of political activism is to get your message out. Making a profit while being secretive is close to the opposite of that. Lumping that in with political activism is equivalent to saying marijuana dealers on the streets before the trend towards legalization were political activists. Putting those two on the same level really makes light of the people who brave the dangers to openly protest in China. Profiting from the shadows is fundamentally incomparable to the actions of those who are truly taking a stand in political protest like the people of Hong Kong or those who freely distributed pro-LGBTQ material online and who were even referenced in ANN's other article.
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Yaafm



Joined: 11 Mar 2017
Posts: 27
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:29 pm Reply with quote
When you live in a country where the Government controls everything. You cannot get away with things like this. I dont know what these people expected. Sure they stood up for their beliefs, now they will waste away in jail. They are lucky their family's were not targeted also.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:15 am Reply with quote
SilverTalon01 wrote:
octopodpie wrote:
Without reading the seized novels, the only information we have is that they contained/ centered on gay romance. Getting a 10 year sentence for writing gay books is pretty relevant to being arrested for creating political cartoons. It's all art.


I very much disagree with their laws regarding free speech and the punishment for breaking this one, but I don't think profiting by selling material violating obscenity laws is equivalent to political activism. ANN's own article specifically says it violated obscenity laws. You can try to underplay it by saying it is a 10 year sentence for writing gay books, but like you just said, you don't have anything to go on other than the law which was broken. The fact is, it was an illegal, for profit business that they tried to hide. A quick google search suggests you can get 5 years in the US for violating obscenity laws by distributing banned material, and we even have strongly protected freedom of speech. I do think 10 years is highly excessive, but even here that is not a light slap on the wrist violation. That book likely would be perfectly fine to distribute here, but it wasn't fine to do it there. They knew it, and they wanted to make a buck off of it anyway.

The entire point of political activism is to get your message out. Making a profit while being secretive is close to the opposite of that. Lumping that in with political activism is equivalent to saying marijuana dealers on the streets before the trend towards legalization were political activists. Putting those two on the same level really makes light of the people who brave the dangers to openly protest in China. Profiting from the shadows is fundamentally incomparable to the actions of those who are truly taking a stand in political protest like the people of Hong Kong or those who freely distributed pro-LGBTQ material online and who were even referenced in ANN's other article.

I’m not sure that she was making money off her novels—I thought she was posting her novel online for free. They had a larger readership, which was the problem.

But even if she charged for her writing, classifying all gay romance as “obscene” is wrong. Yes, America has obscenity laws, but most fictional depictions of romance or sex is legal.
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ANN_Lynzee
ANN Executive Editor


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:13 pm Reply with quote
I think we're going to have to disagree at what constitutes political activism. In my opinion if you live in a country where it's illegal to be gay, talk about being gay, write about being gay, or create art with gay themes and you choose to do it anyway, that's taking a political stance against unjust laws. Focusing on whether they made money or not at the same time is secondary.

For example, China's Weibo social media service (comparable to Facebook) attempted to ban gay content as a whole until gay citizens started using a hashtag in protest (which the service banned). They reversed it.

http://4NN.cx/.130431

Quote:
Advocates said the company tried to smear homosexuality by equating it to pornography. Advocates and protesters used hashtags, wrote open letters, and called on shareholders to get rid of shares in Sina.
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gloverrandal



Joined: 20 May 2014
Posts: 405
Location: Oita
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:33 pm Reply with quote
SilverTalon01 wrote:
I very much disagree with their laws regarding free speech and the punishment for breaking this one, but I don't think profiting by selling material violating obscenity laws is equivalent to political activism. .


Freedom of speech is a very American concept. What Americans call criticism or jokes about their political leaders and their policies would be seen as treason in most countries and grounds for being arrested. These people do this in China at their own risk.
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ANN Forum Mod / Admin



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:29 pm Reply with quote
Appreciate the clarification but the origins of Mandarin/Manchurian are off topic as are:
1. Discussion of Nazi uniforms at conventions
2. YouTube links on "raping and pillaging"
3. Apologia for the Nanjing massacre
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