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9 'Spiritually Japanese' Cosplayers, Cartoonists Arrested in China For 'Anti-China Extremism'

posted on by Kim Morrissy
One cartoonist is reported to have drawn comics depicting Chinese people as pigs

A total of nine "spiritually Japanese" Chinese youths were arrested in China for alleged anti-China extremism on July 28.

Yahoo! News Japan defines "spiritually Japanese" (or Jingri as they are known in China) as a derogatory term for Chinese fans of Japanese anime and cosplay. However, the Communist Youth League of China explicitly states that the term does not refer to fans of Japanese anime, food, and other cultural commodities. "Spiritually Japanese" instead refers to Chinese people who zealously identify with Japanese nationalism and its World War II-era military, and who express contempt for their own country.

The term first began to spread widely in March last year, when two youths were arrested in China for wearing Japanese World War II-era military uniforms. However, the latest incident on July 28 marks the first time that as many as nine so-called "spiritually Japanese" people were arrested in one day.

According to The Beijing News, one of those arrested was a 22-year-old cartoonist surnamed Zhang. The artist is reported to have drawn comics depicting Chinese people as pigs. The police arrested her on suspicion of "warping Chinese history and the state of affairs both in and out the country in bad faith." A 36-year-old collaborator surnamed Lu was also arrested for allegedly assisting in disseminating Zhang's comics on social media. An image believed to have been drawn by Zhang is shown top-right.

Japan's wartime deeds in China continue to be politically contentious in both countries. The Chinese government maintains that Japan has not done enough to apologize for mass murder and other war crimes, such as the Nanjing Massacre in 1937, which killed over 300,000 people according to China's official estimate.

The Chinese government has a track record of arresting people for their politically contentious art. Last year, a woman received a 10-year and six month prison sentence for writing boys-love novels.

Image via Radio Free Asia.

Source: Yahoo! News

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