Netizen Voices: A Unique Form of Necrophilia

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s December visit to the Yasukuni Shrine—a Shinto shrine in Tokyo honoring Japan’s war casualties, including some convicted of war crimes against China—nettled many in China. This visit, occurring amid heightened tensions over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, inspired a Chinese diplomat to compare Japanese militarism to Harry Potter nemesis Voldemort. As bilateral, fantasy-inspired name calling ensued, the Weibo account tied to the Global Times’ website posted another criticism of Abe’s shrine visit on January 7:

Yasukuni

环球网: Abe pays homage at the Yasukuni Shrine, and speaks of showing respect for departed spirits. In today’s world, which country’s leaders venerate the dead with no regard to good and evil like Japan does? This is a unique form of necrophilia, and not an act of benevolence. It shows devotion to the perpetrators of war crimes. They never offered sacrifice to the countless innocent civilians who were cruelly slaughtered during WWII.  Is there any future for Japan if it keeps up this dream of hugging the mummies of war criminals?

环球网:安倍参拜靖国神社,说是对亡灵表达敬意。现今世界,哪个国家的政要像日本这般善恶不分地”崇敬”死者?独特的”恋尸癖”,并非普世善心,是对战争罪犯的特定依恋。他们从不祭奠二战中惨遭屠戮的千万无辜平民。抱着战犯僵尸做梦的日本,能有明天?

Netizens were quick to note inaccuracy and hypocrisy in the Global Times’ evocative “mummy hugging” claim:

鲁振旺: Mummies+necrophilia+war criminals+cruelly slaughtered… Oh, look at those words…

鲁振旺:僵尸+恋尸癖+战争罪犯+惨遭屠戮……..这说的…..

黄光德说: Japan only enshrined memorial tablets. Only autocratic countries worship mummies—for example Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Kim I, Kim II… and so on.

黄光德说:日本供的只是牌位,毒菜国家恋的才是僵尸,比如列宁、胡志明、金大及金二…等.

晋商-孙志强: [Old Sun’s Word] The term “necrophilia” is really a slap in the face, but perhaps it’s not the Japanese who got hurt. Nowadays, only a few places have mummies. Whom is the Chief Editor Hu Xijin trying to attack here?

商-孙志强 :【老孙一句话】“恋尸癖”的巴掌打的挺狠,只是觉得疼的好像不是日本人。当今社会,有木乃伊的地方不太多,胡锡进总编到底想骂谁啊?

While many similar comments were made, one Weibo user re-posted the Global Times’ message along with a picture of China’s own venerated mummy:

Maomummy

Amid an ongoing crackdown on Internet rumors, another user wondered if the Global Times might face legal trouble for their weibo:

陆伟民律师: Doesn’t Global Times have correspondents in Tokyo? Could you first investigate before speaking out? Since when does the Yasukuni Shrine have mummies in it? Shouldn’t official media be held legally responsible for starting rumors? The attached photo was taken by me at the Yasukuni Shrine in 2012. There were only memorial tablets, no mummies.

陆伟民律师:微评:你们环球在东京不是也有记者吗?能不能先去调查一下再说?靖国神社什么时候有僵尸了?你们官媒造谣要不要负法律责任?附图是本人2012年在靖国神社所摄,神社内只有牌位,没有僵尸。

Translation by Mengyu Dong.