In the Japan Times, Ralph Jennings has an article (China yanks books about ties with Japan) about independent Chinese writer Yu Jie (‰ΩôÊù∞). Two of Yu Jie’s books have been disappeared from Beijing bookstores. What is so damnable in those books? According to Jennings,
Yu, 32, argues in “Ambiguity’s Neighborhood” that Chinese should learn more about modern Japan before saying they “hate” the people — common parlance for today’s younger generation influenced by anti-Japan media reports and school texts that discuss Japan’s 1931-1945 conquest of China.
“The two countries are so close, so this hate, this lack of understanding, doesn’t help at all,” Yu said, citing “arrogance” for the lack of more understanding. “Chinese people should understand the situation before they criticize it.”
Chinese do not know, for example, that Tokyo’s war-related Yasukuni Shrine has no war criminal memorials, Yu said. Yu also contends that the Communist Party lost to the invading Imperial Japanese Army in the 1930s and 1940s because they were busy fighting the Kuomintang in a civil war, which ended in 1949.
His books recount moments in diplomatic history and question what the author considers the excesses of Japanese patriotism.
Previously, in the post The Great Chinese War Against Japan, I used Yu Jie as an example of a public intellectual pressuring the Chinese government to become more forceful against the revival of Japanese militarism, as exemplified by their Prime Minister visiting the Yasukuni Shrine. So are Yu’s books about his travels in Japan along this theme? Or has he had a change of heart as suggested by Ralph Jennings?
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