Memory and Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific

Chinese Popular Nationalism and Sino-Japanese Relations
April 17, 2009, 7:00 pm
Filed under: 429516

According to a recent article by Stephanie Wang in the Asia Times, “a recent skirmish over Japanese cherry flowers and a newly published book have prompted a nationwide controversy over growing nationalistic sentiments in the country.”  The “skirmish” referenced here pertains to a March 21, 2009  incident involving two women wearing kimonos who were publicly criticized for having their picture taken in front of cherry blossom trees at Wuhan University.  This event, and the timely release of a nationally bestselling book entitled “Zhongguo Bu Gaoxing” (China is not happy), have stirred a recent debate within China on Chinese national identity, and China’s role within the international system.  News reports on both the recent incident at Wuhan University, and the release of the book “China is not happy” can be found below.  Public opinion on related issues can also be found in the BBS, the China Daily BBS, and the Chinese Netizens article on

New Branches of Nationalism in China, Asia Times, April 15, 2009.

Cherry Blossoms, Wuhan, and Chinese Women in Kimonos, ChinaSMACK Blog, March 29, 2009.

“yi dui munu chuan hefu zai wuda yingyuan pai zhao, zao shi min honggan” (“Kimono clad mother and daughter having their picture taken at Wuhan University’s cherry blossom garden ousted by residents.”), SOHU [In Chinese], March 22, 2009.  [Related BBS entries can be accessed here.]

China’s Angry Youth Are Novel Heroes, Financial Times, March 27, 2009. [Related BBS entries on ChinaDaily can be accessed here.]

How Unhappy is China? Criticism for “China’s not Happy,”, March 31, 2009.


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