Nationalist comics become popular in Japan
If this sounds like a reversal of Japan's history of aggression in Asia, that is just what the authors intend. The scenes appear in two best-selling examples of a growing literary genre in Japan: nationalist comics.
The trend, typified by the runaway hits ``Hate Korea: A Comic'' and ``Introduction to China,'' has struck a chord among young readers who resent Japan's being cast as the bully in 20th century history - and say it is time for a change.
``These books finally depict history from a Japanese perspective, and there is nothing wrong with that,'' says Atsushi Iwata, 22, student at Tokyo's prestigious Waseda University who attends a weekly seminar by a co-author of ``Introduction to China.''
``It's the right of any nation to interpret history as it feels it should,'' he said.
The interpretation in the recent comic books is nothing short of provocative - at a time of rising tensions between Tokyo and its neighbors, and as Japan takes a decided tilt toward an unapologetic view of previous military action.
``Hate Korea'' tells the tale of wide-eyed Japanese college freshmen who discover that Japan's colonial rule over the Korean peninsula in 1910-45 - seen in Korea as brutal subjugation - was a well-intentioned attempt to bring civilization to a backward country.
"It's not an exaggeration to say modern Korea was built by Japan,'' one of the Japanese students, eyes shining, declares toward the end of the book. Her Korean debate opponent, fuming at the mouth, is unable to respond.
The China tome covers similar territory, vehemently denying Japanese atrocities in China during its invasion during the 1930s and 40s, such as biological experiments carried out by the Imperial Army's top-secret Unit 731.
comments powered by Disqus
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Famed SC civil rights protesters have convictions erased
- A Fight About Taxing The Wealthy, A Century Before President Obama
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History
- Joan Peters’s legacy assessed by one of her fiercest critics, Norman Finkelstein
- West Point historian says if his cadets can understand the history of war, so can Congress
- Australian historian Alan Atkinson wins $100,000 literary prize
- From his perch in Saudi Arabia, Princeton’s Mark Cohen says Jews and Muslims should remember they used to get along