A self-claimed “patriotic” man in China’s central Anhui province has picked a public place to vent his personal anger against the Japanese - the restroom of his restaurant.
The man renamed the restroom “Yasukuni Shrine” in a protest against Japan's handling of its recent disputes with China over the Diaoyu islands, the owner, surnamed Xu, was reported as saying by Chinese media reports.
Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine, located in Tokyo, is dedicated to over 2,466,000 Japanese servicemen who died fighting on behalf of Japan in the last 150 years.
Japanese politicians, including prime ministers and cabinet members have visited the Yasukuni Shrine in recent years. This has caused criticism and protests in China, Korea, Taiwan and other parts of Asia.
A diner who recently ate at the restaurant ended up taking photos of the newly named restroom and posting them on Weibo, where they went viral and triggered mixed reactions.
“All restrooms in China should adopt this name,” wrote a blogger.
Some others deemed the “patriotic” act too extreme.
Wang Kaiyu, a researcher at Anhui’s Academy of Social Sciences, said Xu's actions were understandable, but not “appropriate.”
This happened days after a Japanese girl in a viral video was seen shouting anti-Korean rants in Osaka, where she suggested killing all Korean immigrants in Japan just like Japanese soldiers had killed Chinese during the Nanking Massacre.
She was heard shouting: “We will start the Tsuruhashi massacre - like the Nanking Massacre.”
The Nanking Massacre occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanking (spelled as "Nanjing" in Mandarin pinyin) on December 13, 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, according to historical sources. Widespread rape and looting occurred. Historians and witnesses have estimated that 250,000 to 300,000 people were killed.
Racism aside, the Japanese girl's reference to the Rape of Nanjing managed to evoke painful memories while eliciting hateful comments online.
“See, the Japanese know everything about the Nanking Massacre,” wrote a forum reader. “Stop playing dumb in front of the whole world.”
Japan's denial of the massacre is seen by many in China as part of its overall unwillingness to admit and apologise for its war crimes. Debate in Japan over the extent and nature of the killings has also complicated relations between the two countries.
"Who said the Japanese people were kind? Who said they were different from their government?" wrote one reader.
"It's time to drop another atomic bomb," a different reader said.
Videographic: A guide to the South China Sea islands disputeTopics: China-Japan relations Yasukuni Shrine Diaoyu Islands