A restaurant owner in the Anhui province in China has found a different way to express his protest over his country’s ongoing territorial row with Japan over the Senakaku/Diaoyu islands. Xu, proprietor of the Hefei restaurant decided to put up a sign reading “Yasukuni Shrine” over the toilets, in reference to the controversial shrine in Japan that honors their dead from World War II, including convicted wartime criminals.
A recent visitor took a photo of the sign and posted it on Weibo, China’s biggest social network. It went viral quickly and has evoked mixed reactions from people, with many of them expressing their passionate opinions about the subject. Some hail the restaurateur a hero, and one even said “All restrooms in China should adopt this name”. Some think that the act was too “patriotic” and offensive to some extent. It’s not the first time that something like this has happened in China, in reaction to either the territorial dispute or the anger over Japanese atrocities during World War II. Just last month, photos of the urinal designed to look like Imperial Japanese soldiers in a Harbin hotel also went viral. In February, a Beijing restaurant put up a sign refusing to serve Japanese, Vietnamese and Filipino customers due to their various disputes with China. Pictures of the sign went viral as well.
The actual Yasukuni Shrine has long been criticized as a glorification of Japan’s actions during the war and its colonization of its neighbours. Whenever high-ranking politicians visit the shrine, China and other former colonies protest and say it’s a sign of Japan’s lack of repentance for their wartime crimes. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the shrine before the elections but will likely not visit it while he’s holding the highest office in the land, despite being known as a hawkish politician.
[ via South China Morning Post ]
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