Henan Stages Anti-Japanese Skit to Mark Anniversary of Marco Polo Bridge Incident

Natalie Wang , July 8, 2014 12:52pm

Tensions between China and Japan continue to run high thanks to the dispute over the Senkaku/Dioayu islands, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, and Japan’s latest attempt to revise its anti-war constitution to give it more freedom to engage in military activities when its allies are under attack.

To express their distaste for all things Japanese, women dressed as Chinese soldiers staged a skit on July 7, which marked the 77th anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge incident, which kicked off Japan’s invasion of China.

Women wielded their weapons at a pudgy-looking man playing a Japanese solider in Laojun Mountain in Henan Province. The Japanese soldier happened to have a toothbrush moustache inconspicuously placed on top of his upper lip. This facial feature has become a trademark for any Japanese soldier depicted in China’s patriotic anti-Japanese films and TV dramas.


The Japanese stand-in knelt in front of a giant golden statue of Lao Zi, founder of Taoism, and confessed his crimes that included murder, arson, poisoning, and rape. He was also seen “learning to write the Chinese character ren (meaning “human” in English)”, the Guangming reported. The character ren (人) only consists of two strokes, and the newspaper went on to say “it contains profound wisdom of how to be a human”, hinting that the Japanese seem to have failed to comprehend it.

The central government is promoting other campaigns to mark the anniversary, and Xi Jinping has commemorated the event. Dancing grannies in Beijing have even incorporated Japanese-bashing into their dance routines.

anti japan dancing grannies

Most online comments criticized the Henan skit. It was mainly labelled as a ludicrous “travesty“. One Weibo user wrote: “Somewhere, (people) are using their own countrymen to portray a ‘Japanese bastard’ in a movie-style to promote anti-Japanese education. When commemoration becomes a travesty, it is a real distortion of that grim episode of history”.

Photos: icpress.cn, Weibo

Natalie Wang

Journalist based in Hong Kong.