China’s use of Japanese history

Young Chinese aren’t well educated in history, and there’s little evidence of much interest. They know what the state wants them to know (“post-Communist” China still retains tight educational and publishing controls and retains a strongly Marxist-Nationalist narrative of history), and apparently the state mostly wants them to know and care about Japan’s WWII atrocities. In fact, it’s a major topic on the Chinese internet, with thousands of Chinese participating in detailed and fervent discussions of wrongs done to their grandparents/great-grandparents’ generation. [via Claire George]

Strategic? Most likely. Illegitimate? Well, yes, in the context of China’s overall historical revisionism; no, in the context of Japan’s leadership’s failure (and much of general society) to come to terms with that history in a meaningful fashion.

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