Chinese Bloggers’ Reactions on Recent Anti-Japan Protest

Anti-Japan protesters in Beijing - from Wikipedia

Compared to the thousands who have expressed their views through various protests that took place in China over the weekend, major Chinese internet websites seemed a lot quieter about the marches – but that's just on the surface.

Chinese media, including internet content service providers, are not allowed to publish reports on the marches.

QQ, one of the most popular instant messaging client in China, has added the word “march” (游行) to their list of banned words, preventing users from sending any messages that contains the prohibited word.

Despite the restrictions, hundreds of blog posts were able to make their way through to the internet, providing a range of information and opinions.

Many of them are eye-witness accounts of the marches in Shanghai, Ningbo,

Hangzhou and Shenzhen, with photos taken throughout the protests accompanying their posts.

They showed a sense of pride that they have done the right thing to speak out for justice that would leave a mark in history. That the people in Shanghai are also patriots and not just people who would money first as people from around the country alleged previously.

“Boycott Japanese goods and strengthened China” is the slogan used most throughout the protest in Shanghai, it was also the rationale behind the protest, one angry Anti-Japan blogger said in a blog post where he captured the most memorable moments and accomplishments of the protest.

He was most provoked when protesters tried to pass through the police line. “1, 2, 3! Patriotism is not a crime! Break the (police) protection line!”, he recalled.

Some talked about the window smashing and vandalism that they saw in Shanghai. But they also noted that the vandalism were done by a few emotionally-charged protesters while many other more rational protesters tried to stop them but without any success.

In Ding Yong Speaks, the blogger questioned why people are focusing on the violent behaviors by ten percent of the protesters and not the voices by ninety percent who are the majority. He thought that the outpour of strong emotions and violence in recent protests took place because people never had an outlet nor the experience to let the steam out publicly.

“Are protests useful? Are they necessary? Many people on the internet are debating [about these questions].” Fuiyi, a Chinese blogger wrote.

Already, some bloggers have raised the issue of economic damages that have been done to local businesses. Some called others to remain calm and rational when expressing their views. Some opined that not all protesters are partriots – that some people went for the sake of protesting against the government. Some continued to vent their anger on the text book issue and territorial disputes over Diaoyutai islands.

“I think marches is a strong and powerful behavior for ordinary citizen groups in the society to express themselves. Even though it is a bit useless and may be used for illegal purposes, but if you don't march, how are you going to express yourself?” Fuiyi concluded in his blog.

The views on the topic are wide-ranging and continue to evolve in the Chinese internet.

Further reading:

  • China's Nationalistic Revolution, an eye-witness account on last Saturday's Anti-Japan protest in Shanghai by foriegn correspondent Fons Tuinstra.
  • More on the Japanese History Books. Translated summary of Chinese blogger An Ti's essay.
  • Masters of History“Translations of blog posts at InMediaHK on the matter of anti-Japanese demonstrations in China. This is a glimpse of how the locals view the issue differently from the simplistic presentations in the western media. “
  • Update: Fon Tuinstra points out that: “When I read Andrea's overview I get the idea that not only traditional media sanatize reality to accomodate their audiences, Chinese bloggers show the same tendency.” It should be pointed out that it was the translator of this piece who neglected the racist remarks as I thought they have already been widely reported in the news. The Chinese blogger quoted in this piece did mention that “Japanese pigs” has the best rhythm. Whenever people shouted “Japanese pigs”, the rest of the protesters would shout “Leave! Leave! Leave!”.

    Update 2: Some users reported that they could use the word “march” in QQ and the word is not censored.


    • Regarding the UPDATE: FWIW, most of the anti-Japanese comments on my blog seem to focus on the phrase “Fuck Japs” rather than “Japanese Pigs”… There aren’t that many, but they seem to be attaching themselves to a post from last year about increasing anti-Japanese sentiments in China.

    • 两厢不情愿

      Joi (伊藤穰一)延续Andrea 在Global Voices上关于中国媒体对近期各个城市活动的反应了自己的理解。他希望中国的Blogger 对他的帖子发表看法,甚至也欢迎批评。我想他的坦白能够折射日本几代

    • […] nti-Japan demonstration in Shanghai. Link 1, Link 2 UPDATE#6: Global Voices Online posted an entry on this, and Joi Ito also offered his view on this. This entry […]

    • a chinese college student

      as a student, i’ve learned the anti-japanese war in my
      high school history class. at thta time i did not feel any
      hatred to japanese people, as i think that the past is past.
      it is no use to blame somebody because of the crime commited
      bvy their ancestors.
      but later, and especially now, i feel much irritated.
      as in our philosophy, you are forgiven, but the history can
      not be denied. we only forgive those who realized their
      own faults, and those deny thier crimes will never deserve any

    • I hope this will contribute some objectivity into the discussion on the Sino-Japan row:
      When the Dragon and the Tiger Clashes

    • Joi: I want to thank you for your post and for facilitating the wonderful conversation that followed.

      Jacksaid: Thank you for your excellent backgrounder on the Sino-Japan relations. I appreciate your quotes from the Japanese constitution and the Murayama Statement.

    • Tensions appear to be winding down, for the time being at least, between the two Asian giants, China and Japan. But since one or the other is fated to control the region, this can only be a lull – unless (horror of horror!) they decide for some future reasons to form an anti-American alliance.

      The move to open conflict seems to have been temporarily postponed for now, according to the stories on

      There’s also a fascinating page of current news articles on the rise of China, the collapsing dollar, the declining U.S. economy, and the New World Order at, which makes for interesting daily reading!

    • Chinese blogs on anti-Japan protests

      Official Chinese media were not allowed to report on recent anti-Japan protests in Shanghai, and the word ‘march’ has even been censored on popular Chinese instant messaging software. But the blogs have churned out account upon eye-witness account of…

    • CY

      It is unacceptable that the Japanese denied history. They completely changed
      the contents in their history textbook. About the genocide at Nan-King City,
      they only stated “many injured and died”. the truth is, 330,000 people died
      of torturing in 3 weeks! I really don’t want to mention how the Japanese tortured
      the Chinese, it is extremely cruel. Also, the Japanese stated that the
      Chinese initiated the Japanese invasion; this is bizarre! A Japanses professor
      even said that some photos of the genecide were not real! They are denying
      history, and try to cover up their own fault! This is unacceptable and
      that makes the people in China angry.

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