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I’ve been busy with revision for the last few days for my finals. One of the topics I’m studying in contemporary Chinese nationalism and its influence on Chinese foreign policy. The black and white glare of the PC screen became a bit less monotonous when I stumbled upon this picture of Chinese actress Zhao Wei wearing a Japanese flag-dress. The incident caused outrage in China in 1994, and led to a contrite apology laced with wonderful Communist rhetoric- “I am very grateful and thankful to those who have criticized me”, “I need to enhance self-cultivation”. China has a touchy relationship with Japan for obvious historical reasons. The recent wearing of kimono by two Chinese women going cherry blossom viewing in Wuhan also caused a public outcry.

Anyway, in terms of retro chic I think Zhao Wei can bring it. Shame bringing it also leads to mass denunciations and hysteria. On the other hand, telling people to lighten up probably would’t help either. Maybe the biggest shame is that the old Japanese imperial flag is so darn aesthetically cool, despite it’s justifiably negative authoritarian connotations.

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