The NYT’s Norimitsu Onishi discusses the infamous "Hating the Korean Wave" comic book and the popularity in Japan of negative images of the country’s Korean and Chinese neighbors:
A young Japanese woman in the comic book "Hating the Korean Wave"
exclaims, "It’s not an exaggeration to say that Japan built the South Korea of today!" In another passage the book states that "there is nothing at all in Korean culture to be proud of."
In another comic book, "Introduction to China,"
which portrays the Chinese as a depraved people obsessed with
cannibalism, a woman of Japanese origin says: "Take the China of today,
its principles, thought, literature, art, science, institutions.
There’s nothing attractive."
The two comic books, portraying Chinese and Koreans as base peoples
and advocating confrontation with them, have become runaway best
sellers in Japan in the last four months.
In their graphic and
unflattering drawings of Japan’s fellow Asians and in the unapologetic,
often offensive contents of their speech bubbles, the books reveal some
of the sentiments underlying Japan’s worsening relations with the rest
Not mentioned, of course, are that popular images of Japan in Korea and China aren’t exactly complementary, full as they are with barely concealed contempt on both historical and cultural grounds. Nevertheless, read the piece in its entirety — it’s a goodie.