An Anhui restaurateur has attracted condemnation and applause online after it was revealed that he had put up a large sign reading ‘Yasukuni Shrine‘ over his restaurant’s toilets.
The restaurant owner, surnamed Xu, told local media that he put up the sign in protest against Japan’s nationalisation of the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.
The Yasukuni Shrine, which houses the graves of over two million Japanese servicemen who died in the last 150 years, is a constant point of contention between Japan and its neighbours. Over 1,000 Class B and C war criminals, who were executed after being sentenced to death by military tribunals after WWII, are enshrined at Yasukuni. The shrine also contains the remains of 14 Class A war criminals, those who bore the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed by Imperial Japanese forces.
Whether Japanese politicians should visit the shrine to pay respect to the dead is a constant source of controversy. Current prime minister Shinzo Abe visited shortly before his election though he has said he likely will not do so as premier. Japan has an uneasy relationship with the country’s wartime atrocities, alternately apologising for and denying that documented crimes against humanity took place.
In January, a Korean court refused to extradite a Chinese man convicted of an arson attack against the Yasukuni Shrine to Japan. The Seoul court held that the arsonist had committed a “political crime”.
The ‘Yasukuni Shrine’ toilets in Hefei aren’t the first of their kind in China, in March 2012 photos of urinals in a Harbin hotel designed to look like Imperial Japanese soldiers went viral on the Chinese web.
(h/t: Amy Li)