The paradox of Sino-Japan people’s solidarity: focusing on China’s Japanese wave during the 1980s
IM Wookyung (Translated by Sarah CHO)
ABSTRACT This thesis examines China’s acceptance of Sandakan No. 8 and Arrest in order to analyze the historical context and its impact, which enabled the cultural movement during the Cold War in Asia. New China pursued a people’s diplomacy policy that separated the Japanese government and the Japanese people in order to promote relationships between the two countries during the Cold War. Japanese Movie Week, which was held to celebrate the China-Japan Peace and Friendship Treaty in 1978, was an outcome made possible throughout the People’s Solidarity between the two countries. Despite the colonial and imperialist war and the animosity created by the Cold War, the Chinese audience accepted Japanese movies without any rejection because of the people’s diplomacy policy. Sandakan No. 8 and Arrest were fervently consumed as cultural icons that symbolized the Chinese society in the 1980s. However, the controversies over the profanity and sexual descriptions in Sandakan No. 8 led individuals to assert self-discretion over their own sexuality. The popular mimicry of the main characters of Arrest in the daily lives of the Chinese overthrew the existing socialist gender norms and reconstructed a new femininity and masculinity that created a fight against the state. The fight against the state was indirectly expressed through sexuality and gender and developed into a criticism against the socialist regime, forming another Cold War logic that was different from that of the Cold War. It was also transformed into a fervent nationalism that advanced the issues of historical responsibility, such as the issue of war reparations. The success of the People’s Solidarity transcended nation-states and ultimately led people to negate its own logic. In this regard, the process of accepting Sandakan No. 8 and Arrest revealed the issues of the impossibility of the state accurately representing the people and the contradiction between the state and the people under the Cold War logic. It also urged the contemplation of the complex structure of the Cold War and the post-Cold War that was created by those two entangling forces in Asia.
Keywords: Sino-Japan people`s solidarity, Cold War, Cultural Mobility, Sandakan No.8, Arrest
IM Wookyung is a professor of the Academy of East Asian Studies at Sungkyunkwan University, Korea. She is interested in issues of gender and nation, national narrative, and East Asia Theory. She is now working on the Korean War in China in the 1950s.
Sarah Cho 조사라 is an international relations professional with expertise in geopolitics and international trade/commercial policy in the Asia-Pacific. She received her M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University and graduated from Seoul National University with an M.A. in international studies.