There are reports that a Chinese anime fan got in trouble with police in Suzhou, China for dressing like Ushio Kofune from Summer Time Rendering. The issue was that she wore a kimono, which goes against the current Chinese government’s nationalistic sentiments, and is also seen as a reminder of the human rights abuses the Japanese army committed against Chinese people in World War II.
According to the fan, she and a photographer were minding their own business when they were swarmed by police. Some of the encounter was caught on video. A police officer is seen yelling, “If you come here wearing Hanfu [traditional Han Chinese clothing], I wouldn’t say this. But you are wearing a kimono, as a Chinese. You are a Chinese! Are you?”
She asked what this was all about, and was told it was “On suspicion of picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” CNN, which reported on the story, said this is a “catch-all charge” often used for “dissidents, journalists, human rights lawyers and activists.”
The video ends with the woman being taken away by police. She says that the police interrogated her for around five hours and took away her kimono. They also allegedly told her not to talk about this online. So she talked about it online anyway, which is how we have the video and some information. The video was eventually censored. CNN could not verify all the details of what she claimed happened, but there was enough there that CNN reported on it.
“I feel like I have no dignity right now,” the anime fan wrote online. “The police said what I did was wrong. I feel powerless … I like Japanese culture, European culture and I also like traditional Chinese culture. I like multiculturalism, I like watching anime, is it wrong that I like anything?”
CNN wrote that most of the comments to her online statements took her side, but she also got remarks like, “Why does a good Chinese wear kimono? Think about what your grandparents went through.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.