It has to do with nationalism, but not the usual kind. It’s the kind of nationalism that even most Chinese find absurd and annoying. What really makes the video clip viral isn’t that a Chinese woman was gang raped by Japanese soldiers, but what happened after (or, to be more exact, during) the rape.
The clip was from a TV drama set during the Sino-Japanese war in the early 20th century. The heroine, an archer as set up in the TV drama, was surrounded by a crew of armed Japanese soldiers and fell victim. She was grabbed by a group of Japanese soldiers and the gang rape started. But while what seems to an officer was still “on” her, she managed to get hold an arrow in a box near her. She took it and stabbed the guy in the neck. Then miracle happened. Our heroine somehow shot into the sky (with pants perfectly on) and started what many Chinese netizens called a superwoman move – killing fully armed Japanese soldiers around her one after another with a bow and endless arrows.
This is but one incident of the sometime surreal anti-Japanese war themed TV dramas in China. In February, Offbeat China reported statistics that some 700 million “Japanese soldiers” were killed in anti-Japanese war themed TV dramas in China. To put the number in perspective, that’s enough dead bodies to circle the earth 3 times. Zhi Zhongpeng, a professional extra who always found himself in the role of a Japanese soldier, used to “die” 8 times in a single day.