Forging Ties

A Shanghai bookshop played a pivotal role in promoting Sino-Japanese friendship. 

Portrait of Lu Xun by Situ Qiao, 1928.
Portrait of Lu Xun by Situ Qiao, 1928. CPA Media Pte Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo.


Almost 80 years after the end of the Second World War, China and Japan continue to battle over how to remember it, each emphasising their own victimhood, ensuring that this division is passed onto the next generation. As Japan is China’s quintessential enemy in dominant narratives of the war, the story of Uchiyama Bookstore, a Japanese-owned bookshop in wartime Shanghai frequented by both Chinese and Japanese literati, stands out as an anomaly. Uchiyama Bookstore is not merely a feel-good story during a period characterised by antagonism and war, however.

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