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A poster designed six years ago in an apparent bid to promote patriotism has recently gone viral on social media thanks to its catchphrase, which has revived public debate on race, and the revelation that its smiling model is actually Chinese.

The poster, which a conservative religious group printed in 2011, features the face of a woman accompanied by the phrase: “Watashi Nihonjin de Yokatta” (“I am proud to be a Japanese”). It went viral in late April when a photo of it was uploaded on Twitter with a comment saying it had been seen at many locations, including a shrine in Kyoto.

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