FACT CHECK: Image Claims To Show Headstones With QR Codes In Japan

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 160 times allegedly shows headstones in Japan that have QR codes.

Verdict: False

The image actually shows a QR code-equipped Chinese memorial for victims of the Nanking Massacre and Chongqing bombing raids.

Fact Check:

In the image, a woman wearing a brightly-colored hat appears to be taking a photo of a QR code on a grave marker. Text accompanying the photo reads, “Technology after death in Japan..! The graves of the Japanese are equipped with a special QR code for each grave, which shows you pictures, information and a brief biography of the life of the dead!!” Another iteration has been shared over 1,300 times.

Check Your Fact conducted a reverse image search and found the picture actually shows fake headstones in China that display memorial information about Nanking Massacre and Bombing of Chongqing victims when the QR codes are scanned. The Nanking Massacre took place in 1937, when Japanese soldiers killed an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 people in Nanking, China, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

The photo of the markers can be seen on China.org.cn, a website published by the State Council Information Office and the China International Publishing Group, where the caption states, “A visitor scans the QR code on the fake memorial gravestone for victims of the Nanjing Massacre on March 31, 2015.” China Daily and ECNS, both Chinese state-affiliated outlets, also published the picture in 2015 with similar descriptions. (RELATED: Image Claims To Show Joe Biden Wearing His Walking Boot On The Wrong Foot)

“Visitors scan QR codes to commemorate victims of the Nanjing Massacre and Bombing of Chongqing, both committed by Japanese troops in China during World War II, at the theme park Foreigner Street in Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality, March 31, 2015,” reads the photo’s caption on ECNS. “Visitors can take part in an online memorial, by lighting candles, presenting flowers, ringing bells and planting trees.”

There are instances of Japan utilizing QR codes on graves. For example, Japanese gravestone maker Ishi no Koe announced in 2008 that he would be using QR codes to help people learn about the dead, according to Wired.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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