Discuss as:

Chinese protesters: 'The Diaoyu islands belong to China!'

September 18, the anniversary of Japan's 1931 invasion of Manchuria, is seen as a day of national humiliation in China, marked by protests even when relations with Japan are stable. This year's anniversary came amidst a Sino-Japanese dispute over an island chain called the Senkaku islands in Japanese and known to Chinese as the Diaoyu islands. NBC's Angus Walker reports.

BEIJING – Following a weekend of anti-Japanese protests that engulfed China, demonstrations hit a crescendo Tuesday with the 81st anniversary of the start of Japan’s occupation of China.

The Mukden Incident, also known as the Manchurian Incident, was a staged bombing by the Japanese military that served as the pretext for the Japanese invasion of China in 1931.

The painful anniversary served to enflame a dispute that has been growing for months over ownership of East China Sea islands called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Emotional anniversary reignites anti-Japan protests in China

During recent protests in more than 80 cities across China, Chinese citizens have expressed themselves by taking to the streets and loudly demonstrating outside of Japanese consulates, businesses and online. However, unlike previous protests on the mainland in recent years, the collective anger has been well-documented and disseminated freely online, giving us a unique look at Chinese nationalism unleashed.

See images of some of the more unusual expressions of anti-Japanese anger below.


More world stories from NBC News:

Follow World News from NBCNews.com on Twitter and Facebook