This excellent book by June Teufel Dreyer has the subtitle Sino-Japanese Relations, Past and Present. Here is one short bit:
Moreover, the Chinese distinction between themselves as civilized and all others as barbarians was, they [the Japanese nativists] argued, absurd, given the reality that barbarians had several times conquered China and the barbarian leader was the anointed as the son of heaven. Who, then, should be considered barbarian? To nativists, the logical conclusion was the Japan had become the true Middle Kingdom. While one might reverse China’s past accomplishments, China had declined into an entity that was no longer worthy of emulation.
The book is substantive and readable throughout, essential for our time as well.