Why One Should Never Use the Japanese Rising Sun Flag | By Dongwoo Kim

A few days ago, I was greatly  offended by one of the event advertisements on Facebook. It was from a well-known Edmontonian establishment, using a poster with the image of the Japanese “Rising Sun.” I immediately sent a Facebook message to the owner, and followed up on it with a phone call. I told him that the use of this imagery was tantamount to the use of a Swastika for promotion of a German-themed event. He apologized, and promised not to use it afterwards. Was I being a crazy chauvinist? I thought about it for a second before writing this piece, and decided that I wasn’t.

Would you ever wear a T-Shirt with a Swastika on it? Assuming that you are a right-minded person with a good sense of decency, you would not. Swastika represents a political regime that committed horrible acts upon many — to the extent that it became the symbol of crime against humanity and ultimately –and rather ironically– contributed to furthering of human rights as an essential political discourse in the post-World War II world. A Swastika is not only offensive to the Jewish people, but to everyone, for it is an insult to the very ideals that we hold sacred — that every human life is deserving of respect.

But this society that abhors Nazis does not hold the same standard for the images of the Japanese Rising Sun, which, is in a way, even more offensive than Swastikas. The Rising Sun flag was the symbol of the Empire of Japan during late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is extremely easy to find images of the Rising Sun — on t-shirts, restaurants, films, TV, et cetera. In a way, we cannot blame the people who use this image. Everyone knows that Adolf Hitler and his administration committed atrocities against humanity. But comfort women, maruta, and the Rape of Nanking aren’t concepts that are taught in Edmonton Public Schools — at least with the same degree of importance as that of Holocaust.

It is definitely easier to emphasize the heinous acts of the Nazi Germany in this society as these came to occupy an important place in public memory, in part with political motivations of the Allies to paint themselves as the heroes of the narrative that is the World War II. Plus, more Canadians were directly affected by Nazis, rather than the Japanese. But if we were to live with the idea that human rights are sacred, that we must uphold them, and that we must be true to these higher ideals, then it is absolutely necessary to remember the atrocities that the Japanese committed during the World War II as much as we remember these of the Nazi Germany.

The Empire of Japan operated with the similar ideologies that prompted the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Final Solution. Japan had industrialized much earlier than the rest of Asia, and developed a formidable military force with the goal of forming a grand empire. Behind this goal, there was the belief that the Japanese were racially superior to other Asian ethnic groups, as their society had moved “beyond Asia” much earlier than others. Thus, the Japanese administration was not hesitant to treating people from other Asian countries, such as Korea, China, and Philippines, as the Nazi Germany treated the Jewish.

For instance, the Japanese colonial administration lured young women in Korea and China with promises of education and good jobs — and turned them into “comfort women,” which is a euphemism for sex slaves for the Japanese army officers. Unit 731, based in China, was a counterpart to Josef Mengel’s team, which performed various experiments on, such as vivisection with anesthesia and reattachment of limbs and organs, with the purpose of developing biochemical weapons for the Japanese army. These people who served as “experiment samples” were called marutas, which literally translated to “logs.” In the Rape of Nanking, as many as 200,000 defenseless civilians, whom many of them were women and children, were systematically raped and massacred. These are atrocious human rights abuses that makes one cringe.

The nature of these atrocities and the Japanese attitude towards them point to the fact that the Japanese basically did everything that the Nazi Germany is denounced for, except paling in scale. But the German government recognized their crimes and has been compensating to the victims of their ancestors. Every German kid learns about the atrocities that their ancestors committed under the Nazi administration in school.

On the other hand, the Japanese government has been refusing to take responsibilities for these actions. If you were to ask your Japanese friends in their 20s, they will tell you that it is something that they do not know — and that won’t be a lie, for the Japanese ministry of education has been omitting, if not distorting, these historical facts in nationally used textbooks. Japanese government has told the surviving comfort women that they have lied — that they were simply prostitutes who volunteered for the Empire’s cause. Right-leaning Japanese politicians still argue that their country must return to the “Meiji mindset,” militant and poised to form an empire in the 21st century. Every year, many high profile government officials, including the current Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, visit the Yasukuni Shrine to pay “respect” for the architects of these atrocities against the complaints from its neighboring Asian countries. Needless to say, it’s like Angela Merkel going to Hitler’s grave every year. For many years, these right-wingpoliticians, who are part of the current ruling party in Japan, have been using these chauvinistic/imperial stunts to rally support.

Thus, in a world where these atrocities against humanity have not been admitted by the perpetrators, the use of an image that symbolizes the racist and imperialist attitude is concerning and enraging. Although slowly, the world has started to embrace human rights as the ideal to pursue — as something that brings people from different places together, based on one idea that a human life is sacred. As admitted earlier, I was concerned about the possibility that this anger and concern might have been brought on by my own bias, as someone who is more aware about this history. But I came to the conclusion that it is a cause that everyone can, and should, be enraged at. This is an issue that matters to everyone who believes in the sacredness of fundamental human rights, built upon the sacrifices of those fallen in and out of the battlefields during the World War II.

So, whoever is reading this piece — this is the reason why one should never use the image of the Japanese Rising Sun.

CC Photograph Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Dongwoo Kim (@dongwookim_) is studying Political Science and History at the University of Alberta.

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  • Quentin Lau

    Dongwoo, I whole heartily agree with your position. There’s not more much to say, but the Japanese government’s ignorance to recognize these war crimes and human rights violations is an atrocity in itself. What concerns me today is the steady remilitarization of Japanese Self-Defence Forces and increasing popularity of imperialist attitudes in mainstream society.

    • Daniel Rodrigues

      All i can wonder if this is the case, why would the Japanese government pay each year to the Korean and Chinese government for the atrocities they have committed. I wholeheartedly agree what the Japanese did during those war times is unforgivable but that doesn’t mean they don’t acknowledge it. It’s often the ignorant who just accuse the Japanese as a whole for what their grandparents and their great grandparents had done. Every culture has something that they are ashamed of. The Korean atrocities in the Vietnam Wars, The Spanish Inquisition, etc. If you dig up, I can guarantee that each country and each culture have done horrendous atrocities towards human kind and many of which have not been acknowledged at all. To pick on just the Japanese and German culture is ridiculous.

      • Quentin Lau

        Hi Daniel,

        I apologize if I seemed to condemn the entire Japanese culture for the mistakes a generation did. I entirely agree with you that it is wrong to group the Japanese imperialists with today’s Japanese youth. However, even though there are reparations made to the Chinese and Korean governments, the remorse does not seem to be clear. There are certain, and surprisingly many, Japanese government officials who vehemently deny any wrongdoing or war crimes committed by Japanese forces during WW2. Furthermore, the well-known textbook controversy is a “slap in the face” for Chinese and Koreans alike.

        All in all, money is not enough. A form of awareness and acknowledgement of the mistakes a generation made is necessary for forgiveness and healing. If you look at how post-war Germany dealt with Hitler’s extreme policies and atrocities, we can see that the German government and people acknowledged their mistakes. As a result, neo-Nazism is illegal and stigmatized in German society (as should be). Therefore, current Japanese generations need to fully understand their true history and acknowledge that they will not repeat it.

        • Rogue

          I just wanted to point this out, no government of a country is going to publicly acknowledge war crime they committed. Even if they already have, it is more of a “we accepted it once no need to accept it again” way of thinking. although that is mostly my opinion, its a valid point for example you don’t hear the US, UK, Russia, any other country that has taken part in a war fully acknowledging their war crimes. take the US if a soldier commits a war crime, even if ordered, the soldier who committed the crime is usually outed as the wrong doer even if he was ordered to do it. ya know? anyways food for thought i guess

  • TW

    This is a well written article, and I certainly agree with your main point. Often people can use imagery or symbolism without knowing that it can be hurtful to others.

    That being said, I think your third to last paragraph isn’t accurate. Having done what you advise here many times in the past, I’ve found that my Japanese friends in their twenties are well aware of the Japanese wartime atrocities. They know about them, but they believe that their country and their culture has changed, and that it would be unfair to hold them accountable for the acts of their grandparents.

    I’d be interesting in reading a reliable source showing that Japanese textbooks are omitting and distorting the history of their wartime atrocities. From what I’ve seen, their textbooks do discuss these topics in about the same detail that we in Canada discuss our own–for example, our internment of Japanese-Canadians during WWII or our mistreatment of Native Americans during the Residential Schools period. Understanding that these atrocities are only a small part of world history, we cover them but do not dwell on them. Here is a link to a FP article on the subject matter that I found interesting.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2005/07/31/think_again_japanese_textbooks

    I guess, finally, I find the tone of that particular paragraph disconcerting. You’re criticizing the extreme right wing of Japanese politics, but these criticisms come from (what seems to me, as a Canadian, to be) the same origin. You sound fiercely nationalistic and divisive. From my perspective and my experience, Korean and Chinese people who criticize “The Japanese” (as if 130 million people are a monolithic entity) are indistinguishable from the Japanese right wing that they hate so much. Instead of building up national boundaries, why not work together to increase cooperation and understanding, to build strong ties, and to create a mutually beneficial future?

    • Dongwoo

      Lovely comment, and thank you for taking time to write this. I appreciate the constructive criticisms.

      re: I dislike chauvinism of all kind and I was afraid of sounding like one, so I ran a draft of this article by two of our editors, who are not familiar with the issue. Both thought that I did not sound like an angry Asian nationalist. I am wondering if this is a perspective coming from someone who have interacted with other Koreans/Chinese (“from my perspective and my experience…”) and perhaps a generalization that comes from it? I honestly thought that this is an unfair assessment of my position.

      I disclosed my obvious national identity, for I wanted readers to know where I was coming from and have a fair discussion. The attitude of many “extreme right wing” politicians — who, by the way, have formed the majority government under Abe Shinzo — use and abuse this history to really support, opening up old wounds when their neighbours are just about to forget and try to get along. “Just get over it?” Beyond more idealized points I have made about human rights, which I deeply care for, this is the source of tension in East Asia. History is what provides our identity — whether it be political, social or cultural. If Japanese government, elected democratically, is unwilling to accept its wrongs of the past and even abuse it, it is building up an identity that is not compatible with a world order in which all can coexist. You just don’t get over that.

      • TW

        Thanks for your reply. 🙂

        Japan has had eight prime ministers in the past ten years. I think most Japanese people, especially young people, feel somewhat disenfranchised and unrepresented by their government. In Canada, we’re lucky to have a more vibrant and healthy democracy. Nonetheless, if someone tried to tell me that the views and words of Stephen Harper define the identity of my country, I would vehemently deny it. I am not represented by that man in any way. I didn’t vote for him, and I don’t support him. I think there are many Japanese people who feel the same. The words of one particular government do not determine the identity of a country.

        When you say that “‘extreme right wing’ politicians […] use and abuse this history to rally support,” I agree completely. I think you’re missing the other side of the coin, however: the fact that Korean and Chinese politicians are doing the exact same. Both are equally deplorable. I think the Diaoyu Islands flareup is a good example of this. From an outsider’s perspective, it’s clearly just an attempt by the Chinese government to deflect criticism away from themselves by scapegoating an external bogeyman. More than anything, Chinese people need to work to reform their own government, but they can’t because they’re too busy trashing Toyota dealerships. This type of nationalism helps no one.

        The bottom line for me, though, is that this conflict over comfort women and Japanese wartime atrocities is utterly pointless. It just doesn’t matter anymore. If the Japanese government takes accountability for what happened, if they deny it, if they blame it on aliens–none of it matters. There is literally nothing to be gained from fighting about this, and there is a lot to lose. China, Korea and Japan are neighbors, for God’s sake. They need to learn to live together because they don’t have a choice.

        • Dongwoo

          Thank you again — really interesting points, but I disagree a hundred percent. Even the journalists from the NYT and WaPost (e.g. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/opinion/japans-unnecessary-nationalism.html?_r=0) have written that the tension in East Asia would decrease with the Japanese government taking a more considerate approach to these matters. There “is” a choice, and that is the Japanese government acknowledging these problems. And please note that I have been careful in denouncing the government, not the people. I was compelled to write this article because I felt as if this is an issue that goes beyond nationalism that is relevant to not only East Asians, but everyone.

          Lastly, I have some interesting observations about your last paragraph, but comments section isn’t an appropriate medium. If you would like to continue this conversation, please feel free to contact me at dongwoo.kim[at]ualberta.ca. Thanks!

          • TW

            “And please note that I have been careful in denouncing the government, not the people.”

            I think that’s tremendously important. I don’t particularly like the Japanese government, but I will defend Japanese people, and that’s been my goal here. I responded to your post because I think what you said about Japanese people being ignorant to wartime atrocities is unfair–not to the Japanese government, but to the Japanese people.

            I’ll contact you to hear the rest of your thoughts if you’re still interested in discussing them.

        • Well, it doesn’t exactly help that the current Japanese prime minister is the maternal grandson of Tojo Hideki’s right-hand man:

          “Abe’s mother, Yoko Kishi,[5] is the daughter of Nobusuke Kishi, prime minister of Japan from 1957 to 1960. Kishi had been a member of the Tōjō Cabinet during the Second World War. Since GHQ’s policy changed and became more anti-communist, Kishi was released from Sugamo Prison, and later established the Japan Democratic Party.”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinz%C5%8D_Abe

          Abe is a nationalist: “In March 2007, Abe along with right-wing politicians have proposed a bill to encourage nationalism and a “love for one’s country and hometown” among the Japanese youth (Specific wording from the revised ‘fundamental law of education – 教育基本法’, which was revised to include ‘love of country’ despite much criticism).”

          I mean PM Abe is a total right wing conservative, particularly socially. That sort of leadership is dangerous, most especially during an economic crisis like right now. There aren’t enough Japanese youth to take care of their elders in the near future, and not enough jobs. There are unemployed in Japan and it’s the worst it’s been in a long time. Japan is no longer the leader or at the forefront of technology: they have been quickly outpaced by Taiwan, China, Korea, and the other Asian countries are quickly following suit. Old corporate Japanese models are failing in the new economy. There is a continuing detente with China over the Ryukyu Islands. Russia, ditto with the Kuril islands.

          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/15/china-okinawa-dispute-japan-ryukyu
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuril_Islands_dispute
          http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-25411653

          PM Abe is trying to push through another attempt to change their pacifist constitution, which is the only thing preventing them from outright re-militarization. Do you really think that’s a great idea, in this geopolitical climate, where Russia is even sending bombers into Northern Canada to claim the Arctic? When Russia has freakin’ tanks in Crimea, effectively annexing it? It’s like Anschluss all over again.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anschluss

          And to throw into the mix the spectre of the flag of the Rising Sun? I mean, are you kidding me? Seriously, we might as well just have thrown a whole bunch of gasoline onto a fire, and then flicked out our Lupin III limited edition numbered Zippo lighter with a picture of ‘Fujiko-chan’ on it, lit, grinned, and tossed it onto the fire before calmly walking away.

          No, symbols do matter. There’s a reason why we don’t go around wearing swastikas, never mind that the swastika symbol predates Nazi Germany by hundreds of years and was used in many cultures, including the Buddhist temple symbol is the backwards ‘sauvastika’, and I still get creeped out when I visit Japanese symbols and see them emblazoned everywhere, because I know what that symbol means to Holocaust survivors.

          As someone born in Nagasaki, I don’t ever want to see Japan in war ever again, or once again engaging in acts of aggression in East Asia. And I can’t condone turning such a symbol of Japanese imperialist aggression into some kind of hipster cool, as if it means nothing, while Nanking was raped and pillaged by the Imperial Japanese Army, and to worry that it’s all happening all over again, as the UN has become toothless and irrelevant, caring more about punishing Uruguay for legalizing marijuana while they blithely ignore human rights issues within the Security Council and turn a blind eye to human sex trafficking going on in their own organization. The United Nations couldn’t stop Rwanda, so what chance does it have to stop Russia, or China, or North Korea, or even Japan from firing those first missiles? Who’s going to stop it, a US still struggling to recover from illegal wars turned into quagmires of Vietnam proportions? America is tired of war, they’ll happily send in drones but they’re not sending in American troops anywhere anytime soon.

          No, too dangerous. At any time, but most of all right now.

          Peace.

          – Sotaro Shibahara

      • I am a Japanese immigrant-turned-Canadian citizen and I agree with everything you said in your original article. I think it’s disrespectful and offensive to be flying the Rising Sun flag, because it’s so closely tied to the Japanese war crimes during WWII. Just because it’s been used in other contexts before and after WWII doesn’t mean that it isn’t still most often associated with the wartime flag of Japan, and there are people still very much alive today who suffered the most excruciating torture at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army, and who still suffer those wounds both physical and psychological to this day, who would be badly re-traumatized by seeing that flag.

        The only context in which this flag can be justified is as a tool for teaching about Japanese war atrocities during WWII, to remind people about the past (which wasn’t that long ago) so that we are not doomed to repeat history.

  • Joe

    The only proven truth in this article is unit 731. Typical propaganda arguments comparing Nazi and those who were sentenced to inprisonment for their war crimes. They are two different categories of people even though both started the war which caused so many lives. Rising sun flag of Japan has nothing whatsoever common with Swastika flag. Nobody spoke the word of so called “comfort woman” until recent year. Why ? I have not heard any eye-witness who saw any Japanese soldiers taking any Korean woman to enslave them as “comfort woman”. We need a real facts and not propaganda. There are many contradicting so called facts about “Rape of Nanking”.There are some reports of Chinese who have done the same kind of “raping” against Japanese civilians in China. Yasukuni Shrine is not for those who are responsible for the WW II, but all who died during the WW II and prior wars and many years after the WW II that so called war criminals were moved to Yasukuni. Why did China and Korea did not protest (propagate) against the Japanese politicians visted the Yasukuni Shrine many years earlier ? It is very silly to compare Abe visiting Yasukuni with Merkel visitin Hitlers grave. Right-leaning Japanese politicians arguments is just the same level as this article – only emotional!

    • Dongwoo

      Dear Joe, thank you for the comment. The issue of “comfort women” has been spoken of many, many times since 1990s. Please keep in mind that, having such a history is not an easy thing to discuss, especially when it’s subject to public attention. As for the veracity of history, the United Nations Human Rights Commission demanded that the Japanese government prosecute those responsible for this (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/un-demands-japan-prosecute-over-wartime-comfort-women-1317734.html), which would be impossible unless the UNHRC also bought this “propaganda.” Further, if you understand Japanese — here’s a video of a former Japanese medic whose responsibility was to check whether these women had STDs or not: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpTrA8Juun8 (start from 0:40).

      • Joe

        Thak you for your reply. Why is it since 1990s and not earlier ? WW II ended 1945. Why do they have to wait over 45 years ? I believe that so called “comfort women” exisited but as far as I know there isn’t
        any eye witness of Japanese soldiers forcing Korean women. No comments about flags and Yasukuni Shrine ? I believe there are many falsifications as true facts. Typical Japanese mentality is that by
        apologizing solve the problems and being forgiven which does not work internationally.

        • Dongwoo

          Think about it: if you’re a sex slave, and if the perpetrators have not acknowledged it, would you publicize it? It took courage and time for these people to come forward. Also, Abe retracted his 2007 comment and acknowledged coercion in the act (http://www.japan-press.co.jp/modules/news/index.php?id=5827). With the UNHCR backing up these victims’ claims, I think it would be a rather irrational insistence on your end to stick with the argument that this cannot be “proven.”

          As for the Yasukuni shrine (sorry, I didn’t understand your flag part), Korean and Chinese politicians have been denouncing it for a long time, not just recently. Also, it is the intention of these politicians — that is, to open up the wound and rally the extremists — that is offensive to Koreans and Chinese.

          If you wish to further continue this conversation, please feel free to e-mail at dongwoo.kim[at]ualberta.ca. Thanks!

          • common sense

            The flag dates back to the Edo period as a national apolitical symbol. The swastika was a party symbol. They may both offend some people, but beyond that, have little in common, historically.

          • Peacenik

            In the Imperial era (to 1945) variants of the ‘Rising Sun’ flag were the ensigns of the Japanese navy and army (war flag)and, since 1954 &1974, are again.
            The swastika was in fact a feature of the German national flag between 1935-1945, as well was incorporated into the German naval ensign to 1945. By the end of the Third Reich it was used as a national, rather than just a party symbol.
            They are both viewed but large numbers of people as the symbols of aggressive, brutal, militaristic regimes and in that sense have a lot in common, historically.

          • Technically, the swastika (and it’s opposite-facing counterpart, the sauvastika) were both venerable and holy symbols for centuries throughout human history in various parts of the world. The sauvastika in Japan is used in map legends to denote the presence of a Buddhist temple or shrine, for example, and you’ll see both the sauvastika and swastika adorning many temples in Japan.

            But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to go around wearing a swastika on your shirt, because people might get the wrong idea and be hurt and/or offended, because the most common recent example of its use was made so infamous by the Nazis.

            Likewise, even though I am Japanese (or I should say, _because_ I am Japanese), I would never wear the Rising Sun flag because I know exactly the kind of war crimes the Japanese Imperial Army committed whilst flying that flag.

          • Merchant Mmo

            If they really care about denouncing the proper things, they should be denouncing the people who are wrongly enshrined there, not the shrine itself as it also hosts many more civilians too. Last I saw korea was still a country where they actively taught to hate. http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?218110-S-Korea-Refuses-Japan-Port-Call-In-Drill-Reports/page8

        • KJ

          The reason why “there isn’t any eye witness of Japanese soldiers forcing Korean women” is because the Japanese did not allow for the documentation of this. They controlled all forms of media during this imperial period. They burned and destroyed thousands of historical books and artifacts of Korea during their occupation, what’s not to say that they didn’t do the same with the proof that you’re asking for?

          Also, the Nazis were infamous for documenting everything they did, including taking pictures. The Japanese did the opposite. They hid what they did.

    • Actually there was huge controversy with Junichiro Koizuimi visited Yasukuni during his time in office. I heard about it in Canada, in the news, so it’s not like it wasn’t internationally controversial.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_surrounding_Yasukuni_Shrine

      Survivors of Nanjing have been speaking out against “comfort women” for many, many years: it’s just that many Japanese have been reluctant to listen, even though even the soldiers who actually committed these violent acts admitted to them; some of them were remorseful, while others claimed it was all part and parcel of war.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre

    • pramirez

      Joe, YOU seem to think that having access to google means you have access to ALL of the evidence behind the whole comfort women incident. There are unfortunately MANY accounts of what has happened to these comfort women which are unfortunately not available in English. You not having access to this information does not mean that “real facts” do not exist and that the information that is available to you are only “propaganda”! China has only opened up its doors to the world for some 20 years; internet and media is still controlled within that country, and here we are in 2014. Your comment is almost like saying that the holocaust didn’t happen. Seriously dude, go do some research before you publicly make yourself an idiot here.

  • Ap

    I am starting to notice a trend in some of the comments here. Specifically directed at TW and Joe.

    It disgusts me to see these atrocities that you refer to as claims and are propaganda made by either the Korean or the Chinese government as a way to push their political agenda. You completely disregard the millions of civilians from Korean, China, Philippines, and other East Asian countries that were affected by Imperial Japan in WWII. It seems that both of you are under the impression that everyone from these countries are completely brain-washed by their government. I can assure you that this will never be the case. No government on earth has the power to do that. It is incredulous to see that there are even people out there to think that somewhere on earth where nearly 2 billion people, most of whom has had their grandparents’ generation affected by the war with stories being passed down, can simply be passed off as just claims with no evidence.

    In addition, to say that the Rape of Nanking, where over 200 000 civilians were massacred, never happened or without evidence is ridiculous and I demand that you get your facts straight. Nanking was the capital city of China at the time. I can assure you that by logic and numbers alone the massacred happened. It is impossible for there to be no witnesses.

    To answer why the Korean and Chinese government raised these claims only recently, which is incorrect and have been brought up since 1945s, is that Japan rose to economic success far sooner than both Korea and China. In order to ensure economic growth between 1945s – 2000s, Korea and China did not want to jeopardize the already strained relations.

    Bottom line is, your response is an insult to over a billion people. The facts to these atrocities are not up for debate.

    To deny these war atrocities is similar to denying the Holocaust.

    • TW

      I’m not sure how you got the impression that I’m denying that atrocities happened. My main point was that Japanese people, in general, DO NOT deny them, contrary to popular myth. My second point was that focusing heavily on these atrocities does not help anyone. That, in general, international cooperation, collaboration and forgiveness is essential to a prosperous future for all.

      I honestly have no horse in this race. I have many friends from across Asia. I would really like the best for all of their countries.

      • KJ

        If focusing on “these atrocities don’t help anyone,” then why do we have spend a huge amount of time in school learning about the Nazis and what they did to the Jewish people? According to you, it’s not helping anyone. Contrary to what you’re saying, focusing on these atrocities (the Holocaust and the topic of this article), helps prevent this from happening in the future.

        Why is it that everyone that condemns the Nazis for the atrocities they committed is always sympathized with but when an article about what the Japanese did to Koreans, Chinese, and other asian countries, we’re told that “focusing on these atrocities don’t help anyone?” Your ignorant post is exactly the reason why we are focusing on these acts against humanity.

        • Rogue

          not to back him or anything, but i agree with both of you. Not his point exactly, but using a similar line of thought don’t you think it is a bit extreme to focus on a past war crime then turn around and say that country’s flag offends me or oh you have a swastika, you offend me (not too sure on this since i honestly don’t care all to much on this matter, but if I’m not mistaken and i could be the swastika inverted should end up as a holy symbol or so i have heard from somewhere.) I mean the United States has committed war crimes, Russia has as well, every nation has their own “sins” they committed during times of war, so what makes one flag so special that it must be outed and claimed offensive?

          I grew up in the states but im part japanese, based off that i could say the whole blog offends me because it is outing a flag that is part of my heritage, but i don’t because i can fully understand the writer has their own opinion.

      • M

        forgiveness can only be considered when apologies are given my friend.

  • Egalitarian

    “200,000 defenseless civilians, whom many of them were women and children, were systematically raped and massacred.”

    i find it offensive that you need to specify “women” as if it makes it more tragic than the (more common) alternative. i also find it offensive that many would consider the lives of women more important than men, as if it were only 200,000 men being “raped and massacred” it would not be as notable or tragic. this is known as male disposability. the “women and children first” mindset should not be applicable in this day and age, as it is sexist and offensive within itself.

    when a defenseless man is murdered or tortured, it is a statistic. when a woman is murdered or tortured, it is a tragedy.

    please try to use less sexist wording in the future, especially if you are one to bring up the offensive nature of things.

  • MrJ5412

    The US has commited many war and humanitarian crimes and yet nobody complains when someone uses their flag on clothing or in advertising.

    • Maybe they should.

      • jay san

        lets kick a dead horse why don’t we! How about if anybody offends anyone or is culturally insensitive in any way, they must be put to death immediately! sick of pc bullshit. I’m Japanese and to me the rising sun is a beautiful image, don’t sully it by trying to yell about decades old fueds. take it for what it is, a symbol of Japan. Japan did commit war crimes yes, but that’s one facet of a culture with a long history. There is much more to that flag, and the country than genocide

        • pramirez

          Then again, there’s also genocide, and a heck lot of war crimes which your country has been trying to deny for decades, associated to that very same flag. No one is being “put to death” – you are putting words in the author’s mouth. War crimes are much more than “feuds”. Japan is a great country, but when it comes to history, it’s sad how so many people try to deny their own past.

        • Roy523

          The very sad fact about Japan is that unlike Germany, they have shown no regret nor apology to the rest of the world after the WW2. I know lots of people in Japan have suffered by the two nuclear bombs but that doesn’t give Japan the “right” to be not ashamed of the war crimes they’ve done to other countries.

  • simon

    the swastika wasnt always about death war nazis etc it was a symbol of piece

    • Sky

      It actually wasn’t a symbol of peace per say…

  • Kano

    Yet within the western automotive culture….it is used on heaps of Japanese made cars. JDM as it known. I think this is looking at it too seriously. The automotive community doesn’t see it that way, but more of a good looking trend. Even if you try stop the use of the flag, it’s going to be very hard to get people within western worlds to stop using the design because it’s a type of fashion trend.
    Yes, I do see where you are coming from, but it shouldn’t be restricted to use.

    • Evan

      i agree with you man i live in the u.s and drive an import from Japan i have a rising sun on my car and have no bad feeling about it, it represents the country my car was imported from thats all.

      • Dave

        no really that’s cause you don’t really understand. I am not mad at you cause no country but the U.S. cares about 9.11, couple hundred people died, honestly, nbd. Compare to the sino-japanese, it just child’s play. So, please respect the others and don’t use it!

        • Josef

          Um dude, try 3000 people for 9/11- in an unprecedented attack and obviously other countries care because there are other countries fighting the war on terror..

        • bill

          NO NO NO! it doesn’t represent japan dummy! it represent horrific acts of war that where committed to thousands of people not modern japan! if i had a german car i wouldn’t put a swastika to show its german.

          • Patrick Jenish

            Well, no actually. The flag is still used by the JDF, or the Japanese Defense Force. And it’s also still used as the Naval Ensign of Japan.

            The difference between Japan and Germany was that Germany had a change of government in its entirety. The Weimar Republic was replaced by a Fascist single party state, only to be replaced once again by a democratic republic (and a socialist state as well). Japan stayed a parliamentary democracy through the war and after as well, albeit it was controlled largely by the Japanese fascist party.

            Germany had severe political shifts whereas Japan remained largely consistent in its governance.

            The rising sun was and is part of Japan’s cultural heritage. And while it’s unfortunate that the government that operated under the rising sun did some horrific things, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it represents Japan first.

    • Josh Ronstein

      Kano, don’t be a cunt

  • nipponbanzai

    every nation has done bad things under their flag. your culture lies constantly and steals japanese and chinese culture so how about i say im offended by a south korean flag. should people not use it then? Stop whining korean liar.

    • Racist much? It’s people like you that give the Japanese a bad name.

      /born in Nagasaki

  • HJ

    that’s the past man. never forget but move on. Its never good to hold a grudge against someone. The flag is now the self defense force flag.

  • Jason Tanner

    Seriously, most of you are so friggin devoid of a brain, common sense and any sort of empathy or compassion that it brings down the rest of the human race. You just go the 411 on the Japanese Imperial flag, what it stood for and it’s context and significance (WWII) and all you idiots just want to sit there and wallow in your apathy and actually justify your ignorance. It just makes anyone with any sort of class or decency sick to their stomach.

    When I was younger I always wondered how thousands and millions of people could be convinced to rally behind and be part of some of history’s most horrific events. Now that I’m older it’s plain to see that you’re the kind of compassionless idiots that sign up for it.

    God save us all.

    • dikks

      I completely agree. The flag has a rich heritage, but it is seen as disrespectful when an American or Chinese citizen sees it (for reasons I know you understand.) That said, the Rising Sun flag is NOT just about WWII or imperialism, this flag/icon was the statement of a country for much longer than the swastika was for Germany.

      • I think the Rising Sun has been sufficiently sullied by the wartime atrocities of WWII that it should be retired, permanently, just as the swastika has been for Germans. As a Japanese, I would never wear it and I would never join the SDF so long as it remains their emblem.

        • Rogue

          That being said, then wouldn’t every nations flag be condemned as well. You don’t throw something out just because there has been problems in the past, if they just tossed the flag out after each war crime or wrong doing each nation has done then everyone would be tossing their flags.

          • Why not? You can change a flag easier than you can change history. What’s wrong with starting anew with a new flag, to symbolize that maybe a country might have been guilty of imperialist crimes in the past, but that as a modern nation, they are willing to make amends for the past and to change for the future for the better, rather than be clinging to romanticized notions of an idealized past where war crimes are glossed over in favour of pro-statist propaganda?

          • Merchant Mmo

            Because flags arent suppose to act like mmorpg name swaps.

          • While I would not say it’s simple, as clearly as the discussions on this very page show, people are incredibly attached to their national symbols, I would think the people most likely to understand the power and significance of such symbols are people who are so very much attached to their national flags and identify so strongly with them as an intrinsic part of their self-identity as citizens of a nation, and thus also understand that because these symbols are so potent, they also have a great capacity to recall past war crimes committed in their name, under their aegis and banner, and see how the victims of said crimes, particularly victims who are still alive today, would feel about such symbols being paraded daily in front of them, as if those crimes never happened under that very same banner, in that country’s name.

            My argument is simply that it can only be one or another: either a flag _is_ just a simple design on a piece of cloth and that it is not in any way, shape or form attached to the war crimes committed by people wearing them and thus, not complicit in, nor culpable of said crimes –or– a flag is a powerful national symbol with historic significance, that is inextricably linked to a people’s national identity and how they relate themselves to that symbol (and by extension, to their nation), and thus _cannot_ be divorced from the historicity of the war crimes that were carried out under that banner. You can’t have it both ways.

          • Merchant Mmo

            You cant be divorced to it unless your allowing it to keep you there. In my personal opinion, I find it stupid to be ashamed to wear a flag because another nationality is foaming at the mouth of what my grandpa did to their grandpa. I did nothing wrong to warrant shame, and if the international community is not at my throat with shaming me to changing my flag, they have accepted it and moved on and so should whoever is foaming at the mouth about past things. For the last 50 years japan has offered with AND without funds over 50 different apologies from higher up peoples only for it to be overshadowed by the QQ of rage nations. To me at this point, its past something thats related to war, its about whiney nations not being able to get over it no matter what they are given.

          • One may not be complicit in the crimes of one’s forefathers, but if we all do not make a concerted effor to ensure that those crimes are never forgotten, we are all guilty of attempting to minimize their crimes and making excuses for them, which whitewashes history, ensuring that the lessons of history are forgotten, and inevitably will be repeated.

            It is dangerous to rely on the international community for one’s moral stance: as the genocide in Rwanda, in the Congo, and many other nations around the world continue to go unchallenged as the UN takes great pains to ensure that they don’t step on any nation’s toes, ordinary people continue to suffer.

            In the end, it is not a matter of political correctness, but whether one truly wishes to live as a compassionate human being in the world, who respects that there are still alive so many people who have suffered terribly from the injustices of war, and knowing that those people deserve the right to be able to live the rest of their lives in peace, without having to be subjected to triggering images which instantly recall for them the severe trauma they suffered as if it happened yesterday.

          • Merchant Mmo

            You have a good point but that is absolutely no justification for south korean people to publicly keep on teaching their new generation hate. This hate education they have does not come from no where. How much of that sort of environment and education would you have to get to celebrate a natural disaster that killed tens of thousands of people in a earthquake who are completely unrelated to these ‘past atrocities’. The sad thing is no one was surprised at such actions, ‘Oh its south korea being south korea again’. Compassion and respect goes both ways. If your own country is being a controversial, you will end up not being taken seriously and just making a ruckus alone wondering why no ones giving you the compassion and respect you want.

          • pramirez

            I think if Japan apologizes and publicly acknowledge what they’d done in the past, countries like Korea might stop teaching hate to their people. They might start teaching “understanding”, “sympathy”, and “collaboration”.

          • Merchant Mmo

            I already did state that in the past 50yrs Japan has offered more than 50 wartime apologies including funding. But it gets ignored like it never happened….much like how you kinda just skipped past what I wrote about acknowledgment in my previous comment

  • Malice

    It’s like giving a BJ to a homeless man…

  • Dan

    Mercedes recently showed an advertisement with Che Guevera, saying “vive la revolution”….. it is all about image. do they have a caption saying this was a murdering sociopath? No. image…..

  • As a Canadian of Japanese descent, I totally agree.

  • sam p

    this is a good article. to be honest i was only reading it to prove to my friend that in tomb raider they used the wrong flag for wwII but i enjoyed reading this article. i understand why its bad to used the flag and i only with those motherfuckers from the southern us would stop using the confederate flag! its basically means HEY EVERYBODY OVER HERE I LOVE RACISM AND SLAVERY! Hey you black guy get over here so i can sell your family and work you to death!

  • Synopix

    Tell that to ABC (Alcohol stores) in South Carolina… :-))))

    http://www.follybeach.com/alcohol.php

  • Joe

    The swastika wasn’t Germany’s flag but the japanese rising sun was there flag, it also as a lot of good meaning behind it such as vitality new life and courage it’s very diffrent from a swastika so you should get you panties out of your ass and stop getting offended I’m 50 percent japanese and would find no offense to this

  • Taka Nishi

    Hi Dongwoo-ssi;

    First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to write. At the same time, I will have to say that I will be disagree with you. Firstly and mainly, the flag itself. The flag does not single-handedly represent the atrocities of WWII. It may be of interest for everyone to know, the rising sun flag was NOT the flag of the Japanese empire from the start of the Meiji and during the war. It is in fact the current flag that is being used that was the main flag. So in all honest truth, shouldn’t the current Japanese flag be equally offensive? The Americans during the Japanese occupation banned the normal white flag for a few years after WWII.

    Both the rising sun flag and Swastika are not comparable. First, the rising sun flag is only a variant flag that represents the country of Japan. The Swastika, in contrast, was the symbol for the Nazi party, which was the specific political movement that evolved into trying to wipe out those of non-Aryan. So to me, as a Japanese, the only reason why I can see the Rising Sun Flag being more offensive is only because it was in particular used more so in the military (of which would have been seen more frequently in annexed lands including Korea) and that it is definitely more distinct and memorable. But to blindly dismiss it as something comparable to the Swastika is reaching too much.

    Secondly, I completely disagree with you on the Education portion. I grew up in both Japan and Canada, and we most certainly learnt about what we did in world war 2 in Japan more than i ever did in Canada. I remember specifically in high school about annexation of Korea and Manchuria. For Korea, I learned about how many Koreans were forced to move to many locales in Japan and were forced to work for little or no pay in factories. We even talked about prostitution during the war and how some of these women today are demanding for compensation and the Japanese government’s (then in the 90’s) attempt to pay out money via the Asian Women’s Fund.

    I do agree we did horrible things in the war. I do agree that many of Japan’s politicians are idiots. I think we need to continue to strive in Japan (and my new country Canada) toward building a future where we build the world for peace. But when it comes to the flag, I think it is being over the top. I believe that Canada should put a little more focus on teaching about what happened in the Pacific side of the war. I think you can agree with that. But I think you will convince more people about that if you actually focus on the important things. A flag that is really is just a flag for Japan shouldn’t be considered offensive.

    PS I went to the U of A too : )

    • The atrocities may not be comparable, but two wrongs do not make a right: it doesn’t take much to make a new logo or flag design (I should know, I’ve done it as a job and as a hobby), whereas it takes centuries for ethnic tensions to simmer, and just as easily riled up, as this thread shows.

  • Ian

    I was going to get a tattoo of a rising sun mixed with another aspect of my heritage, and I came upon this article when trying to figure out if that was ok or not. I’ve decided to change the design, removing the iconic rays. Thank you for explaining the feelings you have towards the symbol as well as, it seems, the feelings of many other Koreans regarding the rising sun. It would have looked really cool, but ultimately I think some symbols aren’t worth duplicating for what they represent to some people. I don’t want to take the risk of my back recalling hurtful memories for certain people in any way.

    • jay san

      don’t let anyone take your Japanese pride. The rising sun is a symbol tied to the very heart of Japan since LONG before the horrific wars of this last century. There is a lot of meaning behind it besides the obvious insinuation of imperialism.

  • The truth comes to light.

    i have the rights to express my opinions funny huh? americans blame swastika blame the rising sun symbol and would blame even the urss flag i bet.
    But you dont blame your full of blood flag is it right to use it right?
    why you guys can go around with a us army flag and the japanese cant use the rising sun flag?.
    more why do you guys think its like a swastika? when the real nazis is your own government? you guys think japanese is bad for what you did on pearl harbor? think about hiroshima and nagasaki that your country cowardly destroyed.
    i dont think japan is bad neither germany you guys are the ones destroying the world maybe not you directly but your government for usa lifes worth less than money
    petrol worths more than people think about what the usa is doing on iraq after bin laden death?
    why dont you guys leave?
    your country is bounded in blood your government is worse than the fascism and the
    rising sun flag that your blaming.
    i hope you read this and think about i would use those flags rather than waving the american flag that kills more than half of the world enough said.
    You americans will be mad with what i say but half of the world know that this is true.

    • As a Japanese born in Nagasaki, possibly with health issues related to having been born in the ashes of one of the only two cities destroyed by nuclear war in wartime, I still don’t believe it is appropriate to compare atrocities: they are specific to their individual times and places. One can be against nuclear holocaust and also against other atrocities during wartime.

      I do not agree with using the ‘Rising Sun’ flag in my country of birth, but I also think the Canadian flag that flies over my head every day is also steeped into racism and genocide over the course of centuries, and if First Nations peoples in Canada said it was offensive, I wouldn’t wear that maple leaf, I would proudly wear an Idle No More banner instead.

  • Jackal

    Korean soldiers committed severe war crimes in the Vietnam War, so I guess nobody should be wearing or waving the South Korean flag either …. unless you are a hypocrite

  • Colton

    It was also representing Japan in the Edo period, and during the Meiji restoration, not just in World War II. The Swastika is the symbol of the National Socialists, the Rising Sun flag is actually of Japan, and it means good fortune.

  • dcrb
  • tommy92

    UK had an empire, much longer and much bigger than that of Japan. So no Union Jack I guess. Same with the French, the Netherlands, Belgium and others.

    Many of these countries committed atrocities on a large scale, were involved in the slave trade, committed genocide, destroyed cultures, guilty of human rights abuses and fought violently to maintain their colonies up until the 1960s. What about the American flag? Under that flag natives were killed, land was conquered, slaves were bought and sold, millions dead in Vietnam, etc. China was an ally of North Korea during that war (but Koreans appear to have forgiven them for that) and is the main reason two Koreas exist to this day. How many died during that war and under the North Korean regime???

    Japan had a colonies and used brutality to conquer. Terrible? Yes. Unique? No. They have apologized more than most (perhaps all) of the countries listed above.

    • Roy535

      Don’t you dare say about Korea. Sure, let’s say China is one of the main reasons why North and South Korea exist today. But South (and North) Korean can forgive China, but never Japan. Do you even have any idea what Japan has tried to do to the country? Alright, I guess raping our grandmothers. etc. are typical war crimes that other countries do during colonies. Forcing every Korean to learn Japanese and to forget their own language, forcing them to deny their own cultures – hmm yeah, that’s totally “understandable” right? I still can’t believe Japan are still denying and hasn’t apologized to the country! (I’m sorry for being offensive but it’s even making me sick!)

      • Roy535

        At least, South Korea would like to forgive, if there’s any apology!

      • tommy92

        Japan tried to do and did many terrible things. Yes. I agree. They have apologized.

        You say the Chinese can be forgiven. However, during the war the Chinese military killed South Korean soldiers and civilians, and destroyed infrastructure. Brutality was used on those who opposed them. China is responsible for the existence of North Korea (denying a united Korea). The North Korean regime is oppressive, uses torture and keeps its people in starvation. It exists today and continues. North Koreans live in a prison like society. Yet, China is completely forgiven.

        Japan had an empire, so did the UK, France, Belgium, USA, China in its past, etc. and all used violence and military force to achieve and maintain their empires. Forcing a culture, religion or language on the conquered people was a common technique used in many empires. Partly explains the spread of languages like English, Spanish, French, Portugese, etc. Local religions were suppressed, people forced off land, rape, slavery, poverty, starvation and genocide all committed.

        Japan’s empire was actually smaller and lasted for a shorter time than many others. They have apologized. It was terrible, but so was the slave trade in Africa (hundreds of years of rape, beatings, murder, oppression) and the terrible oppression people have lived under throughout history in empires.

        Some modern empires existed up until the 1960s and ended only after years of conflict and revolutions. Millions killed, cities turned to war zones and people cleansed from their villages, rape used as a weapon. All terrible events.

  • Joshua Moore

    ” am I beign a whiney over sensitive cunt”…. nah…… Well atleast you took the time to give ti a 2nd thoguht but i hate to break it to you, your wrong.

    • sexist much?

      wow, language? also, your face lol.

  • George

    Be a man, it’s the 21st century!

  • Guest

    First of all, thank you for posting this! :] It explained very well about the matter what I was about to complain to the one of the US magazines. (Can I refer this article, please?) The author of an article writing about Japan’s economy used a title ‘The Rising Sun’. Although the flag picture wasn’t there, using the title with an article about Japan can easily remind of ‘the image of the rising sun flag’. I understand, like you said, some westerners have no idea how the rising sun means bad as Swastika, so I would like to let more westerners know about the meaning. After then, it is their free will to use it (the image or the term) or not. Thank you again!

  • Ariel Safdie

    It is understandable that many Asian countries still bear resentment towards the flag, since, for a time, it stood as a banner for Japanese militarism and the horrible acts committed by its army. Nevertheless it is an emblem that dates back to the Edo period (the Shogunate before Meiji expansionism), a symbol of good fortune. The Swastica is different because it represented an ideology and a country that no longer exists, the Third Reich; and it’s OK to use the Swastica in the context of, say, Hindu mysticism. The Rising Sun was not born, like the Nazi version of the Swastica, as a symbol of domination and racism, and it never came to represent, inherently, that ideology.
    But what about other national or historic flags? The British raped 1/3 of the world, the Belgians mutilated most of the Congo, the Dutch had concentration camps before anyone else, the Spanish killed and enslaved millions, the Turks executed a full-blown well planned genocide in Armenia, and the US, well, you know that already. To top it off, many of these still deny or ignore their role and dodge responsibility. All of these countries have the same flag they flew back then. Should we, then, forbid them as well?

    • 100 wrongs doesn’t make this one right. Why not change all the flags? At least of imperialist nations. It would be a start to healing, however symbolic.

  • Borderlands Dave

    Consider the Swastika and the Rising Sun as symbols expropriated by fanatics. Both existed before and yes are now associated with various atrocities. There is however nothing wrong with moderates taking back symbols like the Rising Sun. And if you don’t allow the moderates to take back these symbols, then its the extremists who win.
    Don’t confuse use of the Rising Sun, with the understandably wrong position the government of Japan has taken regarding its actions preceding and during WW2. They definitely need to apologize and acknowledge the wrongs done.

  • bblllaahhh

    america has committed atrocities. and england. and france. and most industrial countries. stop flying those too?

    • Sure, why not. Symbols matter. Otherwise, if it didn’t matter, people wouldn’t be so resistant to the idea of something as superficial as changing a nation’s flag to something that is ultimately less hurtful to victims of wartime atrocities.

      • Ariel Safdie

        I see what you mean, but almost every flag in the world holds a violent, agressive or repressive past. It’s not the fault of the flag. You should not ban it entirely because the flag holds multiple meanings and a long history. It would be sensible to avoid using (or even prohibit) the flag in places where the Japanese atrocities in WW2 still live on through the memories of the population; but not everywhere in the world. Just like Germany should control the use of the Swastica, but you cannot erase the same symbol from old hindu temples, of prevent its use in this context, far from Europe. It would also be sensible to erradicate its use amongst unlta-nationalist groups in Japan.

        • Well, it’s a flag, a piece of cloth with a picture on it: it’s can’t have ‘fault’… but the people wearing it can. And if enough people wearing it, commit enough war crimes that it sullies the flag and emblem permanently, then I see no reason not to design something new, something not associated with the Bataan death march, for example.

  • robmo61

    The rising sun and Japan go hand in hand. The symbol was used before the war so i dont get what the fuss is about. Yeah it’s unfortunate that the rising sun was used in wartime but it is what represented their country long before. So regardless of who they were fighting, good or bad they would have flown it for their countries pride. Now if we are going to base your argument that the flag is offensive to those who were victims of the war then you have to be fair all the way around. The innocent people bombed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki would probably find the American flag offensive. Oh yeah don’t forget that in California during WWII OUR OWN government was locking up all people of Japanese ancestry. That’s right Americans citizens had their homes and businesses taken away and forces into internment camps simply because they were Japanese, US citizens!!! Those families didn’t get their homes and businesses back, but they dont teach that part of our countries history.Yet we wave that flag around chanting “USA, USA!” Our country has commited so many crimes against its own people and other countries that if this is your argument we should take down all American flags too. We aren’t any better than the countries we fight against, we just like to think we are.

    • Jennifer Kim

      This symbol may have been used before the war but so was the swastika before the Nazis used it. It was a Buddhist symbol before the Nazis used it for their reich; yet people don’t use this symbol because it may be offensive to people. So even though the rising sun symbol was used before the Japanese imperialist empire, it is still very offensive because it reminds Koreans, Chinese, and other Asians that were oppressed by the Japanese empire of a time when their culture and country were destroyed.

      Yes, America bombed parts of Japan and kept them in internment camps for a period. However, this is not the focus of the article. Just because this occurred does not justify what the Japanese did. Americans did not torture Japanese people, forbid them from using their own language in their own country, destroy hundreds of their historical documents and precious artifacts, destroy ancient temples, or rape thousands of women like the Japanese did to Koreans, Chinese, and other Asian countries. What the Japanese did was worse and horrific. This is what occurred during Japanese occupation of these countries. This is why the rising flag sun shouldn’t be used.

  • Mr. Derp

    I disagree, the Rising Sun flag is really just a Japanese military symbol, and is still actually in use by the contemporary Japanese navy (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force) and army (Japan Ground Self-Defense Force). The national flag of Japan currently in use is actually the same as it was in the imperial era, so should I be offended whenever I see someone fly a Japanese flag? To Hell with this PC BS.

    • What part of “wouldn’t the world be a much nicer place if we didn’t go around hurting and offending victims of war crimes, like the comfort women who are still alive today”, don’t you understand, exactly?

      /Japanese
      //would not wear the Rising Sun

      • GeauxGhoti

        Apparently, there’s a reason he calls himself “Mr. Derp”.

        • FDRliberal

          He grew tired of being called Numbskull.

        • Yeah, I mean I thought we were all supposed to be having a civil discussion and all. There’s enough hate in the world without having to manufacture drama on the internet out of boredom. 🙁

          • GeauxGhoti

            I completely agree…

            I’ve read numerous articles that suggest that the internet and social media are destroying our ability to communicate effectively… Personally, I think we’re using the internet as an excuse and we’re; 1.) destroying our ability to communicate ourselves or 2.) simply allowing it to erode while knowing it’s happening, and doing nothing to stop it… Either way, it’s our fault.

            And, while we’re on this thread… I have only historical context with which to “judge” the Rising Sun flag, but from my point of view, the majority of our flags have flown over some pretty horrible scenes. I’m thinking it would be best to just get rid of them all, erase all of those invisible lines in the dirt that keep us separated, get rid of the politicians and start over… But, I’m afraid a lot more suffering and death will be required before we ever really consider such action to be worthwhile…

            Anyway… Nice to see you again, Krantzstone…

          • Alexis Tomlin

            Good job 동우! As regarding the comments against this article, I would have to say that while Japan does have a rich history aside from the atrocities it committed in the past, I believe that DongWoo is not trying to Sully Japan and it’s entire contemporary population, but is simply pointing out the facts of history and how they are attached to the flag of the rising sun. I think he has a valid point and I would have to ask you Jay San being Japanese why would you want to have such a symbol of persecution and murder represent yourself and the people of your culture? If we look at Germany for example, no contemporary German would want their self to be represented by a flag incorporating a swastica or other symbol of third reich.

            Can you imagine what it must feel like to be a member of a family whose relatives have been brutally murdered by a fascist regime and then to see images representative of that regime in your daily environment?

            Of course I realise that Japan has been bashed over the head time and again since the end of 1945, so I can understand your frustration Jay San with people many of whom I’m sure are Korean, but ultimately I believe that if those in government of Japan were simply to make a sincere apology for the past, then the people of Japan and South Korea could begin to really make amends.

        • Mr. Derp

          Alright, maybe it was inappropriate of me to say “to Hell with this PC BS,” and I apologize for any offense I caused with that line. Anyway, let’s have a civil debate.

          Nothing good will come out of an ungoverned world. Sure, politicians can definitely be corrupt and tyrannical, but they are here for a reason. A societies, we grant governments authority over us to make our laws to protect our rights and ourselves, not only from foreign intruders, but also from each other. We cannot operate under direct democracy or anarchy, because there would be nothing to stop the majority from tyrannically abusing the minority. The mob is equally capable of tyranny as the dictator.

          (Now, I am by no means saying that we should put our absolute trust in governments, because, as I just said and we all know, they are all capable of tyranny. If they abuse their power over the people, then it is always the right of the people to replace them peacefully, or if necessary, forcefully.)

          The world map is divided by flags and borders, which is for a good reasons. As nations, we should make an effort to cooperate internationally, but not lose our identities in the process. All nations have different values, customs, and identities. If we cannot separate ourselves from each other on this basis, then we cannot have order.

          I still do not see the Rising Sun flag as a symbol of Japanese crimes committed during WWII, but as a 125 year old Japanese military symbol. But if the Japanese would like to change their civil and martial flags, they’re free to knock themselves out. After all, I’m not Japanese, so it’s not at all for me to say what Japan’s flag should be.

          Although the USA has undeniably committed crimes, do not use that as a basis to tell us to take down the Stars and Stripes, one of our oldest, most beloved symbols of national unity. It’s not for us to say what a foreign country’s flag should be. Conversely, it’s not for someone in foreign country to say what our flag should be.

          • GeauxGhoti

            Thank you for your apology, your explanation and for your desire for civil discourse. I don’t have the time just now, but I definitely want to discuss this further. It was important to me that I get back to you, considering your attitude…

            On that note… I happily accept your apology, and humbly offer one in return. It was not exactly civil of me to make my comment about your mom de guerre. It was childish and petty of me, and I apologize.

            I will consider your thoughts and get back to you as soon as I can.

          • GeauxGhoti

            On a personal level, I disagree with nearly everything you’ve said, but on an intellectual/realistic level, realizing that I’m not the only person on this planet, I recognize the sense in it. As an anarchist who supports moving toward a constitutional direct democracy kind of system, I honestly do believe that it would be a far superior system… But as a rational human being, I fully recognize how dangerous it would be to attempt to implement such a system at this time in our development. We’re simply not ready for such a thing, so it’s currently in our best interest to leave it to the Science Fiction authors, philosophers and futurists to play with and disseminate the idea/s for now…

            I’m not a nationalist (not suggesting that you are) and I truly believe that we would be better off if we could get over the whole border and flag thing, but again… That’s for a future time, if ever.

            Your last paragraph is the one I have something real to say about… I am in near complete agreement with this entire paragraph. I have to say that I honestly don’t know as much about the history of the Japanese Rising Sun Flag as I, perhaps, should. But, what little I do know about it and the culture that often surrounds it, I wouldn’t liken it to the US flag so much as the Confederate Flag, which has long been associated with slavery and hate.

            Of course, my ignorance likely colors and compounds my ignorance, so I’m not exactly an authority on the subject… I get the tendency to be PC, and I also get the fact that PC can go a bit overboard at times, and there’s a bit of a balancing act in between, where the ‘centrist’ view is an incredibly narrow one and the slightest shift can throw one into the realm of extremism, even if only in the eyes of others… It’s not always easy to say when it’s going to far… I’m just glad it doesn’t fall on my shoulders to make such a decision!

  • mr.hates a whiner

    the japanese rising sun is a symbol of good fortune. that was a very queer thing to do and you need ti get over it. there are alot of good symbols that were used to represent bad things, that are still used today. think about it, its your opinion, sorry but you’re in the wrong by trying to force your opinion onto other people.

  • 杜人 菊池

    南京大虐殺は中国共産党のでっち上げだ!旭日旗は日本海上自衛隊の旗だ!ナチスのハーケンクロイツとは違う!!

  • S.K.

    “But this society that abhors Nazis does not hold the same standard for the images of the Japanese Rising Sun, which, is in a way, even more offensive than Swastikas. The Rising Sun flag was the symbol of the Empire of Japan during late 19th and early 20th centuries.”

    I’m sorry. Your article makes absolutely no sense.

    How the hell can you compare the rising sun flag to the flag of Nazi Germany? The Nazi Swastika was the flag specifically of the Nazi party, and of Nazi Germany, and thus represents very specifically that period of time in German history, and the ideologies of that party.

    However, the flag of Japan before WWII, during WWII, and even today, is the exact same flag. You know, the red circle on the white background,. The rising sun flag on the other hand, was the flag of the Japanese military, all the way since 1870. LONG before WWII, and even during times when Japan was allied with the west and fought along side the west (for example WWI). It is even still today an official flag used by the military.

    I understand that you dislike Japan during that period, and it is true they did some bad things. However, your association of that period in history and the rising sun flag is completely irrational, and how you can even suggest it is on the same level as the Nazi Swastika is just beyond me.

  • jay san

    what about a union jack…or any other flag of an oppressor. get over yourself

  • get

    Rising Sun Flag
    equivalent
    German Iron cross

    And u,s,Navy

  • CogInTheWheel

    The HINOMARU is a flag that has been in Japan’s history since the 7th century. With its first official evidence appearing in the 16th century, well before meiji imperialism.

    The Swastika is a spiritual symbol that has been around since ancient times, appearing across different countries around the world. Nazi Germany did not own that sign by simply perverting it. No one “owns” it.

    To consider both of those symbols completely representative of nothing but misery despite their ginormous histories….is admitting defeat. Because that’s what their plans were, to twist and distort symbols of good spirit in order to oppress a weak mind.

    Anyone with that much passion for hating a symbol should probably use that energy to explore these symbol’s histories and actually educating themselves. Instead, they assert themselves in a negative attitude while admitting defeat by claiming ignorance or plain laziness.

    A ginormous rant arguing a moot point.

  • Koba Teru

    Noting that it is as your saying,

    Why didn’t “GHQ” forbid in 1945?

    Why is that of “having used it” at the time of the “World Cup 2002”?

    furthermore, it has been used for the “international match of soccer 2010”. why ?

    Why doesn’t it “use” after “World Cup 2011”?

  • Koba Teru

    You are studying History at the University of Alberta.
    Since it is the history of your country, is “Yang-gong-ju(Korean Military Comfort Women)” known?
    I want you to explain by all means for those who are not known.

  • Ma Go

    My english is poor. But I want say.
    Dongwoo Kim has brainwashed peoples, use the forum for this discussion. Currently, you guys who are deploying discussion along the speculation of him.
    I answer this “silly question”.

    The Rising Sun flag can used to no problem all over the world.
    Because, the Rising Sun flag is the official flag of Japan, it was approved Allied High Command(GHQ) in 1954.
    Haken Kreuz, is forbidden by the United Nations today.
    These are the decision of the United Nations.

    Those who are thinking attack of the Rising Sun flags, want to use them for himself by brainwashing the people who do not know anything.
    Currently, between the Asian countries and China, territorial waters are experiencing problems. Japan is no exception. By anti-American work of China, the Philippines, withdrew the U.S. forces, but that result was Island of Philippines was invaded to China.
    Person who posted this topic is a “provocateur” of those.
    If You find a like this topic “The Rising Sun flag is the same as the Nazi flag” like,
    It’s site where they have done the brainwashing.
    They are editing at the same time the English version of wikipedia. Please compare to see also the Japanese version. They Use the topic of war crimes, to do Brain freeze at the opponent, and to peoples place it under control.
    Use the those people, they will spread the anti-Japanese thought. This is the technique of demagoguery.
    Currently, at the now discussing the topic of war crimes here, it means the success of brainwashing of them.
    You want become under the control of them?
    You guys must be taken it.
    We japanese need caution them to you guys.
    And, please diffused these to many peoples around the world,
    It protect the world peoples.
    Please protect your heart of justice from them.
    thank you.

  • Ma Go

    My english is poor. But I want say.
    Dongwoo
    Kim has brainwashed peoples, use the forum for this discussion.
    Currently, you guys who are deploying discussion along the speculation
    of him. I answer this “silly question”.
    The Rising Sun flag can used to no problem all over the world.
    Because, the Rising Sun flag is the official flag of Japan, it was approved Allied High Command(GHQ) in 1954.
    Haken Kreuz, is forbidden by the United Nations today.
    These are the decision of the United Nations.

    The attack of the Rising Sun flags of Koreans is exist political connection with China.
    They want to use them for himself by brainwashing the people who do not know anything.
    Currently,
    between the Asian countries and China, territorial waters are
    experiencing problems. Japan is no exception. By anti-American work of
    China, the Philippines, withdrew the U.S. forces, but that result was
    Island of Philippines was invaded to China.
    Person who posted this topic is a “provocateur” of those.
    If You find a like this topic “The Rising Sun flag is the same as the Nazi flag” like,
    It’s site where they have done the brainwashing.
    They
    are editing at the same time the English version of wikipedia. Please
    compare to see also the Japanese version. They Use the topic of war
    crimes, to do Brain freeze at the opponent, and to peoples place it
    under control.
    Use the those people, they will spread the anti-Japanese thought. This is the technique of demagoguery.
    Currently, at the now discussing the topic of war crimes here, it means the success of brainwashing of them.
    You want become under the control of them?
    You guys must be taken it.
    We japanese need caution them to you guys.
    And, please diffused these to many peoples around the world,
    It protect the world peoples.
    Please protect your heart of justice from them.
    thank you.

  • Merchant Mmo

    The brutality of the past comes hand in hand with the brutality with the hate upkeep of the present. There is a whole list of war apologies even listed on internet, regarding these things of the past, yet people forget about it. Rather I see these ‘victim’ countries leeching money off old grudges. If present day japan does in fact omit some scary war time crimes they committed, then how right in the head would the korean government be allowing schools to teach these and still propaganda the types of hate here: http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?218110-S-Korea-Refuses-Japan-Port-Call-In-Drill-Reports/page7
    Just google “korea japan drawings subway” and there are alot more where those came from.

  • NejiKinjou

    I apologize (and I honestly mean no offense), but to be prudent, you’re simply ignorant in this matter. Please understand the following:

    1.That’s the Japanese Naval and Military Flag, it is flown even today. Its actually even a slightly different from the WW2 version (the sun was centered on the former flag).
    2. It was NEVER the flag of the Empire of Japan, the state, back then, then used the same flag they do today.
    3. The symbol excessively predates WW2; it’s not at all the representation of Emperor Showa, his regimen, or any of the political system or ideology. The Rising Sun represents Japan itself. Even the name of the country, Nihon (Japanese name), literally means “Land of the Rising Sun”.

    It may have been seen during the atrocities of WW2, but it is NOT a WW2 symbol.

    Just the same, I don’t disagree that the Japanese government denies much of WW2, growing up and going to school in Okinawa, I was taught about the war in my class, but it was from my family I learned about the routine killing of civilians and forced suicide by the Japanese military. But that isn’t the fault of anyone alive today except prideful government officials.

    Oh, and one last thing: Long live Japan, Long live Okinawa 😀

  • Koba Teru
  • Batman Robinson

    swastika is a sign of nazi germany, rising flag its a sign of imperialist japan, japan was imperialist years before the wars plus GB was also imperialist and they still use the same flag so yeah dude you are wrong, also swastika its a symbol that i dont wanna explain right now cuz its boring, but the swastika and the colors of nazi germany in their combination makes it wrong but swastika as a sign its just a old rly old sign, and as i remember japan still has an emperor or what ever they call him, also you talk about history, do you know for how many years my people were raped and killed and what else from turkey and they still have the same flag, and i dont think the Turkish flag its a symbol of raping and murdering. you are so wrong dude

  • Koba Teru
  • Reasons better than you

    Everyone calls the each other brain dead (or something similiar) for having opposite opinions. I’m on the side that says the Japanese has every right to display the Rising Sun flag. Chinese and Korean hatred toward the flag is misplaced. The flag was used well before WWII. The fact that you (Chinese/Koreans) ONLY associate it with WWII shows your ignorance and wanting to cling to symbols of hatred that you invent yourself. That YOUR culture tells you are bad. The Rising Sun is no worse than any other flag ever flown in any country’s long history.

    The Nazi flag is different. It is entirely a symbol of the Nazi’s that controlled Germany at the time. It’s history is short and only symbolized Nazi Germany which included a complete change in government. If Nazi Germany had never changed the country’s flag I would not protest against that flag. Why? because that flag was used before the nazi’s were in power.

    People get too upset about symbolism. Suck it up and move on. It’s a sign of weakness and stupidity if you can’t get over “what something stands for” especially when that symbol is wrongly disliked. Too bad those people that dislike the Rising Sun flag don’t know how to reason.

    Oh yeah, by the way, I like how China wants to rule the world now and destroys it’s own people(squashes protests very harshly) and won’t let Tibet and Tawain be free. North Korea is ruled by a crazy person threatening other countries all the time. I suppose that’s all fine though. We should all worry about misplaced hatred on a flag.

  • ABC

    Yet the flag is used by the present day Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Japan-Maritime Self-Defense Force. It is also used in some commercial products, advertisements.

  • SQ

    You do realize that the swastika is a symbol used by millions of Indians as a holy symbol and was “poached” by the Nazi’s and is in no way offensive to any of them? Fully research stuff before talking about it and discrediting yourself.

  • DougDeGrave

    Zaitokukai!

  • Lee-The-Impaler

    This article has given the rising sun flag meaning for me.
    Aggressive imperialistic expansion is something I can get behind- It is at least a tangible cause whose merits and progression can be actually measured, unlike most ’causes’ in present society.

    The use of any imagery today can be so easily decried and defamed by any alarmist who disagrees. In our society, it is the unproductive, the ignorant, and the easily offended who are catered to rather than those who want to help the world actually work.

    Just another bleeding heart trying to spoon feed morals to those who are unable to think for themselves. The mere fact that they DID industrialize first and expanded is testament to the superiority of their society, not their race. Unfortunately we live in a time where all that is strong and productive and successful is decried as bad and only those who can convince others that they are being victimized: Regardless of the reality of such claimed victimization, Can be considered good.

    Welcome to the state of decay that occurs when the parasites overpower their hosts…. Though I’m certain it is entirely unfair for the host to die and for thus deprive the poor parasites of sustenance.

  • Yoshi Ishii

    The “Rape Of Nanking” was a massacre, yes, but only included up to 4,000 death, if even less. The Chinese government likes to play victim in order to gain sympathy and to legitimize its current aggressive stance towards Japan and many other peace- minded countries. Every time any Chinese researcher or the government brings it up the number seems to keep rising and rising. Coming from a communist regime that has constantly covered up its own heinous crimes, it’s not surprising that they’d invent one or blow one out of proportion in order to cast themselves in a better light. Furthermore, it’s completely pointless to compare the formerly Imperial Japan to the Nazi regime. The Nazis killed over 6,000,000 Jews alone, combined with a suspected 4 to 8 million other “lesser races”, along with collaborating with many other dictators and militarists to give them the means to kill even more people. It’s also pointless to be upset about this event that happened almost 80 years ago. The Jews have forgiven the Germans, and most current- generation Chinese have also gotten over Japan’s wrongdoings.

    • Yoshi Ishii

      I’m sorry, I meant to put 140000 deaths.

  • Phil Speiser

    I am sorry but a lot of what you are saying is very close-minded. Firstly The Swastika is a symbol of peace used by the Buddhist religion and can still be seen on maps as a marker for temples. The Hakenkreuz is a perversion of the Swastika used by the Nazi regime to separate itself from the old Weimar Republic. Now the Rising Sun Flag was originally used by the Japanese Feudal Lords back in the Edo Period (1603-1868) and adopted as the Flag of the Japanese Imperial Army during the Meji Restoration in 1870 and added to the Japanese Navy in 1889. All of this long before the events of WWI or WWII. After that period of WWII the flag was dropped from use until 1954 upon the formation of the Japanese Self Defense Force. This was done with the approval of the GHQ aka the United States. Now what I am saying is not trying to downplay the atrocities committed during WWII by either the Nazi Party or the Japanese Imperial Army but please do not compare the German Hakenkreuz Flag to the Japanese Rising Sun. A little knowledge can go a long way. Thank you.

    • Sooyong Ra

      they are both extremely taboo symbols which conjure unpleasant memories of the inhumane atrocities committed back in ww 2. I do not understand your point in bringing of their respective histories as the gravity of the crimes committed under these symbols far, far overshadows any the background of their conceptions, however innocuous

      • John

        The Swastika and Nazi Symbols are two completely different symbols. The Nazi Symbol is just an mirror reflection of the Swastika. Both are not extremely taboo, it all depends on perspective. Not that I am siding or defending with what was done by Japan and Germany during WW2, but the rising sun is no big deal. The US itself uses the rising sun in an army emblem. “US Army Aviation Battalion Japan Emblem”

        • Jaq

          What gives you the right to decide it is no big deal?
          It is HUGELY offensive to Koreans. It’s obviously a big deal to those who suffered under that flag, why would you insist on being insensitive about it?

          • Harold Oduardo

            so according to your thinking, we should ban the US flag also since we have killed not hundreds but thousand of civilians in colateral damage with airstrikes and house to house searches, leaving kids without parents, wives without kids of husbands and families completely destroyed. however, we also symbolise it as a freedom symbol which makes no sence and it offends those who have suffered because of our weak, stupid, and saddist leader we elect not giving a shit about anything but war. Oh right, Japan should be hating the hell out of our flag by now due to the fact we used two atomic bombs which anihilated two big cities completely and left millions, and still to this day scarred for life.

            I am sorry sir, but my thinking is far more matured than yours then. The rising sun is a symbol of courage and it represents those who died under it for bad or good, and should be treated with respect towards their families. The reason we do not use it is because out of respect to them, nothing else. It is also a symbol towards WWII and i would espect any event to have the flag on display.

          • tokumei shugyo

            Every great nation today carries a flag that bears tragedy and offense. Korea’s reasons for being offended is more manufactured by it’s Government’s promotion of it’s anti-Japanese stance. It’s extremist victim mentality is sort of erasing the idea that there was a large majority of support for the Empire of Japan rather than vice versa.

            I don’t really care for the flag. The Empire of Japan is dead. There empire was dismantled entirely! Hundreds of thousands of civilians were massacred in a blink of an eye! They’re still being occupied by the American military!

            Korea’s fight today is dealing with what they feel is their embarrassing past by shaming Japan. They want to change the interpretations of everything in their history by challenging every claim and justification against their country at the turn of the 20th century. They’re dealing with a nationally conscious inferiority complex. They hate how esteemed the Japanese are.

            It’s sad because they’ve achieved so much since then.

          • Honor-Guard

            @tokumeishugyo:disqus Actually Korea and China never give a horse shit about being ashamed. Its the Japanese stuck-ups like yourself wanting to believe other Asian nations except for your own country to think that they’re embarrassed. BUT who is really embarrassed here? is it the one sole country in Asia who tried to invade the rest of the world? or is it the innocent peace wanting countries that got slaughtered and raped by a snake-like betraying piece of shit country? You should be ashamed of yourself and all of whom taught you about everything. plus you should thank your grand parents on surviving the atom bomb that might have killed them instantly or degenerated their brains. unless you wouldn’t be here talking like you know everything. Please open your eyes and think brighter. The world is a better place.. Your HATRED against Korea and China will be gone unless you do. Period.

  • daniel

    Grow the f*** up people. Yeah the Japanese and German were allies but remember that was a time of war nothing is ever going to be good. And you want to bring up history look at what we did during the Vietnam War we raped and pillaged villages to get even with the enemy. .. so if you start throwing the blame card in the only thing your showing is that you still need to grow up. The Japanese flag represent a the Japanese empire. But remember one thing the swat I can means peace so your leafing of the action of others.

    • daniel

      You have to look at the picture from both sides of the playing field not just your own. The thing no man can do is judge in the time of war because there always alot of bad stuff done to win on both sides that we sometimes do not see.

      • Jaq

        Much of what was done in Korea and China had nothing to do winning the war. It was atrocities committed because they could. Genocide because they believed they were superior. You are extremely ignorant if you think the Vietnam war is remotely simiar to the DECADES of suffering the Koreans endured under Japanese occupation.

  • Jad Masterson

    This article has inspired me to use the Rising Sun flag more often

    • nel

      You’re fucked up, congrats!

    • KrisN

      Goes well with your Nazi and Confederate collectibles, I’m sure. 🙂

  • 牧野宏紀

    Mr. Kim, I think you should’ve explained the differences between the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) flag and the IJN flag because the atrocities you mentioned were committed by the IJA. Further, comparing the Imperial Flag to the flag of the Third Reich is ridiculous. The Third Reich wanted to and almost did wipe out certain races, ethnic groups, and cultures. They committed genocide (keyword) on an unimaginable scale. Imperial Japan on the other hand didn’t have genocide as a foreign policy. Yes, the IJA massacred thousands of people (I say thousands because the estimated number of people killed varies from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands), but it wasn’t a genocide. Also I think you’re being ignorant when implying the Prime Minister pays direct “respect for the architects of these atrocities”. Majority of people who visit the shrine put politics aside and simply pays their respect to the fallen soldiers and civilians that have died for Japan. Soldiers that were drafted and sent to die in remote areas with hardly any supplies for a futile war, or civilians that died during military labor. It’s simple as that; no one goes there praising atrocities. Even if the convicted war criminals were to be taken out of the shrine, Koreans and Chinese would still have a problem with soldiers being enshrined.

    • Jaq

      Regardless of the specific number of people killed or the scale of the crime, it’s still genocide to murder thousands of peopled based on their ethnicity.
      How many people exactly would have had to die under Japanese imperialism before you would agree that the flag is offensive?

      • 牧野宏紀

        The only governments that have publicly stated the flag is offensive are China and South Korea. And that’s no surprise since anti-Japanese education and movements which are politically motivated and funded, are very active in those two countries. We all need to just move on and think about the future instead of being bogged down by the past. Japan today is a very different country that emphasizes on peace not war, and they have shown that in the last 70 years.

        • Caormn

          Sounds like the same logic used by the rapist to the rape victim.

          “We all need to just move on and think about the future instead of being bogged down by the past.”

          Lets stop being ridiculous.

        • Jaq

          Oh, right, all political, Korea and China’s anger towards Japan has NOTHING to do with being brutally occupied for several decades.
          Anti-Japanese education? Like the exchange programs between Japan and Korea at schools I’ve worked at?
          Why doesn’t Japan “move on” instead of honoring their war criminals from the past? Why doesn’t Japan, as a sign of goodwill, withdraw from their dispute over Dokdo?

          • Grumpytroll

            Please just shut the fuck up and move on.im not sure where your from but im sure your country has committed some form of atrocity under a flag or emblem thats still in use btw if you’re korean there were plenty of volunteers during ww2 fighting for the japanese.im british and cannot deny the hundreds of years of murder and misery we caused in the name of the empire in its expansion.its the same throughout history all over the world picj up a history book.were animals we kill get over it,its not right but it wont change.what japan did was terrible but they were punished heavily for it no other country has endured what they have they served their sentence in the form of a few mega tons.please look up the history of the swastika and have a good day you ignorant hippy fucktard

          • Jaq

            Well, it’s news to me that countries are asking the U.K. to stop using the Union Jack. Oh, wait… they’re not. Not to mention, the Japanese Imperial flag is NOT the actual flag of any country! They have a flag to use. They don’t need to use the rising sun flag!
            Let’s think of another flag that’s not the actual flag of any country, and is now used by some as a symbol of hate and by others as a symbol of heritage. Are there any flags like that??
            Oh, yeah. It’s called the confederate flag. And it was in the news a lot recently because people think it should be taken down.

          • Rooney Lee

            for a brit (and a troll, a grumpy one) you must be very polite

          • Temborary

            Unless you’re nearly a hundred years old, you’re not part of the “we” that did those things. You are not your ancestors. Hereditary guilt is a fallacy.

          • 牧野宏紀

            It is all political. Every time South Korean presidents run into low ratings, they state anti-Japanese remarks or take anti-Japanese actions to boost approval ratings. They do the same when they’re about to leave office. Take a look at President Lee Myung-Bak’s controversial visit to “Dokdo” in 2012. His popularity plummeted due to corruption scandals and he needed a boost badly. What did he do? He went to Dokdo and his ratings went up. His single five-year term was also coming to an end the following year. What did he do? He said the Japanese Emperor needs to apologize from the bottom of his heart to visit Korea (the Emperor did apologize during President Roh Tae Woo’s visit to Japan in 1990). Guess what happened? His ratings went up. Look at President Park Geun-hye’s recent attendance to the China Victory Day Parade. Her approval rating was 34% before the North and South Korea talks on August 25th. After an agreement was made her rating jumped to 49% and then to 54% after the Victory Parade. These are just a few examples. It’s definitely a trend in Korean politics and it’s shameful.

            And don’t you even dare try saying there’re no anti-Japanese education being taught in Korean. The entire Japanese occupation is taught as being bad. That nothing good came out of it which is false if you have studied on the subject. Look at Taiwan, they love Japan. It was one of the first countries to be annexed into the Japanese Empire and experienced the same as Korea. The Chinese Nationalists who fought the Japanese fled there and even then they still love Japan. Why is that? It’s because of their education. They teach their generation with an unbiased educational system that has zero political and nationalistic influence. They teach the pros and cons of the occupation. Most importantly, they’ve moved on with the rest: the Philippines, Vietnam, America, all the Micronesian and Macaronesian countries, Australia, the U.K., Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Laos. Most Koreans don’t even know about the financial contributions from Japan during the 60’s and the bailout during the Asian financial crisis. If they do know, they’ll simply avoid the subject.

            The entire atmosphere of the youth culture is anti-Japanese. Like a fad, it’s almost taken as being “cool”. If anyone expresses compassion towards Japan, they are labeled as unpatriotic, traitors, and are bullied. Some people have recently been killed on the streets for being pro-Japanese. The people mainly responsible for this anti-Japanese culture in Korea is the media. Anything and everything anti-Japanese sells in Korea. Newspapers, magazines, books, television, etc., say anything anti-Japanese and you’ll make money. I was shocked when I personally found out many of the rallies are staged by actors. It happened during my first visit to Korea, I witnessed an anti-Japanese rally being filmed by (probably) the news. However it was clearly staged because they were taking “cuts”. I asked my Korean colleague about it and he said it’s common practice, business, and a taboo subject in Korea.

          • Jackson H

            You speak as if your country is innocent of “maliciousness” that you accused Korea and China to be part of. Japanese politicians also criticize South Korea and China in order to keep their reputation high up. Your media is also filled with anti-Korea and China contents. Whatever that is anti-Chinese and Korean it also sells in Japan! Your people also rally streets with hatred of their neighboring countries. Lastly and most importantly, your country also teaches youngsters with textbooks filled with anti-China and Korea contents. So don’t you ever try to play innocent. If we keep the wrongdoing of Japan in WW2 and other historical context away from discussion of modern conflict between Japan Korea, and China, you guys are the same dirty players participating in this blasphemy. Don’t you dare to implicate yourself and your country to be the “gracious one” because obviously that is not the case.

          • 牧野宏紀

            I never said Japan doesn’t do the same things. There are radicals in every nation. Extreme right wing groups are active in Japan and they do protest and express anti-Korean and Chinese sentiment. However those groups are extremely small and the movement is not as mainstream as it is in Korea or China. They don’t get the same media attention. There are more protests against the Abe cabinet than anti-Korean and Chinese protests. Most Japanese, including myself, view them as something like the KKK. They don’t represent the voice of the majority.

            Some conservative Japanese politicians do criticize Korea and China but it is a lot more subtle than the rants from politicians in Korea and China. They don’t say over-the-top comments to gain world wide media attention. And I think it actually hurts Korea’s and China’s image when they say all those things. Take a look at the recent China, Japan, and S. Korea talks held on Nov. 1st(?). Prior to those talks, both Korea and China wouldn’t come to the table. PM Abe asked over and over if all three could talk. Both countries kept refusing and continued to ignore. And whenever Presidents Park Geun-hye and Xi Jinping seen Abe and shake hands with him, they don’t look at Abe or even smile. Then all of sudden they come smiling and arms wide open to the summit making everyone around the world go “WTF?” Politicians will always play their games no matter the country, but I think Korean and Chinese politics have gone down in reputation. They would do whatever it is necessary to gain world wide media attention.

            I have never heard of Japanese textbooks with anti-Korean and Chinese literature. Please give examples of this. I’ll admit that Japanese textbooks do try to stay away from the Chinese and Korean occupations, which is a problem in itself, but I have never heard of textbooks with anti-Korean and Chinese subject lines. Please provide proof of this.

            And I have never said or implied that Japan is innocent or to be the “gracious one”. Japan did some very horrible things and it needs to be taught to our next generations. And I think Japan has done that pretty well. Japan today is a 平和国家 “Heiwa-kokka” or peaceful nation. It has vowed to never start wars unless it is for self defense. It has apologized over and over for WW2 and paid billions and billions of dollars in repartition. The problem is people in Korea and China aren’t told about the apologies and repartition. Everyone thinks Japan hasn’t apologized one bit. Japan’s been apologizing for WW2 ever since it ended and has helped economies financially to show sympathy. Look at Korea. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and a lot of that has to do with Japanese economic aid. When Korea plummeted during the Asian Financial Crisis, it was Japan that bailed out Korea. Do people in Korea know about this? Are they grateful for it? Or do they believe it is a given because of WW2.

          • eirikb

            +牧野宏紀
            A few years back, 2009, I was in Seoul, South Korea for a weekend trip. I was walking up the hill towards Seoul Tower. On the way up, I heard someone coming up the hill behind me. I heard a sound like「よいっしょ 」or similar, as an old man sat down on a bench. そしたら、僕が日本語で話しかけてみたら・・・通じた!やっぱ日本の観光客じゃないかとおもったら、日本人じゃなくて80年代の韓国人のおじいさんでした。「日本語が喋れるのはもしかして戦争のときからですか?」と質問をして、向こうが戦争について20分以上ずっと話してくれました. But unfortunately, his Japanese was really rusty and I’d never heard a Korean speak Japanese before, so I am not sure about most of what he said … とはいえども日本語や日本に対しての恨みなんかは何もなかった・・・と強く感じた。
            This unique encounter is a precious memory to me, for the mere fact that I, a Norwegian from far away, was communicating with an old Korean in Japanese. I think that both in Norway and in South Korea we essentially are taught that WW2 Japan was “evil”, along with the Germans.
            But there we were, a Norwegian and a South Korean, communicating in the beautiful Japanese language. And anyway, he did not seem angry for a moment while taking about his distant past, so I really don’t think he harbored any resentment today.

            To all of you: Korean pop culture is very popular in Japan recently. There are always some minority right-wingers stirring up trouble, but the majority of Japanese, young and old, appreciate South Korean pop-culture. Certainly, unfounded hatreds are greatly reduced with the current reality of cultural exchange and free travel between the nations, and unless the respective nations’ governments foment hate for their purposes, things will continue towards reconciliation and greater mutual respect as fellow human beings.

          • Korea still honors their “war criminals” too, I bet (Vietnam War **wink wink**). America still honors their “war criminals” as well (i.e. wars in Middle East). What is the difference??

            Why is it that the losers of war are the “war criminals,” but the victors of war (i.e. America and Russia) are the “war heroes?”

            HMMMM… oh the irony.

            Fun fact, during WWII and after, China MURDERED millions of their own people, soldiers or civilians. Please google “Chinese Torture Atrocities” or something on the lines of that.

            Another fun fact: It wasn’t uncommon for Chinese troops to don IJA uniforms that they scavenged and kill Chinese people (or make it look like the actor is killing a civilian), take a picture of it, and call it “evidence of Japanese atrocities?”

            “Crude/early Photoshop/photo manipulation” wasn’t uncommon practice back then.

            Yes, IJA did kill Chinese civilians, but a lot of the photos you see online of IJA killing Chinese civilians are either fake, potentially fake, or real photos. It’s a mix of the 3.

        • 牧野宏紀

          …and this is coming from a guy shouting HEIL HITLER 666?

        • People can still wave the PRC flag like it’s nothing all over the world.

          >Adpoted in September 27, 1949

          I wonder how many atrocities were committed since 1949 under that flag?

          HMMMMM…

          Yet flying the Imperial flag is a crime in some parts of Asia or will get me jailed/killed/assaulted?

          Oh the irony.

      • Temborary

        Being offended by something doesn’t give you the right to order other people to be offended by it, or to censor it.

    • Rooney Lee

      only thousands of people massacred is the biggest understatement in the world. and this came from malaysia. you lot butchered countless people in malaysia and singapore too. we will never forget that.

      • 牧野宏紀

        As I mentioned, I said it varies from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Get it? Thousands?

        • Rooney Lee

          who taught you maths at high school?

          • 牧野宏紀

            Who taught you English?

          • Rooney Lee

            definitely not a jap.

          • 牧野宏紀

            Jap? Really? You’re telling me I was talking to a racist? How can you condemn Japanese discrimination towards others when you yourself is a racist? People like you, hypocrites, is the reason why this discussion keeps going on forever. You guys cry INJUSTICE! while calling others by racial slurs. Are you sure you’re not Korean?

          • Rooney Lee

            now you know who’s my english teacher.

          • Chinkaporez

            Well it is quite unreasonable for an asian to feel another asian being racist… anyways I hope folks in asia can really forgive each other and maybe unite as a more powerful force just like what europeans has been doing.

          • I laughed when I realized that this article was written by a Korean. I wonder how old the author of this article is. It’s unfortunate to see that a sizable portion of the Korean populace continue to believe in the “comfort women lie.”

            It’s funny how South Koreans hate Japanese people more than North Koreans according to a poll from 2012, I believe.

            Fun fact: A good percentage of brothel owners were KOREAN during the war. And guess what? A lot of the brothel owners/pimps who MISTREATED and took all the money from the comfort women were KOREAN.

            Hmmm… another fun fact: Before annexation, Korea was absolute garbage. Living standards and economy was trash compared to Nippon. I dare the people in the comments section to compare 1890 Seoul to 1890 Tokyo. Look at the difference. Now look at 1910 Seoul.

            It is a fact that Nippon was responsible for modernizing Korea and was a major player at making Korea a first world country. Without Nippon, Korea would be inferior to Japan today (not to mention there was a major risk/threat of USSR invading and annexing Korea instead).

            Korea may be on par to Japan when it comes to consumer electronics, but your country is INFERIOR to Japan when it comes to Heavy Industries. The proof can be seen with your K2 Panthers made by Hyundai.

            Korean women were treated like OBJECTS before Japanese intervention. It was Nippon who gave all Koreans HUMAN RIGHTS. Nippon was also responsible for clearing all Korean GOVERNMENT DEBT.

            Korea enjoys criticizing Japanese textbook for being vague, but what about YOUR textbook, Korea? In 2012, there was a huge scandal involving Korean textbook. In those textbooks, it taught students that “Korea had always been great” and that “Korean success was built by Koreans.” Essentially, your textbook was pure propaganda.

            Furthermore, you blame “comfort women” on Japan, but what about Vietnam War? What did your soldiers do to the Vietnamese people over there? HOW MANY VIETNAMESE CIVILIANS WERE RAPED BY KOREAN SOLDIERS???

            Gotcha.

            Your kind tries to put “Comfort Women” memorial/statutes everywhere in the world while hiding your hypocrisy.

            I find that disgusting.

            The moral of the story is, please do not blame Japan for everything without questioning what Korea would be today without Japanese intervention. Please read your country’s own history before you blame others.

            It’s funny to say that Japanese know more about Korean history than Koreans themselves, hehe.

            Furthermore, your article’s image is the JMSDF naval flag. IJN and JMSDF flag share the same flag design but the color is slightly different.

            The JGSDF flag is very similar to the hinomaru flag, but like I said, it’s different.

            It’s funny to see that Koreans do you not whine about American flag even though it was America that hijacked the flight path of Korean Airlines 007 and flew it to USSR airspace during the Cold War in which everyone in that plane DIED.

            America committed so much crime throughout the world… yet where is the outrage? LOL.

            I’ll leave this here: The victors write history. The losers have no say in history. The victors can say the truth or lie. This is the nature of history.

          • Peekay 000

            Like I said to the other guy, if Japan was to enter another war of rape and crime, you obviously wouldn’t see it as such, rather a ‘GLORIOUS FIGHT FOR THE FATHERLAND! BANZAI!’ Haha.
            You say Japan modernised Korea based on how Seoul looked in 1890 and 1910. Well firstly 1910 was the first year Japan occupied Korea so even then your ridiculous argument doesn’t hold. Secondly, you seem to to somehow miss out on the fact that countries don’t invade other countries to make them prosperous. They do so to exploit its resources. Your failure to understand this shows how your patriotic pride has blinded you to fact.

            I think that your whole argument is based on the fact that you think Japan is superior to Korea, that is what patriotism tends to lead to. But you know what? Nobody cares! Everybody thinks it’s funny, the whole international community, that these short stodgy little Japanese nationalists with rising sun bandanas are still acting the way you do. We don’t respect you at all. We laugh at you.

            As for saying that most of the comfort women were not the product of Japan’s extraordinary sexual appetite but Korean pimps it would be the same as me saying The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki helped modernise Japan due to the fact that they weren’t really nuclear bombs but supplies intended to help the starving Japanese people.

            I doubt that any of this will get through to you but I think it will be funny how you react. Have a good time! BANZAI!!! NIPPON BANZAI!!! Haha.

          • >another war of rape and crime

            HMMMM, I WONDER WHICH COUNTRY IS CURRENTLY DOING THAT FOR THE PAST CENTURY?

            Oh right, USA and PRC. **Chuckles**

            Also, 1920s then. Take a look at the difference! Come on!

            Of course you deny everything I’ve said so far. So much information is lost during the war, you believe what the majority says anyways.

            You probably believe the Nuremburg Trials were 100% fair and valid. You probably also believe all the stories these Holocaust survivors say without actually cross checking the facts, right?

            I guess all those books and reports written by foreigners visiting Korea before 1890 and commenting on the fact how much of a crappy country it was is false, eh?

            I can go on and on.

          • Garza

            Nobody is denying that Korea didn’t have a grand economy by 1890, what we are saying is that the end doesn’t justify the means.

          • Peekay 000

            People like you are the sort who would be excited with the idea of Japan committing to another war of crime and rape. That’s because you have little care about the fact that it’s been done before. That is why the matter of history is important. Please educate yourself and stop embarrassing us with your level of ignorance.

      • Temborary

        Unless the person you’re replying to is nearly a hundred years old, “his lot” did no such thing. And unless YOU are nearly a hundred years old, you’re not part of the “we” it happened to.

    • Chinkaporez

      So you are saying a German should put politics aside and pay his/her respect to Mr. Hitler?

  • Rees Machtemes

    Unfortunately, I can’t agree with this viewpoint. Being a German-Canadian myself, I understand this side very well. My family is from the former East Germany and was stuck there after the war. Comparing the Rising Sun Flag to the Swastika is a bad comparison. First, the swastika was only used by the Nazi regime, but the Rising Sun Flag dates back to the Edo period, hundreds of years before the Showa period. The reversed swastika (drawn backwards from traditional hindu and buddhist symbology) was used only by Hitler and his regime. The German government (both sides after ’45) officially made it illegal to use it in Germany and so it stopped being currently used.

    Not all units of the IJA or IJN were filled to the brim with evil nasty men. Sadly, many of them were regular guys called upon to perform their duty, and they paid a very heavy price for the sins of the “militarists” who directed their country and Empire. They wanted nothing more than to get home to their families as quickly as possible. The government in Japan at the time basically got their ideas from the west, and could be more accurately compared to the colonial methods used up until WWI in Europe and North America. Think of the blood we westerners spilled for “Colonialism” under the Union Jack! If anything, we were responsible for setting a poor example to Japan at the time! Millions of poor souls died to feed a blood thirsty war regime run by a few despots and psycopaths. Remember – thousands of Koreans died fighting for and under this Rising Sun Flag. This flag is more of a symbol of those brave soldiers who died than of those who directed the country under sinister pretenses.

    The Rising Sun Flag is still used and a national symbol of Japan’s armed forces even in the present day. It is analgous to the Taeguk on South Korea’s flag. This no different than Canada or South Korea flying their Naval Ensign or Army flag, with soldiers proudly wearing it on their uniforms. In contrast to Germany, who now uses their national flag for their armed forces, as they did before and after WWI and WWII. The Japanese Self Defense force has more in common with South Korea’s armed forces than they do with the Nazis. Their mission is to protect their homeland and country at all costs. Think about it! Both South Korea, which is still at war with the north, and Japan have a policy of “Self Defense only”. What an admirable goal! Until that changes, the flag and the soldiers serving under it should be proudly defended.

    How about change your perception about the Rising Sun Flag? Instead of seeing the atrocities that occurred almost 70 years ago, why not look at the 70 years of service and dedication the Japanese have put into upholding peace and stability in SE Asia? They have completely turned around since 1945! Don’t let the small number of right wing crazies –Abe included — in that country take away from that fact.

    The Japanese people have by and large turned to a way of peace in order to atone for past sins. Many believe if stopping Nuclear proliferation. Most of them disagree with Abe’s policy of changing their pacifist, self defense constitution. Ask them if you don’t believe me! What more of an admirable thing could you ever hope for? Don’t get confused by politicians and pundits trying to get you to hate one another. They are trying to drive the world apart for their own self serving ends. The world is stronger together. C’mon we are Canadians! We know this!

    I proudly wear the Taegukgi on by dobok (uniform), alongside the Canadian Flag. I proudly am a student of Korean Karate – that’s right – Karate! Something a lot of people really can’t understand. Yes, Karate in Korean is “TangSooDo”, and as Korean of a marital art as there is! It existed 20 years before Taekwondo did, and was formed in the forge of what was Manchuria and the occupation of Korea. It’s members were proud Koreans, some were members of the Korean Independance Movement, yet citizens of the Japanese empire at the same time. Some never left Japan, which is why there are thousands of Zainichi Koreans in Japan today. It has a connection to difficult and hard times in the 1930s to 1970s, and some of TangSooDo’s first ever black belts were decorated heroes of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. There is no way in hell I will ever take the Taeguk or the Maple Leaf off my uniform, and I would never expect a Japanese soldier or officer to take the symbol and pride of their country off their uniform or navy vessel either.

    I stand a proud Edmontonian, a Champion of understanding and love, not hate! And proud of what modern South Korea and Japan have become. Set a positive example!

    • Jaq

      I suggest you talk to more Korean people about it, you clearly have zero perspective on this issue and are being incredibly insensitive. You’re dismissing people for feeling offended by a symbol which, whether you like it or not and regardless of prior history, stands for unspeakable atrocities done to their people and country.
      As for Japan turning it around, why then the refusal to apologize? Why the distortion of their history?
      If they have truly completely turned it around, the symbol might start to become less offensive, but since they refuse to apologize and they distort their history, they hinder positive progress between the two countries.

      • Lachlan

        then get rid of the English jack the indigenous raped and killed under that flag, the Russian flag for what they did in the wars, the american flag for what they did to their indigenous. you wont and you shouldn’t have to its a flag it shows the history of a country the Nazi flag was not germanys flag but the parties’

        • Jaq

          This is not Japan’s current flag. There’s no reason they need to flaunt it. A much better comparison would be the confederate flag. Both the confederate flag and the rising sun flag are offensive to the people groups who were abused under them, and both flags belong in museums.

          And you didn’t even pay any attention to anything I wrote. The people who were most abused under this flag have asked that it no longer be used.

          Do you see native Americans asking that we no longer use the stars and stripes? I’ve never heard that.
          Heck, if the people abused by the British empire are offended by the Union Jack then why have so many incorporated it into their own flag?!

          • Jeff

            Okay BUT DO THEY FLAUNT IT?

          • Robert

            The confederate flag belongs nowhere in this conversation. I am of mixed race,Afro-carribean of sub-saharan african descent,White Spanish,and native Puerto Rican (Taino). And I do not find the confederate flag offensive at all. The confederate flag is offensive to people for two reasons. One it was adopted by the KKK and later other White Supremacist groups, and two, as Winston Churchil says “History is written by the victor”. The union won therefore we are going to have to listen to hundreds and hundreds of years of pro union propaganda in our schools here in the U.S about how horrible the confederacy was and that the war was all about the enslavement of blacks. Whites were enslaved too, there were less than there were blacks but there were indeed white slaves. The Union was not anti racism, just anti slavery (For the most part, ironically there were a few union states that still supported slavery). Most of the soldiers who were fighting in the war were to poor for there families to even afford to own slaves, yet they fought bravely and to the death for what they believed in. Well…what did they believe in? Slavery was a part of the economic system in the South but that was a backdrop in the war and wasn’t a central issue. The emancipation proclamation did not even free all slaves,it only freed slaves in confederate states. The confederacy believed in agriculture over the industrialization and spread of big game corporate capitalism that was happening in the north. They also believed in states rights and a small federal Government. Their foreign policy was isolationist as opposed to the imperialist union whose imperialistic ideas are the reason why they started the war with the southern states who wanted to secede peacefully and let that be that. They refused to remove their military outposts from southern lands, and ultimately launched an unprovoked attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina to push the war into full throttle. Do I agree with everything the confederacy did? Do I fly one in front of my house?Hell no.Do I agree with demonizing them and portraying them as a bloodthirsty black hating white supremacist slave society?No because it isn’t the truth.

            Now since you mention the native americans. I think what the colonists did was terrible and was raised with the knowledge of what the Spaniards did to my ancestors in the carribean, but you know what? Go find me a flag of any nation that doesn’t stand in front of a history of blood and gore?

          • Jaq

            “I do not find the confederate flag offensive at all.”
            Well, case closed, you don’t find it offensive, so it must not be.
            What Japan did to Korea and China was horrible. Asking Japan not to use a symbol under which their people were tortured and murdered doesn’t seem terribly demanding.
            Dan_Holder09 you are picking nits so small they are nearly invisible. The rising sun flag is NOT Japan’s current flag. You know very well that “Japan’s current flag” means their National flag. I didn’t say “one of their flags” or “a current flag.” I specifically used the singular, which obviously means their national flag.
            Personally, I think that Japan’s use of the flag would be a moot point if they weren’t the ones who were trying to erase or ignore history.

          • KrisN

            I agree.

          • Temborary

            You don’t get to choose for other people. You get to be offended by it. Other people get to not be offended by it. You don’t get any special powers over, or more rights than, the latter category of people.

          • wygrif

            This is *quite* wrong. The confederate states themselves told us why they started the war, slavery. Read their declarations of causes. Besides, the legal regime they set up didn’t give special protection to agriculture over industry. It didn’t give special protections to States against the Confederate federal government. (They retained the supremacy clause, the necessary and proper clause, and the interstate commerce clause which are the present sources of most federal power.) The only thing their constitution did differently was give special, explicit protection to the “right” to own slaves.

            The Confederate states were slaving, traitorous scum. They were precisely a bloodthirsty, black hating white supremacist society.

          • KrisN

            “The confederate flag belongs nowhere in this conversation. I am of mixed race,Afro-carribean of sub-saharan african descent,White Spanish,and native Puerto Rican (Taino).”

            Actually, it does belong in this conversation. And your rundown of your ancestry shows why you would be as dismissive of the significance of the Confederate flag to those lynched and oppressed in the name of it as those who were treated similarly under the Land of the Rising Sun flag of Japan. Yet, you benefit from the battle African Americans predominantly waged (and still wage) from those who uphold the oppressive significance of this flag. My husband, who is Japanese, was the first to tell me about the vileness for which the Rising Sun flag stands and it disturbs him to see people parading this flag so freely, as if it’s cool. He speaks of current oppression and ostracizing of Koreans, Chinese, and non-Japanese (not including Westerners) in present-day Japan. Oh, you always have exceptions to the rule; but, they are just that: exceptions. So, you can keep any few examples you’d like to quote to the contrary. I guess what my husband says about the Westerners discrediting the sentiments of those impacted adversely by those wielding the Rising Sun flag is similar to you and other non-Black Americans discrediting the sentiments of those impacted adversely by those wielding the Confederate flag is true: you or your ancestors weren’t individually or systematically impacted; so, you dismiss it.

          • >Japanese husband

            He sounds like a shitty leftist cuck to me. Oh wait, I forgot a good chunk of “Japanese Canadians” here in Canada are degenerate leftist cucks.

            Sounds about right.

            Listen up. Rising Sun design was approved by GHQ even after the war ended. You have no right to complain about it. Even if what you say is true, GHQ didn’t give a single fuck. So you shouldn’t as well.

            I also find it hilarious that other countries such as Africa, Ukraine, Russia, and even America uses a similar “sun rays” pattern for their flag designs.

            But nope, totally innocent!

            Fuck off.

            Please don’t come to Japan ever again, both of you of course.

            Your husband is an absolute disgrace to the Land of the Rising Sun. We don’t need anymore leftist cucks in our country. Last thing we need is a majority for degenerate leftist political parties that seemed to have “risen” in “popularity” by a couple percent during the last elections because people were “simply sick and tired of Shinzo Abe.”

            Hmm… where did we see the same attitude elsewhere? Oh right, just like how Canadians had enough with Stephen Harper so they voted for Justin Trudeau because surely he will fix the country!

            Guess what you dumb fuckers? He didn’t, and he made it worst. His dumb party created new laws so degenerate and backwards thinking, we’re now the NEW laughing stock of the world!

            **CLAP CLAP CLAP**

          • KrisN

            lol! How else can one respond to such idiocy? Not only did you miss my point, as my issue was about the sun rays, but you sound so unhinged. And why the profanity? That’s very basic and primitive, an indication that one has lost the ability to communicate at a higher level. Trust me, I can curse too, but there’s no need for it and I don’t let strangers on the internet cause me to unravel so. Why? It’s THEIR opinion, just as I have mine. Not the end of the world. You really should calm down. That you would allow yourself to unwind so over something as minor as someone else’s opinion is really unhealthy. After all, at the end of the day, they’re opinions. I stand by mine and my husband and you have a right to yours. Neither of us will change it, so where’s the benefit and intelligence for you to get so worked up? lol! In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that serious. I work on what I can control, and that will be educating people in my sphere of influence about the flag. You have no control over that. lol! Besides, I’m sure the Korean Comfort Women, who were forced to serve as sex slaves, aren’t too keen about the flag.

            But, at the end of the day, there are really WAY more important things to unravel over- but not a piece of fabric. lol! And, I will be in Japan as often as I want to, as will my husband. Just as we have no control about the flag, you have no control over my income and ability to travel freely to civilized nation’, though you’re a poor representative if you actually are or live in Japan. See a mental health profession about this inclination to become so unraveled and undignified over a STRANGER’s comment online. lol! Seriously.

          • >My husband, who is Japanese, was the first to tell me about the vileness for which the Rising Sun flag stands

            >Those flags are problematic, because they are still used to represent and implement oppression.

            A cuck is still a cuck. You both are. Shut the hell up already.

            Stop trying to justify your reasoning by saying “it’s their opinion and my opinion and I can’t control what I can’t control.”

            Because in the end, you still have the guts to call these flags “problematic and vile.”

            I’m also very sure Vietnamese people would see the Korean flag as problematic as well, as Korean troops stationed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War raped hundreds, if not thousands of Vietnamese women.

            But nope, totally not a problem! Ignored! No one remembers it!

            Or how about Middle Eastern people? Afghani or Iraqis? I bet it’s also problematic to wave American flag there, right?? So much murders caused by American troops and American government!

            VICTORS WRITE HISTORY. LOSERS DON’T.

            I don’t know where you live, but if you live in America, I suggest you dump your putrid American flag in the trash can, or burn it considering how your flag literally represents oppression, mass murder, and rape as well.

            Oh right, it doesn’t at the same time because “America is a victor of war/history.”

            Mental health profession? Yea, how about you go read up on your country’s own history, dumbass.

            Japanese xenophobia is also justified to a certain degree if you look at Japan’s history. Kind of like how you wouldn’t really trust Negros/Blacks (whichever you want to call them by) in shit parts of a city in both America or Canada. It’s not racist, but generally a fact.

          • KrisN

            Awwwww! More cursing in your arsenal? It fits in well with the other nonsense you are spouting. lol! So, let me express my point one more time, because I won’t go back and forth saying the same thing. The Japanese flag under discussion, and flags like it, ARE problematic and vile and that IS my opinion. And, guess what? In case you think it disturbs me, I can understand how some who’ve been at the receiving end of the American flag can call it vile. The same can be said about any flag, especially in countries where indigenous populations were/are still exploited and violently oppressed.

            You wrote, “I’m also very sure Vietnamese people would see the Korean flag as problematic as well, as Korean troops stationed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War raped hundreds, if not thousands of Vietnamese women.”

            So, what is your point? Because that sentence sounds like you agree that a population oppressed under the banner of a flag under the name of a flag, including the Korean and US flags, have a right to not view it favorably. If so, I AGREE with that point, which was my entire point from the onset about the Japanese flag. If some Vietnamese see the Korean flag as vile for the reason you expressed, then yes, the Vietnamese would have a right to that view, JUST as Koreans have a right to see the Japanese flag as vile and a symbol of oppression. You seem okay with spouting insults about how the Middle Easterners (who’ve themselves had centuries of violently forcing conversion to their religion and still treat Africans like garbage- even recent hangings and killings) can view the American flag as vile (and they absolutely can- anyone who thinks they’re unjustified is delusional), but you can’t seem to accept that others can view the old Japanese flag that way. That’s hypocritical. So, unlike you, who are in your feelings and throwing anything you think will hit its mark, I am not as emotionally vested that I can’t admit that oppression has occurred under the American flag- vile oppression that is still having an effect today. So, you won’t find me up in arms, as you are about the Japanese flag- so much so that you’d unravel and make yourself sound like an emotional, loose cannon – about your insults to the American flag. lo!

            Every country can justify being isolationist; so, Japan is no exception. I know the history about the Portuguese priests, the prostitution and corruption being brought into and visited upon the Japanese. They were wise to shut those people out for so long. No arguments here. But, in this day and age, not so much so. And, the Japanese are all over the world now, too. Germany has the largest Japanese population in Europe and they’re well and truly in the UK, US, and Canada. I may not agree with the flag, but it doesn’t mean I dislike Japanese people and culture. That would be ignorant.

            And who are you quoting in the “I can’t control what I can’t control piece?” I didn’t say that and you grossly misinterpreted that. Go re-read. That’s a statement indicating a lack of empowerment, which is not me or what I said. I said I work on what I can control, which means, I will work on what’s in my direct power and energy to impact change, which is wise. For instance, I have no control of you telling me with curse words to stay out of Japan- my husband’s native country. But, what I DO have control over is having a passport, money to buy a plane ticket, and the free time to travel to Japan next year. 🙂 THAT’S empowering. 😉 So, what I said and what you tried to imply I said are two completely different things. What’s laughable is that you had the nerve to put it in quotes. lol! Do I need to remind you about the appropriate use of quotes? Never mind, not my job. Now THAT’S a “I can’t control what I can’t control” statement, if you want to use it to apply to something I said. lo! Or you can use this, more truthful one: “You are too insignificant to me for me to invest the energy required to educate you. I’d have better luck training a dog not to lick its crotch and then a human face immediately afterward.”

            I have to say, you’re all over the place by the end of your last rant. But, that’s generally how a rant goes, isn’t it? My mistake. I mean, you even went from talking about flags to neighborhoods/areas where Blacks aren’t allowed (Negroes, like the word cuck (from cuckload?), is an archaic word. Try to stay in the present day when you apply terms in a present-day context). What’s funny is, when I first read the word cuck, it had the same impact on me, or rather evoked the same feelings, as if I was reading the word “flea.” Well, that’s not true. I disllike bugs, so “flea” would’ve been more impactful. So, if you’d said, “I hope you get swept up by a cloud of locusts,” THAT might have offended me. lol!

            Now, since I know you’ll just follow up with more asinine curse words, and contradict yourself about who can be against a flag and who can’t, I’m done. lol! In fact, I would have never started if you hadn’t taken the initiative to respond to my initial comment first. You see, usually, when I scroll through comments and choose who I would respond to, it’s usually to ones that sound well thought out and not chock full of profanity. After all, cursing is an indication that the person is already on the hinge of being unable to communicate civilly. Initiating communication with someone like that (like you) is just asking for a headache and to end up sounding equally unhinged. In any case, I can promise you, I definitely would have bypassed commenting on something I’d initially seen by you. But, glad to know you found something in mine worth responding to. Or maybe I’m not that “special” after all- you lash out with profane, unhinged comments with all strangers on the internet, right? Gotcha. 😉 I’m done. But, in case you still wonder where I stand. I think that old Japanese flags, and any flag use to oppress, are vile. Come to think of it, I think you are, too. lol!

          • I don’t know where to begin with. Your whole “essay” sounds like you are “insecure” or some shit.

            Your overuse of “smiley faces” and “lol” to try to somehow provoke the other party, and you lecturing me on “present day words” is quite ironic, actually.

            You sound like one of those dumbasses who speak of “cultural appropriation” and how it’s offensive if someone dons a piece of clothing or style from a culture that is not “their’s” because it’s “offensive” to said ethnic group’s culture or some shit.

            Truly, so called “political correctness” have gone so up your ass that you find something “problematic” in areas that don’t exist.

            Oh look, the flag supposedly represents “oppression” in one area but other flags don’t because the locals are okay with it. We must be “extra careful about the feelings of others,” right?

            To hell with that. Fuck your feelings, no one gives a shit.

            About the Vietnam statement, the point is that I doubt the majority of Vietnamese people give two shits about the modern S. Korean flag, just like how much of Asia gives zero shits about the Nazi flag even though Nazi attempted genocide.

            People will always find one thing offensive while the other as “not offensive” because the latter didn’t “affect them.”

            When something does not affect them, they don’t care or ignore it. But when something affected them previously or one of their family members were affected by it, it becomes problematic to them. (That was the reason for the Vietnam and Middle East examples.)

            I believe that is what you are basing your opinions on since your husband is Japanese.

            You’re basing your opinions based on “feelings,” not “logic,” if I’m correct.

            The rest of your reply is nothing more than random bullshit or gibberish to me.

            For example, terms such as “negro or cuck” is archaic? Oh really? Lurk more, dumbass.

          • Brian Lee

            The flag is problematic. Continue to use the flag and stay unashamed of what Japan has done in the beginning of 20th century, and history will repeat itself, and you will be at war against the rest of Asia, but this time, without the technological edge provided by being an island nation.

          • 8×8 Memes

            Then how would you explain the terrible war crimes and atrocities committed by South Korea and China after WWII ended? Don’t talk like we are the real evil. Both China and South Korea flag should be condemned, but like I probably said in the past: No one cares because you won the war. Victors write history.

            I honestly don’t care if people want to wave PRC flag or Korean flag, but it’s all okay, or it’s all NOT okay. If you’re okay with waving those two flags then let me wave my country’s flag.

            People rather say “Hitler is the most evil man on earth” while forgetting the evil of CPC and USSR and outright glorifying/romanticizing it. Give me a break.

            I’m not entirely sure which flag you’re referring to, but the JMSDF flag is not problematic at all. The same goes for JGSDF flag, so screw off. If you want to shit on our flag, shit on Korea’s flag. It’s far worst but no one complains and neither will I.

          • tayriley

            no the confederate flag is offensive because it stands for the south fighting to keep slavery. idiot.

          • Rees Machtemes

            Jaq, it is their current flag, for both the Japanese Naval Self Defense Forces and the Ground Self Defense Forces:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rising_Sun_Flag

            This conundrum you have just discovered, as all nationalistic countries are sinners in terms of human rights violations, and yet we still fly the national flag, is proof that banning a flag will do nothing. You cannot erase what has happened in the past.

          • partpickle

            Actually.. A lot of people in Hawaii don’t like the current Hawaiian flag (which has the jack and stripes) because it’s… dumb. And they’re the English and mainly the Americans are the ones who basically stole our islands. It’s definitely a minority of people, but they’re the ones who matter. And I’m certain all other peoples who have been taken through European and American imperialism have groups that feel the same way. Just because you have never heard it doesn’t mean that people aren’t calling for it.

            FYI for the most part I agree with you, but this is just a clarifying point.

          • Temborary

            The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force still uses the Rising Sun, just with a different shade of red.

      • Rees Machtemes

        Oh I have Jaq, don’t worry about that. I know more about this than you do, for sure.

        You’ve been brainwashed by a political hate campaign that is very old. You are a pawn in a much larger battle that has engulfed you. The only way out is education and the recognition that a flag is just a flag: a symbol. The meaning attached to it, is up to you to decide.

        If you decide to use this symbol for hate or to push others away, this will come true.
        If you decide to ignore the negative aspects of the symbol, and instead be more understanding and bring others closer, this will come true.

        Don’t you see that politicians, the same type of people that you hate in Japan from the Showa period, exist today too? Don’t you see that they are putting you up to this? It’s working too!

        Chose peace and understanding. It’s the only way out of this mess.

      • Why do you think Koreans, who have every reason to be biased, have more “perspective” than someone who can view the situation impassively from literally a world away? It is you who lack perspective. And for that matter, Japan has already apologized, paid reparations*, etc. The past is past, those living in the present don’t need to continue living with ancestor guilt, any more than those in Korean should be carrying on their ancestors’ hate.

        *Granted, those reparations were almost entirely stolen (http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2005/01/17/2005011761043.html ) by the Korean government, but there’s only so much Japan can be expected to do.

        • Brian Lee

          You have absolutely no idea what’s going on. Japan apologized? Are you reading any news article lately? Japanese government have “apologized’ by saying they are “sorry” about what happened but they have never acknowledged that their actions were wrong; the only thing they have admitted is that they feel bad about what happened. Now, Japanese government is repeatedly and falsely claiming ownership over Dokdo, an island located in the Eastern sea, and historically, this island has belonged to Korea since the ancient times. The only time this island was occupied by Japan was during Japanese imperial era. Japan still insists this piece of island belongs to Japan (which symbolizes that they have never given up their age-old ambition to conquer Korean peninsula and move into Chinese territory). If you don’t understand the context and history of Eastern Asia as outsider, just be humble and listen to others. American media does not publicize this particular information because of foreign policy issues (Japan being closer ally than Korea).

          • First, yes, Japan apologised. Ages ago.

            Second, when the people telling me about the “context and history of Eastern Asia” have very obvious biases, and their facts present only one side of the story plainly told by many easily accessible sources, forgive me, but I’m not going to “just be humble and listen”. The situation with Dokdo is far less clear cut than you claim. Nevermind that the whole idea of “our distant ancestors lived there so it’s ours” regardless of the current state of things, has caused nothing but trouble everywhere it rears its ugly head.

            I’m not by any means an expert on the topic, so I won’t counter your points directly, except for “which symbolizes that they have never given up their age-old ambition to conquer Korean peninsula and move into Chinese territory” — this is purely your interpretation and has no business being mixed in with a true accounting of the facts, especially when there are far simpler explanations for their assertion of sovereignty over the rocks.

          • Brian Lee

            1. No. Check again. The information is readily available to you only seconds away.

            2. “Dokdo” is, without an ounce of doubt, a territory of Korea, backed by countless historical evidence from both Japanese and Korean historical document. So I am not sure where you get this notion of it being “far less clear.” Again, the information is readily available for you only seconds away.

            The only ones that claim otherwise are Japanese uber-right-wing politicians, and JTBC, a Korean news outlet, invited a senator from one of their side to have a discussion, and every false claim he made was disputed by presenting an evidence that showed otherwise, until this particular politician said something VERY similar to Conway’s “alternative facts.”

            The true reason the current Japanese government “can” falsely claim that it’s theirs is because of their influence over UN and their ties with the United States.

            3. If you aren’t an expert on the topic, then please…. research some more. My day job is research and I’ve spent more than I should have researching on this topic especially because I am quite more involved on this than any other “outsiders” especially from Western cultural background.

            4. As for “which symbolizes that they have never given up their age-old ambition to conquer Korean peninsula and move into Chinese territory,” this is something every high school graduate in Eastern Asia knows (or should know) and is not my interpretation.

          • jmjoker

            Honestly as a Filipino, I see that japanese flag…I immediately think “enemy”… people that we should kill before they kill our entire families.

          • jmjoker

            Japan expressed “condolences”… they never apologized…Ok, how about if the Nazi’s apologize and then fly the swastika for 72 years after that?

          • Bad analogy. As a symbol with historical significance to Japan long preceding World War II or the invasions of China and Southeast Asia, the Rising Sun flag is equivalent to the German Iron Cross, not the Swastika. Germany still flies the Iron Cross.

            edit: Rechecking the conversation you were already told this in the comment at the top of the thread.

            And they did apologise, that’s a lie.

      • Dotsie Watson

        What about the Hanazuka and Mimizuka piles of korean etc noses and ears still held in Kyoto by Japan and still on display. Shouldn’t they be returned for proper entombment?

      • Temborary

        Being offended by something doesn’t give you the right to choose whether other people are allowed to see it.

        Japan has officially apologized several times. Korea won’t be satisfied unless Japan castrates itself with guilt over things the vast majority of Japanese people have no connection to. They want vengeance on modern day Japan, because of what Imperial Japan did.

        • Brian Lee

          Since when did Japan apologize? If their government officials still visit and worship war criminals at Yasukuni shrine and claim Dokdo as theirs, then how can you say that they have apologized? Japanese government has never admitted that their actions in WW2 against Korea was wrong. They simply, in very vague words, said their are “sorry” about what transpired as a result of Japan’s action, in a way you would say to your someone, “oh, sorry you caught cold.”

          Not quite an apology. Japan needs to learn how to apologize from German. But the reason why Japan got away without apologizing to Korea was because the victims of Japan’s heinous war crimes were not Western countries, but because they were Asian countries who were underdogs at the end of the war. American/Soviet Union at the time couldn’t care less about making sure Japanese people atoned for their crimes. As a result, Japanese public are not aware of the severity of Japanese Imperial troop’s war crimes and think China and Korea are making up lies,. So in this context, you can’t say that Japan has officially apologized. If you don’t understand these cultural and historical backgrounds, just stay quiet and let those who are actually involved/affected talik.

    • AndroidMedA

      I didnt want to say anything but I felt the need to after seeing how badly misinformed and sadly mistaken you are. I have no intention of going through every bits and pointing out the details on your very limited knowledge and why they are wrong because it’ll simply take too long and my time is precious. I do want to inform you however that when the flag was used during edo period, the flag itself was represented by random warlords at the time without much significance. It didnt have 16 stripes back then either. It was adopted as representation of japanese imperialism and imperial navy. And yes, rising sun is japan’s current ground self-defense but it doesnt quite look the same, does it? I wonder why that is. and ground self-defense force? lol what a crock of shit. I highly advise educating yourself better by doing more research from trusted source and talking to more people about a matter especially when you are looking in from the outside. Well thats about it for me, I did attach couple of photos you might like. Make sure to check them out.
      Oh yeah, almost forgot. Type of martial art you are engaged in is a complete joke rofl

      • Dan_Holder09

        You are right. You shouldn’t have said anything! you lack the knowledge to make any comment on this.

        • AndroidMedA

          when u are an ignorant canadian with IQ below 75 and suffering from autism, its hard to see the straight up facts. Ive lived in harajuku for 6 yrs, 8 yrs in seoul, 2 yrs each in taipei and hong kong and rest in the states. Ive seen and learned quite a few things in this world, studying in seoul national, waseda, and u of mich. You know what else I learned and trained for last 10 years? Muay thai and brazilian jiu jitsu and I am telling you once again, you and that martial art is more of a joke than your comments. Put me in a ring with you and I’ll have you foaming at the mouth within 10 seconds. Once submitted, Ill give you a history lesson. Maybe then you’ll thank me for helping you see things differently. You’re welcome, hoe.

          • tayriley

            wow, so you learned martial arts so you are more intelligent and have more knowledge on the subject of world war 2??? guess what, bitch, those two things have nothing to do with each other, which only shows how stupid you are to bring it up.

    • Brian Lee

      This is one of the most uneducated and ignorant comment I have ever read from a German decent… but maybe it is because you are Canadian and you really don’t know the history of WW II on the Asia side. Study more carefully the history instead of just regurgitating what pro-Japan Western media has fed you.

    • jmjoker

      that japanese flag only goes back to 1870…the swastika goes back 4000 years…

      Sorry we should burn that evil flag…and we should incinerate Yasukuni Shrine.

      A billion Chinese, Koreans, and Filipinos see that flag, we see soldiers carrying that flag and massacring and raping our people… cutting our babies to pieces…tens of millions of us…

      A billion of Japan’s closest neighbors…If Japan wants reconciliation, they need to flush their flag down the toilet.

      What if the Germans still used the Nazi flag, how would the Jews feel about that?

    • jmjoker

      As a Filipino, I see that japanese flag…my first thought, “the enemy” never trust people who fly that flag.

      Japan still flies their evil Nazi flag… that’s why they got nuked twice. They keep flying their flag, China will give them a hundred more nukes…

      That flag nullifies the Peace Treaty of August 15, 1945.

  • Jackal

    Koreans really need to get a life. Bitching and complaining seem to be their national pastime.

  • Agniel

    Well done! More people should speak up, inform and educate. Most westerners are completely ignorant of the bloody history of this flag.

    • Jason The Otaku

      shame its such a pretty flag too .. aside from the history of it

  • Helen Yoshihara

    Thank you for taking action right away…we need more people like you…
    Racism and prejudice exists most nation..but it is controlled…the problem is when it gets out of control such as hate speech, riots and protests against another ethnic culture…
    In todays world and with education, we should make efforts towards peace and suppress ultra nationalism….when nationalism leans towards “ultra”…itcan lead to harmful ideologies…I support freedom of speech …but it needs limits..any speech that is hurtful or harmful derogatory speech needs to be banned…hate speech can potentially lead to harm when not controlled…
    We need to control our hatred and anger aporopriately…
    The German Nazis had it’s warcrimes….Japan share its warcrimes to many Asian nations.. the Jewish holocaust is being commemorated yearly to pay respect for the victims… China and the two Korea’s celebrate the liberation from japan annually as well..
    I sometimes wondered why China and korea especially South korea expects apology from japan yearly…when japan some of past prime ministers have already done so…
    After researching, I understand where China and korea are coming from…
    The Japanese history textbooks have been distorted with some inaccurate information related with its imperialism over korea…with japanese students being educated with inaccurate history of the two countries,..South korea has repeatedly request japabese government to correct them but without prevail.
    As such, if thete us no expressed apology by Japanese government during the annual chinese and korean liberation day, the young generation japanese will not realize nor see the reality of the facts of the liberation sentiments…
    Just as Germany apologizes to the affected nations of it’s war crimes, Korea and China would like to hear the sincere apology from japan…
    The korean residents living in japan have been living with oppression and so some lived in double identity for fear of rejection and prejudice…apartheid exists..
    However, there are political and economic factors influencing the countries..and many which public don’t know. .
    I was watching the recent anti korea protest in osaka, kyoto by japanese…it somehow is the modern way of japanese being like the old times before world war II…Japan’s right wing party is a reminiscence of the colonial japanese..it seems japans old agreesion and it’s ultra nationalism is openly shown..the true colors of its mentality of beung superior as in its old glorioud days…Japan may be missing this..and with current Prime minister who seem to be supporting the party for his political affiliatiions…it is disappointing that such events of hate speech exists so openly in this modern era…Freedom of speech is the excuse for not being able to intervene?…
    I do believe that thete are some misbehaved koreans and drunkards causing misconduct in japan..but Not all koreans are like that… There are chinese town in korea and many other countries..and they make problems sometimes, but it is controlled and people live thru without getting out of control like Japan I’m Osaka in front of school…and to disturb the young kids…how frightening that must have been for the children…

    A citizen was disapreeing with anti-Japanese protest, and the man who was a passerby got attached by few protestor for disagreeing with the chants…
    I thought Japan had Freedom of speech…why couldn’t this individual express his disagreement? Double standard….
    I tried to support japan and understand the sentiments, but I do believe that Japan needs to show humility ….decrease the “superiority complex”…
    Japanese wants to think that is “pure” in their origin…but the fact in DNA studies conducted by Japanese and korean scientists reveal tgat it’s origin is a “mix” race of Jomon (ainu, okinawans, negritos) & Yaoyi-chinese and Korean)…many modern japanese are from kotean ancestry ad tgere was an exodus of korean migration during Baekjae kingdom.
    Emperor Akihito in 2011 disclosed to public that he feels kinship with koreans as his ancestry is of korea…I’m sure Japanese wanted to keep this low key ad it would be a taboo…
    Japanese also looks down on Okinawans….Japan really needs to wake up from it’s “superiority complex”. ..this is a bit annoying and disturbing…
    Yes, Koreans are in some way nationalistic, too…they must not become extremist like japan
    South korea had their anti japan protest and hate speech but this is in response to Japan’s initiation…Japan instigated this “hate” speech and actions…very disappointing…
    Yes, Japan had it’s glorious days of conquering Asia…yes, it became the number 1 super power in Asia in economy in 60’s-80’s…
    It was possible as japan didn’t have civil war and wad nor occupied by foreign country…
    Japan’s glorious day has halted….
    Other Asian countries that have been occupied by foreign invasion in history are catching up…China, South korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Hongkong…Thailand, all are smart and great countries..so wake up Japan…you’re not as smart as you think….today, Japan is having “inferiority complex”…coz if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be rising it’s ultra nationalism with hate speech in the streets against korea and china…
    The islands Japan took from other countries during imperialism ..but after it lost it’s war, it should have been returned to rightful owner…..
    Just like dutch, portugal, france, England returned the sovereignty of many lands that they colonized or conquered…
    I just want Japan to stop its racism and hate speech…it’s very embarrasing to have such behavior in modern days…I do love japan, China and korea…I lived I’m japan, Korea, Thailand, philippines,…I have deep respect and appreciation for their culture…

  • Julie Z

    Thanks for the informational post. Last week, a school T-shirt was designed with Japanese theme, and the Japanese naval flag was put at the background. For a standby person, it looks very Japanese. However, some parents pointed out the fact, and the teacher immediately changed the design with an appropriate explanation email. In a way, your popular post on this matter makes it a gateway for people to know a little bit more about this piece of history, where Japanese government refuses to admit, and Chinese and other eastern asian people fail to express. Keep up with the good work!

    • Sean D

      “Japanese government refuses to admit”

      Here’s a wikipedia page to help you with your ongoing learning with history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan
      Also before you note that its not a credible source, check the actual credible sources annotated throughout the list.

      It’s only a matter of Korea and China that won’t shut up about it everyday. You don’t go hearing the USA dissing Japan for it’s insufficient apologies…

      Also let me remind you that the only IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) war crime tried was the fact that they did not declare war. They were not tried for the atrocities that many Koreans and Chinese like to mention (e.g. Nanking Massacre, the rapes) as the people that were blamed and tried for those crimes were the IJA (ARMY). I won’t say the IJN was innocent, but they are internationally recognized as not being responsible for most of the things these accusers are saying, and it is absolute ignorance to connect the IJN flag (shown in picture and still used today by JMSDF) to the IJA flag (similar, but there’s a clear difference, read the other comments).

      • Julie Z

        Hi Sean, sorry if I did not say it clearly. I really mean the Ideology that sent Japan into the war is still honored in Japan, that is what we worry about, worry about that one day another group of people will pick up that ideology and repeat the history. I have nothing against Japanese people, I think they are diligent and smart, and I love Japanese art.

  • Hellion

    Your an idiot. the rising sun flag is the Japanese flag with 16 rays of sunlight. its a cultural symbol for good luck, it was adopted as the war flag because it symbolises good luck. its the Japanese navy’s flag because its synonymous with a good catch. asking the Japanese to cease using the flag is the same as asking Christians to stop wearing crosses because of all the evil things Christians have done in the past. and the swastika is a symbol that exists in multiple culture and religions as a symbol of rebirth and the circle of life. just because some wack-job in ww2 decided to get 8th grader syndrome and use a cool looking symbol for his organisation doesn’t make it evil. the problem isn’t the symbols its the people who interpret them wrong. the issue with the rising sun flag exists in Asian countries like china and south Korea. not because they find the flag offensive but because they hate Japanese people in general so they just look for anything to wine about. the Japanese government was asked not to fly any rising sun flags for good luck at Beijing Olympics because… well it was in china and china has been butt-hurt with Japan for hundreds of years so its really just a childish excuse to victimise them. if you actually read any information on the flag you would know that some of US units working with JDF after ww2 adopted the flag.

    further more id just like to say this. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. its Japan’s flag and i highly doubt they will stop using it.nor should they. everyone needs to toughen up. history happened! trying to ban things to hide history is what cowards that cant face their problems do.

    also as an edit: you talk about Japan admitting the truth but isn’t that hypothetical for most asian countries?.. red china didn’t exactly win any fucken humanitarian awards lately.

  • Mike Martin

    “Was I being a crazy chauvinist? I thought about it for a second before writing this piece, and decided that I wasn’t.”
    Sadly you were wrong! Equating the rising sun flag with the 5,000 year old Sanskrit (Hindu & Buddhist) symbol for auspiciousness and good luck was very wrong. Just because the Germans defiled the swastika for 20 odd years in the 20th Century does not mean that people should ignore its actual history!

  • ant

    would you wear the United States flag on your shirt? because we invade and in result kill innocent people on a daily basis lol so dont disregard this so quickly

  • Sheyenne

    Only one of the flags is offensive from WWII Japan. That is the Imperial Japanese Army flag. That flag is no longer used today. The JGSDF uses a different flag, since the IJA flag has bad background to it, which causes problems with some groups of people. The IJN flag is absolutely fine, and is still used as the JMSDF flag. The Imperial Japanese Navy, had no war crimes, also they opposed the war with the United States. The IJN and the IJA never agreed with each other IJA wanted war and expansion of the empire. IJA committed more war crimes during WWII.
    The reason why people get so confuse about the rising sun flag, is because they are not educated on the fact that there were two flags, and the background on them are different from each other. I enjoy learning history, and WWII is a big interest of mine. So, the IJN/JMSDF flag is still clean from hate and discrimination to this day. I say we keep it like that.

    Example between the different flags of the IJA and the IJN.
    The red dot is centred in the IJA flag as the IJN/JMSDF is more to the left.

  • Ryan Charboneau

    The rising sun flag was around way before ww2 it was used in the 16th centaury to the mid 19th centaury by warlords shoguns’ and samurai who served under them and they would pay the samurai in food because very few had the money to afford the samurai bill the fact that none of you brought this up shows how corrupted you all are

  • nel

    I don’t get why there’s so many people who don’t understand why Koreans, the Chinese and anyone else who’s not insensitive are offended by the use of the Japanese rising sun flag. When you flaunt a flag it’s because you’re proud of what it represents and you stand for it and praise it. In this case, the rising sun flag is a direct reminder of all the atrocities Japan committed before and during WW2. How old is the flag is IRRELEVANT and doesn’t make it any less offensive. It doesn’t matter that the Japanese Imperial army adopted the flag “recently” as at the end of the day, IT STILL represents the imperial Army and its actions. What they did is disgusting enough but the fact that they won’t even own up to their actions, won’t even apologize for it but ALSO honor those war criminals make it so much worse! Try to put yourself in their shoes; I’m pretty damn sure you’d feel the same damn way if your people had been treated as badly and disgustingly by another nation; raped thousands countless times to satisfy their needs, savagely murdered thousands, used them as lab rats/guinea pigs, literally chopped off their noses and other body parts and kept them as trophies! Oh, and you wouldn’t get any apology whatsoever, nor would the criminal nation admit to committing such inhuman acts but they would definitely honor everyone who participated in it!!

    • Sean D

      The Rising Sun Flag does not intend and does not represent the atrocities Japan committed, instead it has been a symbol of it’s prosperous empire since the Edo era, and throughout the Meiji restoration. Oh, and let me remind you that the Rising Sun Flag was NEVER the national flag of Japan, instead it is a Naval Ensign; the navy didn’t rape and kill the Chinese /Koreans, the Army did. Also, I seriously do not understand Koreans, as they refuse to look away from their propaganda of “Japan does not want to apologize.” Heck there’s even a whole Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan, and before you call me out for using this as a credible source, make sure to check the annotated sources as well. Japan has been giving numerous apologies since the 1950’s, and it’s only the Chinese and Koreans who haven’t had enough; the others have gotten over it. The JMSDF uses this flag today not to remind people of the ARMY atrocities Japan conducted during the War, but instead it shows a leadership and cooperation of Naval security in the Pacific, and the USA as well as other countries respect that. Get over it Korea/China.

    • starlightshimmers

      It’s only Korea and China that are anti-Japanese. The rest of Asia is friendly with Japan. Do not forget that Japan also invaded the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, but they do not hate Japan and they have no problem with the rising sun flag.

  • Sean D

    Most people are absolutely ignorant, and it is those such as the author of this article that think that the Rising Sun flag was the flag of the Japanese Empire and the Swaztika was the flag of the Third Reich. Let me get this straight CLEAR: see this flag? It’s the flag of modern day Japan right? Wrong. It’s been the national flag of Japan since 1870, and throughout World War II. “Then what is this Rising Flag sun that I see all over the place??” It’s the naval ensign of Japan, in effect since 1889. To inform you people yes, the direct flag that was used by the IJA (Imperial Japanese Army) during the war (which conducted and is responsible for the atrocities of China/Korea via Tokyo Trials) was NEVER used again. If you OPENED your eyes and looked, that picture’s flag is not the same flag that was flying in your backyard when the army invaded Koreans. It’s the naval variant, which in terms of atrocities, is not held responsible, and therefore was allowed by the GHQ of the Allied Powers to be used as the JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self Defense Force)’s flag, leading to today. Today, the Rising Sun flag’s VARIANT (it’s slightly shifted to the left, with a different number of lines) represents Japan’s cooperation and leadership with the US Navy in maintaining the naval safety of the Pacific. Saying a navy flag, that was considered innocent (by trial) for your atrocities, is the same as a flag of a radical political party that is actually responsible for the deaths of 6 million Jewish people is being ignorant to history.

    And to all of you confused by what this author wrote, this article should be titled “The Koreans being Offended 70 Year after the War” I will proudly respect the JMSDF flag, not as the IJN flag for the alleged “atrocities that it’s responsible to”, but to the continuous safety of the Sea of Japan, Pacific Ocean, and the East/South China Sea.

  • Yuki

    I have one on my wall right now. 🙂

  • Bia

    Innumerable people were murdered during WWII by Japanese imperial Army.

    Countless girls and women were taken to rape camps under this flag.

    People were forced to worship Japanese King as divine under this flag.

    Still many Japanese denies these crimes…without shame.

  • AceDeus

    History is written by the victors…… Boring opinion why this flag shouldn’t be used.

  • Gem Ma

    Thank you Mr Kim, I was in japan a few years ago and bought the rising sun flag as a sticker to put on my water bottle, only now have i realized, 3 years into university, that I could have been offending most of the asian population at u of a. I wish I had read this sooner, but many thanks none the less.

    • Alexdhamp

      You’d only be offending the Korean and Chinese with their eternal victim complexes and Anti-Japanese mentality. The other Asian societies don’t care anymore as they’ve let the chains of the past go and let it be where it belongs, in history.

  • Riquez

    The Japanese Naval flag is nothing to do with a swastika. The swastika represents the Nazi Party & their racist ideals. It is a political flag.
    The Japanese Naval Flag is just that, the flag used by the navy. It was used before the war & after.
    It is only offensive because some people associate it with war. But hold on…. Didn’t the US flag get used in the same war & the British flag & all of them? & so why are those flags not offensive? because i am pretty sure the US did some bad things in the war too. The same as every country has done bad things somewhere in history.

    Being offended by the Japanese Naval Flag is simply people not understanding properly & of course people who suffered during the war will also have an understandable bias towards that too. In the same way a lot of people in Vietnam might think the US flag is offensive.

    • Alexdhamp

      The swastika also existed thousands of years before the Nazi Party perverted it into the “hakenkreuz”.

  • Octavio Marín

    This is HEAVILY close-minded. Yes, what happened during WWII was a tragedy, but do we need to be SO sensitive that a symbol that means something different is supposed to be wrong? The Rising Sun flag has been used YEARS before World War 2, and the Swastika isn’t even German in origin. So, I want to ask the close-minded author just one question.

    The Union Jack is a symbol of a blood-crazy and savage empire that conquered, destroyed and executed thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people because of religion and race. Why is it OK to use the Union Jack and not the Rising Sun flag? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?

    There’s nothing wrong with the Rising Sun flag. Objectively, it is a beautiful flag; but since you’re too damn sensitive about you’re blinded to history. How can we study history if we start censoring parts of it? Is that what you want? Censorship?
    Because if you do, you’re a very ignorant and deluded person.

  • muttkat1 .

    It’s pretty.

  • Wicker

    America has murdered hundreds of thousands, hundreds of thousands of innocents alone (remember Hiroshima/Nagasaki, hypocrite?) *BETTER NOT SHOW THE FLAG IT’LL OFFEND PEOPLE!!*

    Just shut up pussy, this is beyond irrational. If looking at the flag of an army like that of imperial japan, offends you so much, I have no clue how you can rationalize not freaking the fuck out over the flag of the USA.

    It’s ridiculous, and hypocritical (Someone link me to his exposes on why the US flag should be destroyed, and I’ll apologize).

  • Stan

    I understand other guys point of view. But just disgust me and others, too. One British and one Canadian-German you are just disgrace of our Commonwealth. You both are fucking Cunt. I’m not going to say more just see the picture.

    • What is your point? People can still fly the PRC flag and the American flag like it’s nothing in the whole world (or most of the world).

      Those two countries committed countless atrocities, murders, and/or GENOCIDES either on their home country or in foreign countries.

      I’ll say this again: The victors write history and the losers have no say in history. The victors can lie or say the truth and it’ll usually or always fly as the truth. The victors can put sanctions on anyone that criticizes or questions the “truth” made by the victors of war.

      You’re a god damn ignorant person, aren’t you? I bet you know jack shit about Japan or Korea’s history, don’t you?

      You probably think what you learned in Highschool or the documentaries on History Channel is the absolute truth, right? RIGHT? Try doing some research on your own, for once.

      • Stan

        We are talking about 2nd World war’s Japan and Germany(why banned their flag) Not about States or British Empire or China or other country. Sure Victor wrote history then so what it doesn’t make any sense on this topic. Yeah People can fly and wave whatever flag they want to and if the sane people see those flags we were talking about now they think you are mental. Yeah I am ignorant person but not as you do. I think you are out of point and I don’t understand what you are saying. You need to go back to high school for learning history as you said and how to conversation with other people and watching history channel again really carefully. You are just a troll. Conversation is over mate.

        • >assuming Highschool Textbooks will always say the truth (if this is what you are saying)
          >assuming History Channel will always say the truth

          YOU are the laughting stock, not me!

          So tell me again, waving Nazi or Hinomaru flag will cause “sane people” to think of me as mental?

          Then please tell me why waving PRC flag, Union Jack Flag, or American Falg doesn’t invoke the same “you’re mental” response?

          PRC killed so many innocent people. What about the Brits and their colonization? What about America’s genocide on the Aboriginals?

          Shit son, you’re an idiot.

          When the Victors write history, they won’t be seen as the “evil” of the world.

          You could say America is the modern world’s most evil country. After all, they were the true cause of ISIS and Al Qaeda’s rise in power. America created international terrorists and look what’s happening to the world.

          Get lost, will you?

          • Stan

            Do you know what? Whatever!! I don’t care whatever you said. Just believe what you want to believe.

          • Says the retard who thinks watching state television is supposed to be the (((absolute truth))).

            Seriously now, are you that mentally retarded to think the government would aprove a tv show that tries to see the losers of war in a neutral or sympathetic way?

            Or even if they did, the tv show will still try to get their viewers to sway against such thinking.

            Again, please tell me. America created 2 terrorist groups that turned the world to what you see now. Murders, rapes, assaults, and mass murders all over Europe and even in America to a certain extent.

            The whole world is now paying up millions, if not billions of dollars for America’s mistake (or more on the lines of CIA’s mistake).

            Geez, American flag, not evil, NOPE!

            Nazi flag? GET HIM!!

            Rising Sun Flag? GET HIM!!

            Yea, plz stop.

          • John Wage

            lol you’re so mad right now.

          • What is wrong with pointing out the hypocrisy of people’s logic?

            Tell me.

            This article is old, but you could clearly tell the writer is brain dead when it comes to understanding Japanese history and culture.

            Not to mention what you see in the article header is the JMSDF flag which was approved by GHQ.

  • Robert K. Carlen

    Upon reading the comments said about this article, I have come to the thought that even the thought of comparing one event in history to another is completely uncalled-for. I say this for the reason that these “events” are completely unrelated in the fact that they happened separately and did not affect the outcome of other events in any way. Also, I’m not implying that I condone any of these heinous, inhuman actions of our own and other ethnic group’s ancestors, but what I am implying is that comparing separate events (such as the comparison of The Holocaust to The Nanking Massacre) is unreasonable. Even comparing the Confederate flag to The Rising Sun flag would be irrelevant for the reason that they are completely different due to the fact that the confederates were not sexually abusing, killing other people just because of their ethnicity, and killing people just because they could, they were actually protecting something they thought was right.

  • bob

    I don’t see the big deal. It’s like white people and the confederate flag. Just put the past behind you.

  • Damon Fernandes

    Hindus use swastikas all the time because it is their symbol, a religious symbol, that they have used for thousands of years. The Nazis stole it and used it as a symbol of evil, yes. But the symbol itself has other and deeper meanings that have nothing to do with Nazis. As does the symbol of a rising sun.

  • Tracey Love

    Timely suggestions – Incidentally , people need a CA Instructions California Statutory Will , my boss encountered a template version here https://goo.gl/GWNTmC

  • seira

    The swastika which you’re so quick to defame is a Hindu religious symbol. You talk about cultural context? First learn about the cultural context of the symbols you know nothing about. -_-

  • SHANITA SYKES

    Good article, Thanks!

  • Temborary

    The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force(The present-day Japanese Navy) still uses the Rising Sun, just with a different shade of red.

  • Lehua

    I think you people need to grow a thicker skin. It’s just a fucking flag, an image! nothing more! get over it and focus on more serious issues.

  • Matt C

    It seems ludicrous to me to compare the symbol to the swastika. You are going to get atrocities and all the ills of the world committed under most historical flags as far as colonialism goes especially, it’s just a question of time…on the tv earlier they were talking about duelling matches between members of the house of Lords in the UK…..

    Things change, times do, people will quick enough have a che or mao T shirt…maybe some of the flags today have done this or that, but it is what it is.

    At one time, not all that long ago as I know people who remember, they wouldn’t allow Japanese cars on some British workplace car parks because of some war or another..now they do, and that’s a good thing, have to move on some time.

  • Jeremy Lanier

    It should only offend one if the user does not understand the meaning behind the flag. Also, are their intentions to instigate or to educate. In regards to the meanings of either flag, I feel like Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan have been victorious in corrupting the respective images–More so the Nazis, I can agree that not many people, relatively speaking, know about the Japanese side. I am not well-versed on all of the history myself. I do know that the original Swastika has a very positive value in Indian/Hindu Culture. Although, it is only similar because the Nazi emblem is actually flipped.

    I say victorious, because they have successfully created symbolism that is feared even in their absence. In this sense, the surviving mentality is defeated. Instead of attempting to rectify these particular emblems we have branded them evil which only empowers those who plan to use them in such a manner. We can still remember what happened behind the scenes, but it is important to make progress which is what the original Swastika means. Dwelling on the past is not progress.

  • Roman Bolshakov

    I LOVE Rising Sun flag. Just don’t care about Korean whinners

  • Dylaan Omer

    Flag existed before the Fascists took over. I get the symbolic reasoning but the flag has nothing to do with fascism.

  • Joesph Barreras

    Japan did nothing wrong!

  • If the American flag can continue to be used despite the genocides against the native Americans, then the Imperial Japanese flag is also fine.

  • Ian Noriega

    only nazi swastika represents that, remember that the swastika was a religious symbol before been used by the nazis

  • Dustin Jaehnig

    you people are brain dead. the “Rising Sun” is a symbol of a new beginning. Stop judging it as a symbol of war and crimes. fucking media is so stupid. and the idiot who made this is pathetic

  • Jiggly

    Really great and informative article you have written.

    I was surprised when I saw this symbol behind used at a japanese car dealership in Sydney. I must admit I wasn’t fully aware of the history behind the symbol; I just knew it had an offensive meaning behind it but didn’t know the full context.

    Thanks for your article – it has really educated me.

  • Moe GamezNTech

    So by that logic, the US should not be using there flag because they’ve committed atrocities in the middle east, vietnam and the balkans among other places.