Shortly after a Japanese department store came under fire late last year for stocking a Nazi costume, The Guardian published a response suggesting the Land of the Rising Sun might be suffering from cultural amnesia. In other words, new generations of Japanese have somehow forgotten their ancestors fought alongside Hitler.
Reinforcing the notion, another blunder hit the newswires early this week. The BBC reported that Kishidan, a popular J-pop band known for portraying school boys, appeared on MTV Japan back in February clad in SS-style black uniforms with iron crosses and red armbands.
As if the boys’ haircuts weren’t heinous enough.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the L.A.-based anti-Semitism watchdog, said the decision displayed ignorance and insensitivity. As usual the organization elicited an apology.
Sony Music Artists, the band’s management, issued an online statement explaining the costumes were not “meant to carry any ideological meaning whatsoever.”
The apology goes on to note that the costumes “will be disposed of immediately.”