3:19 pm - 10/21/2018

BTS Jimin wears T-shirt commemorating Hiroshima atomic bombing, draws criticism in Japan

A thread on a Korean site was posted called ‘BTS who are having a controversy in Japan right now’. The thread maker brought up a t-shirt Jimin wore last year, the shirt commemorated National Liberation Day (August 15th, liberation from Japan’s colonial rule) so it has the print of the mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb and Korean people cheering with their hands up for Liberation Day.

The now 23-year old Jimin (whose birth name is Park Ji-min) is sporting a long-sleeved T-shirt with the words “Patriotism our history liberation Korea” printed a few dozen times across the back. The photo is claimed to have been taken last year on August 15, National Liberation Day of Korea, which coincides with Japan’s surrender which ended World War II and formally brought to an end Korea’s status as an imperial Japanese colony, making the shirt’s written message a timely one.

What some in Japan are calling les appropriate, though, is the photo at the top right of Jimin’s shirt, which wasn’t taken on August 15, but rather August 6, specifically August 6, 1945, and shows the mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb that was dropped by the U.S. military on Hiroshima and resulted in at least 70,000 civilian deaths, with some estimates of the loss of non-combatant life at more than 120,000.

Celebtrities in Asia wearing T-Shirts emblazoned with English text they ostensibly don’t understand isn’t without precedent, but the timing of Jimin’s wardrobe choice, as well as the unmistakable image of a nuclear bomb detonating, has drawn criticism from online commenters in Japan, and even some in Korea. According to news portal Record China, while some Korean online commenters have been supportive of Jimin and his shirt, others have expressed disappointment at what they see as insensitive politicizing by one of their country’s entertainers as his band stands on an increasingly global stage.


"National Liberation Day"

The Japanese are going crazy because of the picture of the atomic bomb and the picture of National Liberation Dayㅋㅋㅋ

ㅇㅇ |2018.10.14 00:44
Bangtan are so refreshing. I will seriously join the fandomㅋㅋㅋ to be honest, didn't they cancel that collab with the right-wing too? [+1099, -18]

ㅇㅇ |2018.10.14 00:25
they also got cursed for wearing Marymond (T/N: clothing brand to support comfort women) and for donating to the comfort women. Unbelievable [+914, -5]

ㅇㅇ |2018.10.14 00:43
Yah, I'm seriously joining the fandom. [+782, -10]

ㅇㅇ |2018.10.14 01:00
Bashing the Japanese= the right thing to do [+461, 0]

ㅇㅇ |2018.10.14 01:53
That's the spirit [+315, -2]

"They consistently used goods in support of female rights (Marymond, support North Korean women, etc.) and the last screenshot was from a tweet that V made during their Japanese schedule = he was wearing a shirt from Marymonde who are in support of comfort women"

ㅇㅇ |2018.10.14 01:32
Do you want me to tell you what's even more ridiculous? There are so many Japanese fans who hate Yoongi. The reason being that he wrote a song about Gwangju's Democratization Movement. They also hate Namjoon a lot because he wrote the poem called 'Tiger' back in middle school (T/N: a patriotic poem)... [+297, -1]

ㅇㅇ |2018.10.14 01:51
Wow but Our History is such a cool brand. Seriously, they have lots of other meaningful t-shirts aside of the one Jimin wore [+267, 0]


1. [+9,032, -36] I’m disgusted with many Korean people because things like this exist.

2. [+5,626, -31] Don’t come to Japan ever again

3. [+5,700, -26] Disgusting

4. [+5,205, -40] He’s seriously ugly huh

5. [+4,852, -39] Ugly

6. [+3,861, -31] He’s ugly

7. [+3,566, -39] Enough already. Ban all Korean people from entering the country.

8. [+3,548, -20] Please do not come to Japan.

9. [+2,759, -18] They’ve done it again

10. [+2,643, -33] Isn’t he uglier than your average person walking around wwww

11. [+2,306, -26] He looked like a middle-aged lady on the topic picture

12. [+2,100, -22] Terrible

13. [+2,051, -13] I’m shocked that such a t-shirt exists

14. [+1,317, -12] Scary

15. [+982, -31] Isn’t this an old story?

16. [+839, -18] His nose and eyes look like a mushroom cloud

17. [+724, -76] Why is something from last year coming up now?

18. [+340, -10] Don’t step a foot on Japanese land!

19. [+271, -4] Because he’s Korean it seems like it was on purpose huh

20. [+381, -12] He’s an idol with this face? Disgusting!

21. [+199, -2] BTS is famous for being anti-Japanese

Source: RecordChina, girlschannel via ping japan | pann via pann-choa | soranews24
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adlyeith 22nd-Oct-2018 07:17 am (UTC)
I watched a special on TV the other day about the day the bomb was dropped, and I cried the whole way through it. The interviews with surviving soldiers that flew the plane that dropped the bomb as well as Japanese survivors that experienced it were tough to listen to. I can understand why Japanese fans are upset. You can be patriotic without glorifying/celebrating a horrific tragedy. I understand being proud of your country's history; America around the 4th of July is pretty clear evidence of that. However, when you're part of an internationally recognized group that basically represents your home country to the rest of the world, wearing something like that is going to raise eyebrows. The inclusion of that image on the shirt is unnecessary.

I don't know much about the history between Korea and Japan during WW2, I'll admit. I just know that relations between the two countries has been pretty strained,.

On a side note, the typo in liberation is also bothering me.

Edited at 2018-10-22 07:42 am (UTC)
chikage_chan 22nd-Oct-2018 07:52 am (UTC)
This completely. Using pictures of the bombing of civilians to celebrate Korea's liberation is tasteless and extremely hypocritical of the brand, imo. And Jimin should've known better in this situation too, since there's no way he missed that pic in his shirt.
cosmicdaze 22nd-Oct-2018 07:24 am (UTC)
I admittedly know a very basic amount of Korean history when it comes to Japanese imperialism. I visited a prison history museum in Seoul and got to walk around the same cells that were used for torture and it was a very harrowing experience. I can’t fault any Koreans for being proud of their independence and being liberated from imperial rule.

But I also feel that using a picture of the atomic bomb on a shirt or other merchandise is too far, and I say this as an American. God knows I wouldn’t want a foreigner to think my government represents me right now, so I try to extend the same courtesy to people in other countries. However, it is an extremely complicated situation, especially when an extremely imperialistic country continues to deny its war crimes. But I can’t bring myself to believe that the hundreds of thousands of people that were killed or permanently wounded by two atomic bombs absolutely deserved it. Ergh, I hope this rambly comment makes sense. Overall I think it’s a complicated situation but as someone who’s not Korean or Japanese it’s not really my place to have an opinion on something like this anyway. Apologies if I offended anyone with this comment, it was not my intention and I’d gladly rectify it if need be.
lydzi 22nd-Oct-2018 07:26 am (UTC)
That's an ugly ass tshirt. Also tshirt with pictures of nuclear bombs are....

Well I don't think Jimin was being malicious, just plain tasteless. I've seen too many guys wearing terrible tshirts not to think that >>

Are they really famous for being anti-japanese like the last netizen says ? oO
katheli 22nd-Oct-2018 07:40 am (UTC)
Are they really famous for being anti-japanese like the last netizen says ? oO


Edited at 2018-10-22 07:40 am (UTC)
lydzi 22nd-Oct-2018 07:27 am (UTC)
20. [+381, -12] He’s an idol with this face? Disgusting!

I would punch the hell out of people being like that. There's no logic in your comment. Waste of time and oxygen -____-
glokmusic 22nd-Oct-2018 07:45 am (UTC)

this is really messy on both sides, and i think it’s a big point that i find myself interested in when it comes to korean idols being popular in japan

the things that happened in korea under japanese imperial rule were terrible, horrible things and i do think they should be proud of their independence

however the atomic bomb is not funny. at all. that is not something that should be displayed anywhere. i think if the shirt didn’t have the picture people wouldn’t be so up in arms about it

however, i am all for them supporting comfort women.

also, i live in japan currently, and people in my generation (i’m 20) are VERY ignorant of anything that occurred outside japan during wars. they didn’t even know about the internment camps for japanese americans during ww2. so i feel like a lot of the japanese people making these vile comments are either a bit older or are from more conservative families bc,,,,, tbh people my age don’t really care anymore and just don’t know anything

katheli 22nd-Oct-2018 07:46 am (UTC)
I can't at K-fans bringing up the T-shirt the second Japanese activities are announced. Do they really hate Japan so much they'd rather see BTS fail there than thrive?

K-netz are ugly for celebrating a T-shirt with the atomic bomb on it...I get being happy to be liberated from imperial rule, especially with the atrocities committed, but there's nothing worth celebrating about masses of largely civilian people being killed like that.

but J-netz just calling him ugly isn't a great look either.

Also, how the hell is it anti Japanese to express solidarity with comfort women?? It's like saying if you feel bad for the victims of the Holocaust you're anti German...nobody would say that and if any German claimed that they'd be (rightfully) called a nazi.
chikage_chan 22nd-Oct-2018 07:57 am (UTC)
Ahhh so this was brought up by Korean fans? That makes more sense to me now. They have always been bitter about BTS being successful here in Japan, but recently they have really stepped the bashing up a huge notch.

pseudo_shigure 22nd-Oct-2018 08:02 am (UTC)
Our country was also unde jpn occupation during WWII and my mom, probably also my grandmom and people from her generation), i felt like they're grateful that the bombing happened bc it gave us chance to declare our independence. but it's still a very horrible thing and i just wish people wouldnt have to or won't think it's a good thing. although i do understand jpn occupation was one of the worst time in our history. but to celebrate it in a shirt like this is just tasteless. but also japan needs to teach their kids about their sins in the past, it's disgusting that younger generation doesn't care or even know about that.
broadcities 22nd-Oct-2018 09:01 am (UTC)
i recently visited hiroshima and its peace park and despite the atrocities that the japanese army committed during ww2 (and the way the japanese government is still dealing with its past) i think it's inappropriate, unnecessary and as other people have said as a brand to create a t-shirt and as a consumer to buy and wear a t-shirt celebrating the death of thousands of civilians over the freedom of one's own country. there's other ways to celebrate this, like criticizing the japanese government attempts to erase their past actions
luminous_wings 22nd-Oct-2018 10:20 am (UTC)
This is disgusting. Shame on the brand and the people who wear this shit.
miyozari 22nd-Oct-2018 12:48 pm (UTC)
jyusou 22nd-Oct-2018 10:38 am (UTC)
Good opportunity for Jimin to learn a thing or two 🙄.
miwa201 22nd-Oct-2018 11:10 am (UTC)
this is not a good look at all. both from jimin and from k-netz celebrating him wearing that. there's a difference between wearing this kind of shirt and wearing clothes commemorating the comfort women. jimin should apologize
jaelissi 22nd-Oct-2018 03:22 pm (UTC)
That's acrually f*ed up. There's a difference between celebration liberation from Japanese rule and celebrating it with utterly insensitive imagery like this. Korea didn't deserve the occupation just like Japan didn't deserve the bomb
yxerin 22nd-Oct-2018 04:55 pm (UTC)
yeah, this is... nagl to say the least. i gotta say though... considering the fact that idols in general don't rly seem to give a shit abt the potential political messages their clothes convey, i'm not rly sure how intentional this was on jimin's part. both him and jin have been strutting around wearing shirts with ya boi karl marx's face printed on them but i find it extremely hard to believe that they are actually marxists (lmfao). jimin fucked up, no question abt it, but i wouldn't necessarily assume he's behind the message.

(the fact that the japanese netizens' go-to insults are targeting his appearance is beyond embarrassing tho)
lil_poisonfrog 24th-Oct-2018 12:45 pm (UTC)
Idk, he's worn it multiple times, like how you can see your shirt has a bombing on it and still want to wear it? This is like someone in the west wearing a shirt showing the planes colliding with the World Trade Center towers on 9/11. How the fuck do you see that on a shirt and think, "I'mma still wear that"? Unless it literally never occurred to him that a picture of a bomb is associated with war and death, in which case he's an ignorant dumbass.

Edited at 2018-10-24 12:46 pm (UTC)
rainstormraider 22nd-Oct-2018 06:29 pm (UTC)
This is fucked up. And nagl. You can hate on the Japanese government and their erasure if their atrocities committed during WWII but not whilst celeithe death of thousands of innocents. Children died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Patriotism in general is hateful because it implies that you are better than others on the sole basis of where you are born. History has proven that its a terrible virus on the soul of humanity.

When your go-to insult is about how you perceive someone looks...that’s just sad.

Edited at 2018-10-22 06:30 pm (UTC)
gigabytexx 22nd-Oct-2018 07:07 pm (UTC)
Not sure how to feel about this.
But my country was freed from Japanese colonization exactly because of that atomic bomb. I know there are children who became a victim in Hiroshima & Nagasaki but there are also many innocent people being tortured in my home country as well (my grandmother from dad’s side was brutally beaten when she was serving as a maid in their ship, idk what people from the past had eaten but she recovered nicely and eventually died in old age, still with the hatred towards Japanese. She never stopped telling me to not liking any Japan stuff), if the US didn’t drop the bomb the Japanese wouldn’t surrender and will keep colonizing us. Idk how the situation in Korea but if it’s the same like in ours...... well.
As long as the Japanese won’t acknowledge their dark history, there’s nothing will ever change.

Edited at 2018-10-22 07:08 pm (UTC)
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