1:46 pm - 11/09/2018

Designer Comments On BTS’s Postponed “Music Station” Appearance + Meaning Behind T-Shirt


The CEO of the t-shirt design company explained the graphics on Jimin’s t-shirt and commented on BTS’s postponed “Music Station” appearance.

Previously, Big Hit Entertainment and “Music Station” both confirmed that BTS’s appearance on the show had been postponed. “Music Station” stated that the postponement was due to the controversy over BTS member Jimin wearing a t-shirt commemorating the day that Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. The t-shirt included graphics of Koreans celebrating liberation and an atomic bomb detonating in Japan, which contributed to Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces and thereby Korea’s liberation.


On November 9, CEO Lee Kwang Jae of LJ Company (the t-shirt design company) held an interview where he talked about the controversy. He remarked, “When I first started the brand, street fashion was the trend. At the time, I was personally quite interested in history. So I made the t-shirts, thinking that if I put a sense of history into the fashion that young people wore, they might become interested in history.”

Lee Kwang Jae then commented on the controversial atomic bomb image, saying, “I did not include that part to mock Japan. I did it to express the historic truth and timing that after the atomic bomb was detonated, Japan’s unconditional surrender led to independence.”

On the group’s appearance on “Music Station” being postponed due to controversy over the t-shirt, he commented, “After I found out, I was very flustered and apologetic. I had no intention to promote anti-Japanese sentiment, and so I’m very sorry towards BTS.”

Big Hit Entertainment also gave a brief statement saying, “There will not be any big changes to [the group’s] promotions in Japan.”

Source: nate via soompi
belintuchiha 9th-Nov-2018 10:19 pm (UTC)

This explanation is BS. Even if the atomic bomb lead the Japanese to surrender or whatever it’s still insensitive af to use the image of it.

rainstormraider 9th-Nov-2018 10:27 pm (UTC)
I don't get why we need his input when Jimin shouldn't have worn the shirt in the first place (fan gift or not)?

That aside, the designer is Korean and he's allowed to come up with whatever reason (no matter how fucked up it is) for that picture because Liberation Day was a result of the Fall of Imperial Japan. I'm not Korean so I can't understand the sentiment behind it. I can only comment on my perspective, which is that its just wrong.

The blame lies at Jimin's feet alone, he's actively promoting in Japan but chose to wear that shirt. Its too late to apologize now because you're effed up either way but its a timely reminder that you're on the world stage and your mistakes are that much more in the spotlight.

chikage_chan 9th-Nov-2018 10:32 pm (UTC)
As always, an “apology” that is not an apology at all lol Japanese people on twitter were rightfully pissed.
And BH in the end doing nothing at all, of course they would.
lulufairybubble 9th-Nov-2018 10:40 pm (UTC)

To use an image of the bomb is kind of romanticizing it. It's like the 'cleansing fire' that led to Korea being free. Which is how a lot of bigots like to phrase events that are just bottom line genocide.
We are not against Korean Liberation nor are we forgetting the crimes committed against them at the hands of Japan. But putting that bomb image on the shirt is wrong and tasteless. So many civiliations died when those bombs dropped. Just plain tacky at the very least.

evilcoc0nut 9th-Nov-2018 10:44 pm (UTC)
It's still trivializing mass murder Idc how you try to frame it.
benihime99 9th-Nov-2018 10:55 pm (UTC)
So the excuse is basically "I was trying to educate people by trivializing the death of civilans while making money out of it"







Cool cool cool no doubt no doubt
lil_poisonfrog 10th-Nov-2018 09:00 pm (UTC)
Referencing B99 when your username is...B99. Iconic
pinklunacy 9th-Nov-2018 11:26 pm (UTC)
yeah, whatever helps him sleep at night. Anyway, as an European person, I'm way too out of my depth here to have a say on such political/historical issues but that's beside the point. He didn't force Jimin into that shirt so the apology is not only his to make (also, how ironic that he's feeling sorry towards BTS and not the people that might have felt rightfully offended because of that shirt).

I love BTS but this is a mess and I'm upset and angry at them/BH. They need to address this issue. I won't be holding my breath, tho.

Edited at 2018-11-09 11:33 pm (UTC)
countthesaints 9th-Nov-2018 11:56 pm (UTC)
Wow. What a shitty explanation.

In the end, it all boils down the fact that Jimin shouldn't have worn the damn shirt in the first place, but then again, this is the same band that did a photoshoot at the Holocaust Memorial so nothing surprises me with them.

Edited at 2018-11-10 12:04 am (UTC)
vintage_boom 10th-Nov-2018 12:27 am (UTC)
And with how much press is being put out about this shirt in the west you know someone’s going to go digging and find those memorial pics soon.
jangborghini 10th-Nov-2018 01:05 am (UTC)
lol are all these people commented either white/american/european who were never being under Japanese colonization? They exterminated more than 30 million people in Asia and wouldn’t stop until that bomb, now y’all feeling the pity party towards casualties? Y’all westerners always try to tell the rest of the world how to do things, that’s an act of colonizer itself. Stop commenting stuff you don’t know the history about. If you refuse to honor your own flag, that’s not anybody else’s problem but your own.
belintuchiha 10th-Nov-2018 01:19 am (UTC)

I’m neither, my own country and native people were colonized by Spain and millions were killed. Needless to say, it doesn’t mean thousands of innocent civilians deserve to suffer the consequences of their government’s choices. My people were raped, killed, enslaved but I’m never gonna be happy or rejoice if my country or someone else throws an atomic bomb in Spain to kill innocent people.

lizanka23 10th-Nov-2018 06:29 am (UTC)
in this situation it should really be jimin that gives an explanation and apology and not this guy since no one forced him to wear the shirt.
and the designer's reasoning is ridiculous for including the bombings. there were no good intentions behind the bombings. they were acts of American imperialism driven by the military industrial complex. Japan was already getting ready to surrender but America wanted to show off its military might. through his design it's like he's showing Japanese imperialism is bad but American imperialism is ok as long as it unintentionally leads to good results for us. If he's gonna include history on his clothing he needs to stop viewing history in such a black and white way.
I understand the anger korea feels toward japan because it doesn't acknowledge the war crimes it committed and atone for them in any meaningful or genuine way but the truth is the whole world is under the constant threat of American military power especially with Trump as president

Edited at 2018-11-10 06:54 am (UTC)
katheli 10th-Nov-2018 07:02 am (UTC)
I really doubt there'll be an apology, since it would majorly hurt them in Korea. To Korea, the shirt issue is just Japan once more "using" the atomic bomb to portray themselves as a victim, when it's Japan which has recently complained and cancelled a diplomatic summit after a supreme court decision that Japan should compensate Korean workers in WWII. Korea deeply resents the fact that Japan has never apologised for or acknowledged the atrocities they committed in WWII, that's at the root of all their diplomatic troubles. So they won't like it one bit if Jimin/BH apologises to Japan, and at the end of the day they're the ones who are currently on BTS' side while the Japanese GP is unlikely to start supporting them even after an apology.

now, from a moral perspective, using the image of the atomic bomb on the shirt is disgusting and wearing it was wrong. Yes, Jimin/BH should apologise for it. But I get why they don't.

and gotta say Japan makes it hard to be on their side, when recent articles have used RM and V expressing solidarity with comfort women as another example of their "anti-Japanese" sentiments. This in light of Osaka ending their "sister city" arrangement with San Francisco over a statue honoring comfort women. That's exactly why Korea doesn't like you, guys. It's like Germany getting mad at Holocaust memorials in Europe.
nekobot 10th-Nov-2018 01:50 pm (UTC)
I may have remembered this wrong but wasn't there also a picture of people cheering in the same design with the atomic bomb picture? I totally support Korean's people's right to celebrate their liberation from Japan but not only was this an extremely tasteless combination of design elements, it also just rings hollow seeing how they're trying to make this a "sticking it to Japan" gesture when those bombs weren't just aimed at civilians, but also at Korean people who deserve more than to be seen as mere necessary collateral damage.

Anyway I am not informed enough to write anything eloquent about this subject but I don't think the designer should be involved with this at all, their apology does nothing to alleviate the situation and just gives ammo to the "oppa didnt mean it" crowd. If the Boy London designer came out to apologise for putting Nazi imagery in their designs (like they ever would) I would not feel even the slightest bit less angry about all the people that were proudly wearing them.
meriumi 10th-Nov-2018 02:42 pm (UTC)
You're correct, this is the entire design of the back of the t-shirt.
spread 11th-Nov-2018 01:42 am (UTC)
Keep it.
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