Japanese Idols Dress As Nazis For Halloween

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Sigh. Another year, and another group of pop idols dressed as Nazis.

In the past, Asian pop groups have gotten in trouble for wearing Nazi inspired uniforms (here, here, uh, and here). Back in 2008, for example, one Japanese idol group got in trouble when its members nominated Adolf Hitler as a “great person” on network television. The young idols drew pictures of the Nazi dictator and referred to him as “Uncle Hitler.”

[Image Minims via 2ch] The text reads, “A witch-like black uniform.” Needless to say, this popular Japanese TV show seems unware about the imagery.

The group doesn’t explicitly state these are Nazi uniforms, but damn, look at them. The comparisons have not been lost on some.

The Nazi-style outfits don’t happen every year, but they do happen a lot. And so, here we are in 2016, and as 2ch points out, Keyakizaka46 is the latest pop group to wear these kind of uniforms.

As I’ve written in the past, Japan did fight with the Nazis during World War II, and some Japanese don’t seem to be as educated about (or sensitive to, for that matter) what the Nazi uniform represents or the real-life horrors those who wore it inflicted.

What’s more, the ambivalence to Nazi iconography could also be because a counterclockwise swastika, or manji as it’s called in Japanese, is traditionally used in Japan on maps to denote Buddhist temples.

Still, seeing yet another idol group dress its members in such outfits is baffling. Wonder what 2017 will bring.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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