entertainment

K-pop group BTS's talent agency apologizes over A-bomb shirt

49 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

49 Comments
Login to comment

considering how much money they're making off of Japan in particular it was not a good idea to take this little jab at history

18 ( +21 / -3 )

considering how much money they're making off of Japan in particular it was not a good idea to take this little jab at history

Well, if their goal is to make as much money as they possibly can, you're right. But money is not absolute priority for some people, and some people will place morality above a paycheck.

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

some people will place morality above a paycheck.

I wouldn’t count creators of manufactured pop groups amongst those people. But ultimately having shows cancelled and the uproar surrounding the issue does affect their pay check. The fact that it seems that the members themselves haven’t come forward to apologise only highlights the fact that they’re glorified ken dolls.

Its also dissapointing to see this issue bringing Japan’s fringe nationalists out of the woodwork, bringing out the worst and most petulant of both sides that don’t represent the majority of Koreans and Japanese.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

I am still really angry with the Bangtan Boys group. An email apology is not enough. Music shops should remove their CDs or face big protests. How anyone can celebrate nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and also the Nazi regime, they need to be punished.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

They don't make that much money in Japan. LOL. They've been selling out baseball stadiums in the US.

-21 ( +2 / -23 )

Boy this group or their office really managed to piss people off.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

I hope this was a learning experience for Japan and that they will stop glorifying imagery that are hurtful to countries who suffered deaths of millions under the Japanese Empire.

-25 ( +4 / -29 )

Instead of the agency apologizing, the members should apologize.

27 ( +27 / -0 )

I don't think that BTS member should have done that, but boy are people taking advantage of the opportunity for Japan to play the victim, nevermind the countless deaths and horrible crimes laid at the feet of the Japanese military

-18 ( +4 / -22 )

Whats with the hypocrisy these days? I dont need a fake apology thats based on damage control to an asset.

He is who he is. Whether you are or still are a fan is up to you. He is pretty stupid to bite the feeder but I’m sure thoughts like that are common in Korea and China.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Boy this group or their office really managed to piss people off.

No not really the article fails to mention that the one very lonely looking guy protesting was the entirely ignored and that the concert held was sold out.

-21 ( +1 / -22 )

Wearing the Nazi insignia is just as stupid. Nazism killed over 6 million Jews, 5 million non-Jews and up to 50 million due to wars. Totally tasteless.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

So a t-shirt causes OUTRAGE, but flying an offecive flag on military equipment is OK?

Thats a strange perspective.

-18 ( +4 / -22 )

I believe the agency apologized just because of the Jewish NGO protest. Indeed, this fact became a news also on big newspapers like CNN, The Guardian and others, that spoke about strong nationalism in South Korea and the lack of respect for historical issues in that Country, especially about the Nazi regime, because they care only about the Pacific war, disregarding WWII in Europe. Koreans are not used to this kind of strong criticism from the West. In particular, one article noticed like if they want their pop culture be known in the West so much, they must show to be mature enough for the international stage.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

@Cricky: that flag is considered perfectly legal here in the West, but insulting holocaust memory isn't absolutely acceptable. Holocaust is considered the biggest horror of the 20th century in Europe, way more than any other war related crime. If the Koreans want western attention and money, they must accept western rules. Deal with it.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Plus, I am not expressing my "personal" hierarchy about war crimes. I am just explaining which is the situation here in the West.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Forgive them for they know NOT what they do. Glorying the horrors of Hiroshima and wearing gloves with The Nazi insignia? Shows how much historical and human sensibilities the Korean youth have. And this mob have an army of screaming fans? Yay K-pop. Thing is don’t the Koreans rank right up their in world rankings for education?

Just checked. Yep.

https://worldtop20.org/worldbesteducationsystem

Guess it’s a selective education, a warped one. The collectivist one.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Funny thing from the news this morning. They interviewed people on the streets of Seoul how they felt about the shirt. One girl said that BTS shouldn't have to apologize and why does Japan "constantly dwell on the past?" lol

13 ( +16 / -3 )

@Ricky: those rankings are based mainly on math and science, the only subjects that reallymstters in the Anglophone sphere. Sadly, subjects like philosophy, history, etc. are not considered as much as important, despite they are the basis of any civilization.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

really matter*

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Love the big "攘夷" flag.

Saw this clown on TV this morning. His message was falling on deaf ears.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

They sound like a bunch of dicks. Still, it's interesting that in Japan even the smallest perceived slight against the Hiroshima / Nagasaki victims is met with complete outrage, denunciation and hysteria. At the same time, Japanese politicians and others blithely and routinely deny Japanese atrocities committed in Asia and nobody bats an eyelid.

The double standards and total lack of self-awareness among Japanese is breathtaking.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

If only the young Koreans and Japanese saw how these Korean artists aren't artists, but only a completely manufactured product for export used as a political tool for Korean propaganda (way more than artists in the West and Japan, especially considering how the Japanese don't even advertise their artists abroad), their mind would be more free. Instead, they are brainwashed by such a crap, unable to think critically and ready to justify any kind of stuff just because "their idols" are too pure and innocent for knowing nuclear bombing and holocaust...

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Melonbar says : They don't make that much money in Japan. LOL. They've been selling out baseball stadiums in the US.

Ok, I didn't know who bts was but I did a bit of research. From Sept 5 to 16 they had 7 concerts in America and sold 128,000 tickets. From Nov 13 to 24 they had 4 concerts in Japan and sold ... 380,000 tickets, but don't let facts get in your way, "LOL."

18 ( +19 / -1 )

@bicultural: I don't know these "artists" either, but I know this kpop genre. The "artists" are all the same, both musically and in terms of aesthetic. But what makes me more "scared" is how much political the whole thing is. Please, try to read newspapers like the Korea Times, the Korea Herald, and so on. You can see how many news are related to kpop. Not only that, but they are often the top news! I never saw anything similar.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

This is absolutely outrageous! These kids and their production company are just a bunch of ignorant! They should be banned for those stupid mistakes. They did two mistakes in a row and both related to WWII! What a coincidence! I also think they should offer official apologies in front of the public during a televised press conference.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

"We'd like to clarify that all Big Hit staff and artists, including BTS, do not regard war or atomic bombs lightly. We're against these things, and we have no intention to hurt those who were victims of the atomic bombs."

Just a poor translation or are they really that dumb?

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Wearing the Nazi insignia is just as stupid. Nazism killed over 6 million Jews, 5 million non-Jews and up to 50 million due to wars. Totally tasteless.

I agree and the numbers are true. However, the mass killing never stopped other artists, some very famous, from flirting with Nazi imagery. Lemmy from Motorhead was an avid wearer and collector, but his eulogies did not mention it. David Bowie's didn't either. The press are being completely selective on this. fwiw, I do not think Nazi imagery is appropriate, but would rather the media focus on more important issues. There is far too much actual ongoing suffering in the world to focus on things that simply remind us of historical suffering. Nazism spread and got to kill millions through a belief system, ideas, not symbols like swastikas or white circles on red flags. not the symbols. Japan had to change the temple symbol because people confuse the symbol with the ideas. When the new Nazis come, it will be with different colours and new symbols, but more or less the same ideas. It is these ideas that we need to fight.

Holocaust is considered the biggest horror of the 20th century in Europe, way more than any other war related crime

"Way more"?? As starpunk says, the Nazis killed nearly as many non-Jews. I suspect the biggest difference may be in the voice given to such victims.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@kohakuebisu: indeed I said how the holocaust is considered, since it gets so much more cover than any other genocide and atrocity.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@kohakuebisu: you could be right about the fact these guys aren't the first ones to flirt with Nazi symbols, but this band is used as a political tool, indeed recently they spoke at the United Nations. So, since they are involved in politics, they cannot be forgiven so easily if they flirt with Nazi symbols or glorify the nuclear bombings. Their agency should be way more careful, since I doubt the United Nations want to be associated with such kind of controversies.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This was insensitive and stupid.

But stupid probably trumps insensitive; why the hell would you deliberately insult your meal ticket?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

@Ganbare Japan!

I am still really angry with the Bangtan Boys group. An email apology is not enough. Music shops should remove their CDs or face big protests.

LOL, you are like two Japanese rightwingers protesting against the BTS outside the Tokyo Dome concert today, vs 150K Japanese fans screaming inside.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Because Kpoop groups concerned are not only stupid but also perverted giving themselves to pleasure by making money from those they deliberately insult.

If that was called "sincere apology", what the heck they have been demanding from Japan all these years?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The way the company apologized sounds to me like they want to say they're not aware how sensitive people are, (not that they did anything wrong) which is pretty much the same view and attitude from the Korean public and their fans. And they apologized so half-ass only because some Westerners criticized. If it's only from Japan, I doubt they give a toss. After all, they still make money in Japan regardless and there isn't any warm and fuzzy feeling there. But they need to keep a good image in the international market. I heard they're very popular in the US so I asked co-workers and friends but none of them know this group. Then again people from my circle are not teenagers. After seeing the defense from fans of this group regarding this issue, I've already developed a negative view on this group.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

First thing that crossed my mind when I read the news was in Korea, they are imbued with anti-Japan ideas at schools.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

@ReturningGrace: I read some kids saying that "their boys" didn't make anything wrong, especially when Japan never apologized properly to South Korea, so Japan shouldn't be offended for that shirt. These kids are politically manipulated and they are not even aware about it. Since these kpop artists are manufactured to be mainly cultural export, South Korea should avoid to fuel anti-Japanese feelings in this stuff, but they are doing obviously the opposite. I have been watching Japanese animation since the 80s on Italian tv, and I never saw any anti-Chinese or anti-Korean feelings in this stuff. You can find works like Card Captor Sakura where the male lead is a cute Chinese boy. What I mean, is that Japan never exported stuff for children and teenagers that could fuel that kind of feelings, despite in the domestic market I know you can find some controversial things. South Korea instead is deliberately using this "Korean wave" thing to export also anti-Japanese feelings, influencing little kids.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

@Samit Basu: your Country is taking advantage of the fact that despite the political controversies, Japan welcomed Korean artists for years, helping the industry to grow strongly. Also now, Japan didn't overreact, and BTS were free to make their planned concerts. You are lucky that Japan isn't China under this point of view, but I guess (and hope) also Japanese patience has a limit: don't be so sure that despite all this malicious behavior from Korea, Japan will continue to support your musical industry. If they decided to ban your artists for some period, I couldn't blame them at this point, honestly.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Just an e-mail with "sincere apologies" it's not enough !!..

9 ( +11 / -2 )

These kids are politically manipulated and they are not even aware about it.

Not sure about that tbh. I think you're underestimating how dumb & ignorant ppl really are in some parts of the world. Have seen massive gaps in ppl's 'general' knowledge I.e history, geography, arts/culture (and am no genius myself).

I think Jimin & co are just pretty dumb kids 'living the dream' in a dumbed-down world where being ignorant doesn't necessarily limit ppl's life aspirations.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The guy who wore tshirt...his name is Jimin or sth..which sounds like girl name but then even looks is like girly face..and the voice..the dance as well...and they're most famous Kpoop in the world? Ok if fans these days like that kind of music style..i don't care but what bothers me is that such fans defending and even attacking when their cheeky boys making completely wrong on purpose.

She should apologize by herself officially.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The Japanese girls that spend their money on this group are supporting what the BTS boy did. Their parents should withhold their allowance until they grow a conscience and reflect on the tragedies of a war that their own government started, and which the U.S. government decided to finish, emphatically.

Incidentally, someone should talk to Big Bang about their group's name because, you know, it might stir up some bad images.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

WOW

As soon as a Jewish organization demanded an apology, they apologized.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

zzzzzzz....

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Seriously, what's the appeal with androgynous looking cookie cutter boy band artists in Asia? Rinse and repeat ad nauseum ad infinitum.

No thanks.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It would be helpful it Japan today published the full English translation of the apology on big hits Facebook page instead of copying and pasting parts of a bad translation. The full apology is decent and sincere

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Goldorak: when I said the kids are politically manipulated in that sentence, I meant the fans. Of course, the agencies use these "artists" for political propaganda. About this Jamin guy I doubt he doesn't know atomic bombings, we are speaking about South Korea, if there's something they know about history it is WWII related stuff.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Melonbar says : They don't make that much money in Japan. LOL. They've been selling out baseball stadiums in the US.

Ok, I didn't know who bts was but I did a bit of research. From Sept 5 to 16 they had 7 concerts in America and sold 128,000 tickets. From Nov 13 to 24 they had 4 concerts in Japan and sold ... 380,000 tickets, but don't let facts get in your way, "LOL."

That's impressive since BTS only had 1 concert at Kyocera dome between Nov 13 to 24. I didn't know Kyocera dome held 380000. Nippon Ganbare!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Storm in a teacup

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

 Lemmy from Motorhead was an avid wearer and collector, but his eulogies did not mention it.

Lemmy was a hobbyist collector. Motorhead's lyrical content was often about the horrors of all wars, no matter who is fighting who. He had helmets, battle flags, insignia, etc. from the Nazis, US Army, Confederate States of America, Imperial China, and more. He didn't subscribe to any particular ideology, he was simply a collector of military insignia and stuff from around the world and thruout history. It was his hobby.  He was not a fascist, not a communist, not anything but a hobbyist.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites