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Japan may change temple map icon to avoid Nazi swastika confusion

92 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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92 Comments
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Please leave it be!

20 ( +26 / -6 )

Education is key. Do not submit to ignorance, EVER!

26 ( +30 / -4 )

They're just changing the symbol on maps for tourists, they're aren't totally eradicating the symbol from history. It will help foreigners locate temples easier on a map. What's the big deal?

You can still have the symbol at the temple itself or explain what the symbol means and it's history at the temple to educate those who didn't know. The whole point of a map is to locate where you want to go and then get educated once you get there. It's like making street signs with various languages on them, to help people.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

P.C. running amok.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

My opinion is right. Education is a better solution.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

agreed, pekar! leave the j-maps alone but change it for tourists. the symbols on tourists map should be simple and easy to understand for all cultures. that's why they are changing the police and hotel symbols. .

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Part of the purpose of travel is to broaden your horizons and confront your own preconceptions. If some people are wrongly offended by the manji then they would probably be better to stay at home. When they see them everywhere would they honestly think this is in praise of Nazism? It is ludicrous. In fact the whole idea to alter it for the sake of a few ignorant foreigners is so ludicrous that there must be another motivation.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

I think the change is stupid and might end up confusing.

Many people might go there to see multi-story Pagodas which won't be there. I don't know any Buddhist temples that have Pagodas.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

harvey pekarFEB. 05, 2016 - 02:06PM JST They're just changing the symbol on maps for tourists, they're aren't totally eradicating the symbol from history. It will help foreigners locate temples easier on a map. What's the big deal?

There is no big deal. This is a conflict entirely manufactured by foreigners who want an excuse to rail about "P.C. running amok" (even though that has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue). Because kami-forbid Japanese people should make a decision for how they want to represent their maps to tourists without first consulting the long-termer expats to see what they think!

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

heaven forbid people learn the truth about a co-opted symbol in history, and just enjoy the temples scattered around the country. Fear of history is not rational.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

“A good symbol on the map should be able to tell a visitor what it is at the first glance,”

Which it does already so why change it? Do they think that foreign visitors will think that it is a sign for the local Nazi party branch office?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Yeah keep it as it is. Like many western people, i guess, i learnt the original meaning of the sign in a Buddhist country and i felt compelled to know more.

Plus hitlerian youth hairstyle being again fashionable i dont see why temples should act first! #justsayin

5 ( +7 / -2 )

While they're at it, get around to doing something about the flag - I always confuse it with Bangladesh's.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If they can't tell the difference then they need educated otherwise.

MyOpinion got it right.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

we're talking about a "tourist map" not a "tourist guide book." a great tourist map needs no explanation or languages to figure out. can you honestly tell me that a tourist visting japan for the first time can figure out what the manji means by looking at it? i hardly think a tourist map is the place to "learn" about a culture.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

As everyone was saying on the photo of the day thread of the same subject, just leave the symbol be and explain to those who don't know and ask. It's not like they are going to destroy or replace the symbols in temples and shrines, so the same people who might see them will see them there anyway. Hell, it's a chance for people to learn! For those who didn't know beforehand and who might think this is the Nazi symbol, it's a good chance to learn that Hitler took it from Buddhism and twisted and inverted it (and of course, perverted and twisted the meaning). This is an example of when they should not have to change a historical and important symbol because some people do not understand it.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The swastika in Japan — which usually points counter-clockwise, the reverse of the Nazi symbol — has been used for centuries in Buddhist decorations and to denote Buddhist temples on maps.

Not true. It is used extensively in both directions as it was easily confused by everyone. Go look at temple grounds and search for it. You will find it in both directions.

Well, if they remove it from the maps, do they plan to jack hammer them off of the facades of stone sculptures on the temple grounds too?

People would have to be very low functioning to think it is a nazi symbol. It will get them to ask questions and maybe learn something about Buddhism in Japan. Leave them be.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

It's just a map for the common tourist. It's not rewriting history books or changing the temple symbol into McDonald's golden arches.

It seems to me the people most offended by this are those who is not the intended demographic: ex-pats who live in Japan or are well-versed in Japanese culture.

Not every tourist in every country looks up Japanese map symbols online before they come. Is that such a heinous crime? A lot of people like to learn about a country as they go and while they are here. And that's what I'm sure people will do. No one is calling Japan a Nazi country or some ignorant thing like that.

All they are saying is the symbol for a temple and other symbols are confusing and they want to help the tourist.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Sounds fair enough. A symbol that looks like a temple is a lot easier to recognize than the one that is currently used. And the new symbol will be used only in maps for tourists so I don't see what's wrong with changing it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I respectfully disagree Harvey. Anyone from a foreign country traveling around Japan to visit shrines or temples are certainly going to do their homework. And even if they don't look at a Japanese map, I think the swastika adds more mystery to the adventure. It did for me. I think you're wrong to say anyone was offended, if anything, it was just a bunch of politically correct or an over-sensitive group that mentioned it. It's not confusing, it's just different, which is good and adds to the experience.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

As was stated the Buddhist Swastika uses both directions.

Pagodas at Buddhist Temples are more of a mainland thing usually south-east Asia.

The difference is easy to spot Buddhist one rest on a full side the Nazi Swastika is 45degrees rotated to rest on a point/corner.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People are generally pathetic. There will be loads of complaints if you don't change it. I can't even believe it is a point of issue, but...

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Altering Tourist Guide Maps so as to become easily decipherable with commonly understood symbols is just a normal natural procedure to help visitors.

I'm all for changing the Manji on tourist maps for that reason, and NOTfor any associated swastika heritage.

Some common symbols here like an X for a police box are not particularly helpful, especially for first time vistors.

For those who think confusion adds to the fun, maybe we should change H for hotel to ホ or P for parking to チュウ.

Simplistic universal signage to help foreign visitors to any country is to be welcomed.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I don't think the icon should be changed. It gives tourists a learning experience and to change it destroys the history behind the the symbol.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

How is this even a problem that needs to be fixed? Any confusion is remedied in about 5 seconds with a simple explanation..

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Instead of chancing a centuries old symbol that has never meant in Japan what it meant in the West, I suggest they change the Rising Sun Flag (i.e ban it completely) since it ACTUALLY only is a reminder of colonial Japan and the atrocities that were committed in the name of the empire. That flag is the actual equivalent of the Swastika, but is officially used by various arms of the government and by citizens as well in various fields. It is just insane it is still used, knowing its history and the fact that it only started to be used by the government as the exact same time Japan started its colonial grip on Asia (in the 1890s').

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Imagine all the tourists returning home with these maps and pictures they've taken. German kids at school making drawings of their trip to Japan. It will become acceptable to draw something that looks like the swastika. I think some are terrified of this as the swastika will lose some of it's Nazi symbolism. Maybe some are afraid to lose their monopoly of the Nazi symbol.

The symbol should remain as it is on the map, let them learn.

-28 ( +5 / -33 )

Buddhism was imported to Japan via China. Those two countries aren't about to change a centuries old symbol that was hijacked by the Nazis.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

why is it that so often people bend to the lowest common denominator.

It only takes 1 min to learn that symbol means temple, and Koen means park etc..

How about you do something useful and look at making cell phones, sim cards, phones, wi-fi easily available...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

But what about when tourists arrive at the temples and see the "swastika" all over the place? You chould just put a brief explanation in the guide for the symbols used on the map.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I really can't believe this. I was reading recently about a candle used as a symbol in the Blackstar video by Bowie. Apparently one of the muscians asked him about it and Bowie said it represented ISIS. I wondered if he misunderstood Bowie: Isis, as in the goddess, would make more sense. Anyway, my point is how words and symbols can lose their true or intended meaning through ignorance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And, the funniest thing is, it's probably only Japanese people that don't know the connection or the difference. This connection has been there for over seventy years. Does the J-Gov really think the rest of the world is so stupid to believe that Japan is a land full of nazis? Bwahahahaha!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"...a government panel at the Geospatial Information Authority..."

How many bleeding government panels are there? Maybe my powers of concentration are failing me. These maps are produced by who? I affirmatively positively strongly don't care about what government panels say about maps. Things change all the time. These are maps. Do we need a government panel to make them? Although, in this case, I'll say it again, I strongly don't care.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Toyota FR-S has emblems that resembles swastikas. I guess marketing at toyota forgot to take into account that their logo contains an ordered array of lines that abstractly almost looks like a swastika to people who go around trying to find things that look like swastikas.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Have there been any complaints by tourists who have seen this "swastika"? Are there tourists who actually think Japanese are Nazi worshipers?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Any foreign tourist that took a look at a map and saw a bunch of the manji symbols and stopped and thought; "OMG Japan is a hotbed of Nazi's" is probably too dense to understand the differences anyway.

Those who are smart enough to figure out that Japan is not or has not been overrun by white supremacists are probably smart enough as well to understand what the symbol is about anyway.

Leave it be!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I always think that pandering to ignorance is the way forward.

After all, the Nazis never exploited ignorance, did they?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Geez - some people on here don't get it.

No ones asking Japan to abandon centuries of history.

No ones asking Japan to remove manji from temples.

No ones asking Japan to put a substitute mark on it's maps.

All that has been suggested has been to put a more clearly understandable symbol that could be recognized as a temple by foreign visitors on maps in English and other foreign languages.

Grasp it.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The same symbol appears on maps in Taiwan as Japan. Of course its not Nazi swastika. But as a public relations professional I would vote to change the Buddhist swastika for the new and improved pagoda. Pictures matter, even reversed symbols. I say change it. I have been campaigning for this change for 25 years. Imagine how offended German, French other European nations who fought the Nazis feel. Change it. Finally.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The same symbol appears on maps in Taiwan as Japan.

That's how I find a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant on the streets of Taipei.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All that has been suggested has been to put a more clearly understandable symbol that could be recognized as a temple by foreign visitors on maps in English and other foreign languages.

Right a Chinese looking pagoda for foreigners and the manji symbol for Japanese. Change them all! But then the Japanese would be confused too!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maps usually have a key to tell the reader what symbols mean. In this case an explanation could be added. No need to change the symbol, it's part of Japan's tradition.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“The question is whether one can easily tell it’s a temple by looking at the current symbol.”

Sure one can. You just need to check the key in the map, the way you'd need to check the key in the map if a pagoda symbol were used, seeing as not every tourist is going to be familiar with what a pagoda is in the first place.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It can be left as it is. This reminds me of the half-wits who got upset about the use of the word "niggardly". The world is full of ignorant people, there is no need to change things in order to pander to their lack of education.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Get rid of all these panels. We could save some money here. How many meetings have they had about this one?And, they're not finished yet because they're going to have more meetings about it still! Obviously, they've never managed to accomplish too much anyway, as almost all public English I see has some sort of mistake. It's not the 80s. Japan doesn't have so much money to waste willy-nilly on panels of all sorts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Nazi symbbol can be immediately verified as Goebbels' thing because there is an S in the design. Reversed, that is, the original Indian design, the S is backwards. It is a good idea, public relations wise, to use the pagoda sign for maps for big noses

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why submit to ethnocentric thinking? Leave the symbol untouched!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No need to change.

I love Japanese maps and their unique symbols.

Please keep them as they are.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Political Correctness, is the new Ignorance...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Am pretty sure that if there's a legend on the map, most people will have no trouble understanding.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There should be an intelligence test for visitors, and those who can't understand that this is a different, older symbol should stay home.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let me see who has been around longer the Buddhist temple symbol or the swastika symbol. Oh that's right the Buddhist temple symbol by about a couple of thousand years. Let the ignorant people go home.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ok then change the church symbols, the one's with the cross on top, those offend the over one billion Muslims, and get rid of the Crescent symbol for Mosques as they are offensive to Christians, and the list keeps on growing, all in the name of not offending anyone.

Maybe the Chinese had it right, a simple triangle as a symbol for a place of worship.

BTW there are not too many Europeans who fought the Nazis left alive today, and there are even fewer Asians.

Time to quit with appeasing folks in the name of PC.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most importantly, it's time to return the manji to its proper place historically and in meaning. The Nazis are gone; Buddhism and its symbols remain. Hiding or feeling ashamed of the manji is counterproductive; proudly displaying it in its proper context, such as a map indicating Buddhist temples, is not only required fairness to the faith, it is a symbol that we have moved on.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm surprised on a website where people are easily offended actually support the symbol...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Dadude, my thoughts, too.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

it should be like traveling for dummies. the tourist probably don't speak Japanese so they won't be asking people there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

browny1: All that has been suggested has been to put a more clearly understandable symbol that could be recognized as a temple by foreign visitors on maps in English and other foreign languages.

It's called "disrespecting Asia's cultural heritage".

Why stop there?

I think we should make it mandatory for the Emperor and his family to wear blue jeans in public. The wearing of suits is elitism and should not be allowed in a democratic society.

Could I suggest a few brands, for the uninitiated? Levi Strauss, Faded Glory, Kirkland. None of your Dolce & Gabanna.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's a vast difference between educational information available at a temple where the manji is prominently displayed and a tourist who has no intention of visiting a temle but seeing what the person mistakes as a hakencreuz all over the map.

The intention is to avoid confusion and negative impression not to demand that the tourist immediately educate himself or herself and understand what the manji is.

Its for PR, not for PC.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

As you see in these photoes, they are beautiful. Japan can formally announce to the world that Japan has been using the symbol for years and the symbol itself has nothing to do with Nazi. The symbol came from India originallly; and, it had nothing to do with Nazi. Nazi just used it for the Nazi's symbol. Let take it back to the real meaning. Japan should not eliminate them.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Its for PR, not for PC.

I think that's true, but there is only so much one should do for PR. Tourists travel to learn and to see things that are different, and do not, or should not, expect that a foreign country won't be foreign. If they have eyes and half a brain, they will notice the symbols are not the same, and they will get curious about history. If they are so quick to condemn, then they aren't going to be happy campers anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hire some people and have them yell to everyone " this is NOT nazi, we invented it before the Nazi did! "

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Leave things alone. A good luck symbol of such long historical duration shuld continue to be used. If a change is made why not have car users drive on the the correct side of the road.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

chisineko: If a change is made why not have car users drive on the the correct side of the road.

I'll vote for that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As a Japanese I basically don't want it to be changed. But this is different from any other other issues. I want to know how Jewish people think about this. If one out of ten of them think they are offended, it's OK we change it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I want to know how Jewish people think about this. If one out of ten of them think they are offended, it's OK we change it.

Walk down this path and there is no return. Changing things because some minority group finds something offensive would bring this country turmoil like you would never believe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Educate! Please don't dumb things down for the bl@@dy foreigners.

The Geospatial Information Authority should get out and ask tourists if they are offended, I suspect they won't get many that are.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No need to change an ancient symbol to avoid foreigners confusion. instead, the government could give some financial help so main temples could include a short English explanation about manji.

Traveling includes exposure to different values and cultures. Let the visitors be less ignorant!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Simplistic universal signage to help foreign visitors to any country is to be welcomed.

The manji is the universal sign for a temple. It is used in many countries, including India and China. The sign is not even the Nazi swastika!

Any confusion relies on two pieces of ignorance:

That the viewer is unaware of the ancient Buddhist symbol. All educated people should be aware of this already. That the viewer does not know which way round the Nazi swastika is and is therefore liable to confuse them.
3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wouldn't it be easier to show what the Nazi swastika actually looks on maps so the tourist can see the difference. Why change a symbol of your culture? Educate the tourist.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As many have already mentioned, the symbol has long been used as a Buddhist symbol. But in the west it was also commonly used as a good fortune symbol. But since the Nazis came along, the symbol has caused a Pavlovian type gut reaction. With the world's eyes soon focusing on Japan during the 2020 Olympics; this Nazi monopoly of the symbol and the reflexive response to it will be weakened. Some obviously don't want this, and the fact that I got so many thumbs down in my previous two posts on this subject (I initially had a few ups) suggests I am on to something and someone has activated the megaphone. Someone is indeed afraid to lose their monopoly of the Nazi symbol.

The symbol should remain as it is on the map, let them learn. It's high time that we all break free from this exclusive Nazi-swastika association.

...and personally, I don't find the proposed new symbol any less confusing than the current one. So I don't see any good from changing the symbols.

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

Japan and germany were axis members during world war 2 period. Learn this my friend. Tourist still remember that. Best remove and replace it to show Japan is open country and attract global tourists and show good side of japan. Its time. Those defy should be lable as selfish and want japan to remain close door forever like tokugawa shogunate lackeys. Tsktsk. Cash is King. About japanese flag, instead of bangla flag alike, best change to abe family clans characters like sengoku period.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

shallotsFEB. 05, 2016 - 08:15PM JST Get rid of all these panels. We could save some money here. How many meetings have they had about this one?

We will agree to disagree on the scope of the problem of anti-semitism. While most will never denied the existence. I do not think it's a large problem. The vast, vast majority of people know a spade when they see it. There is nothing to debate or understand. There will always be an element of ignorance and intolerance based on race and the like.

If you look at the history, the 20th-century German version typically uses a black cross on a white background and set on a 45-degree angle. Other variations have existed since time immemorial. The archeological and anthropological records are unclear, but it is pretty certain that the symbol has been around for at least 10,000 years. European and South Asian (both Hindu and Buddhist) versions have been traced into antiquity with slightly different orientations, colors and designs. But, it was all good ... for a while.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh, please. Any silly and ignorant to confuse the two symbols should shut their gob and go read a book. About anything.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Black Sabbath

I guess you don't know much about before 20th century history.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Absolutely ridiculous, no need to bend over for ignorance. Keep it the way it is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kuribo1FEB. 06, 2016 - 01:03PM JST Absolutely ridiculous, no need to bend over for ignorance. Keep it the way it is.

What your saying is that there is no history to this symbol before 1930? How ridculious.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan and germany were axis members during world war 2 period.

Yeah, are you suggesting that Japan is continuing to use the symbol in solidarity to it's WWII allies!!!

Best remove and replace it to show Japan is open country and attract global tourists and show good side of japan.

There is nothing "open" about removing the symbol, the opposite I believe. And Japan is already attracting many global tourists and it is showing them many good sides.

The swastika was very widely used in the west prior to WWII (sports team uniforms, good-luck charms...). The main reason SOME tourists are shocked when they see the Buddhist symbol is that in the west, the swastika has become exclusively used to symbolize the Nazis; all other uses of the symbol have been eliminated. I can't see how further eliminating the symbol would help. Instead, the west should free the swastika, and bring it back as a symbol of good fortune.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Wakayama Mama FEB. 06, 2016 - 01:07PM JST There is nothing "open" about removing the symbol, the opposite I believe. And Japan is already attracting many global tourists and it is showing them many good sides. The swastika was very widely used in the west prior to WWII (sports team uniforms, good-luck charms...). The main reason SOME tourists are shocked when they see the Buddhist symbol is that in the west, the swastika has become exclusively used to symbolize the Nazis; all other uses of the symbol have been eliminated. I can't see how further eliminating the symbol would help. Instead, the west should free the swastika, and bring it back as a symbol of good fortune.

What do you do when you have symbol for 500 years before WWII? Does west know that Asia is a old culture?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What do you do when you have symbol for 500 years before WWII? Does west know that Asia is a old culture?

Add 1500 plus years here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Keep the maji symbol and simple educate the tourists with a key on the map. Why should Buddhism lose its symbol because of what Hitler did. Especially when he reversed the symbol. Isn't that like a upside down cross ? Upside cross has always been symbol of devil worship. But people still use the christian cross.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Buddhism is 2.500yrs old and the sign predates it and is found across the globe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What do you do when you have symbol for 500 years before WWII? Does west know that Asia is a old culture?

Indeed, many in the west are unaware of Asia's very long history. However, my point is also that many are also ignorant of their own history. To many, it's as if nothing happened before WWII and nothing happened since WWII. They are fixated on one particular event, and they expect the whole world to revolve around that event. I hope Japan ignores this self-centered view.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

I guess you don't know much about before 20th century history.

And how did you come to that conclusion?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Black Sabbath FEB. 06, 2016 - 03:56PM JST And how did you come to that conclusion?

Because it happened in Europe. Not in Asia. Sad to say that not many can relate to the symbol of swastika. How many people in Europe can relate to Hiroshima? Not many.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I hope Japan ignores this self-centered view.

What makes this so untypically Japanese, in changing this symbol to appease those who are ignorant, is that typically they tell the "west" or anyone else complaining that it's Japanese culture, Japanese history, a part of the Japanese collective and they WILL NOT change, no matter how strong the pressure gets. Just ask the whales, dolphins, the women with father's to their children who are not the fathers, the children who cant get citizenship, the foreign men who cant see their kids, the refugees and the list goes on and on and on, oh and the whitewashing of "true" history.

Japan typically tells the world to basically kiss their butts, And yet here they want to change something that IS historical and accurate.

Now I am sucking my teeth, and rubbing my hands together, and looking to gather a group of oyaji's to discuss this issue.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The main reason SOME tourists are shocked when they see the Buddhist symbol is that in the west, the swastika has become exclusively used to symbolize the Nazis; all other uses of the symbol have been eliminated.

One can only hope as many people as possible do not misunderstand and do fully appreciate your wise counsel.

To many, it's as if nothing happened before WWII and nothing happened since WWII. They are fixated on one particular event, and they expect the whole world to revolve around that event. I hope Japan ignores this self-centered view.

Yes, first the Nazis hijacked and misappropriated the manji, a symbol of peace, and used it to represent their regime of evil. Then, it continued and still continues today to be used by fringe crazies such as holocaust deniers, the KKK, the BNP and the National Front to idolize and mimic the Nazis' hate and crimes. It is healthy to have a discussion where these fringe groups are ostracized further and the real meaning of the Buddhist manji is taught.

I do question the obvious annoyance of some though at the innocent ignorance of outsiders toward this symbol of peace and Buddhism. The Buddhist manji can be and is actually rendered in both directions. So, confusion is understandable among those ignorant of its usage in Buddhist.

That is why I actually think this story is a good one for educating those people. Calm, rational and logical education is the best remedy for ignorance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because it happened in Europe.

That doesn't follow logically. I asked you how did you come to the conclusion that I don't know much about history before the 20th century.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Of course they won't remove the symbols from temples. I think it is good to change tourist maps. Wonderful teachable moment when they arrive at the temple.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As Japan gears up to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and caters to a surging influx of foreign visitors, the country faces a cultural dilemma

No, it does not. There is no "dilemma". Leave the sign alone, and if a tourist is confused about it, they can ask and learn something. Isnt that what tourism is about? The whole issue is complete PC nonsense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don't change it, it's been that way for 1000 of years. There are other ways Japan distance itself from identifying with Nazism that would be more important. Understanding what the symbol means should be something the public educates itself on..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ridiculous, a simple poster explaining the original meaning of the symbol would be both educational and simple.Why spend a lot of money to eradicate a part of Japanese culture just because some uneducated tourists are surprised? The symbol is obviouslt not related to nazi Germany. If there is money to spend why not do something about obviously sexual manga featuring underage girls?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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