Student Artwork Shows Japanese Imperial Flag, Attracts Criticism

The offending image of university students standing in front of a Rising Sun flag associating it with Nazism has caused much controversy within the Korean online population.
Recent student stunts surrounding the image of the Japanese Imperial flag have recently been the subject of much online controversy, as an image entitled “The Ascension of the Rising Sun,” depicting students standing in front of the flag giving a Nazi salute made its way around Korean social networking sites earlier this month.

The flag is a controversial image in South Korea and is associated with Japanese imperial actions in Korea between 1910 and 1945. This stunt comes amidst other controversies, such as MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre removing the image form his gi on the request of Korean boxer Chan Sung Jung (who compared the image as being equivalent to the German Nazi Flag in Korean culture) and a Korean exchange student studying in Northern Ireland formally requesting that a British sushi company remove the image from its logo.

Netizens have expressed mostly outrage and offence in reaction to the image, as well as pointing to flaws in the education system as the problem, stating that history should receive more focus. Others blamed the the student’s university, Sangji University, for having low academic standards.

From Yonhap News

Students “Acension of The Rising Sun” Nazi Salute Controversy.

Controversy is rising surrounding images circulated by SNS of “The Ascension of the Rising Sun,” reputedly made by Korean university students.

On the first of this month, an image of a the Rising Sun flag of imperial Japan was posted online on both Twitter and other internet forums. On the bottom of the composite image was photoshopped the word “DESIGN”, the name of a group of design students.

The picture depicts seven students standing against the background of a Rising Sun, raising their hands in the “Heil Hitler” Nazi salute towards one student standing in the middle.

apanese extreme Right protesters displaying the Rising Sun in place of a Japanese national flag., alongside a picture placing the swastika in the middle of a Korean flag.

The situation was made public when a design school student published it on Kakao Story via his smartphone.

Twitter user dlte**** said “Not long ago the intersection was blocked by some students dancing in a circle, now they are displaying the Rising Sun and doing the Nazi Salute… it’s unforgivable” and online community user bo** denounced them saying “What are these people who are supposed to be educated in their university ivory tower, doing with this gesture?”

The school the students are affiliated with cannot conceal its embarrassment.

The University in question has revealed “The images in question were not officially produced by the University and are presumed to have been made privately by several students…we are also embarrassed by this incident.”

The responsible parties pointed out inaccuracies in the image, saying “In the Rising Sun national flag of Japan, the sun is not in the centre but is slanted towards the left… in the photo it is located in the centre. This difference means that it is not necessarily a copy of the Rising Sun, however, including images of the Nazi salute increases the severity of the problem.”

Meanwhile, in the countries of Northeast Asia, the Rising Sun flag’s design of a Red Sun surrounded by the sun’s rays embodies Japanese imperialism and militarism and displaying it as a logo is strictly forbidden.

For some time, Japanese sports fans have displayed the Rising Sun rather than the national flag of Japan, inciting public anger. Recently, right wing extremists in Japan have also displayed the Rising Sun at protests and a Japanese martial artist has attended matches wearing a uniform emblazoned with the Rising Sun.

Comments from Daum:

샤리 랜더스:

This is what happens when national history becomes an elective subject on the national college entrance exam.


Brainless screw-ups from idiots, that’s Ilbe’s style.


Kings of the idiots, it’s not even worth our time to insult them.


They come from the same university where those other students blocked the street with their dancing in a circle, Gangwon-do’s piece of shit university.


Sangji University has become famous nationwide, kids with shit for brains and kids who want to fill their brains with crap, now you know where you are going for university.


Unbelievable. The exact reason why the New Right Japan-sympathising brownshirts made national history into an elective subject is to encourage incidents such as this. It’s worth pointing out that the New Right professor Ahn Byeong-jik has been saying things like “Dokdo is Japanese!” and “Comfort women sold themselves into prostitution voluntarily!!” and “Japan brought modernization when it invaded Korea!!”
One other thing ~~~
These Lee Myung-Park Geun-hye-worshipping parasites of the traitorous New Right have distorted history with their alternative textbook (based on non-existent historical records) These are the kind of people who currently rule the Republic of Korea.


You don’t know anything about war or massacres…. you bunch of naïve children.


Sangji University? These guys must have really wanted some publicity!!


Sangji… The university filled with delinquents?


Once you make history an optional topic on the uni selection exam, you start getting these idiots who don’t know history.


So these are the students who are struggling to attend university and get the money for tuition?

This type of action must be met not with expulsion, but with excommunication.

What are maniacs like that going to do with an education?


An example of childish youths…


What would that student studying in the UK (the one who demanded a sushi company change their label) say when she saw this…


I feel more sad than angry, and depressed for their futures.

We can’t blame just them. It’s the older generation who couldn’t settle history.

This is the portrait of South Korea in 2013, where you study history only to prepare for the university entrance exam.


Tell us the name of the school! These students have no sense of what is right. These bastardsd can’t tell doenchang from manure…chuh-chuh


It’s obvious what kind of future awaits us if people who have never once used their brains can enter a university. Stupid people unaware of the suffering in their history will suffer the same suffering again.. Idiots like that don’t deserve to be called university students.

꽉 그냥 마75:

Why are there so many of these idiots, who may call themselves university students but have nothing but shit for brains…!!


Supposedly educated people doing this make the idea of purging the Japan-sympathisers all helpless… The thought that those chinilpa would love all these happenings makes me feel sick….


If they know enough about the Nazi salute to imitate it, then there is no way they could be ignorant about what the Nazis did. The same goes for the Rising Sun flag. Jeez, what a bunch of idiots.


The responsible parties pointed out inaccuracies in the image, saying “In the Rising Sun national flag of Japan the sun is not in the centre but is slanted towards the left… in the photo it is located in the centre. This difference means that it is not necessarily a copy of the Rising Sun, however, including images of the Nazi salute increases the severity of the problem.”
.The school authority’s poor excuse. All the same retards.

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • 1029384756

    That GSP and Sushi rising sun stories are obnoxious. What next? Meme backgrounds? Are those also a direct attack against the sanctity of Korea? Clearly all part of Japan’s ploy to not apologize for war crimes.

    • hun

      Well i can kind of understand them but their level of anger is on a much higher level. For ex. since my family are refugees of vietnam i wouldn’t like it if people represented us with the current yellow star/red background vietnamese flag or even see it, it’s associated with commun rarely see the current viet flag raised anywhere near a big viet population in the US/austra/canada.

      On a personal level im guessing this is what koreans are dealing with to the japanese flag?

      To you, a flag might not be a big deal but to others who have been affected by something that is represented by a flag, that is the real underlying issue.

  • Honestly, I’m more interested in what they’re trying to say in the image… Not quick to start bashing anyone but it could hold a message that no one wants to try and see. Guess from an artist standpoint, this image is intriguing. I just want to know the context of it. (for all we know, it could be done to be trollin just to get a rise outta people…)

    • Yu Bum Suk

      Just what I was thinking.

    • Guest

      I support the extreme right Always, die filthy communists.

  • I just don’t see how people can be so easily offended by something that obviously has no purpose other than to be offensive. These are the same type of people that had been offended by Marilyn Manson, Eminem, and Quentin Tarantino. There’s so much REAL racism/nationalism out there that there’s no reason to hyperventilate about an “ironic” artistic statement made by a couple of hipster Korean college kids.

    • Laoshi

      Because It bring up the painful memories of reading about the atrocities the Japanese committed during WW2 in a high school text book

  • bultak23

    Japanese are not taught about true history, Koreans are taught racism and anti-American ideas. The world still sucks thanks to racist teachers.

    • Hypocrisy

      Illustration of Sinchon Museum of American War Atrocities (Sinchon Massacre by Amerikans and South Koreans)

      Barbaric act of the Korean military during the Vietnam War

      The Korean War: The Taejon Massacre and the “Crime of Korea”

      Rape and massacre of Vietnamese civilians by the Korean military

      • Hypocrisy

        Sinchon Massacre (North Korea) by American and South Korean troops

        Koreans are bitches!!!

        • chucky3176

          Why do Japanese keep bringing up massacres in Korea and Vietnam, and trying to equate them to Japan?

          The Korean War massacres from all sides are well documented and they are taught in Korean history classes in schools. There are memorials galore, dedicated to the victims and there are no frequent denial comments made by South Korean politicians, nor are there accusations that victims were prostitutes or that they deserved what they had coming to them. If any South Korean politician ever did make such outrageous claims, they’d be fired and laughed off the planet.

          As for Vietnam war, South Korea was asked by South Vietnam and America to help. They didn’t go there to conquer the Vietnamese or colonize them. There were no deliberate policies to subjugate the South Vietnamese, nor were there any policies to liquidate their culture and language. There were no comfort women policies, nor were there any policies to draft and recruit forced labor and forced military draft of the South Vietnamese. What did happen was that a few of the South Korean soldiers went out of control because it was maddening to fight in a guerrilla war where the enemy and friends were not clearly distinguishable. They were the minority of soldiers, not the majority, nor were there any South Korean military orders to commit deliberate atrocities. This was a very dirty war, where all sides committed atrocities, that includes the North and South Vietnamese, as well as Americans. Plus South Korean president in 2001, apologized to Vietnam, after the South Korean media were the ones who lit the spotlight on what happened in Vietnam. The Vietnamese could have pressed harder for compensation for their victims, but they didn’t, knowing full well how much blood they have in their hands as well. Vietnamese were far more crueler to each other than the South Korean soldiers.

          • Rutim

            So, you’re not different than netouyo. Pathetic. And this:

            >As for Vietnam war, South Korea was asked by South Vietnam and America to help.

            is a complete stupidity and you should probably stop posting on Kbang or Jcrush. Koreans first to kill and rape away from homes if poor Mr America or Ms Vietnam are in trouble of not making enough kills and rapes to get some money from Mr America! What the hell are you writing and what for?

            >Why do Japanese keep bringing up massacres in Korea and Vietnam, and trying to equate them to Japan?

            I can answer you: the pot called the kettle black. Hipocrisy. And writing such things ‘but we killed less and raped less’… Japanese could always say that they killed less and raped less than the Soviet Army or Germans during WWII or Chinese under Ming dynasty rule.

          • chucky3176

            South Korean troops in Vietnam were not sent over as conquerors but as allies of South Vietnam – unlike Japan who went all over Asia to conquer, rape, kill, and colonize. The alliance treaty between South Vietnam and South Korea, are all well publicized in open documents. A fact, you Japanese netouyou’s, blinded by the need to justify your glorified history, continues to overlook deliberately.

          • Rutim

            > as if this would justify their current denials on war time history.

            It’s not justification but showing that one nation calls the other ‘devils’ because they kill and rape people and plays the role of a etrnal martyr at the same time. That’s called hypocrisy.

            > South Korean troops in Vietnam were not sent over as conquerors but as allies of South Vietnam – unlike Japan who went all over Asia to conquer, rape, kill, and colonize.

            lol, ‘allies’. So you’re writing that they went into that messed up jungle to bring peace and love everywhere? Or money from US? Koreans went there to conquer, rape, kill and get money. Nothing else than Japanese did. Aside from the fact that they had to pay for that huge sums after the war. Best example of modern history written by victors.

            I probably won’t change your distorted view of the world that you have inside your head saying that rapes and mass murders made by Koreans in the past (even though they were biggest when Koreans went against Koreans, the extra feature that didn’t happen in Japan) are good and same things done by Japanese monkeys are bad.

          • ChuckRamone

            Are you seriously equating the deployment of South Korean troops to Vietnam to the Japanese empire? That’s illogical on so many levels. I guess though this is all rhetoric for you, a true sophist.

          • chucky3176

            Japanese keep uploading such videos of Korean troops in Vietnam all the time, usually spreading their lies repeatedly, as if this would justify their current denials on war time history. If you really want to know what happened, in Vietnam, then it doesn’t take much to do your own research, instead of playing to the childish games of the Japanese netoyous. That’s immaturity for you. Japanese. Extremely childish and unable to admit their country did any wrong. Japan as an ally of Nazi Germany cannot escape the scrutiny on their history, no matter how they want to advert attention away from themselves.

          • mr.wiener

            The North Vietnamese were not scared of any of the soldiers fighting with the south except the Koreans. After trying it on with them a few times the Korean sector was effectively pacified until they pulled their units out.

      • mr.wiener

        Watched the vids. That is definitely the pot calling the kettle “sooty-arse”.

    • Guest

      fuck off you idiot. communist scumbag

  • the other guy

    I don’t understand the anger of Korean netizens… Like Yaminah Jamison said context is important, for all we know this might as well be a political statement and everyone else is viewing it as some sort of “nazi chic” photo fad.

  • commander

    Design for what? Artwork for what?

    The group of yong lads dont know the a capital D of designing. Just idiots.

  • chucky3176

    LOL.. I knew this story would hit this site sooner than later.

    If those students were seen holding up the Nazi flags and saluting in Nazi salut, the reactions here would be…. ?

    … they are just being artistic?

    I don’t think so. They’d be accused of racism and fascism.
    Remember, it wasn’t long ago when Korea used to have Nazi themed bars
    which were severely criticized by morally incensed Western expats who
    accused Koreans of being incapable of empathizing with sufferings by

    How ironic, this empathy thing. So is the extreme double standard.

    But since these are just harmless Japanese fascist flags, they are
    cute, artistic, cool, and totally OK. I mean, everybody loves those
    anime loving harmless polite Japanese holding and waving the Rising Sun
    flag in front of cameras, chanting to Koreans to get the fuck out of
    Japan, right? Oh yes, yes, I know, we mustn’t demonize all Japanese
    people as haters, since only a very few minority even come close to
    being Nazi like.

    Japan has marches with these flags that go around advocating killing
    and massacring of Koreans and demanding severing of diplomatic
    relations, with hardly a debate in Japan. But here we are in the ROK,
    Koreans making a big deal about a bunch of group of some stupid student
    attention seekers, trying to make some kind of a statement (whatever
    that is). I mean who gives a fuck?

    • TheKorean

      What do you expect from dirty chinilpas, don’t they forget about the massacres Japs did to us?

    • That’s a bizarre way of framing this, considering Nazi chic is so popular in East Asia whilst Imperial Japanese insignia is practically non-existent in the West. In fact, Nazi chic is more popular in the West as well––be it the Sex Pistols or Prince Harry of Wales––so this is hardly a case of double standards. And you act like these students aren’t Koreans themselves––you may as well be criticizing Steven Spielberg for Raiders of the Lost Arc or B.J. Novak for Inglourious Basterds. Not to mention, you seem to forget that these students are giving the NAZI GERMAN salute, meaning one who isn’t offended by this is giving just as much “tolerance” to Nazi Germany as Imperial Japan.

    • the other guy

      “, trying to make some kind of a statement (whatever
      that is)”

      Have you thought that perhaps that is the statement? I mean, to me that picture is exactly saying the same thing you just did, but without any words. I just find it obvious how those hipsters are trying to compare Imperial Japan to Nazi Germany… If anything I read it as an attempt to bring historical awareness to modern day Korea.

      But then, again I lack context to make an better evaluation of the issue.

      • Huw

        I agree with you for the most part, it seems to me the picture is meant to draw the parallels between the two, especially in the wake of the nationalist protests in Japan, but that doesn’t seem to be the context it is taken it.

      • holdingrabbits

        There are hipsters in Korea?

        • ChuckRamone

          There are hipsters everywhere. A hipster is just a trendy person who imagines him or herself to be an iconoclast or misunderstood genius, usually rich and spoiled without a grasp on reality.

          • LaCoreen

            but I am.

    • commander

      The symbolism of the sun-rising Japanese flag, coupled with the island country’s infuriatingly dogged refusal to acknowledge its wartime atrocities commited against injumerable Aisans, prods South Koreans to bear the suspicion that Japan may revive its fraught pursuit of forcible expansion–a prospect that is intially detected in conservative Abe’s push for a expansionist Japan unshackled from its pacifist constitution.

      But you are right to point out some South Koreans failed to have a deeper understanding of the magnitude of Nazi’s inhumane and racist slaughter.

      But what should be noted is that Japan has bern showing much troubling tendency in what many former colonized countries calls a brazen negligence of wartime atrocities of epic proportions that is and will be one ofvthe biggest obstacles to Japan’s rise as a regional power.

      South Korean public resentment over Japan’s reckless remarks describing its enslavement of many Koreans as prostitutes of their own volitions has fallen on Japan’s deaf ear.

      Tokyo anachronistically tends to think of itself as the victime of Japan-initiated second world war when it comes to atomic bomb attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. But the Japanese public have surprisingly lost rhe ability to project its painful memories from nuclear catastrophe into empathy with immense sufferijg it inflicted on many Asian countries–a compelling explanation as to why Japan has failed to win credibility from East Asian countries while it has been a leading ODA contributor in the region.

      Some Japanese say of the impossibility of Japanese admission of guilt for its wartime wrongdoings because such an acknowledgement could result in questioning the holyness of thr Japanese emperor who was behind the war and has been the cornerstone of the Japanese hierarchical societal order.

      But a persisted denial and silence of its smeared imperialist past could brig out Japan’s isolation and its prolonged reliance on its master the United States who see the usefulness of Tokyo as a water breaker against a wave of rising Chinese influences.

  • commander

    I want to end all of controversies the bunch of young lads have made by sending them to the North’s detention camp where pain would teach them on what they have to go through before the inconsiderate pulibicity ploy is conceived in their minds.

  • Alexst

    Yeah, well, but only three of them are doing the Nazi salute.
    Remember: Right-wing – Right hand.

    • Alexst

      Errrr. 4

  • y.m.

    Japanese national flag=German national flag

    Japanese rising sun=German iron cross

    Taisei Yokusankai symbol=Nazi symbol

    • My name is not important

      Some Little Known Facts

      Before, during, and after WW2 Japan prohibited mistreatment and expulsion of Jews in Japan, Manchuria and China in accordance with the spirit of racial equality on which Japan had insisted for many years.

      For the sake of their own people and nation, Prime Minister Konoe as well as the ruling party in Japan rejected the racist influences of German Nazism and Italian Fascism.

      Chiune Sugihara saved the lives of thousands of Jews during World War II. Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara, by an ultimate act of altruism and self-sacrifice, risked their careers, their livelihood and their future to save the lives of more than 6,000 Jews. This selfless act resulted in the second largest number of Jews rescued from the Nazis.

      Gratitude and consideration to Japan

      Einstein (Jew) developed the atomic bombs. He was instrumental in persuading Pres. Franklin Roosevelt (of Jewish background) in 1939 to initiate the Manhattan Project for the production of an atomic bomb. One was used in a secret test, and the other two were used to destroy the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      The agency responsible for the safety of the Fukushima nuclear plant was Magna BSP (Jewish company), coincidence?

      Today Germany (ex-nazis) is one of the most powerful countries in the World, after US and China for its political (NATO), cultural and economic influence, far above Japan. Why?

      • the other guy

        Are you really saying that the Japanese in WWII where in no way comparable to Nazi Germany?

        The Japanese pretty much adopted the ideals of Racial superiority and Scientific Racism. They believed they had the right to rule over Asia as they found themselves superior to other countries. Here is a quote from Wikipedia on Japanese wartime propaganda:

        “The propaganda pieces also often illustrated the Japanese people as pure and virtuous depicting them as superior both racially and morally.”

        They also very much like the Germans experimented on thousands of helpless civilians:

        “Unit 731 was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese personnel.

        Some of the numerous atrocities committed by the commander Shiro Ishii and others under his command in Unit 731 include: vivisection of living people (including pregnant women who were impregnated by the doctors), prisoners had limbs amputated and reattached to other parts of their body, some prisoners had parts of their bodies frozen and thawed to study the resulting untreated gangrene. Humans were also used as living test cases for grenades and flame throwers. Prisoners were injected with strains of diseases, disguised as vaccinations, to study their effects. To study the effects of untreated venereal diseases, male and female prisoners were deliberately infected with syphilis and gonorrhea via rape, then studied.”

        I admit I did not know about Chiune Sugihara and the Jews, but implying that the Japanese where better than the Germans is quite ludicrous. Frankly I don’t know how can any one deny the similarities between both… what is your angle?

        • y.m.

          japan really didn’t care for racial superiority.

          • the other guy

            Based on what?

  • The artwork itself looks distasteful.

  • Gr

    I just saw on facebook.

    Princeton in Ishikawa program made t-shirts with this flag… Don’t they know what this flag means for Asians?

Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»