photo: Japan Probe

There’s poor taste, and then there’s this.

Kishidan, a J-Pop band usually known for wearing school uniforms, is in trouble with a Jewish rights group for an interview on MTV Japan. The network, too, is also finding itself in hot water for conducting the interview with the group in their offensive outfits.

As AFP reports,

“We never intended to offend anyone,” the channel said in a statement.

The six members of J-pop band Kishidan wore SS-like uniforms during a February 23 broadcast of the show “Megavector”, said the Los Angeles-based group, expressing its “shock and dismay”.

“There is no excuse for such an outrage,” said rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in his protest to MTV-J, Sony Music Artists and management company the Avex Group.

I don’t understand allowing a group to appear on your television broadcast wearing such costumes and then saying something like “Oh, we didn’t INTEND for that to offend anyone!” as if it’s a big surprise that it did offend viewers.

Cooper went on to add “As someone who has visited Japan over 30 times, I am fully aware that many young Japanese are woefully uneducated about the crimes against humanity committed during World War II by Imperial Japan in occupied Asia, let alone about Nazi Germany?s genocidal ‘Final Solution’ against the Jews in Europe,” and that MTV Europe and Japan should have known better than air this interview.

I’m more concerned with Kishidan and their handlers. How can this be okay? How can you think “yeah, putting on Nazi outfits is a good idea, it’ll be great PR!” and then holding an on-air interview with a big prominent music network?

I guess “any PR is good PR”, but this just rubs me the wrong way.

Read more coverage about this growing controversy over at Japan Probe (thanks for the pic, too!)

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  1. As always: Tight-assed Americans ruin it for the rest of us.

    The Japanese DO know the history of the Nazi’s. However, the Nazi’s lost, and it’s ancient history.

    Dear Western Nations, Especially America: DON’T EXPECT THE REST OF THE WORLD TO FEEL EXACTLY THE SAME AS YOU DO, and don’t go preaching your high ideals and how “THEY ARE SO WRONG”, just because you don’t agree with them.

    Thank you for making something so insignificant into a big deal.

    I love Kishidan. They just do whatever. It’s not offensive, in my books. To everyone that thinks it is, go shove that stick a little further up your ass why don’t you.

  2. Don’t remember it being a big deal when BREAKERZ did it for their latest PV, or when Dir en grey did it on like a billion separate occasions… I guess Die and Daigo are sparkly enough to make it not offensive?

  3. Whoa now guys, I wouldn’t say this is the fault of ALL “Tight-assed Americans”, just those who spoke out.

    Personally, I find wearing these outfits (which AREN’T exactly the same thing as Nazi garb, but they’re obviously mimicking it) provocative, which was undoubtedly their intention.

    I liken it to performers such as Marilyn Manson and, I guess, Lady Gaga…pushing the envelope to raise awareness and get attention. Which Kishidan have with this.

    Obviously, Kishidan can wear whatever they want to wear. It’s their call.

    Nazi history IS bad, that’s not an opinion. That’s fact, historical fact.

    Wearing outfits that may or may not appear similar to Nazi outfits is NOT inherently bad, but it’s in the eye of the beholder. And OF COURSE a Jewish rights group would be the one getting upset. Remember, this isn’t Fox News saying “OMG TAKE OFF THOSE DISGUSTING VILE OUTFITS”, it’s a Jewish rights organization speaking out about something that offends them (as Nazi outfits should, obviously).

    don’t blanket us all together as “tight-assed Americans”, although that title does fit for some people 😉

  4. Haha, Ren. Or the tons of other instances. Even Miyavi’s done it.
    Have you read the Manga version of Mein Kampf?
    Nazi history isn’t taught the same way it’s taught here. Over in Asia, their main concerns are their neighboring nations, and the millenia of history, wars, trade, and and other cultural exchanges. Just like we don’t know all the in’s and out’s of their history, they don’t know ours. Like, to us…some old Japanese military uniforms from the sword-wearing days might be cool. Do we know the cultural significance of all the symbols on it? For all we know, we just donned the uniform of an old military overlord who slaughtered lots of innocent civilians.
    How much will WE care that we might have offended some people with it? Will we go “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know! I thought it was just some old cool looking outfit! I thought it’d make me look bad-ass!”

    Tell me now…how WRONG are they for wearing old Nazi uniforms just because they look bad-ass.

  5. From the angle of “we don’t learn about Nazi history the same way as other countries”, yeah, it makes more sense that Kishidan didn’t necessarily “know” the offensive aspect of these outfits.

    But still, it shouldn’t be that surprising to see this particular reaction from this particular crowd (Jewish rights group). It should be expected.

    If it was the New York Times getting all upset, then that’s different.

    Just my .02

  6. Yes, I do remember Miyavi. But I always thought he was just parodying Marilyn Manson in Neo-Visualizm??

    Trust me, I can rival Nexie in my opinion-vomiting. Ask any squirrel, it’s totally true. So, here’s my opinion: PANCAKE DAY AT IHOP GO GO GO!

  7. And, we’re also forgetting Gackt and Nightmare in our list of “famous Japanese artists that like to dress up in German WWII outfits and run around looking pretty”…

  8. Oh, this was prior to Neo Visualism. <3 Back when he wore miniskirts and thigh-high boots (that tramp!).


  9. Yeah, I wish for IHOP here too, we actually don’t have one in my area, I’d have to take a car to the ones near me.

    And yeah, he used to be such a slutty-looking girl… ;-; he’s all manry and grown up now…

  10. I can understand the outrage and I chalk it up to poor research. If you’re going to put someone on an international stage when the era of Shock Rock is ending and VK is on a downward trend you need to put some thought into your costumes.

    I’m not condemning the costumes or praising them, just wishing there had been a little more thought put into something that aired on an international stage.

  11. There is nothing wrong with their outfits.
    Nazi uniforms are badass looking. period.

    These groups condemn such trivial things
    and look at what their own people in Israel are doing.
    *rolls eyes*

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