Imagine that you are wearing a T-shirt with the Swastika symbol and walking down the street. You would feel uncomfortable and want to take it off as soon as possible because people are staring at you, and some are even confronting you aggressively. However, nowadays, we can see many clothes with the rising sun flag symbol, which is similar to Swastika. Most people do not know the true meaning of the rising sun flag. If people knew the truth, they would never want to wear clothing with the rising sun flag, since they would treat it like the Swastika.
According to the Wanderer Online, the rising sun flag was the symbol of the Japanese empire during the 19th and early 20th century. That means, Japanese used the flag when they are fighting in the World War II (WW2). Just like the Nazi Germany, Japan committed atrocities against the humanity. During the war, the Japanese colonial administration brought females from other nations and made them sex slaves for their soldiers. Also, they conducted medical experiments on living bodies under compulsion. In addition, Japanese soldiers massacred and raped more than 200,000 defenseless civilians.
The problem with the rising sun flag is that it since people do not know the meaning behind the symbol, it keeps coming out through the media. For example, Ronda Rousey and George St. Pierre, who are famous Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters, wore a uniform with an inscription of a rising sun flag during their televised fights. Furthermore, The Federal Internationale de Footbal Association (FIFA) published the rising sun flag on the cover of its October 2014 magazine. This is not the end, Beyoncé, a worldwide pop star, wore a dress with the rising sun flag in her music video Video phone, and the Air Jordan, a shoes and athletic clothing brand, released the “Air Jordan 12 Rising Sun edition.” On the edition, the rising sun flag is printed on the bottom of shoes. Media treats the rising sun flag as just oriental design. Through the exposure of the rising sun flag by the media, publics could absorb the rising flag as familiar design of Asia.
Even though media provided opportunities to give a familiar and oriental image to the rising sun flag, it still has chances to bounce back. According to the Associate Press, Andy Hurley, the drummer of Fall out boy, sincerely apologized about his outfit at the Victoria fashion show. Andy wore a T-shirt with the rising sun during the show. From this happening, many public had chance to get inside of the incident.
The role of media is to send information to the public, and the public is easily get influenced by the media. The media must inform the meaning of he rising sun flag so the publics stop dishonoring those who suffered under the Japanese colonial administration a century ago. In the future, I hope that I could find the rising sun flag only in the history book, not in the media.