Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

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Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by kjjohanson »

Rather than bog down the other Rai thread, I figured it made sense to start a new one, so people can ignore the issue if they wish.

Previous discussion started here:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=42577&start=32" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by bygranddesign »

When it comes to these controversial issues I think of intent and context

Is it the intent of VEI to promote Imperialism or downplay the pain that that symbol might cause for many people?

I would say no

Is the symbol important for the story and fit into the context of what they are trying to acheive with the premise and narrative of this title?

I think this will be Yes

The best writers and stories aren't afraid to confront taboo subject matter, think differently, and have a cutting edge quality that might upset the mainstream. If the intension is good - to make you think, confront these issues, and leave you with a better understanding of the culture(the good and the bad) while also being entertained. Then mission accomplished.
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by xodacia81 »

bygranddesign wrote:When it comes to these controversial issues I think of intent and context

Is it the intent of VEI to promote Imperialism or downplay the pain that that symbol might cause for many people?

I would say no

Is the symbol important for the story and fit into the context of what they are trying to acheive with the premise and narrative of this title?

I think this will be Yes

The best writers and stories aren't afraid to confront taboo subject matter, think differently, and have a cutting edge quality that might upset the mainstream. If the intension is good - to make you think, confront these issues, and leave you with a better understanding of the culture(the good and the bad) while also being entertained. Then mission accomplished.
Yep :thumb:

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by rkjock1 »

Was I only the only who go the impression that Bernard Chang has an axe to grind with Nu-Valiant? I mean, "Don't get me started on Dr. Mirage," seemed completely unnecessary given the context of the discussion. I get she's Asian and he worked on the previous title, but it's still extraneous to the issue of Rai's logo being offensive.

It just gives me the feeling that he's purposely blowing the whole thing up into something it's not because he doesn't like VEI.
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by Donovan »

It's hard to not take that in to consideration., when evaluating his comments.

He has every right to be upset about that flag and it's connotations. What I find baffling is his accusations that Kindt and Crain haven't done their research on it, despite Kindt's statements that he did just the opposite. Until the STORY comes out, you can't tell if the understanding is there or not, so why open your mouth and accuse someone of doing something with no proof?

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by Phoenix8008 »

Well, at least this topipc has it's own thread now, so I can avoid it. :roll: :P
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by blujay »

Haven't posted here in awhile (I dropped all my comics to save money to buy a car). Also I'd like to say in advance that I'm not down playing atrocities, and that I'm not intentionally trying to *SQUEE* anyone off. :D

In terms of the design (controversy aside) I like it. I always thought Rai looked too much like Bloodshot, and this is a pretty unique difference. I always wondered why Japan changed their flag from The Rising Sun (which I always thought was pretty cool) to just a red circle..guess I know why now.

I did some looking into this and apparently the Rising Sun symbol is still used by the "Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force", and other places in Japan. Also I'm sure everybody is familiar with the phrase "The Land of the Rising Sun". It's a well known nickname for Japan.

And now on to the nitty gritty (time to get controversial)... Basically every country on the planet has done its share of bad things. The US has done/still does its share of bad things every now and then and we've (more or less) had the same flag from the beginning. And let's be honest, what happened during the Japanese conquest of east Asia is the same thing that's (more or less) happened throughout all of history whenever one group conquers another. Raping, pillaging and killing civilians is pretty much par for the course as far as the human race is concerned. It doesn't excuse it, but I don't know too many people who are all that offended about Viking, Mongol, Germanic or even Soviet era symbolism. What about the Iron Cross? Or the Hammer and Sickle? Ever seen the Walking Dead tv show? The most beloved character in the whole series rides a motorcycle that has the SS logo on the side of it. Couldn't I make a reasonable argument say that The Union Jack represents militarism/imperialism/colonialism/oppressive monarchies? Do you know anyone offended by Captain America/Britain's design? What about the DC Character "Red Star"? A character brandishing the symbolism of one of the most brutal and oppressive regime's the world has ever seen. Anyone offended by that? Me either.

Hell if I really want to start *SQUEE* people off we can talk about the atrocities committed by militaristic religions whose symbols remain unchanged, and probably don't offend people too much. Or governments who use religious symbols negatively (Franco's Spain, the Ottoman Empire, etc). Bad things happened during the crusades (on both sides) but nobody thinks of the Red Cross as a necessarily bad symbol, especially considering it is the English Flag.

I know of a talk show that's named after a government responsible for a genocide, but nobody's offended by that.

I could keep going for pages about stuff like this, but I think if you've actually read this far you probably get the point.

And lastly, I never want to hear the Chinese *SQUEE* about how bad the Japanese used to be, especially if you know anything about the last century of Chinese history. I could rant about Chinese Communism/Militarism/Imperialism and Maoism forever

Tl;dr?: Valiant is not doing anything wrong, they shouldn't have to change the design. Stop whining, it's no big deal, and this planet has way more important things going on that you could be concerning yourself with.

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by xodacia81 »

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by MarrowMan »

blujay wrote:Haven't posted here in awhile (I dropped all my comics to save money to buy a car). Also I'd like to say in advance that I'm not down playing atrocities, and that I'm not intentionally trying to *SQUEE* anyone off. :D

In terms of the design (controversy aside) I like it. I always thought Rai looked too much like Bloodshot, and this is a pretty unique difference. I always wondered why Japan changed their flag from The Rising Sun (which I always thought was pretty cool) to just a red circle..guess I know why now.

I did some looking into this and apparently the Rising Sun symbol is still used by the "Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force", and other places in Japan. Also I'm sure everybody is familiar with the phrase "The Land of the Rising Sun". It's a well known nickname for Japan.

And now on to the nitty gritty (time to get controversial)... Basically every country on the planet has done its share of bad things. The US has done/still does its share of bad things every now and then and we've (more or less) had the same flag from the beginning. And let's be honest, what happened during the Japanese conquest of east Asia is the same thing that's (more or less) happened throughout all of history whenever one group conquers another. Raping, pillaging and killing civilians is pretty much par for the course as far as the human race is concerned. It doesn't excuse it, but I don't know too many people who are all that offended about Viking, Mongol, Germanic or even Soviet era symbolism. What about the Iron Cross? Or the Hammer and Sickle? Ever seen the Walking Dead tv show? The most beloved character in the whole series rides a motorcycle that has the SS logo on the side of it. Couldn't I make a reasonable argument say that The Union Jack represents militarism/imperialism/colonialism/oppressive monarchies? Do you know anyone offended by Captain America/Britain's design? What about the DC Character "Red Star"? A character brandishing the symbolism of one of the most brutal and oppressive regime's the world has ever seen. Anyone offended by that? Me either.

Hell if I really want to start *SQUEE* people off we can talk about the atrocities committed by militaristic religions whose symbols remain unchanged, and probably don't offend people too much. Or governments who use religious symbols negatively (Franco's Spain, the Ottoman Empire, etc). Bad things happened during the crusades (on both sides) but nobody thinks of the Red Cross as a necessarily bad symbol, especially considering it is the English Flag.

I know of a talk show that's named after a government responsible for a genocide, but nobody's offended by that.

I could keep going for pages about stuff like this, but I think if you've actually read this far you probably get the point.

And lastly, I never want to hear the Chinese *SQUEE* about how bad the Japanese used to be, especially if you know anything about the last century of Chinese history. I could rant about Chinese Communism/Militarism/Imperialism and Maoism forever

Tl;dr?: Valiant is not doing anything wrong, they shouldn't have to change the design. Stop whining, it's no big deal, and this planet has way more important things going on that you could be concerning yourself with.

The "Rising Sun" is Japan's Imperialistic wartime flag, (for a time it was the national flag) which then co-existed with the "Setting Sun" flag.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rising_Sun_Flag" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Upon further reading, many are offended by the regular Japanese flag as they are the wartime one
Image

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by ShadowTuga »

blujay wrote:Haven't posted here in awhile (I dropped all my comics to save money to buy a car). Also I'd like to say in advance that I'm not down playing atrocities, and that I'm not intentionally trying to *SQUEE* anyone off. :D

In terms of the design (controversy aside) I like it. I always thought Rai looked too much like Bloodshot, and this is a pretty unique difference. I always wondered why Japan changed their flag from The Rising Sun (which I always thought was pretty cool) to just a red circle..guess I know why now.

I did some looking into this and apparently the Rising Sun symbol is still used by the "Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force", and other places in Japan. Also I'm sure everybody is familiar with the phrase "The Land of the Rising Sun". It's a well known nickname for Japan.

And now on to the nitty gritty (time to get controversial)... Basically every country on the planet has done its share of bad things. The US has done/still does its share of bad things every now and then and we've (more or less) had the same flag from the beginning. And let's be honest, what happened during the Japanese conquest of east Asia is the same thing that's (more or less) happened throughout all of history whenever one group conquers another. Raping, pillaging and killing civilians is pretty much par for the course as far as the human race is concerned. It doesn't excuse it, but I don't know too many people who are all that offended about Viking, Mongol, Germanic or even Soviet era symbolism. What about the Iron Cross? Or the Hammer and Sickle? Ever seen the Walking Dead tv show? The most beloved character in the whole series rides a motorcycle that has the SS logo on the side of it. Couldn't I make a reasonable argument say that The Union Jack represents militarism/imperialism/colonialism/oppressive monarchies? Do you know anyone offended by Captain America/Britain's design? What about the DC Character "Red Star"? A character brandishing the symbolism of one of the most brutal and oppressive regime's the world has ever seen. Anyone offended by that? Me either.

Hell if I really want to start *SQUEE* people off we can talk about the atrocities committed by militaristic religions whose symbols remain unchanged, and probably don't offend people too much. Or governments who use religious symbols negatively (Franco's Spain, the Ottoman Empire, etc). Bad things happened during the crusades (on both sides) but nobody thinks of the Red Cross as a necessarily bad symbol, especially considering it is the English Flag.

I know of a talk show that's named after a government responsible for a genocide, but nobody's offended by that.

I could keep going for pages about stuff like this, but I think if you've actually read this far you probably get the point.

And lastly, I never want to hear the Chinese *SQUEE* about how bad the Japanese used to be, especially if you know anything about the last century of Chinese history. I could rant about Chinese Communism/Militarism/Imperialism and Maoism forever

Tl;dr?: Valiant is not doing anything wrong, they shouldn't have to change the design. Stop whining, it's no big deal, and this planet has way more important things going on that you could be concerning yourself with.
I bet it's a Toyota. :P

Seriously, I could not agree more. :thumb: And I bet that Rai is indeed going to be a rebel figure against the Imperialist Japan of 4001. Everything that Kindt said in that interview points me to that.
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by bygranddesign »

ShadowTuga wrote: And I bet that Rai is indeed going to be a rebel figure against the Imperialist Japan of 4001. Everything that Kindt said in that interview points me to that.
Yeah I agree. I can see his look morphing over time as he begins to rebel. The interviews point to Rai being something not quite human, not quite a robot. Perhaps a creation of energy with a soul. An incredibly advanced version of Bloodshot. Changing his look would be an easy thing to do over time (sort of like Shadowman) - and doesn't need much explanation.

It would be interesting if Rai has the souls of former Rai's as part of his being. I wouldn't want it to be overt where we see former Rai's speaking within him(like seeing Mary-Maria's parents speaking through her) but something more subtle and underlying that adds an extra obstacle for Rai to overcome (more like Armstrong where he has revealed the burdon of having these countless souls inside him).
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by depluto »

I don't think Bernard Chang was whining. The dude is a real pro, a pleasant guy and welcome to say what he wants on his Facebook page. And put me in the camp that is simply waiting to see what is really going on. If a symbol like that is part of the storyline, I think it's awesome and "rife with possibilities" (as the OTV guys would say). If it was just chosen because the creators thought it would look cool (and I really doubt if that was the case) then that kind of sucks. Although those covers look pretty freaking awesome so I hope it's the first thing. Kindt says he put a lot of thought and research into this.

But whether or not we feel other people have a right to be offended, if you are doing something that you know will be hurtful to someone else (either through ignorance or just not giving a damn) and you continue to do it, then that doesn't make you forthright or respectful or a defender of rights. It just makes you a prick.

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by bygranddesign »

depluto wrote:
But whether or not we feel other people have a right to be offended, if you are doing something that you know will be hurtful to someone else (either through ignorance or just not giving a damn) and you continue to do it, then that doesn't make you forthright or respectful or a defender of rights. It just makes you a prick.
Well the people that are offended and continue to be offended can choose not to buy or read the comic.

There are plenty of directors, writers, artists who continue to offend people - it doesn't mean they are being a prick and trying to intentionally hurt them.

I'm a big fan of Quentin Tarantino and I don't want him to hold back from what he believes in because people get offended by the language and subject matter of his movies.

And i completely get that there is a fine line when it comes to this stuff - I can be offended too but usually its stuff that I think is lazy and shallow.
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by Ramses818 »

I have put my 2 cents on Bernard's page already. I defended Valiant. I have gotten some angry messages. Bottom line I do not for one second believe Valiant did this with malice. none at all. I am sorry that some people are offended, that is their right. I think this is getting out of hand, you said your piece about what bothered you but I do not think screaming out loud at everyone else is the way to deal with it.

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by xodacia81 »

This isn't like they called him Rising Slope, Defender of the Japland 4001! THEN, that's something to get offended about. Or if Shadowman had been about a dice tossing, malt liquor swilling, watermelon and fried chicken eating fellow named Zip Coon. That's offensive.

For some people, having a character that isn't completely neutral in appearance and action, means that the writer is some sort of vile creature that needs to be sent to the pits of hell.

People, people...you are all entitled to your opinion. Your informed opinion. We don't have enough to go on to know what the meaning of the symbol is. Should we never show a crescent moon in a movie, because of 9/11? Should we not show a Star of David in Germany, because the German's need not be reminded of the Nazi atrocities? I think the whole think is sour grapes from Chang, who hasn't had much traction of late and who is *SQUEE* that Dr. Mirage isn't in his hands. There, I said it.

Further, I am not insensitive nor unaware of how this symbol, and others, are viewed. But we cannot heal and learn from our past if we bury it. If I know Kindt and Valiant, this isn't a move done without a lot of thought. There's a reason, and in the end, those who whined may just have a lot of egg covering their faces.

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by depluto »

xodacia81 wrote:Or if Shadowman had been about a dice tossing, malt liquor swilling, watermelon and fried chicken eating fellow.
This actually describes me pretty well when I was in college.

This discussion is just a discussion among friends, it's one of the things this board is good for. I'm sure 99.9 percent of the people who would be offended by a superhero sporting the Rising Sun across his chest have never heard of Valiant Comics or Rai in the first place. So I guess we're just talking theories, right?

Anyway, I love you guys!

8-)

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by depluto »

xodacia81 wrote:Further, I am not insensitive nor unaware of how this symbol, and others, are viewed. But we cannot heal and learn from our past if we bury it. If I know Kindt and Valiant, this isn't a move done without a lot of thought. There's a reason, and in the end, those who whined may just have a lot of egg covering their faces.
For sure. :thumb:

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by xodacia81 »

depluto wrote:
xodacia81 wrote:Or if Shadowman had been about a dice tossing, malt liquor swilling, watermelon and fried chicken eating fellow.
This actually describes me pretty well when I was in college.

This discussion is just a discussion among friends, it's one of the things this board is good for. I'm sure 99.9 percent of the people who would be offended by a superhero sporting the Rising Sun across his chest have never heard of Valiant Comics or Rai in the first place. So I guess we're just talking theories, right?

Anyway, I love you guys!

8-)
Of course! :thumb:

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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by rkjock1 »

depluto wrote:I don't think Bernard Chang was whining. The dude is a real pro, a pleasant guy and welcome to say what he wants on his Facebook page. And put me in the camp that is simply waiting to see what is really going on. If a symbol like that is part of the storyline, I think it's awesome and "rife with possibilities" (as the OTV guys would say). If it was just chosen because the creators thought it would look cool (and I really doubt if that was the case) then that kind of sucks. Although those covers look pretty freaking awesome so I hope it's the first thing. Kindt says he put a lot of thought and research into this.

But whether or not we feel other people have a right to be offended, if you are doing something that you know will be hurtful to someone else (either through ignorance or just not giving a damn) and you continue to do it, then that doesn't make you forthright or respectful or a defender of rights. It just makes you a prick.

Just for the record, I never said anything about Chang not having a right to his opinion. He absolutely has that right. I was just making the point that I'm less convinced that his actual beef is with the Rai symbol than it is with VEI

It's not uncommon in my experience for people to feign anger over an issue they know others will support while deflecting the real subject of thier ire so as not to be viewed as the "bad guy."

If my instincts are right, and I'm not claiming they are, then he feels VEI is a bad company (for so far unspecified reasons) but doesn't want to go on record for that. That would cause fans to perceive him as the "bad guy." As such, he invents outrage over Rai, thereby making them "bad" and getting fans on "his side." And BTW, you can be a good person and do this. Again, in my personal experience, people often don't even realize when they act this way.
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by bygranddesign »

Just throwing this out there as part of the discussion, but you can also make the case that its a commentary of how perceptions and meanings change over time

In the case of the Swastika, it had a long history of being a symbol of good luck before the Nazi party adopted it as its own. Would it be so inconceivable that 2000 years from now it shed its negative connotations and was seen as something good again?
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by kjjohanson »

bygranddesign wrote:Just throwing this out there as part of the discussion, but you can also make the case that its a commentary of how perceptions and meanings change over time

In the case of the Swastika, it had a long history of being a symbol of good luck before the Nazi party adopted it as its own. Would it be so inconceivable that 2000 years from now it shed its negative connotations and was seen as something good again?
I highly doubt that's what's going on here, especially as comics aren't really the best medium to explore that, IMO. Also, quality fiction generally has something to say about the human condition right now, regardless of when or where the actual action takes place.
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by bygranddesign »

kjjohanson wrote:
bygranddesign wrote:Just throwing this out there as part of the discussion, but you can also make the case that its a commentary of how perceptions and meanings change over time

In the case of the Swastika, it had a long history of being a symbol of good luck before the Nazi party adopted it as its own. Would it be so inconceivable that 2000 years from now it shed its negative connotations and was seen as something good again?
I highly doubt that's what's going on here, especially as comics aren't really the best medium to explore that, IMO. Also, quality fiction generally has something to say about the human condition right now, regardless of when or where the actual action takes place.
Besides novels, i couldn't think of a better medium to explore controversial themes. It's a low risk medium. Punk Rock Jesus? Y the last man? Saga? Sandman? Etc .. Most of the things said and done in these comics would be huge risks for TV and movies.

And the idea of perceptions and meanings changing over time could definitely be relatable to the present.
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kjjohanson
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by kjjohanson »

bygranddesign wrote:
kjjohanson wrote:
bygranddesign wrote:Just throwing this out there as part of the discussion, but you can also make the case that its a commentary of how perceptions and meanings change over time

In the case of the Swastika, it had a long history of being a symbol of good luck before the Nazi party adopted it as its own. Would it be so inconceivable that 2000 years from now it shed its negative connotations and was seen as something good again?
I highly doubt that's what's going on here, especially as comics aren't really the best medium to explore that, IMO. Also, quality fiction generally has something to say about the human condition right now, regardless of when or where the actual action takes place.
Besides novels, i couldn't think of a better medium to explore controversial themes. It's a low risk medium. Punk Rock Jesus? Y the last man? Saga? Sandman? Etc .. Most of the things said and done in these comics would be huge risks for TV and movies.

And the idea of perceptions and meanings changing over time could definitely be relatable to the present.
I think the theme of changing perceptions and meanings is deep enough that it would bring action in comics to a standstill, which wouldn't go over well with the target market. Either that, or be glossed over and missed almost entirely.

As for the latter part of my comment, I was suggesting that having a story where the meaning of the symbol has changed, even if set in the future, carries the suggestion that the meaning is different now.
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by xodacia81 »

kjjohanson wrote:
bygranddesign wrote:
kjjohanson wrote:
bygranddesign wrote:Just throwing this out there as part of the discussion, but you can also make the case that its a commentary of how perceptions and meanings change over time

In the case of the Swastika, it had a long history of being a symbol of good luck before the Nazi party adopted it as its own. Would it be so inconceivable that 2000 years from now it shed its negative connotations and was seen as something good again?
I highly doubt that's what's going on here, especially as comics aren't really the best medium to explore that, IMO. Also, quality fiction generally has something to say about the human condition right now, regardless of when or where the actual action takes place.
Besides novels, i couldn't think of a better medium to explore controversial themes. It's a low risk medium. Punk Rock Jesus? Y the last man? Saga? Sandman? Etc .. Most of the things said and done in these comics would be huge risks for TV and movies.

And the idea of perceptions and meanings changing over time could definitely be relatable to the present.
I think the theme of changing perceptions and meanings is deep enough that it would bring action in comics to a standstill, which wouldn't go over well with the target market. Either that, or be glossed over and missed almost entirely.

As for the latter part of my comment, I was suggesting that having a story where the meaning of the symbol has changed, even if set in the future, carries the suggestion that the meaning is different now.
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jmatt
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Re: Rai-sing Sun symbol controversy

Post by jmatt »

MarrowMan wrote:Upon further reading, many are offended by the regular Japanese flag as they are the wartime one
People are always whining about something. In the QW arc I was whining about the bad guy being portrayed dripping in crosses, and I'm not remotely religious.

Japan and Germany were defeated in WW2. Do they complain that the US flag is some kind of offensive symbol?


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