You would think by now everyone would have figure out the rule that No Nazis is Good Nazis. While this is universally true it seems the business world in particular has a problem remembering it.
Although former Dior designer John Galliano’s besotted ode to Herr Schicklgruber has captured the most headlines, he isn’t the only public figure with a swastika issue. In Japan (no slouch itself when it comes to fascist World War II atrocities):
Sony Music Artists Inc. apologized Wednesday on behalf of its popular boy-band Kishidan, after the group performed on MTV Japan in outfits that Jewish groups said looked like Nazi uniforms.
That description makes the whole thing sound like an acute case of oversensitivity, but if you watch the group’s video for its song Kira Kira! you see that Kishidan is astoundingly clueless in its use of imagery.
First we have the band – with haircuts that would make Flock of Seagulls blush and outfits that are definitely inspired by The You Know Who – being faux gunned down by someone wearing Soviet-like army garb. (As you will recall, Commies were one of the other groups the National Socialists were going to save Germany from. How’d that work out, anyway?) This is followed by the band members being beaten up by
- Someone in metallic Japanese feudal armor
- A dominatrix who has definitely seen The Night Porter too many times
- The Russian, again; and
- A zombie. Don’t ask me why. (It’s time to let the whole zombie thing go. Either that or someone needs to tell a story from the Zombie’s point of view. Sparkly Zombies!)
Finally a virtuous and seemingly virginal Japanese school girl held captive by a sadistic robo-teacher takes a bullet for the band. This is easily the most incomprehensible Japanese film I’ve seen since Gegege no Kitaro and not 1/100th as entertaining.
Best quote in the story is from Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center who “said he thinks the incidents reflect a hole in Japan’s education of World War II. “
“Generally my experience has been in speaking with young people they don’t necessarily know very much other than that Hitler was a strong leader or that aesthetically this is very striking and interesting. For a lot of young Japanese they don’t even understand. When these controversies come up their initial reaction is ‘what’s the controversy? What did we do wrong here? What did Nazi Germany do?’”
The war is a bit of a touchy subject in Japan. Almost as touchy as it is for the Chinese, Koreans, Philippinos, Allied vets and others the Japanese visited themselves upon.
I don’t think this band is pro-Nazi as much as they are idiots. Reminds me of Walter Sobchak’s line from The Big Lebowski: “Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.”