When Andy Hurley performed with Fall Out Boy for the 2013 Victoria’s Secret fashion show on November 13th, he was given a costume to wear that included a shirt with the Rising Sun on it.
The Rising Sun symbol, used by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, has come to represent horrors of wartime aggression (such as the Nanking Massacre) to many, particularly South Koreans and Chinese people.
The Rising Sun symbol is horribly offensive to descendants of people affected by these events, much like the Nazi Hakenkreuzflagge or the Confederate flag. Yet unlike those symbols, it continues to be used widely.
Many people simply don’t understand the connotations of this symbol. But after he was made aware of it, Andy and I felt that this incident would provide a good opportunity to heighten awareness of its cultural context. Here are his thoughts.