The Korean pop group Red Velvet appears to have – most likely intentionally – included some anti-Japan messages in its latest music video.
During the video, a brief scene depicts some newspaper clippings flying haphazardly onscreen. It’s only on further viewing that one can see the clippings are from 1940’s-era America, when old-timey racism was the norm and calling Japanese people “Japs” was about as common as saying things were “swell” or referring to women as “broads.”
You’ll find the offending clippings at about the :33 mark.
The clippings refer to the “atom bomb,” “atomic bomb,” and “Nips” – the other derogatory word for Japanese people allies used when “Jap” became repetitive – and are clearly placed there intentionally. The video’s director laughably claims that he just picked out some random newspaper graphics and didn’t understand what they meant because they were in English.
That’s about the flimsiest and most patronizing excuse we’ve heard since that one Korean TV station banned a different Korean pop song for using an unassuming Japanese word that means “shiny,” saying it (somehow) reflected Japanese imperialism.
It’s not news that Japan and Korea are often at odds these days, but it’s surprising how much pop cultural overlap there is between the two nations. K-Pop is huge in Japan and, from what we hear – we don’t have personal experience since we fear going to Korea will result in automatic revocation of our Japanese visas – that many young Koreans are quite fond of J-Pop, anime and other Japanese pop cultural exports. Makes you wonder why all these low-blow jabs are really necessary.
Photo via 2chan