K-pop band BTS was recently criticized after its member, Jimin, was seen wearing a t-shirt with a controversial image.
The t-shirt in question pictured a picture of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Along with that was a picture of Korea’s liberation from Japan following WWII.
“PATRIOTISM OUR HISTORY LIBERATION KOREA”
Japanese social media erupted after seeing Jimin’s shirt causing the band’s appearance on Japan’s Music Show, scheduled for Friday, to be cancelled.
The 'patriotic' t-shirt features an atomic cloud. Didn't go down too well in Japan. pic.twitter.com/2naQqWTLAJ
— Raphael Rashid (@koryodynasty) November 9, 2018
Universal Music confirmed BTS’ performance cancellation, but said that they will still be supporting the band.
Spokesperson for the company, Shinya Matsuki, apologized to fans who were looking forward to BTS’ appearance on Music Show, but did not comment further on the situation.
Many people feel as though the band was unfairly punished.
my thoughts on jimin’s shirt:
the atomic bomb was horrible, and innocent people did die, but it gave us freedom. plz remember that we koreans were slaves under japanese rule, and without the bomb, we would not even be treated as people. it stopped a country from dying.
— 김유진 (@namjoon_bba) November 9, 2018
The Japanese broadcasting station unilaterally canceled the bts cast one day before and blamed BTS esp jimin
But, it's a liberation shirt.
And Japan is a perpetrator, not a victim
The T-shirt is a T-shirt to commemorate the day when the victim, Korea, was liberated. pic.twitter.com/PoyRrQX8E2
— lovemaze (@lovemaze0613) November 8, 2018
A HUGE F### YOU TO EVERYONE WHO'S BLAMING JIMIN ("HIS SHIRT"), HE PROBABLY FEELS SO TERRIBLE ABOUT IT NOW, SHAME ON YOU, UGLY PEOPLE!!!!!!!
— Jimin's ᵉˣᶜᵘˢᵉ ᵐᵉ (@BTSRuinLives) November 10, 2018
The purpose of this-shirt is not to mock victims but to remember the painful history and the liberation day. Many koreans were also killed by the bomb. Don't misunderstand and blame on BTS, karmy or Jarmy .#LiberationTshirtNotBombTshirt pic.twitter.com/4l0LdL5n7P
— jimin (@R91004101) November 10, 2018
The t-shirt was allegedly a gift from a fan and was worn by Jimin over a year ago.
Many people believe the K-pop band’s cancellation on Japanese TV goes much deeper than just a shirt.
On October 30, South Korea’s supreme court ruled that Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, a Japanese company, must pay 4 South Korean citizens who were forced to work during World War II.
The Korean Peninsula was under Japanese occupation during the war.
According to the ruling, Nippon Steel must pay each plaintiff 100 million won ($88,740). Only one of the 4 plaintiffs is still alive.
However, Japanese officials disagree with the ruling, saying that it violates a 1965 agreement between the two countries.
Due to this recent ruling and the fact that the t-shirt was worn so long ago, people feel like Jimin and BTS are simply a scapegoat for a much larger issue.
Jimin wore a shirt with the atomic bomb on it during Burn The Stage (so last year) for some reason that was blown up and became a controversy recently. I think it's just a scapegoat cause tensions have been rising lately between Japan and Korea over the WWII issue
— Rilla (@Rainbow_Rilla) November 8, 2018
Let's be clear about what happened. Jimin wore the shirt TWO YEARS ago, not to the concert in Japan. His shirt appeared on television for seconds. Why would the TV station go the length of digging up this footage – unless it was simply trying to find an excuse to cancel BTS?
— T.K. of AAK! (@AskAKorean) November 9, 2018
this is about tensions rising between SK and Japan not a T-SHIRT
— nevaeh 🍯🌻 (@quierojeonero) November 9, 2018
Japan-Korea tensions are rising; BTS is just a scapegoat
— Risa (@wonderfullyedi) November 9, 2018
1) It's a liberation of Korea shirt, not an atomic bomb shirt
2) He was seen wearing it two years ago
3) The show was cancelled because of rising tensions between SK and Japan
— Emma || RM Mono 💜 (@emmapetten1) November 9, 2018
All of you I did some research, people are just making Jimin and our. It’s a scape goat
This issue that Korea and Japan have are far more worse than an idol wearing a shirt
That shirt represents liberation of Korean Peninsula from Japanese annexation that happened in Korea
— 💬 (@wwtaegi) November 8, 2018
BTS is the first K-pop band to win a Billboard Music Award. They also broke Taylor Swift’s record for biggest music video debut.