Designer Hiroko Koshino may be in trouble for the depiction of the rising sun on the Japanese athletes’ uniform. A major chunk of the uproar comes after the action against Park Jong-woo, a member of South Korea’s Olympic football team, facing the possibility of losing a medal after he displayed a card reading “Dokdo is Our land.” Politicizing Olympics is absolutely forbidden and goes against the spirit of the games.
Observes are raising their brows over International Olympic Committee’s inaction towards the Japanese uniforms. The new uniforms were said to “symbolize the dynamism of the rising sun and the beauty of the brilliance at dawn.” Going into the history of the ‘rising sun’ flag, which is symbolic of Imperial Japan, the United Nations forces banned its use after Japan’s 1945 defeat.
The rising sun with 16 rays of sunlight radiating around a red sun was first used in 1870s, when Japan was marching towards militarism. It was later adopted by the Japanese army and navy. A variant showing eight rays was a symbol for the military during the Pacific War in the 1940s. It was also known as the “flag of greater East Asia,” and conformed to the goal of “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” For the Japanese in general, the rising sun flag is widely understood as a symbol of imperialism.[Via Hani]