Arama They Didn't

9:11 pm - 03/17/2013

Nakamaru of KAT-TUN admires top Japanese war criminal; makes news amongst China netizens

During the Feb 18th episode of KAT-TUN's radio show Gatsun, Tanaka Koki and Nakamaru Yuichi did an usual segment of answering fan's questions. The following is a transcript of the conversation that took place:

Fan Q: Which historical figure do you like the most?

Nakamaru: Tojo Hideki
Koki: Who is that? I can't remember
Nakamaru: He's from WWII
Koki: Oh, that's pretty recent
Nakamaru: Yes it's recent
Koki: Yes, so you like that period?
Nakamaru: Yes I like a lot of historical figures from 1914-1945
Koki: I thought you were going to say Showa or Meiji periods. But based on personality I don't think you would like the warlords.
Nakamaru: Yeah, I don't know them.

A couple days ago a Chinese Johnny's fan heard this clip and was shocked and disgusted and posted it on Weibo (Chinese twitter). Soon Nakamaru's name was in the hot topics and trending near the top

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(his name is #7 in the screencap and supposedly reached the top spot on current hot topics)

A crash course for those unfamiliar with Tojo Hideki.
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He was the main Japanese prime minister and general during WWII. He is a facist and responsible for the invasion of China and Pearl Harbour attacks. Tojo is often considered responsible for authorizing the murder of more than 8 million civilians in China, Korea, the Philippines, Indochina, and other Pacific island nations, as well as tens of thousands of Allied POWs. He is also implicated in government-sanctioned experiments on POWs and Chinese civilians (see Unit 731). Like his German counterparts, Tojo often claimed to be carrying out orders; in his case those of the Emperor, who was granted immunity from war crimes prosecution.
He was convicted as a Class A war criminal and later enshrined in the controversial Yasukuni shrine. (due to housing him and other war criminals)

Chinese netizens were disturbed because Nakamaru mentioned the time period and does not seem uneducated about what happened then. Furthermore, the time period he mentioned coincides with WWI and WWII and also when Imperialism in Japan was at its utmost. Prior to this, Nakamaru was well-liked amongst Chinese Johnnys fans. Many fans expressed that "it's always the quiet ones", "never judge a character based on appearance". Some were worried this would give Japanese entertainers and Johnnys a bad reputation. Some fans defended Nakamaru. Others expressed that they were surprised seeing Nakamaru's name in the hot topics (since there aren't that many Jpop fans in China) and then finding out the reason.

In the past other Japanese celebs have created controversy in China and Korea when they visited Yasukuni shrine.

What do you guys think this says or doesn't say about Nakamaru's personality?

source 1
source 2
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myharu 18th-Mar-2013 06:03 am (UTC)

I used this gif in a Chiyuu post, but I think it was really meant for this one

Like seriously it's the equivalent of saying you admire Hitler or Mussolini

edit: to specify which akb I used the gif in~

Edited at 2013-03-18 06:04 am (UTC)
antifools 18th-Mar-2013 01:42 pm (UTC)
He's as much a mass murderer as Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung is. The only difference is Tojo lost the war so he is the bad guy. For me, all of them are criminals and should have never been born at all.
icehism 18th-Mar-2013 06:08 am (UTC)
I don't get it.
Some of his actions were questionable

But there's no denying that he wasn't a good leader. He tried to stop the US from entering the war and was almost successful if he had blown up the ships outside in the middle of the ocean instead of pearl harbor and the japanese was the other of the two major powers on the axis during world war two. He knew that he couldn't take on the US so he tried to secure an advantage first by taking over the other countries in asia (china was known for the rich natural resources that japan needed from there). But alas, germany and Japan fell to the overpowering soviets and Americans.

Sounds like a smart commander to me and i can see why nakamaru admires him

Edited at 2013-03-18 06:09 am (UTC)
myharu 18th-Mar-2013 06:16 am (UTC)
And people often say Hitler was charismatic, but when people say they admire him they deserved to be judged and it's the same for Tojo because he did some fucked up shit
2hothere DISGUSTING18th-Mar-2013 06:09 am (UTC)

Tojo Hideki.

ewwww....disgusting....the biggest war criminal in Japan

cherry_girl12 18th-Mar-2013 06:10 am (UTC)
Does it really matter? .___.
Who ever Maru likes is his opinion or whatever so I really don't mind =w=
turtle_yurippe 18th-Mar-2013 10:01 am (UTC)
If that works for you, good. But some of us are pretty appalled by someone we thought was a nice guy admiring a mass murderer.
umbrellaphone lost in translation?18th-Mar-2013 06:11 am (UTC)
Is "admire" a mistranslation? Cuz "admire" and "like" are different imo, and "like" is the word used in the question.

My professor actually once said to the class that he "likes Hitler" because he finds interest in studying him (because Hitler's actually very strategic) and the complexity of that period. Since Nakamaru said "I like a lot of historical figures from 1914-1945", I have a feeling it might be something like that. But again, I don't know him in person obviously.

Edited at 2013-03-18 06:18 am (UTC)
myharu Re: lost in translation?18th-Mar-2013 06:31 am (UTC)
But it's really hard to say you like someone like Tojo or Hitler without being judged. Because yes they could be considered strategic, but seeing how they are horrible people and rightfully lost in the end, there's really not much to like/admire

Edited at 2013-03-18 06:35 am (UTC)
cnidaria_jin 18th-Mar-2013 06:11 am (UTC)

LOL Netizens! Good job in finding his fault! <.<
aibada 18th-Mar-2013 06:14 am (UTC)
lmao here we go again
myharu 18th-Mar-2013 06:19 am (UTC)
I should give up right now because I know this post will turn into Arama's version of "oppa didn't mean it" and I don't want to put myself into a rage coma

Edited at 2013-03-18 06:23 am (UTC)
ditzyandroid 18th-Mar-2013 06:24 am (UTC)
Pretty much this.
elanielyn 18th-Mar-2013 06:26 am (UTC)
Biiiiiiit of an over-reaction? I study history and I like a lot of historical figures that are not exactly moral role models because they have interesting backgrounds or because despite their ideology they were good at what they did, like war strategies or the like.
turtle_yurippe 18th-Mar-2013 10:04 am (UTC)
If you study history, you're not supposed to like those people all the more. You can find them interesting, but liking them?
asweetsymphony 18th-Mar-2013 06:28 am (UTC)
Is visiting the Yasakuni shrine that bad? What if you have a relative there? Just asking cause it seems the shrine is like for normal citizens too... I agree that this shows how uneducated young Japanese are about WW2 tho.
turtle_yurippe 18th-Mar-2013 10:05 am (UTC)
I think it's mostly bad for official visitors, like when the prime minister goes to pray to everyone there, because a lot of the people in it did pretty cruel things and that sends the message that modern day Japanese officials condone what these people did to China and Korea.
ditzyandroid 18th-Mar-2013 06:29 am (UTC)
Seriously, Nakamaru? SERIOUSLY?
kikyo619 18th-Mar-2013 06:36 am (UTC)
I think people need to be more open minded and not take everything to heart.
I mean seriously this is just stupid like there is no tomorrow. "Liking" someone
doesn't mean you AGREE or APPROVE of what they did these people need some serious
knowledge and stop taking things like everyone is against them. This is like when the
Lord wore the nazi costume. People take things way to seriously without any actual need to do so.

But hey it was only about time for someone to find a "fault" and a reason not
to like the General...In the end this is stupid and has no affect nor has changed
my views over him d:

Edited at 2013-03-18 06:40 am (UTC)
icehism 18th-Mar-2013 06:45 am (UTC)
I know right, when did humans degenerate into one trick ponies from multifaceted individuals.
stbluemoon 18th-Mar-2013 06:58 am (UTC)
I highly doubt he means that he likes Tojo for his role in the war, I don't think any normal sane person would. Just because someone has done some unpleasant things doesn't mean that he has no good qualities worthy of respect or admiration. E.g. Immediately after the war began, Tojo once made statement asking US citizens of Japanese descent to fight on the side of the US, because as citizens of the country they should fight for their homeland, and that was the way of the bushido. His statement surprised a lot of Japanese living in the US, because they were expecting to be asked to fight the US as Japanese people.

Edited at 2013-03-18 07:03 am (UTC)
cierra_james 18th-Mar-2013 07:08 am (UTC)
I think this probably says less about Nakamaru's personality and more about how history is taught in Japan... ie: very badly and quite one-sidedly.
aku_rin 18th-Mar-2013 08:43 am (UTC)
This is indeed true. :/
uttered_in 18th-Mar-2013 07:25 am (UTC)
I do think that this is a matter of perspective. I think the Japanese will always think of him as a war hero and as a strategist. He was in fact their leader. In the mean time, there are victimized countries that will always see him as a war criminal and a massive killer.

With that being said, they do have the right to judge him and question his way of thinking. I just hope that he can explain himself.
jennyhime 18th-Mar-2013 07:29 am (UTC)
He should read up on history though, admiring a war criminal who murdered thousands is not a good idea.
But, regarding why many students know nothing about Japans part in WWII:
kint4ma_tan 18th-Mar-2013 07:43 am (UTC)
The educational system in japan is too much of coward to basically teach their students "in detail" about japans wrongdoings and crimes that are seen unforgivable to the victimised countries.. This is wonderful. I think we should blame nakamaru's teacher's lesson plan instead of just judging him for "liking" a criminal warlord.

enorcsi 18th-Mar-2013 09:44 am (UTC)
People are judging Nakamaru, but the fact the Koki didn't even remember who this guy was also says a lot imho....
zeli17 18th-Mar-2013 10:06 am (UTC)
Deep down I want to believe Koki was giving Nakamaru a chance to change his choice....
breathless31 18th-Mar-2013 10:12 am (UTC)
why do I even open the comment section, every time the stupidity is overwhelming

Even if japans education system on WWII is bad, it's still really tasteless of Nakamaru to say what he did. He obviously knows at least that japan invaded china, so he should have had the tact to shut up about it because it's not that hard to figure out that this might be a sensitive issue among his international fans.
Also, if he only liked Tojos strategics, maybe he should have mentioned that to explain himself, but nope, now he only left it at "i like him".

Yeah, Nakamaru needs to be critizised
turtle_yurippe 18th-Mar-2013 10:45 am (UTC)
mrstaguchi100 18th-Mar-2013 10:17 am (UTC)
dear goodness.

but still, i can't bring myself to dislike maru.....
niew_ribbon 18th-Mar-2013 10:54 am (UTC)
is all of this mean that nakamaru killing people? ._.
chilly_night 18th-Mar-2013 12:27 pm (UTC)
Of course not, but he likes someone who used to do this and this is bad enough.
nuuuf 18th-Mar-2013 11:07 am (UTC)
Well... This for sure is a sensitive subject.
I believe Nakamaru should have taken the time to explain himself a little bit better. Does "like" in this particular context means to him that Tojo is a sort of model to him, or rather that he finds him interesting to study but does not particulary approves of him.
Then again, I'd like to know if he really knows all the things that man did. Personally, I had never heard about him before that post. I am French, and we study WWII a lot, but just not that much what happened on the Pacific/Asian front outside of Pearl Harbour and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
turtle_yurippe 18th-Mar-2013 11:41 am (UTC)
Well, yeah, because in Europe, we study the European part of the war mostly - so you could assume that in Asia, they teach about the war in Asia, thus Asians should know more about their side of the war. (If you get what I mean.)
uledy 18th-Mar-2013 11:31 am (UTC)
My god people. Nakamaru said he liked a war criminal. He's not the victim of a poor education and mistranslation or misunderstanding. He's a 30 year old grown fucking man. He doesn't need people making excuses for him. Whether he truly meant he liked Tojo or thought studying him was interesting, it's his responsibility to ensure his thoughts are properly conveyed. If he fails, then he must own up to it and fans must accept it. Regardless, it's a dumb, unprofessional thing to say and I think the criticism is warranted.
turtle_yurippe 18th-Mar-2013 11:41 am (UTC)
turtle_yurippe 18th-Mar-2013 11:42 am (UTC)
I have no words, so I'll just leave this gif:

Edited at 2013-03-18 11:44 am (UTC)
mikarocker 18th-Mar-2013 12:05 pm (UTC)
I read this last night and chose not to comment but I still seriously can't believe he said that.
kamelli 18th-Mar-2013 12:06 pm (UTC)
Oh no Nakamaru. Now I'm worried. This is bad. I somewhat got scared. TT-TT
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