Is there anything more innocuous than Japanese boy bands? Not when one of their members dresses like a Nazi S.S. officer, tortures himself, and then has a dance battle. With himself.
The actual video makes even less sense. Trust me.
For his solo single "Black or White", boy band singer Koki Tanaka, who is a member of the hugely popular boy band KAT-TUN, dresses up in full Nazi gear and carries out bizarre medical experiments. On his uniform, you can see the Third Reich Eagle and the Totenkopf skull below it. It's hard to make out whether the hat has a swastika below the eagle—ditto for his upper arm patch.
The uniform is pretty faithful to the actual S.S. uniform—minus the swastika armband. It's not just the uniform that some find unsettling, but also the depiction of human experimentation.
The song is a B-side to an upcoming KAT-TUN single, and this video appears to have leaked online before getting its official debut.
The video does climax with a good versus evil dance battle. However, it's not clear if the point is to shock or if Tanaka (or whoever made his video) fully understands the weight of the imagery depicted.
Japan did fight with the Nazis during World War II, and some Japanese don't seem to be as educated about (or sensitive to, for that matter) what the Nazi uniform represents or the horrors it inflicted. What's more, the ambivalence to Nazi iconography could also be because a counterclockwise swastika, or manji as it's called in Japanese, is traditionally used in Japan on maps to denote Buddhist temples.
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