At host clubs, men serve customers their drinks, light their cigarettes, and make small talk with them. At a newly opened one in Osaka, they also dress as Nazis. That’s pretty fucked up.
The name of the bar is Unfair, and its tagline is, “Life is a bet.” Reddit spotted a truck driving through Osaka emblazoned with the club’s name and...a swastika, and I’m guessing it was driving through the Minami entertainment district where Unfair is located.
Unfair’s listing was posted on host sites Star Guys and Host x Host, and included photos of the hosts in full Nazi outfits and a video. One listing read, “Get intoxicated with this new style host club!”
As Twitter user Miki Dezaki points out, the club also uploaded photos of inside the building. The walls were covered with a large swastika, and the club even had swastika labels affixed to the bottles of champagne.
Understandably, people pointed out, hey, this is stupid and disgraceful. Information about the club has been scrubbed from host sites, with the Host x Host page even now requiring a password for access. Kotaku phoned the bar, but there was no answer.
Every few years, shit like this happens. Back in 2016, for example, members of the pop group Keyakizaka46 dressed in Nazi-style uniforms for Halloween. Six years before that, the cosmetics brand Ponds featured an actress dressed as a Nazi in a major ad campaign throughout Japan. The ad was later pulled. It was surprising to see even a major international brand in Japan can let stuff like this slip through.
Besides ignorance, ambivalence to Nazi iconography could also be due to the counterclockwise swastika, or manji as it’s called in Japanese. It is traditionally used in Japan on maps to denote Buddhist temples, and has a deep, long history that has absolutely nothing to do with Nazis. Of course, that’s absolutely not the case when swastikas are on Nazi uniforms, in a Nazi-themed club.