We cannot bring back the souls that had left this ground. We won’t be able to fully heal their pain no matter how much we try. We do not know what they truly want, and even if we do, we probably would not be sure how to compensate that. Maybe it is not even our place to try to calculate and measure their feelings. So, if the Japanese government all of sudden recognized their history, and apologize to our survivors, would that all be it? From there, they will need to start educating their citizens with accurate history. They will need to stop consuming the imperial Japanese culture. They will need to move on as a better nation that recognizes their past. The list will go on and on, and it will require a lot of cooperation, processes, and changes.
However, all of this does not mean that there is nothing we can do. We need to start doing something even if it is a small act. Because small acts come together to become a bigger act, and bigger acts come together to become a change in history.
One thing that we all can do is to stop consuming the Imperial Japanese culture. An imperialist country is when they rule over foreign nations, often by military force or by gaining political and economic control of other areas. In history, Japan became an imperialist nation by conquering numbers of lands and countries. Then, in 1870, the Rising Sun Flag was adopted as the war flag of the Imperial Japanese military. It is the flag that has a red circle that symbolizes the sun in the middle, and red rays coming out of the sun, filling the whole flag. These flags were flown by the nation with pride of imperialist culture - pride in act of invading, torturing, and dehumanizing people of Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Dutch East Indies, Malaysia, and many more.
Now, YOU, the one who is reading this, have seen this flag at least a few times in your life. This is because the flag is still used very widely in commercial products and pop culture as a symbol of Japanese tradition and good fortune. There are numbers of incorporation of this flag in fashion and visual art. Yet, tremendous numbers of people do not notice the true meaning of the flag and continue consuming the products and advertisements, because of a lack of education and recognition of Japan’s history. The consumption of Rising Sun Flag is extremely low in Korea because, again, Koreans are well educated about the painful history, so they are aware of what the flag truly symbolizes - the pride in war crimes and dehumanization to other countries. However, I, as a Korean American, witnessed the flag and products that depict it many times in the U.S. And every time I see them, I feel extremely sick in my stomach. People of Japan, particularly those who ARE aware of what the Imperialist Japanese had done in the past, are utterly shameless to put their pride in their past and the flag.
The Rising Sun Flag is NOT a symbol of cool Japanese culture that can be consumed with any positive energy. Now, with all my heart, I ask everybody to pay attention to the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The Olympics is a worldwide event representing global peace, yet, the Japanese government has approved the use of the Rising Sun Flag. This will only be a repeat of the shameful Berlin 1936 Olympics when Nazis flew the Swastika flag that promoted racism, holocaust, and hate.
We need your small act. We need you to sign this petition for Ban the use of the Rising Sun Flag in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. To become the bigger act, and to become the change.