UFC featherweight Chan Sung Jung took to Facebook to address UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre over his gi at UFC 158. St-Pierre, who usually wears a gi to the Octagon, wore a Hayabusa gi that featured the “Rising Sun” on the side of the gi. “The Korean Zombie” took to Facebook to respectfully address the champion about the offensive nature of the “Rising Sun” symbol.
The “Rising Sun” was the symbol of Imperial Japan in World War 2. The Japanese would commit multiple atrocities against the nations (including the Korean peninsula) they conquered during the war, including the massacre of civilians. Jung compared the usage of the symbol to using the flag of Nazi Germany and asked the champion to reconsider his use of this gi in the future.
Dear Mr. Georges St. Pierre,
Hi, My name is Chan Sung Jung from South Korea. As one of many Koreans who like you as an incredible athlete, I feel like I should tell you that many Korean fans, including myself, were shocked to see you in your gi designed after the Japanese ‘Rising Sun Flag’. For Asians, this flag is a symbol of war crimes, much like the German Hakenkreuzflagge [Nazi Flag]. Did you know that? I hope not.
Just like Nazis, the Japanese also committed atrocities under the name of ‘Militarism’. You can easily learn what they’ve done by googling (please do), although it’s only the tiny tip of an enormous iceberg.
Furthermore, the Japanese Government never gave a sincere apology, and still to this day, so many victims are dying in pain, heartbroken, without being compensated. But many westerners like to wear clothes designed after the symbol under which so many war crimes and so much tragedy happened, which is ridiculous.
I know most of them are not militarists. I know most of them do not approve unjustified invasion, torture, massacre, etc. They’re just ignorant. It’s such a shame that many westerners are not aware of this tragic fact. Wearing Rising Sun outfits is as bad as wearing clothes with the Nazi mark on it, if not worse.
Many people say GSP is the best Welterweight fighter throughout history, to which I totally agree. This means you have a great influence on every single fan of yours all around the world. And I do believe your wearing ‘the symbol of War Crime’ is a very bad example for them, not to mention for yourself.
So, what do you reckon?
Do you want to wear the same Gi next time as well?
– with Georges St-Pierre and Georges St-Pierre.
St-Pierre, a Kyokushin black belt, has traditionally worn a Japanese head band to the ring as a nod to his karate black belt. The company that made the gi, Hayabusa, uses Japanese designs for their fight wear as an homage to the “spirit of the fighter.” It appears that the company overstepped their bounds this time, as the use of the offensive symbol has not gone unnoticed.