Yahoo! Sports Special: Korean Zombie Asks Georges St-Pierre to Ditch Rising Sun Symbol

March 25, 2013
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The following article was written by Maggie Hendricks and was originally published in the Cagewriter blog of official MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo! Sports.

Georges St-Pierre - UFC 94UFC featherweight Chan Sung Jung has a fight with Ricardo Lamas coming up in July. The fight will likely have title implications, and will give “The Korean Zombie” a chance to prove he belongs at the top of the UFC’s 145-lb. class. But the upcoming fight didn’t keep Jung from speaking up to one of the UFC’s biggest stars.

Jung posted a letter on his Facebook page to UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre about the Rising Sun symbol GSP wore to his fight with Nick Diaz.

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. 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.

Since you’re influenced by Japanese Martial Arts, your wearing a headband designed after Japanese flag is understandable. But again, that huge ‘Rising Sun’ on your Gi means something else.

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?

The Rising Sun flag was used by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II, and it was banned by the United Nations in 1945. Jung is not the only person to have an issue with seeing it used by an athlete. During the 2012 Olympics, Japanese gymnasts wore a leotard that was inspired by the Rising Sun, and some South Koreans were not happy about it.

When one-time MMA sponsor Hoelzer Reich used Nazi imagery on the gear UFC and WEC fighters wore into the cage, the promotions banned their items from the cage. Jung has the courage to speak up to a fighter he admittedly admires. GSP and the UFC owe him a response.

  • Ron Couden

    Glad Jung spoke up! GSP needs to ditch that fast.

  • anonmoose

    ….This is just ammo for people who hate GSP. He does owe an apology, but I doubt he meant to insult anyone.

    I admit I never realised what GSP was wearing. And my ignorance is as bad as his.

    Personally i always see the Rising Sun and think “Japan” but then again I wasn’t affected by marauding Imperial troops during WW2. Symbols have different meanings for everyone.

    I’d recognise a swastika instantly and know what it was related to and stood for, but I also know it’s origins. I’m in the UK so of course I’m familiar with it..and IMO the cross/crucifix, crescent moon and Mcdonald’s golden arc are just as offensive ;-)

  • Keithy

    Isn’t it just the Japanese flag? Rising sun has lines coming out of it.

    • anonmoose

      I believe the picture shown isn’t the one from the event. The picture I saw had the Rising Sun spread across the left(?) side of GSP’s white gi.

      • http://www.MMAWeekly.com/ Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly

        That’s correct. We didn’t have a photo of the gi from that event so the one in the article is just one of our stock photos of GSP.

        Sorry for any confusion.

        The one he wore at UFC 158 did have the lines coming out of it.

        • Scotty_O

          I think then maybe no picture would have been better than the posting an incorrect picture of the exact topic of the article.

        • Julian Moran

          Do you consider yourself a professional?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003341454439 Facebook User

            Yeah Ken. I mean my God dont you realize that the people who read these articles are absolutely PERFECT and have never in their lives taken license with anything that isnt 100% ON EXACT! Duh Ken. My God if you are going to write an article about something do not consider for one moment having it be about the writing. The PICTURES. Thats where its at baby. Plus, obviously with all the readers here being the avid Politico’s and Grammatical Wonder’s that they are I am sure they could then find numerous faults with whatever you write as well. Hell, I know I have made several mistakes in my own response here. I am purposely not going to fix them either. Wow, get ready for the English Teacher’s in waiting to go crazy about my mispellings, sentence structure, presentation, and blah blah fucking blah.

            ITS A F****** MMA INFORMATIONAL NEWS SITE PEOPLE. NOT THE NEW YORK FREAKIN TIMES!

          • Julian Moran

            A MMA information news site that quite often makes amateur mistakes and could take their job more seriously.

  • Kelly Adkins

    another sensitive group .
    I understand the beef with it . but when can we let go of the past and move forward ? in america we learn to accept what we dont understand . if you live here in america . its time to accept the culture here . also japan attacked us also and yet will move forward , because we are america .

    • Scotty_O

      Hahaha “in america we learn to accept what we don’t understand” Hahahha

      HahaHahaHa

      • Tom

        Yeah, i thought that statement was pretty ridiculous,too.

    • Tom

      That is such a load of crap. If you were part of being raped,murdered, robbed etc etc.. Will you still think the same? Yes, they did attacked pearl harbor, But what they did on mainland China and Korea Is much, much more horrible. I understand what you’re trying to say, is to move on and forgive or whatever. But it’s not as easy as you put it. What happened over there in the past still cuts really deep.

    • GK

      Kelly, one simple suggestion. Why dont you wear a Nazi headband or a Osama smiling face Tshirt everyday in the states and see how lojg you can last? You a just a joke, use your brain before you talk.

    • Simon C

      Kelly,

      – When can we let
      go of the past and move forward?

      “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
      – George Santayana

      People don’t hate America and American Culture as forums and comments might suggest however please bear in mind the other 7 Billion people sharing this planet aren’t really impressed by it either.

      Your country is most definitely not the greatest country in the world. You are as free as roughly 190 other sovereign states and lead the world in only a handful of areas – take a look at your prisons, defence spend and total ‘armed’
      nuclear war heads as examples. Please don’t take this personally it’s not intended as an attack, this is common knowledge for the rest of the world.

      When the rest of the world looks in at the culture you believe all Americans should accept what do you think we see?

      I see a country struggling to see the world from any perspective other than its own, a country providing a low quality of living for so many of its people, a
      country obsessed with status, attention and built upon a foundation of fear and paranoia.

      Don’t close yourself off from the world any more than you already have and embrace
      our many cultures, not just the your one?

      Lest we forget – Lest we forget.

    • Ha

      Americans never moved Forward.. They bombed the whole city and said: “There take that. BTW, can you make all our cheap stuff so we could import them?”

    • Ken Potus

      I am an American as well but technically since we (the US) had an oil blockade on Japan before peal harbor happened we declared war on them first.

  • http://www.facebook.com/koenighotze David Hotzenplotz

    GSP already responded.

  • jamoreoph

    may i point out he is canadian not american you idiots.

    • Tom

      We never said GSP was an AMERICAN, Dumbass! Read more carefully before making a fool out of yourself!

  • Ahmade Ahdoodi

    Maybe the South Korean government shouldn’t have absolved Japan of its responsibility for said war crimes in their Treaty of Basic Relations with Japan in 1965 (for a sum of $800 million US dollars, no less), deeming the matter “completely and finally resolved.”
    I wonder if Jung, or any South Koreans for that matter, are taught about this in their schools. It’s not like it’s some big secret….

    • S Cottrill

      I disagree with that logic, often the decisions made by a government does not represent the thinking of its people. You don’t have to be Korean or Asian to take offence to the use of this particular symbolism. No amount of money changes what happened and a poor call of judgement from a government doesn’t remove those events from our history.

      Do the people affected by the stolen generation in Australia no longer have the right to be disgusted with how they were treated by their own government now they have received an apology?

      Apologies or an exchange of money as pennants does not change reality or history. Surely we are morally bound to remember our planets history and ensure it is not repeated.

      • Pablo

        You have a point S Cottrill. However, when you accuse a nation of not making a “sincere” (what does that even mean?) apology when their government quite clearly has, it tends to paint your accusations as nothing more than rhetoric (or whining?). Yes, Imperial Japan did some pretty heinous things when they were around. We get it. Korea doesn’t have to walk around with a huge chip on its shoulder for all eternity though.

  • Bobby Beaber

    Hurry and snatch up these gis if you can find them…..they’re going to become worth a lot of money now, thanks to Jung’s call-out.

  • tom

    Japan apologizes to a past.
    And I still continue financial support.
    However, the Korean nation does not know it

    • Mr Incredible

      Japan NEVER apologized for their atrocities. They continue to deny their role in the rape and torture of the Chinese and Koreans.

      • Pablo

        No, they did apologize. Unless you were educated in China – then you probably wouldn’t even know that they did because the government gets more use out of your easily incited ignorance.

        • http://www.facebook.com/goofiva Va Ha

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_history_textbook_controversies I’ve met a few Japanese in their late thirties that have no idea of what happened during that era because it was left out of their history books. It was only until they met a angry Korean (not me) that they realize their government had rewritten history for them. Apology or not, its a little odd that their citizens are ignorant to the events transpired against their nearest neighbors. My ancestors ran from everyone, Japanese, South Vietnamese and the Americans, China cultural revolution. So I agree when you say, “get over it.”

  • Guest

    .jiyuushikan.org/e/reparations.html

  • Guest

    h ttp://www.jiyuushikan.org/e/reparations.html

  • Trues

    Who cares what he wears. People are so sensitive.

    • Tom

      Obviously, people does. I bet you wouldn’t think that if you were one of their victims. If i were to go over your Mom’s house and started to slap her around(and that was putting it mildly). What would you think about that? It’s easy for you to think that way, when it is clear that you haven’t experienced that kind of barbarism.

  • Mcgiggity

    Who cares? It’s a cool looking gi. Jung sounds whiny to me.

    • Tom

      Sounds like some 15 y/o kid running his mouth. lol

    • deepsweech

      try wearing nazi swastika in europe, it looks cool too.

  • Japanrapedchina

    Lol Japan raped china.