Designer Comments On BTS’s Postponed “Music Station” Appearance + Meaning Behind T-Shirt

The CEO of the t-shirt design company explained the graphics on Jimin’s t-shirt and commented on BTS’s postponed “Music Station” appearance.

Previously, Big Hit Entertainment and “Music Station” both confirmed that BTS’s appearance on the show had been postponed. “Music Station” stated that the postponement was due to the controversy over BTS member Jimin wearing a t-shirt commemorating the day that Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. The t-shirt included graphics of Koreans celebrating liberation and an atomic bomb detonating in Japan, which contributed to Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces and thereby Korea’s liberation.

On November 9, CEO Lee Kwang Jae of LJ Company (the t-shirt design company) held an interview where he talked about the controversy. He remarked, “When I first started the brand, street fashion was the trend. At the time, I was personally quite interested in history. So I made the t-shirts, thinking that if I put a sense of history into the fashion that young people wore, they might become interested in history.”

Lee Kwang Jae then commented on the controversial atomic bomb image, saying, “I did not include that part to mock Japan. I did it to express the historic truth and timing that after the atomic bomb was detonated, Japan’s unconditional surrender led to independence.”

On the group’s appearance on “Music Station” being postponed due to controversy over the t-shirt, he commented, “After I found out, I was very flustered and apologetic. I had no intention to promote anti-Japanese sentiment, and so I’m very sorry towards BTS.”

Big Hit Entertainment also gave a brief statement saying, “There will not be any big changes to [the group’s] promotions in Japan.”

What are your thoughts on this?

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