Member of K-pop duo TVXQ, Yunho, is being criticized by Japanese social media users after being photographed sporting a cap from a Korean brand that openly supports Korean wartime sex slaves from the Japanese colonial period.
Yunho was spotted wearing a Marymond hat at the airport heading back to Seoul, Korea following his overseas schedule in Japan.
— 無 (@ljU7X41FbPSOmf9) October 17, 2019
Japanese fans began voicing their complaints after noticing the brand of the cap, with some users calling the artist an “idiot” and a “monster,” as well as accusing him of being “anti-Japanese” for supporting Korean wartime sex slaves who were forced into brothels by the Imperial Japanese Army.
“It seems like he really didn’t have any intention to hide it. Yunho didn’t even think about being considerate to Japan,” one user allegedly wrote, as translated by Koreaboo.
— なんでなんでなんで (@WhyWhyWhylToTl) October 17, 2019
— ちゃんぽん (@charan_do) October 17, 2019
— 佐藤 (@kkAmf1Q7uYsSzwy) October 19, 2019
Some users claimed the idol was being inconsiderate towards Japanese fans for disregarding their views and opinions on this history, despite there being definitive proof on the existence of hundreds of thousands of comfort women.
As the controversy spread on social media, several users also criticized the Japanese fans for attempting to silence the artist and expressed their confusion for such a strong negative reaction towards a pro-human rights brand.
How does an entire country live in denial about the atrocity of their past? If they make amends, they can at least live a less controversial life. Just look at Germany.
— Jang Manwol’s (@GalFjelldahl) October 20, 2019
so please stop kowtowing to their disgusting narratives by even implying that supporting comfort women through the autonomy from sexual violence charity that is marymond is in any way anti-japanese or something he needs to clarify and apologize for.
i thought we were through this
— 2vxq collection (@2vxqcollection) October 24, 2019
And Yunho getting sworn at in Japan because he wore a marymond hat, a brand that support comfort woman, japanese still view the comfort women as not victim, it’s so frustrating huhu https://t.co/z9CoQvWAyP
— haps (@haphaphapz) October 21, 2019
This was not the first time Yunho has been spotted wearing a Marymond hat. In 2018, the idol reportedly posted a photo of himself wearing the same cap on his Instagram.
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⠀ 꿋꿋하게 피어오르는 들국화. 그 다채로움을 표현한 제품을 마리몬드 홈페이지에서 만나보세요 🙂 ⠀ 👇 인스타그램 스토리에 들국화 컬렉션을 확인할 수 있는 링크가 있어요! ⠀ – Records of a Sincere Hope Wild Chrysanths 딱딱한 세상 위에 피어 꿋꿋이 희망의 기록을 남기는 들국화 강덕경 할머니 . . . #RecordsofaSincereHope #WildChrysanths #들국화 #인권운동가 #강덕경 #kangdukkyung #마리몬드 #인권 #정의와평화 #저스티스 #marymond #humanrights #justeace #라이프스타일 #패션 #디자인 #플라워패턴 #lifestyle #fashion #design #flowerpattern ⠀
Marymond is a Korean brand that produces apparel, stationary, water bottles, and phone cases inspired by victims of wartime sexual slavery and advocates for various human rights issues, especially issues concerning women’s rights and sexual violence.
When the company took off, then-CEO Yoon Hong-jo clarified to the Korean JoongAng Daily that Marymond does not treat this as a political issue between Korea and Japan but instead as a human rights violation against women. Since then, the phrase “I Marymond you” has become a way to show support for these victims.
Marymond started eight years ago in an effort to restore dignity to former sex slaves during the Japanese colonial era and has since gained support from several Korean A-list celebrities such as members from BTS.
i marymond you pic.twitter.com/eQcqlg7lum
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) February 12, 2015
Proceeds from the sales have gone towards the creation of the comfort women museum and to caring for the remaining victims, whose numbers are quickly dwindling.