Lurid Nan­jing hoodie riles Chi­nese

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By CHINA DAILY in New York and AFP Judy Zhu in New York con­trib­uted to this story.

Nord­strom Rack, a sub­sidiary of the Seat­tle re­tail gi­ant Nord­strom Inc, spurred out­rage for sell­ing a hoodie show­ing Ja­panese sol­diers killing Chi­nese peo­ple dur­ing the Nan­jing Mas­sacre in World War II.

The de­sign on the hooded sweat­shirt, la­beled HAP­PI­NESS, shows a scene of the pend­ing de­cap­i­ta­tion of in­no­cent Nan­jing civil­ians taken from the 2009 Chi­nese film epic Nank­ing! Nank­ing! and also dis­trib­uted in English as City of Life and Death.

Nord­strom Rack re­ceived wide­spread crit­i­cism over the week­end for sell­ing the hoodie on its web­site.

Within hours, it pulled the sweat­shirt from its on­line shelves and of­fered apolo­gies to those who posted on their Face­book page. The de­signer of the hoodie also has apol­o­gized.

“We are very sorry for this dis­ap­point­ment. This has been shared with our teams, who will be work­ing to re­move the item,” Nord­strom replied to a cus­tomer com­plaint on Face­book.

The Nan­jing Mas­sacre was a six-week episode of mass mur­der and mass rape com­mit­ted by Ja­panese in­vaders against the res­i­dents of Nan­jing in De­cem­ber 1937. More than 300,000 peo­ple died.

The hoodie’s de­sign also shows the eyes of the sol­diers and civil­ians are over­writ­ten in red. Su­per­im­posed on top is an im­age of a woman on a bench, look­ing away, and at the top, in scratchy red writ­ing, are the words “Why in­dif­fer­ence?”

Out­raged shop­pers posted mes­sages on Nord­strom’s Face­book and Twit­ter web pages, de­mand­ing apolo­gies.

“It’s com­pletely un­ac­cept­able to pro­mote the Nan­jing mas­sacre as hap­pi­ness in your store!” Xie Zhiy­ong, a se­nior soft­ware en­gi­neer, posted on Twit­ter last Thurs­day. He also hash­tagged “boy­cott” and “racist”.

“When did Nord­strom hire a Nazi de­signer?” Jian­bin Chen com­mented last Fri­day on Face­book.

“How hu­mil­i­at­ing and base and shame­less. Such an im­pe­ri­al­ist and ex­trem­ist ig­no­rant busi­ness scum­bag,” Si­mon Liu com­plained on Face­book.

How­ever, no of­fi­cial apol­ogy has been is­sued.

“I’d like to apol­o­gize with Chi­nese com­mu­nity if I may have hurt any­one’s feel­ing with this post but this pic­ture is ac­tu­ally against war and in­dif­fer­ence (“why in­dif­fer­ence?” is in fact the ti­tle for it),” An­drea Mar­cac­cini, the de­signer of the hoodie, re­sponded last Fri­day on Face­book.

“No one ever speaks of that event (China mas­sacre) in the Western world. It is not meant to be of­fen­sive in any way, on the con­trary it’s a protest against the big­oted and nar­row-minded peo­ple. This is a de­mure kind of art, not an in­sult! This is “Why In­dif­fer­ence?” Of my Lamb of God se­ries. Thanks for ur at­ten­tion.”

“It’s not ‘IF’ you hurt the Chi­nese com­mu­nity, you did. By not un­der­stand­ing his­tory and in­stead profit­ing from it, I hope no one puts a pic­ture of your an­ces­tors be­ing killed on a shirt called Hap­pi­ness.” Li Lin com­mented on Mar­cac­cini’s post.

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