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Japan never got the memo that Nazi costumes are offensive

11:00 PM on 12.07.2010 // Crystal White

Despite the fact that most of the Internet laughs at Nazi jokes, we can all agree that it's generally considered a social faux pas to wear a Hitler costume for Halloween. Or at least most people would probably think so. I guess Japan never got that memo, because at least two Don Quijote outlets in Tokyo were selling Nazi party costumes for 5,000 yen or $60. 

Aico, the Japanese manufacturer has made the costume for seven years without complaint. However on Monday, the Don Quijote chain received a letter from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish rights organization based in Los Angeles asking that the sales stop. I kind of want to know exactly how a L.A. based Jewish group found out about something all the way in Tokyo, though I suppose the fact that some sites like Amazon Japan are selling the costume may have had something to do with it. 

What makes me laugh is just that no one actually from Japan complained at all. I guess that's not so surprising as many of the symbols we give the most meaning to in the West tend to appear as nothing more than foreign interests to Japan. Still, the packaging did say "Heil Hitler" in Japanese on the front, so it's not like they didn't know what they were promoting. 

Then again, I suppose this isn't the strangest thing Japan has done.  

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Crystal White,
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