Just when you thought the che/fidel/commie image idiocy couldnt get any more profoundly absurd, take a gander at this just received from reader Carlos C:

Attached is a picture of some Che merchandise I spotted being hocked in Tokyo’s Akihibara district. These bags are going for about 780 yen or approximately $6.50US. I mean I’d expect this kind of shit from the Euros or Mexicans, but the Japanese? I thought they were cool with the capitalism thing. Akihibara btw is the big consumer technology district, there you can buy electronics that wont hit the US for years, if ever. The irony pains me too.
I hope this doesn’t sour anyone on Japan. It’s a really great country, inside and out. Wonderful people, good food, good work ethic, and loads of history. I just thought this picture was a funny little summer anecdote.

To wit:


Yes, that’s right, a che and fidel revolutionary purse being sold in Japan, complete with propaganda slogan and everything:

Le sumba el mango.

9 thoughts on “?????????????”

  1. As annoyinng and as irritating as this is, I don’t think the people behind this meant any harm.
    The Japanese are very into copying everybody around them to be with the “in crowd”, mainly the US. Some Japanese tourists probably spent some time in New York and saw a bunch of stupid kids walking around with Che shirts on, asked them why they liked him, bought whatever crap they were told and thought it would be a “cool idea.”
    While they should’ve done some ACTUAL research before they put these out and it was an extremely stupid thing to do, I doubt they meant to offend anybody.
    I’m sure if you contacted the people behind this, they would be more than responsive. For the most part, the Japanese are a very friendly and accomodating people.

  2. While I was in Japan, I saw a lot of weird stuff. I toured a lotus factory and the foreman had a very nice polo shirt on, and embroidered over his pocket was the word “Bitch.” I’m sure the poor guy had no idea.
    Less funny was the restaurant named fidel in Wellington, New Zealand, (on Cuba Street, of course) replete with revolutionary slogans and lots of pictures of a baseball playing dictator lining the walls. Needless to say, I didn’t eat there.

  3. I expect this specific instance is an example of mindless, practically infantile radical chic, as opposed to the malicious kind. It’s still deplorable and offensive, but it’s not like trying to make a buck off “Che” promotion in South Florida, which is still happening, unbelievably enough. Now THAT’s offensive.

  4. Did you get the name of the manufacturer? I’m sure if we wrote to them and askek, politely, how they would feel if we started to make purses with pictures of the atomic bomb dropping on Hiroshima and slogans that said “Good Job, America!” they might realize they were insulting people with their creations.

  5. If that isn’t enough, I just came from a Korean bookstore and saw Ana “cara de caballo” Menendez’s crappy novela, “Loving Che” translated into Korean! I guess that the “Che” names sells and generates interest even if its on a crappy, boring book.

  6. The Japanese will put the silliest words on their products – it’s called “Engrish” anything that sounds English is trendy and they have a whole culture of “desparate” phrases in English that make no sense at all. I betcha they don’t even know who Che was – they are just following a marketing trend

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