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Japanese Singer Sports Hitler Moustache in New Year’s Political Statement

A Japanese pop megastar caused consternation during a popular annual New Year’s Eve broadcast on December 31 by wearing a fake Hitler moustache during his performance.

Keisuke Kuwata is the founder and lead-singer of the Southern All Stars, one of the most beloved and iconic pop bands in 1980s Japan. After selling millions of records and going on hiatus between 2008 and 2013, the Southern All Stars, fronted by Kuwata, appeared via live satellite feed as part of the NHK Red and White Song Competition, known as the Kohaku. Watching the Kohaku has been a New Year’s Eve tradition millions of Japanese people since its start on December 31,1949.

The appearance this year of the Southern All Stars was supposed to be a special treat. However, Kuwata’s decision to surprise viewers by sporting a fake Hitler moustache at the start of the band’s set quickly became one of the hottest trending topics in Japan’s social media landscape.

Why was Keisuke Kuwata sporting a Hitler moustache? He hasn’t said why, which has resulted in a lot of Internet speculation.

Many feel the key to the mystery of Hitler moustache (called a ちょび髭 or chobi hige in Japanese) is the fact Kuwata was sporting it as the Southern All Stars kicked off their hit single “Peace and Hi-Lite.”

The December 31, 2014 Kohaku broadcast came in the aftermath of a snap December election that saw the ruling bloc, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), re-elected with a 325-seat super-majority.

While the LDP itself actually lost several seats, there are fears that the ruling bloc’s super-majority will allow Abe to change Japan’s “peace constitution” — which denounces war and endorses pacifism — and even start a war.

And so Keisuke Kuwata sported a Hitler moustache as he sang an anti-war song during one of Japan’s biggest and most treasured cultural events.

Read more: globalvoicesonline.orgWritten by Nevin Thompson


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