By Takeaki Matsumoto*

The lead of the Mainichi on October 1st reads “Gebara T-shirt blocked at the Members’ Office Building of House of Representatives.”(horizontal). “Serious human rights infringement ”(vertical).

HAVANA TIMES – Even in 60 years after his death, Che is still popular** and familiar in Tokyo, Japan. Among others, he can be seen in his torso printed on “Guevara T-shirts” worn by young and old. We usually call him “Gebara” in pronunciation as we have no “v” sound in Japanese.

I’m writing about an event that began a few minutes after noon on Aug.24 in the middle of Tokyo. To be exact, at the checkpoint of the Members’ Office Building of House of Representatives.

One of the five men was blocked by a security guard. They had joined a sit-in protest requesting quick reconvening of the Diet adjourned for nearly four months caused by the COVID-19 and the administration’s reluctance with regard to scandals involving then PM Abe. They were just on the way for lunch to a restaurant in the building.

The guard said, “You are not allowed to enter unless you would turn your T-shirt inside out.” The “T-shirt” was worn by the one of the above-said as he has love and respect of Che.

The guard also referred to the rule saying, “Persons wearing clothes with political messages, one that falls short of impartiality, neutrality and the likes are prohibited from entering.”

Similar situations have often occurred here. Visitors carrying tags and badges with logos  or characters on them such as “Item 9” (representing renunciation of armament in the pacifist Constitution), “nuclear power,” “Constitution” or “Okinawa” are blocked and asked to put them inside or remove.

While some feel uncomfortable with those requests, they tend to accept them to abate nuisance to fulfill their initial business.

The gentleman in the T-shirt, however, maintained disobedience to those requests, claiming an infringement of freedom of expression. That touched off quick and critical response among people associated with the civil movement for protecting the constitution.

As of the end of September, some 50 protesters in all spoke four times with the administrative officials of the Members’ Office Building about a possible amendment. Che on a torso is present every time at the meetings between the two parties.  

What would Che say should he find himself involved in a civil movement in a far eastern country?

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*Freelance documentary director

**As a Japanese, the sentiment of our admiration and respect to Che appears to be associated with his commitment and undaunted dedication to revolution and future in his sight, which somehow parallels the spirit of samurai, bushido in Japanese. What’s in common, and not to be forgotten to those in their seventies (the person concerned is one), appears to be his visit to Hiroshima and anger he laid bare there.

Read more articles pertaining to Cuba here.


3 thoughts on “Phantom of Che at Japan’s Diet Building!

  • Yes Olgasintamales, Dr. Ernesto Guevara de La Serna Lynch was a nasty piece of work. The fact that he is regarded as a hero by communists and the extreme left, is not surprising, for they support oppression. But there are so many innocent and uniformed, who have swallowed the myths promoted by the communist propaganda, and like the Japanese gentleman, aid in promoting the cult of the personality. He described himself when he wrote:

    “El odio es un elemento de lucha, el odio implacable del enemigo que nos impulsa por encima y mas alla de la limitacion natural del hombre y nos transforma en eficaces, violentes y selectivas maquinas asesinas.”

    “Hatred is an element of struggle, relentless hatred of the enemy that impels us over and beyond the natural limitation of man and transforms us into effective, violent, selective and cold killing machines.”

    When the opportunity to kill others diminished in Cuba, Guevara pursued his blood lust in Congo Brazzaville under the alias of ‘Ramon Benitez, eventually following six months in Prague and Dar-es-Salaam. Fidel Castro provided him with a false passport and funding, to go to Bolivia using the alias of Adolfo Mena Gonzalez and posing as a Uruguayan businessman working for the Organization of American States, he was shaved and died his hair grey. His purpose in Bolivia was to foment revolution with more blood letting, that was why the President of that country gave instructions to shoot him.

    Castro did not want Guevara to return to Cuba, recognizing that like Camilo Cienfuegos who conveniently ‘disappeared’, he could become a rival for power, and was only too happy to fund the Bolivian escapade.

    As Guevara put it:

    “In a revolution, one triumphs or dies.”

    “En una revolucion uno triunfo o muere.”

  • Mr Macduff you always Roth. Everytime I see a gay men with a Tshirt with the image if che I think of the frase he said a out interning homosexuals in concentrations camps.
    “La Revolución no necesita peluqueros”
    The revolution doesn’t needs hairdressers

  • “Youth should learn to think and act as a mass. To think as an individual is criminal.”

    “La juventud debe aprender a pensar y actuar como una masa. Es delictivo pensar como un individuo.”

    ‘Che’ Guevara.

    …and the Japanese gentleman speaks of “an infringement of his freedom of expression”?

    “A revolution cannot be accomplished with freedom of the press.”

    ‘Che’ Guevara

    …and the Japanese gentleman speaks of “an infringement of his freedom of expression” ?

    How innocent and ignorant of reality are those who wear the much promoted image of one who was dedicated to eradicating individual freedom and who practiced the Mao edict: “Power comes out of the mouth of a gun.” when dealing with the “disobedient” at La Cabana.

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