Controversy over Rising Sun Symbol at UPENN Building (May 2014)

The University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) in Philadelphia recently finished a major renovation of the Arts, Research and Culture House (ARCH) building making use of a $15M anonymous contribution.  The ARCH building was originally built in 1928 by the Christian Association, which owned the building until 1999 when it was acquired by UPENN.  In the renovation, many stained glass windows with symbols representing foreign lands were kept.  One of these symbols is the Rising Sun symbol which is the military flag of Japan (  This has led to a controversy initiated by Korean students on campus because the Rising Sun symbol is associated with the Japanese military which inflicted massive and inhumane atrocities all over Asia during WWII.  UPENN’s position is that this stained glass symbol was put there in 1928 before WWII.  The opposition’s position is that although the Rising Sun symbol might not be offensive in 1928, it is definitely offensive after 1945, and even more so today because the Japanese government is still denying the existence of those atrocities.  Furthermore, the Japanese military already began its imperialistic aggression toward China and Korea starting in the late 19th century.  The controversy at UPENN is still going on:

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