During my visit to Osaka I came across a shop's door with this Third Reich eagle:

shop door

If I can remember correctly, it was most likely supposed to be a plain pots & pans shop.

Can anyone explain why would that eagle exist (and be kept) on the shop's door and what do the inscriptions say?

I only found those references to this door on the Internet, but they don't seem to offer much explanation:

http://osakarchit.exblog.jp/17717326/ https://twitter.com/kemta/status/209872323573071872/photo/1 https://www.flickr.com/photos/cthulhuswolves/15603605168

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 19:10

2 Answers 2


In Japan and other Asian countries there is no stigma on Nazi culture, and until the last 25 years or so, Nazi culture was considered in many Asian communities to be fascinating or chic. Therefore, especially in older places, like the shop in your photo, Nazi symbology can sometimes be found as a marketing element. American sociologists call it "Nazi chic". Time magazine published an article about it in 2000. This fad has declined over the years and it is rare to see it in any new marketing campaigns or advertising.

Also, note that the swastika is a commonly used symbol in Japan because it is associated with Buddhism. When used like this it has no Nazi connotation to the Japanese, but just means Buddhist.

  • 18
    Almost all cultures (European at least) have used the swastiak at some point or still do; in Finland (I read in an article some years ago) it's not uncommon to gift rings with swastikas engraved. Personally, I hope we can get rid of the association with the nazis so we can get our sun symbol back.
    – Clearer
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 19:50
  • 7
    Buddhist temples are denoted on Japanese maps (and even in Google maps) as swastikas, but they "rotate" in the opposite direction to the Nazi emblem. Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 20:08
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    @Clearer As OP noted, this is the Reichsadler. It's clearly a Nazi symbol, not just a Swastika that is used in a different context (but really, a symbol representing the extermination of 6 million Jews is forever tainted; that's also why at least some non-Nazi groups have renounced it even though it used to have cultural value to them; hopefully, more will follow in the future).
    – tim
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 20:21
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    @Clearer Actually in Finland it would be pretty darn bizarre to personally gift anybody a swastika ring unless you're a neo-Nazi (source: I'm Finnish). However, there are still discreet swastikas on some army insignia & medals, because this use predates the Nazi era: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 22:12
  • @jpatokal I stand corrected. I thought it was a bit odd when I read the article.
    – Clearer
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 7:09

That first link has some interesting information / speculation.

The first half of the top line 世界の冠たる can be taken as a translation of the German phrase "Über alles in der Welt", which has Nazi connotations. The company was founded in 1918, which invites the possibility that the logo was adopted during WWII.

All of that indicates that it is clearly more than "Nazi chic" like you would see hawked to edgy teenagers. On the other hand I wouldn't assume that the one-time owner was a Jew-hating ideologue; more likely he admired German culture, adopted the logo because that represented Germany at the time, and saw no reason to change it even after the war.

The second half of the first line says "Kawanishi's products". The text below the logo is just the company name, what they are, address, and phone. The address includes a district that was abolished in 1989, so the sign was made before then.

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