RIIZE Announce Their Fanclub Name, But There Is Concern Over A Possible Controversial Meaning

Fans are mixed on the name.

One of the hottest topics online for the past few weeks was the much-anticipated debut of SM Entertainment‘s newest boy group, RIIZE. The group have been collecting fans since their “Siren” performance video was released, even performing at KCON LA 2023.

RIIZE | @RIIZE_official/Twitter

Before their debut, fans were given a unique opportunity — to give RIIZE’s fan club its official name. After the submission period closed, the choices were narrowed to three with special meanings: SUNZ, WIISH, and BRIIZE.

| @RIIZE_official/Twitter

On September 4, RIIZE held their debut showcase, where they introduced their track “Get A Guitar.” During the showcase, the fan club name was also revealed for the first time, with SUNZ winning the vote.

While the association between the group’s name and SUNZ is apparent, fans almost immediately pointed out how the name could be turned into something controversial.

When using RIIZE and SUNZ together, many felt there was too much of a similarity to “rising sun,” the name of the flag used by Japan during multiple wars. Koreans — and other Asian countries impacted by Japan’s militarism and imperialism — have long been comparing the Japanese rising sun flag/design to the Nazi swastika, as the Japanese imperial navy used the flag in the early 20th century when Japan colonized South Korea.

The Rising Sun Flag | Hannu Mononen/Alamy

This possible interpretation has led many to wonder why SM Entertainment presented the name as an option, especially since Shotaro, who many believe is RIIZE’s leader, is Japanese.

On the other hand, many fans liked the name and preferred it over the given alternatives.

What do you think?

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