Danny Choo is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. Danny resides in Tokyo, and blogs about life in Japan and Japanese subculture - he also works part time for the empire
So why exactly do most Japanese folk do the V-sign when having their photos taken? According to Wikipedia, the earliest confirmed usage of the V-sign was by Winston Churchil during World War II - the V-sign meaning "Victory." The Japanese Wikipedia for the entry Peace Sign however says that there is a theory that the two fingers mean that two nuclear bombs where dropped on Japan meaning that peace is near...
During the 1972 Winter Olympics in Japan, skater Janet Lynn (who was also a peace activist) was photographed by the Japanese media doing the V-sign. Although the V-sign was already recognized in Japan, it was apparently these photos of Lynn that popularized the use of the V-sign.
The Japanese entry in Wikipedia does not mention Lynn at all and instead says that the V-sign took off in the 80's when usage of the V-sign was used when kids were having their photos taken.
A few more pics of Japanese folks doing the V-sign in my previous Japanese V Sign and Seijin Shiki articles.
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