US fashion retailer Nordstrom was in hot water Sunday after placing a hoodie depicting a scene from the massacre in the Chinese city of Nanjing for sale on one of its websites.
The company has since removed the item, which featured a still image of Japanese soldiers about to behead victims in the 2009 film "City of Life and Death," which was about the violent episode in late-1930s China.
Outraged shoppers posted messages of disappointment on Nordstrom's Facebook page, demanding apologies and asking for the company to take down the article. "We have removed this item from our site and updated our process so that this type of item isn't offered in the future," the company said in response to an angry post on its Facebook page.
Emblazoned across the back of a black hoodie, the still shot shows a scene from the movie with added flourishes, such as red bars across the eyes of the victims and soldiers and the message "Why indifference?" scribbled across the top of the image.
In the foreground, a woman has been superimposed sitting on a bench, staring into the distance indifferently. "Nordstrom, please take down this disgusting cloth," one Facebook user wrote on Friday. In response to yet another indignant message demanding an explanation, Nordstrom offered "our sincerest apologies for the disappointment."
The Nordstrom Rack website offered it for sale under the label "Happiness" by Andrea Hoodie. The Nanjing massacre, often called the "Rape of Nanjing," refers to the mass murder and rape committed by Japanese troops after the fall of the Chinese city of Nanjing in 1937.
China says 300,000 people died in a six-week spree of killing, rape and destruction after the Japanese military entered Nanjing, although some respected foreign academics put the number lower. (AFP)