The Chinese entertainment industry has been on high alert ever since the NRTA (National Radio and Television Administration) handed down reforms to “clean up” the environment. After Zhang Zhehan (张哲瀚) was blacklisted for his past visits to Japanese shrines dedicated to war criminals and was accused of being “pro-Japan”, his “Word of Honor” (山河令) co-star, Simon Gong Jun (龚俊) was also accused of visiting a Japanese shrine based on footage from an old vlog.
In a vlog from 2019, Gong Jun was in Japan for work and did some sight seeing while he was there. In one of the scenes, it showed a sign for the “Kyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrine” in the background, which led to netizens question whether Gong Jun had visited the shrine. While the Kyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrine might not be as controversial as the Yasukuni and Nogi shrines, it became a heated discussion among netizens who compared Gong Jun’s alleged visit against Zhang Zhehan’s situation. Some had even called for an industry boycott on Gong Jun.
On September 9, Gong Jun’s studio immediately issued a statement stating that he had only passed by Nineizaka and Sanneizaka near Kiyomizu-dera, which are tourist attractions in Kyoto, to buy matcha ice cream and continued walking afterwards. He didn’t pay attention to the background, which contained a sign of theKyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrine, and was merely just passing by.
The studio even provided a long screenshot of Gong Jun’s itinerary from that vlog showing that he only visited, Kamogawa, Kyoto University of the Arts,Nineizaka and Sanneizaka, and Hanamikoji Street. Gong Jun had only passed by a sign of the shrine and showed the distance from the sign to the actual location of theKyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrine was quite far.
Gong Jun had reposted his studio’s statement and said, “Never went before and will absolutely never enter in the future.”