Or you could bend an ear to the gnashing of teeth and feral howling at the moon of the correspondents of the Sankei Shimbun (no link, my translation)
Women...Human Rights...and Misperceptions of Historical Facts Too
June 27, 2007
By Yamamoto Hideya, Washington
This Resolution that criticizes Japan as regards the Comfort Women Problem, the one to be voted upon in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, has been in the works since September of last year. The advocates of this legislation--Representative Honda, South Korean-American organizations and the like--lifted up the political "imperial standards" (nishiki no mihata) of "Women" and "Human Rights." This stance bowled over Japan's apologies- and historical facts-based arguments.
The nishiki no mihata (here is an image of one) were the silk standards embossed with a single, giant gold imperial chrysathemum that the forces of the fledgling Imperial Army carried before them at the battle of Fushimi-Inari. For some reason the symbolic power of nishiki no mihata--and not the oh-well-what-the-hell desperation of the irregular Imperial Forces under Okubo Toshimichi--was the key to the surprise victory over the better trained and better equipped Tokugawa bakufu army.
After Fushimi-Inari, the nishiki no mihata became the terror weapon of the Bōshin War. Held aloft, they notified all upon the field of battle that imperial blessings now rested upon the Satsuma, Chōshū and Tosa warriors and not the Tokugawa forces. Indeed, like Mito Kōmon's fabulous tobacco container of ultimate power, the nishiki no mihata so demoralized Tokugawa adherents that they would surrender, realizing the futility of fighting against the glory of His Imperial Majesty.
Now you have to be in a pretty tighly wound snit in order to be imagining South Koreans AND Mike Honda holding aloft imperial house banners, albeit ones embossed with the words "Women" and "Human Rights." (So Honda and the South Koreans are Imperial forces...which would make the Embassy of Japan in the United States the...)
But you have to be in an even more bizarro state of anger when you spit out the words "Women!" and "Human Rights!" as expletives.
I can't help myself. It immediately reminds of this guy.
Later - Ken Worsley over at Trans Pacific Radio has checked in with his two yen's worth. He decides the problem is pyromania.
N.B. - Heard of a nishiki no mihata before? I hadn't. I know now that when the term appeared in one of Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichirō's email magazine messages, the Kantei staff thought it sufficiently obscure that they felt it necessary to post a picture of one these banners on the Kantei website.