As I talked about in the past I sometimes get paid to be an extra in movies and TV here in Japan. Since Japan is in love with 40s historical dramas 90% of the time I play an American GI in the 8th Army Occupation force of Japan.
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I always wear the same uniform, usually a private first class (I apparently don’t have the face of an officer). The pay sucks but it’s great to go out hang on a movie set. A lot of the time there is a big group of people and I always get a kick out of how there are never any real Americans to fill the roles and so the movie extras playing GIs are made up of Brazilians, Italians and Russians; lots of Russians. Sometimes, I’ll meet some cool people, but most of the time they’re totally insane.
Read: Avoiding crazy people in Japan
Anyway, the badge on the army shoulder is this red and white emblem that I always thought was weird as it stands out, but an occupation army wears different symbols than one in the jungles of Asia. They look like this:
I didn’t notice at first but someone on the set pointed out that the 8th Army badge looks a lot like the Umbrella Corporation symbol from Resident Evil.
I couldn’t find any interviews with the makers of the game but it makes sense considering Resident Evil was developed in Japan and the American occupation had a huge affect on Japanese culture from creating a national market for whale meat or, as wonderfully pointed out by Embracing Defeat’s John W. Dower, the sexuality of Japanese Tits.
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Huh, that’s an interesting tidbit of information.
This is incredibly finite and niche marketed. If that’s even a sentence one can write.
as a young man I had the privilege of serving in the United States military as a soldier in South Korea just after the 1988 Olympics. It was there when I first saw the 8th Army patch. Immediately upon seeing the first “Resident Evil” movie, I was reminded instantly of the 8th Army patch and the similarities to the umbrella corporation patch from the movie series.
It is in my opinion that the writers of this movie had some inspiration from the United States Army and in particular the 8th Army patch.
This wasn’t the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last that writers/Hollywood derives inspiration from the military to create a script that would be easily relatable to certain audiences.
And in my experience the acts of the “Umbrella Corporation” from the movie series “Resident Evil”, no way reflect the actual operations of the United States Army 8th Army Division. Any resemblance of insignia, rank or unit identification is merely coincidence and should be dismissed as such.