Whatever Happened to the Heroes? Punk, Trotsky, Che Chic and the consumption of revolutionary icons

Wandering down steaming ramen shopping alleys from Tokyo’s Koenji to Ueno in the mid-aughts, I was overcome by the ubiquity of Che Guevara’s image on t-shirts in cheap military gear and punk shops. In the suburbs of Saitama, his likeness also punctuated the crowded roads lined by Marui and Seibu department stores. The…