Google Honors Japanese Go Player On D-Day 70th

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As people around the world commemorated the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy in World War II, search engine giant Google instead decided to draw attention to Japanese Go legend Honinbo Shusaku, who was born on June 6.

In a major blunder, Google put up the Doodle on Google’s UK website, before taking it down and replacing it with a Remembering D-Day link below the search bar that goes to a series of photographs hosted on the Google Cultural Institute web page.

The same D-Day link is present on the main Google.com page, as well as on the French Google. The link is not present on the Canadian Google, even though Canadian troops were among those who landed on D-Day.

Google told the British press that the Doodle had gone up on the UK page “in error.”

While the Doodle has been taken down from the UK page, it is the default image for many Google sites around the world, including Japan, Hong Kong, Ireland, and Greece, as well as the country playing defense on D-Day, Germany.

Since 1998, Google has produced over 2,000 Doodles on its front page honoring various famous and obscure anniversaries, from Halloween to the release of Pac-Man. While Google has seen fit to produce Doodles this year honoring International Women’s Day, Audrey Hepburn, and French film director Gérard Oury, the Normandy landings apparently failed to arouse the interest of its full-time Doodle crew.

The oversight does not seem related to any hesitance about covering World War II, as resistance figures Sophie Scholl and Jan Karski have both been honored with Doodles.

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