Clothing inspired by “Tokyo Revengers” generates debate for its symbol

2021 has been the year that the growing popularity of “Tokyo Revengers”, a manga created by Ken Wakui in 2017, has finally reached international levels following the arrival of its anime adaptation, which presents an intriguing story of emotion, romance. and time jumps that has caused a sensation among lovers of Japanese fiction.

“Tokyo Revengers” presents the story of a 26-year-old unemployed young man who learns of the death of his great high school sweetheart. After a strange accident, he goes back in time to his student years, a period in which he was a juvenile delinquent, so he decides that he will change the course of his life and thus save the girl he loves.

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Ken Wakui’s story, like any commercial sensation in Japan, has spawned his own clothing line inspired by the outfits of his characters. Following its revelation on the internet, some Western users have been uncomfortable at the idea of ​​supposedly presenting a swastika, a symbol used by the National Socialist Party in Germany as the national flag during World War II.

Faced with the heated requests of some ideological sectors towards Shonen Jump to eliminate the swastikas from the merchandise of the series, these claims lack a rational basis. What “Tokyo Revengers” is actually using as a symbol is completely foreign to its Western perception as it is a Manji.

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The Tokyo Manji Gang ”, a group to which the main characters in Wakui’s work belong, carry the Manji, a religious symbol that is mainly associated with Buddhist culture. Although this symbol had to be censored from the western version of the manga, Shonen Jump has considered it pertinent to keep it in its clothing line, since it is a context other than that of the Nazi party and the hate groups that carry its western variant.

Despite the fact that on the internet there are still groups of people furious with the use of this symbol in the clothing line inspired by “Tokyo Revengers”, this is due to a complete ignorance of the religious culture in Japan, which turns out to be much more complicated of what we have come to know through the cultural products that reach the West.

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