‘Tokyo Revengers’ inspired clothing sparks debate for its symbol

2021 was the year in which the growing popularity of ‘Tokyo Revengers’, a manga created by Ken Wakui in 2017, finally reached international levels following the arrival of his anime adaptation, which features an intriguing story of emotion. , romance and time jumps. which caused a sensation among fans of Japanese fiction.

“Tokyo Revengers” presents the story of a young unemployed 26-year-old who learns of the death of his high school sweetheart. After a strange accident, he goes back in time to his student years, a time when he was a juvenile delinquent, so he decides he is going to 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, gave birth to his own clothing line inspired by the outfits of his characters. Following its revelation on the internet, some Western netizens were uncomfortable with 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.

In the face of stormy demands from certain ideological sectors for Shonen Jump to remove swastikas from the series merchandise, these demands lack a rational basis. What “Tokyo Revengers” actually uses as a symbol is completely foreign to their 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, bears the Manji, a religious symbol mainly associated with Buddhist culture. Although this symbol had to be censored from the Western version of the manga, Shonen Jump found it relevant to keep it in his clothing line, since it is a context other than that of the Nazi Party and hate groups that carry its western variant. .

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

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