A small alteration has been made to the Korean version of Atlus RPG Persona 5 in response to a controversy that has been rumbling on for some time.
Kotaku reports that as early as last year some South Korean gamers has noticed that game character Ryuji Sakamoto appeared to be sporting the Rising Sun Flag motif on his trainers.
The flag originates from Japan’s feudal history and was later adopted as the symbol of the Japanese military. Owing to Japan’s action in World War II, it has now become a divisive, especially in Korea, where it has come to represent Japanese oppression.
The flag is not illegal, however, and is still employed by the Japanese navy, although sensitivity about the image has again increased in recent years.
Said trainers had already caused offense on the Korean press following the game’s Japanese release last year. This has now been sparked off again following the re-appearance of the flag in the game’s trailer on the PlayStation Korea YouTube channel.
The trailer has since been edited and re-uploaded to remove the imagery, with PlayStation stating that the previous version was uploaded in error. It has also clarified that the shoes have been edited out of the Korean version of the game.
Kotaku speculates that the use of the Rising Sun in the game is most likely a subculture reference. Ryuji is depicted as a ‘Yankii’, who are characterised by wearing bright colours and clothes and generally being delinquents. The flag has become a bit of a symbol for the group.
A fully localised version of Persona 5 will be released in Korea on June 8th.