A group of japanese artists hopes to help people embrace both the Olympic spirit and the Japanese culture, by reinventing the flags of competing countries as anime samurai characters in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Nations large and small are represented in the project World Flags, including India, South Africa, Great Britain, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, and Turkey. “Samurai are unique to Japan and we want everyone to know about traditional Japanese culture,” said the creator. Kamaya Yamamoto.
World Flags Japanese artists investigated the meaning and history of each country’s flag, as well as the colors and design. They also knew their culture in depth. The Truth Newss shares some of the anime samurai-style designs below.
Above we can see the design for Mexico. And because the Mexican flag features an eagle perched on a cactusEating a snake, Yamamoto mixed these elements to create a samurai with a snake insignia and a companion eagle.
Each character also comes with a brief report on your personality, strengths and weaknesses, a bit like a character from a video game. “We hope this can be a way for people to learn about other countries,” he says. Kozo Yamada, another artist on the project.
Samurai soldiers have played an important role in Japanese history since at least the 12th century. Although samurai no longer exist, “bushido”, the warrior form, based on honor and discipline, is a value system that is considered important in Japanese culture even today.
Although the online initiative looks like a proper promotional campaign for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the 15 people behind the project do not make money from it and do so in their spare time.
So far they have made samurai with the flags of 84 out of 200 competing countries. And when it comes to character design, they have taken a more collaborative approach, sometimes conducting polls on Twitter and asking people to vote for a country’s most iconic symbol or object.
For Paraguay, for example, many of the respondents mentioned the famous Iguazú waterfall. The country’s article is a nod to that, mentioning that samurai like to train there.
Sometimes they received negative comments that they said can also be helpful. When they first drew Spain, for example, they imagined the character as a bullfighter.
“I admit that some of the characters can be a bit stereotyped because they are based on a Japanese perspective of the world,” says Yamamoto. “We did not know that bullfights are controversial in Spain. We received criticism online, so we changed it.”
Other designs have become very popular in other countries, including Sri Lanka. The colors of the country’s flag represent the three main ethnic groups in the country: Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslims. So the samurai not only uses these colors, but the image also includes a lion, highlighted on the flag.