Persona 5 won’t be out in South Korea until next year, but the game has already caused some controversy there online.

Note: This article might have Persona 5 spoilers? Maybe not. Depends on how you view Persona and spoilers.

The game will be subtitled in Korean, which should make many players there happy. What isn’t making some happy is imagery on P5 character Ryuji Sakamoto’s shoes. He doesn’t always wear the same sneakers in the game, but while at school, he wears these:

That certainly appears to be Rising Sun Flag motif. In South Korea, there have been articles and posts online pointing this out. Obviously, due to historical associations Korean people have with that flag, there will certainly be greater sensitivity to that sort of imagery.

While national paper Kyeonggi Daily recently published an article about this, even reporting that there’s apparently a protest petition, note that Persona is very popular with Korean gamers and not everyone is bound to react the same.

(Apparently, there is also in-game dialogue that mentions “demanding an apology and reparations”, which Kyeonggi Daily mentions as an allusion of the apology and reparations given to “comfort women.” I’m currently playingPersona 5 and don’t recall that bit of dialogue, but if you have a screenshot, do put it in the comments!)

I’d be more inclined to say that the Rising Sun design on Ryuji’s sneakers is to draw a direct line to that subculture, and not, per se, to 20th century aggression (even if there’s an argument that the bosozoku’s embrace of said imagery is a direct link to that). So, when people in Japan see a kid with dyed hair, talking rough and sporting Rising Sun imagery, they’d immediately think “yankii.” 

But South Korea isn’t Japan, and just as some imagery in Baymax upset people in the country, these sneakers appear to be doing the same. Don’t be surprised if the shoes are slightly changed for the South Korean release.




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