Persona 5 Gets A Small Change To Avoid Further Controversy In South Korea

When PlayStation Korea uploaded the Persona 5 title sequence for the game's upcoming release in the country, fans noticed something: Ryuji Sakamoto's shoes.

[Image: Atlus]

As Record China reports, fans were upset that his shoes depicted a Rising Sun Flag motif. Obviously, due to historical associations Korean people have with that flag, there will certainly be greater sensitivity to that sort of imagery.

Here's a close up of Ryuji's shoes in-game. [Photo: Kotaku]

This wasn't the first time the sneakers caused controversy in South Korea. Last year, when the game was originally released in Japan, the shoes were the subject of Korean internet articles and heated online discussions. (You can read more about why this character might have this imagery on his sneakers right here.)

Yet, the opening uploaded to PlayStation Korea's official YouTube channel seemed to show that this element of the game wasn't localised for Korean gamers — which was actually somewhat surprising.

PlayStation Korea, however, has since re-upped the title sequence, and Ryuji's joggers no longer have the Rising Sun mark. Instead, they are completely white, as you can see below.

PlayStation Korea told IT Media that it had accidentally uploaded the title sequence that wasn't the Korean version. It also added that it had already changed the shoes out of consideration for the country's Persona fans.

Persona 5 will be released in South Korea on June 8.


    I can understand the reasoning behind this - the Rising Sun flag is, to the South Koreans, equivalent of the Swastika to, say, the French or the Ukranians. It's not just about WW2, either - Japan invaded and annexed Korean in 1910, and prior to that had put heavy pressure on Korea to acquiesce to unfair treaties. The Japanese Imperial Government treated South Korea horribly - much in the same way the UK treated India horribly. If you can understand why some people who live in former British colonies may look a little askew at a Union Jack, you can understand why South Koreans may look uneasily upon a Rising Sun image.

    Of course, that is in the past, and the Japan of Today is a peaceful, well-respected member of the international community. True, there are some right-wingers in Japan who want to engage in historical revisionism, but most people in Japan have little time for them. The Japanese are very keenly aware of what happened in WW2 - they are aware, more so than many nations with similar pasts, that their imperial ambitions did not end well for them, and most Japanese folks do not wish to look fondly on the 1930s and 1940s. Their Prime Minster, Abe, has been trying to get the constitution changed to reflect a more militaristic Japan, but from what I hear, most Japanese folks are opposed to that.

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