E. Honda’s Street Fighter II bathhouse stage is iconic. On the back wall is a mural with Mount Fuji, a kabuki actor, and the Rising Sun design. The mountain and the thespian stay in Capcom Arcade Stadium’s re-release, but the ray design does not.
Here is how the stage appeared in the original Street Fighter II:
This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. While the off-centre Rising Sun still might be the Japanese Navy’s official ensign, the design is controversial, especially within Asia, as it was flown by Imperial Japan. Capcom seems to have decided it would be best not to offend those in the international gaming community.
In the past few years, whenever the design has appeared in popular media, controversy has ensued. For example, when a character wore a Rising Sun shirt in Bohemian Rhapsody, the outcry led to its digital removal, while PUBG’s creators had to apologise after releasing an item pack that appeared to use the same imagery.
Previously, the ray design was removed in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, but the sun remained. This appeared to be a fair, tastefully done compromise, while its latest iteration does look rather lopsided.
This isn’t the only change in Capcom Arcade Stadium. As Pomegd also points out, Hong Kong fighter Fei Long’s flag is now the People’s Republic of China instead of either the city’s regional one as in 2018’s Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection or, as in the game’s earlier releases, the British Hong Kong ensign. Pomegd notes that Zangief still has the U.S.S.R. hammer and sickle.