Art & Design

Japanese Artists Reimagine Various Countries As Anime Samurai

A team of Japanese artists is reimagining amazing Samurai characters by the flags of the countries that are competing in the Olympics. The purpose of this is to boost both the Olympic spirit and the Japanese culture.

Samurai characters as countries
Source – WORLD FLAGS

This is called the World Flags Project, and a variety of nations, big and small, are artistically represented as Samurai characters. Some of the competing countries included in this project are Great Britain, El Salvador, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and Turkey.

Samurai characters as countries
Source – WORLD FLAGS

Kamaya Yamamoto, one of the creators, states that he wants everyone to be familiar with the traditional Japanese culture through Samurai, which are unique to Japan. Before designing a Samurai with a country flag, he studies the history and meaning behind the chosen country’s flag. Then, he also studies the country’s culture.

Samurai characters as countries
Source – WORLD FLAGS

For instance, when designing the Mexican flag, Mr. Yamamoto considered how an eagle perched 0n a cactus eating a snake is featured on the Mexican flag. He perfectly blended these elements, creating a breathtaking Samurai with an eagle companion and snake insignia.

Samurai characters as countries
Source – WORLD FLAGS

Each character is presented with a little description about them, similar to characters in video games. This brief write-up includes their personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. Kozo Yamada, another creator, states that the purpose of this is to let people learn about different countries.

Samurai characters as countries
Source – WORLD FLAGS

Since the 12th century, Samurai soldiers have played a significant role in Japanese history. This online initiative looks like an amazing promotional campaign for the Tokyo Olympics. However, the 15 creators behind this unique project do not make any money out of their creations.

Samurai characters as countries
Source – WORLD FLAGS

For now, they have created Samurai characters for 84 of the 200 competing countries.

Samurai characters as countries
Source –

When designing the Samurai characters, they sometimes have taken a collaborative approach, such as using Twitter polls when selecting symbols.

Samurai characters as countries
Source – WORLD FLAGS

In some countries, for instance, in Sri Lanka, these designs have become very popular. In the Sri Lankan national flag, the colors represent the three main ethnic groups: the Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims. Therefore, the stunning Samurai wears these three colors blended in a truly attractive manner. In addition, a lion cub is also featured in the image, which is symbolically featured on the flag. The lion cub carries a blue water lily in its mouth, which is Sri Lanka’s national flower.

Mr. Yamamoto proudly states that his team has received many supportive messages from Sri Lankans who loved the Samurai.

Samurai characters as countries
Source – NewswireLK

However, they also receive negative feedback from the public. For example, when they initially drew the Spanish character, it was imagined as a bullfighter. Yamamoto admits that some characters might be a little stereotypical. The reason for this is that they are imagined based on a Japanese perspective of the world. He states that the team had no idea that bullfighting was controversial in Spain and received criticism. Following the criticism, they have changed it.

Samurai characters as countries
Source – Bored Panda

So, what are your thoughts about these amazing Samurai characters? Let us know in the comments!

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