Tanjiro Kamado is one of the most beloved characters in the modern anime generation. Since its release in 2021, Demon Slayer has managed to break the internet quite a few times with the release of new seasons and even a movie.
However, when the anime was first premiered, the Hanafuda Earings passed down to Tanjiro from his father, Tanjuro sparked a controversy altogether due to its design.
The earrings were first believed to be worn by Yoriichi Tsugikuni, the maker of Breathing Styles, He was the first user of Breath of Sun, the legendary breathing style that gave birth to all the other breathing styles we know.
History of the Hanafuda Earrings
The earrings were passed down through many generations before finally ending up with Tanjiro. Sumiyoshi, Tanjiro’s ancestor and Yoriichi seemed to be quite close to each other. Yoriichi even used to visit Sumiyoshi and his family sometimes, on his last ever visit, Sumiyoshi’s wife requested to see the Breath Of Sun being performed, which Yoriichi agreed to.
Seeing the Breath Of Sun, Sumiyoshi learned it, and as a departing gift, the earrings were gifted to Sumiyoshi by Yoriichi. Seeing Yoriichi had no heirs, Sumiyoshi wished to carry on his legacy through his own generations, hence, also passing down the Hanafuda earrings. The Breath of Sun from there onwards was known as Hinokami Kagura.
What Sparked The Controversy
The design on the earrings called Hanafuda, translates to “Flower Cards” in English, These are playing cards used in Japan and can depict a number of things like cultural references and animals.
When we talk about Tanjiro, Hanafuda actually refers to the earrings he wears instead of playing cards.
The design made on the earrings depicts a rising sun with a grey semi-circle on the lower half. While the intent could have been to depict a flower instead, they bear a close resemblance to the ‘Rising Sun’ Japanese flag that it used in its imperial era.
This has sparked an upset among fans in South Korea and China, two of the most affected countries due to Imperial Japan. To accommodate viewers in the above two countries the design was changed to a more plain design with three horizontal straight lines.
It is also not the first time that a reference to the Imperial Japan era has left South Korean and Chinese Fans upset. For example, Jujutsu Kaisen has also been under fire for the name of a technique called “Kamikaze” when translated from kanji.