It is no secret that the modern world is a woke one. Unfortunately, not everything about being woke is good. Some of it is actually bad. For example, there are plenty of woke people who are just plain ignorant. They display their ignorance by protesting things they know very little about. A case in point is a recently released anime clothing line that may end up being completely ruined by people who do not understand Eastern symbolism.
The clothing line in question was released to promote the live action version of Tokyo Revengers. For the record, Tokyo Revengers started out as a manga series in 2017. It was adapted for TV anime earlier this year. As for the clothing line, some pieces feature the ancient Buddhist symbol known as the manji.
Unfortunately, far too many people who do not know history assume that the symbol is the same symbol used to create the Nazi swastika back in the Hitler days. Their assumptions are incorrect. Yet that has not stopped some from calling for a boycott of the clothing line and Tokyo Revengers in general.
Manji Is for Good Luck
The ancient Buddhist manji symbolizes prosperity, luck, and good fortune. People confuse it with the Nazi swastika because it looks similar. However, the biggest difference is that the manji faces to the left while the swastika faces right. Moreover, the manji traces its history back thousands of years. Germany's Nazis are less than a hundred years old.
It is also worth noting that the right facing symbol employed by Nazi Germany was not original to them. It has its roots in ancient Hinduism. It represents a number of things, including the rotation of the Earth around the Sun and the Hindu belief in karma.
Tokyo Revengers makes use of the manji symbol as a representation of the series' Tokyo Manji Gang. The symbol is essentially part of the gang's colors. It is in no way related to Nazi Germany, fascism, or anything Adolf Hitler and his followers stood for. But don't try telling that to certain members of the woke culture. They see the symbol and cannot imagine it standing for anything other than fascism.
Art Is Open to Interpretation
The one thing we anime lovers know is that art is open to interpretation. You might see one of our anime T-shirt featuring original Umai artwork and walk away with a certain impression of it. Someone else seeing the exact same T-shirt could have another impression. It is all good. There is no right or wrong.
Different interpretations go way beyond anime T-shirts and sweatshirts. Even anime series and films are open to it. To some people, a particular anime series may not work without excessive amounts of violence. To others, that same series may seem gratuitously violent. Again, there is no right or wrong.
The problem with the current woke mindset is that it excludes those interpretations that woke people don't like. People familiar with Buddhism and Hinduism will easily recognize both the manji and its right-facing counterpart. They will understand that both symbols stand for good things. However, that will not be enough for a woke crowd looking to eliminate the symbols so as to avoid any potential triggers.
It's all very sad and unfortunate. However, it is what it is. Here at Umai, we don't get wrapped up in such things. Instead, we focus on producing high quality anime-inspired artwork we can then print on high-quality T-shirts, sweatshirts, phone cases, and more. If you are into anime, check out our inventory. You'll like what you see.