Embracing the spirit of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, a collective of 15 Japanese artists have reimagined competing countries’ flags as anime characters.
Titled World Flags, the project has created 84 designs so far.
(They hope to eventually deliver the full 200.)
The project’s artists start by researching the meaning and history of each nation’s flag.
They then create a design based on this research.
And, of course, each flag’s colour scheme.
National flags meet Samurai tradition
World Flag’s artists then integrate their findings with Japan’s own Bushido and Samurai traditions.
“Samurais are unique to Japan and we want everyone to get to know traditional Japanese culture,” creator Kamaya Yamamoto has shared in an interview with the BBC.
Australia is no exception.
Australia’s Tokyo Olympics anime warrior is Edward
World Flag’s Australia character is ‘Edward.’
His biography reads as follows:
“Australian. Bold and bold to do anything. The habit is ‘Don’t worry! Friend! (No worries mate!)… It is said to be simple because it wears ancient Japanese armor, but I think it is simple is best. His specialty is the “Outback Slash” with all the power from the upper left. On holidays, it’s soothing to play with dolphins on the beaches of Sydney. It seems that he created the Vegemite Promotion Committee by himself to spread vegemite to the world.”
A ‘chibi’ (short) Edward design
The World Flag project also provides the following details.
Edward’s height is 190cm.
His blood type is B.
The warrior’s hobby of choice is surfing.
His special Skill is ‘Dolphin Ride.’
Edward’s biography suggests his best-loved food Vegemite.
An additional Edward photo
Potential for controversy
Advocates for the rights of Indigenous Australians will no doubt have objections.
Many members of Australia’s Indigenous communities do not acknowledge the sovereignty of Australia’s European colonial flag.
They instead prefer the alternative Australian Aboriginal Flag.
The World Flags project has previously addressed similar controversies.
“I admit,” artist Kamaya Yamamoto has shared with the BBC, “that some of the characters might be a bit stereotypical because they are based on a Japanese perspective of the world.”
“[For example,] we didn’t know that bullfighting is controversial in Spain. We received criticism online, so we changed it.”
Other warrior designs have featured multiple characters to reflect differing national subcultures.
World Flags want fans to embrace The Tokyo Olympics
The collective has created the designs free of charge.
Their good-spirited gesture is done in the hope the artworks will help others become excited as they are about the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Especially given the fact coronavirus the pandemic has placed heavy restrictions on travel and prevented many spectators from attending.
View the full collection of the World Flag project’s designs here.