Why Japanese Cartoon Characters Don’t Have Four Fingers

Japanese Cartoon Characters Don’t Have The Traditional Four-Fingered Hands For A Reason

I’ve never noticed that Japanese cartoon characters don’t have four fingers like most of their American counterparts. And, I’ve never watched a Japanese version of an American cartoon, so how would I know that they were making the change? I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for oddee.com pointing out a Youtube video on the subject.

why japanese characters have five fingers

The popular video game series, Oddworld, was just one of many cases where a Western company was changing the number of digits on their characters for the Japanese market. The video game company was creating two separate versions and changing only the number of fingers on the characters. Still, that must’ve been a tedious chore for the programmers. Eventually, they started to just make the original version with the proper number of digits, according to Japanese standards, to save themselves a bit of work. Good call. The creators of Oddworld were asked why they were changing the number of fingers on their creatures, and they responded in a FAQ with the following answer:

Japan has a strict discriminating policy against any simulated characters with four fingers entering their country. Historically, Japan has had a subclass of meatpacking workers that were typically looked down upon in their society. In later days, the blatant displaying of a four-fingered hand gesture, intentionally directed at another, came to mean that you were calling them a member of the meatpacking sub-class. Which, we understand, was not a compliment at all.

Your momma is so poor that she makes meatpackers look like billionaires. Ooh, sick epic burn.