Why Crash Bandicoot Has An Extra Finger In Japan

Crash Bandicoot has an extra finger on each hand in Japan. It’s not anything new, nor is it something specific to the bandicoot.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time was released earlier this year, the official sequel to Crash Bandicoot: Warped more than 20 years later. There have been plenty of other Crash games, of course, but the bandicoot’s developers decided to cash in on the success of the franchise’s remastered original trilogy. There was even a wink and a nod to the creation of a new timeline in the very first trailer for Crash 4.

From the very beginning until the present day, Crash has been a rare example of a Western video game character making it big in Japan. Music to the ears of Sony since the marsupial is effectively a PlayStation mascot, even if he has now ventured onto other platforms. However, the Japanese cover art for Crash 4 has had people noticing a difference in the Bandicoot’s design.

Toys For Bob has given Crash an extra finger on each hand. Most of you will have played as Crash with four fingers on each hand, but in Japan, he has five. Not only is this addition not exclusive to Crash 4, but it also isn’t even exclusive to Crash. Even though the majority of animated characters are given four fingers on each hand, most of them need to have a finger added should they plan on appearing in Japan.

There are a number of reasons for this. One reason relates to Japan’s meatpacking industry. Japanese meatpackers used to be seen as so low class, that the job title was used as an insult. Since it was a profession that often resulted in lost fingers, a four-fingered hand was considered a sign that you were lower class, which is where the offensive insult originates.

Another possible reason four-fingered hands are a no-no in Japan relates to the Yakuza. The Japanese mafia group is known to remove fingers from the hands of those who have wronged them or owe them something. The third and final reason it’s best to avoid the number four in Japan is one of the ways in which it can be pronounced. Shi, which also means death. For that reason, four is seen in the same way as number 13 in the west. Despite that, It’s About Time is still called Crash 4 in Japan.

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Josh has been gaming for as long as he can remember. That love began with a mild childhood addiction to the Sega Genesis, or Mega Drive since he lives in the UK. Back then, Sonic 2 quickly became his favorite game and as you might have guessed from his picture, the franchise has remained close to his heart ever since. Nowadays, he splits his time between his PS4 and his Switch and spends far too much time playing Fortnite. If you’re a fan of gaming, wrestling, and soccer, give him a follow on Twitter @BristolBeadz.

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