Genshin Impact’s Inazuma region is based on Japan. The country’s culture can be incredibly complex, and whether that’s sakura or swords, it’s easy to not get things quite right. MiHoYo’s decision to push through a subtle fix underscoring those nuances is impressing Japanese players.
Before the update, the NPC characters carrying katana in Inazuma wore the blades facing down. This is somewhat of an oversimplification of how blades were traditionally worn.
Of course, as Way of the Ninja points out, there weren’t laws regarding the correct way to wear a katana, whether that’s blade up or blade down. Samurai could wear their swords however they saw fit and whichever way suited their draw style. However, there were widely-followed best practices.
When wearing armor, samurai would typically wear their long, curved swords with the cutting blade facing down. This way, the armor would limit motion, and a samurai would only need to extend their arm. Drawing the sword in an upward motion would be too difficult.
Once Japan entered into the more peaceful Edo Era (1603-1868), samurai weren’t walking around in armor. Rather, they were dressed in kimono and hakama. In these outfits, katana were worn facing up.
Why? It was easier to quickly defend against attacks, unsheathing the blade in an upward motion as the clothing lent itself to greater movement. Moreover, by wearing the katana facing up, the blade would stay sharper and be less quick to dull.
With Genshin Impact’s recently released 2.2 update, the way characters wear their swords was changed depending on how they were dressed. Characters in kimono and hakama now wear their katana with the cutting edge facing up, while the samurai-armor-wearing Kurosawa Kyounosuke continues wearing his large blade with the cutting face down—as one would probably do in full armor.
Twitter user Amamin Refun posted before and after photos, showing how the katana were changed from facing down to facing up. “I don’t think this would have been done without a deep respect for Japan,” Amamin Refun wrote. “This is why I like miHoYo.”
This is an incredibly subtle thing to update. MiHoYo’s decision to do this is going over well with many Japanese players, who appreciated the attention to these small, yet important, cultural details.
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