Netflix‘s Squid Game saw global success like no other, as millions of viewers worldwide raved about the thrilling dystopian series. Despite it being fully produced and written in Korean, that didn’t stop the massive international success the K-Drama would see. And while Korean productions have started to gain positive momentum throughout the world, Squid Game really put South Korea on the map in terms of global recognition.
However, in light of South Korea’s grand success with the series, there have been some naysayers who have started to make claims throughout the world—and this time, it’s the Japanese press.
On October 29, The Nikkei—which is a Japanese economics newspaper—made strong claims that “most of the games in the series are from Japan” and that due to the “nostalgia,” this was the main reason why people enjoyed the series.
Director Suzuki, who works for The Nikkei, continued his assertions and claimed that the first game in the series, Mugunghwa (red light, green light) has the “the same rules and melody as the Japanese game, ‘Dharma statue has fallen.”
In addition to this, the director made even further claims, stating that the other Squid Game games featured in the series, such as ddakji (folded paper tiles), marble game, and even dalgona were all taken from Japanese games.
Suzuki also argued that the main game of the entire series, the actual squid game that the players play on the last episode, was also taken from a Japanese game called “squid kaisen.” His reasoning? “The coincidence is too great.”
The director of the Japanese newspaper concluded his assertions by expressing his frustrations with Korean textbooks provided in the schools. He examined a total of 133 Korean textbooks that were being used in the Korean education system. After his examination, he revealed that while all the games “originated in Japan,” there was no credit given in the textbooks.