Hmmm?

Fukushima Industries unveils new mascot with an unfortunate name

By Preston Phro

Oct. 15, 2013 – 07:00AM JST

Fukushima Industries unveils new mascot with an unfortunate name

TOKYO —

Meet the newest mascot at Fukushima Industries. This cute, winged egg is the perfect face for a company that manufactures the kind of industrial refrigerators, blast chillers, freezers and refrigerated showcases that you might find in a restaurant or a supermarket.

The name they chose for this little egghead, though, probably needed a bit more work…

The image below reads: “Hi! Nice to meet you! I’m–” Now wait just one second, can we really post this on such a family-friendly website??

That’s right, the new face of Fukushima Industries is named “Fukuppy,” which sounds just like the nickname you’d give a particularly clumsy puppy.

If you’re wondering how the company could choose a name so inappropriate, you’re actually reading it wrong. As you’ve probably deduced, the “Fuku” comes from “Fukushima,” which is pronounced as “Foo-koo.” Unfortunately, when native-English speakers looks at this, we can’t help seeing it as, um, well, you get the point, right?

Either way, the correct way to read this would be “foo-koo-pii,” which sounds very cute in Japanese. It probably would have been better if they’d simply written the name in one of the two phonetic Japanese scripts, katakana or hiragana–you can’t really get the pronunciation wrong that way.

The company also provided a short profile for their new mascot, letting us know what its job is – besides making all the English speakers blush and giggle.

What are Fukuppy’s job and special skills?

According to Fukushima Industries, Fukuppy says: “I fly around on my awesome wings, patrolling supermarket showcases and kitchen refrigerators. I can talk to vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish and can check on their health!”

Where was Fukuppy born?

Fukuppy’s answer to this question is: “I was born in a Fukushima refrigerator!”

The egghead described himself thus: “I love eating and I’m full of curiosity. I think of myself as kind, with a strong sense of justice, but my friends say I’m a bit of a klutz. But I’m always working hard to make myself shine!”

Is Fukuppy a boy or a girl?

Providing the most diplomatic answer ever, Fukuppy replied: “I’m still an egg, so I don’t know which I am! But I refer to myself as ‘boku.’”

For those who aren’t familiar with the word, “boku” is the masculine, first person pronoun in Japanese, though in recent years some women have started using it as well.

Source: Fukushima Industries Corp