Meet “Fukuppy”: The Unfortunately-Named New Mascot of Fukushima Industries

Freezer and water treatment company Fukushima Industries either made a huge mistake or a brilliant PR move this weekend when they revealed their new macot’s name…

Everybody, meet Fukuppy:

"Nice to meet you" I'm Fukuppy!"

Translation: “Nice to meet you! I’m Fukuppy”

According to their website, Fukuppy likes to fly around inspecting supermarkets and fridges, and his superpower is being able to communicate with food products. Presumably this just increases the number of things able to make fun of Fukuppy’s awful name though, so it’s not such a great super power really.

We only regret that Fukuppy isn’t TEPCO‘s new mascot, as his name would serve as the perfect adjective to describe their clean-up of Fukushima so far.

HT: Matt Alt (Twitter)

11 thoughts on “Meet “Fukuppy”: The Unfortunately-Named New Mascot of Fukushima Industries

  1. Thoughts: 1. Somebody didn’t think this through… 2. Well, I guess it’s a surefire way to make sure they’re remembered. 3. No! Seriously, how did this even make it past the pitch? Were the people in this meeting all high??? (Okay, there’s more where that came from but I’m done. lol)

  2. I live in Fukushima and although I have not seen this mascot, I fully believe it is possible. There have been other ones in the past with less stupid names, but much worse shapes. One looked like an anal suppository. A common nickname is the name of the person + ppi, so this is likely.

  3. “How did this make it past the pitch?” This comment and the original post come across as Anglocentric at best, racist at worst.

    “Haha, it sounds funny in English” is one thing. “They are stupid and/or on drugs for not realizing it would sound funny in English” is another.

    It’s not as if the mascot was made for international sales purposes. Are the employees at this Japanese company all expected to not only be fluent in English, but English slang? US company or product names have unfortunate translations in other languages all the time, but you don’t hear people complaining that “they should have known it would mean ‘penis eater’ in Portuguese.”

    • Thanks for joining the discussion, but as you’ve criticised the post by implying it’s racist we felt the need to reply:

      Firstly, this is an English language blog, targeting English-speaking readers. Posts often give insight into Japan, but are usually written from a foreigner’s perspective.

      Secondly, the company has gone to the trouble of translating their website (included as a clickable link within the post) into English so they are clearly targeting foreign business too. They really should have researched their mascots name. We never called them stupid, just said they made a hilarious mistake.

      Lastly, people do make fun of US companies for coming up with names that have offensive meanings in other languages and a quick Google search will show you how absurd it is to believe otherwise. If a foreign company released a product here in Japan that included a Japanese curse word in the name we’d cover that in exactly the same manner.

      • Firstly, an English language blog would be better served by giving more accurate insights than being misleading. Pot kettle and black come to mind, but Fukushima is not a disaster, it is a region. There is a pretty crap disaster going on inside and around it, though. Funny thing? “Fukushima” is the last name of the guy that runs the corporation. It’s even based in Osaka, NOT anywhere in Fukushima.

        Secondly, romanization of a Japanese name does not qualify as making it an English word as you have described it here.

        Lastly, if a US company is being made fun of for words that, when spelled properly in English and hold a certain appropriate meaning in the native tongue but mean something funny in a foreign language, that’s pretty childish and holding this up as “acceptable” because the reverse is true is basing your argument on a false pretense. If a US company is being made fun of for trying to sound international and attempts to take words from another language, mangling them in the process or simply taking the wrong words, then well, that’s fair game. But this, as above, is simply romanization.

      • Did you actually read the article?

        “Fukushima is not a disaster it’s a region”
        We know. We didn’t claim it was.

        “Fukushima is the last name of the guy that runs the corporation. It’s even based in Osaka, NOT anywhere in Fukushima”
        We know. Again, we didn’t claim it was. We even linked to the site that provides this info.

        “Romanization of an English word does not qualify as making it an English word as you have described it here.”
        We’re really going to turn this into a linguistics debate? Who cares? It’s a mascot called Fukuppy. It’s funny.

        Full credit to you for posting under your real name but please stop ranting about things we’ve only said in your imagination.

        - Cal

  4. TokyoDesu, you have your own Fuck Up in this article. If you live in Japan, you know how Fukushima is pronounced and you should understand what their intention was. Your answer to John just shows immaturity. If they had spelled it Fookoopi as it’s pronounced then there wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately you had to jump on the “Teeheehee, look at the silly Japanese who don’t understand English” bandwagon.

    • Thanks for commenting. We actually didn’t expect this story to attract any negative feedback. We can understand where you and other commenters who expressed a negative opinion are coming from, but we find it amusing that a mascot was launched with the romanisation “Fukuppy” written below it and we’re standing by our editorial decision.

      When we first launched TokyoDesu, we resolved to set ourselves apart from other Japan websites by giving a humourous and sometimes opinionated perspective of Japan news. You can bet the likes of the Japan Times will offer a sober analysis of Fukuppy while Buzzfeed will almost certainly run amok with a “Look how weird those Japanese people are” spin on it. We like to think our coverage lies somewhere between those two venues and we do not poke fun exclusively at the Japanese. We’ve made fun of Americans pretty consistently and our most popular piece to date is about westerners getting nonsensical kanji tattoos.

      We hope you’ll continue to read TokyoDesu and give us a chance to change your opinion.

  5. Oh please….does humor now need to be politically correct too? If so, comedians should pack things up and the Simpsons, etc etc should go to remedial school. Not! Any ways, some, if not most of us readers, simply laughed.

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