JAPAN: A Japanese commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturer is to change the name of its cartoon character company mascot after it created an amusing misunderstanding amongst English-speaking visitors to its website.
Formed in 1951and based in Osaka, the Fukushima Corporation is named after its founder Nobuo Fukushima and is a serious far-eastern manufacturer of food service refrigerators and freezers, blast chillers and refrigerated display cases.
The company caused some hilarity on the internet, however, when naming its cartoon character mascot from a combination of its company name and its “happy company” philosophy. The resulting name should be pronounced “foo-koo-pii”, which sounds cute in Japanese but is easily misconstrued as a less than complimentary description by English-speakers.
Yesterday, the company replaced the English translation of the charcter’s name and apologised for the misunderstanding and confusion “with inappropriate word to people living in the English-speaking world.”