If Japanese companies are going to use English, "dick" might be a good word to give the shaft.
Especially, if it's written as "Dickinin"—which, you know, looks like "dickin' in" or "dick in in." Not exactly the imagery you want to evoke for sore throat medicine.
The medicine's commercials features Kill Bill star Chiaki Kuriyama and began last fall in Japan. A new ad aired recently, and Twitter user @JohnnyTheFuture pointed out the medicine's odd English nomenclature.
Sigh. Yes, I know Japan's native language is not English. It's Japanese. And I know some people in Japan have trouble with English. This is more about a truly unfortunate choice!
Why? Because in Japanese the medicine is written as ジキニン or "Jikinin." For decades, the medicine, which launched in 1958, has been branded with its native Japanese language, instead of the truly awkward "Dickinin."
It's even odder when you realize that Jikinin is apparently a shortening of the Japanese "jiki ni naru" (じきに治る) or "cure immediately."
No idea why the pharmaceutical company decided to use the "dick" spelling. The word "dick" isn't as well known as the word "penis" (ペニス or penisu), but the term does find its way into adult videos. You'd think enough people would know the word to prevent a cock up like this from happening!
How do you spell your product's name in English? [@JohnnyTheFuture]
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.