Nice Butt Pun, Nintendo

[Image: Brian Ashcraft | Kotaku]
[Image: Brian Ashcraft | Kotaku]
Kotaku EastEast 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.

Right now, I’m playing Miitopia. It’s cute, fun, and silly. The game also has one pun I can totally get behind.

The above enemy character is called “Shiritori” (シリトリ) and appears in the middle of the game.

That’s right, it’s a bird (a turkey?) with a butt face. In Mittopia, an evil baddies keeps taking people’s faces and sticking them on enemies you must fight to free their faces.

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So, here, you must battle to releases these faces from a fowl. But now you might be asking, where’s the pun?

For this character called “Shiritori,” we have a butt or “尻” (shiri) and a “tori” (鳥) or “bird.”

The enemy in the middle is “Kuchi Tomato” (Mouth Tomato), a pun on “puchi tomato” or “little tomato” in Japan. [Image: Brian Ashcraft | Kotaku]
The enemy in the middle is “Kuchi Tomato” (Mouth Tomato), a pun on “puchi tomato” or “little tomato” in Japan. [Image: Brian Ashcraft | Kotaku]

But shiritori (しりとり) is also the name of a famous Japanese children’s word chain game, which loosely translates as “taking the rear.” Yes, “shiri” here still refers to butt, and but “tori” refers to “taking” as in “toru” (取る), meaning “to take.”

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Here’s how you play: First, someone says, “Shiritori,” and then the next person must say a word that starts with “ri” (り). Like, “ringo” (りんご or apple) for example. Then, the next person must say a word that starts with “go” (ご), such as “gorira” (ゴリラ or “gorilla”). The next person must say a word that starts with “ra” and so on. If you accidentally say a word that ends with “n” (ん), you lose!

And so, we have Shiritori, a bird enemy with a face on its butt. This Miitopia pun amused my 8 year-old. Me, too.

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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.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

Shiritori actually sounds like a pretty damned useful learning device in terms of vocabulary expansion and retention.

That said, trying to pass off a game called “taking the rear”—even if “rear” refers directly to the end of a word—in American grade schools would likely not end well—in terms of actual learning, or the career of the teacher who tried to introduce it.

...this is why we cannot have nice things.