Fukushima nuclear disaster

Fukushima attempt at rebrand - Fukuppy - gets lost in translation

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 October, 2013, 2:20pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 June, 2015, 3:58pm

A promotional campaign by a company in Japan has raised a few eyebrows after a new mascot designed to boost the firm’s profile was given the unfortunate name Fukuppy.

The cheerful mascot - in the shape of an egg with wings and red feet - is the brain-child of Fukushima Industries Corp.

It takes its moniker from the first three letters of the company name, cobbled together with “uppy”.

Over the weekend, a picture of the new mascot was doing the rounds on Twitter, where it It led to widespread confusion it was part of a drive to simultaneously boost the disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture’s profile and residents’ hopes, still reeling in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster of March 2011.

Officials of the Osaka headquarters of the company, which manufactures industrial cooling equipment and has offices in Hong Kong, mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, could not be contacted on Monday as it is a national holiday in Japan.

On its website, however, Fukuppy claims to have been born in a Fukushima Industries Corp fridge, is unsure whether it is male or female and is curious, kind and has “a strong sense of justice.”

“That’s what I think of myself, but people around me say that I’m a little bit stupid,” the flying egg says in its disarming manner. “But I’m trying to be better.”

An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that the company was situated in Fukushima Prefecture, and that the mascot was designed to boost the region’s profile. We are happy to set the record straight.