9 Lamest "Japanese" Labels Coined By Thais, off the top of my atama.
- Fruito - As a Japanese, this name is painful to hear! And unfortunately for me, it is the most commercialized of Thai-created "Japanese" products on TV here. Probably because advertisers actually got a legit Japanese - albeit half - to star in the commercial.
Ugh, that fact gives me even more of a headache the size of Godzilla. Okay, I get what Oishi Co. Ltd. was trying to achieve. It's a green tea and fruit fusion drink. They wanted consumers to know that the product involves both fruit and the Japanese hype. They also understand the basic concept of Japanese phonetics - that each letter represents a vowel sound - BUT they got the vowel wrong in this case. It's "Fu-ru-u-TSU" or "Fruitsu", yo. Not, Fruito.
- Sushido - What the Fuji is "Sushido"? Why, they're donuts that look like sushi of course! Genius, Mister Donut Thailand, genius.
- Grilliku - Another failed attempt of making an English word sound Japanese.
- Shabushi - A failed attempt of meshing the terms for two Japanese cooking styles: "shabu shabu" and "sushi". Rule of thumb: NEVER mesh Japanese words together, even if they're somewhat closely related. "Shabushi" sounds too much like the Japanese word for lonely, "sabishii". Who wants to eat at a restaurant that will remind them of how unlovable they are?
- Chakuza - Here's another popular advertising strategy used by Thais for Thais: using Japanese terms which are associated with violence or toughness to glamourize an in fact harmless product. In this case, Japanese mobsters are being associated with a tea-soda. When you drink this, you should feel like a boss.
- Kamikaze - Again, associating Japanese violence with a harmless product. Here, the harmless product is Thai teeny-boppers.
- Yayoi - Do people even know what this word is? It's an ancient Japanese civilization, a tomb culture to be exact. I just think that's a weird name for a restaurant with a such bright color palette: pink and yellow. Perhaps it would be more appropriate if the franchise required gray interiors and their employees to dress as Japanese zombies.
- Mirei - This product ALMOST avoided the wrath of my criticism. At first, I only saw this tea drink's name written in Japanese as "Mi-ra-i", which means "future". It wasn't that lame of a name for yet again another tea drink. At least the word is a legit Japanese word. But then I saw the Thai transliteration, and I have no clue what "Mirei" means.
- Oishi - This company is responsible for 4 occupations on this list (#1, 4, 5, 9), and the reason why this company has committed so many crimes of incorrect transliteration is probably because the company's name itself is misspelled! Technically, it should be O-i-shi-i. Just one letter - bummer.