Kitakami Photoblog

Daily photos from Kitakami, a small town in Northern Japan, and its surroundings.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Drinks in a vending machine

Cod sperm, crab bowels, pocari sweat ... how very strange things to eat and drink...

But no, "pocari" is no rare animal living hidden in deep forests who's sweat is collected and consumed as a precious delicacy. "Pocari" is derived from the japanese word "pokkari", which means "like a cloud floating in the sky" , and has a connotation of lightness and ease. And it is used here to name this sweet sports drink, which is very popular all over Japan.
Being asked why they use the word "sweat" to name a drink, a staff of the distributor company Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd answered : " 'Sweat' has meanings of diligence, efforts, refreshingness in Japanese. In western country, people may have negative image to 'sweat'. It is a cultural difference."
Anyway, it rather seems to me that the Japanese consumers generally don't mentally translate names appearing in English and are therefore not bothered by the connotation.


Blogger Ben said...

Speaking of the work "Sweat" for this particuler drink, I never understand that reason provided distributor. Why have to be that word? Well I'm Japanese and I had that often after the sports. It is refreshing and very easy to absolve. Not really a good marketing effort, I should say.

Good posy, Julia.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I certainly wouldn't drink anything called "sweat", but then again some of our drink names are just as puzzling!

11:17 PM  
Blogger About Mountaincat said...

It is all about translation. Sweat also means condensation of moisture, like which you see in morning on grass. It always have good image. It is not that sweat what comes from body.

Somehow we can grasp what was meant by this name - moisture from cluds, fog...

2:44 PM  

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