Noodle playing cards withdrawn over political correctness concern

posted on December 17, 2015

Udon-smooth white noodles made of wheat flour-is not only the signature product of Kagawa but something very special for the western Japanese prefecture. Local people eat twice the volume of the noodles than the national average and the local newspaper has "udon" as an independent section along with other sections such as "weather" and "sports" on its website.

But the prefecture, which has been promoting itself as "Udon Prefecture" since 2011, had something of a damper Tuesday when it announced a halt to sales of a new product to popularize the noodles in the rest of the country. One of its "Udon Karuta" playing cards for the New Year was feared to be politically incorrect.

The playing cards, each bearing a poem on the theme of udon, were released by the prefectural government on Saturday after soliciting submissions of such poems from across Japan.

A committee comprising prefectural officials and experts examined the submissions and selected 46 for use on the cards, hoping the cards would be played in households during the New Year holidays to start the custom of eating udon at the start of the year.

But the prefectural government received an opinion from outside the government on Monday that one of the 46 poems was inappropriate and could tarnish the image of udon.

"Strong koshi, fair-skinned, chubby, just like my wife," is a poem in traditional haiku mode intended to celebrate Kagawa's famous Sanuki udon noodles. Koshi is a Japanese word for the "crunchiness" of noodles but as it can also be taken as referring to a person's "hips" the poem was deemed potentially offensive to women.

source by japantoday
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