Letter bombs (19): The names have been changed to protect the guilty
Posted by ampontan on Monday, August 15, 2011
READER Camphortree lives in California. She sent this note to the Comment section, but I thought it deserved a wider audience:
My husband’s friend owns a small business near Shenzheng (深圳), China. Many things still astonish him.
One industrial park manager was campaigning hard to change the name of a Chinese village into one from the U.S.A.
China has already changed some of the old names of their towns into the names of Japan’s prefectures and towns. Then China patents those new names and exports their products to the U.S.A. and the rest of the world.
For instance, Aomori (青森), the prefecture of the famous Fuji apples; Akita (秋田), the prefecture of the top rice brand (Akita-komachi), and Sanuki, a town famous for Japan’s traditional udon…
I have seen the kanji 青森 printed on cardboard boxes in my Albertson’s supermarket. I asked the store manager where those products came from. He replied, “China ma’am. Everything’s from China. Hahaha!”
Who knows how many more names of Japan’s prefectures and towns have been stolen in China?
Ampontan addition: The South Koreans have done the same thing, but not with place names. They have a beverage called soju that is similar to the Japanese shochu. Koreans registered the name shochu and sold soju in the United States as shochu. The situation was resolved, but it required the Japanese to spend some money.
Why they would have bothered, unless they thought shochu was the superior product?