Japan is no stranger to acronyms and abbreviations. After all, they are the ones who came up with “Pokémon,” which is an acronym of poketto monsutaa (pocket monsters), and “karaoke,” from kara okesutora (empty orchestra). But the next time Prince Harry visits the country, he better make sure that none of the news outlets abbreviate his new job title, because its acronym, unfortunately, sounds just like the slang term for male genitalia in Japanese.
His (Unintentionally) Rude Highness
When you think about it, ever since Prince Harry stepped away from his role as a senior member of the British royal family, it was fair game to start describing him as “American actress Meghan Markle’s unemployed husband.” That joke, however, has now come to an end after the Duke of Sussex got an official job in the United States, working as a Chief Impact Officer for BetterUp, a mental health startup. This move actually makes a lot of sense since Prince Harry would know all about the importance of mental health after being hounded by the press literally his entire life. After all, the couple’s decision to step down from royal duties was largely to protect their declining mental health and get away from the limelight.
But Harry`s new job title has suddenly given him even more attention in Japan. His new job title, “Chief Impact Officer” commonly abbreviated to “CHIMPO,” means “penis” in Japanese. It’s one of the ruder ways to refer to male genitalia, sort of like “c*ck” but just a tiny bit worse. After we’ve got our heads out of the gutter, it’s fair to remember that the Prince is starting a new life and trying to do some good, so let’s all raise our glasses to him and wish him the best. Just don’t say “chin chin” when you are toasting him, as that too means “penis” in Japanese.
— Page Six (@PageSix) April 20, 2021
Reporter Assaults Singer Tomomi Kahara
The 21st century has not been the best of time for Tomomi Kahara. In the 1990s, she was a massively popular pop singer, once selling 2.5 million copies of her album in just one week. But then things started to unravel for her. After her popularity declined, she was dropped by her talent agency, her partner was arrested, she started suffering from various health problems, and was even once hospitalized for accidentally taking too many sleeping pills. Then in 2013, Kahara made headlines again when she announced her plans to record a song about the suicide of famous singer Hikaru Utada’s mother, proving once and for all that there really is such a thing as bad publicity.
Things have been quiet for Kahara for a while until mid-April this year, when she was back in the news cycle again – this time as the victim of an assault. Supposedly, Kahara confronted a magazine reporter who she claimed was following her in a taxi, during which the man allegedly grabbed her arm and pushed her out of the car. Kahara has not been hurt but the police have arrested the suspected assailant, who denies using force on the singer.
Two Members of Japan’s Hip-Hop Group Namedaruma Arrested
One thing you can say about Namedaruma: they believe in truth in advertising. As one of Japan’s most famous hardcore hip-hop groups, they not only have recorded a number of songs about smoking weed, their name even contains the kanji 麻, meaning hemp but also appearing in the word for marijuana (大麻). Appropriately enough, two members of the group, Yuhi Honda and Taisuke Hiroi, were arrested earlier this month for alleged possession of cannabis, which to this day remains very illegal in Japan.
Japanese artists getting caught with drugs is nothing new and usually amounts to them getting probation. But it almost always is also accompanied by an apology tour when the celebrities bow their heads and say sorry for their “lapses in judgement.” It’s hard to see a group like Namedaruma ever doing the same so it’ll be fascinating to watch how their case progresses.
One Show In, One Show Out
When the Tokyo Babylon anime, based on a manga by the artist group Clamp, was first released in the early ‘90s, it was praised for its style, animation, and a dark story with a focus on a homosexual relationship. However, only two episodes of an original video animation were ever produced, and since then fans have been begging for more. They almost got their wish with a reboot TV series titled Tokyo Babylon 2021, which was set to premiere in April. Unfortunately, it was officially canceled in late March due to the rebooted character designs and more being plagiarized from a promotional photo of K-pop star Yeri and other sources. The show may still happen with a new studio, though, so there is still hope.
But because there must be balance in the world, in the wake of Tokyo Babylon’s cancelation, on April 13, Netflix has confirmed that their planned live-action Gundam movie is definitely happening and that it’ll be directed and produced by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. A very apt choice as the artist has some experience with stories about fighting giant things, having directed the well-received Kong: Skull Island. So, while Hollywood adaptations of anime rarely work out (looking right at you Dragonball: Evolution), there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic about this project.
Want to catch up to other pop culture news from Japan? Check out our recent articles: