17:05 9 March 2017
Broadcaster rapped for drama title comparing local food to penis
TOKYO, March 9, Kyodo
A Japanese broadcaster has agreed to change the title of a new TV drama series from the originally planned "Sayonara, Kiritampo" after it enraged people in a northeastern prefecture for using kiritampo, their traditional food, as a metaphor for a penis cut off by an estranged girlfriend.
TV Asahi now lists the title of the drama series beginning in April as "undecided" on its website. According to the network, the drama will be a romantic comedy revolving around a woman who "punishes a series of terrible men she has met" either as a revenge for being betrayed or out of "pure love."
The network previously stated on the website that the heroine, to be played by Mayu Watanabe, a member of the all-girl idol group AKB48, will be an "Abe Sada" of the modern age, referring to the woman notorious for cutting off the penis of her lover in a 1936 murder.
That case inspired the creation of "L'Empire des sens (In the Realm of the Senses)," a 1976 Franco-Japanese film directed by Nagisa Oshima.
The reference to Abe Sada and the title meaning "good-bye, kiritampo" upset people in Akita Prefecture, who love and take pride in the cylinder-like food made of cooked and mashed rice.
TV Asahi said Wednesday it had received a protest from the prefectural government over the "inappropriate title" and will change it.
An Akita prefectural government official said the original title was clearly intended to make people think of the male genitalia.
It could have "tarnished the image" of kiritampo and was therefore "impermissible," the official said.