While in Japan its name has never caused laughter among the locals, Kinki University has always invited ridicule abroad due to its pervy-sounding name in the English language. As part of their effort to be more accepted globally, school authorities have decided to change its name to the safer-sounding Kindai University by 2016.
The university is named after the area where it is located, in the mid-western region around Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo. While the name is innocuous in the Japanese language, the university’s dean Hitoshi Shiozaki said he is getting fed up with always getting laughed at when he meets people abroad. “We have no other choice than changing the English name because we are serious about pursuing a more international school culture,” he said. They will change the name to Kindai University, which is a contraction of “Kinki” and “Daigaku,” the Japanese word for university. However, they have to wait until 2016 which is when they will be opening their international studies faculty. Officials are hoping that the name change will encourage international students to apply for exchange programs, secure in the fact that they are enrolling in a university that will not be laughed at.
This is not the first time that a Japanese name had to change its name for the sake of an international audience. Fukushima Industries said they will be changing the name of their mascot Fukuppy after several memes went viral, relating the English expression that sounds like the name to the ongoing problems at the Fukushima nuclear plant, even though it had nothing to do with the company.
[ via AFP ]
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