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1/19/2008

Drink Kit Kat®

Kit Kat in soda machine
Would you drink a Kit Kat from soda machine?
Well, in Japan there is a mega-abundance of drink machines—even dozens along uppermost trail leading to top of Mount Fuji. However, candy or snack machines are quite rare. So they fill round cardboard containers with Kit Kat bars and stock them in drink machines if the demand is high such as now when with are entering Japan’s Kit Kat season.

Yep, right now Japan is entering the Kit Kat season—-the juken/test season in Japan, when thousands upon thousands of pathetically-sleepy high school students are making the the final push to taking the university entrance exams they’ve prepared for over the past three years. So of course, all the students here in Japanese Examination Hell need to buy Kit Kat chocolates.KitKat for exams
Huh?!
What do Kit Kats have to with entrance exams?
Due to a happy linguistic accident, the name Kit Kat sounds similar to kitto katsu (”you will surely win”), which has made it the official snack to munch on while preparing and taking their tests. Sounds Japanese, doesn’t it?

Kit Kat “drink” jar (L)
kit kat jar condom kit-kat

Kit Kat parody (R) via J-List



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4 Responses to “Drink Kit Kat®”

  1. MARKed TRAIL Says:

    Check this out Taro…

    Exam hell starts for Japan’s school applicants
    EarthTimes.org / Thu, 17 Jan 2008 03:09:02 GMT
    The Japanese archipelago is plunged into a state of nail-biting tension at this time of year when the exam hell starts in earnest for school-age youths. “Juku” cram school pupils scream with their fists in the air in a bid to muster up the determination required by modern samurais to win the battle of the entrance examinations…
    ….Parents across Japan will soon be making deep-fried pork cutlets because the Japanese word Ton-katsu rhymes with victory (Katsu in Japanese).
    To send their best wishes, food manufacturers are marketing special victory packages of snacks and instant noodles geared towards Japanese youth from elementary-school age to university teenagers who spend many a sleepless night before the exams start in mid-January, reports said.
    This year, many school applicants flocked to an orangutang cage at a Tokyo zoo to learn from the apes who never fall from a tree, according to a local newspaper. ….
    ...more

  2. Neil Duckett Says:

    All over that, i would love to drink a kit kat!

  3. bob Says:

    I guess I’m missing something about Japanese culture, or maybe you’re not properly translating the phrase into English, but what does test-taking have to do with WINNING? Do they see it as a contest? Otherwise, I don’t get the reasoning for this…

  4. Taro Says:

    bob writes:
    ….What does test-taking have to do with WINNING?…I don’t get the reasoning for this…

    The entrance college exams are highly competitive in Japan. They can make-or-break a life (and there are no second chances for people over 20 years old). Scoring well on the exam is like winning the lottery for life for a Japanese person, hence the Japan think of doing well on it as “Winning” or a “Victory.” Conversely, scoring poorly leads to life of poverty (and shame).

    As I said before Kit Kat sounds similar to kitto katsu (”you will surely win”) victory=Katsu in Japanese).

    —Japanese to English WWWJDIC dictionary ——-
    勝つ(P); 克つ; 贏つ 【かつ】 (v5t,vi) to win; to gain victory;
    Example: He is sure of winning.
    明日は勝てないかもしれない

    The Japanese kanji character for Katsu — win/victory.
    win katsu Japanese flag

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