Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Good Children = Good Drinkers
I took this picture the other day at Toys 'R' Us, or, as it's pronounced here, toizarasu. They were selling it at the checkout counter. It's a beer for kids.
I had read about this before, but had kind of taken it as one of those stories - typically, the only type of story ever written by foreign papers about Japan - on some bizarre trend now sweeping the country. I really think the media has special correspondents assigned specifically to find and report on any quirky things popping up here. It goes like this: some fad has reportedly caught on in Tokyo and is speading far and wide across the land- except, no Japanese person I know has ever even heard of the fad in question (two examples I can think of offhand are the "Japanese bathing suits" and "Tokyo oxygen bar" stories). Regardless, we are all thankful for the opportunity to stop and have a cheap laugh at the silly people across the sea. Imagine the kind of insane articles we could write about the US if we applied these kinds of ridiculous journalistic standard to ourselves.
So, when I first read about this - a beer made for and marketed to children - I took it with a grain of salt, but I stand corrected. Because they really are selling a beer made especially for children (or, at least, it's for sale; it didn't seem to be flying off the shelves). In a toy store, no less.
It's called Yoiko no Biiru, or "Good Children's Beer." At the top in red is, presumably, the slogan: "Good Children's Beer: The Beer that Good Children Drink." It is also described (in yellow) as, "A beer-like fermented beverage." Sounds tasty, huh?
Anyhow, the toddler pictured on the label certainly seems to be enjoying his frothy cold one. He's emitting a contented sigh; looking forward to knocking one back at the end of a long day of crawling around and putting things in his mouth.
Parents in this hyper-competitive society are always trying to give their children a head start. Even when it comes to alcoholism, I suppose. A big part of job success here is drinking after work with your superiors, so it's never too early to get a leg up on your (future) co-workers.