Saturday, May 26, 2007
peko-chan & poko-chan
"Peko-chan" is the cheekiest girl I've ever seen with that little tongue sticking out and all her little outfits! I had been mistakenly calling her "The Milky Girl" for several months until a Japanese friend corrected me...
We found a Fujiya shop in Sapporo which had all these Peko & Poko collectibles and even the shop clerk looked like Poko-chan, with his chubby cheeks and happy demeanor. He didn't flinch once when I pestered him with questions (Is the boy "Poko" her brother? Or is he her boyfriend? Where did they get their names?)
He patiently told me that Peko-chan was born in 1950 (but has not aged) as the official 6-year old mascot of Fujiya Confectionary Co., a major cake / chocolate / sweet company in Japan.
Poko-chan is Peko-chan's boyfriend, and is one year older. He was created in 1951 after marketing executives realized that Peko was so successful. Together, they represent the yummy Milky candy. He also informed us that Peko's name was inspired by the northern Japananese pronunciation for cow ("beko") whereas Poko was derived from the Japanese word for boy ("boko").
Although Fujiya was rocked by a major scandal earlier in the year, looks like things are OK now after some major changes and cleaning up. Who can turn their backs on this charming little girl?
Even Dondon-ya, my little udon shop in Miyazu has a Peko collection!
People have been caught stealing the nostalgic life sized Peko dolls outside of the Fujiya stores- and getting pretty severe prison sentences!
You can download adorable desktop wallpaper here.