Tag Archives: Mr. Wasabi

Defending Mr Wasabi

By Guest Contributor lisa, originally published at Sociological Images

Kirsti McG. sent us her correspondence with the manufacturer of these:

Kirsti, who saw these on the grocery store shelves in Scotland, wrote to complain that the company mascot, Mr. Wasabi, “pack[s] together practically every stereotype about East Asians possible, from wooden toe sandals to buck teeth to samurai swords to kung fu…” (check out the website to see him animated).

Kirsti got a letter back castigating her for daring to be offended by the character.  They told her that hers was the only complaint they’d ever received (implying that she was crazy or over-sensitive) and that she was trying to make them into an “enemy.”

They also used the “some of my friends are Asian” response, explaining:

we have been cooperating with the Asian manufacturing company for 4 years, we have a registered company in Thailand and Japan in a different line of business, and everybody is delighted with Mr. Wasabi and the branding. It goes so far that the manufacturer has asked us permission to use the branding in their own markets in Cambodia and, hold your breath, Japan.

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