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Fist of the North Star – Condom Word Play!

One of Japan’s most famous anime – Hokuto no Ken (北斗の拳), or Fist of the North Star in English, has been united with that most basic of human desires – sex! There should be no mistaking that this post will be for our more mature readers. If you’re easily offended or embarrassed by talking about contraception, just feel free to skip this post. If you’re ready to dig in (pun intended), then proceed! You see where we’re going with this?

Hokuto no Ken is an older manga series written in the 80s that depicts a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by a nuclear war. The protagonist, a warrior named Kenshiro, as well as other martial artists fight the good fight for the weak and innocent. Kenshiro uses a special form of martial arts known as ‘Hokuto Shinken’ (inspired by Bruce Lee and his style of Jeet Kune Do) that enables him to defeat opponents by hitting vital points on their body. Often his adversaries are depicted dying horrible, gory deaths exploding from within. Quite charming, then!

Even today Fist of the North Star continues to be a popular anime and manga. There are still various side stories in relation to the series being released. Most young Japanese people who grew up in the 80s are quite familiar with the story and it’s not surprising to hear it referenced in conversations. Some of the more famous catchphrases in particular are very well known:

お前はもう死んでいる。

おまえは もう しんでいる。

You are already dead.

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So what possible connection could this violent martial arts story hold to practicing safe sex? Very little really, but famous characters and mascots are used all over Japan to create collaborations between brands and products. Seemingly every organisation has some sort of mascot used for promotional purposes. Although putting Fist of the North Star characters on condom packets might not strike you as the most obvious place, the collaboration is very well done.

The collaboration is with Fuji Latex in their ‘Just Fit’ line of condoms. There are 5 types – Medium, Medium Free (free size), Large, Extra Large and Hard.

In the interest of research and bringing you the ‘Real Japan’ then, we had one of our staff report back on the contents! It turns out that each individual condom has a catchphrase from the Fist of the North Star series. Obviously being used in a sexual context, some of these lines take on entirely new and interesting meanings. Great fun for the translator! Here are some of the phrases from the image below.

あたたたた!!

あたたたた!!

A-ta-ta-ta-ta!!

The piercing strikes of Kenshiro as he drills his fists into an opponent over and over again. I’m sure I don’t need to explain this pun.

ほう、この私とやろうというのですか

ほう、このわたしと やろうと いうのですか

Oh, you wish to do it with me?

A quote from enemy Dagarl, evidently in reference to fighting in the anime series, but quite a different nuance here. Aren’t euphemisms fun?

ならば、試してみるがいい!!

ならば、ためしてみるがいい!!

Then try me!!

A quote from Juza of the Clouds in a battle against Raoh – his response to ‘you can’t beat me!’ The lieteral translation would be ‘Well then, give me a try!!’.

容赦はせぬぞ!!

ようしゃは せぬぞ!!

I won’t go easy on you!!

By Raoh. せぬ is an old way for saying しない and ぞ is a strong, masculine way of saying よ. The poor girl…

ほう、でかくなったな小僧

ほう、でかくなったな こぞう

Hoh…you grew up, eh boy.

A quote from Thouzer. 小僧 is way of saying ‘boy’, ‘youngster’ or ‘young priest’ depending on the context. Here the literal translation is ‘Hoh…Boy, you got big’. Quite fitting then!

聖帝様がお通りになるぞ〜〜!

せいていさまが おとおりに なるぞ〜〜!

The Emperor is coming!

Oddly this one has even more of a sexual meaning when translated into English than the original Japanese does. The literal translation – ‘the Emperor is coming through/passing by’.

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Another famous condom brand in Japan, Okamoto Condoms, is associated with the infamous ‘Super Big Boy’ packaging. As if the conscientious man wasn’t embarrassed enough buying contraception from the young women working the cash registers at the local drug store, Okamoto made sure the experience is not to be forgotten. Nothing is left to the imagination. A deep black box with ‘Big Boy’ popping out in bold, yellow letters. Below that…a horse.

What is especially ironic here is that the Japanese ‘large’ size of condom is equivalent to the regular size in Western countries, much in the same way that clothing goes. If you’re a medium size in the West, you’ll be a large over here. If you’re especially well endowed, then Okamoto have something for you too. The extra large size ‘Mega Big Boy’ features an elephant, just in case things weren’t abundantly clear and, bizarrely, an eagle for guys who prefer a tighter fit. The standard condom size in Japan uses a diameter of 32mm.

okamoto-big-boy-condoms

If you are left feeling unsatisfied (pun intended), then you can learn even more by checking out the video below from Okamoto comparing the various sizes of this series. Great Japanese practice and useful information at the same time! Just make sure you’re in a suitable place before viewing!

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10 Responses to Gakuu. Studying with Real Japanese

  1. Sabrina September 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    This is pretty cool! Right now I’m studying on Textfugu which is great! I belive Gakuu can be really helpul too. What I like most is that its for pre-intermediate to advanced level students. So you can’t say its the same thing over and over again… students can actually improve their knowledge here. Thank you very much for creating this site. Have a nice day :)
    -Sabrina

    • Gakuranman September 30, 2010 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Sabrina! Thank you for your comment :).

      That’s definitely our aim. I love Textfugu for beginners and really getting students a solid grounding in the language, but afterwards (and even while) studying the basics, it can really help to encounter raw Japanese material. You don’t have to understand everything at first, but feeling challenged and picking up little bits here and there that are extra to your learning the basics helps expand your mind. Let me know if you have any more questions! More demonstration material will be up soon! We are currently having a special launch sale price for early adopters, so check out the pricing page if interested :).

      • Sabrina September 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

        Thanks for your reply. :) Unfortunately I’m even still miles away from the intermediate level. But I’ll definetly return to Gakuu when I get to this point. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the extra demonstration material. :) Keep up the good work.

        • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 12:21 am #

          Sure thing :). Let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions for things you’d like to see on Gakuu!

  2. missingno15 October 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    When I looked at this, I first thought to myself, “aw hell no, gakuranman is doing the same thing as koichi…even the website layout is similar”. But then I realized “it’s aimed at pre-intermediate to advanced level students” which is perfect for my situation right now because I now really want to excel way past beginner. So basically, Gakuu really complements Textfugu. Can’t wait for more lessons to see how this is gonna be like so I can decide if its worth getting.

    • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      Hey there! Thanks for dropping by :). No way – Koichi and I are buds. I’ve always loved teaching the more advanced stuff so it worked out perfectly. I’ll be adding more stuff in the coming days, so please stay tuned!

      • Lee Aloy October 23, 2016 at 5:20 am #

        @Gakuranman:

        I am sorry to ask this silly question. Are you Japanese?
        am hoping to find a Japanese friends here please shot me an email:

        • Michael January 6, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

          Not Japanese myself, but living here over 10 years now :).

  3. DumbOtaku (percent20) October 3, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    This is really cool. I am glad to see more online content going beyond just teaching hirigana and katakana. That is what I try to do on my blog, but with to little consistency. Glad to see an expert do it, btw already a signed-up paid member now. :)

    • Gakuranman October 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      Glad to have you man! Look forward to hearing any suggestions you have for the site and future lessons :)

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