Being tired is no excuse to stop studying, packaging implies.
Companies in Japan push their employees pretty hard, which is why you’ll find all sorts of energy drinks stocked at convenience stores and rail station kiosks, waiting for a haggard salaryman who needs a recharge.
Japanese society also puts plenty of pressure on students to excel. While college entrance exams are the most infamously difficult hurdle young minds are asked to clear, many students also have to pass tests to get into the junior high or high school of their choice, which means that even elementary school-age kids spend long hours hitting the books.
But hey, it’s no problem, because there are energy drinks for preteens too!
h_east (トロッコ6個) (@h_east) September 06, 2016
“Even if you’re tired, study hard! For elementary and middle school children (ages 8-14)” announces the packaging on this three-bottle bundle of Lipovitan Jr., a for-kids version of manufacturer Taisho Pharmaceutical’s adult-strength Lipovitan D energy drink. On the product’s website, the ingredients listed include schisandra, Siberian ginseng, and taurine, as well as less-exotic things such as calcium, magnesium. With a recommended dosage of one 50-mililiter (1.7-ounce) bottle a day, Taisho describes it as “The perfect drink for modern, busy elementary and middle school students in the 8 to 14 age range, who are busy with studies and sports,”
Not everyone is convinced, though, including the Twitter user who shared the photo, @h_east, who exclaimed “There’s something wrong with Japan. How did things come to this!?” Online comments included:
“I don’t think it’s Japan that something’s wrong with, but the pharmaceutical companies. They’re trying to pickle our kids in medicines. Just how greedy can they be?”
“Regardless of whether the drink is safe for them or not, it’s messed up to tell elementary and middle school kids ‘Even if you’re tired, study hard.’”
“If they’re feeling tired or sick, shouldn’t they take a break from studying?”
“Geez, even the kid on the label looks like he hates the situation.”
In Taisho’s defense, Lipovitan Jr. does at least seem to be caffeine-free. However, in a country where so many overworked adults end up trying to use supplements like Lipovitan D like some sort of magical sleep in a can, it’d be nice if kids could at least spend the first half of their academic careers without resorting to such tactics.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where’d he’d like to thank his former coworker for coming up with the phrase “sleep in a can.”