You want me to kiss you where now?
An American friend recently posted a poster he spotted in Kyushu on social media with the comment, “Someone at the Nagasaki tourism board getting creative.” It was this eye-catcher.
▼ Don’t ask questions! Just kiss it!
The poster is actually part of a new promotion by JR Kyushu to promote seven sightseeing areas around the city of Nagasaki. Japanese pop culture-loving readers might already be savvy to the reference they are making, but the aggressive sounding tagline seems rife with confusion for international visitors. When I shared the photo to see what people thought, responses from abroad were largely befuddled.
“Nagasaki! Meet seven of our many young men!”
“[I] think ‘Naga-saki on this, pal’ would have worked better with the target market of jaded commuters.”
“Should I know who these guys are? Is it a musical group or something? It seems weird to have all men of a similar age on a tourism poster. Like ‘come to bro-town!!!'”
While we can’t rule out the possibility that JR Kyushu wanted to rebrand Nagasaki as bro-town, this is indeed a popular boy band called Kis-My-Ft2. Disappointingly, the tagline is a reference to their name, not the train company telling commuters to plant their lips where the sun don’t shine.
And for those now wondering if a reference to foot fetishism is any better suited for an ad campaign, the name is supposedly an acronym of the members’ names: Hiromitsu Kitayama, Kento Senga, Toshiya Miyata, Wataru Yokoo, Taisuke Fujigaya, Yuta Tamamori and Takashi Nikaido, “ni” being one way of reading 2 in Japanese. Why they chose that particular acronym, we couldn’t say.
▼ Mmm, pucker up, baby.
Given the popularity of Kis-My-Ft2 among young Japanese and the attention-grabbing tagline, this is sure to be a successful campaign for Kyushu. We certainly hope so anyway, because while Nagasaki may not be all that smoochable, it is a great place to visit.