The words “Donald Trump” are even printed in katakana at the top of the packet.
McDonald’s Japan is known for producing limited-edition exclusive products that can’t be found anywhere else. Nowadays, these items usually come in the form of Happy Meal toys, featuring characters like Mario and Luigi and Pikachu, but many years ago, there were other types of McDonald’s trinkets in Japan featuring characters created by the fast food chain itself.
Twitter user @ came across one of these unusual products while cleaning out a desk at home. This green pack of Ronald McDonald playing cards was actually given to his mother decades ago when she was in elementary school, and while it was a cute find, the thing that caught @ ‘s eye were the words written in Japanese katakana syllabary on the front and top of the packet: ドナルド トランプ, which reads as “Donald Trump” in Japanese.
▼ It’s Donald Trump!
So how did the name of America’s President-elect come to be printed on a pack of McDonald’s playing cards from decades ago? Well, it’s all thanks to the intricacies of the Japanese language.
While McDonald’s characters are well-known around the world, in Japan the famous red-haired clown is known as “Donald” instead of “Ronald”. Many speculate that the reason for the slight name change has to do with the fact that English words containing the letter “r” are harder to pronounce in Japanese, so the letter “d” was used instead.
Check out these Japanese commercials featuring Donald McDonald below:
The word for western-style playing cards in Japanese is “trump”, which means this pack of Ronald playing cards is called “Donald Trump”. While this would’ve been taken on face value back when they were created, today there’s a different connotation attached to these two words, and Twitter users were keen to comment on the unusual find when @posted these pictures on Twitter.
机の掃除してたらこんなの出てきたww お母さんが小学生の時もらったらしいから数十年の時を経て脚光あびてるわ https://t.co/LlKuehaNQR—
ミッキー (@mickey_kudo) January 08, 2017
“What a timely discovery!”
“Does this look like a young version of Trump?”
“I bet you could sell these for a high price on an online auction site!”
“It’s like this was predicting something all those decades ago.”
“I wonder if the joker in the pack looks like Donald Trump?”
With Donald McDonald not looking to change his name in Japan anytime soon, there’s a possibility that “trump” cards like these could make a return to the golden arches here in coming years. Given McDonald’s Japan’s love of unique campaigns and promotions, which have seen prizes like gold fries and a gold chicken nugget offered in the past, who knows what lengths the red-headed Donald will go to now in order to make McDonald’s great again.