It Happened to Me

Japan’s Worst-Named Non-Dairy Creamer

Another moment from my 1998 trip to Japan:

Joey posing with a jar of 'Creap'.

One of the first things I did upon arriving in Japan was to pose for a photo with the worst-named non-dairy coffee creamer anywhere: Creap. As the label implies, it’s meant to be an amalgam of “creamy” and “powder”.

Still from a 'Creap' TV ad.

Still from a 'Creap' TV ad.

Still, it’s not as bad a name choice as Darkie toothpaste:

Box and tube of 'Darkie' toothpaste.

4 replies on “Japan’s Worst-Named Non-Dairy Creamer”

A video of a Japanese TV ad for probably that very toothpaste made the rounds on the web a few years ago. It’s even more racist than the packaging suggests. They had a large black man climb a light pole like an ape and make a little Japanese girl cry.

I think the “Creap” thing was unintentional, much like other Japanese Engrish like mistakes. But the choice of “Darkie” is completely intentional. In Taiwan, the literal translation is “Black Person” toothpaste, and the selling point was making your teeth white *cringe*.

“Creap” isn’t a “mistake”. The word doesn’t have anything to do with the English slang meaning because, duh, maybe all Japanese didn’t grow up in the United States? I know this is an attempt at a joke, but it’s kind of ignorant. Also, as someone who has lived and worked in Japan, one stupid ad by a goofy businessman may have been racist, or maybe you can see people making fun of all kinds of people in various places, but at any rate, Japan has a ways to go to catch up in racism with my country, where half of the country wanted to fight a war expressly to be able to enslave black people, lynch them, and prohibit them from using all kinds of necessary facilities, and also committed genocide against the natives of the continent, and put one of the leaders of such genocide on the national currency to honor him (Andrew Jackson). So I’m not going to point fingers at Japan, because I think that would make me, as an American, kind of a hypocrite.

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