11/11 is Pocky Day!

J-List has brought it to my attention that Glico Corp. has designated Nov. 11 as Pocky Day, because the digits 11/11 resemble four Pocky sticks. What’s particularly amusing about this year’s Pocky Day, from my perspective, is that Yellow Magic Orchestra have somehow been drawn into the celebration. It’s sort of hard to convey the significance of either Pocky or YMO if you’re not already familiar with them. The closest analogy I can come up with is to imagine if Aerosmith endorsed Oreos. (That doesn’t quite get the idea across because YMO is one of extremely few Japanese music groups to achieve international recognition, but it’s a start.) I first heard them in my teens when I was discovering electronic music and, decades later, made a point of putting “Technopolis” on my iPod so that I could listen to it while looking out the hotel window during my first stay in Tokyo.

Pocky sticks can be found in large supermarkets in the US, although usually only in basic chocolate and sometimes strawberry. In Japan they come in flavors like kiwifruit and green tea. There is a line called Dessert Pocky which involve combinations of flavors and are thicker than standard Pocky. There are also Men’s Pocky, which are made with bittersweet chocolate–don’t ask me why.

The official Japanese website is here, if you’re feeling adventurous, and here are Wikipedia articles on Pocky and YMO.

By adam

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