Like a drunken game of telephone, things often get lost in cultural translation in this flattened, globalized economy. And for one university in Japan that, shall we say, cultural misunderstanding is holding it back.
Kinki University, named after the region in which it is located in Japan, is trying to go global. The university is a good one, says the Japan Times, and is planning to expand by offering courses in languages other than Japanese. There’s just one problem—its name is Kinki University. The university has apparently given up on the rest of the world being grown-up about this and has decided to ditch the name because, in the words of the Japan Times, “the English term ‘kinky’ can denote a preference for peculiar sexual behavior.”
Here’s more on the change from the Japan Times:
The university is frank about its discomfort. Foreigners attending conferences often have a good old chuckle, President Hitoshi Shiozaki told a news conference Tuesday, adding that in a global age the university needs to appear businesslike in any language. “We aim to get more foreign students coming here, so we’ve decided to change our English name to ensure there is no misunderstanding,” spokesman Ishihiro Seko told The Japan Times on Wednesday.
The new name, as of April 2016, will be Kindai University.