Lady Kaga

30 Nov

In 2008, when U.S. president Obama was campaigning for the presidency, a small town in western Japan called 小浜 (Obama) was taking advantage to the similarity in their names in an attempt to draw tourists…they were especially hoping that Barack Obama himself would pay a visit to Obama, Japan (but he still hasn’t).

Well, there is another small town in western Japan that is trying to capitalize on a similarity in the town’s name to that of an American celebrity.
加賀 (Kaga) is a town near 日本海 (the Sea of Japan) that has many 温泉 (hot springs), temples, shrines and traditional Japanese culture.

The name “Kaga” is similar to “Gaga” (as in “Lady Gaga”, the American pop star). When the two names are written in Japanese カタカナ (katakana) characters, they’re even more similar…「カガ」 (“Kaga”) looks quite like 「ガガ」 (“Gaga”).

The town of Kaga gets many tourists from 「関西地方」 (the “Kansai” region) in western Japan, which includes 「大阪」 (Osaka)…but not so many from 「関東地方」 (the “Kanto” region) in eastern Japan, which is where Tokyo is.

So, Kaga has recently begun a new tourist campaign on TV in the Tokyo area in an attempt to attract more tourists from this area.
This new TV ad takes advantage of the similarity in name to “Lady Gaga”, and shows a number of women who work in the tourism industry in Kaga and calls them 「レディー・カガ」 (“Lady Kaga”).

Here’s the ad:

Supposedly, Lady Gaga is scheduled to come to Tokyo sometime next month. Maybe she’ll she the ad on Japanese TV while she’s here…and take a trip to Kaga!

4 Responses to “Lady Kaga”

  1. Yuki November 30, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Interesting ad!
    I have been to Obama a few years ago. Broiled mackerel (焼きサバ), the specialty of Obama was really awesome! And I got a sticker featuring Barack Obama there.


    • tokyo5 December 1, 2011 at 2:32 am #

      I like サバ (mackerel) very much!

      And I remember seeing all the Barack Obama merchandise on TV. It was funny. 😉


  2. Earnest Mercer November 30, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    Interesting. I’ve been to Obama, but not Kaga. I’ve admired the Japanese skill and intuitive propensities for capitalizing on all commercial opportunities for a long time. (Covered in my MBA thesis on Japanese business and culture) I wish I could gain some exposure to my book “Skivvy Girl” that is set in the (then) small village of Wakabayashii. My wife and I lived there 1975-1976. Keep up the good (hard) worik.


    • tokyo5 November 30, 2011 at 1:32 am #

      Have you been to Obama, Japan? Next time, you should visit Kaga! 😉


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