South Korean girl group Crayon Pop’s latest single “Uh-ee” has been banned by the publicly-funded TV network KBS for it’s use of a Japanese word. No, not any of those filthy words that immediately came into your head, but “pika,” which is a cute way of saying “Shiny.”
After liberation from Japanese colonialism in 1945, South Korea enforced a ban on importing Japanese music, movies, cartoons and video games that lasted up until 1998, but there are no remaining regulations and all other TV stations approved the video. Officials at KBS claimed that the word is “a vestige of Japanese imperialism and needs to be refined,” forcing Crayon Pop to re-record the song with “pika” changed to its Korean equivalent.
Just to reiterate, the word “pika” is a cute way of saying shiny.
Though the reason is original, it seems harsh bans aren’t without precedent. One music video was prohibited last year for showing a singer driving without a seatbelt and even international star Psy had his video for “Gentleman” pulled because it shows him kicking a traffic cone.
Japan’s state broadcaster NHK has previously faced criticism for almost polar opposite reasons, culminating in an elderly man’s attempt to sue them for using too many foreign loan words.