Category: Japanese Kangaroos

Kangaroo Cooking…Roo Meat: It’s Tasty if Ya Cook It!

Japanese have been legally eating kangaroo for longer than most Australians.
Kangaroo meat was imported to Japan and being served in Tokyo restaurants from 1988, five years before meat from the national symbol was legalized for consumption by Australians in all states other than South Australia, where kangaroo could be eaten legally from 1980. (Indigenous Australians had continued eating kangaroo, a traditional food, regardless of the ban.)
Despite the head start, kangaroo meat never really kicked on in Japan, despite its reputation for being a healthy, high-protein, low-fat alternative to beef or pork.
RooMeat was promoted in Japan as being a preferred choice of athletes and models, but the “stars” called upon to plug the meat were not household names. Moreover, the meat was promoted with the somewhat mysterious catch copy of “it’s tasty if you cook it.”
Kangaroo meat can still be purchased in Japan, probably most easily from The Meat Guy, purveyor of fine meats.
Kangaroo meat is also promoted as an environmentally friendly choice as kangaroos produce less methane than cattle.
Some people have also adopted kangatarianism, which is essentially a vegetarian diet that allows for the consumption of kangaroo meat.
Japan’s kangaroo business was also involved in the kangaroo industry, which focuses around the marsupial’s leather, which is regarded as the strongest source of leather for shoes and gloves.
K-Roo kangaroo meat promotions
Premium kangaroo meat promotions


Tokyo’s Strange Socceroos

Japan has a strange affinity when it comes to using Australian animals for its advertising.
A number of major Japanese corporations use koalas and roos to plug their products and services.
One with a difference is Hayashi Corporation, a construction company with a history of over 100 years and based in suburban Tokyo.
Hayashi Corporation’s Fuchu branch office entrance is adorned with photos of a family of cartoon kangaroos decked out in soccer gear, just like Australia’s national football team, the Socceroos.
Japan’s next opponent in World Cup qualifying is Australia, but there’s no connection.
What is interesting to note, though, is that the kangaroos had been painted over until quite recently. They were restored after many years and now stand out prominently.
The reason for why this marsupial touch has been added to outer suburban Tokyo remains a mystery, though.

Kangaroo Crank

Kangaroo crank from Maruishi Cycle


Continuing on from yesterday’s entry, there’s more Maruishi Cycle brilliance on show.
Here is a bicycle crank featuring a kangaroo motif.
This work is especially notable as it was done before World War II.
Also note the kangaroo print on the pedal shaft.
Pretty amazing bit of work, though the kangaroo connection remains a bit of a mystery, yet once again forms a link between Japan and Australia.

Kangaroos Have a Proud History Adorning Japanese Marushi Bicycles

Maruishi mudguard kangaroo ornament

Maruishi Cycle Ltd. is a prestigious bicycle manufacturer perhaps best-known today for its vintage models that until late in the 20th century also included penny farthings. Maruishi continues to make fine touring bikes in Japan. The company’s history dates back to 1894, though it has been Chinese-owned since 2006.
Of greatest interest for Kangaeroo readers, though, is that Maruishi’s symbol throughout its history has been a kangaroo!
Why Maruishi chose a kangaroo remains a mystery, though its cycles are renowned for their luggage-bearing capability, which probably goes some way toward providing an explanation.
Although current Maruishi kangaroo displays appear largely limited to bicycle decals and store signage, marsupial images once adorned mudguards in the form of ornaments, frame plates, cranks and bells.

Maruishi kangaroo mudguard ornament


Maruishi kangaroo bell


Maruishi kangaroo plate


Official Maruishi logo


Marushi store signage