Japanese city removes Pokemon cards promoting local cuisine after accusations of plagiarism


A Japanese city council has recalled collectible cards designed to promote local delicacies after they allegedly copied the design of Pokémon cards.

The Japanese Heritage Utilization Promotion Council of Obama City and Wakasa Town released a series of cards in April to make residents more familiar with the cuisine of the Ongokuni region, which covers three provinces.

The series, titled “Michokukuni Wakasa History Fudocard,” consists of seven characters, each based on a different local food. 520 copies of each card were produced and distributed at restaurants in the area.

However, the cards have been taken out of circulation due to the designs allegedly plagiarizing existing Pokémon cards, Fukui Shimbun Online reported.

Two cards in particular, based on Wakasa Fish and Pickled Mackerel, were accused of plagiarizing from Snivy and Reshiram's Pokémon cards respectively.

Taiwanese toy news website Toy People also pointed out that two of the cards are very similar to Oddish and Suicune.

Japanese city removes Pokemon cards promoting local cuisine after accusations of plagiarism

Japanese city removes Pokemon cards promoting local cuisine after accusations of plagiarism
Japanese city removes Pokemon cards promoting local cuisine after accusations of plagiarism

“We have to admit that they are very similar,” an Obama City spokesman admitted, according to the Fukui Shimbun report.

They claim the card design was outsourced to a local company, with each card containing food and written information.

When the finished design was submitted, officials in both cities didn't notice any similarities to Pokémon. When the design company was asked about the claims, it acknowledged using Pokémon as a reference but denied plagiarism.

Although the council has now recalled all remaining cards, it has decided not to attempt to recall cards that have already been given away. Therefore, they may be considered rare in the future.