In Japan, where there are several degrees of formality and famously the “nail that sticks up is hammered down,” the imagination of its repressed society comes out in many unique ways. There are the breathtaking Harajuku street fashions, some of the craziest films and anime on the planet…and items like the “liberation wrapper” that swaddles burgers at Japan’s Freshness Burger.
Priding itself on offering up an enormous “Classic Burger,” the restaurant quickly ran into a cultural conundrum. Japanese mores dictate that women should keep an “ochobo” – a “small and modest” mouth – at all times. Yet good luck trying to do that while enjoying the enormous Classic Burger.
And thus was born the liberation wrapper, a burger wrapper featuring a life-size illustration of the lower two-thirds of a close-mouthed woman’s face that fits neatly over the holder’s own, obscuring the open-mouthed enjoyment of the meal. Sale of the burger subsequently jumped more than 200%.
While the very idea has offended many outside the country for its reinforcement of onerous standards for women (the fact that the rest of the woman on the wrapper appears to be topless probably doesn’t help), it has to be acknowledged that this is also a pretty clever design solution. Sugoi!