Today is a very special day, one I've been waiting for for a long time: Pocky Day, 2011. The Japanese are fond of assigning special importance to days of the calendar, often for arbitrary reasons, like October 10 being "Moe Day" because of the way the date looks like the kanji for moe when written a certain way, or November 26th being designated ii furo ni hi or "good bath day," a day for companies that make interesting bath products to promote their wares. Since Heisei 11 (1999), the makers of Pocky have designated November 11 as Pocky and Pretz Day, since 11/11 looks like four little sticks lined up. Well this year is extra special since the date is 11/11/11, the only such day this century. So grab some Pocky and much on it now!
Pocky has gone from being a wonky snack worshipped by anime fans to become the flagship of Japanese snack culture all around the world. The chocolate-covered pretzel stick, which gets its name from the pokki! sound you hear when you snap one in half, was first introduced in 1965 by the Glico Confectionery Company under the not-so-cool name of Chocoteck, where it was an instant hit. The story behind how the company was founded is quite interesting, by the way. At the start of the 20th century, the son of Riichi Ezaki died due to poor health, and the saddened Ezaki went a seaside fishing village where he happened upon some children playing. They were exceptionally healthy, which caused Ezaki to look into the reason for their good health. He determined that a compound found in oysters called glycogen was a factor, and in 1919 he resolved to found a company that would manufacture sweets for Japan's children that would improve their health, to be named Glico, after the glycogen compound. The now-famous image of the Glico Running Man was adopted because one piece of Glico candy contains the energy you need to run a 100 meter dash. The company has brought out many hit products over the years, but none quite as iconic as the legendary Pocky. We hope everyone has a fun Pocky Day today!
Today is a day for celebrating Pocky.