His Huckleberry friend?

I was very dissapointed with last nights iron chef. The whole story about Sakai and his former classmate just went on for way too long. I was confused about some of the translations though. The challanger was Sakai’s classmate from junior highschool and chairman Kaga kept calling him what was translated as “Huckleberry friend”. Is there really a word in japanesse that mean “huckleberry friend”? Or is this just a bad translation. If anybody that knows Japanesse was watching last night do you know what the word is that they translated as “Huckleberry friend”?

Okay looking back I don’t think this question is very coherrant but I’m tried so please try and make do thank you.

I was wondering the same thing.

A Google search turned up this: http://www.johnnymercer.com/FAQ/Moon%20River.htm

Scroll down about halfway for a less-than-satisfying explanation.

You had to do a Google search to learn that “Huckleberry friend” is a lyric to Moon River, (lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Henry Mancini) – one of the biggest hits of the twentieth century!!!

God, I must be getting old.

Huckleberry was in use in American English in the first half of the nineteenth century as a metaphor for something very small. From this it seems to have taken on two divergent meanings: 1) to be small and worthless or 2) to be small and endearing. Huckleberry could be a nickname for a lover or for a partner. (In the movie Tombstone, the Doc Halliday character uses it a lot.) It seems to be more of a Southern regionalism.

The phrase “huckleberry friend” in the song Moon River plays off two ideas: huckleberry, meaning friend/sweetheart and “two drifters off to see the world” evoking the image of Huck and Jim on the raft in Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.

How or why it was being bandied about on Iron Chef I will let those who watched it ponder.

I’m not sure how old you are, but I didn’t do a Google search to learn that “Huckleberry friend” is a phrase from Moon River, I searched to find the meaning of the phrase “Huckleberry friend”.


Am I imagining something, but aren’t the films of Audrey Hepburn very popular in Japan? Wouldn’t this lead to the adoption of a line from “Moon River” more likely?

I am hypothesizing this because of the existence of the novel “Audrey Hepburn’s Neck”, which is a novel set in Japan, although not written by a Japanese.

Again this is complete conjecture on my part.

Note that Mercer has stated that 1) he made up the phrase “huckleberry friend” to fit the meter and 2) he had no idea what it meant. He originally wanted to change it to something else, but Mancini said to keep it (sort of like the phrase “the movement you need is on your shoulder” in “Hey, Jude”).

BobT probably has it right – the phrase in the song became known in Japan, and the Japanese assumed it was a common American idiom.

Heh. I saw the title and I knew exactly what this thread was about…

Smeghead - Heh, heh. Me too. My first thought was “Ah, another Iron Chef fan on the board…”