According to the news outlet Japan Today, the story goes that, when the company was renewing its Halal certification, somebody observed the cherubic baby’s tiny angel wings and pointed out that the Islamic school of thought forbids idol worship – did the Kewpie baby count as an idol? Technically, said Kewpie, the baby was intended to be a sort of labelless entity that defies both gender and species. It wasn’t intended as an angel, or even as a boy or a girl specifically. The Kewpie baby was created as more of the Platonic form of a cherubic baby figure. But, Kewpie is above all else a mayonnaise of the people. On the company’s website, it states that it aims to continually honor its founder, Toichiro Nakashima, by “contributing to the food culture and health of the world through ‘great taste, empathy, and uniqueness.'” So, Kewpie acquiesced and went with the from-the-neck-up baby logo.
But, controversy arose again when it was time for U.S.-made products. The baby is naked, critics cleverly pointed out. Is that nudity? Is it weird? So, Kewpie again opted for the censored logo for American products. Still, Japanese-made bottles of Kewpie mayo are a common import to the U.S. and are sold at such popular retailers as Target. So, bottles bearing the classic trademark Kewpie baby logo are far from tough to track down. (If you think you can handle the taboo.)