When Japan's new Super Rugby franchise revealed their terrifying new wolf mascot last week, some fairly key details were lost in translation.

Was the wolf on drugs? Why does it look like it has spent the last two weeks sleeping under a bridge? And what is its name?

In lieu of any genuine details about Super Rugby's creepy canid, NZ Herald reporter Matt Nippert christened the Sunwolf 'Pinging' - a slang term for a state of increased anxious activity, typically induced by an amphetamine.


Nippert's joke took off on social media, but was quickly interpreted across mainstream media outlets and the official Super Rugby Twitter account as fact.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Stuff and One News all said the mascot was named Pinging and social media blindly accepted that a manic, disheveled wolf with dilated eyes named Pinging is something Japanese culture could conceivably create. It's the sort of mass branding which may be very hard to undo.



So what is his real name? A half-hearted Herald investigation has revealed that the world of Japanese mascots is confusing.

The Sunwolves have linked up with Japanese band 'Man With a Mission' - a five-piece rock band who wear wolf masks on their heads - and have evolved the groups' friendly looking features to a much more twisted place.

Japanese rock band Man With a Mission.
Japanese rock band Man With a Mission.

The Sunwolves couldn't be reached for comment on the naming of their viral mascot and there is no mention on social media of an official title, but the Japanese culture is known for saving face, so it may just be easier for them to accept the new name.