J a p a n e s e    C u l t u r e

Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Engrish T-Shirts

About half of the T-shirts on sale in Japan have lettering on them. Of those that do, 99% have English or rather Engrish printed upon them. It is almost impossible to find T-shirts with Japanese language written on them. Imagine if it were impossible to purchase English language T-shirts in the UK, and that all lettering on them were in Bad Japanese. There would be riots.
Perhaps this is not just the effect of Westernization, but also something to do with the way in which Japanese have always imported languages from other nations? Perhaps even if there were no Western influence upon Japan, the Japanese would not wish to write in Japanese upon their own T-shirts. Be that as may, I find the Engrish T-shirts a little more troubling than many of the locals.

At the same time, lately, I have taken to wearing a T-shirt upon which is emblazoned "Do! Something on your own way."

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That's insane.
I love it! That reminds me of a chapter from the book Re-Made In Japan, which talks about the way that the English language is adapted in Japan. I will read up on it and give you a synopsis if you are interested?

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.