Moral Low Ground

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Now THAT’S what I Call a Fuckin’ Sale!

Whenever I’m in Japan, one of my favorite things to do is browse the aisles of supermarkets and convenience stores and get a good laugh out of all the hilarious English product names, many of them horribly misused or misspelt. Great fun can be had carrying out this same exercise aboard public transportation, while reading restaurant menus, or even by sitting on a bench and reading the myriad mangled English phrases on the t-shirts of passers-by. There’s even a website, Engrishfunny, that highlights some of this linguistic absurdity.

(Photo: Zarina Yamaguchi)

I’m not in Japan right now, but browsing Jake Adelstein’s Japan Subculture Research Center blog today I came across this doozy I just had to share with you despite, or should I say because of its R-rated brazenness. Adelstein, famous as the first and only gaijin (foreigner) to be admitted to the insular Tokyo Metropolitan Police Press club (he chronicled his adventures covering the notorious Yakuza in his gripping best-seller Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan), posted this photo snapped by his friend Zarina Yamaguchi in Osaka last week. According to Adelstein’s blog, Zarina wrote:

Well, a childhood friend of mine and I were strolling along the local street in Shinsaibashi, Osaka. Being around the extra-genki Osaka-jins and salesladies screaming ‘Irashaimasse’ from every direction for the ongoing New Year Sales has never made us feel more at home. On our way to catch up over coffee, I walked into this store to check some things. Truth is, I didn’t even notice the posters. When I looked around, each corner had posters that printed ‘fucking sale’. I didn’t know how to react but what caught me by surprise was that none of the people around me seem to understand the profanity. My friend Sarah and I, both of mixed Japanese descent, both bilingual in Japanese and English, were struck with the comical twist. Pretty sure I would have never seen this elsewhere, I had to snap a shot.

And we’re glad she did!

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4 Comments

  1. WakakoJanuary 9, 2012 at 1:28 pmReply

    I can’t believe no one stopped this store before the posters were printed. I often wonder why no one checks the English.

    • Brett WilkinsJanuary 9, 2012 at 2:50 pmReplyAuthor

      Maybe they thought they were being cool.

  2. KenJanuary 18, 2012 at 12:51 amReply

    hahaha! at least its not misspelled and it makes sense ; )

    • Brett WilkinsJanuary 18, 2012 at 10:05 amReplyAuthor

      Very true!

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