Japlish t-shirt

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Axel Schuessler's daughter is visiting Japan and saw in a store the shirt below:

Axel wondered whether the wording on the shirt could be a mangled translation from Japanese.

I think not. Japlish t-shirts are a thing unto themselves (images here).

You're not really supposed to make sense of them.

[Thanks to Cecilia Segawa Seigle, Nathan Hopson, and Miki Morita]


  1. John F said,

    April 1, 2015 @ 5:07 am

    It was the fashion a few years ago in the UK, before Hollister and Jack Wills and their poorly made applique logos, that leisure wear would have lots of sporty US college-type words at random. There would be the name of a place, maybe a sport or just 'athletic' or 'athletic dept', some random dates and numbers, often roman numerals, and words like 'honor', 'varsity', 'sport', 'high achiever', even 'reliable', etc. None of them made much sense when read as a whole. Jack Wills does something similar now with random text all over the front, but their text at least makes more sense, since it is all related to their brand.

  2. Roger Lustig said,

    April 1, 2015 @ 11:36 am

    @John F: Fake US college gear goes back at least to the '80s. "University of UCLA" and the like.

  3. E said,

    April 1, 2015 @ 2:41 pm

    Where can I get the shirt?

  4. Rubrick said,

    April 1, 2015 @ 4:11 pm

    To obtain such a shirt, you must begin from the sea some.

  5. January First-of-May said,

    April 2, 2015 @ 4:26 am

    @John F:
    I used to see that sort of stuff all over the place in Moscow as well. Knowing English enough to realize the text made no sense, I was reduced to incoherent inner rage.
    I can't imagine what it must've felt like in the UK, where everyone knew enough English to understand the sheer nonsensity (OTOH, the UK versions of these clothes probably at least had less typos).

  6. George said,

    April 2, 2015 @ 5:59 am

    I don't remember them as being particularly common in the UK or Ireland but they were all over France in the early '90s. Apart from the grammatical howlers, there would often be weird juxtapositions, like "No. 1 baseball quarterback". Or even "quaterback" (which was also the name of a chain of sports shops; they've now added a little 'r' in superscript in a very knowing yes-we-know-it-was-a-mistake touch that is quite cute). It was weird.

  7. ThM said,

    April 2, 2015 @ 8:56 am

    Lots of shops in Tokyo use meaningless faux-french for their name, too.

  8. Madison said,

    April 2, 2015 @ 8:08 pm

    These are all over Korea, too. I quite enjoy them – what's the harm?
    A few of my personal favorites (I now own two of the following) :

    "Bed & Breakrast – Quality of Life Made Right"

    "Miracle. Glow. Billowy."


  9. Chas Belov said,

    April 4, 2015 @ 2:43 pm

    I remember seeing a jacket in Chinatown many years ago reading "Because [brand name of beer] uses only the finest hops this humble Czech hops picker can feed his family" I don't remember the brand but the wearer appeared to be of Asian ancestry.

  10. Mark Mandel said,

    April 4, 2015 @ 9:26 pm

    @Chas Belov: But at least that was grammatical!

  11. Jim said,

    April 6, 2015 @ 2:38 pm

    Honestly, these don't bother me for the simple reason that a lot of people in the States wear T-shirts with phrases in Asian alphabets that I'm sure are just as nonsensical.

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