Jul 212010
 



 
It is a fact of life that many people are unhappy with the way they look. But women here in Japan are under an enormous pressure to look beautiful, cute and perfect to find a desirable partner. Thanks to a different body image many women (and men) have no problem with using what Westerners would consider extreme measures — strong whitening of the skin, cosmetic surgery, wearing special contact lenses every day to make the iris look bigger and colorful, using lots of make-up to display perfect skin, and so on. Of course most of these measures are rather expensive, so there are also tons of products for the less affluent that promise much but use rather suspicious methods. One of my favorites is the CoCo nose re-shaper (“Beautiful New Look of Nose”):

Be a Cleopatra’s nose
Indispensable for your beautiful nose
You wouldn’t miss a chance

Apparently a Cleopatra’s nose is a large and straight nose that seems to be highly desirable for Japanese females. Just put that clothes pin-like clam on your nose and watch TV and the impossible might happen — or probably not. Anyway, as this product is rather widespread and available in pretty much every drugstore, I guess that some people are really buying it and that “being a Cleopatra’s nose” is the goal of quite a few Japanese ladies…



 
Another highlight of bizarre Japanese beauty products is Noble’s “Slim Mouth Piece”. This simple little gadget is supposed to help Japanese women “For getting a tight and slim face.” (キュッとした小顔をめざす) Use this device 2-3 minutes every day and it will turn your large, lusting Asian mouth into a boring, thin Westerner’s, enabling you to smile crazily from one ear to the other. But as with the nose clip I have my doubts that this device will give you anything but sore facial muscles — the underlying aesthetic issue is caused by bone structure and not something that can be affected by simple plastic toys.

Best of all is that many of these products feature Western models — as if these stereotypical “dumb blondes” are either highly regarded role models for Japanese females, or that their look was archieved by using these products — as if Westerners look like that only because they are avid fans of DIY plastic surgery…

 Posted by at 18:31
Jul 092010
 

The Nippori neighborhood close to the Nippori Station (serviced by the Yamanote JR line) is the place to go if you want very cheap, fashionable clothing Tokyo’s teenagers wear. Crammed stores like Pop Girl and Heiwadō (ヘイワ堂) are much cheaper than similar shops in Shibuya and Harajuku, and their outfits are just as weird and crazy as well. On top of it all these stores have a huge amount of stuff with strange Engrish that we all love so much.

Now this was easy to spot: "Beutyful" on this striped girl's t-shirt.
Now this was easy to spot: "Beutyful" on this striped girl's t-shirt.
A yellow t-shirt with the almost incomprehensible print "This heart is very very ner you - Fllowe - love should also be subtle".
A yellow t-shirt with the almost incomprehensible print "This heart is very very ner you - Fllowe - love should also be subtle".
The highlight on this cat-oriented t-shirt is "Bloeing away the cobwebs".
The highlight on this cat-oriented t-shirt is "Bloeing away the cobwebs".
Unfortunately very small: "Why do you breathe? I seem to have totally I'm breathing from the beginning".
Unfortunately very small: "Why do you breathe? I seem to have totally I'm breathing from the beginning".
This was from a collection of very strange and over-the-top punk style t-shirts. Please note the place where the "Open House" sign is pointing at.
This was from a collection of very strange and over-the-top punk style t-shirts. Please note the place where the "Open House" sign is pointing at.
No Engrish, but still a ridiculously overdone t-shirt for Japanese males in my humble opinion.
No Engrish, but still a ridiculously overdone t-shirt for Japanese males in my humble opinion.
 Posted by at 19:05
Jun 212010
 



 
T-shirts are a wonderful source for Engrish in Japan. Western rōmaji (latin letters) are cool and modern, so on casual clothing English is often depicted (virtually no real Japanese wears clothes with Japanese letters). However, sometimes things go wrong, resulting in mangled words or strange misspellings.

This ¥6850 t-shirt has some Engrish nonsense on it:

New! Halume’s Milky Corpolate with a mode
Sweet label Damianne Halume
Design by Pelouse co.ltd.
We want to be a corpolate like a chocolate for our custmer.

 Posted by at 18:36
May 082010
 



 
This official banner hangs above Takeshita-dōri, possibly the most famous street in Harajuku which is covered in virtually every tourist guide. Still the Harajuku merchant association, Shibuya city government and Harajuku police station can’t be bothered to find someone to proof-read their English announcements, resulting in this typical piece of Engrish language.

 Posted by at 17:03