My Mother is a Tractor - Chapter 34

A Life in Rural Japan

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It's English Jim, But Not As We Know It...

The only English words I saw in Japan were Sony and Mitsubishi.
- Bill Gullickson

The Japanese have been keen to learn English for a number of years. There was a large upswing in this interest post WWII with a particular emphasis on phrases like "Hello GI Joe, you want girl?" and, "I am not a war criminal". So was born the start of true Japanese internationalisation, and a new brand of English. So what? Everybody has his or her own particular brand of English. When I went to live in California I had to adopt a whole new vocabulary because each culture has their own particular slang. A Canadian friend once gave me directions to their place and said it was ‘kitty-corner’ from the supermarket. What the hell did that mean? Do I find a cat on the corner by the supermarket and follow it home?

However, Japanese English (or ‘Japlish’) is a breed apart. I’m informed that Japanese advertising executives don’t care if it’s not grammatically correct. It just has to look (or sound) good. Conversely, this confirms the suspicion that around the world advertising executives are culturally no different.

Anytime I traveled in Japan, in so many things I read or watched - examples of ‘Japlish’ could be seen everywhere. Therefore I have put some of these real, honest to goodness, written as seen, examples together below. Many were discovered by me, but a quite a few were passed on, and others via various publications (apologies for any copyright infringement).

Train + ing = Traing (Japan Rail ad).

Let's make it ready in your home. This bread presents you with a kind consideration in the morning and afternoon, or the dinner at home. (Your Queen bread wrapper).

These drawings in this exhibition are the best selection of many kind drinks in these days. You would be given the happy and tasty time by drinking one of them. (vending machine).

Bomb kuchen is dangerous cake. When this cake will spoil, it have to bumb. So, please help yourself to the cake, while it keeping fresh. Nobody stop it to bumb (Bombe Kuchen bakery box).

Konnyaku is well-known for refreshing your stomach and intestines. (Konnyakubatake jelly shots).

Ski feel is a concept like balance, which is instinctual to individuals who are athletic, but which can also be developed by others who approach skiing more socially than athletically. (Milk cookie wrapper).

Live Asahi for live people (Asahi beer).

Let's try homeparty fashionbly and have joyful chat with nice fellow (packet of straws).

Confidence of creating deliciousness. This tastiness can not be carried even by both hands (Wrapper on a chocolate dessert).

Dear Everybody, A hamburger, eaten when you're feeling blue, isn't very tasty. But when you're feeling energetic, with a smile on your face, and in love...that's when hamburgers really taste delicious (coffee cup at Mos Burger).

Our little friend 'TOMTE' use magical secret powder for delicious BREAD that. Well enjoy in next morning. Children who living in NORTHERN EUROPE tell us secret that just baken BREAD. Yes-TOMTE's secret. HOKUO as. BREAD country SAPPORO is very similar with TOMTE's land (Tomte bread wrapper).

FAMILY What is valuable thing to you? Are you happy now? Please value the valuable things to you (Seen on a backpack).

A lovely and tiny twig 'KOEDA.' A heroine's treasured chocolate in the forest. The sentimental taste is cozy for the heroine's in the town (box of chocolate covered pretzels).

You bask sunshine in the fresh morning. You breath fresh air and listen to birds singing. Lying down on the broad grass, you see a cloud in the blue sky changing its shape, look like a bread, and sometimes to cake,etc. (pastry wrapper).

Counselling and Order Centre (Tokyu Hands store - just in case you have a breakdown while buying hardware).

Men's Biggi (Menswear shop in Tokyo).

When passenger on foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigor. (Brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo - courtesy of Far Eastern Economic Review) .

Wonders of electricity are displayed for children to be easily digested (sign-Electric Science Museum).

Magic House where anyone will be quite surprised and utter "S.O.S." 100 percent thrill. (sign - Children's Sportsland).

The efficacy of this beer is to give the health and especially the strength for Stomach. The flovour is so sweet and simple that not injure for much drink. (label - Fuji Beer).

mecca of dude, dundy, or fop (Shop sign - Harajuku, Tokyo).

When a guy is in love, it's a lot like being right in the middle of a banana jungle no matter where you look there are big bananas everywhere! (Advertisement - Banana Daisuki).

BABY SHITTER - I take care of your children. Please call up me. (Sign in Tokyo).

'Don't shit down here' (Warning sign - Kyoto).

Hi - I'm Nudy (advertisement for aftershave).

Mind Altering Drugs Store - Punk, death, and visual sounds (Music store - Niigata City).

With fried chicken you give taste and smell and also communicate your thankfulness (packaging from an Osaka fast food store - which sold probably the worst chicken I've ever tasted)

The following courtesy of 'Niigata JOHO'.

Trade Mark K - Showvels Scoops and Spades which are exhibited of the above trade mark is very cheap in the pice and it is bonvenient bor Use. There is neceity exclain ally aeknorulebqe by thebll customers..

Return to nature only three hour ride away from Tokyo! - In snowy hills hares and foxes hop around and in streams trouts and chars swim about. Also you will enjoy the glare of sunbeams and freash ozone. Down at the foot of the 4200 feet over sea-leveled hotel, there are factories of cameras, watches, and music boxes..

Please use your foot to handle the cock..

An incinerator is provided behind the entrance door..

The perfect goods to climax a happy make any occasion happy. BITS GOODS goes along..

Butchering is our specialty Glue no extra charge!.

Wel come to Japan the sea men you gentlemen drop in the bar king at girst: Ladies are ready.

In boxes and stands. Your charm and dandyism is began from feet. All time all seasons, KAMIKURI's moody up your dream wear..

vertical parking only

Don't urine water

But wait there's more! Here is a collection of some true, verifiable, honest to goodness, motor vehicle names in Japan.


Verbs, Adjectives, Animals, Girls & Boys

Works Windy Guppy Vicky Rex

Inspire Stormy Street Racoon Carol Cedric

Beat Savvy Gloria Will

Reflect Prominent Cynthia Domingo Leeza (Cha-Cha)

From the shop

Super Potato, Parsley, Lime, Carrot, Cappucino

Appealing to the younger female

Cutie, Rouge, Perky, Femina

Miscellaneous (see: Unexplainable)

Joypop Landventure, Rex Combi La La, Sunny Super Saloon, We've, Midget II, Bongo Friendee, Elf, Master Ace Surf, Today Humming, Today Pochette

There you have it. I feel better now and normal programming can resume….


japan ski Learn Japanese on your iPod or add a phrasebook

A "life in Japan" on the "JET Program" book

Tags: Japanese English, Japlish, Funny Japanese Advertising

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