Monday, March 10, 2008

And the sign says... what??

One of the things I appreciate about living in Japan is that so many stores have signs posted in English. It seems to be a trendy thing here, kind of the way tattoos of Japanese symbols are popular back home. So a lot of signs are printed in English, or in Japanese spelled out in the roman alphabet (romaji), or some combination of the two.

The result is often good for a chuckle. And sometimes, the result is just downright unfortunate.

Take this sign on a grocery store downtown, for instance.

"Yours" is a chain grocery store in this area. "Asse" is a department store. But I'm not so sure I want to buy anything edible from the Yours in the Asse.

Across the street from our apartment is a cute little hair salon with this sign:

That's right, it's not the salon, it's the "saloon." With a picture of a busty, naked young lass. With the slogan "The simplicity of their dressing is gratifying." Very classy.

Here's a large sign that was hanging in our neighborhood a while back.

I guess this is for a real estate office, but what's this supposed to be saying? "If you want to launch your house into space, call us!"

I always enjoy the advertisements for the private English schools, too. One of the major chain schools is called AEON. But it doesn't give me much confidence when their advertisement says stuff like this:

Perhaps it will make me very "happyful!"

When my cousin came to visit a few months ago, we came across this "Neo Oriental Fooding Bar" while we were walking toward Hiroshima Station.

As he pointed out, "Well, I guess you have a drinking bar, so why not a "fooding" bar?

Next is one of my favorite signs on Miyajima. No English on this one, but I was quite tickled by the illustration. The red symbols above the deer say "abunai," which means "danger." So I'm guessing the sign is warning you not to feed the deer... or chase them around catching their poo. One or the other.

Here's a sign I glimpsed while riding the street car with Joe to the Ujina ferry port in Hiroshima. Seems to be a clothing store selling, uh, "Anti-mainstream Bitch But Striking" brand apparel.

When we went to Iwakuni, there were several of these signs posted along the walking trail up to the castle. Don't ask me why rats are dressed up as firemen.

And last, this is the sign for a chain convenience store with numerous locations.

I actually saw it in there in a jar, beating slowly. Only 300 yen.


Teesha said...

Hey Gail,

This is Teesha. I love your blog and the pictures are good, too. I have learned so much about Japan culture, very interesting. I have to admit finding myself cracking up at my desk.

Also, I am sorry it took me so long to get back with you.

I hope everything is going well. Tell Joe, hello.

Gail said...

Thanks, Teesha! It's good to know people are reading. I'll be home between March 14-22 and I'm gonna try to get people from the paper together for dinner, so I'll let you know if we make any plans. It would be good to see you. :)

Eric Pyle said...

My favorite is the beauty salon on Jizo-dori called "Plague." I kid you not.

TravisHiroshima said...

I've seen that Miyajima deer sign a dozen times and it always makes me think the same thing. "Is that woman collecting poo?"


Kyojin said...

The Miyajima deer sign is warning people to stay away from deer with atlers as they might be dangerous.

The "rats" are a squirrel and a bunny and they aren't dressed as firemen. This is obviously a propaganda poster put up by the evil squirrels showing how they will erradicate the human race with God's cleansing fire. All hail our arboreal rodent overlords!