Monday, September 22, 2008

Wacky English T-Shirts!

During the Sports Festival, I engaged in a little hobby of mine: hunting for bizarre English T-shirts. For some reason, the parents who attend these sporting events often choose to wear T-shirts with the most interesting English phrases on them, so every year I walk around with my camera and see what I can see. My search got off on the right foot when I came across a young woman whose shirt said, "Gluttons: Smile Positive and Good Heart," followed by a man whose shirt proclaimed "Make Up Foundation For This World." Some of the slogans I saw seemed quite deep ("Music: Make a Recording, Life 83% Full"), while others were more perplexing ("Sense of Pitch 1962, Rosegirl"). Sometimes the messages were silly ("You're my Hearo [sic], Fashion Icon!!") while others tried to offer insight into that elusive concept of "freedom" which Japanese often associate with the USA ("Liberty Bell is Prime Wish -- I Love Me"). Of course, no one gives a second thought about what their T-shirts have printed on them in Japan, since for most people, English is primarily a decoration that's considered kakko ii (cool) and not something actually used for communication, which is why there's no problem with displaying a message like, "Definite Difference: That Oneself Cannot Be Ruled Is Not Free." Of course, we've been known to sell a wacky T-shirt or two here at J-List, but in Japanese rather than English. If you like the idea of having a wacky shirt with aesthetically beautiful kanji that no one around you can read, why not browse our lineup now?

Here are some of the pictures I took: