There’s a great word in Japanese that’s stuck with me ever since I first came across it: mujun. The meaning of the word is simply “contradiction” or “inconsistency”, but it’s the way that it’s written that’s truly magical. Almost as great as the kanji for convex and concave (凸凹), the Japanese word for contradictory is written by putting the kanji character for spear (矛) next to the one for shield (盾). What do you get when you put a spear and a shield together? No, not a well armed Roman, but equal attack and defence- something that, ultimately, goes nowhere. Mujun 矛盾.
It’s not often that the Japanese let logic get the better of them, but as the following gallery of images which is currently doing the rounds on Japanese message boards shows, when they get it wrong Japan really pushes the boat out.
Let’s dive straight in, shall we?
1. What could be better than a cycling path (underlined in red at the top) than one that strictly forbids skateboarding, jogging and, yes, bicycles?
2. Welcome to the Unicorn Snack Bar! (Caution: unicorn is hornless)
3. Despite proudly proclaiming in katakana script that this crab is an “uni” (sea urchin), the roman characters below go one step further, labeling it an octopus. Weird…
4. How about a bowl of authentic Nagoya-style rice… that’s also Taiwanese ramen? Oh, as well as being “American” somehow.
5. This place isn’t going to be doing much business any time soon: (Front) “Matsuyoshi Chicken Grill Restaurant, Next Left!” (Rear) “Left Turn Prohibited”
6. Perhaps not so much a contradiction as just plain wrong. These “Anpanman” sweet bean buns are clearly everyone’s favourite robot cat Doraemon…
7. Lastly, we see that Pub Chugoshi hasn’t quite grasped the concept of a standing bar, with its sign welcoming people to “Sit and drink! Standing Bar Chugoshi.”
Hump day is nearly over, guys- keep your chin up and we’ll see you on the brighter side of the week!
Source: Vipper 速報 (Japanese)