While Japan’s highest mountain itself is the primary attraction, it’s not the only thing to see in the Mt. Fuji area. There’s also the Fuji Five Lakes, which would be beautiful enough to warrant a visit even if they didn’t have the famed peak serving as a dramatic backdrop.
But while travelers are happy to see the mountain and lakes alike, one thing none of them look forward to is a puddle of piss on the men’s room floor of a local visitor’s center. That’s why one facility has signs asking visitors to mind their aim when using the urinals, but while the Japanese text is a politely worded reminder, the English version seems to be implying that the reader’s penis really isn’t so impressive.
Out of the five lakes, Lake Yamanaka is the largest, and also at the highest elevation. Drawing the lion’s share of Fuji Five Lakes tourist, though, means it also has the potential to receive the largest volume of unwanted yellow puddles. So when Japanese Twitter user @HBonsai stopped by the lake’s visitor center and headed into the restroom, he saw signs attached to the wall directly in front of the urinals.
Accompanied by a picture of a uniformed tourist guide bowing respectfully, the Japanese text reads Itsumo kirei ni tsukatte itadaki, arigatou gozaimasu, which translates as “Thank you for very much for always using the restroom in a clean manner.” But while the sentence is perfectly fine in Japanese, it sounds just a bit wordy in English. Maybe that’s why instead of a straight translation, the visitor center decided on an alternate but equivalent message for English-reading tourists.
平田凡斎@新刊DL販売開始 (@HBonsai) November 01, 2015
“Please Stand Closer. Your TOMAHAWK is not so long as you wish.”
That’s a huge gap in tone between the messages being given to domestic and Western travelers, or really any travelers more proficient in English than Japanese. It’s especially jarring since it doesn’t even say “as long as you think,” which would at least be diplomatic enough to allow for the possibility that the reader is satisfied with his length, despite it being less than he himself perceives. Nope, it flat-out says that you must be somewhat disappointed with the size of your manhood.
▼ It also implies that your junk has a…unique shape, if your first mental image of “tomahawk” is the ax and not the missile.
In the visitor center’s defense, it turns out that this exact phrase has been floating around and being used in bathroom stalls for a number of years.
勝田台清孝 (@ortenzio42) November 01, 2015
As a matter of fact, Googling the phrase yields several examples with the exact same unorthodox capitalization as in the example @HBonsai found.
In light of that, it seems more likely that the Lake Yamanaka visitor center simply copied a sign it had seen somewhere else without fully understanding the implications of the English, and that’s it’s not purposefully trying to pick a fight with or insult travelers using the urinal. Still, a slightly kinder-sounding rewrite might be in order. As the old saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, but it’s hard to convince anyone to do anything when you end the request with, ‘Oh, and you’ve got a small dick.’”