Why does Engrish happen in Japan?

Why does Engrish happen in Japan?

Over the years, Japan has earned a reputation for its awkward command of English, with results ranging from the perplexing to downright hilarious. The country’s translation screw-ups are so common that they’ve even earned their own collective name, “Engrish.”

But for all the sites that poke fun at Engrish, it’s almost impossible to find one that talks about why it happens. So today we’re offering a bit of explanation along with the laughs, as we look at a sign in Japan that informs English-reading passersby that “Today is under construction.”

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Cosplay as you cook with new Sailor Moon aprons!

Cosplay as you cook with new Sailor Moon aprons!

If you’re a woman in her late twenties in Japan, chances are you grew up obsessed with Naoko Takeuchi’s “Magical Girl” manga series Sailor Moon and its accompanying anime. Given Japan’s love of natsukashii (nostalgic) cuteness, it’s really not that shocking that there’s now a thriving market out there for adult-appropriate Sailor Senshi outfits and accessories – we’ve even recently seen a trend for grown women wearing Sailor Moon undies. Not content with mere ribbon-bedecked panties? Well, now you can replace your dingy old curry-stained cooking apron with a stylish and colorful Sailor Moon version! In the name of the Moon… let’s get cooking!

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Me-ow! Cat-inspired lingerie for feline lovers

Me-ow! Cat-inspired lingerie for feline lovers

Starting on October 14, the online shop Felissimo’s Nekobu (cat club) began selling “flufeel” lingerie designed to let the wearer essentially cosplay under their clothes every day, with friends and coworkers none the wiser.

The “luxurious” set has a bra designed to look like a pair of cat ears, and panties which come with… a detachable tail!?

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Chinese politician says kung fu movies show why umbrella protesters must be stopped

Chinese politician says kung fu movies show why umbrella protesters must be stopped

A lawmaker in Hong Kong who supports the Chinese government reportedly cited Kung Fu movies as a justification for the violent crackdown on the protesters who have become known as the “Umbrella Revolution.”

According to the South China Morning Post, the politician, Leung Che-cheung, told his colleagues on the Hong Kong Legislative Council the umbrellas protesters have been using to block tear gas could be used as an “aggressive weapon” and necessitated a violent response by police officers. To prove his point, Leung cited martial arts movies.

“It is basic common sense that an umbrella can be an aggressive weapon, but many lawmakers are just completely ignorant about history,” Leung said.

Hong Kong police have been battling the anti-government protesters since last month with tear gas, pepper spray, and alleged beatings.

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Anime and real-world basketball collide with Nike’s Slam Dunk Air Jordans

Anime and real-world basketball collide with Nike’s Slam Dunk Air Jordans

While most popular sports anime are about baseball or soccer, creator Takehiko Inoue’s basketball story Slam Dunk is one of the most popular series of all time. Beginning as a manga in 1990 before making the leap to animation in 1993, Slam Dunk played a huge role in boosting basketball’s popularity in Japan.

Slam Dunk’s print and TV run also coincided with four of NBA legend Michael Jordan’s professional championships. Now, the two icons are teaming up with Nike to bring sneaker fans Slam Dunk Air Jordans.

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Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire demos are coming! Here’s how to get your hands on them!

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire demos are coming! Here’s how to get your hands on them!

One month before the commercial release of ‘Omega Ruby’ and ‘Alpha Sapphire’, The Pokémon Company has announced demo versions – available next week!

To get your hands on that demo, you’ll need a special code – and depending on where you live, your options for getting hold of one are a little different. Join us after the jump to find out more!

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Want your own Attack on Titan 3-D maneuver gear? You can order a life-size replica now!

Want your own Attack on Titan 3-D maneuver gear? You can order a life-size replica now!

Last January, fans got hit with a mix of awe and envy at an Attack on Titan event in Osaka where the heroes’ 3-D maneuver gear was on display. Looking over the intricate harness and paired swords, it was hard not to find yourself wanting a set of your very own.

Soon enough, that anime daydream can come true, as preorders have now started for life-size replicas of Attack on Titan’s iconic giant-killing battlefield technology.

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Late to the game, but Japan does Halloween right【Video】

Late to the game, but Japan does Halloween right【Video】

Ask any Westerner what’s so special about October 31 and you will get the same answer: Halloween – a modern-day version of the ancient Celtic harvest festival Samhain. In Japan, however, October 31 was just any old day until fairly recently, with the haunted hijinks never really catching on until a few years ago.

But here’s the kicker: the Japanese might already be doing Halloween better than we do! 

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Mascot costume is so far removed from the original, we don’t know whether to laugh or cry

Mascot costume is so far removed from the original, we don’t know whether to laugh or cry

Say what you will about ‘yuru-kyara – the marketing idea that can be basically summed up as Japan’s “let’s have a cartoon mascot for EVERYTHING!” philosophy – but the vast majority of those funny characters adopted by prefecture and town tourism boards across the nation are nothing if not cute!

Take Princess Miyako, character mascot of Miyako-machi in Fukuoka Prefecture. Designed by illustrator Shiitake, Princess Miyako is the picture of youthful elegance: her fresh purple and green tones are even modelled after the town’s iris flowers.

It’s one thing to design a beautiful anime character in two dimensions. But when that mascot gets transformed into a three-dimensional character costume, bad things can happen. Bad, bad things…

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【TBT】Enjoy latte art at home with cute marshmallow cats!

【TBT】Enjoy latte art at home with cute marshmallow cats!

From colourful anime designs to awesome 3-D creations, exciting things are going on in the drinkable art world of Japan. Now, there’s a new trend that’s melting our hearts: latte art in adorable take-home designs. Created by a marshmallow company in Nagano Prefecture, the range includes cute cats and fluffy cat paws that gradually dissolve into 2-D latte artworks. The only skill you’ll need for these is an ability to stand the cuteness!

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Late to bed, early to rise: Statistics suggest Japan seriously skimps on sleep

Late to bed, early to rise: Statistics suggest Japan seriously skimps on sleep

It’s a stereotype about Japan that most people are familiar with – the Japanese work hard, give their lives to the company, and stay at work until after the boss has gone home. It’s a country where karoushi, or death from overwork, is a commonly-used buzzword. While some people might argue that the Japanese don’t actually work any harder than those in the west, it certainly seems that they’re working longer hours than the rest of us.

But as a consequence, how much sleep are they getting?

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Yo-kai Watch mania has even reached the vegetable world! Here’s a Halloween pumpkin roundup!

Yo-kai Watch mania has even reached the vegetable world! Here’s a Halloween pumpkin roundup!

There are still two weeks to go until Halloween, but pumpkin-carving in Japan is already in full swing! And it looks like it’s the new kid on the anime block, Yo-kai Watch, that’s getting all the jack-o-lantern attention this year.

When I used to teach kids in Japan, there were some elementary students who, upon being given a worksheet, would immediately turn any circle on the page into Doraemon’s face. Now, it seems, the face of choice to draw (or indeed carve) into any empty circular space is Jibanyan’s!

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Japanese women think visible man nips are gross…nipple pasties for men to the rescue!

Japanese women think visible man nips are gross…nipple pasties for men to the rescue!

For whatever reason, there seems to be an increasing demand for versions of men’s products that are traditionally meant for women, particularly in Japan. Perhaps some of you might be wondering, now that Japanese men have their very own lacy bras and panties, panty liners, and even sanitary panties, what else do they need? Here’s what’s up next: nipple pasties.

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Come for the toilets, stay for the food and fun at Bangkok’s airport-themed mall “Terminal 21″

Come for the toilets, stay for the food and fun at Bangkok’s airport-themed mall “Terminal 21″

Asia is full of wonderful travel destinations. With a mix of rich history and rapid development, it’s far from a boring place to visit. However, the burning question on any traveler’s mind has got to be “Where can I see the greatest toilets of Asia?”

Well, that’s a subjective title but we’d like to submit a shopping center in Thailand’s capital Bangkok as a contender. The huge complex is called Terminal 21 and boasts over six floors of shops and eateries. There’s a lot of fun to be had here but the main attraction has got to be the internationally themed restrooms.

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Futago koude: The hot new fashion trend of Japanese women dressing like twins

Futago koude: The hot new fashion trend of Japanese women dressing like twins

In always fashion-conscious Japan, each year brings a handful of would-be hot new trends. Some of these go on to be hits, like the way many women have been dying their hair brown for the last 15 years. Others, like the high-waist bikini many fashion magazines were pushing last spring, never really catch on.

Now, a new look seems to be gaining traction with young women, in which they head out for a day on the town with a friend wearing nearly identical outfits.

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Beautiful old footage shows “God of Judo” Kyuzo Mifune gracefully defeat young challengers【Video】

Beautiful old footage shows “God of Judo” Kyuzo Mifune gracefully defeat young challengers【Video】

At 159cm (5’2″) tall, Kyuzo Mifune was not a big man. But as this amazing video of the judo master shows, strength doesn’t come from size alone. Mifune is considered to be one of the finest judo technicians ever, and this video of him accepting challenges from high-level younger students shows his incredible power and skill.

Join us after the jump for a sprightly energy burst, as the man they call the “God of Judo” skips, jumps and runs rings around his young challengers.

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Nagano Prefecture dodges yet another typhoon – Does it have some kind of magical force field?

Nagano Prefecture dodges yet another typhoon – Does it have some kind of magical force field?

This past week marked the 19th typhoon of the season. Hitting Japan very soon after typhoon No. 18, Vongfong–which translates as “wasp” in Cantonese–battered the islands of Japan with incredibly heavy rains and strong winds.

While much of Japan suffered under the powerful force of nature, one prefecture remained virtually untouched, even while all of its neighbors took a beating. Find out why after the jump.

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Does this video about an abandoned dog leave you wiping your eyes or shaking your fist?

Does this video about an abandoned dog leave you wiping your eyes or shaking your fist?

Generally speaking, I’m not the biggest fan of abstract personality tests. Every now and again, though, something comes around that really seems to shed light on how an individual’s mind works.

For example, if you’re extremely pure-hearted, you might see this short video of a dog reminiscing about the happy days with his former owners as a moving, even tear-jerking story. On the other hand, if you’re a bit more cynical or strict in personality, it might make you want to punch your monitor.

So which camp do you fall into? Read on and see.

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Somebody turned a Disney Channel cartoon into an anime and it’s pretty awesome

Somebody turned a Disney Channel cartoon into an anime and it’s pretty awesome

There are a lot of topsy-turvy world “What if…?” scenarios to ponder. Like, “What if I’d invested the money from my crappy summer job as a kid instead of blowing it all on Fruit by the Foot?,” “What if John Candy had lived to make Cool Runnings 2?,” or even, “What if cats ruled the world?” (oh wait, that one’s true…).

But if you were ever wondering what the world would be like if Disney were run entirely by Japanese people, it looks like a particularly talented animator with a love of anime has taken the time to give you a short glimpse of that scenario with this awesome anime tribute titled, “What if Gravity Falls was an anime?”

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Trending prank leaves public toilet users down in the dumps

Trending prank leaves public toilet users down in the dumps

There are a number of little niceties and services that make Japan a very comfortable place to live. Personally, my favorite has always been the folded toilet paper ends that can often be found in public restroom stalls everywhere. I don’t encounter them especially often, but when I do it brightens my day just like having a robin land on my window sill.

However, you can’t experience such joy without leaving yourself vulnerable to extreme disappointment as well. A prank has recently emerged in Japan which, although seemingly mundane and simple, completely shatters this sense of pleasure and leaves the victim a desolate shell of a person, just like having a robin land on your window sill and start projectile vomiting.

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