October 31st, 2008

Pepper Fruit Gum Anyone?

Leave it to the Japanese to come up with bizarre great flavor combinations. The newest flavored gum from the Kracie company is black pepper combined with tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango and passionfruit. It will be going on sale at convenience stores in Japan nationwide from November 11th. 

The press release from the Kracie website says that by combining the two flavors, one can “fully enjoy the sweet fruity flavor while feeling ‘stimulated’ from the black pepper”.  The company is targeting gum users that are “tired of the same old sweet flavored gum”.  

I for one can’t wait until they come out with this stuff – I have got to try some! 


Found by way of Asahi.com.

October 30th, 2008

Weird Mannequin from China

A past Engrish submitter also threw in this photo of a funky mannequin found in a Handan, China department store. It kinda creeps me out, so I knew I had to share it: 

Photo courtesy of Becky Gallivan

Photo courtesy of Becky Gallivan

Does anyone have any idea what this design is all about? I’m sure it’ll grab your attention in the mall.

October 28th, 2008

Electric stimulus to face… music video?

The newest in performance art! This Japanese man has rigged a bunch of electric wires to his face to make facial ‘expressions’ to the rhythm of some electronic music (it gets better worse over the course of the video).  Warning – may be kinda gross for some, but it is safe for work: 

Found by way of Engadget Japan.

October 27th, 2008

Pepsi White – just in time for the holidays!

Pepsi Japan (bottled and distributed by Suntory) has introduced a new yogurt flavored cola called Pepsi White. Better hurry up and get your bottle before it’s too late – this baby is going to be sold for a limited time only this winter. 

 The Japanese press release from Suntory says: “With the new sale of Pepsi White, this winter we propose a fun world to our customers that only Pepsi can bring, and we hope to acquire new cola users.”

I translated that literally so that you can get a sense of how Engrish comes into existence. What makes sense in Japanese doesn’t always work in English – especially ad copy.

October 24th, 2008

I’ve had enough of Goofy already…

In the category of “Almost Engrish” (Engrishy, but not quite Engrish) I present this photo. It made me chuckle so I wanted to share: 

Photo courtesy of Christina Ruby.

October 23rd, 2008

New Engrish Coffee Mugs at the Store!

Engrish mugs of you are large! 15 ounce! Size! And they ceramic it for microwave safe times. Let’s caffeine happy pleasant with me.

For a limited time, we are offering the mugs at an introductory price of only $9.95. This will soon revert to their normal price of $10.95 before it know you!  Shop for the mugs at here!

October 22nd, 2008

New Philadelphia Phillies Rallying Cry: “Why can’t us?”

Here’s the newest Engrish phrase craze you are bound to hear during the World Series this week: “Why can’t us?”.  Gotta love Philadephia Phillies fans – they have been waiting 25 years for a possible world championship, while the team has compiled the ‘losingest’ record in baseball (1st team to reach 10,000 losses anyway…). The phrase “why can’t us?” was uttered on a local Philadelphia radio station and has proven to be endearing to the entire city. People are pushing for it to be the Phillies rallying cry and of course obligatory t-shirts have been made as well. 

This video contains a recording of the broadcast – you’ll hear the spirited phrase at the end. 

Why Cant Us? T-shirt

The Obligatory T-shirt


You can find more info on the craze at The 700 Level site (fan site dedicated to the Phillies), and here

I am now officially rooting for the Phillies just by virtue of the slogan. 


Much thanks to Steve Ericson for the heads up.

October 20th, 2008

Tokyo Asleep Photos

A past Engrish submitter just turned me on to his hilarious collection of photos on Flickr that show people sleeping in public places in Tokyo. This is actually not as uncommon as you would think. People pass out all the time after a night of drinking and missing the last train home: 

You’ll often find people asleep on the train. I was able to master this art in the latter part of my 10 years in Japan – I actually knew when to wake up for my station! 

This next guy is passed out on the street in broad daylight – you really have to be floored to not wake up in the sun. 

Go to his Flickr page to see more funny sleeping pics.

October 17th, 2008

Swastikas as Design Elements in Japan/Asia

Throughout the years I have noticed a few submissions here and there that feature swastikas (or what appear to be swastikas) as design elements in various items. Some, like the first photo below, are scary, but many of them do not always represent the Nazi party from WW2.  

This t-shirt found in a sushi shop in Japan is a quite blatant logo representation from the 3rd Reich.  I suspect that the young person wearing this has no idea of the meaning behind his shirt: 

Conversely, this purse was carried by a woman on a scooter in Thailand, but to the Thai people the symbol has another meaning altogether (explanation below photo): 

The following is a quote from the person who submitted the photo:

Taken on Thanon Naebkehad, Amphur Hua Hin, Thailand on 4 January 2005 at 11:36 AM.  It should be noted that the swastika, which was co-opted by the Shicklegruber (Hitler) for his nationalistic madness, is actually an ancient symbol of peace which originiated in India.  You will see these on buildings as you go into Bangkok from Don Muang Airport, as well as on girls’ neck chains and other jewelry.  The term “swastika”, pronounced “SA WAS DEE KA” in Thai, is the term of greeting spoken by females.  Males would say “SA WAS DEE KRUP”. (Photo by Khun Bufo Toad)

This next symbol is a source of great confusion –  visitors to Japan are often horrified when they see it plastered on maps and signs: 


Japan Map Symbol for Temple

Japan Map Symbol for Temple

This is actually not a swastika, but the symbol for Buddhist temples most often used in maps (the symbol is the reverse of a swastika – it points the opposite direction). You can see the symbol on Wikipedia’s entry for Japanese map symbols. It is easy to see why anyone could be confused (including myself) when first visiting Japan.

October 17th, 2008

Some Fixes and Updates

Just a quick note about fixes and updates: 

  • New Adult Engrish of the Week up today – this one is sure to offend on many levels… 
  • Adult Engrish Section Captions – Fixed the ability to make captions within the adult section – please feel free to use vulgar language there if need be. 
  • Other Fixes/Updates – Still making other fixes around the site – including shortening the header at the top of each page. Should be done within a couple of weeks. 
  • Engrish.com Store Products – Working on new products for the store – including mug cups and calendars. There should be a lot more things to choose from for gifts this holiday season.
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