For most Americans, exposure to Japanese cultures comes in the form of the USA network’s “Banzai Movie Friday,” “The Karate Kid” and episodes of the “Iron Chef” on the Food Network. But there is another side to Japanese society unknown to most Americans. Ever since General Douglas MacArthur brought Japan its first taste of American culture, the Japanese have been highly imitative of their counterparts across the Pacific Ocean, as seen by the emergence of baseball as Japan’s national pastime. Change, unfortunately, doesn’t come easy, and learning English, one of the world’s most complicated languages, doesn’t help.
Engrish.com provides visual examples of Japanese English (Engrish) from advertisements and signs in Japan, such as a sign for an airline company whose slogan is, “Akita to Okinawa, Non Stop Fright, Re Open.” In this case, I sincerely hope the non-stop fright refers to the in-flight movie. Also displayed are some of the most colorful names ever created for candy bars and gum, like “Crack up” and “No Time” (for those who just don’t have the extra five minutes to brush their teeth).