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Engrish or Japanglish marketing comes in many forms.
Sometimes its the man in the street, during the festive season. Proudly holding a sign
saying Christmas Fucking Sale.
Sometimes its a simple household item like string, being branded with a sinister sounding
title like; “FamilyRope”.
Er…I’m not sure what purpose they had in mind when they were branding that.
Or sometimes its the invention of new words altogether.
Tokyo Banana. Creamy. Soft. And bananaful. (Worrying noise)
But it’s definitely one of the bonuses of living in Asia - to experience this unique
form of English on products and services you use in everyday life.
People always ask me to make a "day in the life" video, because they think it’d be fun
to watch me sitting in a chair all day eating biscuits.
But today, I will show you a day in my life, through the bizarre and wonderful Japanese-English
marketing discoveries I encountered, on my walk around town yesterday.
In the morning I went to a department store downtown to buy some cheap socks.
Such is the glamorous life I lead.
And whilst I was passing through the underwear section, a questionable brand of underwear
caught my eye. Namely, BLACK MAN Underwear.
Black man. Super Bikini.
I don’t know if the people behind the brand were being spectacularly bold or ridiculously
naive. But curiously all of the models on the boxes
were white.
However, it was the paragraph on the box that really grabbed my attention, outlining the
remarkable grand vision behind the Black Man Underwear brand.
A man has freedom as a man. It is dream, love…and everything else.
Black man is pursuing it forever. Black man makes you to be free.
It is a nice taste.
Clearly, a lot of thought had gone into thinking that up.
But there were different types of Black Man underwear. There was your standard conventional
underwear, a bikini, and even a sport edition.
At least, I think it was a Sport Edition.
It just had Sporty Erogance written down the front.
In hindsight I’m not sure if that meant sporty elegance, or Sporty Arrogance.
Particularly, as it would take a degree of arrogance to wear the Black man Super Bikini
out in Public.
Anyway after that I went to grab some lunch and on the way I passed through the local
nightlife district.
And to my surprise I stumbled across a Secret Sexy Club.
But how do I know it was a secret sexy club?
Well it said so on the 30 foot billboard out the front.
You’d think that’d be the first rule of secret sexy club wouldn’t you?
We do not talk about secret sexy club.
Because by telling people, you’re secret sexy club, inherently, you’re not a secret
sexy club.
It’s not a secret is it?
Then again, I’m probably overestimating the thought that goes into naming these clubs.
Especially as the club next door was called “Club Bitter”
Club Bitter. I bet it’s good fun in there.
At the end of the day though, if I had to enter one of the clubs i walked passed, I’d
have to go with Sexy Friendly Club. It may lack the flawed secrecy of secret sexy club
- but at the end of the day you want the chance of sexy friendship don’t you.
That’s one of the key factors you look for, when you enter one of these incredible clubs.
For lunch I went to a noodle restaurant and grabbed a dish that described itself as having
Pleasant aftertaste in which sourness and pungency harmonise in exquisite balance.
And if that didn’t sound appealing enough, it also came with plenty of vegetables and
it was women-friendly.
Which are two of the essential things I look for when choosing a dish.
Weird description aside it was actually quite nice.
And it was also a Vegan restaurant which is somewhat out of character for me.
But I’m a bit weary about meat these days, more specifically, chicken.
Ever since I was walking passed this chicken restaurant and it was a restaurant that specialised
in chicken.
And on the side there was a picture of a chicken with all the different parts that you could
And one part of the chicken set alarm bells ringing. It was a part of the chicken labelled
Bon Jovi. They were halfway there alright.
Half way up a chickens…
So, I’ve been actively avoiding eating Bon Jovi chicken ever since…
After lunch I was walking through a shopping mall - and it was a really annoying shopping
mall. Every 2 meters there was a sign saying the mall, the bargain.
And I couldn’t help but think - that’s nothing to brag about is it? One singular
bargain. You know I wouldn’t put that everywhere.
One of the shops caused me some concern though. There was a discount children clothes shop
called “Starvations”
Starvations - again I don’t know what compelled them to use that as their name.
Presumably, at some point during the store’s conception, some people in a room thought
it up. “Maybe we should brand our new chain of
stores around the theme of childhood innocence and wonder”
“Nah fuck it. Let’s name it after an extreme form of malnutrition.”
But in the end I did actually manage to grab the bargain in the form of this delightful
Sometimes there’s an item that’s got such brilliant english that you have to buy it
spontaneously there and then.
You see, I’m alway looking for chances to enhance my masculinity - and what better way
than through this Men’s Wide and Long Towel.
Thoroughly wash your manly body. That was a call to arms I simply couldn’tignore.
It also describes itself as “A large towel that can thoroughly wash every corner of a
bulky man’s body! Clean up like a man!”
There’s even a little area in the corner where you can touch the towel… touch the
Coor yeah. It feels like sandpaper. Fuck yeah.
Best of all there’s details on the back of how to use this…this manly towel.
“Even a small amount of soap will foam well and the rich and creamy foam will cleanly
rid the skin of dirt.”
Rich creamy foam. Yeah…such manliness. I’m going to have fun with this later.
In the evening I went for dinner with a friend to a 1950’s styled pub chain called Hanbey.
It’s a really cheap, the food’s amazing, but it’s the menu that really blows my mind
every time.
Honestly, it is the most ridiculous menu I’ve ever seen. It must have been conjured up by
someone who was taking something rather special.
For example, above the section for sashimi, for raw fish, there’s a somewhat distasteful
girl remarking “I think I fit well in sake, please Daddy.”
You what. Imagine if your daughter came up to you and said that.
Then above that there’s a dish called Monster Priest Octopus Sausage.
Which sounds like the something David Lynch would think up.
And what better way to wash that Monster Priest Octopus Sausage down than with the
“Cinnamon Water of terror”
And my perhaps my own personal favourite; “Fly like a scallop…”
I quite like that, it brings back nostalgic memories from “Fly like an Eagle” from
Space Jam.
Although fly like a scallop lacks some of the punch from the original version.
But as English menu’s go, Hanbey’s is surely the craziest of them all.
So there you have it in - a day in the life of crazy english.
How about you though? what have you found on your travels. Let us know in the comments
section below!
And if you want more bizarre examples of Japanese- English, check out last years video on my
reasons why Japanese-English marketing is amazing.
A colourful waffle design enables the co-ordination of I liking. And I was so confused I actually
ended up buying it.
Thanks for watching guys. I’m off to wash my manly body.
Although it does actually feel like sandpaper…that wasn’t an exaggeration.
If my face is red and torn apart in the next video, you’ll know I’ve been using this
manly towel - god forbid. See you then.
Damn, I quite want to watch Space Jam now. I haven’t seen that in like 16 years.
Bloody hell. What a great film.
Ah it is quite good though isn’t it?