When you’ve got a Japan-related blog, one of the biggest temptations is to fill it with what I’ll politely call “fashion English”, but which is more commonly known by another term. Three reasons to avoid that, really:
- After seeing excessive numbers of grammatically correct but indefinably strange English on T-shirts every single day, it takes a particularly outrageous example to even raise an eyebrow now.
- At least people here have the sense to display odd, exotic languages on T-shirts rather than emblazoning them on their bodies indelibly.
- I am acutely aware that my Japanese must sound at least as strange as these shirts in ways I cannot even begin to fathom.
Well, I’m cashing in one of my free spins here. These were in the lunchtime menu of a small cafe in Nikko, and for some reason I found them very charming. Perhaps it’s because I can imagine the cafe owner’s 10-year old niece taking to a sunny piece of floor one autumn afternoon, a stack of A4 paper before her, felt-tip pens scattered all around her, brow furrowed in concentration as she draws deeply upon the English she’d been eagerly learning at school, emerging 4 hours later to proudly show off the results of her labours.
Or maybe they’re mass-produced by the Mitsubishi Printing Company and every regional cafe throughout Japan has them. I’m not sure which it is.