Posted Oct 18, 2010 in Eco & Vintage | 0 Comments

Happiest Time – Engrish Shirts

It was a sad day for the world when Chantal and Kate, her roommate, had to be parted. The unfortunate event came to pass on the 28th of last month but, there were a few consolations. Kate would get to go to York for her masters degree, see some Icelandic sites on her way (she posted pictures on Facebook. It’s gorgeous!) and I got dibs on her Engrish shirt.

Going through her closet of forgotten clothes, we came across a pink shirt with a white poodle on it. Now usually, I would call that cute, but since the dog had a funny little pearl necklace strung around its neck, it looks overdone. And couple that with ‘Happiest Time’ written on the back, it’s a fine specimen of an Engrish shirt.

Engrish comes from the understanding that Japanese people have difficulty pronouncing L and R in English since there are no comparable sounds to them in Japanese. Drawing on that , people have come up with phrases that are essentially lost in translation.  You sense an idea or a meaning behind them , but its always vague and unreachable.

And that is the beauty of Engrish shirts. They are funny cultural references with meaning that is always debatable and provides plenty of tacky style to any ordinary day !

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