Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A "PLAYBOY" jacket

The assistant English teacher(AET) at my school laughed at me when he saw me wearing a jacket with a "PLAYBOY" logo. Maybe you would also laugh, unless you are a Japanese. But to me, it is not so embarrassing, because there are many people like me in Japan.

The AET said to me, "Do you know what PLAYBOY is?" I said, "Yes, it's a magazine with a lot of naked girls." He said, "Why, then, do you wear it?" I said, "No one even notices it here in Japan." The logo is a mere fashion symbol here in Japan, just as "Nike" or "L.L.Bean."

I don't, but many Japanese wear T-shirts with English words on it. They don't know what is written, but wearing them is cool enough. Sometimes the words are laughed at by native speakers, but the people wearing them do not care at all. A girl, for example, may be wearing a
T-shirt with "Come to this beautiful place" and a downward arrow. She believes she looks cool in it.

What's worse, some of the words written on them are completely wrong or totally nonsense. "Hello! I like dog. I like cat.", "Love Sports", or "Flesh Strawvery" But they wouldn't be laughed at, because most people just think that some English words are written, and few people try to read them.

To sum up, the English language is used for fashion, not for communication, here in Japan!