Thursday, May 08, 2008

It must be a sign

I am easily amused. So here are some signs i took pictures of in Japan, with my interpretation of them below each one.

(When i first looked at this one, i thought it meant no jumping into puddles. Then i realized that the figure was a dog.) "No skateboarding, no dogs off leash, no fireworks, no eating or drinking. No fun in the park at all. Don't even smile."


"If you give birth in the park, name the baby Dust, and take it home with you." (The Mister and i speculated that the phrase "Take Dust Home," might have come from the word dust bin. I can't explain why a stork was used as the image.)


I'll just leave it up to your imaginations what i thought when i saw this sign. In my defense, i was so tired as to be giddy. I laughed so hard i was crying, even though it wasn't that funny. Clearly, i need psychological help.


"If you ride your bike here, it will piss everyone off and bring shame to your ancestors."


This from the side of an escalator. That kid sure doesn't look Japanese.


"If you get your hands caught in this door, you will cry loudly and bring shame upon yourself and your ancestors."


We didn't eat here. I hear the food tastes like shit.


"900 meters to the Ghibli Museum." This is for all you Miyazaki fans out there. The museum was great.


On the trains, this was to indicate to whom you should yield your seat. Although why that second man is carrying a beach ball-shaped speaker is a mystery.

"If you drop your hat down upon the railroad tracks, do not jump down to retrieve it. Inspector Gadget will fetch your hat for you."


Melessa Gregg said...

Thanks! That was just the laugh I needed today.

Em said...

Your interpretations are excellent!

Dick said...

I like your interpretations. Those signs would look a lot different here I am sure.

TTQ said...

I love pictorial signs in foreign countries, I take pictures of them too.

crazymumma said...

oh I love how visual it all is!

Lynn said...

You could definitely work in a PR firm...if you ever wanted to give up retirement. Your comment about the "Cafe Stool Elm", had me rolling on the floor:~)

Schmoopie said...

I just lost it with this one, Meno! :) Stucco's ears are ringing as I was screaming with laughter.

flutter said...

"If you ride your bike here, it will piss everyone off and bring shame to your ancestors."


Heather said...

Oh Meno. I like you, you make me giggle.

Anonymous said...

OMG - count me in for that psych evaluation, will you? This was hilarious.

meno said...

melessa, you're welcome! :)

em, thank you.

dick, do we have so many pictures on our signs?

ttq, well then, post them.

crazymumma, i loved that too, obviously.

lynn, it would be lots of fun, until they fired me.

schmoopie, happy to make you scream.

flutter, those people sure look grumpy.

he eigler, well thank you. :)

sari said...

Oh, it's really too bad that this can't be a regular feature, I love it.

PS I LOVE Ghibli as well, Miyazaki is my favorite film maker (have you seen Howl's Moving Castle? Amazing).

Marshamlow said...

Your caption on the don't ride your bike here made me laugh so hard. I like the old lady shaking her fist too.

Mrs. Chili said...

TOO funny! The bike one cracked me up. I've got a friend who reads Japanese; I'm sending her here to tell me what that sign REALLY says....

Sienna said...

Soooo funny! The complexity but confusion and simplicity and more confusion...well, it's just beautiful.

Who has thought them up?

I would like to meet the person(s) would be really interesting to hear them explain.

...and I would so keep a straight face. :)


Lynnea said...

Inspector Gadget and the angry people around the bicycle are my favs. Now I have the Inspector Gadget song stuck in my head. Thanks.

Tink said...

Those are great! I'm with Maggie, the bicycle one and the IG one are the best. Those crazy Japanese. ;)

ETK said...

HAHA! Those are great! I'm still waiting for the picture of you (while still concealing your identity) among a crowd of Japanese. I LOVE these signs and more importantly - your translations.

furiousBall said...

i thought that officer was helping that girl fish for hoboes that live under the bridge

meno said...

qt, maybe we can get a group rate?

sari, i believe i have seen all the Miyasaki films. They are so creative. I loved Howl's Moving Castle too.

marsha, she does looked quite peeved!

mrs. chili, i'd love to know too. I hope she can read them.

pam, i bet there's a sign creating department.

maggie, oh, you're welcome. any time i can help drive you crazy...

tink, the bicycle one puzzles me the most. I get that you shouldn't ride your bike, but why all the angry people?

etk, o don't know if there is a picture of me with all those short dark-haired people.

furious, i should have thought of that. Although perhaps they should use money instead of a hat.

Princess in Galoshes said...

Doesn't the kid on the skateboard look suspiciously like Bart Simpson???

Diane Mandy said...

HAHAHA! ANd I'm so happy I am not the only one who takes pictures of signs in foreign countries!

luckyzmom said...

So funny. I wonder what Japanese visitoring here think of our signs? I will be more thoughtful when viewing our pictoral signs for a while.

Unknown said...

Oh god. I love these. I think 'Take Dust Home' is my favorite. But if everyone takes too much dust home, there won't be a park left!

Unless it only applies to new moms. That might slow the park erosion down.

Robin said...

lmao, especially at #3!

Anonymous said...

Meno, you are very, very funny. Thanks for being in Bloggyland!

meno said...

princess, OMG! He totally does.

diane, and i take them in this country too. Signs are funny.

luckyzmom, i am doing that too.

nancy, i agree. Dust carcks me up, and reminds me of The Golden Compass.

robin, glad you can appreciate that one. Totally inappropriate.

mrs 4444, you are welcome. It's my pleasure.

Woman in a Window said...

much fun! Especially the f'ting circle. Sure hope that little guy laying down is Tom Cruise. So tiny.

urban-urchin said...

have you seen the site I laugh til I cry every time someone sends me links from there.

I love your interpretations- it's a wonder the UN hasn't snatched you up as a translator yet!

Cheesy said...

Escalator sign... white children beware of kidnappers?? lol Loved them all! The dust one will have me in deep contemplation~~

Anonymous said...

tough call, but I like the diaper changing one best. BTW, how/why did you come back and comment on my blog? I'm curious, yet honored. Hi again.

Say It said...

nwahahahaha. These are great.

I can't have that much shame brought upon me and my family. Too many rules.

Imagine if NYC put those signs up in the subway. I have a feeling they would be ignored.

Antonia Cornwell said...

Priority Seat! Please be give to man with bad back and bendy willy. Thanking you.

Anonymous said...

I think I snorted a few times I was laughing so hard. *wiping tears from my eyes and bringing my dust home*

peevish said...

How awesome was the Ghibli museum gift shop? Now I'm really jealous.

meno said...

womaninawindow, that's just sick! I love it. :)

u-u, oh yes, i have seen engrish. Cracks me right up too.

cheesy, that round-eyed kid looks very happy to be taken away.

mamalujo, you are a sicko too. I commented because your post appeared in my google reader, and i have always liked what you write, so i read it. Plus i know you have been going through some stuff, and i can appreciate that.

say it, i think there are probably just as many signs here, but we are used to them.

antonia, MY GOD! You can read Japanese. I never knew.

irrelephant, good job bringing your dust home. Glad you got a laugh.

peevish, you would have DIED for the gift shop. I had to restrain myself so as to not spend hundreds of dollars buying cat bus plushies.

peevish said...

Oh! The cat bus in the movie has testicles! Did the plushie have them??

Liv said...

LOL inspector gadget. i miss that dude.

egan said...

Your interpretations are really funny. I enjoyed reading these very much. I thought the same thing when viewing your Dust photo. Great post.

Andrea Frazer said...

I love that you took the time to photograph those. As always, your interpretations made me laugh.