Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Most Offensive T-shirt Ever?

It's well known that most Japanese people wearing T-shirts with English slogans have absolutely no idea what they mean. However, I discovered recently that the phenomenon extends to other languages too. During the school trip the other week I spotted one of my JTEs (Japanese Teachers of English) wearing a T-shirt that had something splashed across it in French. It began something like "J'ai envie...", but I couldn't read the rest so I said to her:

"Oh, I see you're wearing a T-shirt written in French [Yes, I'm starting to speak like a school textbook now]. What does it say?"

"It's written in French?" she replied, incredulously.

I rest my case. Of course, now I'm really intrigued as to what it said but I forgot to write it down - I'll take a bet that it's something wildly offensive though.

However, whatever the French T-shirt said I don't think it can even come close to the T-shirt that Flick spotted a three-year-old wearing at the Echizen Pottery Festival last weekend (yes, I know, a pottery festival - there's not much to do round these parts). Here it is... brace yourself...

Yes, you read it right: "I FUCKING HATE..." followed by a list of racial slurs ending in (just out of sight under the fold of the T-shirt) "N***ers". Un-bloody-believable.

Most offensive T-shirt ever? Most probably, and all the worse for the fact that it's being worn by a child. This has got to be the best advert for English learning in Japan I've ever seen - "Learn English Or You Could Accidentally Brand Your Children As Racists".

At least, I really, really hope it was an accident, otherwise that kid has some seriously f**ked-up parents.


Blogger the englishman said...

well it might be true, perhaps that kid really does have an attitude problem.

11:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Canadian authorities don't have a problem with this t-shirt. Follow this link

1:31 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The T-shirt is printed with the message:
"I (expletive) HATE: Spics, Dotheads, Honkeys, Japs, Wops, Kikes, Wetbacks, Gooks, Chinks, Camel Jockeys, and the French - BUT I (HEART SYMBOL) NIGGERS!"

Wonder if anyone (other than an English speaker) realised it mentioned the Japanese!


1:46 am  
Anonymous Trevski said...

What a day for offensive T-shirts...

First is Lewis/Flick's effort, which it has to said is by far the most offensive.

Then there was the story I read about Woolworths having to withdraw from sale a kids T-shirt that was embalzoned with the slogan "Drive it like you stole it"

And finally, a member of staff rocked up to work wearing the classic "Your MOM upside down is WOW" Ingenious, but also not likely to endear Trevski's Games Emporium to the locals...

7:01 am  
Blogger The Funky Drummer said...

That is one crazy Tee.

9:24 am  
Blogger Phoenix said...

Immediately reminded me of this commercial (nsfw: language), which in turn reminded me of this unrelated commecial.

3:19 pm  
Blogger Galia said...

This is a comment to Anonymous Dad's comment,

It seems to me that the agency that distributes these so called for fun T-shirts originates in the US.

So apparently neither the US nor Japanese authorities have a problem with the T-shirt(s); so how is that suddenly the act of careless parenting of one Japanese family, the act of monetary satisfaction of an American company, and a pic of child with an offensive slogan (nothing novel about Japanese T-shirt printing) taken by a JET in Fukui ken becomes an act of judgment towards Canadians authorities? Just curious!

2:31 am  
Blogger Benito Aramando said...

That's terrible! It's made me think of a couple of T-shirts I've had in my time with Japanese script on them. My Dad asked whether I had checked what they said in case it was something offensive, a possibility I poo-pooed as so unlikely as to not be worth worrying about. But now I wonder....

@Galia: as I see it, the country whose Customs were referred to earlier by Lewis' Dad is not relevant, the point was simply that here is evidence that *a* nation's authorities have specifically examined the case of the t-shirt design shown above and decided it is legally acceptible, which is a relevant and interesting follow up to the original post. I don't infer any judgement upon Canadadian authorities from it at all.

12:42 pm  
Blogger Geoff said...


4:31 am  
Blogger refillneil said...

lol where I live there are Indians everywhere who where offensive tshirts and they must not have a clue what they mean... looking for funny rude and offensive tshirts check out 420 Signs

5:38 pm  
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