Tokyo Damage Report

March funny photos

above, the "ladies' first" botique.

Below, just what you think it is:

Interestingly, they are across the street from one another and have similar color schemes. Do you think they had the same graphic designer? "OK, I'll hook you up with an extra logo for FREE but you got to let ME pick the name!"

Below, a famous Japanese vending machine. I'm sure you have seen it before:



below: went to look for a new apartment. This apartment was advertised as having a "SPECIAL MACHINE IN FLOOR!" I couldn't resist checking it out. Most apartments have "Hot water!" or "nice view!" but. . . SPECIAL MACHINE IN FLOOR????


Ok, so first you have to remove the secret trap-door:

then you can see the . . . conveyor belt?!?

Bending over, you can see the THIRTEEN BOXES arranged in a circle. You punch in the number of the box you want, and the machine rotates to that box, plops it in the conveyor belt, and lugs it up to floor level. WTF.  How is this better than just having a trapdoor/crawlspace thing with no machine?

I asked the real-estate guy why this thing exists and he didn't know. I assume it's for  smuggling. "Odd numbered boxes are heroin, even numbered are guns. . . except for #13. That's the MYSTERY BOX. That one contains the souls of abducted children."


above, yes , it's  a book vending machine.

below: You're welcome.



Fun cultural fact: Japanese people don't understand why this is funny until they read the English letters. Even Japanese nerds don't get it until they read the English letters.

Above: some graffitti. Anyone know who this is or why they like to boast about how hard they lurk?

Below: so fucked. Chinese tourists taking pictures at Yasukuni shrine (where the souls of japanese WWII war criminals are kept).

One older Chinese woman in the tour group was like, "SCREW you guys. I'm not going in." She stood on the outskirts for like 4 minutes with her arms crossed. I thought she was pretty right-on.

Below: a sign in an elevator at – you guessed it- a  fetish porno shop:

("Please don't spit or cough up snot or phlegm onto the floor here").  I forgot to photograph the sign next to it, which read, ". . . unless you're hot and we can videotape you doing it."  Such a DVD would sell for maybe 75 bucks.


Below, perhaps my favorite photo in the whole post:



This is a single panel from some really really really terrible manga. Check the furigana:


"kauntaa?"  "araamu?!?"  Who are these fuckin' furigana meant for?


Basically, furigana is the little letters that they put by kanji to help Japanese people pronounce the kanji correctly. But in this case, the furigana are spelling the EQUIVALENT ENGLISH WORD instead of the Japanese word. But they're spelling the english word IN JAPANESE. AAAAAAAAAAAAA.




Below, we return to  traditional Engrish photos:





below, a perfectly ordinary cup of yogurt.

But if you take the top off. . .

Over 1,000 words of text! It looks like some Dr. Bonner, schizophrenic shit. Yes, the yogurt is trying to sell me A WEB-CAM.  Now, multiply this by EVERY OBJECT IN JAPAN and you have some idea of the advertising overload – what they call 情報汚染 (literally , "information pollution.")


Above: a RAD bike-repair shop on Yasukuni street.

It was closed when I found it, but I assume their business model is like this:

The customer and the owner get in some kind of contest, and depending on who wins,

either the owner has to fix the bike for free, or the customer has to pay the bill without receiving any service whatsoever.

Below: the IMPERIAL SECRETS DETECTIVE AGENCY, spotted by Nate of Waseda Ramen.

I am going to go in tomorrow and ask them, "How much to find out if Akihito wears boxers or briefs?"


Below, a crowded plaque makes haiku out of bar names:

Allright, jerks. Smell you later!


11 Comments so far

  1. kleer001 March 15th, 2010 9:44 pm

    'Lurk Hard' seems to me to be related to the decry of experienced message board or image board (like 4chan, 7chan, etc…) when a noob makes a dumb mistake when it could have been avoided just by paying closer attention to the patterns in the messages or reading the FAQ  or really just paying more attention to where you are and who you're talking to. It's a admonishment to one with less experience, such as "You idiot, lurk harder. Come back in two weeks when your ban is over. Maybe then you'll understand! noob."

  2. Steve March 15th, 2010 10:30 pm

    Oh my god floor machine! Don't you love when you think you've seen everything, and then the world is just like "You ain't seen nothing yet, boy!"
    About that comic book page, authors will often use furigana for common jargon, rather than just to help kids pronounce words. Like, you might pronounce those words written in kanji to [someone familiar with the jargon] and they'd say, "I don't know what you're talking about", and then you'd say "countaa no alarm.." and they'd be all "OHHH countaaalarm!" So yeah, it's for people who understand the terminology.
    And then your next question is probably, "if the japanified-english phrase is more popular, why have the kanji in the first place?" That's because not everyone reading the comic book might be familiar with this jargon! "Countaa no alarm, what's that? Damn this pretentious author, Where's my kanjis!?"

  3. Ben March 16th, 2010 7:17 pm

    I was gonna say the same thing as Steve, as someone who reads tons of Shonen manga it's super common to have a 3 or 4 character compound (Especially for uber-sweet attack moves or phenomenon or something) in katakana as a special reading. Often enough they even make up their own kanji compounds which is both artistic and entirely confusing at the same time.

  4. Riley March 16th, 2010 11:19 pm

    I like how the floor machine takes up more space than the boxes.

  5. admin March 17th, 2010 4:20 am

    @Riley: clearly the boxes are just an excuse to have a floor machine.

    @szaszha: dude! You are not seriously saying “racial prejudice is ok if we get to hate vk fans too?” I understand what you are trying to say, but there are SO MANY better ways to say that thing. I mean, damn.

    @ben and steve: you guys are correct. But still, wtf?!?? Explaining a made-up Japanese word with reference to another word which is not Japanese at all? But spelled in japanese? Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    @relatively mature: I love how you are agreeing with my point and yet phrasing that as a denial.

  6. Steve March 17th, 2010 7:21 am

    This isn't some kooky Japanese phenomenon, you're familiar with linguistics, right, sort-of? With code-mixing, people naturally throw in words from other languages where and when it seems more normal (it's not necessarily some made-up English-fetish thing either, this stuff happens naturally over time). This is just the written form of that, but with the added efficiency (?) of being able to explain the word in kanji just in case grandpa gets a hold of junior's comic books.
    Of course sometimes it is some made-up 'English is cooler' fetish thing, but read some high-level pretentious academic stuff and you'll see them throw in french and german left-and-right (sometimes with footnotes, the poor-man's furigana).

  7. rk March 18th, 2010 8:04 am

    After watching that commercial, it's pretty obvious what Mandom owe their success to: Charles Bronson.

  8. d.arctor March 18th, 2010 1:47 pm

    Hey, what happened to the "about me" part of this site, where we could see what a whacky weirdo you are, with your massive Hello Kitty doll collection etc.?  It was the cherry on a fantastic Internet japanophile sundae.  (I mean that as a compliment)

  9. 23 Wolves March 18th, 2010 2:28 pm

    Special Machine in Floor is really, really special.  I can't believe you didn't move in?!?!  That thing…It's a mondo-boggler!

  10. adam April 1st, 2010 9:34 pm

    if u really want a laugh, go to the military museum at yasukuni. war with US was started b/c the US shut off japan's oil supply. pearl harbor, apparently, was unavoidable. the millions of murdered chinese? nary a mention. taiwan's annexation was, well they didn't explain that…..not  too different from what the US does with some egregious parts of its history but still shocking in its baldness.
    definitely wanna know more about the special machine!

  11. Dave April 2nd, 2010 11:53 pm

    Hey. That McDonald's sign is in Shinjuku, right? Kinda near the station (on the same street as those few awesome disc union shops!)! I snapped that too last time I was there… I'm moving to J in a few weeks (got a job!). But I'll be in Kobe. From the looks of things, I'll still be spoilt for hardcore shows in Kobe and Osaka though! Will still have to make it up to Wall and Antiknock a few times a year though!

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