Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Pocket-Sized Book

Reader Lynn sent me this photo of a pair men's swimming shorts from Wal-Mart. Since she is a Japanese major, it was odd to her to see hiragana characters meaning "pocket-sized book" printed on the shorts.

I confirmed this with Alan, and he says:

The hiragana is clearly しゅうちんぼん [shuuchinbon], which is the Japanese reading of , meaning a "pocket-sized book" which was perhaps the size of today's paperback books, a handy size for carrying in the sleeves of kimono.

But as to why someone would want to have this written on their swimming trunks, I have no idea. Bizarre!

Of course, we both think it was meant to be a jab at the wearer's testicle size or the popular sport of pocket pool.

P.s. why do people still shop at Wal-Mart?!


  1. When I lived in Hong Kong, I saw people all over the place wearing shirts with nonsense English phrases all the time.

    They had no idea what the phrases even meant, and I wager that Americans wearing such shorts are equally unaware..

  2. I have been going down through your entries, and basiclly this is a "trend" thing. Like the person's comment before me about the random english in Hong Kong, i lived in Japan for about a year and saw the same thing. "We" wear or sport random Kanji which is more often jiberish because the symbols look cool, while they sport random english because it is cool and exotic. Its pretty innocent really, I would not give people such a hard time about it. This "crime" is commited on both sides of the globe.

  3. Amen to this bro!
    I don't think there is any harm in this either, Some people are interested in the artistic value of these characters...

  4. Yes, I agree the clothes are harmless but when someone gets some nonsensical phrase tattooed on their body, that's another matter altogether. I'm sure there aren't too many Asian kids running around with "All your base are belong to us" tattoos.